Musical Theory and Analysis - 1890 to 1950 - 2nd semester


a) To develop technical and conceptual skills on Musical Analysis from music in the transition period of the tonal system to the divers compositional systems on the first half of the 20th century;
b) To know the main aesthetic currents of music-theoretical thought in the period studied as well as representative compositional techniques and composers;
c) To contextualize in a historical, sociological and aesthetical point of view, the musical phenomena, thinking specifically about the emerging techniques that came to change the musical scene at this period;
d) To develop skills on Musical Analysis adapted practice, adapted to the paradigms from the studied period, as well as, to develop capabilities of auditory analysis of works, through a deep study of specific composers and representative works of the studied period;

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Isabel Pires


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





(colectivo) (2001), Analyse et Création Musicales, L’Harmattan.
BERRY, Wallace. (1976) Structural Functions in Music, Dover Publications.
LESTER, Joel, (1989) Analytic Approaches to Twentieth-Century Music, Norton.
MORGAN, Robert P., (1991) Twentieth-Century Music: A History of Musical Style in Modern Europe and America, W. W. Norton & Company;
WHITTALL, Arnold, (1999) Musical Composition in the Twentieth Century, Oxford University Press.
WILLIAMS, J. Kent . (1997) Theories and Analyses of Twentieth-Century Music, Harcourt Brace & Company.
DELIÈGE, Irène; WIGGINS, Geraint A. (eds.) (2006) Musical Creativity: Multidisciplinary Research in Theory and Practice. Psychology Press
GRIFFITHS, Paul. (2011) Modern Music and After, N.Y., Oxford University Press; 3 edition.
KOSTKA, Stefan. (2005) Materials and Techniques of Twentieth-Century Music, 3rd ed., Upper Saddle River, NJ, Prentice Hall

Teaching method

50% practical sessions, 50% of the lectures.
The course will combine theoretical exposition, discussion of musical examples and musical analysis practice as well as auditory analysis practice.

Evaluation method

Active participation at practical work and discussion sessions (10%). A paper on musical analysis (30%). One or two assessment(s) (60%).

Subject matter

1. Detailed approach will be made to the music from the 1st half of the 20th century, by the study of the main musical currents, composers and compositional techniques associated to this period, with particular emphasis on impressionism, expressionism, neo-classicism and neo-modalism.
2. Detailed analytical study, through practice, of the techniques and aesthetics of a selected number of musical works representative of the main courrents of this period. Relevant aspects of the transition between the tonal paradigm and the various technical and aesthetic approaches that emerged during the 1st half of the 20th century will be addressed. Special attention will be given to composers of the 2nd Viennese School, Debussy, Bartók, Stravinsky, Varèse, among others, by means of detailed analysis of excerpts of some works. The music of other relevant composers, from 1st half of the 20th century, will be approached analytical study, contextual, theoretical and aesthetical study.


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