BookshelfJacob deGroot-Maggetti

Analysis of Tonal Music: A Schenkerian Approach – Allen Cadwallader, David Gagné and Frank Samarotto

Thoughts: Analysis of Tonal Music is a textbook; I read it for a course in Schenkerian Analysis at McGill University. It did its job in helping me understand the ideas and practice of Schenkerian Analysis. I’m not sure I’d recommend the book to anyone else, though: when it works, Schenkerian Analysis can provide elegant explanations of pieces of music, but it’s only really useful in explaining a very narrow slice of the world’s musical practices. It also seems like an easy path toward confirmation bias - if you analyze a piece expecting there to be an Urlinie, you’re likely to find one.

(The notes below are not a summary of the book, but rather raw notes - whatever I thought, at the time, might be worth remembering.)

Cadwallader, Allen, David Gagné and Frank Samarotto. 2020. Analysis of Tonal Music: A Schenkerian Approach (Fourth Edition). Oxford.

Part I: Basic Principles

Chapter 2: Melody and Counterpoint

Chapter 3: Bass Lines and Harmonic Structure

Chapter 4: Linear Techniques

Chapter 5: Tonal Structures

Chapter 6: Techniques of Melodic Prolongation

Chapter 7: Some Basic Elaborations of Fundamental Structure

Part II: Analytical Applications

Chapter 8: One-Part Forms

Chapter 9: Binary Forms

Chapter 10: Ternary Forms and Rondo

Chapter 11: Sonata Principle

Posted: Aug 22, 2021. Last updated: Aug 31, 2023.