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Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Music (M.M.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Analysis of sōkyoku jiuta, Japanese traditional music of the Edo period for koto and shamisen, has in the past relied primarily on static tetrachordal or hexachordal models. The present study takes a transformational approach to traditional Japanese music. Specifically, it develops a framework for six-pitch hexachordal space inspired by Steven Rings’s transformational approach to tonal music. This novel voice-leading space yields insights into intervallic structure, trichordal transposition and hexachordal voice leading and transformations of this music at both its surface and large-scale levels. A side-by-side comparison with Rings’s approach highlights differences between the hexachordal and diatonic systems.

First Advisor

Brent Auerbach Auerbach

Included in

Music Theory Commons