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Thread: Voice leading question

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    Default Voice leading question

    In Scarlatti Sonata in D minor K. 141 the piece starts off with a sus4 chord and then voice leads to an A major triad. Normally a suspended 4th resolves to the third of a tonic chord (in this case the suspended 4th, G, should step down and resolve to the third which is F, a chord tone of the i chord) but in here the voices of the Dsus4 chord literally leap to an A major chord which puzzles me. I have no idea on how to analyze this. Could someone please elaborate? Thanks.

    Audio: (sheet music is in the video)
    https://youtu.be/h6LtERRLKww

    Measures with the voice leading of the two chords: https://imgur.com/a/PBdSLq0

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    Senior Member Vasks's Avatar
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    Actually, the G of the Dmsus does resolve to F: The F is in the RH for the remainder of the 2nd measure. It's all about a technique referred to as "octave transference"
    Last edited by Vasks; Oct-25-2018 at 03:05.
    "Music in any generation is not what the public thinks of it but what the musicians make of it"....Virgil Thomson

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    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
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    The note you should really be worried about is the C# in measure 4. Seriously though, both that C# and the G on the first beat are not chord tones and are not meant to resolve like them. They are a form of grace note and both are properly resolved upward. The technique involved is acciaccatura and the notes in question are sometimes called "crushed grace notes." They sound simultaneously with their notes of resolution (D and A respectively) but are immediately released.
    Last edited by EdwardBast; Oct-25-2018 at 18:38.

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    He starts with a Dsus4, then turns the next chord by adding an F into the sopran, into a quite multifunctional chord (DFGA), which in this context works as a A7 with a 6/4 suspension resolving to A.

    Yet I wouldn't recommend at all to think music, especially from this time period, strongly vertically. It was very much contrapuntal thinking back then and we human beings also naturally give more attention in music to the horizontal development, than the vertical one.

    So observing how every single voice is developing over time will help you way more to understand how the composer did come up with what he did. With naming chords, you're just describing - nothing more. You still won't understand the compositional technique behind it and so won't be able to adapt and modify it into your own personal artistic voice.
    Analyzing / describing already totally finished music and the process of actually coming up with original music using compositional techniques to transform imagination and emotions into music, are really totally different things.

    So try to also observe the paths of the individual voices and ask yourself how the composer might came up with it - that will also help you with the pitch-combination in measure 4, which, when only considering the vertical development, will leave you quite confused ;-)

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    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartinAlexander View Post
    He starts with a Dsus4, then turns the next chord by adding an F into the sopran, into a quite multifunctional chord (DFGA), which in this context works as a A7 with a 6/4 suspension resolving to A.
    No, it's a simple tonic chord with a G grace note. The technique is called acciaccatura. Look it up.

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinAlexander View Post
    So try to also observe the paths of the individual voices and ask yourself how the composer might came up with it - that will also help you with the pitch-combination in measure 4, which, when only considering the vertical development, will leave you quite confused ;-)
    The C# is a grace note, the others are chord tones. It's a simple triad.
    Last edited by EdwardBast; Oct-29-2018 at 13:55.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardBast View Post
    No, it's a simple tonic chord with a G grace note. The technique is called acciaccatura. Look it up.



    The C# is a grace note, the others are chord tones. It's a simple triad.
    Thankyou for your help and I see what you mean, but how is there an acciaccatura in that tonic D rolled chord in the first few measures? I don't see the G in the chord notated as a grace note, the chord is just rolled as D G A. Shouldn't there be a grace note to indicate an acciaccatura? Do you have to use common sense to see that it's an acciaccatura even though there isn't a grace note? Could you explain more?
    Last edited by Polonaise25; Oct-29-2018 at 23:21.

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    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polonaise25 View Post
    Thankyou for your help and I see exactly what you mean, but how is there an acciaccatura in that tonic D rolled chord in the first few measures? I don't see the G in the chord notated as a grace note, the chord is just rolled as D G A. Shouldn't there be a grace note to indicate an acciaccatura? Do you have to use common sense to see that it's an acciaccatura even though there isn't a grace note? Could you explain more?
    No, acciaccatura isn't indicated by grace notes. The player just needs to know which notes are to be held after the initial attack (the chord tones, that is) and which are to be immediately released. It is presumed the player knows enough theory to figure this out. One would roll the first chord but one finger would immediately be lifted (the G in m. 1, the C# in m.4) while the chord tones are held.
    Last edited by EdwardBast; Oct-29-2018 at 23:21.

    What greater comfort does time afford than the objects of terror re-encountered and their fraudulence exposed in the flash of reason?
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardBast View Post
    No, acciaccatura isn't indicated by grace notes. The player just needs to know which notes are to be held after the initial attack (the chord tones, that is) and which are to be immediately released. It is presumed the player knows enough theory to figure this out. One would roll the first chord but one finger would immediately be lifted (the G in m. 1, the C# in m.4) while the chord tones are held.
    Wow, that makes perfect sense. Thanks for the help, sir.
    Last edited by Polonaise25; Oct-29-2018 at 23:29.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardBast View Post
    No, it's a simple tonic chord with a G grace note. The technique is called acciaccatura. Look it up.
    I don't see any of this being grace notes. When you look at the individual voices within the context, there is a clear pattern how he decides which notes to hold into the next chord and if it would be that easy, it wouldn't take several decades to master this craft – but I don't have nearly 4000 posts and don't write italian words in cursive typing calling others to look it up – so what can I possibly know about composition.

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