Modes of Phrygian functionality: Flat2 -Centered progressions in chromatic music
Woo, Ji Hyun
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This dissertation explores the late nineteenth-century expansion of the tonal system, by constructing and characterizing a harmonic syntax centered the chromatic scale-step [musical flat]2 . An alternative mode of functionality is considered--not based on the pivot of the leading-tone (7 ) that is responsible for traditional tonal progression, but rather on the chromatic scale-step, a minor second above the Tonic, [musical flat]2 --as a kind of mirror or dual of the leading-tone. I developed a systematic language of [musical flat]2 -progression, by considering all triadic and seventh-chord possibilities containing [musical flat]2 . Progressions of the type Tonic-to-[musical flat]2 -X-to-Tonic (where [musical flat]2 -X is each of these possible triads and seventh-chords in turn) are then sought in the late-nineteenth-century and early-twentieth-century tonal literature, with surprising success. Almost every possible configuration has been found exemplified in real music, mostly in passages that are almost completely opaque when analyzed from the perspective of traditional functionality. Therefore, the end result of this study is to provide an alternative harmonic paradigm and syntax for understanding heretofore difficult chromatic music.