Twentieth-century polymodality: scalar layering, chromatic mismatch, and symmetry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter introduces students to the notion of twentieth-century polymodality focusing on the layering of different scales and resulting chromaticism. The lesson proceeds in three (mutually reinforcing) learning stages: the analytical examination of characteristic instances of scale combinations in the music of Béla Bartók leading to analytical representations as mismatched scale segments or polymodes, the assembly and disassembly of various symmetrical polymodes furthering the understanding of the chromatic and common-tone interactions in scalar layering, and guidance for short compositional deployments of layered textures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge companion to music theory pedagogy
EditorsLeigh VanHandel
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780429505584
ISBN (Print)9781138585010
Publication statusPublished - 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Twentieth-century polymodality: scalar layering, chromatic mismatch, and symmetry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this