[Smt-talk] harmonic and melodic scales

Richard Cohn richard.cohn at yale.edu
Wed Dec 4 14:21:06 PST 2013

Thomas Noll's note, copied below, prompts me to add that Carl Freidrich
Weitzmann's writings, beginning with the 1853 monograph on the Augmented
Triad (same year as Hauptmann's Natur), also position the minor subdominant
close to the center of his harmonic universe. As Weitzmann was a student of
Hauptmann around 1830, he may simply have learned about the minor
subdominant from his teacher and passed it along two decades later. But I'm
not so sure: CFW and MH had radically different views on other matters,
esp. tuning and enharmonicism.

Weitzmann's emphasis on the minor subdominant, and the major scales that
host it,  may ultimately lead back to Russia. As I noted in a footnote to
my 2000 MT Spectrum article on "Weitzmann's Regions," Weitzmann spent an
extended period during the 1830's and 40's performing in the opera
orchestra in St. Petersburg.

Now here's an interesting research topic for a music theorist fluent in
Russian and with an archivist's itch. What documentary evidence is there of
Weitzmann's time in Russia? What music was he exposed to (Glinka surely;
who else?)? What music theory did he learn there, and what did he bring
back with him? I would love to know the answers to these questions, am
unlikely to learn Russian, and have no archivist's itch, so I am hoping
that someone else might take up this topic.

--Rick Cohn
Battell Professor of Music Theory
Yale University

Message: 5
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2013 18:13:29 +0100
From: Thomas Noll <noll at cs.tu-berlin.de>
To: Ildar Khannanov <solfeggio7 at yahoo.com>
Cc: "Ninov, Dimitar N" <dn16 at txstate.edu>,
        "smt-talk at lists.societymusictheory.org"
        <smt-talk at lists.societymusictheory.org>
Subject: Re: [Smt-talk] Harmonic and Melodic Scales
Message-ID: <83302DD3-5486-4128-8DB2-3B426BA4F8E2 at cs.tu-berlin.de>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

Dear Ildar,

> Why in the West minor subdominant in major has been underrated?

Has it? This at least not true for Leipzig (where I was born). Moritz
Hauptmann's (1853) influential book "Die Natur der Harmonik und der Metrik:
zur Theorie der Musik"  spends considerable attention to the study of the
"Moll-Dur-Tonart" quite in balance to the study of the "Moll-Tonart". This
book predates Rimsky-Korsakov's (1886) ???????????? ??????? ???????? by 33
years. In think, Hauptmann's thoughts are particularly valuable for the
understanding of diatonicity in connection with alteration. This issue had
been addressed by Dimitar and by Nicolas in recent mails.
Thomas Noll

Thomas Noll
noll at cs.tu-berlin.de
Escola Superior de Musica de Catalunya, Barcelona
Departament de Teoria i Composici?
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