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PARSIMONY AND EXTRAVAGANCE

PARSIMONY AND EXTRAVAGANCE and common-tone retention to be strictly separate properties. I wish to ask what relations between triads are possible when we insist on two common tones, while allowing the moving voice to go where it can and, conversely, what relations between triads are possible when we insist that each voice move, but only by semitone. I shall call the first property parsimony and the second property extravagance. In the process, I wish to probe the interpretive and terminological habits of neo-Riemannian theory and the expression of these habits at the moment when a musical event or series of events encourages intuitions of coherence while at the same time this coherence resists ascription to the influence of a diatonic tonic. The neo-Riemannian response to this moment has been to set aside traditional tonal, acoustically based interpretive models for triadic music—those whose antecedents are fundamental-bass, scale-step, and function theories—and to invoke in their place variously generated algebraic transformational models of chord succession.1 Following the practices of transformational theory, these models are usually generalized to identify possible broader families of musical phenomena to which the transformations in the model might belong. The impression of unity in a generalized model for triad relations http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Music Theory Duke University Press

PARSIMONY AND EXTRAVAGANCE

Journal of Music Theory , Volume 49 (1) – Jan 1, 2005

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2005 by Yale University
ISSN
0022-2909
eISSN
1941-7497
DOI
10.1215/00222909-2007-003
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

and common-tone retention to be strictly separate properties. I wish to ask what relations between triads are possible when we insist on two common tones, while allowing the moving voice to go where it can and, conversely, what relations between triads are possible when we insist that each voice move, but only by semitone. I shall call the first property parsimony and the second property extravagance. In the process, I wish to probe the interpretive and terminological habits of neo-Riemannian theory and the expression of these habits at the moment when a musical event or series of events encourages intuitions of coherence while at the same time this coherence resists ascription to the influence of a diatonic tonic. The neo-Riemannian response to this moment has been to set aside traditional tonal, acoustically based interpretive models for triadic music—those whose antecedents are fundamental-bass, scale-step, and function theories—and to invoke in their place variously generated algebraic transformational models of chord succession.1 Following the practices of transformational theory, these models are usually generalized to identify possible broader families of musical phenomena to which the transformations in the model might belong. The impression of unity in a generalized model for triad relations

Journal

Journal of Music TheoryDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2005

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