The Society for Music Theory Publications awarded CCM Associate Professor of Music Theory Catherine Losada the 2017 Outstanding Publication Award for an article that casts light on the often obscure workings of music by French composer Pierre Boulez. Her article titled “Complex Multiplication, Structure, and Process: Harmony and Form in Boulez’s Structures II” was published in Music Theory Spectrum.
“A key to comprehending the musical products of recent times involves confronting the elusive issue of their structure,” Losada said.
Her research focuses on Boulez’s music and compositional techniques from 1955 to 1970, specifically addressing his innovative approach to musical structure. The article highlights aspects of structural organization that have been overlooked in Boulez’s music and suggests ways of formally defining aspects of his style.
“There is an urgent need for detailed study of Boulez’s works from the 1950s through the 1960s to draw a more comprehensive picture of the underlying structural features of his musical language,” Losada said. “The complexity of the techniques and purposefully oblique references in his writings have obscured the music’s structural basis and inhibited serious analytical inquiry.”
In her article, Losada uses Boulez’s sketches for his music to show how pitch-class multiplication relates to the larger structures of his works, including Structures II. She also discusses this technique in the context of Boulez’s artistic style and development.
The fall 2017 issue of the Journal of Music Theory will include a second article on Boulez by Losada titled “Between Freedom and Control: Composing Out, Compositional Process and Structure in the Music of Boulez.” The publication will also include an article by CCM Assistant Professor of Music Theory Christopher Segall titled “Alfred Schnittke’s Triadic Practice.”
Losada and Segall will present their research at the European Music Analysis Conference in June. They will travel with CCM Adjunct Professor Matteo Magarotto and three music theory students (William Ayers, Gui-Hwan Lee and Soo Hyun Jeong), who will also present research at the conference. The international conference is a key evet in the field of music analysis and brings together researchers and other eminent academics from around the world.
Follow the Village News to read our upcoming story on CCM faculty and students as they prepare for the European Music Analysis Conference.
Learn more about CCM’s Division of Composition, Musicology and Theory online at ccm.uc.edu/music/cmt.