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'Musical texture' is an elusive yet highly inclusive term that can be viewed as a strong indicator of a composer's personal fingerprint. The subtle choices composers make in their chord-structures and voice leadings are often highly idiosyncratic, despite often sharing the same broad tonal foundations. The Australian-American composer Percy Grainger was fascinated with this idea of texture and claiming his own "can be brought home to the particular blend of horizontal and perpendicular that has always been my fate." The aim of this article is to clarify what Grainger may have meant, using innovative forms of analysis, such as Chernoff Faces and the examination of horizontal and vertical  relationships.  Covering a selection of his early polyphonic music, this research suggest the rapid crystallisation of his distinctive musical texture and highlights it's empirical qualities.

"Facing Democracy: The Rapid Evolution of Percy Grainger’s Texture"


In Context Journal of Music Research, 40, 2015: 49-67.

Link to Article

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