Expanding Steve Larson's theory of musical forces Wim Henderickx's Raga I and Raga III
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Steve Larson's theory of musical forces is an important recent addition to music theory and a valuable tool in music analysis. Larson's first book on his theory of musical forces - Musical Forces: Motion, Metaphor, and Meaning in Music - was published in 2012. Although Larson discusses a vast array of topics and presents and supports his theory meticulously, this book is not a culmination of his theory because he narrowed the scope of his theory and some shortcomings are evident. Larson was aware of these shortcomings and indicated that he had been planning a sequel to his book, but he passed away shortly before the publication of Musical Forces. Shortly after the publication of the book, expansions of the theory of musical forces were published by scholars who worked closely with Larson. In this research project, I expand Larson's theory of musical forces and focus on addressing two shortcomings: Larson's choice of repertoire for analyses and the change of terminology in his book. The two compositions by Wim Henderickx, Raga I and Raga III, upon which I base observations, allow me to clarify concepts and terms, and to expand the theory of musical forces. The primary research question of this research project is as follows: what expansions of the theory of musical forces can be proposed on the basis of analyses and comparisons of the different versions of Wim Henderickx's Raga I and Raga III in terms of Steve Larson's theory of musical forces? Both Raga I and Raga III exist in different versions: Raga I for percussion and two pianos, Raga I for percussion and orchestra, Raga I for percussion solo, Raga I for percussion and concert band, Raga III for viola and large orchestra, Raga III for viola solo, Raga III for viola solo and electronics, and Raga III for viola and smaller orchestra. I organise the different versions of these two compositions into two groups according to similarities in the way they were orchestrated, and interpret each group as a case of a multiple instrumental case study. I compare and analyse the different versions, interpreting and comparing my analyses specifically in terms of how musical forces operate. I also compare the two cases to highlight aspects of how musical forces operate. The comparative analyses of the different versions in each case and a cross-case analysis enable me to identify ways in which musical forces can be amplified when compositions are orchestrated. These comparisons also lead to inquiries into other aspects of musical forces and support arguments in which I address shortcomings identified in Larson's theory of musical forces. My findings on how musical Forces can be amplified, new insights into the theory of musical forces, and my solutions to the two shortcomings in Larson's theory of musical forces are significant contributions to Larson's theory of musical forces. My analyses in terms of musical forces not only illustrate how the theory of musical forces can be employed as a useful tool in music analysis, but also hold constructive implications for the use of this theory in music theory, composition, music education, musicology, and other studies related to motion, metaphors, and meaning in music.
- Humanities 
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