Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/403
CONSERVATOIRE DE MUSIQUE.
and in 1847 an opera, 'Rubezahl,' both at Berlin. In 1849 he was chapel-master at Stettin, and conductor successively at the Königstadt Theatre in Berlin, at Dusseldorf, Cologne, and finally (1853) at the Kroll Theatre in Berlin. In 1855 his 'Musa der letzte Maurenfürst' was performed at Berlin. His other compositions include 5 symphonies, overtures, string quartets, dance-music for pianoforte and orchestra, and a quantity of Lieder. He died at Berlin, May 21, 1873 [App. p.597 "May 26"].
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CONSECUTIVE, the term applied to intervals which recur between the same parts or voices, but more especially to such as are forbidden to do so, as consecutive fifths, which everybody perceives to be ugly; or consecutive octaves, which are only perceived to be objectionable in a combination of distinct parts.
It is held that consecutive fifths are objectionable because the parts move simultaneously in two different keys; hence when the effect of two keys is avoided they are admissible; as when the lower part progresses from tonic to dominant (a) (between the tenor and bass); or from tonic to subdominant (b) (between treble and alto).
Consecutive octaves are held to be objectionable because in music in parts which are clearly defined the balance is suddenly disturbed. For if three voices are singing together, each with a well defined part assigned to it, and two of them suddenly, without any ostensible reason, sing the same notes in two or three successive chords, not only is the harmony weakened by the loss of a part, but the succession of notes which they sing together is brought into unseasonable prominence. When it is intended to bring a melody or a phrase into prominence it is common to double it in octaves; but when this is done in music in definite parts it must be continued long enough for the intention to be perceived.
Some theorists add consecutive sevenths to the category of forbidden progressions, but there are so many to be found in the works of the greatest masters, and when they are harsh they are so obviously so, that the rule seems both doubtful and unnecessary.
The forbidden consecutives are most objectionable in vocal music, or music for solo instruments in combination, such as quartets and quintets of strings, when each part stands out distinctly, and the relations of the parts are easily perceived. In pianoforte music and orchestral music the objectionable effect would be often lost in the mass of sound.
Instances of violations of the rule against consecutive fifths are to be found in the works of almost all the greatest composers. Sometimes it may have been an oversight, at others it may have been done on principle. Ries's well-known anecdote (Biog. Notizen, p. 87) referring to a passage in one of Beethoven's quartets, op. 18, may show either one or the other. Elsewhere Beethoven seems to have considered that it was better to violate such a rule or incur a considerable harshness than to change the order of a thoroughly established idea, because the alteration of the idea not only produces a sense of weakness, but is also much more disturbing aesthetically than the violation of a rule of harmony. Thus in the finale of his Sonata in A, op. 101, rather than alter his established idea (a), he allows the part below to make consecutive fifths with it ( * * ).
It was long considered, from the description of it which exists, that the supposed first form of harmony, which was called Diaphony, or Organum, consisted of continuous consecutive fifths, fourths, and octaves; but later investigations of the subject tend to show that the description has been misunderstood, and refers in reality to a repetition of phrases at the fifth above or the fourth below. [App. p.597 "The last sentence of the article is to be modified, since the 'later investigations' prove to be unreliable. There is ample evidence that the Organum was what it has been universally considered to be. [See Notation, ii. 469; Organum, etc.]"]
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