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Author ORCID Identifier


Campus-Only Access for One (1) Year

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Chris W. White

Second Advisor

Gary S. Karpinski

Third Advisor

Robert A. Rothstein

Subject Categories

Music Theory


Proposes the H-E-L-M-C-K-E hermeneutic to decode Historical, Extramusical, Linguistic, (intra)Musical, Correlational, Kingdom-of-Poland-related/Polish, and Era-specific meaning in Fryderyk Chopin's polonaises. Traces the origin of musical meaning-conveying signifiers on the musical surface via topical analysis to deeper recursive structures in the middleground via Schenkerian analysis (Ch. 1). Identifies and translates all known appearances of the polonaise/polonoise/alla polacca throughout the history of music theory from eighteenth- and nineteenth-century documents in German, Polish, French, and English (Ch. 2). Demonstrates the feasibility of the H-E-L-M-C-K-E methodology (Ch. 3). Applies the H-E-L-M-C-K-E methodology to produce close readings that correlate the intramusical causes (structures) of extramusical effects (meaning) (Ch. 4). Concludes with a quotation by Schenker and suggestions for possible applications to other repertoire and model composition (Ch. 5).


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Available for download on Saturday, May 13, 2023