Audacious Euphony: Chromatic Harmony and the Triad's Second Nature

ISBN : 9780199772698

Richard Cohn
256 ページ
161 x 237 mm
Oxford Studies in Music Theory

Music theorists have long believed that 19th-century triadic progressions idiomatically extend the diatonic syntax of 18th-century classical tonality, and have accordingly unified the two repertories under a single mode of representation. Post-structuralist musicologists have challenged this belief, advancing the view that many romantic triadic progressions exceed the reach of classical syntax and are mobilized as the result of a transgressive, anti-syntactic impulse. In Audacious Euphony, Richard Cohn takes both of these views to task, arguing that romantic harmony operates under syntactic principles distinct from those that underlie classical tonality, but no less susceptible to systematic definition. Charting this alternative triadic syntax, Cohn reconceives what consonant triads are, and how they relate to one another. In doing so, he shows that major and minor triads have two distinct natures: one based on their acoustic properties, and the other on their ability to voice-lead smoothly to each other in the chromatic universe. Whereas their acoustic nature underlies the diatonic tonality of the classical tradition, their voice-leading properties are optimized by the pan-triadic progressions characteristic of the 19th century. Audacious Euphony develops a set of inter-related maps that organize intuitions about triadic proximity as seen through the lens of voice-leading proximity, using various geometries related to the 19th-century Tonnetz. This model leads to cogent analyses both of particular compositions and of historical trends across the long nineteenth century. Essential reading for music theorists, Audacious Euphony is also a valuable resource for music historians, performers and composers.


Table of Contents
1. Mapping the Triadic Universe
Three Methods for Calculating Triadic Distance
Triads in Chromatic Space
Remarks on Syntax and Maps
2. Hexatonic Cycles: A First Preliminary Model of Triadic Space
A Minimal-Work Model of the Triadic Universe
The Hexatonic Trance
Contrary Motion and Balance
Hexatonic Progressions, Tonnetz Representations, and Voice-Leading
Near Evenness, Minimal Voice Leading, and the Central
Role of the Augmented Triad
Remarks on Dualism
Triadic Structure Generates Pan-Triadic Syntax
Triads are Homophonous Diamorphs
3. Reciprocity
The Historical Emergence of Augmented Triads
Consonance/Dissonance Reciprocity
Two Early-Century Examples: Beethoven and Schubert
Three Late-Century Examples: Liszt, Rimsky-Korsakov, Faure
Reciprocity in Weitzmann's Der Ubermassige Dreiklang
4. Weitzmann Regions: A Second Preliminary Model of Triadic Space
The Structure of a Weitzmann Region
Weitzmann Transformations and N/R Cycles
Remarks on the Tonnetz
Historical Origins of Weitzmann Regions
The Double-Agent Complex
Expanded N/R Chains
Weitzmann Regions without Sequences: Wagner and Strauss
5. A Unified Model of Pan-Triadic Space
How Hexatonic and Weitzmann Regions Interact
Chromatic Sequences
Transformational Substitutions
Voice Leading Zones
Remarks on Disjunction and Entropy
6. Navigating the Triadic Universe: Three Scripts
Neighborhoods and Pitch-Retention Loops
Departure P Return Scripts
Continuous Upshifts
7. Integrating Dissonant Harmonies into the Model
Four Eighteenth-century Approaches to Dissonance
Reduction to a Triadic Subset
Hexatonic Poles in Parsifal
The Tristan Genus as Nearly-Even Tetrachord
Circumnavigating the Tristan-Genus Universe
Scriabin's Mystic Species and Generalized Weitzmann Regions
8. Syntactic Interaction and the Convertible Tonnetz
Some Previous Proposals
The Diatonic Tonnetz
Horizontal Extensions
Vertical Extensions
The Convertible Tonnetz
Two Analytical Vignettes: Wagner and Brahms
9. Double Syntax and the Soft Revolution
A Summary Example from Schubert
Double Syntax and its Skeptics
Code Switching and Double Determination
Cognitive Opacity
The Soft Revolution
On Musical Overdetermination


Richard Cohn is Battell Professor of Music Theory at Yale University. His work on chromatic harmony has been the topic of a series of summer seminars convened by the late John Clough, and has been developed in about a dozen doctoral dissertations, at Chicago, Indiana, Yale, Harvard, and SUNY-Buffalo. His articles have twice earned the Society for Music Theory's Outstanding Publication Award. Cohn edits the Oxford Studies in Music Theory series. In preparation is a general model of meter with applications for European, African, and African-diasporic music, and a co-edited collection on David Lewin's phenomenological writings.