[Smt-talk] The Concept of Appoggiatura

David Feurzeig mozojo at gmail.com
Tue Oct 23 05:09:53 PDT 2012

I think we should not seek the one true classification scheme, but  
should demonstrate common-sense flexibility in class, using  examples  
from repertoire. No text will be both perfectly user-friendly and  
perfectly complete.

The text we use (Clendinning and Marvin) emphasizes melodic approach  
and resolution, so I supplement by telling my students that other  
parameters are also significant, and sometimes more relevant to  
perception, namely metric stress relative to resolution, and also  
length (submetrical, metrical, super-metrical) relative to resolution.

One thing few theory books attempt is a discussion of multiple layers  
or levels of melodic embellishment, such as is common in (among many  
others) Chopin, bel canto lines, or variation sets generally. Again,  
not necessarily a failing, but possibly a decision that this is  
something better left to the instructor.

David Feurzeig
Associate Professor, Composition and Theory
Music Department
University of Vermont
Burlington, VT 05405

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