[Smt-talk] "inversions" (passing thought)

Michael Morse mwmorse at bell.net
Wed Mar 19 06:19:53 PDT 2014

  Music theorists are sometimes notorious for an attitude to history that surpasses patrician disdain. Pythagorean historiography sometimes affects that the realities of music are set in stone; the sole task of the musician is to decipher and submit to them, of the theorist, to realize and adumbrate these same unalterable givens. For both musician and theorist, history has no meaning but the greater or lesser realization of an offstage truth.     The dialectical riot of theory and practice belies this caricature. Ironically, the very failure of terminological history to offer us clearly needed terms, such as a right hand voicing nomenclature to correspond to the left hand inversion set, indicates that, between them, musical practitioners and theorists have done an incomplete job of creating a working vocabulary for themselves. In that sense, even the rule of thumb-like doctrine that musical terminology's strengths and weaknesses are a function of ad hoc practice is an over-eager simplification. I think the glaring absence of words that we plainly need sheds a troubling, indirect, but fascinating light on the ones we do have, and how we got them. Once we step back for a moment from the notion of terminological necessity and inevitability, and start to face the enormity of our improvisations, the history of theory comes alive--to be sure, in a manner I'm sure we would rather it didn't!
Michael W. Morseunaffiliated
Dear Trevor,
for that there are two terms in Russian terminology; obrascheniye is for inversion and peremescheniye--for shifting of the upper three voices (any kind of shifting, such as arpeggiation or chordal skip or voice exchange in two voices). These two terms are very similar (and therefore easy to remember) but the distinction is important--I agree with you!
Ildar Khannanov
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.societymusictheory.org/pipermail/smt-talk-societymusictheory.org/attachments/20140319/56f81c7a/attachment-0004.htm>

More information about the Smt-talk mailing list