Mark Ellis's A Chord in Time: The Evolution of the Augmented Sixth from 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 during which it may be came across. unusually, 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 unfavorable 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 general point in the tonal spectrum; the chord displays specific chronological and stylistic strata in his song. Theorists all started carefully to simply accept the chord, yet its inversional percentages proved really contentious, as commentaries via writers as diversified as Muffat, Marpurg and Rousseau show. throughout the eighteenth century, the augmented 6th turned more and more major in instrumental repertoires - it used to be probably Vivaldi who first liberated the chord from its unfavourable textual institutions. by means of the later eighteenth century, the chord started to functionality virtually as a 'signpost' to point vital structural barriers inside sonata shape. The chord didn't, in spite of the fact that, totally 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 look beguilingly easy, however the floor tranquillity mask the composer's strikingly unique harmonic experiments. Wagner's much-analyzed 'Tristan Chord' resolves (according to a couple 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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