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#1994566 - 12/04/12 10:11 AM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
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Schubert Op. 94 No. 6

M34
Reading from the bass upwards we have E-C#-G-A# so a dim 7 on any of those letters and a dim 7 is always a 7b9 of a note one major third below any of those notes. In this case I'd plump for a dominant minor ninth on A or A7b9 resolving to E

M35
Reading from the bass upwards again we have E-A-C-D#-A and ignoring the graces that gives me A minor add 11. This changes between beats two and three to E-B-B-D#-G# or E major 7 and beat three is E-C-A-D#-F# which gives me, er, a headache. I'd call this Am6 with D# (an augmented fourth).

M40
F flat major, enharmonic E major so no key or chord change just a key signature change.

M42 is Eb sus 4
M43 is Eb. The three quavers at the end of the measure have no harmony notes.

M44
Reading from the bass up, Eb-F-Ab-Db-F-Ab-Db giving Db add 9

M47/48 Ab-C-F = F minor
M50 G-Bb-Db-F = G min 7b5
M52 Ab7 (no 5)
M53 Eb7 ( E flat 7)
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#1994568 - 12/04/12 10:24 AM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: PianoStudent88]
zrtf90 Offline
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Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
when I hum the beginning to myself...I like it better than I liked listening to the recording

Carry on humming! smile

We've been on this piece a while but Jeff is likely to be here a little longer.

We don't want you to be spending time on something of no interest.

Options:
1) Sit this one out and practise your Mendelssohn
2) Just listen to the other five moments and try to pick up Schubert's language
3) Pick anything by Schubert you do like and analyse that instead.


While we're on songs without words you might listen to the G flat Impromptu and see where Mendelssohn got his ideas from.

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#1994598 - 12/04/12 11:30 AM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline

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Schubert Op. 94 No. 6

I sensed I may be in trouble with some of this but did not think this much;

Originally Posted By: zrtf90

M34
Reading from the bass upwards we have E-C#-G-A# so a dim 7 on any of those letters and a dim 7 is always a 7b9 of a note one major third below any of those notes. In this case I'd plump for a dominant minor ninth on A or A7b9 resolving to E


That is cool to know. OK, I like A7b9

Originally Posted By: zrtf90

M35
Reading from the bass upwards again we have E-A-C-D#-A and ignoring the graces that gives me A minor add 11. This changes between beats two and three to E-B-B-D#-G# or E major 7 and beat three is E-C-A-D#-F# which gives me, er, a headache. I'd call this Am6 with D# (an augmented fourth).


Not sure were I got a C# anything. Will correct to +4

Originally Posted By: zrtf90

M40
F flat major, enharmonic E major so no key or chord change just a key signature change.

M42 is Eb sus 4
M43 is Eb. The three quavers at the end of the measure have no harmony notes.


M44
Reading from the bass up, Eb-F-Ab-Db-F-Ab-Db giving Db add 9


check

Originally Posted By: zrtf90

M47/48 Ab-C-F = F minor
M50 G-Bb-Db-F = G min 7b5
M52 Ab7 (no 5)
M53 Eb7 ( E flat 7)


For M50 I was thinking about Gm7b5, but I do not believe I have tried a -5 or augmented anything in your presence since the moonlight sonata. So, glad to see we are opening the flood gates now smile


Will go back and update the list now.



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#1994615 - 12/04/12 12:14 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline

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Originally Posted By: zrtf90

M52 Ab7 (no 5)
M53 Eb7 ( E flat 7)


I don't see this. I realize my missing the flat but believe it is now;

M52 Eb
M53 Eb7, Ab
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#1994674 - 12/04/12 02:25 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
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Jeff, I'm sorry about the Ab. I definitely have Ab, Eb and Db on the back of my envelope but I find no such chord in this piece. I know I used it today in analysis but I can't find where. I do apologise.

Oh, and Eb is definitely the correct chord. smile
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#1994713 - 12/04/12 04:57 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline

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No problem, although it does make me double, trippple and quadruple check whenever I am challenging one of your selections smile .

I clearly had some issues with this section, but have some better ideas of things to consider now when these chords are looking overly convoluted.

I am only planning to continue with chords up to the Trio and should be able to able to finish by tomorrow (need to run soon today.) It seems PianoStudent and perhaps others may be anxious to move along. So, please advise if you want me to prepare another piece.

Question though: From M17 to M47 we have moved through Ab Minor, E Major and are now back in Ab Major. Although the key changes did not occur where the signature changes are indicated on the score, I believe these (what's the word ... modulations) did occur, correct? Is it important to understand exactly where/when these occurred, or OK to just understand we moved through them. That is, assuming of course I have them correct in the first place.
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#1994721 - 12/04/12 05:40 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
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Yes, we passed through those keys and that's all you need concern yourself with. We already discussed in an earlier piece that it isn't always clear-cut especially when a final cadence in a new key isn't always followed by a phrase starting in that new key.

Since we are dealing with RN's here the base key need not concern us as far as a chord's functionality is concerned. We saw the dominant minor ninth earlier (clearly acting as a dominant), and when we went into the minor mode of Ab and its subdominant (Fb) it became expedient to change to the enharmonic E major and ITS related chords.
Had he written this piece in G major and modulated to G minor (2 flats) the subdominant would then have been C and he wouldn't have had to change the key sig. at all. (If only he'd listened to me! smile )

The actual chord and it's implication can be deduced from the chords surrounding it and you can see by now where phrases begin and end.
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#1994735 - 12/04/12 06:31 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
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The trio doesn't have as much harmonic splendour as this current section and you seem to have profited from what you've examined so I've no objection to moving along after we complete this section if there's no-one else wanting to stay.

Our next stop is Haydn's sonata in C major Hob. XVI/50.
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#1994736 - 12/04/12 06:42 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
PianoStudent88 Online   content
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Schubert Op. 94 No. 96

There's one curious chord in the trio I want to ask about. I'll go print out (yet another!) copy of this and see if I can find it. If I don't get my question asked tonight, feel free to go on to Haydn.
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#1994758 - 12/04/12 08:18 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
LoPresti Offline
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Originally Posted By: zrtf90
Schubert Op. 94 No. 6

M34
Reading from the bass upwards we have E-C#-G-A# so a dim 7 on any of those letters and a dim 7 is always a 7b9 of a note one major third below any of those notes. In this case I'd plump for a dominant minor ninth on A or A7b9 resolving to E.

DISCLAIMER: I have not been following this thread, but saw the Title pop to the top of the Beginner's Forum, and thought I would simply read what you folks are doing with analysis.

Do I understand the above-captioned quote correctly? Diminished seventh chords are ALWAYS analyzed as something else, whose root does not reside in the chord itself?

(Always learning . . .)
Ed
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#1994765 - 12/04/12 08:56 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
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Good spot, Ed, on a speculative browsing.

It is indeed a very casual and idiomatically British use of the word always and not without a hint of in-house application.

A dim 7 CAN function as a rootless dominant minor ninth in its pull to tonic and if that's it's purpose the nominal dominant can be found a third below one of the constituent notes. If you HAD read the thread more extensively you'd have found yourself a) bored to tears and b) floundering in a sea of discussion about diminished 7ths and their relationship with dominant 7b9's. The few active participants in the thread, I'm sure, know exactly what I meant and to more recent passive followers, and transient visitor smile , I extend my apologies!

I assure you, Ed, what you learn in this thread won't increase your own expertise in harmony for some considerable time but you are, of course, welcome to offer any corrective or supportive explanations. We have found that it hurts not to have even the basics re-inforced and repeated from time to time. And even if we already know it, we have many passive followers who might benefit from another way of saying the same thing. smile
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#1994777 - 12/04/12 09:51 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
LoPresti Offline
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Thanks for the most gracious clarification, Richard.

I shall not interrupt further except to mention that, over on the Non-Classical Pianists Forum, there is a member who insists on ALWAYS analyzing a diminished 7th, or even a diminished triad, as a "rootless something-or-other." Some of the time, the context actually makes sense.

My personal feeling, and without the benefit of the many pages of discussion up to this point, is that if Maestro Schubert wanted an A, he would have written one. By using the A#ยบ7, he intentionally keeps things vague, and deliberately avoids the strong root movement from A to E.

(Bowing out as gracefully as possible . . .)
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#1994785 - 12/04/12 10:17 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
keystring Online   content
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The purpose there as everywhere is for a general awareness of how chords relate, with a flexibility flowing between official naming conventions, other conventions, and awareness of chords "as is".

I suggest that in all cases members never try to guess what other people intentionally try to do, since mind reading is a rare or even non-existent art. 90% of the time things can be clarified by a series of "What do you mean?" and get muddied by assumptions of "I know what you mean."

Cordially, etc. smile

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#1994791 - 12/04/12 10:52 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
PianoStudent88 Online   content
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Would Schubert have called this a rootless dominant flat ninth chord? To me, that's importing a later terminology which covers up what's going on here. We have a diminished seventh chord to start m. 34, and given its spelling I would expect it to go to Bm, or possibly B, and possibly by way of F# or F#7, first: vii°7 i or vii° V7 i in the key of B minor. This would be the minor dominant of our current key, E -- or if we went to the major chord it would be the straightforward dominant of E. Or, appealing to enharmonic respellings, other possibilities might be to go to a tonic a half step up from any of the other notes of the chord: Abm, Fm, Dm.

But Schubert doesn't go any of these places. He uses what I've started to notice also in my Mendelssohn Song Without Words Op. 38 No. 4 and have been labeling as a "double leading tone.". (Purely personal made-up term.). By that I mean that the progression to the next chord involves two notes each moving up by a half-step. And zap, we're back at the plain old tonic chord, E. In this case, G moves up to G# and A# moves up to B. I usually only notice these when at least one of the notes is chromatically altered. I haven't examined these enough to determine if there are other common features of how they're used.

But they're new. We didn't see anything like this in the Clementi Sonatinas. I wonder when they first started being used, and by whom, and if they have a name in academic music theory.
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#1994815 - 12/05/12 12:38 AM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
PianoStudent88 Online   content
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In m. 35, Schubert used two chromatic notes as lower half-step neighbors, setting them in a diminished seventh chord. At m. 99 he does something similar, using to chromatic notes as passing times and setting them in a Bdim7 chord. Normally that chord would head towards Cm, but Schubert just lowers his chromatic notes by a half-step, moves a few other notes, and gets to Eb7(/Bb). So he's added a bit of chromatic color to what would otherwise have been an ordinary progression from Ab (the preceding chord) to Eb. He then does it again, moving several notes by a half-step to progress from Eb in m.100 to an unusual F#dim7 in m.101, and back to Eb in m.102.

He also used this chromatic half-step slide to start the phrase in m.97 with Abaug. (I'm mostly ignoring writing the inversions in this post, although they're all duly noted on my score.)

This is a different use of chromatic than we found in Clementi. In Clementi, almost universally chromatic appear one at a time to form secondary dominants, or maybe a few at a time to change to a nearby key. Schubert is using chromatic to slide between or around other notes.

For example, in this Trio in mm.97-94 Schubert uses the chromatic notes in chords that are distant from the prevailing key of Db major, but are close in terms of stepwise movement, to dress up what is otherwise an unexceptional I V V7/V V7 I progression.
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#1994899 - 12/05/12 06:05 AM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
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Would Schubert have called this a...?

The nomenclature comes after the fact. It is a way for us today being able to discuss what went before. It matters not what Schubert called these chords (probably something in German) but what we can understand of his music by giving a name, any name, to common constructions. As long as we understand what Schubert's doing by describing his music it doesn't matter whether we use his terminology or ours.

And what is Schubert doing? Ed was very pertinent in his valedictory post. Schubert does tend to avoid, or rather delay, resolution. He frequently uses chromatic movement to change key or chord and frequently inserts lengthy passages between setting up closure with dominant or diminished sevenths and actually resolving them.

Up until Bach key change was one accidental at a time and straying only one away from centre, a sort of orbital tonality. Bach introduced the concept of what might be termed satellite tonality, moving further way from tonic, though still only one accidental at a time, and using that extended key as a temporary centre for further travel.

While Beethoven was pushing boundaries changing key by two or three accidentals at a time, Schubert was doing it chromatically. Semitonal movement added more to the intensity of the drama. In his Lieder he frequently used key change to follow the changing of the text in the poetry, writing a through composed song even for strophic verse just so that the key structure could follow instead the storyline.

Up until his time there was no German poetry to speak of but with the arrival of Goethe and Schiller writing poetry, and starting a spate of influential poets, Schubert had much inspiration for his Lied. This was also happening in the UK with the arrival of the Lake poets, Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey though England also had the big three less lyrical poets Byron, Keats and Shelley.

It was Schubert who resolved appoggiaturas with diminished seventh chords, which themselves needed resolution, as a way of prolonging our sense of yearning. It was this technique that was copied by Wagner in his Tristan und Isolde many years later.

And it is his lyrical writing, rather than classical thematicism, that inspired the next generation, the four great Romantics, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann and Liszt.

I'm glad you've picked out some of these features of Schubert's writing and that the exercise has not been without purpose for you even if you haven't enjoyed the music.
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#1994954 - 12/05/12 10:11 AM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline

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Schubert Op. 94 No. 96

54) Dbmaj7
55) Db6, Bbm6/Db
56) Fm/C
57) Fm7/C, Ab
58) Eb7/Bb, Ab
59) Eb/G, Bb7/F
60) Ebmaj7sus4
61) Eb, Ab
62) Dbm maj7 (Can I do this?)
63) Dbm6, Ab
64) Dbm maj7 ( crazy )
65) Dbm6
66) E7
67) E7, A/C#, E7/B
68) A, E7/B, A/C#
69) Cb7/Eb
70) Eb, E7/D
71) E7/D
72) E7/D, A/C#, Em7/B
73) A, E7/B, A/C#
74) Abm/Eb
75) Eb
76) Ab
77) Ab




Edited by Greener (12/06/12 11:02 AM)

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#1994967 - 12/05/12 10:33 AM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
keystring Online   content
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Careful with this
Originally Posted By: zrtf90
, Schubert was doing it chromatically. Semitonal movement added more to the intensity of the drama. In his Lieder .....
Up until his time there was no German poetry to speak of ...

Schubert: 1797 - 1828
Walter von der Vogelweide: 1170 - 1230

I used to have WvdV quoted at me when I was knee high. German poetry has been around for a long time. smile

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#1994983 - 12/05/12 11:00 AM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
keystring Online   content
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Originally Posted By: zrtf90
Would Schubert have called this a...?

The nomenclature comes after the fact. It is a way for us today being able to discuss what went before. It matters not what Schubert called these chords (probably something in German) but what we can understand of his music by giving a name, any name, to common constructions.....


Yes, that is the important point.

The first thing we have to understand is that there are certain things inherent in music because music is sound that has its particular physics, and the human psyche responds to it a certain way. It may even be that this is organic to all living creatures. A whining puppy, a hungry baby bird, and a toddler begging for a cookie will all use similar inflections. For sound we have such things as overtones that work together in such a way that certain pitches work together in certain ways so that for example a true Perfect 5th has a given quality and affects is a certain way, while a minor 2nd has a totally different effect. Cultures the world over have created their unique music, when in isolation, yet they will respond to such elements as harmony and rhythm. Sound and its qualities exist in and of itself. We then play with it.

"Western" music developed out of that, and continues to develop. Before the Common Practice which tends to be our starting point as if it existed forever, there was plainchant, going along "modes" in a manner that would be foreign to us, with a "harmony" of two or three voices that tried to stay a P5, and eventually allowed for thirds. Note values that were multiples of 3 were sacred while multiples of 2 were not. Rhythms were like little packages which the neumes captured. Some of those things still exist in our present music in altered forms. If we tried to analyze present music according to their system of thinking, or vice versa, it wouldn't go well. Analysis is a codification of perception. It is not the thing itself.

So we fast forward to things like "Dominant", "Subdominant" and all the structures that we learn in music theory. For those who have studied or are studying in the traditional books, you may notice a small "note to teacher" disclaimer stating that they have simplified the rules of music from how music really works, and further, that they are only considering certain kinds of music and keeping out everything else. It is like explaining English spelling through phonics, and ignoring things like "tough, though, through" and "thought". Or "when two vowels go a-walking, the first one does the talking", which works well for "maid" but not "said". Any set of rules, any structure, reflects a reality but is not that reality. Music, like language, is a living thing.

So you get such a thing as a "rootless seven chord" or "rootless seven flat nine chord" as a concept. Is it a new dogma replacing an old dogma as being more correct? Or is it an attempt to get some real hearing going, and permit for thinking? The fact is that when you have C7 (CEGBb) moving to F, it is a more forceful movement then EGBb (Edim) moving to F. We can be aware the E is a semitone from F, that it creates a movement of the leading note to the tonic, but that it is softer because there is no leap of a P5 or P4. We find the viio to I in the middle of music, and V7 to I in cadences. We find the mediant being the final note in the melody in I in the middle of the piece, and the tonic being in the melody at the end. Why that is so is obvious if you listen. But that does not mean that looking at other angles breaks something sacrosanct. I find it extremely useful to know that I can find EGBb in CEGBb, and that one can give my ear a hint of the other. I like knowing that a diminished 7 chord has many possibilities, because if I write music I want to see as many angles to the chords as I possibly can. The problem arises if you see dogma, and think dogma is being replaced by more dogma. But if you latch on to fluidity of thinking, it's a different thing.

At the end of the day it is not about memorizing rules, but about exploring sound as openly and intently as possible.

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#1994984 - 12/05/12 11:01 AM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
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There was Klopstock, too, in the generation before Schubert while the sixteenth and seventeenth centutries were blank but in lyrical terms Goethe swept away all before him (and not just in poetry eithter). I don't know the work of Vogelweide but as he's earlier than Chaucer I would imagine his version of German would be as understandable to Schubert as Spenser is to me and not exactly lyrical.

Goethe and Schiller were lyrical poets and this is what inspired Schubert rather than continuing in the Italian style of libretto as Salieri, his teacher, would have tried to persuade him.
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#1994988 - 12/05/12 11:17 AM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
keystring Online   content
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The point is that German poetry did not begin in the 18th century, and the combination of music and poetry did not begin at that time either. In a time where illiteracy was the norm, poetry combined with song to spread news and to entertain played an important role. It changed and evolved, just like music did, but it existed.

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#1994992 - 12/05/12 11:20 AM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: Greener]
PianoStudent88 Online   content
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[cross-posted, with everyone since keystring's WvdV post.]

Originally Posted By: Greener
Schubert Op. 94 No. 96
70) Eb, E7b9/D (rootless) grin

As Charlie Brown might say: Auuuuuuggggghhhhhh!

I hate the rootless naming convention. It smears everything into a shapeless mess of "everything is really a V7 chord, with a few extensions, which we know can always be added willy-nilly all the way up to 13, because modern jazz tells us so." Well, no. Multiple extensions are part of jazz vocabulary, and probably all over the place now, not just in jazz, but in earlier music up to at least a certain point of time, I think people conceptualized music differently.

For example, Rameau in his music theory works talks about seventh chords (all stripes, including diminished as well as dominant). He doesn't talk about higher extensions. He doesn't talk about rootless chords.

Going back further, in earlier music thirds and sixths were considered dissonant. So in analyzing that music, if a third or a sixth appears, we shouldn't just tag it as part of a chord or an inversion that would be unexceptional today and pass on. We should notice it.

Going back even further, thinking of (I think it's organum) where the two vocal parts start on the same note, and then one proceeds stepwise until the voices are a fifth apart. In a later era's musical vocabulary, that would be a series of bi-chords including a startling dissonant second on the second chord, followed by an entire composition of parallel fifths which ought to be avoided. But I don't think that's how the composers of these chants understood their compositions.

In this context of understanding music the way the originators understood it, I also think of the a cappella early music vocal group, I think it's Anonymous Four, who perform their music from the original neume notation rather than modern notation, because they think it helps them get inside the music better and give a better performance.

Even if you are going to report with the modern extended chord names, they deserve attention when they start doing unusual things compared to previous composers' uses.

For example, somewhere in this Schubert analysis an add-11 chord was mentioned. That deserves notice, not just to be blandly reported. Clementi didn't use add-11 chords.

In my new Mendelssohn Song Without Words (Op. 30 No. 3), I've discovered a bona fide V7b9 chord, complete with root. That deserves notice as a new and unusual thing, not to be treated as unremarkable because we've become so used to seeing "V7b9 (rootless)" that "V7b9" doesn't raise any flags and we don't think there's any difference between using the rootless version vs. the rooted version. Or take sus chords.

Another example: a sus chord shouldn't just be reported as an unremarkable chord like any other. It should be examined for whether the suspended note is prepared and resolved, so that when composers start omitting the preparation and resolution, you can notice and comment on that, rather than live lulled by the idea that "composers have been using sus chords forever, nothing to see here, move on."

We haven't talked much in these analyses about identifying and naming non-chordal tones. The names of the non-chordal tones are not necessarily important in and of themselves, but they record certain uses of non-chordal tones (neighbour, passing, suspension, anticipation, escape, appogiatura, etc.). These uses were the norm in earlier music. By understanding what's normal in a certain period, we can notice when earlier composers do something unusual for there time, and even more so we can notice when later composers start to use non-chordal tones in other ways, more and more frequently. If we just purely ignore the types of non-chordal tones, or worse if we smush them into an extended chord name, we lose all that detail.

Now, the modern extended chord names aren't all bad. They can help someone learn a piece, if those chord names seem natural to them. They can help us realize things like "the sound of a 13 chord has actually been heard from the early Baroque, when we consider the sonic effect of such-and-such common appoggiatura" (to make up an example that I suspect is probably true, or like something that's probably true). But if we proceed from that to writing our chords in a way that gives the impressions that the Baroque composers were working in a jazz idiom in which a rootless 13 chord is a natural way to realize a chord progression, then I think we've gone too far. I don't think that's how the Baroque composers conceptualized the meaning of their compositions and dissonances.

I don't expect you-all to stop using the rootless naming convention, but the above is my impassioned cry of why I almost never find it the most useful way to understand a chord. (On the other hand, I suppose I will start using it if I ever do Schenkerian analysis, which as far as I can tell is a way of step-by-step reducing compositions to giant I-V-I arcs.)


Edited by PianoStudent88 (12/05/12 11:26 AM)
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#1994995 - 12/05/12 11:32 AM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
keystring Online   content
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For hearing harmony, I do not find the rootless idea smears anything. It has been an eye-opener (ear opener?) to hear the diminished chord inside the seven chord, and the seven chord inside the diminished chord. Maybe even more important to me personally is hearing the tritone resolve. I'll say that NO convention is sacrosanct. It is good to have as many angles for perceiving things as possible because ultimately music is more than any name we give to its parts.

I haven't followed this thread closely in recent times. Has anyone said something like:
Quote:
"composers have been using sus chords forever, nothing to see here, move on."

I see the development of the Sus chord. Originally when the mentality was more toward melody and song, you had a note held over by the main voice, for example, as you moved into the new harmony. That voice was literally "suspending" the previous sound and then resolving into the new one. You could go further back into organum and imagine that some elements of organum melded into the more modern music. People didn't stop doing music one way, and get reborn in another. It evolved. Our "suspended note" became seen as a "sus chord" and got used as a thing in and of itself.

I imagine that those who come from a by-ear background working mostly in a context of harmony as in popular and jazz music, will be able to relate to things like "rootless" and "sus chord" as a way of opening the door. Those of us who tend toward melody and Common Practice music, such as the singers among us, will relate to "suspended notes" and have to become familiar with "sus chord" and "rootless". I like going toward what is least familiar, in the belief that it will expand my perceptions.

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#1995004 - 12/05/12 11:47 AM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
PianoStudent88 Online   content
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[cross-posted with keystring again!]

Reflecting on keystring's longer post with which I cross-posted in my previous post: I realize that the map is not the terrain. And even the tools I use -- Roman numeral analysis and secondary dominant slash notation, and now with the Romantics needing to foray into a more flexible roman numeral analysis that can simply decorate the roman numerals with accidentals (e.g. #IVdim7) -- these were devised much later than the music we're analyzing.

And even in my bent for historical purism, I balk at learning figured bass notation even though that would perhaps be a more authentic way of analyzing early Baroque music. I suppose I'm conceptually with Rameau, in finding his notion of "fundamental bass note", which becomes our notion of root of an inverted chord, to represent a deep insight into the structure of music even of the earlier figured-bass era, and this insight should be used.

Perhaps that's the crux: I don't yet find extended chord names, and even less rootless chord names, to represent a deep insight into the music we've analyzed so far. Or perhaps more accurately would be to say it's about which insights I like to write down, vs. which insights I have mentally but don't write down. For example, I like the insight of seeing the unusual dim chord written on the unusual root of the seventh degree of the scale, and I maintain in my head that this shares notes with the V7 chord, or with what jazz people find an unexceptional extension V7b9 if it's a dim7 chord, and in particular that it shares the same tritone which is essential to its resolving characteristics. I wonder if those of you who like the rootless notation perhaps maintain all the same information, but you write down what I like to keep in my head, and keep in your head what I like to write down.

I'm thinking about double-entry book-keeping, which I find to be one of the great intellectual inventions of the western world. (Seriously). The early 13th century writers on double-entry book-keeping didn't have the system fully fleshed out. Later people discovered ways to fill in the rules to cover situations which were vague and exceptional to the early writers.

So in analzying an early set of books I think we would have to keep two things in mind: the set of concepts that early bookkeepers were working with, including places where this means their books are vague; and the modern set of concepts which, as with Rameau's fundamental bass note, provide a deep organizing insight into how we can describe the cash and balance situation of the early organizations. That wouild be analagous to how I feel about using later music theory constructs and insights to describe earlier music.

But then we have to keep carefully separate the accounting laws and conventions of our current times, which wouldn't apply at all to earlier times -- for example which categories you normally put your expenses into, or things you have to track because of regulations, etc. Even if an early book-keeper tracked in categories that happen to match our current regulatory categories, it should be noted that it's not being done because of our current legal landscape. That would be how I feel about going too far in using later music theory constructs on earlier music (in particular, extended chords).


Edited by PianoStudent88 (12/05/12 11:48 AM)
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#1995015 - 12/05/12 12:00 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: keystring]
PianoStudent88 Online   content
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Registered: 06/16/11
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Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: keystring
For hearing harmony, I do not find the rootless idea smears anything. It has been an eye-opener (ear opener?) to hear the diminished chord inside the seven chord, and the seven chord inside the diminished chord. Maybe even more important to me personally is hearing the tritone resolve. I'll say that NO convention is sacrosanct. It is good to have as many angles for perceiving things as possible because ultimately music is more than any name we give to its parts.

Interesting. See, I can't hear any of that. I can hear a V7 chord resolving to a I chord. (I found this out by practicing a part of a song without words that has a series of successive V7-I pairs. They impose an emphasis on the chords that try as I might I cannot reverse to hear them as I-V7 pairs.) But to hear a V7 chord as like a dim chord, I just don't hear it. To consciously hear the tritone as needing resolution, I can't reliably hear it. To tell that it's the tritone notes, and not other notes, inside what I'm hearing, that need resolution, I definitely can't hear that.

Quote:
I haven't followed this thread closely in recent times. Has anyone said something like:
Quote:
"composers have been using sus chords forever, nothing to see here, move on."

Not in so many words, but chords have been identified as sus chords rather than as plain chords with a non-chordal suspended note, and the preparation/resolution of the sus note has never been mentioned. That makes it harder to see that an earlier composer's use of these chords being called sus chords is quite different from a later composer's use, because if you just look at the list of chords all you see is "sus" so it can easily lull you into thinking that they're all the same.

Quote:
I see the development of the Sus chord. Originally when the mentality was more toward melody and song, you had a note held over by the main voice, for example, as you moved into the new harmony. That voice was literally "suspending" the previous sound and then resolving into the new one. You could go further back into organum and imagine that some elements of organum melded into the more modern music. People didn't stop doing music one way, and get reborn in another. It evolved. Our "suspended note" became seen as a "sus chord" and got used as a thing in and of itself.

I agree, but just naming them all sus chords without noting the different contexts makes it harder to notice this development, and to understand a difference in sound between earlier and later composers.

Quote:
I imagine that those who come from a by-ear background working mostly in a context of harmony as in popular and jazz music, will be able to relate to things like "rootless" and "sus chord" as a way of opening the door. Those of us who tend toward melody and Common Practice music, such as the singers among us, will relate to "suspended notes" and have to become familiar with "sus chord" and "rootless". I like going toward what is least familiar, in the belief that it will expand my perceptions.

That is an interesting idea. I like using what is familiar and only adopting the new when it is clearly superior. (Not saying this is good, but it is often a tendency of mine. Except when I'm being roundly iconoclastic. I'm not always consistent!) Of course what is familiar to me now was once new to me.
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#1995034 - 12/05/12 01:00 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
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Jeff, I've seen your chords but not yet been able to get back to the music. They're not being ignored!
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#1995038 - 12/05/12 01:04 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline

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Registered: 05/29/12
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No panic, take your time. I was quite proud of the b9 but see not everyone is so excited about it.

I will hold off posting the Haydn Hob (it's all ready,) until later.

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#1995059 - 12/05/12 02:07 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
PianoStudent88 Online   content
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Registered: 06/16/11
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Loc: Maine
Greener, I don't want to take away from your excitement over spotting the rootless b9. That's the language usually being used on this thread by everyone but me, and even if it weren't, that's a sophisticated thing to be able to spot. Well done.
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#1995066 - 12/05/12 02:18 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline

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Registered: 05/29/12
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Thanks PS88. I was just teasing of course. Actually, Richard advised yesterday of how I could determine the root of the rootless flat 9 from any of the notes in this diminished 7th. I chose the E though as we are going to A next, so seemed to make the most sense.
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#1995069 - 12/05/12 02:20 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
PianoStudent88 Online   content
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Registered: 06/16/11
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Loc: Maine
Thinking some more on this: I'm not sure if what I said about "not adopting the new unless it's clearly superior" quite describes my stance. I do like learning new things, but I also have a conservative streak. Except, as I said, when I'm being iconoclastic.
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