Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Spring 2020

Department 1

Conservatory of Music


Using the tools of post-tonal music theory, we analyze Gyorgy Ligeti's Etude No. 11, one of a series of etudes written to present piano students with technical and compositional challenges. As listeners, we clearly experience a feeling of suspense and constant uneasiness. To find out why, we must dig deep into the structure of the piece. Considering pitch class content, the role of meter, rhythm, and phrase-shaping, and development, this analysis reveals a complicated mathematical arrangement behind the auditory experience.


Written for Music 242: Music Theory IV.

Creative Commons License

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

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