College Honors Program

Date of Creation


Document Type




First Advisor

Shirish Korde


This thesis engages a purported connection between Schenkerian music theory and the Minimalist Program within generative linguistics both scientifically and creatively. The first chapter expounds the link between Schenkerian theory and the Minimalist Program which has been recently substantiated in a doctoral dissertation by Somangshu Mukherji at Princeton University and details the methodological framework for investigating musical structures within this paradigm. Chapter two presents three case studies including the opening phrase of Mozart’s K. 332 Mvt. 1 piano sonata, and the tunes “Georgia on My Mind” and “Blue Bossa” in order to exemplify the aforementioned methodology and provide scientific evidence affirming this generative framework. Chapter three concludes with a creative investigation of the theoretical ideas which this thesis engages and consists of a string quartet that draws upon the notions of music and language, and music as derived from a computational system.

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Winner of the College of the Holy Cross 2017 Beethoven Prize, awarded to a fourth-year student for the best historical or analytical essay on music or an original composition.

Thesis presented at the 2017 Academic Conference.

Composition that comprises the third chapter of the thesis was performed at the Brooks concert hall on April 25, 2017.