[Smt-talk] Altered pitch, preserved contour

Locke, Ralph rlocke at esm.rochester.edu
Wed May 20 06:53:26 PDT 2009

Offhand, I'd say that the phenomenon is so common that it goes largely unnoticed (or at least unnamed).  In sonata-form movements, for example, a normal part of "motivische Arbeit" is to preserve the rhythm and contour of a motive but alter the size of its intervals, in conformity with the prevailing harmonic action.  And, in fugal theory, one does have a standard name for one such standard alteration: tonal answer (vs. real answer).

Maybe I haven't understood your point.

Ralph Locke

Ralph P. Locke
Professor of Musicology
26 Gibbs St.
Rochester NY 14604-2599 USA
Tel.: 585-274-1455
Fax: 585-274-1088 ("for R. Locke")
RLocke at esm.rochester.edu

-----Original Message-----
From: smt-talk-bounces at societymusictheory.org on behalf of Richard Lewis
Sent: Wed 5/20/2009 6:23 AM
To: smt-talk at societymusictheory.org
Subject: [Smt-talk] Altered pitch, preserved contour
Can anyone think if there's an accepted term to describe the
phenomenon where some musical material is stretched in pitch (making
the intervals bigger but preserving the contour). The first thing that
comes to mind is 'augmentation', but this is usually only applied to
rhythmic alteration.

I suspect that, as this phenomenon is not common in the Western canon,
it may have escaped categorisation by the early C20th arbiters of
music theory. Though I'd be happy to be proved wrong.

Best wishes,
Richard Lewis
ISMS, Computing
Goldsmiths, University of London
Tel: +44 (0)20 7078 5134
Skype: richardjlewis
JID: ironchicken at jabber.earth.li
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