Download Added-Tone Sonorities in the Choral Music of Eric Whitacre

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motion through a passing C(5,9) chord to a Bb(2) chord, a move that mimics the motion
to the F chord in the recitative section.
Though Whitacre regularly uses added-tone sonorities within his opening phrases,
he seems to prefer to begin the piece on a pure triad, be it tonic or dominant, root
position, or second inversion. He establishes the tonic through a variety of methods,
including traditional I-V motion as in Leonardo Dreams of his Flying Machine, I-V
motion with an altered dominant as in Sleep, and I-V motion with a tonic pedal as in Lux
Aurumque and Nox Aurumque. Other techniques include a I-IV-I progression as in
i thank you God for most this amazing day, an extended tonic prolongation as in Water
Night, or the assertion of tonic through the use of a full-collection sonority as in When
David Heard and Cloudburst. Even when Whitacre does not use a full-collection
sonority, he tends to introduce the main diatonic collection of the work within the
opening phrase.