Common-practice harmony is ubiquitous in today's musical world, from popular music to public-school curricula. When and how did this system come to be? My research traces the roots of common-practice harmony in seventeenth-century Italy, focusing on instrumental music by Corelli (1653-1713), Legrenzi (1626-1690), and Frescobaldi (1583-1643). Using custom-built music-analysis and data-mining software, I compare the works of these three composers and search for patterns that reveal the beginnings of the common practice.
Ph.D. Music Theory
Supervisor: Peter Schubert