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Glossary of Schenkerian Analysis
This is a glossary of Schenkerian analysis, a method of musical analysis of tonal music based on the theories of Heinrich Schenker (1868-1935). The method is discussed in the concerned article and no attempt will be made here to summarize it. Similarly, the entries below will whenever possible link to other articles where the concepts are described with more details (in several cases, the name of the entry links to a specialized article), and the definitions will be kept here to a minimum.
"A tone of the inner voice which appears above the foreground diminution". It often results from an ascending register transfer or coupling, but "the main thread of melodic activity remains with the displaced voice while the voice that does the displacing functions as a 'cover'".
Consonant subdivision of a consonant interval: the octave can be divided at the fifth (fifth-divider, German: Quintteiler) and the fifth can be divided at the third (third-teiler, German: Terzteiler). Schenker had also imagined a divider at the fourth (or lower fifth), but he apparently abandoned the concept after 1926, probably because the upper fourth does not belong to the divided triad. See also Schenkerian analysis: The arpeggiation of the bass and the divider at the fifth.
The melodic aspect of the fundamental structure, a stepwise descent from one of the triad notes to the tonic, with the bass arpeggiation being the harmonic aspect. The notion of the descending fundamental line belongs to the final version of Schenkerian theory, from 1930 onwards; fundamental (or, better, "primal") lines in Schenker's earlier writings at times were ascending. The first note of the fundamental line is its primary tone. See also Schenkerian analysis: The fundamental line.
Nonchord tone that passes, usually stepwise, from a chord tone directly above or below it (which frequently causes the NN to create dissonance with the chord) and resolves to the same chord tone. See Neighbor tone. See also Schenkerian analysis.
The process in tonal music through which a pitch, interval, or consonant triad is able to govern spans of music when not physically sounding. Schenker himself appears to have used the German term Prolongation mainly to describe extensions of the laws of strict counterpoint to freer writing: see Prolongation in Heinrich Schenker. Auskomponierung can be literally translated as "composing-out"; the German word is coined on the model of Ausarbeitung, "elaboration".
"The scale-step is a higher and more abstract unit [than that of triad]. At times it may even comprise several harmonies [...]; in other words: even if, under certain circumstances, a certain number of harmonies look like independent triads or seventh-chords, they may nonetheless add up, in their totality, to one single triad [...] and they would have to be subsumed under the concept of this triad [...] as a scale-step.
Term used by John Rothgeb to translate Schicht (see Structural level) in Oswald Jonas' Introduction to the Theory of Heinrich Schenker.
Title of the influential book by Felix Salzer. The expression may derive from that of "long-distance hearing" (German: Fernhören), that Schenker used in Der Tonwille 1 and 2 (1921 and 1922) and that Furtwängler quoted in his paper "Heinrich Schenker. Ein zeitgemäßes Problem" of 1947.
Schenker uses the term "level" mainly in the expression "voice-leading level", denoting the successive levels through which the fundamental structure develops to form the foreground. The expression "Structural level" appears to have been coined by Allen Forte.
One of the most general principles of Schenkerian analysis: the intervals between the notes of the tonic triad form a tonal space that is filled with passing and neighbour notes, producing new triads and new tonal spaces, open for further elaborations until the surface of the work (the score) is reached.
The transformation of a single chord into a horizontal succession (see Arpeggiation), either when a tone of the upper voice and one of the inner voice are interconnected, or when a similar connection takes place in a succession of several chords. See Coupling. See also Schenkerian analysis: Unfolding.
"The study of voice leading is the study of the principles that govern the progression of the component voices of a composition both separately and in combination. In the Schenkerian tradition, this study begins with strict species counterpoint."
^Heinrich Schenker (1923). "Bach's Little Prelude No. 3 in C Minor, BWV 999", Der Tonwille 5, transl. J. Dubiel, Oxford University Press, 2004, note 7: "The upper or lower fifth of a chord, presenting itself by leap in the service of a passing motion or neighbor note, I call an upper- or lower-fifth [divider]" (the last word is missing in Dubiel's translation).
^Heinrich Schenker (1954) Harmony, Oswald Jonas ed., Elisabeth Mann Borgese transl., p. 139.
^Jonas, Oswald (1982). Introduction to the Theory of Heinrich Schenker, p.138. (1934: Das Wesen des musikalischen Kunstwerks: Eine Einführung in Die Lehre Heinrich Schenkers). Transl. John Rothgeb, p. 138. ISBN0582282276.
^Felix Salzer (1952). Structural Hearing. Tonal Coherence in Music. New York, Boni, 2 vols.