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Contents

Music in the Early Twentieth Century

HALF-STEPS OVER FIFTHS

Chapter:
CHAPTER 1 Reaching (for) Limits
Source:
MUSIC IN THE EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY
Author(s):
Richard Taruskin

But moments of dramatic horror must be kept rare so as to retain their potency, and also so that they may lend focus and compelling shape to what otherwise might merely be a sprawling temporal span. Unprecedented buildups of harmonic tension toward cataclysmic, cacophonous resolution can only occur once or twice per piece. Elsewhere, what made Mahler’s harmonic idiom seem new and disorienting was precisely his avoidance of powerful root motions by fifth. Such motions, formerly “tonality’s” bread and butter, were now special effects. For purposes of ordinary harmonic navigation, half steps continued their progress toward domination—a progress that can be traced back to Schubert, and that had reached a previous peak in Wagner and Bruckner, Mahler’s most immediate mentors.

Citation (MLA):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 1 Reaching (for) Limits." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2018. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume4/actrade-9780195384840-div1-001007.xml>.
Citation (APA):
Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 1 Reaching (for) Limits. In Oxford University Press, Music in the Early Twentieth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 18 Dec. 2018, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume4/actrade-9780195384840-div1-001007.xml
Citation (Chicago):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 1 Reaching (for) Limits." In Music in the Early Twentieth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 18 Dec. 2018, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume4/actrade-9780195384840-div1-001007.xml
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