Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/689

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HARMONY.
677
 

after the usual fashion. Other methods of joining the Subdominant chord to the Dominant chord are plentifully scattered in musical works, as for instance the use of a suspended fourth in the place of the 6–4; but as a type the above answers very well, and it must not be taken as more than a type, since a bare theoretical fact in such a form is not music, but only lifeless theory. As an example of the theory vitalised in a modern form may be given the conclusion of Schumann's Toccata in C for pianoforte (op. 7), as follows:—

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \time 2/4 \partial 4 << \relative c' { <c f a c>4 <c f aes c> <d f aes b d> <e g c e>2 \bar "||" }
\new Staff { \clef bass \relative a { <a c, f,>4 <aes c, f,> <aes b, f> <g c, g c,>2 } } >> }

In this the weak progression of the 6–4 is happily obviated by connecting the Subdominant and Dominant chords by the minor third of the former becoming the minor ninth of the latter; and at the same time the novelty of using this inversion of the Dominant minor ninth as the penultimate chord, and its having also a slight flavour of the old plagal Cadence, gives an additional vitality and interest to the whole. Composers of the early harmonic period also saw the necessity of putting recognised facts in some form which presented novelty and individuality, and their efforts in that direction will be shortly taken notice of. Meanwhile, it must be observed that the discovery of the harmonic Cadence as a means of taking breath or expressing a conclusion of a phrase and binding it into a definite thought, affected music for a time unfavourably in respect of its continuity and breadth. In Polyphonic times, if it was desirable to make a break in the progress of a movement, the composers had to devise their own means to that end, and consequently a great variety is observable in the devices used for that purpose, which being individual and various have most of the elements of vitality in them. But the harmonic Cadence became everybody's property; and whenever a composer's ideas failed him, or his imagination became feeble, he helped himself out by using the Cadence as a full stop and beginning again; a proceeding which conveys to the mind of a cultivated modern musician a feeling of weakness and inconsequence, which the softness and refinement of style and a certain sense of languor in the works of the early Italian masters rather tend to aggravate. Thus in the first part of Carissimi's Cantata 'Deh contentatevi,' which is only 74 bars in length, there are no less than 10 perfect Dominant Cadences with the chords in their first positions, besides interrupted Cadences and imperfect Cadences such as are sometimes called half-closes. This is no doubt rather an excessive instance, but it serves to illustrate the effect which the discovery of the Cadence had on music; and its effect on English ecclesiastical music of a slightly later period, as for instance in the works of Rogers, will be remembered by musicians acquainted with that branch of the art as a proof that the case is not over-stated. It was no doubt necessary for the development of Form in musical works that this phase should be gone through, and the part it played in that development is considered under that head, and therefore must not be further dwelt upon here. The use of imperfect and interrupted Cadences, as above alluded to, appears in works early in the 17th century, being used relatively to perfect Cadences as commas and semicolons are used in literature in relation to full stops. The form of the imperfect Cadence or half-close is generally a progression towards a pause on the Dominant of the key. The two following examples from Carissimi will illustrate his method of using them,—

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \time 3/4 << \relative c'' { \autoBeamOff c8[ d16 e] f8 f c8. d16 d4 } \new Staff { \clef bass aes2 a4 g } \figures { < _ >2 < 6 >4 } >> }

in which the key is C, and—

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \time 3/2 \key ees \major \partial 2 << \relative b' << { bes2 bes aes <g ees> <f d>1. } \\ { ees2 c1. } \\ { s2 f1 } >> \new Staff { \clef bass \key ees \major \relative g, { g2 aes1. bes } } >> }

in which the key is E♭. The form of the Interrupted Cadence which is usually quoted as typical is that where the progression which seems to tend through the Dominant chord to the concluding Tonic chord is made to diverge to some other position, such as a chord on the submediant of the key, as on A in the key of C. This form also appears in Carissimi, but not with any apparent definiteness of purpose. In fact, as a predetermined effect the Interrupted Cadence belongs to a more advanced condition of ideas in music than that illustrated by Carissimi and his followers and contemporaries, and only demands a passing notice here from the fact that it does occur, though rarely. Composers in those times were more in the habit of concluding with the Cadence, and repeating part of what they had said before over again with another Cadence; which answers the same requirements of form as most of the uses of Interrupted Cadences by Bach and Handel, but in a much less refined and artistically intelligent manner.

In order to see the bearings of many of the experiments which were made by the early representatives of harmonic music it will be necessary to return for a short space to their predecessors. The basis which the old contrapuntists had worked upon—which we express, for brevity's sake, in the language which is consistently only applicable to harmonic music, as concords and their first inversions and simple discords of suspension—had been varied and enriched by them by the use of passing notes. In the use of these a great deal of ingenuity was