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Audacious Euphony: Chromatic Harmony and the Triad's Second Nature, Richard Cohn, OxfordUniversity Press, 2012, 019977269X, 9780199772698, 237 pages. 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, author 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.. DOWNLOAD FULL VERSION HERE Natural Course in Music, Issue, Issue 5 , Frederic Herbert Ripley, 2010, , 230 pages. This is an EXACT reproduction of a book published before 1923. This IS NOT an OCR'd book with strange characters, introduced typographical errors, and jumbled words. This book .... Thinking about Harmony Historical Perspectives on Analysis, David Damschroder, Apr 17, 2008, Music, 331 pages. Traces how music analysis evolved from responses of musicians to music written in 1800-1850.. Chromatic Transformations in Nineteenth-Century Music , David Kopp, Dec 21, 2006, Music, 292 pages. Develops a model of chromatic chord relations in nineteenth-century music.. Advanced harmony theory and practice, Robert W. Ottman, 1972, , 267 pages. . A Treatise on Harmony , Jean Rameau, 1971, Music, 444 pages. One of most important books in the history of Western music and a profound advance in musical theory, this work was the first to codify the principles of tonality. Supplemental .... The Inner World of Traditional Theory , Michael G. Cunningham, 1989, Music, 70 pages. Intended for first and second year college music courses, graduate students needing a concentrated review, and Private Theory instruction, this is a Music Theory treatise in .... A student handbook on the basics of elementary harmony , Darrell R. Douglas, Jun 1, 1993, , 202 pages. This integrated set of music theory books is the only publication that combines sight and sound for the instruction of elementary harmony. The beginning student is taught to .... Theories and practice of harmonic convergence , Gene J. Cho, May 1, 1992, , 137 pages. . Harmony Its Theory and Practice, Ebenezer Prout, 1903, Harmony, 342 pages. . Modulation , Max Reger, 1904, Music, 62 pages. Written by a progressive early modernist, this concise guide for performers and composers offers valuable insights and instruction. Suitable for musicians at all levels. Newly .... Harmony And Composition Basics to Intermediate, Deborah Jamini, 2005, Music, 485 pages. Finally, an enjoyable music theory textbook and workbook that integrates playing, hearing, reading, and writing into a clear, step by step approach.. 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, author 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. "The culmination of twenty years of thinking about the tonally evasive music of the 19th century, this book is a stunning achievement. The writing is vivid and engaging, the musical close readings are rich and compelling in their detail, and at every turn there is something new to learn about music and musical materials we had thought we already knew well." --Joseph N. Straus, Distinguished Professor, CUNY Graduate Center; Former President, Society for Music Theory "For sheer virtuosity in theory making and theory-based analysis, Audacious Euphony deserves the highest praise. It lights up as never before the universe of triads domesticated in nineteenth-century chromatic music. Were Richard Cohn not already a household name among music theorists, this book would change that." --Kofi Agawu, Professor of Music, Princeton University; Author of Music as Discourse: Semiotic Adventures in Romantic Music "Audacious Euphony synthesizes and extends the influential neo-Riemannian approach to chromatic tonality that Richard Cohn's earlier theoretical work helped develop. Lucid and engagingly written, this book is indispensable reading for music theorists and indeed for anyone deeply interested in 19th-century chromatic harmony." --Fred Lerdahl, Fritz Reiner Professor of Music, Columbia University "Audacious Euphony, as the definitive account of one of the most important recent theoretic systems for nineteenth century music, is above all an argument for the essential independence of the logic of chromatic harmony. As such, it will frame the continuing debate about nineteenth-century chromaticism and be an essential reference point for the non-integrationist perspective. It is also necessary reading for anyone interested in nineteenth-century music, reflecting a comprehensive picture of nineteenth-century composers' use of harmony that penetrates deeply into the repertoire. It will become an indispensible source for future research." --Music Theory Online 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. I got this book because I wanted to learn about the next level of music theory and had heard about Cohn from my professor at the time. When I completed my formal study of classical music theory, it left me wondering what else there was to learn, because there were so many different techniques and sounds that only got glossed over by classical harmony as either 'coloristic' chord progressions or endless tonicizations. I think this strictly tonal idea of music is probably influenced a lot by Schenker, and there are aspects of it that have become outdated. Jazz theory, on the other hand, is to a large degree about finding the right scale and chord tones to improvise over any chord and thus largely based on practice and practical application. This book is totally different. It takes what you know about harmony and flips it on its head, in the greatest way possible. If you've never read anything by Cohn or don't know about the Tonnetz, then you are in for a wild ride! While the writing is extremely academic and at times I found myself looking up a word every couple of pages, the tone of the writing is pleasant and fun. There is no snobbery here; he is simply laying down every discovery that he has made about a different way that triads can relate to each other. Also, as he says, you only need to have a very basic understanding of theory to understand what he is explaining here. There are moments when the sentences get dense with information but once you take it in slowly for a second time you will probably understand it. I think that having a background in music theory sometimes slowed me down because he explains things in a new way.Read more › I read several chapters of this book for a course in chromatic harmony. Having had zero exposure to Neo-Riemannian theories, I found Cohn's writing lucid and engaging. Because his style is so accessible, I was able to appreciate his well-thought-out and illuminating new theory of triadic space, especially in nineteenth-century music. As a music student, I think it's important that basic theory courses at least broach this very important subject! After finishing the basic sequence, I could basically analyze Haydn, Mozart, and most Beethoven - but the Romantic repertoire was totally out of reach. Cohn's work is helpful not only for theorists but for musicians beginning at the undergraduate level. I would recommend this text to anyone who loves Romantic music and has a background in basic music theory (Roman numeral analyses, basic chromatic chords). Cohn's book really changed the way I understood Romantic-era music as well as the historical transition from tonality to atonality. I especially appreciate how he breaks the triadic cycles down to 6 primary movements which singularly and in combinations allow a performer, improviser or composer to cycle through all of the 24 consonant triads using his explanation of the augmented triad as the bridge between the four hexatonic groups. It's a fascinating subject, I will be studying the "Cube Dance" for a very long time, I think it is one of the missing pieces of the puzzle for me as a musician.  Richard Cohn’s eagerly anticipated monograph on nineteenth-century chromaticism crystallizes Cohn’s decades of influential work developing an analytical framework for chromatic harmony. It also fulfills the need of presenting a self-contained, accessible introduction to Cohn’s theory, one that will be of great value to readers less receptive to the mathematical orientation of many of the articles that mark essential milestones in the development of Cohn’s theories. But Audacious Euphony also goes further, marking a stride forward in the unification of Cohn’s theories and their extension into new analytical concepts and techniques that promise to be widely influential in future work on nineteenth-century harmonic practices.(1)  Cohn also essentially divests himself of the dualist commitments implicit in neo-Riemannian transformations. Although he defends dualism (37–39), it is no longer a deep theoretical principle. He does not, as Riemann himself might have, claim that dualist nomenclature reveals a deeper musical truth of inversional equivalence; instead he makes a purely formal argument that dualist transformations reflect the fact that voice-leading distance is independent of direction.  Throughout the book, Cohn adopts one of two different strategies—foreground and background—for converting musical examples into triadic journeys. The difference is best illustrated in chapters 5 and 6, with mostly foreground analyses in the former and background in the latter. Local analyses chart literal progressions. They are of limited applicability since they require isolated passages built out of a purely chromatic logic and avoiding dissonant chords, but such analyses can be quite convincing in their restricted scope because they provide a relatively comprehensive account. In background analyses Cohn charts the key relationships of longer passages, including entire pieces (and even entire song cycles), as triadic progressions between tonic chords. The divergence in method obscures the fact that these two strategies are incommensurable: the background analyses are not simple summaries of what might be charted as a long foreground analysis, because the process of reduction cleanses the local progressions of conventional tonal harmony that makes a messy picture on the Tonnetz or Cube Dance. Cohn addresses this issue in chapter 8.  Cohn also, in both foreground and background analysis, typically summarizes passages in terms of idealized, maximally efficient voice leading. In that sense, Cohn’s theory is not one of voice-leading practice, but a theory of relationships between harmonic collections motivated by idealized voice leadings. While he sometimes uses Schenkerian language when describing harmonic reductions, he does not adopt the Schenkerian practice of relating idealized voice leadings to observable voice-leading relationships in the music. This difference is in evidence, for instance, in his analyses of developments from two Beethoven sonatas in chapter 6 (133–34), which describe descending-fifth–saturated progressions as continual upshifts. Cohn’s attribution of an ascending quality to the progressions is a formal consequence of the position of N-related triads on the circle of voice-leading zones, but it is also a literal trait of the passages. This is a non-trivial fact: descending fifth progressions are often realized with descending voice leading, even though the ascending voice leading is more efficient in triadic voice-leading spaces. The comparison of idealized voice-leading models of harmonic relationships with real voice-leading practice is one potentially rich implication of Cohn’s theory that remains largely unexplored.  Beginning with chapter 7, Cohn turns from his expertly crafted prix fixe entrée to a tasting-plate of diverse dessert selections. These last three chapters are more mixed, and on average more tentative, than the preceding. Chapter 7 gives two answers to the question of how to extend insights about triadic relationships to larger chords. The first is by deletion of dissonant notes. Cohn defends the idea that Wagner treats the nominal root as the added dissonance in half-diminished seventh chords with examples drawn from an earlier article, “Hexatonic Poles and the Uncanny in Parsifal” (Cohn 2006). In the latter part of the chapter he develops a system of seventh-chord relationships through analogy with the triadic system. Cohn puts more resources towards constructing this extension-via-analogy than the extension-via-deletion. This two-front strategy comes across as non-committal, because the two ways of dealing with seventh chords are incompatible, implying that one should choose the approach based on the demands of the music at hand. The first approach has the advantage of allowing seventh chords and triads to participate in the same analysis. The second is capable of working with more thoroughly dissonant chords like diminished sevenths and French augmented sixths. These differences seem to be artifacts of the theoretical edifice, however; it is not entirely clear that they actually reflect distinct compositional approaches to the use of seventh chords. Nonetheless, the analyses that Cohn presents in the chapter make quite convincing cases for each approach individually, especially Cohn’s remarkable catalog of hexatonic-pole relationships in Parsifal.  The analogy between cardinality-three and cardinality-four systems in the second part of chapter 7 is a potentially rich topic. However, one arm of the analogy notably fails to surface: the four-note correlate to the Tonnetz. As noted above, in the three-note case the Tonnetz is essential in performing one function: tracking common-tone relationships between chords, expressing, e.g., the concept of pitch-retention loops. But Cohn largely eschews the four-note Tonnetz, which cannot be realized in two dimensions. As a map of common-tone relationships, however, it still merits a place at the table. Cohn only refers to the four-note Tonnetz through citations of Gollin 1998 (141–42, 152, 189). More recent work (Tymoczko 2012) gives a more complete picture of the Tonnetze for four-note chords and provides some corrections to Gollin’s earlier foray into this subject. Exploration of the analytical implications of common-tone relationships in Tymoczko’s four-note Tonnetz, guided by the example of Cohn’s analytic method, should prove a fruitful direction for future work.  Cohn’s final chapter re-attacks the problem of mixture of diatonic and chromatic harmony from a surer footing. Rather than offering a new formalism, Cohn here provides a compelling linguistic analogy, suggesting that the integration of diatonic and chromatic syntaxes represents a harmonic bilingualism. Cohn produces ample support for the claim that there is no cognitive barrier to mixing distinct musical syntaxes in a single composition by drawing on research in bilingual speech. Where the analogy remains tenuous in the specific case of chromatic harmony is that the syntax of chromaticism emerged historically from within the context of tonality, not independently of it, and, unlike different languages, the two harmonic syntaxes share the same set of “words.” 1. Readers will immediately notice one novel feature of the book: scattered throughout the text are references to supplementary online materials accessible through the publisher’s website. The online component is not essential; the reader without a computer handy will be able to follow the text throughout. It is also more prominent in some chapters than others. Yet, the online materials are certainly worth the price of entry: they make it more convenient for readers to reference full scores that accompany Cohn’s more extended analyses, and, most impressively, allow Cohn to illustrate his arguments by means of animations timed to musical performances. These animations bring many of the Tonnetz analyses, whose dynamic properties are often hard to reproduce on the printed page, to life. The coordination of analyses with performances encourages us to perceive the harmonic moves as temporally delineated actions and gestures.  Copyrights for individual items published in Music Theory Online (MTO) are held by their authors. Items appearing in MTO may be saved and stored in electronic or paper form, and may be shared among individuals for purposes of scholarly research or discussion, but may not be republished in any form, electronic or print, without prior, written permission from the author(s), and advance notification of the editors of MTO.  Libraries may archive issues of MTO in electronic or paper form for public access so long as each issue is stored in its entirety, and no access fee is charged. Exceptions to these requirements must be approved in writing by the editors of MTO, who will act in accordance with the decisions of the Society for Music Theory. "The culmination of twenty years of thinking about the tonally evasive music of the 19th century, this book is a stunning achievement. The writing is vivid and engaging, the musical close readings are rich and compelling in their detail, and at every turn there is something new to learn about music and musical materials we had thought we already knew well."-Joseph N. Straus, Distinguished Professor, CUNY Graduate Center; Former President, Society for Music Theory "For sheer virtuosity in theory making and theory-based analysis,Audacious Euphonydeserves the highest praise. It lights up as never before the universe of triads domesticated in nineteenth-century chromatic music. Were Richard Cohn not already a household name among music theorists, this book would change that." -Kofi Agawu, Professor of Music, Princeton University; Author ofMusic as Discourse: Semiotic Adventures in Romantic Music(Oxford, 2008) "Audacious Euphonysynthesizes and extends the influential neo-Riemannian approach to chromatic tonality that Richard Cohn's earlier theoretical work helped develop. Lucid and engagingly written, this book is indispensable reading for music theorists and indeed for anyone deeply interested in 19th-century chromatic harmony." --Fred Lerdahl, Fritz Reiner Professor of Music, Columbia University This book is a major contribution to the field of music theory ... Cohn targets not only music theorists but also music historians, conductors, performers, and any interested music listener with a modest level of music-theory training. Avoiding excessive theoretical jargon ... he presents analyses ... that are illuminating regardless of one's theoretical background ... Highly recommended Many nineteenth-century theorists viewed triadic distance in terms of common tones and voice-leading proximity, rather than root consonance and mutual diatonic constituency. Audacious Euphony reconstructs this view and uses it as the basis for a chromatic model of triadic space, developing geometric representations from blueprints of Euler (1739) and Weitzmann (1853). The model renders coherent many passages of romantic music (e.g. of Schubert, Liszt, Brahms, Chopin, Wagner) that are disjunct from the standpoint of classical tonality. Semantic attributes commonly ascribed to romantic music are ... More PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2013. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 25 September 2013 1st mvt acoustic arrow augmented triad Aá…ˆ bass Boretz region Bá…ˆ cadence century chapter Chopin chromatic chromatic space classical tonality Cohn common tones compositions connection consonant triads Cube Dance Cá…Š David Lewin diatonic collection diatonic scale diatonic space diatonic tonality diminished seventh chord dissonant harmonies dominant seventh downshift dyad Dá…ˆ Dá…Š enharmonic equivalent Eá…ˆ f minor FÃ©tis fifth figure four function fá…Š G major graph Gá…ˆ Gá…Š harmonic hexatonic cycle hexatonic pole hexatonic region hypermeasure initial interpretation keys L/R chain Lerdahl Lewin Liszt major third measures melodic minor triads motion motivic move nebenverwandt nineteenth-century octatonic pair pan-triadic Parsifal passage phrase pitch pitch-class Prelude presents progression prolonged relation represent Riemann role root Schubert score segment semitonal sequence Sonata song structure subdominant substitution suggests Symphony syntactic tetrachords theorists theory tion tonality tonic Tonnetz Tonnetz model transformations transposition trichords Tristan Tristan-genus Tymoczko 2011b upshift voice leading voice-leading zones Weitzmann region Reconstructing historical conceptions of harmonic distance, Audacious Euphony advances a geometric model appropriate to understanding triadic progressions characteristic of 19th-century music. Author Rick Cohn uncovers the source of the indeterminacy and uncanniness of romantic music, as he focuses on the slippage between chromatic and diatonic progressions and the systematic principles under which each operate.
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