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LESSONS IN MUSIC FORM

A MANUAL OF ANALYSIS


OF ALL THE STRUCTURAL FACTORS AND DESIGNS

EMPLOYED IN MUSICAL COMPOSITION



BY

PERCY GOETSCHIUS, MUS. DOC.

(Royal WГјrttemberg Professor)



AUTHOR OF

THE MATERIAL USED IN MUSICAL COMPOSITION, THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF
TONE-RELATIONS, THE HOMOPHONIC FORMS OF MUSICAL COMPOSITION, MODELS OF
THE PRINCIPAL MUSIC FORMS, EXERCISES IN MELODY WRITING, APPLIED
COUNTERPOINT, ETC.



$1.50



BOSTON

OLIVER DITSON COMPANY

New York - - - - Chicago

CHAS. H. DITSON & CO. - - - - LYON & HEALY

COPYRIGHT. MCMIV, BY OLIVER DITSON COMPANY

MADE IN U. S. A.




[Transcriber's note: This book contains a few page references,
e.g., "...on page 122". In such cases the target page number has been
formatted between curly braces, e.g. "{122}", and inserted into this
e-text in a location matching that page's physical location in the
original book.]




FOREWORD.


The present manual treats of the structural designs of musical
composition, not of the styles or species of music. Read our AFTERWORD.

It undertakes the thorough explanation of each design or form, from the
smallest to the largest; and such comparison as serves to demonstrate
the principle of natural evolution, in the operation of which the
entire system originates.

This explanation - be it well understood - is conducted solely with a
view to the _Analysis_ of musical works, and is not calculated to
prepare the student for the application of form in practical
composition. For the exhaustive exposition of the technical apparatus,
the student must be referred to my "Homophonic Forms."

The present aim is to enable the student to recognize and trace the
mental process of the composer in executing his task; to define each
factor of the structural design, and its relation to every other factor
and to the whole; to determine thus the synthetic meaning of the work,
and thereby to increase not only his own appreciation, interest, and
enjoyment of the very real beauties of good music, but also his power
to _interpret_, intelligently and adequately, the works that engage his
attention.

* * * * * *

The choice of classic literature to which most frequent reference is
made, and which the student is therefore expected to procure before
beginning his lessons, includes: -

The Songs Without Words of Mendelssohn; the _Jugend Album_, Op. 68, of
Schumann; the pianoforte sonatas of Mozart (Peters edition); the
pianoforte sonatas of Beethoven.

Besides these, incidental reference is made to the symphonies of
Beethoven, the sonatas of Schubert, the mazurkas of Chopin, and other
pianoforte compositions of Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Chopin, and Brahms.


PERCY GOETSCHIUS.

BOSTON, MASS., Sept., 1904.




TABLE OF CONTENTS.


CHAPTER I. - INTRODUCTION.

THE NECESSITY OF FORM IN MUSIC
THE EVIDENCES OF FORM IN MUSIC
UNITY AND VARIETY


CHAPTER II. - FUNDAMENTAL DETAILS.

TIME
TEMPO
BEATS
MEASURES
RHYTHM
MELODY


CHAPTER III. - FIGURE AND MOTIVE.

THE MELODIC FIGURE
DEFINING THE FIGURES
THE MELODIC MOTIVE, OR PHRASE-MEMBER
PRELIMINARY TONES


CHAPTER IV. - THE PHRASE.

THE PHRASE
LENGTH OF THE REGULAR PHRASE
EXCEPTIONS
CONTENTS OF THE PHRASE


CHAPTER V. - CADENCES.

CADENCES IN GENERAL
MODIFICATION, OR DISGUISING OF THE CADENCE
THE ELISION
SPECIES OF CADENCE
PERFECT CADENCE
SEMICADENCE
LOCATING THE CADENCES


CHAPTER VI. - IRREGULAR PHRASES.

CAUSES OF IRREGULARITY
THE SMALL AND LARGE PHRASES
THE PRINCIPLE OF EXTENSION
INHERENT IRREGULARITY


CHAPTER VII. - THE PERIOD-FORM.

PHRASE-ADDITION
THE PERIOD


CHAPTER VIII. - ENLARGEMENT OF THE PERIOD-FORM.

ENLARGEMENT BY REPETITION
THE PHRASE-GROUP
THE DOUBLE-PERIOD


CHAPTER IX. - THE TWO-PART SONG-FORM.

THE SONG-FORM, OR PART-FORM
THE PARTS
THE FIRST PART
THE SECOND PART


CHAPTER X. - THE THREE-PART SONG-FORM.

DISTINCTION BETWEEN BIPARTITE AND TRIPARTITE FORMS
PART I
PART II
PART III


CHAPTER XI. - ENLARGEMENT OF THE THREE-PART SONG-FORM.

REPETITION OF THE PARTS
EXACT REPETITIONS
MODIFIED REPETITIONS
THE FIVE-PART FORM
GROUP OF PARTS


CHAPTER XII. - THE SONG-FORM WITH TRIO.

THE PRINCIPAL SONG
THE TRIO, OR SUBORDINATE SONG
THE "DA CAPO"


CHAPTER XIII. - THE FIRST RONDO-FORM.

EVOLUTION
THE RONDO-FORMS
THE FIRST RONDO-FORM


CHAPTER XIV. - THE SECOND RONDO-FORM.

DETAILS


CHAPTER XV. - THE THIRD RONDO-FORM.

THE EXPOSITION
THE MIDDLE DIVISION
THE RECAPITULATION


CHAPTER XVI. - THE SONATINE-FORM.

CLASSIFICATION OF THE LARGER FORMS
THE SONATINE-FORM


CHAPTER XVII. - THE SONATA-ALLEGRO FORM.

ORIGIN OF THE NAME
THE SONATA-ALLEGRO FORM
THE EXPOSITION
THE DEVELOPMENT, OR MIDDLE DIVISION
THE RECAPITULATION
DISSOLUTION
RELATION TO THE THREE-PART SONG-FORM


CHAPTER XVIII. - IRREGULAR FORMS.

CAUSES
AUGMENTATION OF THE REGULAR FORM
ABBREVIATION OF THE REGULAR FORM
DISLOCATION OF THEMATIC MEMBERS
MIXTURE OF CHARACTERISTIC TRAITS


CHAPTER XIX. - APPLICATION OF THE FORMS.

APPLICATION OF THE SEVERAL DESIGNS IN PRACTICAL COMPOSITION
AFTERWORD




LESSONS IN MUSIC FORM.


CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION.

THE NECESSITY OF FORM IN MUSIC. - So much uncertainty and diversity of
opinion exists among music lovers of every grade concerning the
presence of Form in musical composition, and the necessity of its
presence there, that a few general principles are submitted at the
outset of our studies, as a guide to individual reflection and judgment
on the subject.

Certain apparently defensible prejudices that prevail in the minds of
even advanced musical critics against the idea of Form in music,
originate in a very manifest mistake on the part of the "formalists"
themselves, who (I refer to unimpassioned theorists and advocates of
rigid old scholastic rules) place too narrow a construction upon Form,
and define it with such rigor as to leave no margin whatever for the
exercise of free fancy and emotional sway. Both the dreamer, with his
indifference to (or downright scorn of) Form; and the pedant, with his
narrow conception of it; as well as the ordinary music lover, with his
endeavor to discover some less debatable view to adopt for his own
everyday use, - need to be reminded _that Form in music means simply
Order in music_.

Thus interpreted, the necessity of form, that is, Order, in the
execution of a musical design appears as obvious as are the laws of
architecture to the builder, or the laws of creation to the astronomer
or naturalist; for the absence of order, that is, Disorder, constitutes
a condition which is regarded with abhorrence and dread by every
rational mind.

A musical composition, then, in which Order prevails; in which all the
factors are chosen and treated in close keeping with their logical
bearing upon each other and upon the whole; in which, in a word, there
is no disorder of thought or technique, - is music with Form (_i.e._
good Form). A sensible arrangement of the various members of the
composition (its figures, phrases, motives, and the like) will exhibit
both agreement and contrast, both confirmation and opposition; for we
measure things by comparison with both like and unlike. Our nature
demands the evidence of _uniformity_, as that emphasizes the
impressions, making them easier to grasp and enjoy; but our nature also
craves a certain degree of _variety_, to counteract the monotony which
must result from too persistent uniformity. When the elements of Unity
and Variety are sensibly matched, evenly balanced, the form is good.
On the other hand, a composition is formless, or faulty in form, when
the component parts are jumbled together without regard to proportion
and relation.

Which of these two conditions is the more desirable, or necessary,
would seem to be wholly self-evident.

The error made by pedantic teachers is to demand _too much_ Form; to
insist that a piece of music shall be a model of arithmetical
adjustment. This is probably a graver error than apparent
formlessness. Design and logic and unity there must surely be; but any
_obtrusive_ evidence of mathematical calculation must degrade music to
the level of a mere handicraft.

* * * * * *

Another and higher significance involved in the idea of Form, that goes
to prove how indispensable it may be in truly good music, rests upon
the opposition of Form to the material.

There are two essentially different classes of music lovers: - the one
class takes delight in the mere sound and jingle of the music; not
looking for any higher purpose than this, they content themselves with
the purely sensuous enjoyment that the sound material affords. To such
listeners, a comparatively meaningless succession of tones and chords
is sufficiently enjoyable, so long as each separate particle, each beat
or measure, is euphonious in itself. The other class, more
discriminating in its tastes, looks beneath this iridescent surface and
strives to fathom the underlying _purpose_ of it all; not content with
the testimony of the ear alone, such hearers enlist the higher, nobler
powers of Reason, and no amount of pleasant sounds could compensate
them for the absence of well-ordered parts and their logical
justification.

This second class is made up of those listeners who recognize in music
an embodiment of artistic aims, an object of serious and refined
enjoyment _that appeals to the emotions through the intelligence_, - not
a plaything for the senses alone; and who believe that all music that
would in this sense be truly artistic, must exhibit "Form" as the end,
and "Material" only as a means to this end.

* * * * * *

Still another, and possibly the strongest argument of all for the
necessity of form in music, is derived from reflection upon the
peculiarly vague and intangible nature of its art-material - tone,
sound. The words of a language (also sounds, it is true) have
established meanings, so familiar and definite that they recall and
re-awaken impressions of thought and action with a vividness but little
short of the actual experience. Tones, on the contrary, are not and
cannot be associated with any _definite_ ideas or impressions; they are
as impalpable as they are transient, and, taken separately, leave no
lasting trace.

Therefore, whatever stability and palpability a musical composition is
to acquire, _must be derived from its form, or design_, and not from
its totally unsubstantial material. It must fall back upon the network
traced by the disposition of its points and lines upon the musical
canvas; for this it is that constitutes its real and palpable contents.


THE EVIDENCES OF FORM IN MUSIC. - The presence of form in music is
manifested, first of all, by the disposition of tones and chords in
symmetrical measures, and by the numerous methods of tone arrangement
which create and define the element of Rhythm, - the distinction of
short and long time-values, and of accented and unaccented (that is,
heavy and light) pulses.

This is not what is commonly supposed to constitute form in music, but
it is the fundamental condition out of which an orderly system of form
may be developed. As well might the carpenter or architect venture to
dispense with scale, compass and square in their constructive labors,
as that the composer should neglect beat, measure and rhythm, in his
effort to realize a well-developed and intelligible design in the
whole, or any part, of his composition. The beats and measures and
phrases are the barley-corn, inch and ell of the musical draughtsman,
and without these units of measurement and proportion, neither the
vital condition of Symmetry nor the equally important condition of
well-regulated Contrast could be clearly established.

The _beat_ is the unit of measurement in music. The _measure_ is a
group of beats, - two, three, four, or more, at the option of the
composer. The bounds of the measures are visibly represented (on the
written or printed page) by vertical lines, called bars; and are
rendered orally recognizable (to the hearer who does not see the page)
by a more or less delicate emphasis, imparted - by some means or
other - to the _first_ pulse or beat of each measure, as accent, simply
to mark where each new group begins. Those who play or sing can
imagine how vague, and even chaotic, a page of music would look if
these vertical bars were omitted; and how much more difficult it would
be to read than when these (not only accustomed, but truly necessary)
landmarks are present. Precisely the same unintelligible impression
must be, and is, conveyed to the hearer when _his_ landmarks, the
accents, are not indicated with sufficient emphasis or clearness to
render him sensible of the beginning of each new measure.

* * * * * *

The same primary system of measurement and association which is
employed in enlarging the beats to measures, is then applied to the
association of the measures themselves in the next larger units of
musical structure, the Motive, Phrase, Period, and so forth. Unlike
the measures, which are defined by the accents at their _beginning_,
these larger factors of form are defined chiefly at their _end_, by the
impression of occasional periodic interruption, exactly analogous to
the pauses at the end of poetic lines, or at the commas, semicolons and
the like, in a prose paragraph. These interruptions of the musical
current, called Cadences, are generally so well defined that even the
more superficial listener is made aware of a division of the musical
pattern into its sections and parts, each one of which closes as
recognizably (though not as irrevocably) as the very last sentence of
the piece.

Cadences serve the same purpose in music, then, as do the punctuation
marks in rhetoric; and an idea of the senselessness and confusion of a
musical composition, if left devoid of cadences in sufficient number
and force, may be gleaned from an experimental test of the effect of a
page of prose, read with persistent disregard of its commas, colons,
and other marks of "cadence."

* * * * * *

Another evidence of Form in music, that is at once subtle and powerful,
rests upon what might be termed the _linear_ quality of melody. The
famous old definition of a line as a "succession of points," tallies so
accurately with that of melody (as a "succession of single tones"),
that it is not only proper, but peculiarly forceful, to speak of
melodies as _tone-lines_. Our conception of a melody or tune, our
ability to recognize and reproduce it, depends far more upon its
undulations, its rising, falling, or resting level, than upon its
rhythmic features (the varying lengths of its tones). These movements
trace a resonant line before our mind's eye as surely, though perhaps
not as distinctly, as the pencil of the artist traces the lines of an
image upon the paper; and this process is going on constantly, from
beginning to end, in every piece of music. In a portrait it describes
the contours of face and figure, - in a word, the _Form_; in the musical
composition it fulfils, to a great extent, the self-same mission, that
of defining the Form. One clear, predominating tone-line traces the
"air" or tune of the piece; and this is often the only line that
arrests the hearer's attention; but there are other tone-lines, less
prominent and less extended and coherent, gliding along harmoniously
beside the Melody proper, which (something like the shading in a
picture) contribute to the richness of the design, and perform their
share in proving and illuminating the Form of the whole.

This is most salient in music for orchestra, where each player
describes an individual tone-line, rendered all the more distinct and
recognizable by the specific "color" of his instrument; and that is the
chief, perhaps the sole, reason why the orchestra is esteemed the most
complete and perfect medium of musical expression.


UNITY AND VARIETY. - As much as opinions and beliefs may differ, among
music critics, as to the necessity of Form in music, and the conditions
of its existence, no reasonable objection can be taken to the
hypothesis that _Clearness and Attractiveness_ are the two vital
requisites upon which the enjoyment of any art depends. The artist's
utterances or creations must be intelligible, and they must be
interesting. The lack, partial or total, of either of these qualities
neutralizes the force of the intended impression, in precise proportion
to the default.

In musical composition these two requisites are embodied in the
principles of Unity and Variety.

_Unity_ - in its various technical phases of Uniformity, Regularity,
Similarity, Equality, Agreement, or whatever other synonym we may find
it convenient to use - is the condition out of which the composer must
secure intelligibility, clearness, definiteness of expression. Glance
at Ex. 2, and note the evidences of unity (similarity) in the rhythmic
and melodic formation of the first four measures.

_Variety_ - in its most comprehensive application - is the medium he must
employ to arouse and sustain the hearer's interest. Glance again at
Ex. 2, and note the contrast between the two halves of the first four
measures, and between these and the following two measures.

These conditions are, of course, squarely opposed to each other, though
their interaction is reciprocal rather than antagonistic; and, from
what has been said, it is obvious that they are of equal importance.
Hence, as was declared on the second page, the great problem of the
art-creator consists in so balancing their operations that neither may
encroach upon the domain of the other. For too constant and palpable
Unity will inevitably paralyze interest; while too much Variety will as
surely tend to obscure the distinctness of the design.

* * * * * *

The workings of the principle of Unity (to which attention must first
be given, because it appears to come first in the order of creation)
are shown in the following elementary details of composition: -

(1) Music is not an art that deals with space, but with Time; therefore
the units of its metrical structure are not inches and the like, but
divisions of time, the basis of which is the _beat_. The principle of
Unity dictates that the beats which are associated in one and the same
musical sentence shall be of equal duration. Every musician admits the
necessity of keeping "strict time" - that is, marking the beats in
regular, equal pulses. The sub-divisions of the beats (for example,
the eighth or sixteenth notes within a beat) must also be symmetric.
So imperative is this law that it generally prevails through the entire
piece, with only such temporary elongations or contractions (marked
_ritardando_ or _accelerando_) as may be introduced for oratorical
effects.

(2) The beats are grouped in _measures_ of uniform duration; that is,
containing equal numbers of beats.

(3) The natural _accent_ falls upon the corresponding beat, namely, the
first, of each measure; therefore it recurs regularly, at uniform
intervals of time.

(4) The _melodic contents_ of the first measure, or measures, are
copied (more or less literally) in the next measure, or measures; and
are encountered again and again in the later course of the piece, thus
insuring a fairly uniform melodic impression from which the character
and identity of the composition are derived. Turn to the 8th Song
Without Words of Mendelssohn, and observe how insistently the figure

[Illustration: first fragment of 8th Song]

and its inversion

[Illustration: second fragment of 8th Song]

run through the whole number.

(5) The specific figure of the _accompaniment_ is usually reproduced
from measure to measure (or group to group) throughout whole sections
of the piece. Observe, in the 37th Song Without Words, how constantly
the ascending figure of six tones recurs in the lower part (left hand).
Glance also at No. 30; No. 1; No. 25. Many other evidences of Unity
are invariably present in good music, so naturally and self-evidently
that they almost escape our notice. Some of these are left to the
student's discernment; others will engage our joint attention in due
time.

* * * * * *

In every one of these manifestations of unity there lies the germ of
the principle of Variety, which quickens into life with the action of
the former, always following, as offspring and consequence of the
primary unity. Thus: -

(1) The _beats_, though uniform in duration, differ from each other in
force. The first pulse in each measure (or metric group of any size)
is heavier, stronger, than the following. It - the first - is the
"impulse," and is what is called the accent. This dynamic distinction
it is that gives rise to the two fundamental classes of rhythm, the
duple and triple. In duple rhythm the accent is followed by one
unaccented or lighter beat, so that regular alternation of heavy and
light pulses prevails incessantly. In triple rhythm the accent is
followed by _two_ lighter beats, creating similarly constant, but
_irregular_ alternation of heavy and light pulses.

[Illustration: Duple and Triple Rhythm]

This distinction is so significant and so striking, that the music
lover who is eager to gain the first clues to the structural purpose of
a composition, should endeavor to recognize which one of these two
rhythmic species underlies the movement to which he is listening. It
is fairly certain to be one or the other continuously. Of duple
measure, the march and polka are familiar examples; of triple measure,
the waltz and mazurka. The "regularity" of the former rhythm imparts a
certain stability and squareness to the entire piece, while triple
rhythm is more graceful and circular in effect.

(2) The same dynamic distinction applies also to whole _measures_, and

(3) to _accents_. The first of two successive measures, or of two or
more accents, is always a trifle heavier than the other.

(4) The _melodic contents_ of the first measure may be exactly
reproduced in the succeeding measure; but if this is the case, they are
very unlikely to appear still again in the next (third) measure, for
that would exaggerate the condition of Unity and create the effect of
monotony.

[Illustration: Example 1. Fragment of Folk-song.]

The measure marked _b_ is exactly like _a_. But _c_ is all the more
contrasting, on account of this similarity.

Or, the melodic contents of a measure may be thus reproduced, as far as
the rhythm and direction of the tones are concerned, but - for
variety - they may be shifted to a higher or lower place upon the staff,
or may be otherwise modified.

[Illustration: Example 2. Fragment of Beethoven.]

Compare the groups marked _a_ and _b_, and observe how the principles
of unity and variety are both active in these four measures, and how
their effect is heightened by the formation of _c_.

(5) The figures of the accompaniment, though reproduced in uniform
rhythmic values and melodic direction, undergo constant modifications
in pitch and in shape, similar, to those shown in Ex. 2. See, again,
No. 37 of the Songs Without Words and note the changes in the formation
of the otherwise uniform six-tone groups.


LESSON 1. - The student is to study this chapter thoroughly, and write
answers to the following questions; if possible, without reference to
the text: -

1. What does Form in music mean?

2. Define the conditions which constitute good form.

3. When is a composition faulty in form?

4. What do discriminating listeners recognize in music?

5. What is the difference between the sounds of music and those of
language?

6. How does this prove the necessity of form?

7. By what is the presence of form in music shown?

8. What is the beat?

9. What is the measure?

10. By what means are the measures indicated, (1) to the reader; (2) to
the listener?

11. To what does the further multiplication of the beats give rise?

12. What are cadences?

13. What purpose do they serve in music?

14. What is the best general name for a melody?

15. What object does it fulfil in music form?

16. What are the two vital requisites upon which the enjoyment of an
art creation depends?

17. What purpose does Unity serve?

18. What purpose does Variety serve?


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