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Music & Letters Centenary Issue win for Nicholas Marston

last modified Oct 24, 2018 10:21 AM

The Faculty of Music is delighted to announce that Nicholas Marston’s article ‘ “…nur ein Gleichnis”: Heinrich Schenker and the Path to “Likeness”’ has won the Music & Letters centenary issue competition and will be published in a special issue of the journal in 2019.

The article, based on Prof Marston’s 2016 inaugural lecture, introduces to Schenker scholarship a virtually unknown, unfinished text, 'Der Weg zum Gleichniss' ('The Path to Likeness'), dating from somewhere between 1895 and 1906. This dating places the text between Schenker’s essay 'Der Geist der musikalischen Technik' and the publication of his Harmonielehre; it may accordingly represent the ‘missing link’ between Schenker’s resistance to organicism in 'Geist', and his embrace of it in the Harmonielehre. ‘Geist’ has for more than thirty years been repeatedly re-examined for its negative account of organicism in music; Marston’s new research shows that the 'Gleichniss' text both reiterates Schenker's position and argues that, through the controlling concept of 'likeness', music succeeded in elevating itself to the level of 'a distinct, second, artificial and higher nature’.

Finally, Prof Marston ponders the context of 'Geist' and the background to Schenker's idiosyncratic use of the term 'Gleichniss': this leads both forward to the 1933 article 'Was wird aus der Musik?' and backward to the Old Testament.