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from the comparison of which with the harmony in No. 290, all the points will become clear. At (a) the fourth was necessarily inserted in the ciphering, in order to show that the fourth was to be raised. The same case happened at (b). In like manner the fifths were required in the chords of the seventh at (c) and (d), and the seventh in the chord of the ninth at (e).
show that the triad of C, and the chord, and chord of the dominant of F, are to be played with C; the triad of F, &c. are to be played with it. But how are those chords to be distributed in the bar? In the first place, to the chief part and ex-chief part; that is, in measure, the 1st and 3rd crotchets; then, to every part of a bar, its harmony. The above phrase might be played thus :
If a bass note has more cipherings under it than parts of a bar, the members of the bar receive separate harmonies; and first, those of the secondary parts, and last those of the chief parts, in order that rapid a mutation of harmony. Hence, the following the predominance of the latter be not lessened by too ciphering
It is seen here that the ciphering expresses that which is most essential, namely, the chord itself, but does not direct its position. Sometimes its intended position is sought to be indicated by the arrangement of the ciphers. If, for example, the ciphers been thus placed under the first bass tone in No. 290, it might have been guessed (as in general,no ciphering is necessary for a triad) that the ciphers referred to the intended place of each tone of the chord. might be thus distributed— Sometimes for the same object a 10 is ciphered instead of a 3; although in general each cipher points out the interval only, and not the octave where it is to be placed.
For the sake of convenience, when a chord is to be sustained over a bass in motion, it is usual to draw horizontal lines in lieu of many ciphers. This ciphering, for example
So now retardations also are indicated by the ciphers of their intervals, and by those of their resolution. This ciphering, for example,
denotes the following phrase :
1 or much rather
It is manifest, that with the retardation so much ciphering of the chord is always added, that no misunderstanding with regard to the former can occur. Since a ninth appears over the last tone as a retardation, and was to be resolved into the tenth, it was natural to cipher the resolving tone with a 10, and not with a 3.
The harmonies are also indicated in like manner on a sustained bass, in an organ point, with all the ciphers belonging to the harmonies of that tone. So the harmonies, for instance, in No. 299, might be thus indicated:
The system of ciphering is certainly not calculated to replace the system of notation. Many essential particulars it cannot communicate at all, and others it indicates but very imperfectly; and further, the more we require of it, the more confused and illegible it becomes. But that is not its proper function-its object is to serve as a momentary record of the ideas of a composer, until he can find time and space to expand and determine his conceptions by notation. It is useful, also, as a facilitation to the inspection of score, until we have learned to read it with more completeness and certainty from the notes themselves; and helps us also to unravel those entangled phrases, for which the composers (of the elder school more particularly) did not think notation necessary. For these objects we trust the foregoing explanations will be considered sufficient, although they do not embrace all the forms which the ciphering system brought (many most unaptly) into existence.
In elder works, such, for instance, as the Recitatives of Seb. Bach, we find at times, basses even without ciphering (called unciphered basses), which nevertheless were to have a harmonic accompaniment. Here it was necessary to guess at the harmony from the course of the singing part, and what appeared to be needful or fitting, or from the usual progressions of composition. We do not think it necessary to enter into the particulars of this very problematical and little important art of conjecture.
OF ARTISTIC FORMS OF COMPOSITION. FIRST SECTION.-GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS ON ARTISTIC FORMS OF COMPOSITION.
We have become acquainted with the elementary forms in which music appears to us. If we collect together what we have hitherto learned, we shall find the following
1. All music may consist either of a simple succession of sounds, or of two or more such simultaneous successions. The first we call in one part, the second in many parts.
2. Every musical composition may be adapted to one or to several musical apparatus. In this respect we have learned to distinguish pure vocal music, accompanied vocal music, and instrumental music, and so forth.
3. Every musical thought may exhibit itself in three forms passage, phrase, and subject.
If we dwell on this list of distinctions, we shall observe that a subject, or even a phrase, has an independent coherence, that it can by itself alone express some determined idea; whereas a passage having no appreciable close, cannot be considered as a concluded totality, nor available as a work of art, since it enounces itself, its own incompleteness.
In like manner we can already anticipate that all works of art cannot by any means be constructed with the form of one single subject, or phrase, or passage; but that they all require the combination of several phrases, subjects, and passages. Everyone who has heard any considerable composition, must be aware of this.
This review enables us to form a conception of the particulars, wherein essentiality and difference in artistic forms consist, out of which forms all compositions are constructed. We may enumerate herein
1. The number and management of the parts. 2. The manner of representing and employing phrases and subjects.
3. The manner of combining phrases and subjects, so as to form an entire composition.
4. The musical apparatus for which a composition is destined.
5. The combinations which music may form with other arts, and its employment in the celebration of public worship.
A general knowledge, at least, of the forms of art, is desirable to every musical amateur. It is not merely because such knowledge is within the scope of what is considered essential to musical reputation, but on account of the positive advantage it affords. He who has been in the habit of discriminating the varied forms of a composition, will penetrate deeper into the objects of the composer in the structure of his work, and in every part of the work. He will comprehend more easily what the composer intended to express, and will be so far better able to express the same himself. Upon this ground, we offer our explanations of the artistic forms.
But on this matter, we can still less than in the preceding sections, avoid many omissions, and for the following reasons:
The artistic forms are not indeed so very numerous. But each of them, however essentially it may differ from all others, can assume so many kinds of deviating, though unessential configurations, that occasionally it requires a very experienced eye to detect the conformity in essentials, through the mazes of varied employment in different works. It is also allowed, as in the free exercise of any art, to invent new forms. But these can be scarcely anything else
than middle forms between one and another, mixtures of two different forms. Herein, therefore, lies the difficulty of giving this classification a determinate or established and permanent character.
The General Musical Instruction has not space, nor is it intended, for teaching all these varieties. They would require more examples and a deeper insight into melody, harmony, the conducting of parts, &c., than can be here given, and than the student at this grade could be expected to possess. We must therefore refer this matter to the Instructions for Composition, and content ourselves with a mere introduction into a subject, which on deeper penetration becomes highly interesting. The examples even will be but sparingly given, since it is impossible to impart them with completeness. He, however, who shall observe constantly the brief hints we have been able to give, will not require much time for the attainment of tolerable certainty in this province of composition.
or, we might add, the alto. Or, again, one part may appear after the other as principal part. For example, the phrase No. 327 might be played first as it is written, that is, with the upper part as principal part; then the bass or the tenor might repeat the principal melody, and the upper part take the accompaniment as it is begun in No. 328 and 329; or the parts might all be united in one phrase; thus, for instance
we see a homophonic phrase. The upper part has a melodic passage, which may of itself be satisfying. The four other successions of sounds are evidently intended merely to support the principal part with harmony and rhythm. Not one of these secondary successions of tones could exist alone as a melody, or could dispute with the upper part for pre-eminence.
Usually the upper part is made the principal part. It is also the most appropriate for that function, from its position, its easy mobility, and the more pene
If we compare, now, No. 330, and particularly Nos. 328 and 329, with No. 327, we see that the secondary parts also become more varied and interesting; that each of them (as in No. 329) goes its own way, or (as the upper part in No. 329) that it can make itself conspicuous. Nevertheless, there could be no doubt of which was the chief part in the foregoing cases. But it can be easily conjectured, that a second part may be so far elaborated, that it may seem questionable whether it be not a second principal part. This brings us back to our two intentions.
In the second place, then, a phrase or a whole composition may be so constructed, not that one part shall be principal and the other only secondary, but that all the parts shall have important melodic contents, and an equal share in the whole. This is
properly a many-parted composition. A phrase so formed, and the manner of writing it, are said to be POLYPHONIC.
Here is a small example of this description
This phrase is so constructed, that neither part can be considered as satisfactory without the other; and neither, also, can claim a superiority.* Each of the parts strives for perfection in reference to melody; each supports and completes the other, and is reciprocally served in like manner. Let him who is not satisfied with this little example look over any good fugues-for instance, Seb. Bach's-and compare their manner as to the under or accompanying parts in any dance or march; such a comparison will show the difference at once.
Otherwise, polyphonic and homophonic are not so absolutely distinct, that in certain cases it could not become doubtful whether a part were only an interesting accompaniment, or a part (at times, even a little more important) of a polyphonic phrase. The polyphonic parts are sometimes called real parts,† in contradistinction to mere accompaniment. No composition, indeed, is perhaps entirely throughout either homophonically or polyphonically composed. Most compositions consist, usually, of an alternation of polyphonic and homophonic passages, or some parts are real, and others accompaniment.
The composition or construction of polyphonic phrases, sometimes also the construction of manypart phrases, whether polyphonic or homophonic,is called
This is, therefore, a phrase constructed according to double counterpoint; and we perceive immediately the power of this form, which enables it, without any change in its arrangement, to produce by the mere inversion of the parts, a new configuration, which has its own peculiar significance.
How is this inversion effected? Either by placing the upper part lower, or the under part higher. This transposition may be made at the distances of eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, and fourteen degrees. There are, therefore, seven kinds of double counterpoint: That in the
OCTAVE, NINTH, TENTH, ELEVENTH, TWELFTH, THIRTEENTH, and FOURTEENTH,
of which the first is the most easy, and also the most serviceable. § The above phrase, No. 332, as may be observed, is in the octave.
THE THREE, FOUR, AND MANIFOLD COUNTERPOINT is concerned, as might be conjectured, with the construction of a three, four, and manifold part phrase, whose collective parts may be inverted. Here is an example of three-part counterpoint :
The three parts of the phrase (a) allow of six positions (five inversions), as is shown at (b) (c) (d) (e) (f). All the six may not perhaps be used; but the number of varieties possible is seen, and any or all may be employed or neglected at pleasure. Fourfold counterpoint would yield 24 variations, and Five-fold would admit of 120 different positions. By INVERTED,
or doubly inverted counterpoint, the parts are not only reversed towards each other, but are also conducted, step by step, in a contrary direction. Every step, every third, fourth, &c. which goes upwards, is moved an equal step downwards and reversed.
So much on these different productive kinds of writing, in order that their nature in general may be clearly understood. Further particulars, and more especially the examination of the question, which of them have practical value to the musician, must be left for the Instructions for Composition. Parts for simple accompaniment may be employed also in conjunction with parts capable of inversion. In speaking, therefore, of double, triple, or manifold counterpoint, we must reckon those parts only which can be inverted in respect of each other; not those which are added, but do not possess that faculty.
We may now calculate, in some degree, in how many ways a phrase may be exhibited. We can present it in a single part or in many. In the latter case it may be either homophonic or polyphonic. Again, if it be arranged polyphonically, it may be formed in single, double, and manifold counterpoint.
All artistic forms are constructed, then, either in the homophonic or polyphonic method of writing, or of homophonic and polyphonic phrases alternating and intermingled. We will avail ourselves of this distinction, and consider, first, the pure or preferably polyphonic forms, and then proceed to the homophonic. At a later period only, when we shall have unravelled the forms from their manner of writing, the application to the various musical apparatus will follow.
we see the psalm tune employed already in No. 332, with homophonic accompaniment; at (a) in close, at No one of the (6) in dispersed harmonic position. accompanying parts has any peculiar contents, nor lays claim to particular interest. This is clear at once, from no one of them having a rhythm of its own. They appear there simply on account of the principal part, to support it with harmony. If even they had here and there a little lively movement, such as this, for example,
it is visible, that the lower parts do indeed accompany the Cantus firmus, but that each of them differs materially from it, and strives to complete itself as an individual melody.
Such figurations assume the most variegated shapes. At one time the Cantus firmus is in the upper part; at another in the uuder; and then in the middle part-now alternating from the one to the other; and presently accompanied by one, two, three, or more of them, all together. Out of many figurated parts, at one time, each will go its own way-then they will try to make a little motive together; either after each other, or simultaneously, keeping close together (as above, in the motive marked a)—again, they will seek each other in larger phrases, as for instance, in this small example, in the little phrase marked b: