Monday, November 12, 2007

104. Music of the Great Tradition -- 6:The List continued

9. Tonal displacement -- pitches in a repeated motive or phrase can be displaced, most usually at the octave, but also at other intervals, such as the fourth and fifth.

10. Temporal displacement -- notes, motives or phrases can be displaced in time, to produce an echo or canonic effect.

11. Repetition -- motives and phrases are frequently repeated, either with or without . . .

12. Variation -- motives and phrases are frequently varied from one rhythmic cycle to the next.

13. Disjunction -- melodic lines tend to be disjunct, often with wide leaps of a seventh, octave or more, an effect usually associated with yodel.

14. "Unification of musical space" -- melodic lines and harmonies are tonally unified in that both employ essentially the same intervals. This is a rather distinctive aspect of Pygmy/Bushmen style, though not unheard of in certain other indigenous traditions. In most types of polyphony, tribal, ethnic, folk and classical alike, melodies tend to be stepwise, i.e., based on intervals of a second, while harmonies are most often in thirds, fourths and/or fifths. (Interestingly, "the unification of musical space" is a phrase coined by Arnold Schoenberg to describe the new approach he was taking when he introduced his "Method of Composing with Twelve Tones," where horizontal and vertical realizations of the tone row are regarded as structurally equivalent.)

15. Continuous Flow -- though the underlying cyclic structure is based on what could be called a melody or phrase, the polyphonic foreground lacks any clear melodic sense of direction, nor are phrases articulated by cadences, as in most other types of music, either tribal, folk or otherwise. Instead there is usually a continuous flow of unarticulated, interwoven motives, to produce the musical equivalent of a "run on sentence." This is another way of saying that, while this music is highly organized, it is without "syntax" in the usual sense of that term.

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