05. April 2021

Dr. Hynes-Tawa Guest Lecture

Dr. Liam Hynes-Tawa (Yale University) will give a talk on "Old Tonics, New Tetrachords"


This talk discusses the slippery concepts of mode, finality, and tonicity from the perspective of the Phrygian mode in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century European music. By focusing on the mode that acts least similar to the tonics of common-practice music, I attempt to tease apart parameters that are often easily collapsed onto each other, suggesting that the potential for analytical insight is greater when they are kept apart. In doing so, I will argue that the Phrygian mode’s final in the music before common-practice tonality never functioned like a tonic, according to a particular definition of "tonic" that I will propose. I will also discuss how, in traditional Japanese music, Phrygian-like tonalities are a strong norm, and from there discuss a bit about how Japanese tetrachordal theory suggests how Phrygian tonics can exist in a system that developed separately from that in Western Europe.


This talk will take place on zoom on Monday, April 5, 2021 at 17:00 CET; please contact Ms. Diana Gleiss if you wish to attend.