[Smt-talk] Addendum on Bach

Stephen Guy Soderberg ssod at loc.gov
Fri Jan 22 05:26:46 PST 2010

Dmitri wrote:
	"I guess part of the problem is that if we insist that there's a  
single "syntax" that applies to all functionally harmonic music, from  
Bach chorales to Brahms, we have to allow for an incredibly broad  
range of possibilities.  Composers like Mozart typically use only a  
small fraction of these possibilities, which I consider the "core" of  
functional harmony.  When teaching the style, I would be much more  
likely to focus on the "core" possibilities, and to leave the rest for  
more advanced, style-specific investigations into particular  
composers' languages.  This "core" syntax is actually fairly easy to  
describe, and doesn't include a lot of weird possibilities."

Note to self:

The phrase "core syntax" beats the hell out of the phrase "rules of counterpoint/harmony"

Thanks, Dmitri!



Stephen Soderberg
Senior Specialist
   for Contemporary Music
Music Division
Library of Congress
Washington, DC  20540

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