International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Temporal Proportions as a Unifying Process in Anton Webern’s Variations for Piano Op. 27
William D. Post

Austrian composer Anton Webern (1883-1945) often emphasized the importance of creating comprehensive formal unity between all musical elements within in his serial composition. Previous studies have focused primarily on properties of symmetry and invariance as unifying elements in pitch and rhythm domains. This study concerns Webern’s Variations for Piano Op. 27 (1937), specifically examining how organization of time and duration in Op. 27 contributes to formal unity through both large-scale temporal organization and connections between temporal structure and the organization of other musical parameters. The analysis provides evidence that Webern consistently organized musical time in each of the three movements of Op. 27 as series of temporal proportions determined by the Golden Ratio, and further demonstrates the significance of temporal structure to comprehensive formal unity by identifying patterned correspondences between Golden Mean points within series of Golden Sections and structural points within the organization of other parameters.

Full Text: PDF