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An Investigation into Intrinsic and Extrinsic Function in Vagrant Harmonies

An Investigation into Intrinsic and Extrinsic Function in Vagrant Harmonies In this article I argue that vagrant harmonies have the ability to imply contexts outside of their current tonal region, which is supplied by their immediate musical surroundings. Viewing vagrants in this way enables their functionality to be compared to that of the magnetosome in saltwater bacteria. To explore harmonic function in relation to biological function, I use Larry Wright's (1973) definition of function and apply it to musical phenomena. This leads to a twofold view of harmonic function in vagrants, where it is both intrinsic and extrinsic. These concepts are then used in extracts of tonal pieces. Finally, I examine the second of Alban Berg's Four Songs, Op. 2, to show how harmonic progressions, when used in this way, can provide an exit from tonality while retaining function. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Music Analysis Wiley

An Investigation into Intrinsic and Extrinsic Function in Vagrant Harmonies

Music Analysis , Volume 41 (2) – Jul 1, 2022

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Music Analysis © 2022 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
ISSN
0262-5245
eISSN
1468-2249
DOI
10.1111/musa.12189
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In this article I argue that vagrant harmonies have the ability to imply contexts outside of their current tonal region, which is supplied by their immediate musical surroundings. Viewing vagrants in this way enables their functionality to be compared to that of the magnetosome in saltwater bacteria. To explore harmonic function in relation to biological function, I use Larry Wright's (1973) definition of function and apply it to musical phenomena. This leads to a twofold view of harmonic function in vagrants, where it is both intrinsic and extrinsic. These concepts are then used in extracts of tonal pieces. Finally, I examine the second of Alban Berg's Four Songs, Op. 2, to show how harmonic progressions, when used in this way, can provide an exit from tonality while retaining function.

Journal

Music AnalysisWiley

Published: Jul 1, 2022

References