Thematic Transformation

Thematic transformation (also known as Thematic metamorphosis and Thematic development) is a technique of where a leitmotif, or theme, is developed by changing the theme by using Permutation (Transposition or Modulation, Inversion, and Retrograde), Augmentation, Diminution, and Fragmentation. It was primarily developed by Franz Liszt and his good friend Hector Berlioz. The technique is essentially one of variation. A basic theme is reprised throughout a musical work, but it undergoes constant transformations and disguises and is made to appear in several contrasting roles. However, the transformations of this theme will always serve the purpose of "unity within variety" that was the architectural role of sonata form in the classical symphony. The difference here is that thematic transformation can accommodate the dramatically charged phrases, highly colored melodies and atmospheric harmonies favored by the Romantic composers, whereas sonata form was geared more toward the more objective characteristics of absolute music. Also, while thematic transformation is similar to variation, the effect is usually different since the transformed theme has a life of its own and is no longer a sibling to the original theme.

Read more about Thematic TransformationDevelopment, Controversy, Legacy, See Also, Bibliography

Other articles related to "thematic transformation, transformation, thematic":

Symphonic Poem - Liszt
... The second practice was thematic transformation, a type of variation in which one theme is changed, not into a related or subsidiary theme but into something new, separate and ... Thematic transformation, like cyclic form, was nothing new in itself ... Weber and Berlioz had also transformed themes, and Schubert used thematic transformation to bind together the movements of his Wanderer Fantasy, a work that ...
Thematic Transformation - Bibliography
... ISBN 0-333-23111-2 MacDonald, Hugh, ed Stanley Sadie, "Transformation, thematic", The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Second Edition (London Macmillian, 2001) ...
Symphonies By Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - Symphonic Poem: Alternative and Catalyst
... The second alternative, thematic transformation, originated with Haydn and Mozart ... Schubert used thematic transformation to bind together the movements of his Wanderer Fantasy, a work that had a tremendous influence on Liszt ... learned to create longer formal structures solely through thematic transformation ...