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On Edward Cone's Relations: Unholy Delights

Author(s): Anthony Gritten

Source: The Musical Times, Vol. 141, No. 1871 (Summer, 2000), pp. 36-44
Published by: Musical Times Publications Ltd.
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On EdwardCone'srelations

Unhol delights
ANTHONY GRITTEN tracestheevolvingthought
ofa distinguished
1. Leonard Meyer: NE OF THE PERENNIAL concerns of doubt or decisiveness,hesitancyor
Music,thearts, music analysis is the relation between buildingor disintegration.2
and ideas (Chicago:
musical gestures.Does x relate to y? If
Chicago Press, so, in what respect? In terms of form, Secondly,on a technical level, the significanceof
1967), p.44-45. syntax,or expression?Is one gesturederivedfrom music is a functionof the relationsbetween vari-
2. Monroe the other? Does one gesture lead the listener to ous gestures.There are two basic ways of describ-
Beardsley: expect the other (or at least something the ge- ing these relations,or 'continuations'.On the one
'Understanding neric conditions of which the later gesture satis- hand, gesturescan be described as being 'derived
music',in fies)? These and othersimilarquestions are asked from' earlier gestures, predicted by earlier ges-
ed.: On criticising by virtuallyall analysis,whetherconsidering,say, tures,implied by them,demanded or requiredby
music:five the nature of a sonata recapitulation or a serial them,and forreasons that range fromsyntactical
philosophical aggregate,or tracingthe development and stabil- completion and closure to rhetoricaland expres-
perspectives ity of a motive througha particularpassage. Not sive drama. On the otherhand, the earliergestures
(Baltimore:John all analysis approaches these questions explicitly, can themselvesbe described as being 'answered
Hopkins University of course; but to the extent that analysis is con- by', balanced, transformed,even contradictedby
Press, 1981), p.70.
cerned with basic issues of temporal relation and later gestures; their potential is realised by and
3. Edward Cone:
continuity,such questions will arise. within later gestures.These two types of descrip-
Music: a viewfrom
One approach to these questions considers the tion, backward- and forward-facing respectively,
essays,ed. RobertP. specific types of relation that arise in real time. are mutuallyinterdependent.However, given the
Morgan (Chicago: Leonard Meyer has called this the 'kinetic-syntac- temporalityof music, there are also, as we shall
Universityof tic' approach: see, some significantdifferencesbetween the two
Chicago Press, types of actual musical relation they purport to
1989), p.201. of a musicalevent- be it a
[...] thesignificance
tone,a motive,a phrase,or a section- lies in the describe,revolvingaround the kind of knowledge
factthatit leads thepracticedlistenerto expect, implicated in theirdescription.
The kinetic-syntacticapproach is, of course,
consciouslyor unconsciously,the arrivalof a
subsequenteventor one of a numberof alter- deeply embedded in analyticalpractice,and is not
nativesubsequentevents.Such expectations(or specificto Meyer'sown personal approach. Never-
'subjectivepredictions')are entertainedwith theless, it was given particularimpetus in 1956
varyingdegrees of certainty, dependingupon when Meyerpublished his doctoral thesisas Emo-
whatisfelttobe theprobability ofanyparticular tionand meaningin music,and thenseventeenyears
eventin a specificset ofmusicalcircumstances.
later,when a series of lectureshe had given at the
Or, viewed objectively,because of the way the
humanmindperceivespatternsand because of Universityof Californiaat Berkeleywere expanded
and published as Explainingmusic: essays and ex-
habits,one musical
eventimpliessubsequentmusical eventswith plorations.Many analystshave been influencedby
these two books. One is the composer and critic
particular degreesofprobability.1
Edward T. Cone, whose analyticalwritingsI shall
There are two points to emphasise about this ap- consider in this essay Cone has taken a broadly
proach. First,everythingthathappens in music is kinetic-syntacticapproach on a number of occa-
subordinated to the temporal process, from the sions. Several of his essays begin with a similar
overall formalscheme of the music to the listen- premiseto the one Meyer describesabove, and go
er's understanding and enjoyment of the music. on to explore the precise dynamicsof expectation
As Monroe Beardsleyhas similarlysuggested, and implication.An example is 'Schubert'sunfin-
ished business':
Music,we mightsay,is in essencecontinuation: the
question always where it will takeus and
next, We cannothearforward; yetmusicis filledwith
everyhappeningis markedby thesensethatpos- commitments - theexpectations
to thefuture on
areopeningorclosing,thatthereis devel- whosesatisfaction,
immediate or delayed,itscon-
opmentorretrogression, thatthereis continuity or depends.Andalthoughthelisteneris de-


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nied thepowerof prediction, he is nevertheless grain,forevidenceof discontinuity and fragmen- 4. JosephKerman:

grantedthe pleasureof anticipationand also, if tationin themusiche discusses,foran overriding Contemplating
theears ofhis memoryare long enough,thejoy music:challenges
lack of relationsbetweengestures;such is fre-
ofrecognition whena long-postponed fulfilment tomusicology
arrives.The finaldisposalofunfinishedbusiness quentlythe fateof his essay on 'Stravinsky:the (Cambridge, Mass.:
can proveto be both formally and dramatically progressof a method'.My interesthere,though, Harvard University
is in whatCone himselfwas trying to achieve.Of Press,1985),p.93.
course,myown trajectory mayseem overlysys- 5. RoseRosengard
Cone's analyticalwritingcannot be fullyunder- tematic,tyingCone downwherehe is movingon, Subotnik:Decon-
stood withoutreferenceto Meyer.Read (retrospec- and readingsignificance
intopartsofessayswhere structive
he meantnone (or at anyratenothingspecial).To musicandreason
tively) as a single project, his essays constitutea
practical examination of the nature of kinetic- thischargeI plead guilty,noting,however,thatI (Minneapolis:
syntacticrelations fromwhat Joseph Kerman has would like merelyto tease out of an otherwise Universityof
described as a 'traditionalistor perhaps transfor- loose bodyofmaterialan understanding of Cone's Minnesota Press,
mationist'perspective.4However,his essays do not analyticalachievement in theyearsafter'Beyond 1996),chapter3.
forma single project, and his criticalposition has analysis'. 6. Cone:Delft,
changed over time. This essay assesses Cone's p.41.
changingapproach to the analysis of musical rela- ONE examined one of the two types of 7. Meyer:
tions. musical relationmentionedabove in Explaining
Two preliminarycaveats are in order,however. some detailin an essaytitled'Yetonce music:essays
First,my emphasis will be neither on the hierar- more,O ye laurels'.Cone wrote this
chical relations that, for example, Schenkerians (Chicago:
piece fora special issue ofPerspectives
ofNew Music Universityof
claim to reveal below the surfaceof music, nor on in honour of Milton Babbitt'ssixtiethbirthday ChicagoPress,
the kinds of formalrelationsthatcan be discerned (hencethelinefromLycidas).Revisiting 'Analysis 1973),p.37.
by a quasi-spatial act of 'structurallistening'.5I today'and reconsidering what thatfamousessay
am more interestedin the prosaic, linear relations had criticised
as 'prescriptive thecentral
that occur or are created between individual ges- notion of 'Yet once more, O ye laurels' is what
tures during the musical experience, and thatare Cone termeda 'latentcountermotif',
thus irreducibleto the concernsof musical syntax. spiredby examplesin Meyer'srecentExplaining
Secondly, it is possible to read Cone against the music7:


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8. Cone:'Yetonce The examplesjust adduced [fromthe Tristan at in 'Yetoncemore,O yelaurels',thecentralprop-
more,0 yelaurels', Prelude],it is true,should not and cannotcon- - and hencesurprise
in Perspectives ertyof whichis emergence
vinceone of thenecessityor even theadvisabil- (more about thisbelow).
ofNewMusic ityoftrying to heartheopeningmeasuresofthe
14/2-15/1(1976), In March1981 Cone gavea paperat theThird
Vorspielin a mannercontradicted by theinstru-
p.301. mentation. Buttheydo supporttheviewthatone MichiganConferenceon Music Theory,entitled
9. NicholasCook: 'Structureand expressionin Schubert'sMoment
can findthere,in additionto theusuallyrecog-
Music,imagination, nisedmotifs, whatmightbe calleda latentcoun- musicalno.6'. In publishedformthisbecamethe
andculture termotif- latentbecauseitsmelodiclinehas not much-cited article,'Schubert's
promissory note:an
(Oxford:Oxford counterbecause exercisein musicalhermeneutics', in whichCone
Press, yetbeen explicitlyarticulated,
University thatimpliedlinerunsin oppositionto theactual readsthe Schubertpiano piece in lightof a par-
voice-leadingof the passage. Only lateris the ticulartypeof harmonicimplicationand its ex-
10. Cone:Delft, Cone approachestherelationsbe-
motifovertlyarticulatedand supportedby the pressiveeffect.
p.181 & 186 texture.8
tweenmusicalgestures anglethan
froma different
hitherto, witha new kindof structurein mind:
11. Cone: At firstglance it might appear that latent coun-
'Schubert's A promissory
note:an termotifsare not dependent on the musical expe- chord,on theotherhand[unlike
promissory an interrupted from
exercisein musical rience at all, and that they exist in some kind of cadence],is separated what
followsbya suddenswitch indirection,
hermeneutics',in parallel dimension.Afterall, theyseem to promote - andmostoften
19th-CenturyMusic an analytical approach that makes judgements leadingas wellas ofharmony
5/3(Spring1982), about the relationsbetween gesturessubject only bya breakin therhythmic flowtoo.Thecombi-
p.236. nationofemphasis andseparationdrawsspecial
to the requirementof logical and syntacticalcon-
12. Meyer: attentionto theunresolved chordandenablesit
sistency- thatgestureslook thesame. It could even to establishits influenceso powerfullythatit
Explainingmusic, be said that latent countermotifsshed more light
seemsto require themostobvi-
on part of the compositional process than on the ous form ofwhichis a prominent so
13. Cone:reviewof theacutelistenerofitscon-
actual musical experience (Cone himselfcertainly statedas toremind
Meyer'sExplaining writes from a composer's perspective), and that nectionwiththepromissory chord."
oftheAmerican theywork 'on thewrongside of the fabric'.9To mis-
Musicological appropriatea phrase associated with Babbitt,Who Cone seemsto havederivedtheidea ofa promis-
Society27 (1974) cares if you listen? Yet they do have some rele- sorynotefromExplaining music,in whichMeyer
p.338. vance to the musical experience. The conjunction had coined the term'potentialstructuraltone'.12
14. Meyer: ofsurpriseand recognitionthatcharacterisesmany ReviewingMeyer's book for the Journalof the
Explainingmusic, musical processes can be subsumed under the American Society,
Musicological Cone had discus-
p.92. banner of latent countermotifs,if by the term sed Meyer'snotion,couchinghis summary, signi-
we understanda particularway of thinkingabout in termsthatacquiredanotherlayerof
the temporalityof the musical experience. Latent meaningin 'Schubert'spromissory note':
countermotifsdescribe less the listener'sunder-
A potential
structuraltoneis onewhose'melodic
standing of the presentgesturein itself,more the
prominenceis not matched by its functional
temporalrelation of the presentgesture'to' a sec- As a resultit remains in theearas
ond gesture which has already happened earlier importance'.
markedforspecialtreatment lateron.A strongly
in themusic. They createa bridgedirectlyfromthe
accentedweakbeat,an isolatedhighnote,an
present gesture back to a gesture that has since leadingtone- all thesesuggest
unresolved that
become part of the listener'smemoryand which, somewhere,somehow, lateron theirunrealised
crucially for Cone, might otherwise have simply willbe 'actualised'.13
remained there.
Cone took a similarposition to 'Yetonce more, Morerevealing thanthesimilarity betweenCone's
O ye laurels' in an essay published the following and Meyer'sthought,however,is the point on
year. To be fair,'Beethoven'sexperimentsin com- whichtheydepartcompany.This can be seen in
position: the late bagatelles' was not concerned thewordsimmediately following thephraseCone
with musical relationsas such, but it is neverthe- quotes: '[as a result]structural emphasisis called
less worth noting the analytical approach under- for.'14
Meyer's doctrinaire insistence on an under-
lying remarks like the following: 'the expansion lyinghierarchy is too rigidand inflexibleforCone.
[of the dominant prolongation in op.33 no.l] is For him,it is the musicalsurface- the music-
not particularlyworthyin itself,but it becomes alongwithitsmoment-to-moment successionthat
strikingwhen heard in conjunctionwith the com- grasps the attention of both listener and analyst
pression to which the followingsection then sub- (this is one of the constantsof Cone's thought,
mits.' These, and Cone's analysis of the 'reinter- datingback to his introduction to a 1966 edition
pretation[and 'dislocation']of theharmonicsig- ofEdmundGurney'sThepowerofsound).
nificanceofan eventin accordancewitha change Elsewhere,too,thereseemsto havebeensome
arerichlyevocative ofa particular
con- reciprocalexchangebetweenCone and Meyer.
ceptionof musical relationthat Cone had hinted Discussingissueslike thedifference betweende-


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rels'and in some of his analysesin Musicalform 15. ibid.,
scriptionand explanation,thenatureofcomposi-
tionalchoice,and the problemsof determinism and musicalperformance, notablyhis discussion pp.9,18-20,20
ofrepetition, and theimpossibil- respectively.
(threeissuescentralto thesubjectofmusicalrela- reinterpretation,
16. Cone:Delft,
tions),thefirstchapterof Explaining music,sub- ityof 'trueredundancy'.18 On the otherhand,by
titled'The natureand limitsof criticalanalysis', means of certainaspects of a gesturethat are p.215.
had resonated withthetoneofCone'sclassicessay flaggedforlaterattention, a relationmaybe de- 17. ibid.,p.215.
'Analysistoday'.15 Later,too,as ifin return, Cone's mandedin advanceofa latergesturethatsatisfies 18. Cone: Musical
argument in 'Twelfth night' about the problem of thedemand;thiswas howConewroteabout'Schu- formand musical
as a formusical rela- bert'spromissory note'. performance(New
taking inevitability ground York:Norton,
tionswouldowe someofitsmomentum to Meyer. Therearesomesignificant differences between
In some respects,Cone's1984 essay'Schubert's thesetwotypesofrelation.To begin,whereaspro-
19. Cone:Delft,
unfinished business'was simplya sequel to 'Schu- missorynotesadvertisetheirneedforcompletion
bert'spromissory note' dealingwith Cone's own or fulfilment,latentcountermotifs are self-con- pp.204-05
[c.f.fn10], 208
unfinished business,an extrachapterof illustra- tainedand completein themselves;theyare not respectively.
tionsthathe was unable to include,or thatper- even heard as such at the time of theirfirst
haps occurredto himafterhe had publishedthe appearance.Strictlyspeaking,theydo not need
firstessay.All the examplesrelyon much the further development, and itis onlywithintheex-
same principleas promissory notes.Most occur pressivedomain ofthemusic,thedomainin which
in recapitulations and codas, not the most star- thelistenercan exercisehisimagination, ifprompt-
tlingor unexpectedplace to findsuch phenom- ed,thatsomething can- butneednot- be created
ena;andunsurprisingly, perhaps,ConecitesJoseph out of a latentcountermotif. Moreover,thatthe
Kerman's'Notes on Beethoven'scodas'.16Never- listenerexperiencesa gestureas a responseto an
theless,towardsthe end of the essay Cone sug- earlier(latent)countermotif thusoftencomesas
gestsanother- thoughquitedifferent - wayofde- a surprise.As Cone similarly writesin 'Schubert's
scribing processby which a promissory note unfinished business',
is 'actualised'.Now,thepotentialofa musicalges-
ture to generatefuturedevelopmentis said to Manycases requireclose and imaginative
tionon thepartofthehearerifhe is to realise
remainimplicitand unconsciousforsome time
that the business at hand is actuallyfinished.
duringthemusicalexperience.However,at some Sometimesthatawarenessarrives verylate- per-
pointoffulfilment, completionor transfiguration hapsonlyin retrospect,
at themoment ofcom-
thediverseelementsdrawtogether intoa tighter is subtle- thesatisfaction
Theeffect ofa
unity, and a relation is created between the two subconsciouslongingratherthantheanticipated
gestureswhereby the later of the two is under- ofa conscious
gratification desire.
stood, in hindsight,as havingbeen implicated
withintheearliergestureall along.The interest- And laterin thesame essay:
ing thingabout Cone's discussion of cases of Thephrasethusexemplifies thesatisfaction
unfinishedbusinessis theirsmallbut important
long-range obligation thatin a sensemaynot
difference frompromissory notes: the realityof
reallyexistuntilitis satisfied;
thelistener's experience is not takenforgranted. tionofelements at firstwidelyseparatedoften,
Whereaspromissory notesaretosomeextentauto- as here,clarifies
orestablishes ofwhich
nomousmusicalagentswhichthelistenersimply wemight otherwisehavebeenunaware.19
watchesfroma distance,gesturesthatbecomere-
latedthrough an act of'transfiguration' becomeso In short,theresponseto a latentcountermotif
through a creative force that Cone refers to as an functionsto confirmwhat we alreadyknew.It
act ofcriticism.17 'explainstheobvious'as CharlesRosenputsit,20
even ifit does so unconsciously. However,latent
HERE are,then,at leasttwowaysofde- countermotifs also bringto lightelementsof the
scribingtherelationsbetweengestures. musicalprocess,notsimplythatthelistenerwas
Therearecertainly othertypesand vari- unawareof,butthathe or she did notreallyneed
ants of musical relations that Cone to know in orderto followand understandthe
doesn'tmention, and overlapsand interactionsbe- earlierofthetwogestures(thelatentcountermo-
tweenthesetwotypesalone,butmyconcernhere tifitself).The point,accordingto Cone, though,
is withCone'sunderstanding ofthepreciseterms is thatsuch elementsbecomerelevantlaterin the
and conditionson which these two kinds of musicalprocessas partof the listener'sengage-
relationsarepossible.On theone
kinetic-syntactic mentwiththe laterof the two gestures,and as
hand,a relationmaynotexistand be experienced theydo so, whatwas latentbecomesblatant.As
in any real sense untilthe adventof a laterges- such,latentcountermotifs are centralto thema-
turethatreturnsto the concernsof the earlier chineryof musicalunderstanding, fortheyplay
gestureandrevisits itsexpressive such
possibilities; on the listener'sengagementwith the music,
was Cone'sapproachin 'Yetonce more,0 ye lau- whichbyitsverynatureis notsyntactical (unlike


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thattheyare simply'realised'duringthemusical
experience- are made preciselyto bolsterthis
Thfe3iftegardi . claimaboutthecognitiverealityofcausalitydur-
twork ing themusicalexperience.The logicalassump-
I haveraiseduphumanity tothehighcallingofcreativity. l turesin thisway is thatthe listenerhas knowl-
I havecalledthem tobelikeme". ,,
edge,at leastin theory, ofa musicalgestureprior
(Hildegard ofBingen)
to his orheractualexperience ofit,literally'ahead
of time'.Cone oftenseems to have takenthisas
read,and,moreover, as a requirement ofmusical
The HildegardNetwork style and value. In for
'Beyondanalysis', example,
he advocated 'progression'over mere 'connec-
bringstogetherspirituality, tion',21 whilein 'Sound and syntax:an introduc-
thearts,healingandecology tionto Schoenberg's Harmony', writtenat thein-
vitationof AlexanderGoehrforthe Schoenberg
throughthevisionof the centenary
in Leeds,he discussedthe
way stylistic givedirectionto
12th-centuryabbess by harmonicmovementand hence a sense of the
meansof conferences, Butsuchassumptions bothofthenecessaryre-
lationofone gestureto another- musicalrelation
performances,quietdays as an a priorideterminant of themusicalexperi-
anda newsletter. ence- and ofthepowerofprediction
least because of
areopen to
dispute(not their rather idealis-
tic Meyerianassumptionof 'stylisticcompeten-
Dr JuneBoyce-Tillman, cy'). Cone himselfnotedas muchin a remarkin
his 1977 essay'Threewaysofreadinga detective
KingAlfred'sUniversity College,
Winchester5022 4NR. story- or a BrahmsIntermezzo'aboutthediffer-
Tel: (01962) 827281 / Fax: (01962) 827272. encebetweensayingthat,forexample,thischord
'is' a dominantchordand sayingthatit 'becomes'
a dominant chord.23 In fact,in themid-1980sCone
began to think about whetherthe notion of a
20. Charles Rosen: a centralpartof thecomposer'sactivity)but aes- relationbetweentwo gesturesmightin factbe a
Thefrontiers of thetic,dealingas it does withtheactive'transfig- moreinformal and open-endedphenomenon, and
meaning(New uration'ofthepotentialrelationsbetweenearlier itsgrounding
York:Hill & Wang, something other than logical neces-
1994), chapter3. gesturesand morerecentones. sity,whetherin factthe realitythatthe listener
21. Cone: Delft, Promissory notes,on theotherhand,as Cone can accordtherelationbetweentwomusicalges-
p.60. seemsto conceivethem,requirea different sortof turesis of an orderquite different to his or her
knowledge in order to function properly. For a cognitiveperception of musical syntax.Such an
22. ibid., p.251.
start,knowledge promissory of a noteneeds to be intuition, on a
brought by generaldissatisfaction
23. ibid.,p.86. If a note is not 'noted' the at current methodsof music analysis,including
explicit. promissory by
listener, then it becomes debatable whether it is a his own previousessays,seems (retrospectively)
promissory note at all, and not something more to have provided Cone with the impulse for
like a latentcountermotif (assuming thatthe lis- 'Twelfth night'.
tenerhearsa relationat all). Thismeansthatpro- In thisbravenew essaypresentedas a keynote
missorynotesare relianton a particulartypeof addressto theSocietyofMusicTheoryin October
listening, one that is able to entertain some quite 1984, Cone attemptedto elaboratean analytical
deterministic predictions about the futuresignif- approachin which musical relationsmightbe
icance of thepresentgesture,one ofwhichis in treated,not as the groundforthe musicalpro-
what mannerits prominencedeservesor needs cess,butas one ofitsconstituent elementsalong-
subsequentresponse. side the more familiar elements of harmony,
In fact,promissorynotes and othersimilar rhythm, texture, and so on. This meant consider-
formsofderivation mustbe groundedin thecat- ing, not simply how gestures are related,but
egory causality they if are to function mean- whether they are related at all. This is certainly
ingfully provoke in the listener a sense of ex- not to say that Cone was the
denying powerof
pectation,suspense, and finally fulfilment. The prediction, expectation, or thepresenceofthere-
transcendental claimsthatanalysisoftenmakes- sulting musical relations, merelythathe had come
thatsuch derivations are a necessary'element'of to recognisetheirlimits- or, more accurately,
musicallanguage,thattheycan be describedin theiroriginsin thelistener's musicalact.Whereas
termsof the syntactical'operation'of language, 'Beyondanalysis'twentyyearsearlierhad been a


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defenceofcompositionalintent,ofthecomposer concludedin 'Beyondanalysis').ButCone is right 24. RogerSessions:
qua composer,'Twelfth night'was an attemptto to insistupon theimportance ofaskingtheques- The musical
incorporatethelistenerqua listenerintothevery tionin thefirstplace,whatevertheresponse.
composer, performer
fabricofthemusicalprocess;to takeintoaccount Cone suggestsa different way of approaching listener(Princeton:
what RogerSessions had been sayingforsome thequestionofrelation,one thatmightavoid the PrincetonUP,
years: dangerousassumptionofnecessity and inevitabil- 1950), p.32.
ityFor thishe uses theterm'consequentiality'.28 25. Cone: 'Twelfth
Theearnotonlydiscriminates; and
itassociates What Cone has in mindis somethingsimilarto night',in Journal
coordinatesmusicalimpressions. dis-
It creates, a
Meyer's'lawofgood continuation',29 concerning ofMusicological
covers,or becomesand remains awareofrela- distinctionbetweenconventional
necessity(when (1987), p.135.
tionshipsbetweensounds,betweenmusical a secondgestureis merelypredictable on thebasis
ideas,and betweenrhythmic accents,motifs, 26. ibid.,
sections, In the
of thelistener'sstylisticknowledge)and musical
phrases,periods, pp.140, 137, 138
senseit developsintowhatI shalllater
largest necessity(whentheillusionofnecessityunderly- respectively.
butpriorto thatstage
callmusicalimagination; ingtherelationbetweentwogesturesis grounded 27.
in thelistener'sactualexperience).30 Meyer:
a complex, andnotalways
indispensable, Analytically, Explainingmusic,
clearly function.24 consequentiality is a measureof the degreeof p.119.
relatednessof two gestures,and is a functionof
28. Cone: 'Twelfth
Of course,introducing such contingency into the listener'sact of relatingeach successiveges-
therelationsbetweengestureshad immensecon- tureto boththosethathavealreadyoccurredand
29. Emotion
sequences.Not theleastof thesewas thatCone's to thosepotentialgesturesthathis or her cumu- andMeyer: in
earlier analyses suddenly became problematic lative experienceseems to suggestas plausible music(Chicago:
(especially'Schubert'spromissory note').Theirap- continuations. Like JerroldLevinson'snotionof Universityof
proachseemedinflexibleand deterministic, and quasi-hearing',31Cone intendsit bothnegatively Chicago Press,
the music theydescribedrigidlypatternedand and positively:negatively, as a way of reducing 1956), chapter3.
schematic- unfairly so. Cone mightevenbe said thedeterministic claimsthatanalysisoftenmakes 30. Cone: 'Twelfth
(retrospectively)to havecontradicted someofhis about the cognitiverealityof expectation,im- night',p.139.
own earlierwritings,since in 'Twelfth night'he plication,and derivation; as a way of 31. Jerrold
attempts tounsettlean everyday assumption:that comingto termswiththereal timeexperienceof Levinson: Music
is a musicalaxiom.To do this,Coneoffers relations. in themoment
causality kinetic-syntactic
(Ithaca: Cornell
a new typeof'macro-analysis, a newFormenlehre':
SN- NE thingbrought intoquestionbyCone's 1997), pp.14-21.
[...]a Lehre butofform orof
itself, elaborationof consequentiality is the
32. Subotnik:
form andcontent Perhaps
together. the new field relationbetweensyntaxand rhetoric.
shouldbe describedin terms ofmusicalrhetoric Developing
Cone'sthesisresonateswithRose Rosen- variations:style
- rhetoricnot,ofcourse,as an artofpersuasive
ifyou gard Subotnik'sinsistenceon makinga distinc- and ideologyin
oratory,butas oneofeffective(persuasive, tion'betweenmoralfiatand logicalnecessity'32 in westernmusic
will)presentation; as a study ofthe prin- (Minneapolis:
the descriptionof musical relations.However,
ciplesgoverning therelations of ideas to one Universityof
while forSubotnikthis is a historicalproblem
another, and of themostconvincing waysof MinnesotaPress,
ordering andconnecting them- 'modesofcon- concerningthe relationbetween Classical and 1991), p.80.
tinuation', aptterm. It Romanticmusic,forCone itis an analyticalprob-
wouldbe a grammar ofmusicalconcepts tosup- lem: whetherit is in theverynatureof musical
plement ourmorefamiliarsyntax ofmusicalele- languagequa languagethatmusicalrelationsexist
ments.25 such as analystsregularlydescribe,or whether
thereis an inescapableelementofimaginationor
This, once more,harksback to Meyer'swriting. freedominvolvedsomewherein theircreation
Cone's approach,though,is considerablymore and revelationthatcan onlybe understoodwith
flexible.For one thing,he is willingto ask poten- reference to theactualmusicalexperience.
tiallydangerousquestions.Vergingon themuch- In answerto thisdilemma,Cone'sclaimabout
chartedterritory of 'Beyondanalysis',he notes consequentiality can be readas a claimaboutthe
thatthereis a real difference between'necessary' contingency of musicalrelations:theyarisedur-
reasons forthe characterof a Mozart Trio and ing the musicalexperience.This was an impor-
reasonsforthe same: 'we usuallyfail
'sufficient' tantbreakthrough forCone,foritmeantthatthey
to realisethatthefirstquestionoughtto be, not are created,at leastin part,by what thelistener
whythiscontinuation[afterthedouble-bar],but does. How theyareso createdis a morecomplex
whyanycontinuation.'26 Relatingindirectlyback to matter,and one thatwe can exploreby relating
Meyer's discussion of 'declarativeprolongations 'Twelfth night'to 'On derivation: syntaxand rhe-
[that] implycontinuationin the generalsense toric',also a paperthatCone gavein October1984
thatmoremusicis expected',27thisis nota trivial (at CambridgeUniversity)and publishedthree
question,even if ultimatelythereis no generic yearslater.On itsown 'On derivation' seemslike
answer,or indeedanyanswerat all (as Cone had simplyanothertaxonomyof musical relations,


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33. Cone:'Yetonce a plethoraof examplesillustrating all matic]identifications into the open,notjust as
more,0 yelaurels', manner of derivations,rangingfromliterally an act of analysis,but also as a musicaldemon-
p.304. stration.
The revelation ofrelationsbetweenthese
straightforward derivation to transitive
34. Thomas tobackwardsderivation, and evenusingthesame passages mightwell constitutethe climax of a
Clifton:'Musicas cadenza.37
termsas 'Twelfth night'.And it mayalso be that
in E JosephSmith, the once anachronisticsuggestionin 'Yet once
ed.: In searchof more,O ye laurels'of a 'bizarreconceptof tem- The point about a 'revelation'of this sortis thatit
musicalmethod porallyreversiblethematicderivation'33 at last does not serve a syntacticalpurpose. There would
(London:Gordon foundan appropriate homehere.Read alongside be no more a problem of grammatical incom-
& Breach,1976),
'Twelfth night',however,'On derivation' becomes pleteness or incorrectnesswithout the thematic
a studyof preciselytheassumptionsbehindany relations which Cone has created than there is
35. Cone:'On
derivation: analysisoftherelationsbetweengestures.Ofpar- with them. Rather,it contributesto 'the climax of
syntax ticularimportance is thatunderlying Cone'sana-
in the cadenza' and the music's large-scale rhythmic
MusicAnalysis6/3 lyticalexamples is a new on
perspective therela- shape. Indeed, by definitiona 'revelation'of the-
(October1987), tionbetweenanalyticalinsight(into derivation) matic relations can deal only in the sort of rela-
p.246. and thetemporal reality ofthemusicalexperience. tions that the listener may recognise if told but
36. Cone: Musical Atthepivotalmomentin 'On derivation', as he would not have necessarilynoticed otherwise- it
formand musical was movingfromthefirstwordof thesubtitleto is retrospectivein nature. Such relations, contri-
performance, the second, Cone broughtinto play the idea of buting to a sense of continuity,bridge the gap
pp.83-84. thisis his between the listenerand the brute physicalityof
37. Cone:'A most profoundcontributionto the analysisof the musical language. Indeed, theydo not merely
cadenzaforop.15', musicalrelations,describingnot simplythe na- 'constitute'the climax: theyare constitutedas cli-
in LewisLockwood
& Phyllis tureoftherelationbetweenthetwopartsofa de- mactic by the listener,and this is a centralpart of
edd., Beethoven rivationbut its expressiveimpacton thebroader his or her experience, as Cone conceives it. Cone
essays:studiesin musicalprocess.Profoundly transforming thelis- provides an excellent practical example of what
honourofElliot tener'sexperienceand the dimensionswithin he has in mind in The composer'svoice, where he
Forbes(Cambridge, whichitis conducted,
Mass.:Harvard epiphanieshelpthelistener describes his own developing understanding of
to answerthequestion,'Howcan I affirm theiden- Beethoven'slate E major piano sonata in termsof
1984),pp.99,101 tity and the temporality of the In
piece?'34 Cone's an epiphany.38
respectively. words,they'compel the listenerto realisea pre-
38. Cone:The viouslyunsuspected
- or at most unconfirmed - s
Ni _ rEVERTHELESS, the crux of the mat-
composer's relationship'35 gestures. ter finallycame out into the open in
(Berkeley: Althoughthe termitselfwas new to Cone's 'On derivation' itself with a decep-
California analyticalpractice(thoughwas not developedto tively simple claim: that epiphanies
Press, its fullpotentialin 'On derivation'),the idea of are unpredictable - literally.They cannot be cal-
epiphanywas not withoutprecedent.The latent culated. Although the listener can make a guess
39. Meyer: countermotifs Cone had discussedin 'Yetonce as to when (if not precisely how) a 'structural
more,O ye laurels' arisein a similarmanner,and downbeat' of the sort famous fromMusical form
in Musicalformand musicalperformance
Cone had and musical performancemighthappen, he or she
40. ibid.,pp.20-21.
describeda case ofmuchthesame phenomenon is unable to sense the temporal proximityof an
in Chopin'sPolonaise-Fantasy: epiphany Epiphanies are unpredictable, not be-
cause the listener lacks the appropriate know-
Chopinuses an important
devicethatI some-
ledge or stylisticawareness to rationalisean imma-
what extravagantly
referto as apotheosis[liter-
nent epiphany (though these may well be true),
a specialkindofrecapitulation
thatrevealsunexpected harmonic but ratherbecause an epiphany is a moment of
textural excitementin a themepreviously revelation.Meyer referredto it as the 'Aha!' expe-
sentedwitha deliberately restricted
harmonisa- rience.39And it is the very contingencybuilt into
tionanda relativelydrabaccompaniment.36 the notion of consequentialitythatallows forepi-
phanies; or, more accurately,Cone seems to have
Cone had also suggestedsomethingsimilarin come to the conclusion that,because the listener's
hisnewlycomposedcompletionofthecadenzain understanding of music is predominantlyif not
thefirstmovementof Beethoven'sC majorPiano entirelybackward facing,particularlywhere the
Concerto.In explainingtherationalebehindhis relationsbetween gesturesare concerned,it would
new cadenza,he had noted: be a mistaketo describerelationsin termsstronger
than consequentiality.Afterall, as Meyer said, 'A
In fact,my chiefmotivationhas been to make good composition makes us feel the uncertainty
thiscadenza clarifyan important but somewhat oftheimprobable, evenwhileconvincing us ofits
obscureformalrelationthatmightotherwisego propriety.It confronts
us with thecapriciousand
unnoticed,at leastduringan actualperformance. cons us intobelievingit was necessary'40
This is
It seemed worthwhileto bringall these [the- not to say thatepiphaniesare some kindofmys-


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tical phenomena heard only by the initiated, temporalprocessof musicand to endowit with 41. Cone: Delft,

simplythattheyexpose thelistener's all-too-easy certainformalattributes. As such, theyhave a p.86.

adoption of 'an initial assumption of omni- broadly rhythmicfunction,in the sense that 42. ibid., p.251.
science',41theassumptionthat,forexample,pro- Cone had in mindwhenpenningwhathas since 43. Cone: 'A
missory notesnecessarilydemandlaterattention become one of the most famousremarksin the cadenza forop.15',
and thattheirrhetorical and expressiveemphasis analyticalliterature: thatmusicalformis rhyth- p.102.
mustbe notsimplyrelatedto butsubordinated to mic.48By 'rhythmic' Cone did not mean simply 44. Cone: Delft,
theirsyntactical and formalfunction. Indeed, the metreand accentuation. He meant,following Su- p.248.
veryrelianceon predictionand implication- in sanneLanger'snotionof'livingform',theexpres- 45. ibid., p.206.
particular, narrowlysyntactical prediction- that sive relationbetweenmusical gestures:formis
46. Cone:
characterisedearlier,more Meyerianessayslike relational.It is a composite'rhythm' drawingthe 'Schubert's
'Soundand syntax', withitsunderlying thesisthat variouspartsof theworkinto a unifiedexpres- promissorynote',
'certainsonoritiesstrongly implyspecificsyntactic sivewhole thatcentreson a structural downbeat p.236.
situations',42and even theclassic'Schubert's pro- and transcendsthenominallyseparateorganisa- 47. Cone:
missorynote',is at theveryleastcalledintoques- tionoftheindividual parameters. Rhythm is 'some- 'Schubert's
tionby theidea ofepiphany thing related to function rather than to time.'49 Beethoven',in
of epiphanies,then,is to Thisis whythe'idealhearing'advocatedin Musi- Musical Quarterly
One of thefunctions
56/4 (October
createthe possibilityof a relationbetweenges- calformandmusicalperformance50 and the'Third
1970), p.788.
tures,and to do so in real time.For Cone, thisis reading'postulated in 'Three ways readinga de-
48. Cone: Musical
partof the processby whichmusicalworksare tectivestory',51 thoughperhapsless frequent than
formand musical
createdand experiencedas whole,as singlecohe- Cone thinks, comeaboutas a resultofepiphanies.
rentprocesses(ratherthanas a meresuccession These,then,are thebasic characteristics ofepi-
49. SusanneLanger:
ofinstants),and thismeansthatepiphanieshave phanies.Serving a formal - a synthetic rhythmic Problemsofart:
a broadlysyntheticfunction.Centralto Cone's - function, theyare notreallygesturesat all, and tenphilosophical
thoughtas an index of theunityand integration are notevenprimarily linguistic:theyare events, lectures(London:
of a workand its parts,theidea of synthesishas and, as Cone conceives them(thoughthereare Routledge& Kegan
Paul, 1957), p.50.
playedvariousroles in his analyses.In the con- othertypesof epiphany),the residuetheyleave
clusionto 'A cadenza forop.15', forexample,he behindin theirwake helps thelistenerto consti- 50. Cone: Musical
wrotethathis cadenza 'demonstrates an organic tutea relationbetweenpresentand past musical formand musical
relationbetweentwo apparentlydisparatesec- Thisis perhapstheclosestConehas come performance,
gestures. pp.96-97.
tionsofthemovement',43 pointingto thefactthat to a phenomenologicalmethodof analysis,for
51. Cone: Delft,
an epiphanydirectsthe listenerfrompart to epiphaniesconcernnot simplythe elementsof
whole, or,more accurately, towardsthe specific themusicalprocessbuttheverytemporality ofthe
relationbetweenthepresentgestureand theima- the ofmusical re- 52. RogerScruton:
processitself, verytemporality The aestheticsof
ginedwhole.Similarly, in 'Insidethesaint'shead: lations.Compensating forthelack ofnecessityin
themusicofBerlioz'he spokeofthethematic 'dis- themusicalprocess,forthefactthattherelations OxfordUniversity
closureofa moreorganically unifiedform',44 while betweengestureswhich the listenercreatesand Press, 1997),
in 'Schubert'sunfinishedbusiness'he remarked experiencesare not actually'there'in anymater- chapter3.
thatan epiphanycan reveala 'new and conclu- ial sense,epiphaniesare centralto theprocessby 53. Cone:
sive' featureof the musical argument,45 and in whichthemusicis constituted as an intentional 'Music and form',
'Schubert's promissory note' that 'the virtue ofthe as
object, Roger Scruton describes music.52They in Philip Alperson,
elicita constitute thepointatwhichsoundsbecometones, ed.: Whatis
promissory is
technique rarely to harmony music?:an
thatwould otherwisebe missing- rather, it is to languagebecomesgestures,and are placed in re- introduction
drawtemporally separated sections of a work in- lationto othertonesand gestures. In Cone'spotent to thephilosophy
to more intimateand more interesting connec- words,they make expression onlypossiblebut
'not ofmusic
tion'.46In short,evenif,as Cone wrotein another tolerable'.53 (Pennsylvania:
on 'theform[i.e.formal PennsylvaniaState
essay Schubert, archetype]
is unclear- not necessarilyto the analyst,who E have strayedfromthe straight 1987), p.145.
can studythemovementas a whole,butcertainly and narrowof Cone's analyses.It
to the listener,who has to takeit as it comes',47 seemstome,though, thatithasbeen
clarityabout the identityand temporalityof the
worth effort, forwe havebegunto
musiccomesto thelistenerthroughepiphany. appreciatehis achievement as an analyst.'Twelfth
Indeed,epiphaniesare centralto the musical night','On derivation',and the strainof Cone's
experiencepreciselybecause theydeal withthis thought which theybring to a head can be read
veryelement:thelistener's sensebothoftherela- (retrospectively)as Cone's most powerfulre-
tionsbetweenindividualgesturesand oftherela- sponse to the deterministicheritageof the 1950s
tionsbetweeneach gestureand its place in the and 1960s. Andhis responsewas moreadventur-
overalltemporalprocess.Creating- synthesising ous thanthecommonperceptionof his writings
- a relationbetweenthepresentand thepast,they would lead us to believe,forwhilehis approach
help the listenerto followand understandthe has beenconsistentlypractical,someoftheunder-


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BritishMusic Label BML022


performed by
MichaelFinnissy(piano)/ ElizabethGlen (soprano),
JohnBeswick(piano)/ AndrewBaker(doublebass)
The pieces are based on Hildegard'santiphonsand ideas. They includea musictheatre
piece - A LifeApart- based on variousthemesfromHildegard'slife(includingWisdom
a piano piece based on a dramaticantiphonentitledAnointing
and creationspirituality),
theWounds,a settingof a modernversionof TheLord'sPrayer,and a powerfulpiece for
double bass and sopranoentitledHealing.

It is availablefromWRPM,
36 NewportRoad, Birmingham B12 8QD, UK.
Tel: 0121 449 7041 / Fax: 0121 442 2139

54. Cone: lyingaestheticbasesofhis analyseshavechanged. Meyer'ssystematicadherenceto notionsof'gene-

Manyoftheideas thatI have triedto teaseout of and patternpredictionhas a ten-
amplified:an Cone's essayssuggestthathe became less inter-
analysis',in Cone,
dencytomisunderstand, orat theveryleastdown-
ed.: HectorBerlioz: estedin therelationbetweenanalysisand theory, play,thecentralfeatureof musicalrelations:that
Fantasticsymphony in analysisas compositionaltool, and increas- gesturesbecome - rather than'are'- related,and
(New York:Norton, inglyinterested in the relationbetweenanalysis are thusexperienced(as opposedto 'thought')in
1971), p.249-77. and themusicalexperience- in analysisas con- retrospectiverevelation.As Cone himselfhas
55. Meyer: fession. noted,'Meyeroftenarguesafterthefact.He knows
Explainingmusic, For example,hisessayin his editionofBerlioz's thata melodyleadstoa givenconclusion,andso he
Symphonie fantastique has,it seemsto me,thedis- findsstronglyindicativesignpostsall along the
56. Cone: reviewof tinctadvantageof adoptinga quite relaxedap- way.'56
Meyer'sExplaining proachto thealmostendlessderivations fromthe Withan interest in themusicalexperiencequa
music,p.337. relations which Cone describes in termsof Cone's own moreinformal
ideefixe, experience, analytical
57. Cone: Musical 'reminiscences', 'recollections', 'resemblances',and approach is more valuable forthe studyof the
formand musical - all and relationsin music.Withtheno-
'suggestions'54 sufficiently open-ended kinetic-syntactic
p.97. flexibleenoughto accountforthereallistener act- tionsofepiphanyand consequentiality in particu-
ing in realtime. Curiously, this was the oppositeof lar, Cone has come very close to an analytical
Meyer'strajectory, havingbegun in Emotionand approachthatcan accountformusicalrelations
meaning in music with the listener's expectations, withoutmakingdeterministic assumptionsabout
overtimeMeyerseemstohavebecomemoreinter- theroleofprediction and implication:in short,an
estedin themultipleimplications of musicallan- approach that can maintain a real sense of the
guage itself.But I should admit to havingtreated answerablerelationbetweenlistenerand music.
AnthonyGritten Meyer as the fall guythroughout essay.This
this Andof themanyfactors influencing Cone'sdevel-
is Lecturerin
was unfair, my concern havingbeen Cone'sanaly- his
opment, 'unholydelight'57 in Edmund Gurney's
Music at the
ticalapproach.Nevertheless, ifthereis tobe a final approach to music was probablyhis greatest
Universityof East
Anglia,Norwich. explicitcomparison, then it seems fairto say that epiphany.


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