Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/692

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680

��PEDAL POINT.

���In the fourth bar of this quotation we seem to have got into a Dominant seventh of Ci|, but this is not really the case, the C\\ being, as be- fore, an appoggiatura over Bb, the Dominant minor ninth of A, and the real third (Cjt) being ingeniously omitted in order to carry out the delusion. Not till the very last group of semi- quavers are we undeceived.

A Pedal may occur in either an upper, middle, or lower part, but it is easy to understand from its nature that it is most effective as a bass, the clumsy name of ' inverted Pedal ' applied to it in any but this position, seeming to stamp it as un- natural. The Trio of the Scherzo in Beethoven's 9th Symphony offers a good example of a Pedal taken in all positions.

Being apparently alien to the harmony, it is always desirable that the Pedal should lie far removed from the other parts, which is impossible when it occurs in a middle part. Even in orchestral compositions, where the Trumpets and Horns are frequently, from their nature, employed on a middle Pedal, much harshness results, although the pedal stands out in relief through contrast of timbre. Thus the following passage in Grieg's Pianoforte Concerto sounds very strange, though really it is quite simple :

��Ex. 10.

���In the duet in the first Act of Bizet's 'Carmen,' however, a concealed tonic Pedal in a middle

��PEDAL POINT.

part is productive of novel and charming har- monious effect :

��Ex.11.

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�� ��Here, on dissecting the arpeggios of the accom- paniment, the Bb is seen to be a Pedal, though not sustained.

This brings us to ' figured ' or ' florid ' Pedal. The Pedal note need not be merely sustained or reiterated, but may bear any ornamental figure, varying from a simple alternation with the note next above or below (as in countless ' spinning- wheel ' pieces), to a scale passage or figure of any extent, provided this do not suggest harmony of itself. Thus in Beethoven we find

��Ex. 12.

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and many similar passages (Finale of Symphony in A, etc.) of striking effect : whereas the fol- lowing, from Wagner, is harsh, from the clashing of Tonic and Dominant harmonies :

��- *

���When both Tonic and Dominant are simul- taneously sustained we have a Double Pedal, an effect much used in modern music to convey ideas of a quaint or pastoral character, from its suggest- ing the drone of a bagpipe. This is a very ordinary form of accompaniment to the popular songs and dances of almost all countries, and is so constantly to be found in the works of Gounod, Chopin, and Grieg as to form a mannerism. Beethoven has produced a never-to-be-forgotten effect just be- fore the Finale of the C minor Symphony by the simple yet unique device of placing, in his long double Pedal, the Dominant under the Tonic instead of above, as is usual. This passage stands absolutely alone as a specimen of Pedal.

Several modern composers have attempted a Triple Pedal that is, the sustaining of the Tonic, the Dominant, and its Dominant (major ninth of Tonic). Especially noteworthy in this respect is the passage of 30 bars opening the Finale of Lalo's Spanish Symphony. All such attempts are futile, however, as the three notes form a harmony of themselves and preclude the possi- bility of being treated as a Pedal. The fact is to be strongly insisted on that only the Tonic

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