ABSTRACT

Stravinsky’s music has seemed stubbornly to resist binding theoretical legislation. That this may be considered curious is owing to the conviction—voiced by those familiar with the literature—that there is a consistency, an identity, or distinctiveness here that certainly ought to lend itself to such legislation. And “superimposition” and “juxtaposition” bring similar case histories to mind. In the writings of Boulez, superimposition is viewed, contemptuously, as an “irreducible aggregation”, a “coagulation” which creates for the “superimposed” fragments a “false counterpoint”, all of this “eminently static in the sense that it coagulates the space-sound into a series of unvarying stages. Finally, juxtaposition brings us to within range of pending concerns, raising, as it does, the issue of octatonic-diatonic interaction. Even with juxtaposition conveniently investing the “blocks” and passages of octatonic reference with a degree of distinctiveness, self-sufficiency and insulation, analysis, pursued with a vengeance, is seldom a dead end, seldom exceptionally tidy or accommodating.