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Chromatically Altered Diminished‐Seventh Chords: Reframing Function through Dissonance Resolution in Late Nineteenth‐Century Tonality

Chromatically Altered Diminished‐Seventh Chords: Reframing Function through Dissonance Resolution... In this article I develop of a model for understanding chromatic harmonies beyond mixture and tonicisation as extensions of common‐practice procedures by emphasising the symbiosis between the vertical presence of fundamental dissonances (the tritone and diminished seventh) and their linear behaviour in resolving to consonances under dominant conditions. I describe how sonorities such as the major‐minor and half‐diminished seventh both carry historically engrained default tonal expectations but also contain latent fundamental dissonances in the form of the major sixth/minor third and tritone intervals, which permits extended enharmonic reinterpretation as chromatic variants of viio7$^{{\sf o}7}$ chords. Because these alterations of viio7$^{{\sf o}7}$ sound like traditional tonal sonorities, I speculate that Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss manipulate conventional common‐practice chords to behave anachronistically with respect to the expectations associated with their sonority, exploiting a subtle tension between those phenomenological expectations and the resolutions that coalesce. By emphasising the mechanics of functional dissonance resolution as a parameter that anchors these chromatic progressions in common‐practice tonal idioms, this approach suggests that these progressions, previously considered tonally disjunct, can also be described in functional terms through appeals to their voice‐leading behaviour, which in turn allows greater nuance in assessing the historiography of tonality in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, especially as it pertains to the notion of modernism. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Music Analysis Wiley

Chromatically Altered Diminished‐Seventh Chords: Reframing Function through Dissonance Resolution in Late Nineteenth‐Century Tonality

Music Analysis , Volume 41 (1) – Mar 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.12185
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In this article I develop of a model for understanding chromatic harmonies beyond mixture and tonicisation as extensions of common‐practice procedures by emphasising the symbiosis between the vertical presence of fundamental dissonances (the tritone and diminished seventh) and their linear behaviour in resolving to consonances under dominant conditions. I describe how sonorities such as the major‐minor and half‐diminished seventh both carry historically engrained default tonal expectations but also contain latent fundamental dissonances in the form of the major sixth/minor third and tritone intervals, which permits extended enharmonic reinterpretation as chromatic variants of viio7$^{{\sf o}7}$ chords. Because these alterations of viio7$^{{\sf o}7}$ sound like traditional tonal sonorities, I speculate that Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss manipulate conventional common‐practice chords to behave anachronistically with respect to the expectations associated with their sonority, exploiting a subtle tension between those phenomenological expectations and the resolutions that coalesce. By emphasising the mechanics of functional dissonance resolution as a parameter that anchors these chromatic progressions in common‐practice tonal idioms, this approach suggests that these progressions, previously considered tonally disjunct, can also be described in functional terms through appeals to their voice‐leading behaviour, which in turn allows greater nuance in assessing the historiography of tonality in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, especially as it pertains to the notion of modernism.

Journal

Music AnalysisWiley

Published: Mar 1, 2022

References