Music Theory


T561 Advanced Schenkerian Analysis

Prof. David Neumeyer

Room and Time: MW 1:00-2:15 SY 037

Enrollment limited to 10 and requires instructor authorization


A technical course to develop high-level skills in Schenkerian analysis; and a seminar in Schenkerian theory. The semester will be divided into four parts: The first three of these will concentrate on continuing issues in Schenkerian theory:

  • the instrumental or vocal cycle,

  • the status of the motive in the structural levels, and

  • the validity of Schenkerian analysis as a tool for interpreting twentieth-century tonal music.

The final part of the course will be spent doing readings of works by Beethoven and his contemporaries (mainly Clementi, Hummel, Czerny, and Weber), the theoretical question governing the work being the possibility of a "Beethoven counterpoint" to substitute for the Fuxian species and figured bass as the foundation of an analytic method for traditional European tonal music.

The course will provide the opportunity to develop Schenkerian analytic skills to a level approaching that of a professional practitioner. For theory doctoral students, the course will also supplement readings in T655 with work that emphasizes a pragmatic poetics (that is to say, a critical, hands-on approach).


Reading in the literature; regular assignments for class discussion; presentations and critiques of analyses in the published literature; a seminar paper on a topic related to any of the course's major issues.


T555 with a grade of B or better (or equivalent prior training) and consent of instructor. The reduction unit of T551 is NOT sufficient preparation for this course, which offers no review of basic techniques or concepts in Schenkerian theory.