A Chord in Time: The Evolution of the Augmented Sixth from by Mark Ellis PDF

By Mark Ellis

for hundreds of years, the augmented 6th sonority has involved composers and intrigued song analysts. the following, Dr Mark Ellis offers a chain of musical examples illustrating the 'evolution' of the augmented 6th and the altering contexts within which it may be discovered. strangely, the sonority emerged from one of many final remnants of modal counterpoint to outlive into the tonal period: the Phrygian Cadence. within the Baroque interval, the 'terrible dissonance' used to be almost always linked to destructive textual imagery. Charpentier defined the augmented 6th as 'poignantly expressive'. J. S. Bach thought of an prevalence of the chord in a single of his forebear's motets 'remarkably bold'. in the course of Bach's composing lifetime, the augmented 6th advanced from a comparatively infrequent chromaticism to a nearly ordinary aspect in the tonal spectrum; the chord displays specific chronological and stylistic strata in his song. Theorists all started carefully to just accept the chord, yet its inversional percentages proved relatively contentious, as commentaries through writers as varied as Muffat, Marpurg and Rousseau show. in the course of the eighteenth century, the augmented 6th grew to become more and more major in instrumental repertoires - it used to be possibly Vivaldi who first liberated the chord from its destructive textual institutions. through the later eighteenth century, the chord started to functionality nearly as a 'signpost' to point vital structural barriers inside of sonata shape. The chord didn't, even though, completely lose its darker undertone: it indicates, for instance, the subject of revenge in Mozart's Don Giovanni. Romantic composers exposed far-reaching tonal ambiguities inherent within the augmented 6th. Chopin's Nocturnes frequently appear beguilingly uncomplicated, however the floor tranquillity mask the composer's strikingly unique harmonic experiments. Wagner's much-analyzed 'Tristan Chord' resolves (according to a few theorists) on an augmented 6th. In Tristan und Isolde, the chord's mercurial

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A Chord in Time: The Evolution of the Augmented Sixth from Monteverdi to Mahler by Mark Ellis

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