|Chapter 29. Review and expansion|
|Chapter 30. Harmonic and melodic patterns|
Heinrich Schenker (1867-1935), musicologist and music theorist, created a unique system of musical analysis. He found a way to combine the component elements of melody, harmony, counterpoint, and form into an all-encompassing analysis, revealing the structure of the piece of music. Schenker achieves this by representing the music in a series of layers.
31.2 THE 123's
There are three groups of these layers and each has three subdivisions:
Each of these layers, and their subdivisions, relates and cross-references the others. When they are assembled into a graph, the result is a cross between musical notation and a three-dimensional algebraic graph.
Schenkerian analysis can be applied to any musical expanse: phrase, period, section, complete movement, and even the larger composite form. This chapter will only deal with the analysis at the smallest level, the phrase, such as this fragment from a piano sonata by Mozart:
This information being presented is a paraphrase of Schenkerian analysis, done for undergraduate music students. It does not follow the strict techniques that Schenker developed, and uses some symbols differently. The purpose is to provide a way of observing music which can eventually lead to formal Schenkerian analysis.
Common Practice Period music relies heavily on the interaction of all voices to provide direction to a phrase, especially the outer voices.
These lines are represented on a graph in three HORIZONTAL layers.
These structures are represented on a graph in three VERTICAL layers.
Levels in the music are the crux of the graphing process. Each level is represented with a different notational system.
The foreground is the complete piece of music as heard in performance, down to the smallest detail. The foreground IS the piece of music, and every item the composer includes is important.
To begin the analysis process it is useful to make a FOREGROUND REDUCTION of the soprano and bass lines (represented by solid noteheads) by eliminating all items which do not contribute to the larger structure:
The register of the pitches is irrelevant, since structure describes scale degrees rather than actual pitches. Place them on the staff in the octave that best avoids the use of leger lines.
Another part of the foreground is the Roman numeral analysis, which represents the sum total of the counterpoint.
The middleground shows how the large structural areas are prolonged, and are represented by adding explanations to the foreground reduction:
The background is generally represented by stemmed open noteheads (resembling half-notes) and is the most basic framework of the music; this level is reduced to only a few notes.
These layers will be represented on our graph in three notational planes. Notice that the levels do not represent any time organization, so meter is irrelevant (the bar lines are kept to line the graph up with the foreground). When all the layers are interlocked, the resulting graph will represent all aspects about the piece.
Prolonged scale degrees
When a given scale degree is prolonged, both the beginning and end of the prolongation will be united with a beam. Beams always indicate the prolongation of a single scale degree, and can be applied to middleground as well as background. Beams NEVER cross stems to another scale degree.
The VOICE EXCHANGE (also known by its German name, STIMMTAUSCH) is a frequently found technique of prolongation. Two voices, usually the soprano and bass, actually exchange pitches in a given harmony, which creates activity but does not change the harmonic area, thereby creating a prolongation. It is shown by connecting the like pitches with lines, which will create an "X".
Implied scale degrees
On occasion, it is necessary to fill in a "missing" downward step in a background. This may be accomplished in only two circumstances:
Slurs specifically indicate two or more pitches being part of a common harmonic area. There are circumstances, however, in which two (or more) pitches may be closely related harmonically, but not necessarily part of the same exact harmonic area (e.g., tonic and submediant). In situations such as this, the slur is dotted to show a relationship but that this relationship is not exact.
If a graph becomes especially complex, sometimes the dotted slur is dropped with the understanding that a slur shows general substitutive areas.
On occasion, the musical structure clearly is moving up; this action is called an OPENING MOTION, which is a cross between middleground and background. Opening motions move both up and down, by leap or by step, and represent how the beginning of a background motion is approached later in a phrase. Opening motions are represented with stemmed solid noteheads (resembing quarter notes) with scale degree caps (and accompanying explanation such as slurs or embellishment type), thus showing their "hybrid" nature of both middleground and background.
When a piece of music modulates, there is no substantial change in the graphing process. Since scale degrees define soprano lines, pitches may seem to leap, but the actual scale degree motion still follows proper descending stepwise motion.
Some connections are part of the background motion, and are shown with half-notes as part of the descending stepwise motion in the soprano. However, some connections cannot be placed in a descending stepwise motion; these will be represented as important middleground events.
31.8 THE GRAPHING PROCESS
Continuing with the same Mozart excerpt, a Schenkerian graph is added. Below it are the procedural steps necessary to create this graph. Before you review the steps, locate the following parts:
There are several items you should observe in the graph above:
Identify the phrase design; the Mozart example is one 6-measure phrase.
Make a Roman numeral analysis.
Make a foreground reduction using noteheads, eliminating all repetitions, non-chord tones, rhythmic values, dynamics, and articulations.
Graph the cadence in half-notes with capped scale degrees in the soprano, with bass and harmony support.
Graph the prolongation in half-notes with capped scale degrees in the soprano, with bass and harmony support.
Graph the background connections (if any) in half-notes with capped scale degrees in the soprano (remember: the soprano must move downward by step), with bass and harmony support. The cadential 6/4 works with the connection to delay the arrival of dominant, and is part of the background, supporting ^3.
Graph the middleground in stems, slurs, and descriptive symbols, to explain prolongations.
Label any opening motions with stemmed noteheads with capped scale degrees in the soprano, and bass and harmony support. In this example, there is no opening motion.
The following is a series of analysis projects. The odd numbers guide you through the steps, the even numbers are for you to do alone. Use the table below to allow you to jump from one to the other.
After the analysis projects have been done, you will have a final project to do on your own that will be graded.
|Analysis 1. Beethoven: Sonata, op.2, no.3|
|Analysis 2. Haydn: Trio, Hob. XV:3|
|Analysis 3. Beethoven: Sonata, op.7|
|Analysis 4. Mozart: Sonata, K.281|
|Analysis 5. Mozart: Sonata, K.310|
|Analysis 6. Beethoven: Minuet|
|Analysis 7. Haydn: Sonatina, Hob. XVI:1|
|Analysis 8. Mozart: Waltz. K.567|
|Analysis 9. Beethoven: Sonata, op.14, no.2|
|Analysis 10. Mozart: Sonata, K.283|
|Analysis 11. Mozart: K.330|
|Analysis 12. Haydn: Sonata, Hob. XVI:34|
Links to chapters in this unit:
|Chapter 29. Review and Expansion|
|Chapter 30. Harmonic and Melodic Patterns|
Link to previous unit: THE ABC's OF CHORALE SETTING
Link to next unit: CHROMATIC PROCEDURES II: Modal Mixtures
Copyright © 2008-2009 by Phillip Magnuson.
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