Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Degree

Spring 2016

Degree Name

DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts)

Degree In

Music

First Advisor

Scott Conklin

Abstract

Intonation is one of the most important issues facing performers of string quartets. Often, string students learn to play in tune strictly in terms of their own melodic line. To play in tune in a string quartet requires an understanding of the underlying harmony and how intonation can be fluid and flexible in an ensemble. This paper offers students an introduction to harmonic intonation and provides exercises to put this knowledge into practice. The text begins with instruction and exercises related to perfect intervals, which form the basis for intonation. Next, consonant intervals are discussed along with exercises for practice and ear training. Chords are constructed and practiced upon the basis of this interval practice. Student quartets are then asked to play excerpts from the repertoire presented as harmonic reductions and as originally written in order to connect the theoretical knowledge to the string quartet repertoire. Finally, chorales by J.S. Bach arranged for string quartet are provided for continuing practice of intonation in tonal harmony. It is not the attempt of this project to teach music theory or present a comprehensive study of the many issues and challenges related to intonation in string quartet playing. The aim of this essay is to provide students with a solid foundation and practical application of basic principles of playing in tune in a string quartet.

Public Abstract

Intonation is one of the most important issues facing performers of string quartets. Often, string students learn to play in tune strictly in terms of their own melodic line. To play in tune in a string quartet requires an understanding of the underlying harmony and how intonation can be fluid and flexible in an ensemble. This paper offers students an introduction to harmonic intonation and provides exercises to put this knowledge into practice. The text begins with instruction and exercises related to perfect intervals, which form the basis for intonation. Next, consonant intervals are discussed along with exercises for practicing and ear training. Chords are constructed and practiced upon the basis of this interval practice. Student quartets are then asked to play excerpts from the repertoire presented as harmonic reductions and as originally written in order to connect the theoretical knowledge to the string quartet repertoire. Finally, chorales by J.S. Bach arranged for string quartet are provided for continuing practice of intonation in tonal harmony. The aim of this essay is to provide students with a solid foundation and practical application of basic principles of just intonation in quartet playing.

Keywords

publicabstract, Just Intonation, Pedagogy, String Quartet

Pages

v, 77

Bibliography

75-77

Copyright

Copyright 2016 Tim Cuffman

Included in

Music Commons

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