Chapter 12

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Chapter 12
Phrase Structure and Grouping
Phrase Length

Consider phrases in grammatical terms:
◦ Open Phrase / Half cadence : question –
requires a response
◦ Closed Phrase / Authentic cadence :
declarative statement

Usually occur in multiples of two measures
◦ Classical era – 4 measures was the norm

Can be determined by tempo and strength
of cadence
Larger Phrase Groupings:
The Period Family

Antecedent phrase – Consequent phrase
◦ Interdependent
◦ Antecedent (open) : Consequent (closed)
Period Classification

Period classified according to
◦ Harmonic schemes, tonal structure
◦ Thematic relationship, melodic design
Ending on a half cadence (melodic ^2)
infers that the consequent phrase will
follow and close with an authentic
cadence.
 Question/Answer employs two tonal
schemes

◦ I to V – I
or
I to V, V to I
Period Classification –
Tonal Structure

If both phrases end with an authentic
cadence, the first phrase is less dependent
on the second for its tonal completion.

The ^1 in the second phrase conveys a sense
of finality that the less conclusive ^3 of the
first imperfect authentic cadence does not.
Period Classification –
Thematic Design
Similarities or differences of melodic
content
 Parallel Period – two phrases beginning
with the same or similar idea; the phrase
conclusions do not need to correspond

Period Classification –
Thematic Design
Nonparallel Period – Phrases that begin
with different melodic ideas
 Capital letters are used to denote
similarities and differences between
successive phrases within periods

◦ (A A or A B)
◦ a prime sign ( ‘ ) is used to show a modified
repetition; i.e. ( A A’)
Period Classification –
Thematic Design
Note the phrase groups of the melody
below.
Period Classification –
Thematic Design

Double Period – if a period ends on V
rather than I, the need for tonic resolution
requires an additional period
A hierarchy
Miniature Formal Designs

Strophic Form (Vocal Music)
◦ Folk songs, hymns (usually); different stanzas or
strophe set to the same music
◦ Refrain; concluding portion of each stanza in
which both words and music are the same

Small Song Form – Quatrain Form
◦ A A’ B A’ ; B is usually open (V) and A’ is closed
◦ See text Ex 12.9 “Amsterdam”
Miniature Formal Designs

Binary Form
◦ Two contrasting sections: A B or A A’ B B’
◦ Not terribly common; original theme does not
return at the end. Leave it feeling unfinished.
◦ However, both A & B close on tonic (usually)
 See Ex. 12.10 Brahms “Wiegenlied” Op. 49, No.4

Ternary Form
◦ Three-part form: A B A
Phrase Periodicity
The regular recurrence of phrases or
periods
 “Ode to Joy” – 4 phrase periodicty
 Hypermetric and rhythmic augmentation

Phrase Extension, Contraction, & Elision
Cadential Extension; used to lengthen a
phrase usually by delaying the dominant
arrival
 Internal Extension; used to lengthen a
phrase usually by adding or repeating
thematic material or by rhythmic
augmentation

Phrase Extension, Contraction, &
Elision
Contraction or truncation; shortening a
phrase by compressing earlier thematic
material or by cleverly deleting it;
rhythmic diminution
 Phrase Elision; when the cadence of one
phrase overlaps the beginning of the next;
provides a seamless rhythmic flow. Often
found at the first orchestral ‘tutti’ of
Classical era symphonies

Motives and Their Development


Motive; melodic fragment no longer than one
measure that has a distinctive pitch profile
and rhythmic characteristics
Used in the development section of songs to
fill out the remainder of the phrase by the
following
◦
◦
◦
◦
◦
Repetition
Sequence
Melodic Inversion
Rhythmic modification; augmentation or diminution
Alteration of the harmonic setting
Pitch and Rhythmic Motives
Pitch motive consists of a short series of
distinctive melodic intervals that are
transposed and restated in a variety of
rhythmic settings
 Rhythmic motive consists of a changing
melodic line with strict rhythm retention


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