Music 104B: Advanced Tonal Counterpoint, Spring 2000

The course is an in depth study of the contrapuntal process in the late works of Beethoven. Each traditional technique will be examined for this composer's development within the framework of expanded tonality.

There will be three assignments: analytical papers relating to a movement or section of a Beethoven work.

Books for the course: All students must use the same edition in order to correlate page numbers in analysis.

  • Beethoven, Complete Piano Sonatas Vol. 2, (Dover, N.Y.).
  • Beethoven, Late String Quartets, (Dover, N.Y.).
  • Beethoven, Symphony No. 9, (Dover, N.Y.).
  • Xeroxed excerpts from the Diabelli Variations.
  • Collateral reading for reference:

  • Drake, Kennith, The Beethoven Sonatas and the Creative Experience, (Indiana University Press, 1994).
  • Kerman, Joseph, The Beethoven Quartets, (W.W. Norton & Co., 1979).
    Also see Susan McClary's analysis of Op. 132 by comparison in Conventional Wisdom, (University of California Press, 2000), PP. 119-133.
  • Beethoven: Impressions by his Contemporaries, ed. Sonneck, (Dover, 1967)
  • The Beethoven Quartet Companion, ed. Martin and Winter (University of California Press, 1994).

  • Monday, April 3: Introduction. Counterpoint and the developmental process.
    Counterpoint as driven by harmony: why the basic techniques were so modified by Beethoven because of his elaborate tonal schemes. Examples include the "Andante and Var. 1" from the String Quartet, Op. 18 No. 5, Slow Movement of Symphony No. 3, and the "Finale" of the String Quartet Op. 59 No. 3.
    The notion of two structural scenarios operating at the same time.
  • Wednesday, Apr. 5: Definitions.
    A review of the various contrapuntal devices as exemplified in the works of J.S. Bach. Examples like the use of real vs. tonal answer, link, episode, stretto, pedal point, augmentation and diminution, various canonic devices, and invertible counterpoint will be examined.
  • M, Apr. 10:The thematic complex as a two-part structure.
    examine the openings of various Late Quartet movements (e.g. Op. 132, "Mvt. 1" and Op. 135 "Finale").
  • W, Apr. 12:Counterpoint in the developmental process.
    "Mvt. 1" of the String Quartet, Op. 130, the "Finale" of Piano Sonata Op. 101, the development section of "Mvt. 1 of Op. 106, and developments in the opening of Op. 111.
  • M, Apr. 17: Introduction to Op. 131.
    Beethoven's treatment of fugue exposition inside a quasi sonata movement.
  • W, Apr. 19:Fugue with some license.
    Complete treatment of the "Finale" of Piano Sonata Op. 110.
    Begin analysis of "Finale" of Hammerklavier Sonata. Compare with the FInale of the last cello sonata.
  • M, Apr. 24: Continue analysis of Op. 106.
    Begin comparison with Grosse Fuge Op. 133.
  • W, Apr. 26: Finish analysis of Op. 133.
    Paper #1 due.
  • M, May 1:Complete treatment of "Mvt. 1" of the String Quartet Op. 131.
    correlation of sonata and fugue expositions.
  • W, May 3: Textural counterpoint.
    Analysis of the "Finale" of Piano Sonata Op. 53, the "Waldstein," and the "Scherzo" of Op. 101.
  • M, May 8: Continue examples of textural counterpoint
    Comparisons between the piano, chamber and symphonic media: the importance of registral shift. Study the Slow Movement of Op. 132.
  • W, May 10: Contrapuntal variation.
    Complete analyses of the "Andante" variations from Piano Sonata Op. 109 and the "Arietta" variation finale of Op. 111.
  • M, May 15: Supreme variations.
    Variation technique in the Late Quartets, particularly Opp. 127, 132, and 135.
  • W, May 17: The Diabelli Variations
    Paper #2 due.
  • M, May 22: The Diabelli Variations, continued
    Comparisons with similar techniques in Late Piano Sonatas.
  • W, May 24:The Synthesis in two large choral works.
    Begin analysis of Symphony No. 9, "Scherzo" and Introduction to the "Finale."
  • M, May 29: Continue analysis of Symphony No. 9, "Finale."
  • W, May 31: The Missa Solemnis
    Begin analysis of the "Gloria" with comparisons to Mass in C Major
  • M, June 5: Continue analysis of Missa Solemnis "Credo" and "Benedictus."
    Paper #3 due.
  • W, June 7: Looking backward at Haydn and Mozart.
    Review of the developments Beethoven addressed in the Classical legacy.

  • Updated: May 12, 2000.

    Questions may be addressed by e-mail: