[Smt-talk] Russian/Belgian +6

Salley, Keith ksalley at su.edu
Thu Dec 1 10:54:11 PST 2011

Hello all,

I've actually had the luxury of some extra time in the afternoons this
week. It turns out that the Goldwire dissertation (where I had first come
across it) cites another source for the term. That source is

Samarah J. Bellardo. "A Study, Analysis, and Performance of Selected
One-Movement Piano Sonatas." (Thesis. Columbia University, 1973). p. 55.

Have not checked proquest for the availability of this document.

On Thu, Dec 1, 2011 at 12:11 PM, Michael Luxner
<mluxner at mail.millikin.edu>wrote:

>  I've taught this chord (A-flat/C/E/F#) for years as a "Russian" sixth,
> because it figures prominently in the section on augmented sixths in
> Rimsky-Korsakov's harmony manual (standard English edition, Schirmer 1930).
> Rimsky presents this chord as a major-key version of what we would call
> the German sixth.  I.e., he identifies the standard +6 chords in minor
> keys as the familiar trio of Italian/French/German (though he does not use
> the geographic descriptors); but in major keys, replaces the German with
> the version that has an augmented fifth above the bass (the diatonic 3rd
> scale step in a major key).
> My use of the term "Russian sixth" has always been whimsical, but it's
> nice to know that there's some scholarly justification!
> Michael Luxner
> Millikin University
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Nov 22, 2011, at 6:33 PM, Salley, Keith wrote:
> I believe you'll find references to this harmony as a 'Russian
> augmented sixth' in Bettsylyn Dunn Goldwire's (DMA)  nearly
> impossible-to-find dissertation.  If I'm not mistaken, Rimsky-
> Korsakov used it before Scriabin did (but don't tell you-know-who).
> Here's the citation:
> Goldwire, Bettsylynn Dunn. 1984. Harmonic Evolution in the Piano
> Poems of Alexander Scriabin. D.M.A. thesis, The University of Texas
> at Austin.
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Keith Salley
Coordinator of Music Theory
the Shenandoah Conservatory
Shenandoah University
Winchester, VA
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