Developing Ogolevets' Doubly Augmented Prime: A Voice-leading Structure in the Music of Shostakovich

Amy Hatch, University of North Texas

Twentieth-century Russian theorists -- Yuri Kholopov (1997) and Lev Mazel' (1977) -- recognized a "modal language" in which Shostakovich used combinations of modes, diatonicism, and chromaticism. From 1926-1952, Shostakovich's music included modes greater than seven tones or dual modalities resulting in extreme chromaticism, thus yielding a single pitch label deviated by two accidentals (Db and D#), or a doubly augmented prime (DAP). While Russian theorist Alexei Ogolevets (1946) introduced the DAP only as an interval type, I develop a voice-leading structure in which the DAP resolves in semitonal motion.

The DAP and its resolutions act as important structural agents in both modal and tonal contexts. In tonality, resolutions occur harmonically, while in modality, individual lines resolve melodically. This system provides both insight into local modal or tonal contexts and sheds light on the overall pitch center of a work or movement. Additionally, it assists in modulation from one mode or collection to another.