[Smt-talk] Quarter-comma meantone and augmented sixth chords

Kris Shaffer kris.shaffer at gmail.com
Wed Aug 25 09:56:50 PDT 2010

I don't have any quarter-comma pieces for you with augmented sixths,  
but Ligeti's Passacaglia ungherese (1978) for quarter-comma mean-tone  
harpsichord may be of interest to you, depending on what kind of  
project you're working on.  As a rule, Ligeti avoids wolf intervals in  
harmonic sonorities in this piece (though not entirely), but there are  
a number of wolf melodic intervals, including some prominent and  
frequently repeated diminished thirds in the ground.  I've attached  
the opening of the piece.  Bar 3, chords 2 and 3 (and the 'resolution'  
in the two subsequent chords) would probably interest you most, as  
it's the closest thing to an augmented-sixth chord in this piece:  a  
le-fi-sol bass schema, which does follow with the expected 'tonic' (in  
first inversion).  The notes of the 'le' and 'fi' chords would,  
interestingly, combine to form a French-sixth chord, but Ligeti never  
capitalizes on that in this piece.

Kris Shaffer
Ph.D. candidate in music theory, Yale University

On Aug 25, 2010, at 9:42 AM, Eric Knechtges wrote:

> Hello all,
>      Does anyone have an example of an augmented sixth chord in a  
> piece of music that would likely have been performed on a keyboard  
> tuned in quarter-comma meantone?
>      Eric Knechtges, DM
>      Assistant Professor, Coordinator of Theory/Composition
>      Northern Kentucky University
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> Smt-talk mailing list
> Smt-talk at societymusictheory.org
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