Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/692

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680
HARMONY.
 

on the minds of musicians by using it in immediate succession to a Dominant 7th, so that the two intervals succeed each other in the following manner:—

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \time 3/2 \key a \minor << \relative d'' << { d1^"*" c2^"*" ~ c b2. a4 a1. \bar "||" } \\ { gis2 e a ~ a a2. gis4 } >>
\new Staff { \clef bass \key a \minor \relative e { e1 d2 ~ d e e, a1. } }
\figures { < 7 >1 <7>2 } >> }

in the Sonata II of the Opera 2nda, published in Rome, 1685. These methods of using passing notes, anticipations, and like devices, are extremely important, as it is on the lines thereby indicated that progress in the harmonic department of music is made. Many of the most prolific sources of variety of these kinds had descended from the contrapuntal school, and of these their immediate successors took chief advantage; at first with moderation, but with ever gradually increasing complexity as more insight was gained into the opportunities they offered. Some devices do not appear till somewhat later in the century, and of this kind were the condensation of the resolution of suspensions, which became very fruitful in variety as music progressed. The old-fashioned suspensions were merely temporary retardations in the progression of the parts which, taken together in their simplicity, constituted a series of concords. Thus the succession—

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \time 4/2 \relative f'' << { f2 ~ f4 e ~ e d ~ d c } \\ { a2 g f e } >> }

is evidently only a sophisticated version of the succession of sixths—

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \time 4/2 \relative f'' { <f a,>2 <e g,> <d f,> <c e,> } }

and the principle which is applied is analogous to the other devices for sophisticating the simplicity of concords which have been analysed above; and the whole shewing how device is built upon device in the progress of the art. Sometime in the 17th century a composer, whose name is probably lost to posterity, hit upon the happy idea of making the concordant notes move without waiting for the resolution of the discordant note, so that the process—

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \clef bass \partial 8 \relative c' << { c8 ~ c[ b] b } \\ { ees, d[ d] g } >> }

in which there are three steps, is condensed into the following (from Alessandro Scarlatti)—

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \clef bass \key aes \major \partial 8 \relative c' << { c8 ~ c b } \\ { ees, d g } >> }

in which there are only two to gain the same end. This device is very common at the end of the 17th century, as in Corelli, and it immediately bore fresh fruit, as the possibility of new successions of suspensions interlaced with one another became apparent, such as—

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \partial 8 << \relative f'' << { f8 ~ f[ e] ~ e[ d] ~ d[ c] ~ c[ b] } \\ { c8 b4 a g f } >>
\new Staff { \clef bass \relative a { a8 g[ c] f,[ b] e,[ a] d,[ g] } } >> } etc.

in which each shift of a note which would be considered as part of the implied concord creates a fresh suspension. And by this process a new and important element of effect was obtained, for the ultimate resolution of discord into concord could be constantly postponed although the harmonies changed; whereas under the old system each discord must be resolved into the particular concord to which it belonged, and therefore the periods of suspense caused by the discords were necessarily of short duration. In dealing with discords attempts were occasionally made to vary the recognized modes of their resolutions; for instance, there are early examples of attempts to make the minor seventh resolve upwards satisfactorily, and both Carissimi and Purcell endeavoured to make a seventh go practically without any resolution at all, in this form—

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \time 3/2 \key bes \major \partial 2 << \relative d'' { d2 d4 g, a2 g a1 }
\new Staff { \clef bass \key bes \major f2 e1 ees2 d1 }
\figures { < _ >2 < 7 >1 } >> }

from Purcell's 'Dido and Æneas'—where the resolution is only supplied by the second violins—

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \time 3/4 \key aes \major \partial 4 << \relative c'' { c4 c f, f c' }
\new Staff { \clef bass \key aes \major c'4 des'2 des'4 c' } >> }

and from Carissimi—in which it is not supplied at all, if Burney's transcription (iv. 147) is correct. Another experiment which illustrates a principle, and therefore demands notice, is the following from Purcell's service in B♭, in which the analogue of a pedal in an upper part is used to obtain a new harmonic effect:—

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \time 4/2 \key bes \major \clef tenor \relative f' { r2 << { f f f f f f f } \\ { <d bes> q <c a> <ees g,> <d f,> <c ees,> <bes d,> } >> } } etc.

About this time also a chord which is extremely characteristic of modern music makes its appearance, namely, the chord of the diminished seventh. This appears, for example, unprepared in Corelli's Sonata X of the 'Opera Terza,' published in 1689, as follows—

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \time 3/2 \key a \minor << \relative d'' << { d1 c2 ~ c b1 a1. \bar "||" } \\ { gis1 a2 ~ a a2. gis4 } >>
\new Staff { \clef bass \relative e { e1 dis2 ~ dis e1 a,1. } } >> }