Main article: Consonance and dissonance The consonance and dissonance of different intervals plays an important role in establishing the tonality of a piece or section in common practice music and popular music. For example, for a simple folk music song in the key of C Major, almost all of the triadic chords in the song will be Major or minor chords which are stable and consonant e. The most commonly used dissonant chord in a pop song context is the dominant seventh chord built on the fifth scale degree; in the key of C Major, this would be a G dominant seventh chord, or G7 chord, which contains the pitches G, B, D and F. This dominant seventh chord contains a dissonant tritone interval between the notes B and F.
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In the realm of the textbook, the modernist ideology still is largely unquestioned. The story goes that by the end of the 19th century tonality was moribund and music had to be rescued by an entirely new approach. Schoenberg emancipated the dissonance and developed atonal serial composition while Bartok explored incorporating folk melodies and rhythms and Stravinsky adopted a variety of approaches including neo-classicism using the manner of earlier music , polyrhythms and rhythmic cells and other techniques like octave displacement and polyharmonies.
Theorists tend to be naive progressivists as they regard all technical advances as worthy. The corollary to that is that everything that is not a technical advance is unworthy. So due to this litany, theorists and historians have tended to have a blind spot and smack in the center of it is Shostakovich.
He was parodied by Bartok and ridiculed by most composers in the main stream of 20th century practice. Prior to this he had not been particularly disposed to the fugue genre, but he ended up writing a prelude or a fugue every few days for the next couple of months. The result was a work of real racination, in my neologism. I talk about that here. Sometimes in music history, composers find themselves in a situation where the only solution seems to be to go back to some fundamental spring of music, some bedrock, and start all over.
This happened around and again around I think that Shostakovich is doing something similar here--rediscovering fundamental things about counterpoint and harmony. It is so totally in C major that there is not a single accidental in the entire measures. Here is Nikolayeva playing the Prelude and Fugue in C major.
The Fugue starts around This sounds nothing like a Bach fugue, of course. For one thing, it is as much modal as tonal. When Shostakovich has an entry on E, he makes no attempt to inflect to E minor.
Similarly, when he makes an entry of the subject on B, it results in the Lydian mode with the perfect fifth of the subject becoming a diminished fifth [UPDATE: Lydian mode would give you an augmented 4th. This is actually in Locrian mode, but who has ever heard of Locrian mode? Despite the adherence to fugue style, it comes out as Shostakovich. Op 87 by Shostakovich is about as far from these strictures as possible. Perhaps this is why the work was not taken seriously for a long time.
It does take some listening. At first I heard little of interest there. The preludes are a diverse collection of musical styles. The one in B minor is like a Baroque overture: But the fugue that follows is odd.
The subject is stated in octaves, but then another subject, or countersubject, is stated separately. Then they join together. That second subject provides much of the development with the first coming in occasionally, sometimes in stretto. The harmonic layout also is like nothing Bach would have done with entries in G minor and C minor. The one thing that seems clear is that this is a serious piece of music, a profound meditation In fact, outside of a few Russian theorists, I doubt anyone has analyzed this music!
But more and more people are beginning to appreciate op 87 and I have even seen one claim that this is the greatest piano work of the 20th century. Posted by.
Owen-Modal-and-Tonal-Counterpoint-From-Josquin-to-Stravinsky (trascinato) 1.pdf
Every era has produced masterpieces of polyphony, and yet the study of counterpoint for most students has been limited traditionally to two courses: one devoted to the style of Palestrina, and the other to the style of Bach. This book attempts to present the development of contrapuntal technique from the sixteenth century through the first half of the twentieth century in a historical and stylistic framework, Although it is best suited to a year-long course, it can also function for separate courses devoted to sixteenth— and eighteenth-century styles. Students beginning their study with eighteenth-century style can jump to Chapter 15 after reading Chapters 1 and 2, which are devoted to introductory concepts. Chapter 15 is designed as a review for continuing students and a starting point for new students. Finally, the book serves as anthology, text, and workbook combined. Complete musical examples are presented in all but a few instances.
ISBN 13: 9780028721453
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