2018 Student Research Conference:
31st Annual Student Research Conference

Analysis of Joseph Schwantner´s  “And the Mountains Rising Nowhere


Sebastian Quesada♦
Dr. Victor Marquez-Barrios, Faculty Mentor

Joseph Schwantner’s “And the Mountains Rising Nowhere” can be seen as an innovative work that combines several musical languages into a coherent soundscape. The tension built by the piece in terms of the relationship between consonance and dissonance is brought about by the treatment of the different techniques in a convincing and logical way. Composed in 1977, the work can be considered one of the first postmodern pieces for wind band because mainly of the original “metalanguage” intended by Schwantner. Throughout this analysis, we propose a reductionist approach in which the sections and its parts can be seen as derivations of six motifs. These few motifs, appearing at the beginning, are the main material with which Schwantner builds his work, using different organizational techniques regarding harmony, melody, texture, rhythm and timber. The conceptual eclecticism and the way the composer takes advantage of it has been well received, bestowing “And the Mountains Rising Nowhere” an important place in the core repertoire of wind band music. 

Keywords: And the Mountains Rising Nowhere, Joseph Schwantner, Wind Band, 20th Century Music

Topic(s):Music

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 214-3
Location: OP 2210
Time: 10:00

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♦ Indicates Truman Graduate Student
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