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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Mozart String Quartet in D minor

In Mozart's String Quartet in D minor, K. 421, the third movement, Mozart uses chromatic embellishment even within the first ten measures. Analysis looks like this:
m.1 : i
m.2: CTd7
m.3: i
m.4: V
m. 5: VII
m.6: IV65
m. 7: VI #6
m. 8: III #5
m.9 : iid6, V7
m.10: i
In measures 14-19, Mozart uses chromatic voice exchange and a held "E" in the cello, prolonging the E minor tonic harmony.
m.22: i
m.23: V7
m.24: i+7
m.25: IV
m.26: VII
m.27: III
m. 28: iid
m. 29: V/V
The chromatic sequence in the cello in measures 1-10 is moved to the first and second violins in measures 22-29.
Measures 30-39 are the same as 1-10.

adieu, know the rest

hay, girl, hay!

mozart roman numeral crapnalysis:
key: d minor
m.1 i
m.2 iv43, i
m.3 i
m.4 V6
m.5 VII
m.6 IV65
m.7 Ger+6
m.8 V, i6
m.9 cadential 64
m.10 i

In measures 14-19 Mozart uses the cello's note (E) as the basis of a common tone modulation to the dominant key. The harmony prolonged here is a V/V chord.

ugh,this part's confusing
m.22 V7
m.23 V7/IV7
m.24 IV7
m.25 vii7
m.26 iii
m.27 vi
m.28 Ger+6
m.29 V

uh the violins play the same motive as the first two analyzed parts except for it's slightly chromatic in measures 22-29. That's really the only similar part I see. You probably shouldn't analyze measures 30-39 because it's the same as the first ten measure of the piece....unless you were bored and needed to waste time.

this bunny is cute. the end.

August Rush and Schumann

In Schumann's "Widmung" we have some of his trademarks popping up everywhere. Throughout the first verse the infamous "three hand" accompaniment plays delicatly below the vocal line. Which builds up to "for which I float" then descends on the line "O my grave." There is a great big key change to start off the second verse, from Ab Major to E Major, as well as a new accompaniment. The accompaniment for the second verse continues in the "three hand" tradition of Schumann, but has steady chords on every beat in the highest voice and the lower voices holding out the root E the entire time. This gives the second verse a more driving feel. The vocal line slows from the previous verse, to longer drawn out phrases. The differences in the accompaniment and the voice make it so the voice can flow nicely above it, but still feel the pull of the song. It then changes key back to Eb major in the middle of the line "you raise me lovingly above myself," which only emphasizes the word 'lovingly.' With the return of the original key, the original accompaniment returns as well. The first verse is repeated up to the line "in which I float" and ends with the last line from the second verse "My good spirit, my better self."
Schumann did a wonderful job of taking a beautiful poem and setting it to music. It is simply a love song, but it is so much more than that at the same time. The words are beautiful in and of itself. However set to music the feeling is ten times more impressive. The love and passion that is stated in the lyrics are made more powerful by the music that surrounds it. I guess that is what music really is, all around us, making things more powerful. Looks like August Rush made a really great point. :-)

Fryderyk Chopin: Mazurka in F minor, Op. 68, No. 4

Fryderyk Chopin’s Mazurka in F minor, Op. 68, No. 4 exhibits an astounding amount of chromaticism in such a short piece. Due to the sheer amount of chromaticism, a Roman numeral analysis is difficult to do. Therefore, one needs to pay attention to overall basic harmonic structure rather than literal every note harmonic analysis in order to comprehend where Chopin is harmonically taking the piece. Due to the latter characteristics of the piece, I feel that it may be easier for the listener to understand the piece if one would go through the piece in sections and observing each section in detail rather than just go through the measures labeling each Roman numeral. So, lets go through each section in basic harmonic and structural detail to get a better general understanding of the piece.

m. 1-8:

First phrase: m. 1-8, key of F minor, i

While there is a feeling of subphrases within these measures, divided in m. 1-2, m. 3-4, m. 5-6, and m. 7-8, the ideas flow seamlessly from one to another, due to the chromaticism and the descending stepwise motion of the harmonies and motives (such as the RH motif in m. 1-2 being used throughout these measures). A perfect authentic cadence in the key of i is perceivable in m. 8 with an F minor triad.

m. 9-14:

Second phrase: m. 9-14, elides to next phrase in m. 14, key of F minor, i

This second phrase is more or less a variation of the first phrase. A half cadence in the key of sharp III is present with an E7.

m.:1-14: parallel period


Third phrase: m. 15-19, elides to next phrase in m. 19, key of A major, sharp III

m. 14-15 and m. 16-17 repeat each other, creating an emphasis on the repeated right hand motif and the key of A major, a key that is distantly related from F minor. There is a perfect authentic cadence in the key of sharp III in m. 19.

m. 19-23:

Fourth phrase: m. 19-23, key of F minor, i

The right hand motives of this section (right hand of m. 19-20, for example) are the exact same right hand motives used in m. 15-19, only transposed to the key of i, F minor. The perfect authentic cadence in the key of i in m. 23 is the most conclusive cadence in the piece.

m. 15-23: parallel period

m. 24-27:

Fifth phrase: m. 24-27, key of A flat major, III

This phrase has a sudden change from the previous phrase’s F minor key to this one’s A flat major key. However, the key then travels to C minor, the v of F minor, due to the perfect authentic cadence in the key of v in m. 27.

m. 28-31:

Sixth phrase: m. 28-31, key of C minor, v

The material from this measure is similar to the previous phrase, but this phrase ends in a half cadence in the key of v with a G major triad.

m. 24-31: parallel period

m. 31-39: Retransition, elides to m. 40

m. 40: same material as m. 1

As one listens to the piece, there is a sense of continuous forward motion melodically and harmonically, constant and often unstable harmonic traveling for a number of reasons. Aspects of the piece that contribute to the continuous forward motion and harmonic instability include heavy use of chromaticism (m. 14-15 for melodic and m. 2-4 for harmonic, for example), the use of inverted chords rather than root chords (F6 in m. 1, for example), the use of very dissonant chords (such as E full diminished 65 in m. 7), elisions (first beat of m. 14 and 19), and quick shifts in key (from F minor to A major in m. 13-15, A flat major to C minor in m. 26-29).

Another major aspect of this piece which contributes to perpetual musical motion is sequencing, which is present in m. 1-5, for example. This excerpt travels harmonically in a descending stepwise motion every 1 measure, starting from F minor 6 to G7 to G flat 7 to F7 and ending at E minor 7. Also, the motive/melody transposes by descending whole steps every two measures from m. 1-6. A similar sequence can be found in m. 7-11.

The sequencing from m. 32-39 feels even more complex than the previously explained one due to more melodic chromaticism, thus making harmonies more difficult to determine. The melody of the right hand transposes in a descending stepwise motion from m. 32-36 every two measures. Likewise, the harmonies also descend in stepwise motion every two measures in m. 32-36. The sequencing intensifies in m. 37-39, this time descending by stepwise motion every 1 measure rather than two measures.

As Chopin marks sempre legatissimo (m. 11) and sempre legato (m. 32), it is possible that the composer wishes for the performer to practice these markings in order to give the listeners even more of a sense of continuity and seamless flowing from one idea to the next. In addition to always legato playing, one must also observe the sotto voce (m. 1), which literally means “under voice.” Perhaps Chopin wishes for a lyrical, soft but projected and singing like sound to carry the melodies of the piece, which can be accomplished through closer contact to the keys and depressing the keys with slow motion. Flattening the fingers some may help create a singing like melody, as doing so would enable one to play on the key with more surface area, which promotes a full, rich sound as opposed to the tip which promotes a bright, pointed sound.

Apart from the feeling of continuous motion, the mood of the piece is strange in a sense that there are sudden key changes from major to minor keys, somewhat giving me the sense of bipolarity, changing from a more somber, gloomy and tranquil mood suddenly to a happy and robust mood, which is something I may expect from the music of Robert Schumann rather than Chopin. m. 9-14, for example, is generally in a quiet, sotto voce mood. Then, in m. 14 a sudden shift to A major, a distant sharp III relation, along with a crescendo bring the spirit of the piece up for a moment, only to return to the gloomy and somber F minor (after a tonicization of iv in m. 19-20) in the phrase in m. 19-23. I believe exposing the bipolarity along with the continuous motion will musically bring the piece to life and make it shine. Therefore, the performer should make the most of thedynamic markings and sudden mood shifts within musical reason of course (not going from pianissimo to fortissimo in a matter of a few beats! Do not do this!)

The marking D. C. dal segno senza fine in m. 40 is interesting, as it is asking the performer to return to m. 2 and continue playing, but without end. There is no fine marked in the score, so Chopin has not specified where one should conclude the piece and stop playing. For Chopin to write senza fine further supports the idea of continuous nonstop motion and traveling. Since the piece is to sound senza fine, a performer might be inclined to repeat the piece more than once. Of course, the piece must end at some point in recital, so eventually concluding in m. 23 may be the best option, as the perfect authentic cadence here in the tonic key of F minor is the strongest and most conclusive sounding cadence in the piece.

Chicka-chicka yea, my last blog, my last blog!

So words cannot even begin to describe my excitement for this blog. It's the last one! = ) So here it goes. (My brain is slightly fried due to end-of-the-year syndrome, so I'm going to be brief.)

I have been given Chopin's Mazurka in F minor, Op. 68, No. 4
Sweet lord does this have a ton of chromaticism. My brain was a little overwhelmed by all the accidentals at first, not gonna lie. Chopin uses B natural, A sharp, D natural, G flat, F flat,C flat, and E natural as embellishments of the melody, all within the first eight measures. As I began my attempt at a harmonic analysis, I found that such an analysis does not makes sense for this type of piece. There is just too much chromaticism that the Roman numeral analysis becomes ridiculous. But, a few measures, such as measure one (i6) do make sense with Roman numeral analysis.
Measures 9-15 are similar to measures 1-8. The bass line is nearly the same, with the second chord of the odd measures (9,11,13,15) having a new chromatic note in them. The melody is the same but with added eighth notes in the measure to allow for some new chromatic additions as well. In measures 32-40 something very interesting happens. Here we see several beats that have two different chromatic notes with the same letter name.In msr. 37 there's an F flat and F sharp and in msr. 38 there's an E flat and E sharp. This helps with the chromatic progression to msr. 40 where 'D.C. dal segno senza fine' is written.
This marking calls for the performer to return to measure 2 and play the piece again but without ending. There is no 'fine' marked in the score so the performer must choose how many times to play the piece and where to end. To me, measure 23 looks like the best spot to end since it has the most conclusive cadence of the piece(authentic cadence).
This piece contains a lot for just 40 measures and has a lot of fun chromaticism. I would never play for I think I'd probably mess up the majority of the accidentals along the way. Oh well, props to whoever can play this!

Peace. It's been real.


Schumann's "Widmung" is a song roughly translated to "Dedication" which features the setting of a poem by Friedrich Ruckert. The text of the poem in relation to the musical exposition of the ideas is best studied after the large-scale musical form is established. "Widmung" is in A B A form, and although it is reminiscent of rounded binary form, the B section consists of completely independent harmonic material including a different key altogether and thus the piece fits the definition of a ternary form better. More specifically, this is a form of simple ternary because the sections of the piece do not take on any additional musical forms. The text alone is mysterious and beautiful. The poem can be looked at both in a subjective and objective manner and most certainly through a mix of the two. The undefined "you" that the author is speaking of is portrayed mainly in a positive light and is often made the center of the speakers existence and source of joy. There are a few verses however that speak of the "you" of third party in quite the opposite light. The contrast is so stark that the speaker associates the third party with death and even goes as far as blaming this party for his death while only a few verses earlier he was praising it as if it was heaven. The nature of these lyrics and the lack of clarity as to whether the author was even referring to a person or an object, feeling, desire or other aspect of existence.

The text however does give ample material for a setting to music that reflects the beauty and emotion that the poem exudes. For example, the key change from Ab Major to E Major occurs when the text is referring to the postlude of the poems section about death. While one typically associates death with minor modes and life with major modes, Schumann takes a different approach and gives the lines of text that talk about the "you" being rest and peace and a gift from heaven and sets them to an entirely separate major mode in the middle of the major A sections. In addition to the key change, the accompaniment takes on a much more peaceful and steady driving tone as the fluid moving eighth note arpeggios are replaced with chordal quarter note passages that accentuate the sturdiness and certainty of the speakers words that he has found rest and gentle peace. The modulation is direct and hence lacks a transition. The piano accompaniment suddenly shifts keys, rhythmic patterns simply to accentuate the romantic ideas that the B section elaborates. Schumann. The text painting that plays a crucial role in this piece is found in the abnormal key change and the rhythm shift that accentuates and pulls out the ideas of love and completion in the text. From a chromatic perspective, the techniques used including flat chords seem to appear at sections during which the text refers to mysterious ideas. For example when heaven is mentioned, the chromaticism comes into play perhaps to accentuate the mysteriousness of heaven. If I were to perform this, I would make a point to make the contrast between the A and the B sections very distinct and to make sure I adequately convey the emotions through my facial expressions and bodily movements. The communication of emotions in this piece is crucial to its delivery in my opinion. Strict adherence to the dynamic will also beautifully supplement the composition techniques.


Due to the large amount of chormaticism embedded in Chopin's Mazurka in F minor, Op. 68, No. 4, it is difficult to apply harmonic analysis. The chromaticism can be seen straight away in measures 1- 8. The embellishments played here are B natural, D natural, A#, Fb, Gb, Cb, E natural, A natural, G #, and F#. It is definitely identifiable that the section is in F minor, but chord analysis is not really necessary. Beginning at measure 2, every two measures there is a sequence. The phrase desecends by a whole step at each new seqence. In addition, the last two measures of this entire phrase ends in a i chord at measure eight.
Measures 9 - 14 are similar to measures 1 - 8. The only difference is that it's set higher. But it has the sequence pattern. However, the cadence at the end of measure 14 is a half cadence in the key of A major. The modulation to the new key occurs by sequential chromaticism.
The section that consists of measures 15 - 23 begins in A major, but at measure 19 modulates back to F minor. This continues and there is a solid ending pac in F minor in measure 23.
At the beginning of the phrase in measures 24 - 32, the key is set in Ab major. Ab major is of coruse the relative major of F minor.
From measure 32 - 35 there is a desecending fifths sequence. Measures 32-40 is a very interesting phrase in general because some measures there will be two different chromatic notes with the same letter name. For example, in measure 36 there is an Eb and an E#, and in measure 38 there is a D natural and a Db. At measure 40 the performer returns to measure 2, but it's interesting because there is no official fine. The best place to end this piece would be at measure 23 because it holds a sold F minor chord, the key the piece originally begins with.


This is my last blog entry (huzzah!), and today we are discussing Schumann (the crazier of the two Schu's) and his lovely piece, Widmung.

The larger form of this piece is Ternary, your typical A B A, and this form is made doubly obvious by the seemingly strange key change from Ab major to E major. Actually, this is closer than it first appears. Schumann must have read about Beethoven and his crazy chromatic mediant fetish; E major is an enharmonic respelling of Fb major, the flat major VI to Ab's tonic I. 

The key change itself is a text-painting device: as we approach the key change (remember, down a third from tonic) the singer's line is "you my grave, [down] into which I cast my grief." And then we change key, using a nifty common-tone modulation, Ab-->G#, and the accompaniment becomes less florid and more supportive, grounded. The singer explains that "you are rest, you are peace, you are bestowed upon me [down] from heaven." The accompaniment is more solid and chordal - if it were minor, I would say it's solemn like a funeral march - the major gives this much more hope and joy, even though we're kind of still in the death-theme textwise.

Then, just as cliche and text-painting-y, the key changes back (up) to Ab (with another common-tone modulation, C#-->Db) on the perfect line, "you raise me lovingly [up] above myself." Oh Schumann. How cute is that. (PS - anyone else hear the Josh Groban song with that line?)

A final interesting note is that one Schu here steals from another Schu - part of Schubert's "Ave Maria" is quoted in the last measures, twice. The do-ti-do-mi-re-do of that melody is set in a ground-bass type of ti-la-le-sol-do falling progression. The chromaticism describes an otherworldly serenity and happiness, as if the singer is still in disbelief at their luck and contentment.

And that's all for this piece. I will almost miss blogging with you guys. Have a great summer, all! Ciao! 

LAST BLOG EVER! Hip Hip Hooray!

Okay, so I'm pretty excited that for my last piece to annalyze, I got Robert Schumann's "Widmung" or "Dedication" from the song cycle Myrten! I really like this song, partly because I heard it about twenty times during German diction! It's a really beautiful song, with wonderful lyrics that truly describe Schumann's devotion to his wife, at least I hope it's to her and not a girlfriend! That would kind of ruin the romance of this song!
The words speak of devotion and call his, hopefully, wife his soul, heart, bliss, and pain. He calls her his world. The music has lovely romantic runs in the intro to prepare the listener for the romantic nature of the work.
At the key change, the second verse begins. I wouldn't say that the tone of the text truly changes significantly, but the accompaniment certainly changes significantly and while I understand that it adds interest and diversity to the song, but I'm not sure it's a good change, only because the choppy nature of the triples make it more difficult to bring across the romantic feel of the song and keep the legato in the voice. A good singer can provide a wonderful counterpart to the accomaniment, which makes a nice texture, but a not-so-good singer might make the line choppy as well, something to watch for.
The Gb's in measures eight through nine I think are used to emphasize the word "Himmel," or heaven, and the heavenly and unusual nature of his wife. Also, the piece is in ABA form.
Okay, I think I'm done. So, I'm signing out! Ciao!

Last Blog!


Chopin's Mazurka in F minor uses many chromatic harmonic techniques. For example, in measures 10-13, the is a chromatic falling fifths pattern, going from G to Gb to C to Cb. Also, in measure 29, a German 6 chord is reinterpreted enharmonically as a V7 chord. In measures 24-29 there is a modulation to a chromatic-mediant related key. Finally, in measures 11-14, there are chromatic passing tones embellishing the opening melody.

Sorry this is crappy, I have 5 billion more things to get done.

WIDMUNG! the end!

Widmung by Robert Schumann was written in 1840 as a part of his song cycle Myrthen. The title translates to "dedication" with text written by Friedrich Rückert. The song is clearly in an A B A' form which means that it is probably rounded binary but with a closer look at the B section we see or hear that the B section is in a completely different key and very very different than the A section which probably means that it is Ternary form. It is probably simple ternary form because the there are not binary forms within the larger ABA form. When the A section returns it is more of an A' because the cadence ends differently. The poem itself is very romantic. It talks about the composer or poet's love, and the fact that they are their world. It makes the title interesting because it could be that Schumann was dedicating this song or the song cycle to his wife or it could be that he is simply discussing how he dedicates himself to his wife. When the key change happens the text takes a turn to a more peaceful idea that is represented by longer notes and a steadier accompaniment, with the words, you are rest, you are peace. The modulation is a direct modulation, it is very abrupt with a sudden change of piano style. The Gb5 that is found in measures 8 and 9 was probably used to portray the idea of heaven which is the text that accompanies this section. The composer probably chose a chromatic note because heaven is not a stable idea, no one really knows what it is, and not everyone believes in it. When I sang this piece for proficiencies I really tried to think about the contrasting sections and why the composer would have chosen to make similar text so different.

last. blog.

Soooo you know what time it is? Cause I do--yep, you've got it, it's last blog EVER time. I cannot contain the excitement right now. So, without further ado, here it goes.

The chord progression of the first 10 measures of the third movement of Mozart's String Quartet K. 421 is as follows (in D minor):

(measure) 1: i
2: iv6
3: i
4: V6
5: vii0
6: iv6
7: Gr+6
8: V7
9: V 65-43
10: i

The harmonies employed with this chromatic descending bass line is primarily that of tonic, subtonic, and dominant harmonies.

The analysis for measures 11-20 is as follows:

11: vii half diminished7/V
12: V
13: V
14: II
15: vii half diminished/II
16: II
17: vii half diminished6
18: v7
19: V
20: vii half diminished/V

The name of the device used in the cello part of measures 14-19a is called pedal point. The harmony prolonged throughout this part of the piece is V.

The harmonic progression of measure 22-29 is as follows:

22: V7
23: V7/iv
24: V7/vii
25: V7/III
26: V7/VI
27: VI
28: Gr+6
29: V

Wow, this section has a LOT o' secondary dominant harmonies...
The progression in the harmonies of the violins in 22-29 are similar to the descending chromatic bass line in measures 1-10. Measures 30-39 do not need to be analyzed because they are, indeed, an exact repeat of measures 1-10.

I'M FINISHED!!!!!!!!

LAST BLOG EVER! (sorry for the enthusiam, Prof.)

Widmung is the first song of 26 in Schumann’s song cycle Myrthen. This cycle was a gift, dedicated to his wife on their wedding day, hence the name Widmung, meaning dedication. This song speaks of all the aspects of love. It speaks of the good and the painful side of an all encompassing love.
This song is mostly made of root position and inverted I V and IV chords, giving it a very stable sound, strengthening the theme of love in the song.
The overall structure of this song is ABA.
A: AbM mm.1-13
B: EM mm.14-29
Return of A: AbM mm.30-44

The roman numeral analysis for mm. 8-9 is
m.8 IV6 v
m.9 IV

The purpose of the Gb5 in these two measures could have to do with text painting. The translation for the text in measures 8 and 9 is “ in which I float”. Therefore, the flatted G that is outside the normal tonal structure of the key (Ab), could suggest an “other worldliness”.
I have had the privilege of performing this song before. And when I learned this song, I made sure that over the fast-paced and smooth accompaniment, I didn’t make the melody too choppy sounding. It is hard in this song, especially with the German language, to keep a smooth line that continues even through glottals and rests. It is also hard to stay calm vocally when singing this song. With such a swooping and seemingly fast-paced piano accompaniment, by the return of A, I always had to remind myself not to speed towards the end.

Sic hoc adfixum in obice legere potes, et liberaliter educatus et nimis propinquus ades


mea. 1 – i

mea. 2 – iv6

mea. 3 – i

mea. 4 – V6

mea. 5 – VII

mea. 6 – IV6

mea. 7 – Gr+6

mea. 8 – V7 i6

mea. 9 – V64-53

mea. 10 – i

mea. 11 – vii*7/V

mea. 12 – v

mea. 13 – v7

mea. 14 – II

mea. 15 – vii*/II

mea. 16 – II7

mea. 17 – vii*6

mea. 18 – v7

mea. 19 – i

mea. 20 – vii*7/V

mea. 21 – i V

mea. 22 –

mea. 23 – I

mea. 24 – IV

mea. 25 – VII7

mea. 26 – V7/VI

mea. 27 – VI

mea. 28 – Gr+6

mea. 29 – V

mea. 30-39 – literal repeat of mea. 1-10

The harmonies of the chromatic descending bass line are relatively tame; only a IV6 in mea. 6 and the German augmented 6th chord in mea. 7 pop out as examples of mode mixture; otherwise, the chords develop as one would expect for a classical composer (even the famous cadential 6/4). The B section of this movement has a pedal point in the cello, which provides a dramatic backdrop for the rather odd chords that progress on top of it. It’s a developmental section that flirts with major keys and provides an obvious shift in harmony versus the first section. I say “dramatic” because the kinds of chords created are II and v, both of which, in theory terms, are like saying ‘666’ to religious fanatics. (that’s an overstatement, but you get the idea). Nevertheless, Mozart comes out of this section, reaffirms his domination of minor keys and then gives a repeat of section A. I like that kind of analysis where there’s not a repeat, but writing out the original melody. In theory, it looks like there’s been more work done than I’ve actually accomplished. Anyways…

Key points: be aware of your role within the chord. Because strings are not equally tempered, those darned inner voices can make the difference between the light and proverbial sludge. Leading tones are huge and help set up important chord shifts when Mozart writes for non-diatonic chords (aka mode mixture). As always, play what is written but be creative and constantly have opinions about performance and interpretation – make your recording stand out from the rest!

さいごのブログ<-last blog

Blog #14

II. Extended analysis
A. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, String Quartet in D minor, K. 421, third movement (p. 157) CD 2.74

Roman Numerals
Key: Dm
M1: i
M2: iv43
M3: i
M4: V6
M5: vii
M6: IV6
M7: Gr6
M8: i64
M9: V64-53
M10: i

In measure 14-19 the cello holds out the same note, so it’s a pedal point. The chords above are changing but the pedal point doesn’t take part in the harmonic framework. A dominant chord is prolonged.

M22: V7
M23: V7/iv
M24: iv
M25: vii7
M26: III
M27: vi
M28: Gr6
M29: V

The motive is passed around from the first violin, second violin and the viola and cello play some harmonic stuff that isn’t fun to play. In m22-29 the second violin comes in first and then the first responds rather in m1-10 the first violin plays first and the second and viola interact after the first violin states something. The tendency is to just go down the scale with the motive. Measures 30-39 is exactly the same as the opening in measures 1-10. With the DC it gives a strong ending with an authentic cadence.

I played this before, it was pretty fun, and like the seconds and violas get to come out a more than usual and interact with the first compared to some other quartets where the first violin hogs the spotlight.

mozart string quartet in D minor

Let me start by pointing out that this quartet is obviously inferior to Haydn's op. 17 no. 3 quartet in E flat major. Ok, now that that is taken care of.
The first ten measures, in D minor, have these roman numerals
i IV64 ii042 i i V6 vii
IV6 Ger6 V V42 i ii V7 i
The device used in the cello part is a pedal tone. It is being used to prolong the harmony of V7/V. That's handy because the pedal tone is the root of that chord. Measures 22-29 are where Wolfgang falls for secondary dominants. It goes:
V7 V7/IV V7/vii V7/III V7/VI VI Ger6 V
This is a falling fifths sequence for a while. Wolfgang probably would not have gotten a good grade had he been in Spiegey's theory class, he hardly resolved anything correctly. In the first violin part the chordal seventh resolves up a seventh, then that leading tone resolves in the viola part, then the chordal seventh is resolved down a half step (yay) and everything is back to normal. In the second violin part the leading tone is resolved by the violist (cuz they know how to do it right), then the chordal seventh is right, but then the leading tone is resolved by the violist again (we have to do all the work). The violinists are playing in canon, started in the second violin part, with the second part a fourth up. It worked out into nice chromatic lines for both of them. How handy. Measures 30-39 are the same as the beginning, everything is the same as the beginning. He prolly just couldn't think of anything new. Or maybe he had somehwere to be.... we will never know. The end.

Widmung by Schumann

Widmung is probably the most performed worked of Schumann's song repetoire. The song is ABA, or ternary. The word Widmung means dedication and the poem as follows is a deication of love. The modulation at measures 13-14 suggests the contrast in the text. The first stanza talks about the painful side of love, but at the key change the text discusses the peacefulness of love. The key change is by a chromatic mediant. The Gb text paints the word "float".
In the first phrase, the performer would want to make sure that they would not climax on on the word "Seele" as one would need to make sure there will still be energy for the word "Herz". On Schmerz, a softer dynamic would need to be used as well as floating the word "schwebe". In the B section, a feeling of rubato and ever changing dynamics would serve very well in this piece. On the word "himmel" (heaven) would need to be mf or less, because this is not a Handel Heaven but a reflective feeling. This piece is one of the most teasured and enjoyable pieces in all of lieder.


Beethoven's piano sonata in C Major Op. 53
The roman numerals for measures 79-83 in E minor are:
iv V/iv iv ii065 i64 V i II i64 V7
For measures 84-87 (first ending) in C major
I ii6 I64 vii06 I I II
and for measures 86-90 (seond ending) in d minor
v iv III64 vii7 i VI III vii7 i
He used a melodic sequence in measures 80-81, c a f#, b g e, a f# d#, e.
Here he was just arpeggiating chords of e minor, which helps establish that key. He elaborated on this melodic idea in the following measures, adding a scalar figure with the same rhythm. The first of these ends on a nice e again, but in preparing for the modulation Beethoven changes the second so that it is spelling out C major chords and it ends predictably in C major. For the two measures of the first ending Beethoven emphasizes the key change by playing repeated C major chords, but surprisingly in the last beat plays a D major chord. This matches exactly the two measure introduction to the piece.
The second ending begins with a C major chord again, but this time only for a beat so that the transition to d minor can be established. One way that he shows this new key is in the bass line, which has a rising and slowing progression to the D in measure 88. He also uses that same arpeggiating sequence in the melody, this time using D minor chords, to establish the key. Finally in measures 90 and 91 the D minor chord is played as the C major chord was at the very beginning and the first ending, firmly landing the listener in the neopolitan key.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

A String of Pearls

11 - Iadd6
12 - Iadd6 bVII7 V7/IV
13 - IV IVmaj7 IV7

This excerpt is pretty tricky because of the chromaticisms especially in measure 12. Looking at the D7-Db7 is particularly interesting because, though the parallel fifths are diminished, it is kind of an awkward chord progression. The Eb7 chord in a tonic of Eb is also a bit jarring, though looking at the Ab chord (IV) in the next measure, it becomes clear that this Eb7 chord is functioning as a secondary domninant (V7/IV).

Thursday, May 01, 2008

pirate skulls and bones

sticks and stones and beethovens...

roman numeral analysis, fun!

m.79 iv64, IIIhalfdim
m.80 iv, iidim6
m.81 i6, V7
m.82 i, iv
m.83 III6, ii

m.84 I, iv
m.85 iii6, ii
m.86 I
m.87 I

m.86 V, I6,IV
m.87 iii64, ii
m.88 vi, I6 , IV
m.89 iii6, ii
m.90 I

There is a two measure harmonic pattern that is in each key. It's in measures 82-83, 84-85, and 88-89. The two beat sequential pattern is repeated many times throughout measures 80-89. the first two measures of the sequence goes down by a half step then after that it looks as if the sequence goes down by way of falling thirds.

The two sequences are layered on top of each other in this excerpt. You could say that the shorter melodic sequence acts as a way to connect the longer harmonic sequence. the melodic sequences also provides a link between keys by introducing or reintroducing notes of the upcoming key within the sequence.
Analysis for Jerry Gray and Eddie de Lange, "A String of Pearls"

m. 11: i(6/5)
M.12:i (6/5) II7 flat ii7
M. 13: vi

harmonically this excerpt is not exactly simple but functionally it is very important. It leads us back from a previous section to the close of the piece. Most of these chords shares a common tone between them, or move apart in no bigger motion than a second allowing for the composers so bend the rules of resolution.

The piece ends with motion from an E chord to a B to a C. the interesting thing about these final two chords is that every note of the B chords resolves up to the C and all no more than a second creating a very interesting, almost incomplete sound.

Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Sonata in C major, Op. 53 “Waldstein”, first movement: Allegro con brio

Roman Numeral Analysis: m. 78-90

m. 78-83: [III] [E major]: I, V7/iv, iv64, V7/iv, iv, ii6 diminished, V864-753, i, i6, iv, V864-753

m. 84-87: [III]: I: I, I6, IV, V864-753, [1st ending: I]: I, [second ending: IV]: I6, IV, V864-753

m. 88-90: [IV]: vi, I6, IV, V864-753, I

The first movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Sonata in C major, Op. 53 “Waldstein” exhibits sequencing of melody and harmony in m. 82-90. The harmony follows a falling thirds pattern, going from E minor (m. 82) to C major (m. 84), skipping A minor, then finally arriving at D major (m. 90). The same quarter note-eighth note-eighth note etc. melody with the first run of it starting from the third beat of m. 80 going to m. 83, is used and transposed to fit diatonically within all of the harmonic changes all the way up to m. 90. The melody is played a total of three times.

In context of the piece, the melodic and harmonic sequence functions to seamlessly transition the piece from E major to F major to start the development. In doing so, Beethoven still manages to maintain much melodic and musical interest in this excerpt. The change from C major to F major the second time the section is repeated is unexpected and interesting. Therefore, the performer should make much musically speaking out of the shift from C major to F major (m. 86-90). Beethoven writes in crescendos that go into softer markings piano (m. 86-87) and pianissimo (m. 88-89). These dynamics add to making the moment musically interesting, so they should be observed, almost exaggerated in the crescendo markings to the piano or pianissimo markings.

First Theory blog....will this night ever end?

Well at least this blog is a short one.
m. 11 : I ( +6 )
m. 12: vi 65
ii ( + b6)
m. 13: IV
IV º65 (?)

Measure 12 which is the transition between the two measures of text we were asked to analyze. The interesting thing about this measure is all the chromaticism that is used, including a major II, shortly followed by a minor ii. We would expect that because a ii usually serves as a predominant that the following chord would be a V chord, but it is not, instead we have a tonic chord.

The final two chords to me seem rather out of place, having a B major chord in E flat major, now that's just weird. and then we have the slide up the C major chord. Guess that's just how they did it back then. The fact that the E flat is held above the B major chord makes it an even more interesting ending.

Shortest Blog Ever

Sorry Spiegs, but the paper is taking precedence over this it's gonna be really quick!

"A String of Pearls"
by Jerry Gray and Eddie de Lange

m11 - i65
m12 - i65 - II7 - V7/IV
m13 - IV

This is a transitional measure which allows the composer leeway, no idea how to spell that, with the chromaticism, which he uses a lot! measure twelve, especially is rather confusing with LOTS of accidentals! The composers used close movements between the notes to accentuate the closeness of the chromaticisms.
Ok, so here’s the thing…this is going to be a rather short blog…what can you do? I have a theory paper to write ,people!
Measures 79-90 of Piano Sonata in C major, Op. 53, by Beethoven are a whirlwind of 16th notes and chromaticisms.
Here is the roman numeral analysis for it:
E minor
79 iv64 III
80 iv iidim
81 i6 III
82 i iv
83 III ii

84 I I6
85 iii6 ii
86 I
87 I

F major
86 V I6 IV
87 iii6 ii
88 vi I6 iv
89 iii6 ii
90 I