[Smt-talk] a la mode

Ildar Khannanov solfeggio7 at yahoo.com
Tue Dec 3 10:49:08 PST 2013

Dear Dr. Frosch,

thank you very much for your clarification. What a beautiful metaphor! So, let us agree that dia means both, connecting and pulling apart. This is so musical, applies to many things in music. Dually directed action: we are connecting the tones (binding them, singing legato) and, at the same time, separating them so, that on erases another.

As for Nicolas' fighting with the "19th-century mistakes," this revisionist activity cannot take us forward. Revisionism, Schenkerian or any other type, is by default a backward motion. It suggests that the 18th-century theories were more valid than the 19th-century. Well, as for Gombosi, he (as Acta Musicologica describes him) had scattered ideas, unpublished books and was an iconoclast. Little did he know that throughout 25 centuries of European history, larger scales were always divided into smaller segments. I am puzzled by Otto's insistence that in Greek systema teleion the octaves did not fall into tetrachords. Read the names of the notes carefully, and you will see that! The overwhelming majority of folk wind instruments have 4 or 5 playing holes. Hmm... How and where  from can I get an octave? By pressing the same holes and overblowing. And how, on Earth, did the Greek players get the two-octaves of notes, if their instruments had only four
 stings or four playing holes? It could be done only by stacking the tetrachords (thanks to THEORISTS!).  Of course, the whole Byzantine theory will go down the drain if we refuse to accept the Octoikhos. There were four tetrachords in their system. And Russian Obikhod scale consisted of four units (trichords) with beautiful names for each. Well, in music of Igor Stravinsky we are temped to put together all the notes and call it genuine octatonic, but Igor used the combinations of OLIGOTONIC structures, the modes that do not exceed four or five notes (pretty much characteristic of all folk music globally!). And even Schoenberg's 12 independent tones had to be divided (partitioned) into smaller segments, such as Webern trichords or Babbitt hexachords. History proves, again and again, that it is more useful to operate with smaller units of large scales.  No, Otto Gombosi did not read these things. He was too busy fighting with the "19-century

Best wishes,

Ildar Khannanov
Peabody Conservatory
Solfeggio7 at yahoo.com

On Monday, December 2, 2013 8:57 PM, "reinifrosch at bluewin.ch" <reinifrosch at bluewin.ch> wrote:
Dear colleagues,
As mentioned previously several years ago, I think that "diatonic" means "pulled apart" (rather than "through tones"): in the diatonic tetrachords, the three lower tones are not close together. 
Reinhart Frosch,
Dr. phil. nat.,
CH-5200 Brugg.
reinifrosch at bluewin.ch .

----Ursprüngliche Nachricht----
Von : djwolf at snafu.de
Datum : 02/12/2013 - 10:40 (UTC)
An : smt-talk at lists.societymusictheory.org
Betreff : Re: [Smt-talk] a la mode

"Diatonic" comes, of course, from the diatonic tetrachord genus, the one  
which is composed "through (whole) tones."  The term do not refer at all  
to any "linear coherence, achievable in tonal music", mysterious or  
otherwise. [...]

Dr. Daniel James Wolf

djwolf at snafu.de
Smt-talk mailing list
Smt-talk at lists.societymusictheory.org
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