Abstracts of issue 10-11 (1998)

George Fitsioris

Levels of Perception: The Possibility of Understanding Tonal-Period Harmonic Plans in Terms of Embedded Narrative Sequences

By examining Mozarts piano-wind quintet K. 452, this paper proposes ways of understanding the compositional strategies by which sequences of events are organized in the development section of the first movement. In particular, it argues that the technique of sequence-combination followed in this development is one applied in a great number of narratives, namely the technique of embedding complete sequences of events within other higher-level sequences. More than that, the paper itself is structured accordingly: its middle section, which is dealing with the Mozart quintet, is embedded within a more general discussion that occupies the first part and continues at the ending section of the paper. In this discussion the paper maintains that there are different levels in perceiving and experiencing music; it also argues that our understanding of pieces becomes richer, and, thus, our relationship with them more intimate, as we become more aware and notice the inherent properties that characterize and relate the technical features of a piece in a meaningful whole.