[Smt-talk] Harmonic and Melodic Scales

Thomas Noll noll at cs.tu-berlin.de
Wed Dec 4 16:29:45 PST 2013

Dear Ildar,

> Was Hauptmann more influential than Rimsky-Korsakov? I doubt. Rimsky has left several generations of composers, theorists, performers, the whole school of music. Hauptmann nowadays is treated--unfortunately and undeservedly--as an artifact of history. Indeed, he has overdone the direct application of Hegel's concepts to music. As a result, he influenced Riemann and... here you have to help me with the names.

I think my use of the attribute "influential" for Hauptmann's book is adequate. One of the most prominent contemporary readers of Hauptmann was Hermann von Helmholtz. This is not to say that his innovations in psycho-physics have been significantly influenced by Hauptmann. But the music-theoretical interpretation of his findings in the "Dritte Abteilung" of Die Lehre von den Tonempfindungen show many traces of Hauptmann's music-theoretical influence.  On page 493 (6th edition) Helmholtz deliberately discusses and appreciates the Dur-Moll-Tonart.  
Arthur von Oettingen's (1866) Harmoiesystem in dualer Entwicklung deliberately reacts to Hauptmann (and Helmholtz). Therefore, both dualist and non-dualist ramifications of function theory have been directly and indirectly influenced by Hauptmann. Nora Engebretsen (2008) in her article The ``Over-Determined" Triad as a Source of Discord: Nascent Groups and the Emergent Chromatic Tonality in Nineteenth-Century German Harmonic Theory traces some strands in history of ideas from Hauptmann to Oettingen to Riemann. There she emphasizes a certain shift from diatonic presuppositions towards a more chromatic framework for the early conceptualization triadic transformations. Apart of being a forerunner or pathfinder of present-day Neo-Riemannian approaches, Hauptmann will very likely still become a more direct source of inspiration for transformational approaches to diatonic tonality (in a broad sense that includes alteration).        
Is it known wether Rimsky-Korsakov has been aware of Hauptmann's book? In his "Principles of Orchestration" he deliberately acknowledges the influence of Helmholtz's book.
with best wishes

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


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