Pentatonicism from the Eighteenth Century to Debussy by Jeremy Day-O'Connell

By Jeremy Day-O'Connell

Pentatonicism from the Eighteenth Century to Debussy deals the 1st entire account of a widely known element of song heritage: the expanding use of pentatonic ("black-key scale") suggestions in nineteenth-century Western art-music. Pentatonicism in nineteenth-century tune encompasses thousands of cases, lots of which predate by means of many years the extra recognized examples of Debussy and Dvorák. This publication weaves jointly ancient observation with track idea and research with the intention to clarify the resources and importance of a big, yet hitherto purely casually understood, phenomenon. The publication introduces numerous specific different types of pentatonic perform -- pastoral, primitive, unique, non secular, and coloristic -- and examines pentatonicism in dating to adjustments within the melodic and harmonic sensibility of the time. The textual content concludes with an extra appendix of over four hundred examples, an extraordinary source demonstrating the person artistry with which nearly each significant nineteenth-century composer (from Schubert, Chopin, and Berlioz to Liszt, Wagner, and Mahler) dealt with the doubtless "simple" fabrics of pentatonicism. Jeremy Day-O'Connell is assistant professor of tune at Knox university.

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Extra info for Pentatonicism from the Eighteenth Century to Debussy (Eastman Studies in Music)

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3. The major mode according to Zuckerkandl. (©1956 Bollingen, 1984 renewed. 4. ” serve as the resolution of 4, a weaker but persistent attraction toward the distant tonic note will remain to be satisfied. The forces, then, approximate a sort of “tonal gravity,”25 with melodic pitch wending its way about the ridges of a rolling hill, as in Victor Zuckerkandl’s diagram (fig. 26 Zuckerkandl offers a useful illustration of 6’s double function as an upper neighbor to 5 as well as a passing tone within motion from 5 to 8.

4. 56 6 4 2 6 6 Reg. 6. Reg. 2. 3. From Heinichen, Der Generalbass in der Composition (1728), p. 745. 14 Descriptions of the major scale, then, have historically cast 6 as something of an upper boundary, notwithstanding the assumption of a seven-note octave. The “modal” analogue of this view, moreover, emerged in the conception of 6 as a tendency-tone directed toward 5. The notion of tendency-tones initially concerned only the leading tone and, later, its tritone partner, 4, but starting in the nineteenth century, theorists and pedagogues attributed melodic energy to 6 as well.

Salzer and Schachter, writers strongly informed by traditional views of tonal voice leading, interpret this characteristic formula as a decorated leading-tone cadence (as indicated in ex. 34a), while Sachs instead discerns the remnants of a venerable melodic style, a “deeply inrooted principle of chained thirds,” thus minimizing the leading tone (an interpretation that would correspond to my hypothetical reduction in ex. 51 Such equivocation is no doubt more appropriate to fifteenth-century polyphony (a repertoire, after all, commonly recognized by historians of tonality as transitional) than to a nineteenth-century symphony.

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