Thursday 12 June 2008

Simple melody and variety management

This is a simple melody made up out of small cells which replicate themselves and are not entirely restricted to the tonal context - very much like Britten. I think I can explain the effect this has in terms of a melodic cell being a pattern, or perhaps a disposition - the ear 'knows' what to do with it - the pattern attenuates variety. So what then of tonality? This too is dispositional - the ear knows what to do with a tonal context - and with simple tonal harmony, there is a lot of attenuation of variety (dissonant harmony or chromatic harmony has greater variety). The music is in the conflict between these dispositions - different descriptions of variety.
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