Title

Debussy, Bartok, and the Golden Section

Document Type

Thesis

Publication Date

1996

Advisor

Jerome Coller

Abstract

The purpose of the thesis was to 1. Show how each of these composers used the Golden Section in their work and 2. That these composers were indeed conscious of the decision to use the Golden Section in their pieces. This was shown by an analysis of selected piano pieces from each composer. They were `Reflets dans l'eau' and `Clair de lune' by Claude Debussy and `Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion' by Bela Bartok. Each of these pieces used the Golden Section in such a way that the outcome of the piece, in each case, depended on how the composer used the Golden Section. The effect that dynamics, tonal structure, and thematic material had on the listener was, in each case, a direct result of the way in which the composer chose to use the Golden Section.

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