Form and Unity in Beethoven's Ninth symphony, 1980 by Denise Allaine Gudmundson Jones.
Yes, indeed. That is my Master's Degree thesis! I am currently digitizing it so that I can put it online for anyone interested in reading it (for FREE). The Abstract, the Introduction, Chapter V (“Unity”), and the Conclusion would be of the most use generally, unless the reader understands music theory terminology and owns a score of the Ninth (I used Kalmus’ mini-score). Of course, a good recording of the Ninth is a must. My favorite is conducted by Herbert Von Karajan. NO ONE conducts the final choral maestoso like he does, which, as written, is a veritable waterfall of sound when conducted stately and majestically -- in music, that is what maestoso means.
Why did I choose the Ninth to analyze? For the simple reason that I loved it and wanted to know how Beethoven held together the longest symphony and only choral one to that date. In other words, what made the Ninth work? Analyzing the Ninth was an amazing experience. Not only have I loved the Ninth, but I’ve also been awed by it ever since I first heard the whole thing -- my dad and mom bought me the Beethoven Bicentennial Collection (1770-1970) of vinyl LP recordings, and the first two volumes were the Symphonies. Just prior to receiving them, I'd heard a pop-song called “Song of Joy” adapted from the main them of the final, choral movement. After that, I simply HAD to hear the original. And so it began.
About age 8, I used to walk around the perimeter of the playground with my hands clasped behind my back, a Beethovenian frown of concentration on my face, and thinking up music, in imitation of Beethoven's walks in the woods. I read biographies of composers -- Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert -- at that time. Beethoven became my hero and favorite composer. As encouragement, my 4th-grade teacher, a violinist, gave me her college text book, Walter Piston’s Harmony (the same book I later studied by requirement as an undergrad music/pre-med major). So, at the age of 9, I began reading all the examples plus captions in that book, and soon much of the first chapters. I had begun piano lessons the year before because I was making up little songs and piano pieces. I studied piano seriously from ages 8-19 (practicing 1-4 hours a day), carrying on with my own study after I married at age 20. Music was in me from a very young age -- I was definitely born with it. Although Mom didn’t know this until later, she and Dad chose the name Denise Allaine because it sounded musical! Form and Unity in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony was the culmination of many years of learning this great man’s works, by practice, by study, and by listening.
Denise Gudmundson Jones - Quotes