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

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added (2,9) is more dissonant than the added 9 alone, and contains a halfdiminished seventh chord.
Added 2,t – This combination maintains much of the character of the added t chord, but
the added 2 lessens the tendency of the added t to resolve downward. By filling
the space between the root and third of the underlying triad, the added 2 lessens
the dissonance of the tritone inherent in the dominant seventh sonority.
Additionally, the 2 detracts from the resolution tendency of the t by forming a
complete minor triad with 7 as root. Because the t is now acting as the third of its
own triad, it is more stable.
Added 2,e – This combination of tones is quite stable, especially when added to a major
triad, where it creates a peaceful sound. The combination is more dissonant when
added to a minor triad, where the collection of pitch classes (e, 0, 2, 3) contains
more closely-spaced semitones than is found in diatonic music.
Added 5,6 – The appearance of this sonority here is clear evidence that Whitacre regards
the diminished triad as a fundamental triad. Even in the context of my theory,
which does not accord the diminished triad the status of the major and minor
triads, there occur a reasonable number (25) of these sonorities, always in the
chord type 0356. Interestingly, the “pure” diminished triad occurs only four times
in Whitacre’s analyzed output.138 This particular chord, then, can be seen as a
138
My rules of interpretation categorize the pure diminished triad as a minor triad with added 6 and no
fifth.
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