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Thread: Klangfarbenmelodie

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    Senior Member TalkingHead's Avatar
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    Default Klangfarbenmelodie

    I'm proofreading an article for a colleague on the serial music of Luigi Dallapiccola.
    The word klangfarbenmelodie has cropped up a few times and I was wondering if there is an equivalent English expression. I know the term comes from Schoenberg so we could very well leave it like that but I'd be delighted to find out if there is an equivalent.
    It's a bit like the German word schadenfreude, which is often left untranslated in anglophone texts as its meaning is widely understood. That said, in English it's easily translated as "gloating".

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    Senior Member mikeh375's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TalkingHead View Post
    I'm proofreading an article for a colleague on the serial music of Luigi Dallapiccola.
    The word klangfarbenmelodie has cropped up a few times and I was wondering if there is an equivalent English expression. I know the term comes from Schoenberg so we could very well leave it like that but I'd be delighted to find out if there is an equivalent.
    It's a bit like the German word schadenfreude, which is often left untranslated in anglophone texts as its meaning is widely understood. That said, in English it's easily translated as "gloating".
    TalkingH, I've just replied in another thread I think....?
    New website and some new music......www.mikehewer.com

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    Senior Member TalkingHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeh375 View Post
    TalkingH, I've just replied in another thread I think....?
    Where was that, Mike? You are a darling if you found an answer for me!

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    Senior Member mikeh375's Avatar
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    here you go, it was in the 'had a post removed' thread...


    .....I've seen it translated as colour(ed) melody (or similar) and refers to orchestration techniques that use differing and changing colours (timbres) to score a theme or section of music.
    New website and some new music......www.mikehewer.com

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    Senior Member TalkingHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TalkingHead View Post
    It's a bit like the German word schadenfreude, which is often left untranslated in anglophone texts as its meaning is widely understood. That said, in English it's easily translated as "gloating".
    Well, I just checked on the web and it seems the English translation of schadenfreude is, in fact epicaricacy.
    Its usage is rare (that's a relief as I'd find it hard to drop that into a conversation over a glass of Pinot Blanc), so I think I'll stick with "gloating".

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    Senior Member TalkingHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeh375 View Post
    here you go, it was in the 'had a post removed' thread...


    .....I've seen it translated as colour(ed) melody (or similar) and refers to orchestration techniques that use differing and changing colours (timbres) to score a theme or section of music.
    Mike, thank you very much, you are a darling! Who posted that, by the way?

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    Senior Member mikeh375's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TalkingHead View Post
    Mike, thank you very much, you are a darling! Who posted that, by the way?
    I did, although you do understand I am not being epicaricaratious in saying so.....
    New website and some new music......www.mikehewer.com

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    I never understood the use of the term, even when explained by Schoenberg. An example of it supposedly exists in the "Five Pieces," but I never 'got' it: the 'melody' does change, and there is a harmonic progression. I think it's more a stylistic term than anything else, used to describe a relatively static harmonic progression with no pronounced melody.
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Feb-02-2020 at 18:25.

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    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
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    Klangfarbe is the German word for timbre, a compound noun combining Klang (sound) and Farbe (color). Schoenberg's term, which combines the adjectival form of this noun with the noun Melodie, is usually translated as "sound-color melody." IMO, timbre melody would be a better and less confusing translation. What it refers to is salient shifts in timbre that have a sense of continuity and logic analogous to a sequence of notes forming a melody.
    Last edited by EdwardBast; Feb-03-2020 at 06:18.

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    Senior Member TalkingHead's Avatar
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    Many thanks Mike, Million and Edward.
    I quite like Edward's "timbre melody" so I'm going to suggest we add that to my colleague's text.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TalkingHead View Post
    Many thanks Mike, Million and Edward.
    I quite like Edward's "timbre melody" so I'm going to suggest we add that to my colleague's text.
    You mean you're not going to use my "it's BS"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    You mean you're not going to use my "it's BS"?

    Hah! Maybe we can put it in a footnote.

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