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

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in which sonority is not as much of a factor. At times, the melody of each individual line
seems to be prominent, and my ear does not understand the resulting combination as a
chord so much as a coincidence of tones caused by the simultaneous sounding of multiple
melodies. It seems to me that the simultaneities occurring in passages such as the one
shown in Figure 10 are not representative of Whitacre’s harmonic vocabulary; thus, I
omitted such passages from my analysis. This is not to say, however, that Whitacre does
not conceive of each melodic line as a composing-out of a specific sonority: the bass line
in Figure 10, for instance, clearly projects a D-A dyad. However, this passage does not
project an emphasis on the color of each individual sound-moment as does the majority
of Whitacre’s output.
Figure 10: When David Heard, measures 40-43.