René Champigny, One Hundred Years of Research on Octatonicism. First Part: From Yavorsky to van den Toorn

Over the last hundred years, much musicological research has been carried out on the octatonic scale, referred to by Olivier Messiaen as the deuxième mode à transpositions limitées. This paper presents, in chronological order, the work of fourteen analysts and composers; it emphasizes the significance of their contribution to the theoretical development of octatonicism, at times criticizing positions and practices considered questionable. The factors of tonal polarity, in relationship with the symmetrical structure of the scale, are particularly noteworthy. The first part of the article thus deals with the work of Boleslav Yavorsky, Olivier Messiaen, Ernö Lendvai, Arthur Berger, Joseph N. Straus and Pieter C. van den Toorn; the second part, to be published in the next issue of Musurgia, will deal with that of Elliott Antokoletz, Richard Taruskin, George Perle, Richard Cohn, Paul Wilson, Cheong Wai-Ling, Allen Forte and Fred Lerdahl, and will conclude with a bibliography of octatonicism that lists the major researches not mentioned in the text and its footnotes.