Clifton Callender

composition, music theory, mathematics

This paper is an extension of neo-Riemannian theory to the most prominent collections in Scriabin’s late work, which include the whole-tone, mystic, acoustic, and octatonic (as well as ♭2 variants of the mystic and acoustic), motivated by analysis of the third of the Three Etudes, op. 65. These collections are all related by minimal (or parsimonious) alterations, including displacing a single pitch class (pc) by semitone, adding or removing a single pc, and splitting a single pc into its chromatic neighbors (or the fusing of a whole tone into a single pc). The resulting relational network highlights the acoustic collection as an important mediating sonority between whole-tone and octatonic collections.

Voice-Leading Parsimony in the Music of Alexander Scriabin, Journal of Music Theory 42.2, 1998.