ovaisala at siba.fi ovaisala at siba.fi
Mon Apr 22 08:45:42 PDT 2013

Dear list,

Reacting to my previous post, Gregory Proctor wrote:

> I knew people would choose to miscast my remarks. I should know  
> better by now that lists like these have sunk bit by bit to the  
> level of comments on political blogs. I give up. Goodbye list.

Unfortunately prof. Proctor seems thus to have chosen to abandon the  
list owing to my humorous comment. I regret this; it was certainly not  
my intention.

I by no means "chose to" misunderstand his assertion that "inversion  
is overrated in classical music." I genuinely found no sensible way to  
understand it and thought that perhaps taking this assertion at its  
face value and drawing conclusions from it ad absurdum might provoke  
him to explain what he actually meant. Unfortunately his post implies  
that this will not be the case.

Perhaps I should not have tried to be humorous or ironic (especially  
in a foreign language, whose nuances I am far from mastering), but my  
attempts to find a serious approach to that assertion simply failed. I  
thought that in principle it might mean either literally "inversions  
were overrated by classical composers" or "approaches to classical  
music overrate inversions." In my previous post, I played with the  
consequences of the first option. But the second option also seems ?  
how should I say ? utterly problematic, if we consider how an approach  
making no distinction between "root position" and "inversion" would  
succeed in describing the organization, say, in a paradigmatic  
classical piece such as Bach's C-major Prelude from WTC I.

Hence, what I hoped to do in my post was to provoke greater clarity in  
postings, but clearly my approach was a failure.

Olli Väisälä
Sibelius Academy
University of the Arts, Helsinki
ovaisala at siba.fi

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