Melodic and Rhythmic Contour Transformation as an Organizing Principle
in the Third Movement of Schoenberg's Wind Quintet

Taylor Carmona, Texas Tech University

Many scholars have analyzed the role of melodic contour as an organizing principle in atonal music, but its role in twelve-tone music has not been as widely researched. In this paper, I will argue that the analysis of melodic and rhythmic contour reveals characteristic elements of motivic development in Schoenberg's twelve-tone music. This paper demonstrates how the third movement of Schoenberg's Wind Quintet Op. 26 uses contour motives and rhythmic patterns to create coherence both within and between musical sections through the use of inversion, retrograde, and retrograde inversion transformations that operate independently from the twelve-tone row forms.