STALEMATE AND SUBVERSION
The most radically “realistic” harmonic effect of all is the one with which the scene opens, already quoted in Ex. 10-20 for comparison with Wagner's harmony. The stage direction specifies a “solemn peal of bells,” and that is what the lengthy orchestral prelude depicts. It consists of just two chords, both of them describable in common-practice terms as dominant-sevenths with their roots on A♭ and D respectively. The common practice description is quite misleading, however, since neither of them ever resolves to the implied tonic (respectively D♭ and G). Nor, once their oscillation really gets going, do we even expect them to do so; for the oscillation emphasizes another relationship, namely their shared tritone (C and F♯G♭). The two tritones, the one they share and the one their roots describe, arrest or neutralize their functional tendency.
- Citation (MLA):
- Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 12 Cutting Things Down to Size." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2015. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume3/actrade-9780195384833-div1-012003.xml>.
- Citation (APA):
- Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 12 Cutting Things Down to Size. In Oxford University Press, Music in the Nineteenth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 13 Oct. 2015, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume3/actrade-9780195384833-div1-012003.xml
- Citation (Chicago):
- Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 12 Cutting Things Down to Size." In Music in the Nineteenth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 13 Oct. 2015, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume3/actrade-9780195384833-div1-012003.xml