Transformation: A Study of the Term and Its Analytic Usefulness in the String Quartets of Haydn, Op. 76 and 77

Publication Year



music, transformation, string quartet, Haydn, analytic usefulness, musical relationship


Music | Music Education | Musicology | Music Pedagogy


In a work of music, countless things are happening at once. Each note is relating to others surrounding it in several ways. Groups of notes are formed, and these in turn relate to other groups of notes, groups to sections, sections to movements and movements to the entire work. The varieties of relationship are innumerable, and they often overlap. It is seldom that at any one point in a composition only one relationship is involved. In this paper an attempt will be made to describe one variety of relationship with the knowledge that it is by no means the only one to be found existing in a piece.

This paper is concerned with the concept of "transformation" as a variety of musical relationship. The use of transformation as a term in music has been previously limited to a process involving the "modifications of a musical subject with a view to changing its personality." In this paper the concept of transformation will be used as an aid in the analysis of various examples from art, literature, science, mathematics, aesthetics, and music.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status


This document is currently unavailable online.