Constructing Transformational Signification: Gesture and Agency in Bartók’s Scherzo, Op. 14, No. 2, mm. 1-32

Author: Roeder, John
Publication details: Music Theory Online 15/1


David Lewin’s didactic examples of transformational analysis leave open questions about how to choose the most expressive object families, network types, and visual representations, as well as deeper questions about the nature of “gesture” and the agent “inside the music.” By developing several contrasting analyses of a Bartók passage, this article presents an analytical pragmatics that addresses those questions and explores how animation can bring out a characteristically transformational attitude.