Sunday, January 26, 2014

Music Analysis part 4: Harmonic/Cadence/Partwriting Analysis

Music Analysis part 4: Harmonic/Cadence/Partwriting Analysis

Excerpt from score: 1st page- measures 1-25

Cadences:  There are no noticeable cadences in the first 25 measures

Chordal Analysis:  Although there are no actual chords in this excerpt (or for that matter, at all in the piece), harmonic connections can be made.

For the first seven measures, the only note that is played is E3. 

For the next 9 measures, E3 and F#3 are the only notes played, apart from the occasional E4.  The interesting thing about this section is that even though a second interval played alone sounds naturally dissonant, the melody makes it seem much more mellow.  This could be due to the fact that the interval is hidden by the repetition on the sole notes, (as in E/F# will be played on its own, than the E-F# interval, than E/F# again.)  The occasional E4 adds a little bit of variety to the mix, and further lightens the mood of the piece. 

After these 9 Measures, a B3 is introduced to the mix.  This creates a n interesting relationship between the 5th interval formed by the E3 and B3, and the F#3.  The 5th resolves to the F#3, which forms a 4th with the B that is still resonant from the 5th that was just played (the pedal is being applied). This occurs a couple times in the next two measures as the same pattern from the past 9 measures continues.

Starting at measure 20, the pattern changes, as both hands at a repetitive pattern, with the right hand playing E, F#, B, and the left hand playing E, F#.  This creates a similar harmonic feeling to the measures before it, but seems to be not as thick in texture. 

In measures 22 and 25, a D3 is introduced into the mix.  This creates a 7th interval with the E which resolves the fifth interval.  Although this is just momentary the pedal allows the sound to carry until the next D is played. 

I have not found any connections to 17th century SATB writing thus far.  There are several parallel 5ths, and many instances of crossed voices.  I'm not entirely sure how this piece would even translate to SATB.

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