[Smt-talk] Subdominant

Eytan Agmon agmonz at 012.net.il
Thu May 17 05:26:30 PDT 2012

This is a very interesting point, Frank, and certainly worth considering.

I have a problem, though, with the chromatic voice exchange (NOT with the
idea that IV moves to V via a “passing” I). Having this voice exchange
implies that the applied V4/3 of V (m. 5, beat 3) “exists prior” to the I of
mm. 4-5. But then, the applied chord seems “passing” from I to V in exactly
the same way that the V4/2 of m. 3, beat 3, “passes” from IV to I6 (in fact,
mm. 5-6 are essentially a transposition of 3-4).

Just a thought


Eytan Agmon

Bar-Ilan University


From: smt-talk-bounces at lists.societymusictheory.org
[mailto:smt-talk-bounces at lists.societymusictheory.org] On Behalf Of Frank
Sent: Thursday, May 17, 2012 6:16 AM
To: Nicolas Meeùs; Ninov, Dimitar N
Cc: smt-talk at lists.societymusictheory.org
Subject: Re: [Smt-talk] Subdominant



Thank you for an informative—and delightfully continental---posting.

“Mall” makes me think of “Promenade”, and that makes me think of “Carnaval”
(Schumann’s, that is). 

The opening Préambule steps right into a wonderfully sonorous subdominant,
so emphatic that I hear resound through the next four bars, prolonging IV
(through subsidiary functional progressions) up to the chromatic voice
exchange in m. 5 leading to the dominant. (The first 24 bars are nice little
essay in different uses of the subdominant, especially if one take the Fb
chords of the middle as representing subdominant function.) A glorious way
to step out (to a carnival, not to a mall) and to prolong a subdominant for
most of a phrase.

Thus I hear it—or perhaps it is a crude error in judgment!


Frank Samarotto
Associate Professor of Music Theory
Jacobs School of Music
Indiana University Bloomington

On 5/16/12 11:04 AM, "Nicolas Meeùs" <nicolas.meeus at paris-sorbonne.fr>

I can reassure you: I never called a supermarket "un Mall", and I never met
a music theorist (nor anybody, for that matter) doing so around here. We use
"un supermarché" (or at times, especially in Belgium, "un shopping centre",
an obvious Anglicism). Some say "un shouk", but the meaning is not exactly
the same – note that department stores at times are called "Bazar" or
"Bazaar". Schenker may have said "ein Kaufhaus", or  "ein Geschäft", or
possibly "ayn geve'lb", but the meaning is not exactly the same either.
 Note that the word "Mall" is English in origin and has been used as early
as 1644, in John Evelyn's diary, in the meaning of "a public walk", from the
name of the game, "pall-mall", Fr. "paillemaille", from It. "pallamaglio". I
think to know that Canadian French still has "un mail" to describe a large
avenue with trees. The usage of "Mall" to denote a commercial gallery does
not seem to predate the second half of the 20th century (perhaps beginning
with the Bergen Mall, New Jersey, in 1957). As they say, "when you've seen a
shop, you've seen a mall".
 In any case, I don't feel that the purity of the concept is threatened in
Europe: be reassured.
 Nicolas Meeùs
 Université Paris-Sorbonne

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