Like Rolling a Boulder Up a Hill: A Neo-Riemannian and Hermeneutic Analysis of Manuel M. Ponce’s Sonata III

Abstract: This article explores the use of chromatic 3rd relations in the first movement of Manuel M. Ponce’s “Sonata III” by means of neo-Riemannian theory. The large-scale guitar sonata achieves a sense of turmoil and exploration by mediant relations not only in its overall schema, but in the relationships between its chords. Furthermore, harmonic oscillation and Sisyphean melody (static transformation) are discussed.