Liam Hynes, Ph.D. candidate in music theory, Yale University, will give a presentation entitled "The Journey of E: The Little Final That Couldn't" for the Hartt Music Theory Colloquium on Tuesday, October 10, 2017, at 12:15 PM in Room 21 at The Hartt School, University of Hartford. His presentation is open to students and faculty of the University.
The change from Renaissance- to Baroque-style pitch configurations in European music can be characterized in many ways, but one of the most popular is that of describing it as a shift from modality to tonality. While the exact meaning of this change has been defined in too many ways to list in this presentation, the distinction from which this presentation will proceed is that between the concept of a final and that of a tonic. From this distinction, this presentation will focus on the mode in which the two concepts are farthest part, i.e. the Phrygian mode, giving an overview of its history of use in the Renaissance and Baroque periods with an ear toward the factors that problematized its survival as the harmonic syntax that would come into common use and would be known as common-practice tonality. This presentation will isolate the importance of two phenomena -- the leading tone and the Picardy third -- showing the important roles they played in making the Phrygian mode's final particularly unamenable to becoming a possible tonic in the new tonal system. Finally, this presentation will conclude with a few examples of how the Phrygian mode's legacy survived and mutated in the music of the tonal common-practice period.
Liam Hynes completed a BA in Music and East Asian Studies at Brown University and is interested primarily in the harmonic languages and tonal structures of 15- through 19th-century European music. He has taught harmony and aural skills courses at Yale and is currently working on a dissertation about the changing meanings of the Phrygian mode and cadence in the music of the late Renaissance and early Baroque. He also retains much interest in the study of form in later music, particularly sonata form.
Liam Hynes's presentation is being sponsored by the music theory program of The Hartt School, University of Hartford and is a part of the Hartt Music Theory Colloquium which is a platform for undergraduate and graduate music theory majors and minors to present their analytical work and for visiting scholars to share their research with students and faculty of The Hartt School and the University of Hartford.