From Music Theory to Graph Theory: Analyzing Chord Successions in J.S. Bach’s Modal Chorales

Date

2021-12

Authors

Lizarraga, Veronica

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Abstract

Johann Sebastian Bach’s 413 chorale settings are a common source of analytical examples in music theory classrooms. While most of this repertoire is tonal--that is, an ordering of seven adjacent pitches that creates a major or minor scale--38 chorales are modal. These 38 chorales, as identified in Lori Burns’ Bach’s Modal Chorales (1995), are the focus of my research. In this thesis, I will map out the frequency of adjacent chord successions in Bach’s modal chorales, focusing on the last phrase that confirms the modal identity of each chorale. My research will provide insight into the harmonic structure of Bach’s modal chorales.

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Keywords

chorales, modal, frequency, successions, Honors College

Citation

Lizárraga, V. (2021). From music theory to graph theory: Analyzing chord successions in J.S. Bach’s modal chorales (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.

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