A Transformational Space Structuring the Counterpoint in Adès’s “Auf dem Wasser zu singen”

Author: Roeder, John
Publication details: Music Theory Online 15/1
Weblink: http://www.mtosmt.org


The third movement of Thomas Adès’s string quartet Arcadiana features a complex, free textural counterpoint that seems resistant to the transformational analysis of the common sort that focuses, as does motivic analysis, on a small family of structured objects. However, by choosing a suitable space of very elementary objects, the pitch processes of the various streams can be represented in an animation that shows how they are coordinated to create musical form.