Ever since the nineteenth century, descriptions of musical form have tended to rely heavily on architectonic analogies. In contrast, earlier discussions more often invoked the metaphor of a journey to describe the structure of a composition. In Journeys Through Galant Expositions, author L. Poundie Burstein encourages readers to view the form of Galant music through this earlier metaphorical lens, much as those who composed, performed, improvised, and listened to music in the mid-1700s would have experienced it. By elucidating eighteenth-century ideas regarding musical form and applying them to works by a wide range of composers — including Haydn and Mozart, as well as a host of others who are often overlooked — this innovative study provides an accessible new window into the music of this time. Rather than dissecting concepts from the 1700s as a mere historical exercise or treating them as a precursor of later theories, Burstein invigorates the ideas of theorists such as Heinrich Christoph Koch and shows how they can directly impact our understanding and appreciation of Galant music as audiences and performers.
L. Poundie Burstein is Professor of Music at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His 2005 article "The Off-Tonic Return in Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58, and Other Works" was the winner of the Outstanding Publication Award of the Society of Music Theory in 2008, and he served as the President of the Society of Music Theory from 2013 to 2015. For many years, he performed extensively as a freelance pianist for comedy improvisation groups in the New York City area.
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