The Inner Workings of Music

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The Inner Workings of Music

As a junior in high school, I was fortunate enough to be accepted in the Yale University course: "Music of Arnold Schoenberg, 1908 to 1923: From Romanticism to Dodecaphony" at the Arnold Schoenberg Center in Vienna, Austria. My course work gave me the opportunity to conduct in depth study of the development of one of the twentieth century's most important composers in his home city. However, in Vienna, I also enjoyed many opportunities to learn outside of class. Perhaps the most significant of these experiences was viewing the archives of the Arnold Schoenberg Center.

The archives at the Schoenberg Center contain thousands of pages of sketch work, manuscripts, and letters. During my stay in Vienna, I visited the archives several times to explore sketches and manuscripts to various compositions in order to gain a greater understanding of Schoenberg's compositional process.

One sketc...

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... Schoenberg changed the voice part from speech to song on an appearance of the works three-note motive.

By exploring Schoenberg' sketches for Pierot Luinare from their earliest phases to a final score, I received a great deal of insight into the compositional process. Studying the work of a master reinforced my belief that every aspect of a piece of music is significant. By studying sketch work, I expanded my understanding of the inner workings of music.

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