[Smt-talk] Standard Configuration of Clausulae

Fiona McAlpine fe.mcalpine at auckland.ac.nz
Wed May 30 22:28:01 PDT 2012

Dear All,
I think this conversation needs some clarification about precisely which repertory it is addressing. As I read 'clausulae', I though about C13th discant sections or conductus repertory – which is loosely when we can say the justification imperfect-perfect was formulated. Professor Schubert's response, with its reference to Bach and perhaps a different set of theoretical objectives, appears to address a different repertory.
Thomas Noll's second scenario – F-C – involves a falling fourth, or conceivably a rising fifth, not a falling fifth.
Though I can't substantiate it in a quick email response, I don't feel that I haven't seen something like this in the C13th repertory; here's a parallel query: if there weren't something like this, why did the double-leading note cadence come in in the C14th?
& if we are indeed talking about medieval repertory, wouldn't the discussions be easier to follow if we used the medieval gamut, because then B-c
G-C (or is that gamma-C?)
becomes self-evident.
(Dr) Fiona McAlpine
Honorary Research Fellow
School of Music
University of Auckland

New Zealand Musicological Society

Le Béguinage
42 Horns Rd
RD 1
Oxford 7495
North Canterbury

From: smt-talk-bounces at lists.societymusictheory.org [smt-talk-bounces at lists.societymusictheory.org] on behalf of Peter Schubert, Prof. [peter.schubert at mcgill.ca]
Sent: Thursday, 31 May 2012 03:00
To: Thomas Noll; smt-talk at societymusictheory.org
Cc: Julie Cumming, Prof.
Subject: Re: [Smt-talk] Standard Configuration of Clausulae

The notion of imperfect-to-perfect, I thought, was always associated with the stepwise "closest approach" (Herlinger, Cohen). So the imperfect consonance G/B doesn't participate in the same way. As for the example with F in the bass, I don't recall ever seeing it, except in rare Bach recitatives where V4/2 goes to I5/3.

Peter Schubert
Schulich School of Music
McGill University
555 Sherbrooke St. W.
Montreal, QC H3A 1E3
(514) 398-4535 x00281

From: Thomas Noll <noll at cs.tu-berlin.de<mailto:noll at cs.tu-berlin.de>>
Date: Sat, 26 May 2012 12:27:24 +0200
To: "smt-talk at societymusictheory.org<mailto:smt-talk at societymusictheory.org> smt" <smt-talk at societymusictheory.org<mailto:smt-talk at societymusictheory.org>>
Subject: [Smt-talk] Standard Configuration of Clausulae

Dear Collective Wisdom,

in the standard configuration of the Tenor-, Discant- and Bass clauses one has a falling tone, rising semitone and a falling fifth all leading to the same finalis:
Discant: B -> C
Tenor: D -> C
Bass: G -> C
This configuration also has the property that imperfect consonances move towards the perfect octave/unison.

The addition of a Bass with a falling-fifth - rather than a rising one - to the Tenor-Discant-Configuration seems to be crucial. There is an alternative, though, with an augmented fourth between Bass and Discant, which violates the rule to arrive at a perfect consonance from an imperfect one.
Discant: B -> C
Tenor: D -> C
Bass: F -> C
We would be interested to know whether you know compositions in which this three-voice configuration has been used.


Thomas Noll and Karst de Jong

Thomas Noll
noll at cs.tu-berlin.de<mailto:noll at cs.tu-berlin.de>
Escola Superior de Musica de Catalunya, Barcelona
Departament de Teoria i Composició


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