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Re: tie over clef change

From: Hans Åberg
Subject: Re: tie over clef change
Date: Sun, 27 Sep 2020 22:17:52 +0200

> On 27 Sep 2020, at 22:01, David Kastrup <> wrote:
> Hans Åberg <> writes:
>>> On 27 Sep 2020, at 19:57, Lukas-Fabian Moser <> wrote:
>>>> I seem to remember that even in Bach's B minor mass (where E12 was not
>>>> yet a thing) there is an enharmonic tie (or at least tonal repetition?)
>>>> in the transition from "Confiteor" to "Et expecto".  I mean, that
>>>> transition is a tonal center nightmare anyway.
>>> In bar 138:
>>> <jnfkghmffdnbmoal.png>
>>> Basically that is an example of enharmonic equivalence of diminished
>>> 7th chords: The tonal centre in the preceding bars is clearly d (d
>>> major with hints of d minor), so the diminished chord in bar 138 is
>>> most probably first heard as f♯-a-c-e♭ (with expected resolution to
>>> g minor), but is then being re-interpreted (and written) as
>>> f♯-a-b♯-d♯, resolving to c♯ major functioning as a dominant to f♯
>>> minor.
>>> My point is: Even without E12 tuning, this is clearly an example of
>>> fully exploited enharmonic equivalence used as a "wormhole" in an
>>> otherwise purely diatonic tonal system. There can be no question
>>> that this is semantically a tie.
>>> (One might raise the objection that, maybe, when performing the
>>> piece, a slight adjustment in intonation might be needed in the
>>> transition from c to b♯. But this can also happen for bona fide ties
>>> in purely diatonic music, so that does not yield an argument against
>>> the tie being a tie.)
>> I think it is the last, because E12 was not in use is the music that
>> J.S. Bach wrote. The CPP (Common Practise Period) composers are
>> careful distingushing between an augmented 6th a minor 7th in
>> chords. There is a slight adjustment from the formal point of view,
>> but for a violin to be able to express that, there needs to be some
>> pitch references, like the open strings or intervals derived from
>> that, so it may be a way to just adhere to formal writing.
> The tonal center collapse is done purely vocally in an a cappella
> passage and when the instruments come back in, it's in a resurrection
> key and instrument groups (like brass) that are typical for it.
> Really, you need to listen to it before sorting it into the context of
> its period.  This passage is completely out of whack with its time while
> it is arrived at from a grandiosely conservative fugue in full ars
> antiqua.
> Here is a link <> to a
> Herreweghe version.  The piano extract displayed in parallel would
> suggest that there is, after all, an instrumental part even in the 2:30
> and finally 3:00 (or so) locations which is a bit surprising to me since
> I remember how we fought keeping the intonation in line so that the
> resurrection trumpets could fall right in.  I cannot hear instruments
> there right now but I have only builtin speakers at low volume right now
> so I may be wrong about that.

The choirs here have a high number of performers with absolute pitch. By 
contrast, most orchestral musicians don't have it, and it is easier to play 
pitches exactly with musical instruments. Some singing, like barbershop, use 
Just Intonation, and if the chords are pivoted, the pitches must slide in some 
common harmony transitions.

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