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Markus Boyd

A Schematic Approach to 18th Century Music

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Over the next week or so, I am going to be conducting an analysis on Carl Friedrich Abel's Symphony No. 6 in E-Flat Major, Op. 7, WKO 18. Those familiar with some of my posts will be somewhat familiar with some of the terminology which I will be using. This type of analysis has been introduced by musicologist Robert Gjerdigen, who offers an accessible means to understand music that one may otherwise gawk at in puzzlement. Put simply, this approach understands music not by codes and formulas, but patterns. I listen extensively to music from this period, and I can attest that once you are familiar with the more common patterns, they will be instantly recognizable to the ear. 

I will post one movement at a time. If there is the interest and engagement in this sort of thing, I will look to do more. I suppose my somewhat ambitious direction with this is to develop a thriving educational hub, for there is not really any internet community dedicated to this form of musical analysis.

Here is the work for those who would like to have a listen before I go into the detail (a little history: this work was attributed to the young Mozart by Modern Musicologists when they discovered his name on the manuscript). He had in fact copied it note for note, most likely as a learning exercise). 

 

Edited by Markus Boyd
Analysis of thematic material upload
PDF

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Posted (edited)

I like Gjerdingen. I have his Galant style book. Interesting to look at these things from the schemata p.o.v.. I have a Partimenti book that is a good companion to it. I liked the piece you posted, too.

Edited by Mister Red

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9 hours ago, Mister Red said:

I like Gjerdingen. I have his Galant style book. Interesting to look at these things from the schemata p.o.v.. I have a Partimenti book that is a good companion to it. I liked the piece you posted, too.

 

Is your companion book by Giorgio Sanguinetti, perchance? 

I had forgotten about this post but did complete an overview of the above work. I need to post this sometime soon. It’s a good piece to analyze for schematics as it is structured in such a way that it is quite clear and obvious. 

If you have investigated Gjerdigen’s work, have you tried your hand at pastiche composition? 

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Hi Markus, thanks for posting!

That's a very interesting topic. Music analysis is sometime tough, but very usefull to understand form and the background patterns of music. As you know, I'm very interested in Gjerdingen analysis and Partimenti, because  I think are two powerfull tools to understand Galant Music and compose in such a style. 

I'm looking forward to your analysis 🙂

Best wishes!

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I was just looking on Youtube, because I reminded me something I've heard before...You are right, The same symphony appears in Mozart's catalog 😅

 

 

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9 hours ago, Markus Boyd said:

Is your companion book by Giorgio Sanguinetti, perchance?

If you have investigated Gjerdigen’s work, have you tried your hand at pastiche composition?

 

I didn't get the Sanguinetti. I know it's definitive, but I wanted a more directly practical account for the time being so I got the Ijzerman book. It's also got a nice companion website.

To your second question: Not as of yet.

By the way, in the piece you posted by Abel, that is one of the best bassoon parts I've ever come across, even regardless of period.

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Posted (edited)

Here is my analysis of the thematic materiel of the first movement. I hope you find some of the comparisons with other musical literature interesting. These things take some time so bear with me on the rest of the work.

 

PS - Some of my annotations on the score might not be correct, but I haven't the time to edit everything right now, and the PDF annotations are tedious to say the least!

Edited by Markus Boyd

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That's very good. Lots of work. Schemata breakdowns really provide an interesting view. Wish I’d have know about this when I was first starting to study composition.

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Hi Markus, wow, that's a very deep analysis what you did. I've been analysing some classic Allegro-Sonata movements in the last few days, but just focusing on the formal structure...Yours is much more complete 😅.

Thanks for sharing it!

  • Thanks 1

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