Page 7 of 16 FirstFirst ... 34567891011 ... LastLast
Results 91 to 105 of 240

Thread: Baroque "chord progressions"

  1. #91
    Banned (Temporarily)
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    15,397
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    139

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by isorhythm View Post
    Woodduck,

    I think we're talking past each other a little bit.
    That seems to be the norm for this thread.

  2. #92
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ashland, OR
    Posts
    16,450
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Millionrainbows writes:

    Once again, the defense of Wagner as the supreme tonalist must retreat back to a nebulous aesthetic, dramatic, and 'spiritual' position, because from a purely musical standpoint, there is nothing left to hide behind.

    There is nothing nebulous about Wagner's compositional technique, with respect to tonality or anything else, and no one is hiding behind anything. I grant you that Wagner can sound "nebulous" to those who can't sense his logic (perhaps those looking for that reassuring V7 - l every four or eight bars). It took me exactly two hearings of Tristan to "get it" at the age of fourteen, before I knew what V7 - l was. Keep trying, old boy.

    By the way - no, not by the way, but centrally - the idea of "a purely musical standpoint" is as nebulous as ideas come. "Purely musical standpoints" exist only in theory textbooks.

    In Wagner, the absence of functional harmony as a primary structural element,

    It is a primary structural element.

    and the reemergence of purely melodic-rhythmic forces as major determinants of musical form,

    Melodic and rhythmic forces have always been major determinants of musical form.

    and the emphasis on expressive chromaticism as a logical, perhaps inevitable consequence of the weakening of tonal centers (as in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde),

    This is utterly confused. Wagner does not "emphasize" chomaticism; he employs it where he needs it, and doesn't where he doesn't. Where he does, he does so with its tonal implications firmly in hand. Moreover, chromaticism isn't a "consequence of the weakening of tonal centers." Furthermore, tonal centers do not "weaken." In Wagner they often move frequently, they're often hinted at or implied rather than stated outright, resolutions are delayed or deceptive - but the effect of those procedures depends on a continuous appeal to the listener's tonal sense.

    The notion that tonality weakened over time and finally died is a medical diagnosis, not a description of how music works (and certainly not Wagner's music). And you talk about "nebulous" ideas!

    had caused successive chords to relate more strongly to each other than to a common tonic firmly established by intermittent harmonic cadences.

    And how do successive chords "relate" to each other? What makes us feel that they do? Why does Wagner's harmony not sound random and chaotic? If you're looking for those "tonics firmly established by intermittent harmonic cadences" you will not find the answer to those questions and had better stick with Haydn (and your theory books).

    BTW, I hear Berg's op.1 Sonata as a prime example of this "circulating" travel around the chromatic scale, with no resolutions or cadences, as a prime example of the musical, technical aspects of this Wagnerian practice,

    Berg's sonata sounds sort of "Wagnerian" in being chromatic but is to a great extent harmonically random compared to Wagner. It relies blatantly on motivic repetition and dynamic energy to disguise this. Berg's gestures toward anchoring the piece in B minor are tricks only partly successful in masking the fact that it isn't really in B minor. Wagner would have sniffed at it and sent little Alban back home to study the prelude to Tristan - or maybe just some Bach.

    which led to the abandonment of tonality (as we knew it).

    As we knew it. After Wagner we knew it even better.

    Dramatic "Wagnerism" was a nebulous aesthetic more important to literature and philosophy. When the subject is music, the technical aspects are more important than dramatic, spiritual, or aesthetic notions.

    As with your idea of a "purely musical standpoint," you here create a dichotomy between how music works on a psychological/expressive level and how it's described as "working" in theory. Tonality, which is the concept under dispute, is an aural/psychological phenomenon before its manifestations are categorized and the rules of any tonal system established. Systems and rules can change while tonality remains. But what's striking - and what may define his musical genius more than any other factor - is the extent to which Wagner's music, despite its apparent structural novelties, respects long-established rules, which he had no intention of discarding.

    Those who chose to discard them were breathing the air of a different planet.
    Last edited by Woodduck; Mar-29-2019 at 21:35.

  3. Likes Haydn70 liked this post
  4. #93
    Banned (Temporarily)
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    15,397
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    139

    Default

    Once again, the defense of Wagner as the supreme tonalist must retreat back to a nebulous aesthetic, dramatic, and 'spiritual' position, because from a purely musical standpoint, there is nothing left to hide behind.

    There is nothing nebulous about Wagner's compositional technique, with respect to tonality or anything else, and no one is hiding behind anything. I grant you that Wagner can sound nebulous to those who can't sense his logic. It took me exactly two hearings of Tristan to accomplish that at the age of fourteen. Keep trying, old boy.

    This is utterly confused. You keep referring to things like "a "bottom-up" approach - in which tonal structuring is guided by a sense of dramatic/expressive narrative inherent in the tonal language", but never explain this nebulous idea, which you purport is "an extrapolation of a potential which had been present in it from the start" without "signaling its mechanics to the conscious mind of the listener," ostensibly perceived by 14-year olds without signaling its "mechanics" to the conscious mind of the listener. HUH?

    By the way - no, not by the way, but centrally - the idea of "a purely musical standpoint" is as nebulous as ideas come. "Purely musical standpoints" exist only in theory textbooks.

    Yes, especially in the newer ones, such as Dmitri Tymoczko's A Geometry of Music.

    In Wagner, the absence of functional harmony as a primary structural element,

    It is a primary structural element.

    No, not as in functional diatonic harmony, according to Tuttle's ideas, which you cited:

    "...Wagner liberated the higher-level organizers of tonal structure (e.g., orbits of keys—known as tonalities—rather than just keys) from diatonic/scalar structures. That is, a piece ostensibly in C major was no longer limited to modulations to D minor, E minor, F major, G major, A minor, etc., but now the superset of modulatory choices could be determined by motives.

    ...and the reemergence of purely melodic-rhythmic forces as major determinants of musical form,

    Melodic and rhythmic forces have always been major determinants of musical form.

    But never as autonomously, virtually taking the place of functional harmony.

    ...and the emphasis on expressive chromaticism as a logical, perhaps inevitable consequence of the weakening of tonal centers (as in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde),

    This is utterly confused. Wagner does not "emphasize" chomaticism; he employs it where he needs it, and doesn't where he doesn't. Where he does, he does so with its tonal implications firmly in hand.

    Partially true, but chromaticism is nonetheless emphasized where clear tonal implications are too ambiguous. Who ya gonna call, Ghostbusters?

    Moreover, chromaticism isn't a "consequence of the weakening of tonal centers."

    "Normal" diatonically-derived chromaticism is not; but he was dealing with "higher-level organizers of tonal structure (e.g., orbits of keys—known as tonalities—rather than just keys). This is not the same thing.

    Furthermore, tonal centers do not "weaken."

    As they have become ambiguous to the degree that they can only be implied or hinted at, they can be said to have weakened. I'll give it a fifty-fifty chance of survival, but it may never be the same again.

    In Wagner they often move frequently, they're often hinted at or implied rather than stated outright, resolutions are delayed or deceptive - but the effect of those things depends on the continued appeal to the listener's tonal sense.

    There comes a point that Wagner's methods move too frequently, are ambiguous, deceptive, and delayed beyond perceptual abilities, and the net result can be justifiably called a "weakening of tonality" as we know it.

    The notion that tonality weakened over time and finally died is a medical diagnosis, not a description of how music works (and certainly not Wagner's music). And you talk about "nebulous" ideas!

    Tonality didn't die; it just smells funny.

    Wagner can still be considered a "tonal" composer, if everything is referred back to that, but there comes a time that one must recognize that Wagner was thinking in a new, contrapuntal way, evidenced by his use of where the modulations outline the Tristan chord itself (I alluded to this sort of outlining in the discussion of Beethoven's Ninth)...

    ...and, as Tuttle noted (a source cited by you) his use of "tonic guide tones" which show the sequence of tonics of a wide variety of pieces.

    In the analysis of the prelude to Tristan und Isolde (pp. 129-147), it is demonstrated that the Tristan chord becomes elevated from a surface-level sonority to an arbiter of tonal organization for the entire prelude (as it transits the keys of a, c, and e♭, ending in G minor). So, yes, it can ultimately be called "tonal" if one recognizes that this is a higher-level form of musical thinking.

    I still think it's just as misleading to call it "tonal" without this qualifier than it is to say that is leads to atonality. It is a grey area in this respect.

    Ultimately, Wagner's thinking can be seen clearly as geometric thinking, which can be construed as higher-level tonal thinking if one wishes; but it has its own, autonomous chromatic/geometric logic as well. If you are a pure tonalist, you have a strange bedfellow.




    Last edited by millionrainbows; Mar-29-2019 at 21:49.

  5. #94
    Senior Member TalkingHead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    2,300
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardBast View Post
    I examined all chorales under these titles in Riemenscheider and didn't find examples of the use of a IV7 chord. The closest was Nun ruhen alle Wälder (no. 117), which has what looks like a IV7 on the first beat of the final bar. But on the last beat of the preceding bar we have a IV6, which makes the C on the next beat a passing tone.

    In none of the versions of Ich dank' dir, lieber Herre in Riemenschneider did I find a IV7 chord, although there were a couple with the 7th as a passing tone.

    Do you have anything more specific for these references — like which of the multiple settings you meant?
    Dear Edward,

    Here is a pdf copy of the relevant page from William Lovelock's The Harmonization of Bach's Chorales where he cites 3 examples of IV7. There are others, of course; I hope these suffice.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  6. #95
    Senior Member TalkingHead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    2,300
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardBast View Post
    I examined all chorales under these titles in Riemenscheider and didn't find examples of the use of a IV7 chord. The closest was Nun ruhen alle Wälder (no. 117), which has what looks like a IV7 on the first beat of the final bar. But on the last beat of the preceding bar we have a IV6, which makes the C on the next beat a passing tone.

    In none of the versions of Ich dank' dir, lieber Herre in Riemenschneider did I find a IV7 chord, although there were a couple with the 7th as a passing tone.

    Do you have anything more specific for these references — like which of the multiple settings you meant?
    I think I see what you mean - that the B in the soprano delays a ii6/5. But that negates Bach's consistent preparation of the 7th in the ii6/5.
    To try to clarify things, you consider Lovelock's IV7 figuring as a delayed ii6/5 which I don't think it is given that he always prepares the 7th in ii6/5.
    The "Ich danke" example is perhaps the clearest use of the IV7.

  7. #96
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ashland, OR
    Posts
    16,450
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    You keep referring to things like "a "bottom-up" approach - in which tonal structuring is guided by a sense of dramatic/expressive narrative inherent in the tonal language", but never explain this nebulous idea, which you purport is "an extrapolation of a potential which had been present in it from the start" without "signaling its mechanics to the conscious mind of the listener," ostensibly perceived by 14-year olds without signaling its "mechanics" to the conscious mind of the listener. HUH?
    By "bottom-up" I mean simply that Wagner's tonal structures are not chosen to fulfill the a priori requirements of abstract form - the "top-down" approach to composition - but arise out of and delineate expressive trajectories suggested by dramatic/narrative ideas. This was nothing new in music; the shapes of Beethoven's works are affected more than is often appreciated by "dramatic" considerations as opposed to "purely musical" ones, but he is only a particularly striking example of something that is always lurking behind the facade of "pure music" so cherished by "absolutists" like the unfortunate Hanslick (who finally had to admit that Wagner knew what he was doing).

    There's nothing nebulous about noting that the expressive vocabulary of tonal music offered composers long before Wagner a cornucopia of devices ("inherent in the tonal language") by which music could be structured in terms of emotional narratives rather than "pure" abstract form, even if such an aesthetic was the exception rather than the rule. It's just that Wagner anchored his "impure" tendencies in the explicitly narrative form of drama for the stage, which in turn allowed him to release musical form from "top-down" templates to an unprecedented degree (and it should be noted that opera had already provided fruitful opportunities of this kind for other composers from Monteverdi to Weber). The challenge presented by this freedom was enormous; chaos could be averted only by an acute and thorough awareness and control of the elements of musical form, and this included tonal relationships. Wagner was intent on attaining that control, and I don't think there's any disputing that he did so, to a degree that's never been surpassed or, possibly, equaled - certainly not by those who, knowing they couldn't equal it, decided that leaving tonality behind was more comfortable, and more likely to be noticed, than struggling to compete with the master.

    (BTW, I don't know how to use the function which allows one to break up a quoted post into parts for individual comment, which is why I use the device of color. Since you do know how to use it, you needn't imitate me. If you'd like to instruct me in it, I'll gladly convert to the standard method.)
    Last edited by Woodduck; Mar-29-2019 at 23:45.

  8. #97
    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    5,032
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TalkingHead View Post
    Dear Edward,

    Here is a pdf copy of the relevant page from William Lovelock's The Harmonization of Bach's Chorales where he cites 3 examples of IV7. There are others, of course; I hope these suffice.
    Thanks!

    The first two don't hold up: in "Jesu, joy of …" the 7th is a suspension, which resolves correctly to A only after the harmony changes. in Nun ruhen alle Wälder the 7th is a passing tone within the subdominant harmony, as I noted before. (Riemenschneider has it in the key of A-flat.) The one that holds up is the weird one (Ich dank' dir) with the doubled D-sharp, the voice-crossing, and the consecutive 5ths between bass and tenor. What surprises me is that Lovelock thought the D# in the tenor was the "academically deplorable" element! I would have picked the 5ths between tenor and bass that the D# is trying to cover, but I guess there is an embarrassment of deplorable riches here. If this is the best case that can be made for IV7, I'd say the conclusion has to be it's not part of the vocabulary. But maybe there were other better examples he didn't cite?
    Last edited by EdwardBast; Mar-29-2019 at 23:42.

    Your frogs make me shudder with intolerable loathing and I shall be miserable for the rest of my life remembering them.
    — Mikhail Bulgakov, The Fatal Eggs

    Originality is a device untalented people use to impress other untalented people and to protect themselves from talented people.
    — Basil Valentine

  9. #98
    Banned (Temporarily)
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    15,397
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    139

    Default

    (BTW, I don't know how to use the function which allows one to break up a quoted post into parts for individual comment, which is why I use the device of color. Since you do know how to use it, you needn't imitate me. If you'd like to instruct me in it, I'll gladly convert to the standard method.)

    It's more work, actually, but simply highlight, copy and paste the part you want to separate, then manually type in [QUOTE (no slash)] at the front, and [/QUOTE] at the end to enclose it. No name is necessary, unless you want to convey a more impersonal tone. After the first one you do this way, you can copy & paste the [/QUOTE] to save a little time. Most of the time I do the opening quote with the name & number, then do the rest as just [QUOTE] to save space.
    Don't forget, you can always directly insert your comments into the quote, but the mods don't seem to like that, although it is the easiest method. If you do it this way, be sure to put your comments in bold, or a different color, to lessen the confusion, with a disclaimer at the top explaining this. It may be necessary to type in 10 or so characters outside the quote, afterwards, to make it "take" as a post.
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Mar-30-2019 at 00:04.

  10. Likes Woodduck liked this post
  11. #99
    Banned (Temporarily)
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    15,397
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    139

    Default

    ...............
    ...............
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Mar-30-2019 at 00:07.

  12. #100
    Senior Member TalkingHead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    2,300
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardBast View Post
    Thanks!

    The first two don't hold up: in "Jesu, joy of …" the 7th is a suspension, which resolves correctly to A only after the harmony changes. in Nun ruhen alle Wälder the 7th is a passing tone within the subdominant harmony, as I noted before. (Riemenschneider has it in the key of A-flat.) The one that holds up is the weird one (Ich dank' dir) with the doubled D-sharp, the voice-crossing, and the consecutive 5ths between bass and tenor. What surprises me is that Lovelock thought the D# in the tenor was the "academically deplorable" element! I would have picked the 5ths between tenor and bass that the D# is trying to cover, but I guess there is an embarrassment of deplorable riches here. If this is the best case that can be made for IV7, I'd say the conclusion has to be it's not part of the vocabulary. But maybe there were other better examples he didn't cite?
    Yes, I see what you mean. The voice-crossing is prevalent in the chorales, we have no issue with that. The consecutive 5ths are "cleverly" avoided (very common in the chorales), but the doubled leading tone (D#) is deplorable!
    Are these the best examples of IV7 as a "stand-alone" major 7th chord? I can't say right now.
    What does seem to be true is that I7 (major 7th) is not used by Bach.
    Last edited by TalkingHead; Mar-30-2019 at 00:23.

  13. #101
    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    5,032
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TalkingHead View Post
    I think I see what you mean - that the B in the soprano delays a ii6/5. But that negates Bach's consistent preparation of the 7th in the ii6/5.
    To try to clarify things, you consider Lovelock's IV7 figuring as a delayed ii6/5 which I don't think it is given that he always prepares the 7th in ii6/5.
    The "Ich danke" example is perhaps the clearest use of the IV7.
    I think we confuse things a bit by trying to apply Roman numerals where they are not much apropos. I don't think IV versus ii is meaningful here since linear considerations rule. In this case the B has to be suspended over for aesthetic reasons. (It sounds really clunky if one goes to A at the change across the bar, to ii4/3, which would mean 4ths in both hands, E-A on the lower staff, G-C on the treble). Moreover, Bach's solution for the B forms a chain with the C in the soprano, which is likewise suspended and resolves on the next harmony.

    As I wrote above, I think the 7th in Ich dank' is a passing note within the subdominant.

    Quote Originally Posted by TalkingHead View Post
    Yes, I see what you mean. The voice-crossing is prevalent in the chorales, we have no issue with that. The consecutive 5ths are "cleverly" avoided (very common in the chorales), but the doubled leading tone (D#) is deplorable!
    Are these the best examples of IV7 as a "stand-alone" major 7th chord? I can't say right now.
    What does seem to be true is that I7 (major 7th) is not used by Bach.
    Yes, I think you're right. The D# is the most "deplorable." Strange to see Bach back himself into a corner like this.
    Last edited by EdwardBast; Mar-30-2019 at 01:00.

    Your frogs make me shudder with intolerable loathing and I shall be miserable for the rest of my life remembering them.
    — Mikhail Bulgakov, The Fatal Eggs

    Originality is a device untalented people use to impress other untalented people and to protect themselves from talented people.
    — Basil Valentine

  14. #102
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ashland, OR
    Posts
    16,450
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    It's more work, actually, but simply highlight, copy and paste the part you want to separate, then manually type in [QUOTE (no slash)] at the front, and [(slash) QUOTE] at the end to enclose it. No name is necessary, unless you want to convey a more impersonal tone. After the first one you do this way, you can copy & paste the [.QUOTE] to save a little time. Most of the time I do the opening quote with the name & number, then do rest as just [(no slash)QUOTE] to save space.
    Don't forget, you can always directly insert your comments into the quote, but the mods don't seem to like that, although it is the easiest method. If you do it this way, be sure to put your comments in bold, or a different color, to lessen the confusion, with a disclaimer at the top explaining this. It may be necessary to type in 10 or so characters outside the quote, afterwards, to make it "take" as a post.
    Thanks. I'll try that and see if it's comfortable. I wouldn't use the method of inserting comments inside quotes; it looks confusing, and people aren't used to it. At least using a color for quotes is visually clear. StLukesGuildOhio used to do it and I thought it looked spiffy. Once I was quoting two people and used a different color for each one. Cheerful as Christmas.

  15. Likes millionrainbows liked this post
  16. #103
    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    5,032
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Knox View Post
    It was done by American theorist Allan McHose in The Contrapuntal Harmonic Technique of the Eighteenth Century (Appleton-Century Crofts, 1947). But not perfectly: "Whereas he uses the study of over two hundred Bach chorales to illustrate one point, he refers to a study of all 371 chorales for statistics to demonstrate suspensions, ..."(David M. Thompson, A History of Harmonic Theory in the United States, Kent State University Press, 1980). Likely there has been a more consistent study since then.
    Thanks Roger! The McHose might be it. It was on the bibliography list for a masters level history of theory course I took. Wasn't required to read it cover to cover. That list we just scanned and summarized contents and methods. But I've heard it from more modern sources too.

    Your frogs make me shudder with intolerable loathing and I shall be miserable for the rest of my life remembering them.
    — Mikhail Bulgakov, The Fatal Eggs

    Originality is a device untalented people use to impress other untalented people and to protect themselves from talented people.
    — Basil Valentine

  17. Likes Roger Knox liked this post
  18. #104
    Banned (Temporarily)
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    15,397
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    139

    Default

    @Woodduck, to sum up my position, I do see Wagner a a tonalist, but his later thinking and the later music exhibits methods (motivic guide tones, etc.) that enables movement from chord to chord, and it has to be referred back to tonality by tonal means. This same way of thinking could be used to go the opposite direction too, as Berg did in his op. 1.

    I agree with Isorhythm's post #81, in which he says

    ...no one's actually saying that tonality isn't central to Wagner's music (as counterpoint is central to Bach's, even in the prelude that's just a sequence of of arpeggiated chords). The claim is that Wagner pushed the role of unstated tonics to the point where other phenomena (the linear movement of highly chromatic lines and the sheer sound of the harmonies that result), start to become as important to listeners' actual experience of the music as the underlying tonal grammar, and that suggested new directions to composers that ultimately led to atonality.


    So ultimately, the
    decision on which way to go is ultimately an aesthetic one. And good luck on getting holds of that Tuttle book, as well as the Leland Smith. I wonder if its available as a download? I do hope you will check out the Dmitri Tymoczko book, because I suspect that ultimately, he is in accord with Tuttle and that tonalist camp concerning Wagner.
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Mar-30-2019 at 13:05.

  19. Likes Woodduck liked this post
  20. #105
    Senior Member JosefinaHW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    1,982
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    16

    Default

    There's a question I've been meaning to ask since the Bach chorale harmonizations were first discussed and so many of you agreed that so many of these pieces are considered masterpieces of harmonization. I remember a few of you stating that you found Bach's cantatas boring. Of course, people change their minds, but my understanding is that many of the cantatas are structured and composed in light of the chorale of that particular liturgical date. I might be premature in asking this question since I cannot personally prove this to you, and I will not "call out" anyone in particular, but I wonder how you can say the cantatas are boring and yet recognize the brilliance of the chorale harmonizations?

    I'm not sure that I expect a direct or public response to this question, but I've been meaning to ask it anyway.


Page 7 of 16 FirstFirst ... 34567891011 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •