[Smt-talk] Addendum on Bach

Ildar Khannanov solfeggio7 at yahoo.com
Sun Jan 24 17:07:19 PST 2010

Thank you for hearing my cry!
My teacher, late professor Jury Kholopov, kept mentioning that Schenker's greatest contribution to music theory has been his recognition of layers
 (Schichten). True, schoolbooks in harmony rarely rise to understanding of hierarchical structure of a musical work. My concern, however, has always been that the three layers are governed by the same principle of diminution. On the other hand, traditional theory had something to offer in this area: hierarchical system of classical forms, hierarchical relationship of harmonic progression and the tonal plan, etc. Each layer in these systems is governed by a somewhat different principle. 
There is a monument to Dmitri Donskoy in Moscow, on the Tverskaya street. It is a miserable work, a 20-foot monster which is, in fact, a miniature. The sculptor was a famous miniature artist.
Ildar Khannanov
Peabody Conservatory
solfeggio7 at yahoo.com
--- On Sun, 1/24/10, Dunsby, Jonathan <jdunsby at esm.rochester.edu> wrote:

From: Dunsby, Jonathan <jdunsby at esm.rochester.edu>
Subject: Re: [Smt-talk] Addendum on Bach
To: smt-talk at societymusictheory.org
Date: Sunday, January 24, 2010, 6:06 PM

"Contrary to the most important law of harmonic progression (no S after D), on the level of tonal plan the key area of subdominant often follows the key area of the dominant. 
Ildar Khannanov
Peabody Conservatory" 
That true observation, which V-IV-progression-counting-type people tend to neglect, has a long etiology. I don't recall that in this thread anyone has yet quoted William Benjamin, 'Pitch-Class Counterpoint in Tonal Music', Music Theory Special Topics, New York 1981: "it is obvious that key successions do not duplicate chord successions under any reasonable interpretation" (p. 32). You said it, Bill. On the other hand, where did I put my handy 'ProlongedChordsOrKeys? 'R Us' foolproof testing kit?

Jonathan Dunsby
Chair, Music Theory Department
Professor of Music Theory
Eastman School of Music

From: smt-talk-bounces at societymusictheory.org on behalf of Ildar Khannanov
Sent: Sun 1/24/2010 09:37
To: HaliFieldman; Dmitri Tymoczko; smt-talk smt; Headlam, David
Subject: Re: [Smt-talk] Addendum on Bach

Dear David,
your analysis of the opening measures of the finale of Tempest is incorrect.. You wrote: 
Hi.  Very nice Hali, and Dmitri and everyone (including Janet the S, who's
VE in 6/4s is very true).  I would like to add the context of perspective..
For instance, when I taught starting harmony I always used the Tempest 3rd
movement -- I-V-I takes the whole phrase here, where it might take 3 chords
in Bach or 3 hours in Wagner. 
Whatever you call 'phrase' is vague and elusive. The form of the theme here is a sentence. What you called the phrase is, in fact, two units, the basic idea and the repetition of the basic idea. So, it is not I - V - I, but I -V  and V - I.  Each unit occupies two metric measures. Therefore, it is the level of progression, same level as three chords you have mentioned. 
As for Wagner's opera, the blocks in it are structured not by the principle of neighbor note or passing note. This would be a far fetched hypothesis, it would be a difficult thing to prove musically. No, this level exceeds the level of voice exchange. It is  known as the tonal plan. To imagine that composer or listenter operate with  the key areas on this scale as adjacencies is ridiculous. The tonal plan operates on different principles, than both harmonic progression and NCT interaction. Contrary to the most important law of harmonic progression (no S after D), on the level of tonal plan the key area of subdominant often follows the key area of the dominant. For the Baroque binary form it is the norm, in the second half to begin with the dominant area and then to swerve into subdominant.
So, please, be careful categorizing people into Mozarts and Salieris. It can have the effect of a boomerang. 
Ildar Khannanov
Peabody Conservatory  
solfeggio7 at yahoo.com 


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