Lerdahl Alfred Whitford (Fred)

Master of Fine Arts, Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts of Lawrence University of Wisconsin, Professor Emeritus of Musical Composition of Columbia University оf the City of New York

E-mail: awl1@columbia.edu

Generative Music Theory in Relation to the Schenkerian and Riemannian Traditions


Generative music theory treats music theory as a branch of cognitive science and, through a rule system, models the structures that listeners implicitly infer from a musical surface. This paper discusses commonalities and differences between this approach and those of two major predecessors in the history of music theory, Schenker and Riemann. An analysis of a Schumann song helps make the comparisons tangible.