THESIS

During my final master study "composition jazz-popular music" I wrote my thesis "A Shönbergian analysis of the Blockbuster Wicked" in which I investigated the relevance of Arnold Schönberg’s book “Fundamentals of Musical Composition” for the music of the musical "Wicked". I got the opportunity to meet triple oscar-grammy award winner and composer of Wicked Stephen Schwartz in New York City to discuss my results with him. This thesis scored summa cum laude and was the beginning of a growing interest in musical form ("formenlehre"). The abstract and often complex music theory suddenly became a strong and clear compositional tool after applying my findings on musical styles I love. Without becoming mathematical or super-conscious in my writing, my thesis conclusions are helping me out whenever the "inspiration is gone".
   

ALSO CLASSICAL

I soon noticed that my findings where not only applicable on popular themes but also on classical ones. My further interest in musical form got powered because of the fact that I always tried to search for a certain uniqueness but at the same time I wanted to be conventionally in writing clear determined themes in any kind of music. 

RESEARCH 

It is intriguing to observe that even after a period of more than 300 years our Western tonal system still doesn’t seem to be exhausted. During the twentieth century new schools and genres, which evolved from tonal music, arose, but that didn’t alter the fact that nowadays a lot of historical tonal music is still present or new tonal music is still successfully created. It is my particular interest to find out how composers throughout history and genres searched for their unique “catchiness” in tonal themes. The tonal content of a theme can be labelled as a conventional law and the question can be asked: "What are the variable parameters deviating from the common ground, which potentially make a theme unique and catchy?". So my main purpose is to study how different tonal composers generate an aesthetic “catchy” effect with a minimal variation within the tonal system. In other words: when studying catchy themes, which have a tonal base of 90%, how does each composer handle the variable other 10% where he or she tries to find unique “catchiness”. The result could be a new approach to the syntax of tonal themes; one that does not exclusively describe or look for intrathematic procedures, but one that compares the variable procedures composers use(d) to make the tonal syntax interesting and surprising each time again.