A Chord in Time: The Evolution of the Augmented Sixth from - download pdf or read online

By Mark Ellis

for hundreds of years, the augmented 6th sonority has involved composers and intrigued tune analysts. right here, Dr Mark Ellis offers a chain of musical examples illustrating the 'evolution' of the augmented 6th and the altering contexts within which it may be discovered. unusually, the sonority emerged from one of many final remnants of modal counterpoint to outlive into the tonal period: the Phrygian Cadence. within the Baroque interval, the 'terrible dissonance' used to be almost always linked to unfavourable textual imagery. Charpentier defined the augmented 6th as 'poignantly expressive'. J. S. Bach thought of an incidence of the chord in a single of his forebear's motets 'remarkably bold'. in the course of Bach's composing lifetime, the augmented 6th developed from a comparatively infrequent chromaticism to a virtually normal aspect in the tonal spectrum; the chord displays specific chronological and stylistic strata in his track. Theorists started carefully to simply accept the chord, yet its inversional percentages proved fairly contentious, as commentaries by way of writers as diversified as Muffat, Marpurg and Rousseau show. throughout the eighteenth century, the augmented 6th turned more and more major in instrumental repertoires - it used to be might be Vivaldi who first liberated the chord from its unfavorable textual institutions. by means of the later eighteenth century, the chord started to functionality nearly as a 'signpost' to point vital structural obstacles inside sonata shape. The chord didn't, even if, solely lose its darker undertone: it indicates, for instance, the subject of revenge in Mozart's Don Giovanni. Romantic composers exposed far-reaching tonal ambiguities inherent within the augmented 6th. Chopin's Nocturnes usually appear beguilingly basic, however the floor tranquillity mask the composer's strikingly unique harmonic experiments. Wagner's much-analyzed 'Tristan Chord' resolves (according to a couple theorists) on an augmented 6th. In Tristan und Isolde, the chord's mercurial

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