Darius Milhaud: Modality & Structure in Music of the 1920s

Mawer, Deborah (1997) Darius Milhaud: Modality & Structure in Music of the 1920s. Ashgate, Aldershot. ISBN 1-85928-249-0

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In this first major analytical study of a substantial selection of Milhaud’s music, Deborah Mawer offers an interpretation of pitch structure in works of the 1920s through eight detailed case studies. Although the emphasis is on applications of extended voice-leading, motivic analysis and set theory, attention is also paid to the musical and historical contexts of Milhaud’s works, especially their relationship to the music (and study) of Stravinsky. Chapter 1 establishes an historical background for the analytical discussion which follows. Chapter 2 surveys the various analytical approaches which can be applied to the selected repertory. Exploratory music composed between 1918 and 1922 is examined in Chapter 3, while Chapter 4 concentrates on Milhaud’s Brazilian and jazz-inspired works, notably La Création du monde. The significance of neoclassicism is discussed in Chapter 5, and the consolidatory Chapter 6 focuses on the overall nature of Milhaud’s modality, concluding with suggestions for future research into Milhaud’s music and that of his contemporaries. After 1940, Milhaud exerted important influence as a composer and teacher in the United States as well as in his native France. It is fitting, therefore, that this book develops recent analytical techniques and historical perspectives from North America and Europe, and will be of value to scholars and students on either side of the Atlantic.

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22 May 2012 12:12
Last Modified:
12 Sep 2023 03:36