Music, School of


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A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Music, Major: Music, Under the Supervision of Professor Stanley V. Kleppinger. Lincoln, NE: May, 2015

Copyright (c) 2015 Sarah Mahnken


The Preludes and Fugues, Op. 87 of Shostakovich come out of common practice tonality; however, Shostakovich’s music departs from the tonal tradition in his lack of functional harmonic progressions and his unexpected chromatic twists. Chromatic is a problematic term in Shostakovich’s music because it can be difficult to know if a chromatic note is acting inside or outside of the system. Much of the music of Op. 87 is based on diatonic scales or scales that derive from the diatonic set. Because Shostakovich’s music does not follow the patterns of common practice tonality and sometimes uses non-diatonic scales, it is more appropriate to discuss scales than keys in this context. This thesis will explore the relationships between scales, including two types of transposition and Hook’s signature transformations, and will establish a theory of eight-note collections that add a chromatic note to a diatonic set. In this way, a framework for placing a chromatic note into the context of a scale or a shift in collection will be established. The concepts of scalar and collectional relationships will be applied to whole fugues and especially to the specific context of Shostakovich’s expositions and counter-expositions.

Advisor: Stanley V. Kleppinger

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