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

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A Boy and a Girl
Figure 32: A Boy and a Girl, measures 45-52
A Boy and a Girl is a modified strophic piece containing three verses. This final
phrase begins after the third verse and is an exact quotation of sections of the first verse.
The final phrase (Figure 32) combines the first three measures with the last four measures
of the first verse, stating the verse in miniature, as it were. In their initial context, these
measures were heard in C major, and there is no new material here to dissuade listeners
from hearing that tonality. It is only after the final chord, a G(2) sonority, fails to move
on that listeners are aware that the piece is over. This G major chord, situated within a C
major context, thus has the effect of a half cadence, though this effect is dulled by the
slow tempo and the added tone. Whitacre tends to add 5 to dominant chords and 2 to
tonic chords; the addition of the 2 here in the G chord works as a calming agent. As the
sonority stretches out in time, listeners cease feeling the need of the soprano B to resolve
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