Closure and Mahler's Music: The Role of Secondary Parameters by Robert G. Hopkins

By Robert G. Hopkins

Through scrupulous and perceptive analyses, Hopkins exhibits how parameters except melody, concord, and rhythm catch up on the weakening of tonal syntax in Mahler's music.

Closure and Mahler's Music offers a conceptual framework that may improve figuring out of the stylistic alterations that happened in the course of the first a part of the 20 th century.

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Example text

However, there is a shift from major to C major in measure 561, and then C major is treated as the dominant of F minor. 55ç The movement is far from over, though. major is prolonged for 60 measures (to the end of the movement) in large part by alternating tonic and dominant harmonies. Why does the movement end after the perfect authentic cadence in measures 688-89 and not after the cadential resolution in measure 547, 631, 647, 655, 673, or 677? ) What, if anything, differentiates the resolution at measure 689?

10.  670-91. To answer those questions, we must go beyond Schenkerian analysis and consider secondary parameters and conformant relationships. Experienced listeners will expect final closure to occur in a way that conforms to other fast movements by Beethoven. In his style, fast movements almost always end with a tutti fortissimo tonic chord whose notes are the same duration in all parts. 56 The first movement of the "Eroica" ends that way, and an examination of the coda reveals that these features of dynamics and duration are what distinguish the cadence in measures 688-89 from the others.

A crescendo begins in measure 647 and reaches fortissimo in measure 671, where a chord implies a cadence . After the V7 in measure 672, the listener expects the fortissimo tonic resolution that was avoided back in measure 547 (at the end of the recapitulation). The resolution of the perfect full cadence in measures 670-73 fails to bring final closure, however, because the tonic chord arrives piano, with reduced orchestration, and is elided with another phrase. A crescendo beginning in measure 677 leads back to the fortissimo dynamic level at measure 685.

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