Mary Pappert School of Music
Beethoven, consciousness, Damasio, harmonic expectation, memory, Waldstein
Harmonic expectations in Western tonal music are formed throughout an individual's lifetime, created by the encounter of commonly recurring patterns of relationships of chords within music. The recognition and identification of these patterns, particularly when the anticipated patterns are denied, are expressed on a conscious level. Although identified and articulated from the conscious experience, a listener's attention may not be actively engaged in harmonic processing; moreover, the identification of deviations may arise from nonconscious processing of harmonic events. This paper identifies the processes in formulating and expressing harmonic expectation and its subsequent denial, as well as the nonconscious processing which influences this recognition. Additionally, this paper theorizes that expectations on a larger scale, beyond the chordal level, may be generated and fulfilled nonconsciously. This paper concludes with an analysis of Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata, identifying moments of conflict between small-scale denials of expectations within the fulfillment of large-scale processes.
Powell, A. (2010). Harmony in Time: Memory, Consciousness, and Expectation in Beethoven's Waldstein Sonata, Op. 53 (Master's thesis, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/1059