This volume of fifteen essays has been created as a means of honoring Roger Kamien, musician, theorist, and teacher. The scope of the collection—Bach to Brahms—reflects the main focus of Roger's research, as does the fact that the essays are all analytical in nature, most concerned at some level with Schenkerian theory. The selection of composers whose works are studied parallels those championed by Schenker: Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, and Brahms. There is a strong emphasis in this collection on works by Beethoven and Brahms.
The subtitle indicates a distinction between structure and elements of musical design. In this context, structure means voice leading at multiple structural levels as defined by Heinrich Schenker in Free Composition. Design, on the other hand, is a broad category that includes formal organization at multiple levels from phrase to entire movement or piece, thematic and motivic content, key succession, and aspects of rhythmic/metric organization, such as hypermeter. To be precise, depending on circumstances, one might speak of formal, metric, or motivic design. It is certainly possible to focus on a particular aspect of design, though we all agree that a comprehensive analysis must be inclusive. A common procedure among Schenkerians is to consider the interaction of structure and some aspect of design, for example, formal design, tonal design (key succession), or metric design (hypermeter), especially when the two are not aligned.
The fifteen essays in Bach to Brahms have been divided into three groups, two of them concerned with issues of design and structure. The distinction between the two groups—identified as Structure and Design I and Structure and Design II—is the extent to which Schenkerian analysis is employed. The latter group relies heavily on Schenkerian analysis; that is, the essays contain extensive graphs, often to show the distinction between structure and formal design or processes associated with formal design. Between these two groups are six essays where there is a strong emphasis on motive. Here the term “motive” must be understood in its broadest meaning, from single pitch to larger idea. There is tremendous variety within this group of six.