Justin Henry Rubin:
Articles and Other Writings on Music and Art
All materials are protected under copyright © Justin Henry Rubin 2011
Institutions or individuals interested in these articles are encouraged to contact the author.
From Stabat mater to Totengräbers Heimweh: Schubert's Propinquity to Pergolesi
This article was published in The Schubertian , the journal of the British-based Schubert Institute (October, 2008).
Thematic Metamorphosis and Perception in the Symphony [No. 1] for Organ of Kaikhosru Sorabji
This article examines the process of the motivic evolution that constitutes Sorabji's compositional syntax as it was first developed in his Organ Symphony. Revealed through an analysis of the principal themes as they occur chronologically, both as primary and subsidiary material within the course of the work, the composer reduces once distinct melodic profiles to archetypes of proto-melodies based primarily on contour. Concurrently, fragments of intervallic sequences that exist within the themes are extracted from their original context, and become embedded within new material to create a substrata of figural development. This combination of techniques allows Sorabji to focus the listener's perception on gestural characteristics rather than verbatim reiterations of ideas. The method by which the composer accomplishes these transformations gradually, over comparatively vast expanses of time, sustains a musical narrative that exists simultaneously on both conscious and sub-conscious levels to create a perceptual cohesion outside the traditional procedures of Western composition.
This article is available in its entirety at the Sorabji Archives website.
Free Transcription for Performance: Composing Additional Material for Average Repertoire
This article was published in The American Organist (March, 2006): 82-83.
Process and Design in Similar Motion by Philip Glass
Analysis of the formal aspects of one of the seminal works of the Minimalist movement. The article seeks an organic unification between structure and material.
Observations and Interpretations: Essays on the Organ Works of Dietrich Buxtehude
Three brief articles:
1. Organic Development in the Organ Præludia of Dietrich Buxtehude: The Unification of the Free and Fugal Sections
2. Transmission and Omission: Common Practice and its Implications in the Organ Works of Dietrich Buxtehude
3. Transmission and Inspiration: J.S. Bach's Adoption of Select Musical Material from the Organ Works of Dietrich Buxtehu
Barnett Newman's Figuration of Memory
This brief article deals with the relationship between Newman's titles and the effect they produce on the viewer.
Some thoughts about Andrei Tarkovsky's Andrei Rublev
Playing Contrapuntal Works on Organ and Piano
The Development of the Shared Hand Technique in the 17th and 18th Century North German Organ School
Through observation of passagework in specific Baroque organ works, a history of the manner in which the period performers began to share linear material between both hands begins to emerge. Composers examined include Grigny, Strunck, Steigleder, Weckmann, Sweelinck, Scheidt, Buxtehude, and Bach, amongst others, as well as contemporary theoretical treatises.
The one fragment and two complete estampies contained in the Robertsbridge Codex are part of the earliest preserved manuscript of music written specifically for the organ (England, ca. 1320-1330). The fact that these pieces and others in the Codex trace their origins to poetic and dance forms points to a decidedly secular usage. However, the majority of the other parameters of their composition tend towards the performance on cathedral organs and liturgical music techniques. Through examination of historical and contemporary sacred and secular organ practice, a reasonable conjecture may be made as to how they, and probably numerous of other works no longer extant, fit into late Medieval life.
Liturgical Transcription in Messiaen's Et Expecto Resurrectionem Mortuorum and Couleurs de la Cité Céleste
The use of plainchant forms in the works of Olivier Messiaen is documented in his treatise The Technique of My Musical Language, however the manner of its explicit expression is absent. The fact that he was an organist in Paris is especially noteworthy in that it was there in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries that the use of modal rhythm and true contrapuntal textures and techniques was born in the works of Perotin and his school. Messiaen's connection with his city's unique Medieval musical history becomes apparent in a number of his compositions.
Two Compositions for Computer
Composed in 1994, these brief programs were conceived to create automated musical events with a degree of uncertainty.