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Chapter 8


Unit II: Diatonic Contexts and Introduction to

Chromatic Pitches

Diatonic Sequences I

Excerpts: Melodic and Harmonic Diatonic Sequences

Now that you know and are comfortable with all of the diatonic scale degrees,
Unit II will explore various ways that they are utilized in a diatonic context.
This unit expands on your current understanding of phrases, moving towards
larger forms. The excerpts in this chapter introduce the diatonic sequence, a
frequently used technique for organizing pitches and harmonies. A sequence is
simply the repetition of a musical idea at a different pitch level from the
original (typically with at least two repetitions). Sequences can be
fundamentally harmonic, melodic, or both. In a harmonic sequence, a regular
interval is maintained between the chord roots of several subsequent
harmonies that occur with a consistent harmonic rhythm. Typical examples
include the falling-third sequence (I-vi-IV) and the falling-fifth sequence
(vi-ii-V-I). Melodic sequences are often accompanied by a recognizable
harmonic sequence, but not always. Some melodic sequences are purely linear in design. Melodic
sequences typically maintain a consistent contrapuntal relationship with the bass, however, creating a
repeating intervallic pattern (10-5 and 10-8 between the outer voices are common possibilities). What
is most important at this stage in your learning, however, is recognizing that a sequence has started or
finished and using this to your advantage as you attempt to sight sing accurately. In this chapter, not
only will you want to learn all the parts of the excerpts, but you will also want to practice the excerpts
carefully, singing one part while playing the other on the piano. When you are practicing, be sure to
bracket all occurrences of the sequence, as well as its model (the musical idea upon which the
sequence is based).

Example 8-1. Johann Sebastian Bach (16851750), Little Prelude in C major (transposed)

* The simple ascending-fifth harmonic sequence is accompanied by a 10-5 intervallic pattern. The
sequential motion causes the succession of harmonies to defy the most common harmonic practice here
(with preference for descending fifths). Also, note how Bach delays the arrival of the top chord tone in
the right hand. The diagonal lines show the displacement of the contrapoint.

Example 8-2. J. S. Bach, Invention No. 4 in D minor (transposed)

* The intervallic pattern between outer voices and the descending-fifth-related chord roots are all
marked for you. Note how the arrival on the acting soprano pitch is displaced in the even-numbered

Chapter 8-2
Sight Singing and Musical Style
Example 8-3. J. S. Bach, Invention No. 8 in F major (transposed)

* How does Bach adjust this extensive descending-fifth sequence so that it stays within diatonic
boundaries? Note that the chord roots are labeled for you.

Example 8-4. Johann Pachelbel (16531706), Canon in D Major

* This very familiar excerpt is based on a repeating ground bass that includes a special harmonic
sequence. The harmonic motion is broken up by a descending fifth to each even numbered harmony:
I-(V)-vi-(iii), and so forth. What is the relationship between the upper two parts? Can you add a fourth

Example 8-5. *Found in supplement.

Chapter 8-3
Example 8-6. J. S. Bach, Well-Tempered Clavier I, Prelude 21

* Does this sequence sound familiar? Be sure to take this excerpt very slowly.

Example 8-7. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Piano Concerto, K.488, mvt. 1

* Note how the outer parts move at different times. Some affectionately call this an inchworm
sequence, but most label it by the pattern of intervals; what is the pattern?

Example 8-8. Mozart, Rondo for Horn and Orchestra, K. 371

Chapter 8-4
Sight Singing and Musical Style
Example 8-9. J. S. Bach, Prelude from Cello Suite No. 2 in D minor

* Label the model and its melodic sequences. See if you can trace the harmonic progression here. Note
that although the movement is in d minor, this passage is in a related key.

Example 8-10. Franois-Joseph Gossec (17341829), Des Solfeges No. 41

Chapter 8-5
Example 8-11. Claudio Monteverdi (15671643), Perch se modiavi

Translation: Why, if you despised me [did you] pretend to love me, only to deceive me? Alas, a star made you so beautiful,
so cruel, so haughty, to destroy [my] soul.

* The intervallic pattern for both of the included sequences is marked. Pay special attention to how
Monteverdi plays with our expectations when he breaks out of the sequence. Why did Monteverdi need
an extra beat in the first complete measure of the second half (consider the text: Alas, a star made you
so beautiful)?

Example 8-12. Ludwig van Beethoven (17701827), "Waldstein" Sonata, op. 53, mvt. 3

Chapter 8-6
Sight Singing and Musical Style
Chorale Workshop (further expansions of tonic):
SOMETHING ABOUT why we introduce expansion of the tonic before sequences, which are
often used to expand tonic.
1) Working at a piano, play the following paradigms in simple major and minor keys. Try placing each
of the listed melodic patterns in the soprano voice. Note that the motion from vii6-I6 allows unusual
voice leading in the upper voices, wherein the diminished fifth may move to a perfect fifth (because
the resolution of the fourth-scale degree arrives in the strong bass voice). Sometimes, you may prefer
to include an incidental harmony between I6 and root-position I, in the form of a second-inversion
triad, or passing 6/4. In this case, all the voices move by step or maintain a single pitch:

As you play, attempt good voice leading, but your focus should be on the outer voices (soprano and
bass). From this point forward, all students should be able to sing one outer voice while playing the
other on the piano. In addition, you should be able to do at least one of the following:
a. Play the paradigms at the piano in three or four voices (in at least two major and two minor
b. Be able to sing the paradigms in an arpeggiated format (with 3 or 4 notes per chord).
c. Be able to play the paradigms in an arpeggiated format on your instrument (with 3 or 4 notes
per chord).

Paradigm Soprano Paradigm Soprano

I-viio6-I6/i-viio6-i6: 5-4-5 I6-viio6-I/i6-viio6-i: 1-2-3
3-2-1 1-7-1
1-7-1 I6-P6/4-I/i6-P6/4-i: 5-5-5

(2) Expansions of the tonic through the dominant-seventh chord (note some idiomatic motions)
Paradigm Soprano Paradigm Soprano
I-V6/5-I or i-V6/5-i: 3-4-3 I-V4/2-I6 or i-V4/2-i6: 3-2-5
3-2-1 3-2-1
5-4-3 1-7-1
1-2-1 5-5-5
5-5-5 I6-V4/3-I or i6-V4/3-i: 5-4-3
I-V4/3-I or i-V4/3-i: 1-7-1 1-7-1
3-4-3 5-5-5
I-V4/3-I6 or i-V4/3-i6: 3-4-5

Chapter 8-7
(3) Now, review all the 3-chord tonic expansions that you learned in the previous chapters. Practicing
with a partner, try to distinguish them by ear. You will want to start by notating outer voices. Then,
you will want to think about possible harmonic functions, using your brain to confirm what your ear
may be hearing. Distinguishing between V6/5, vii and P6/4 may seem like a challenge at first, but
pretty soon youll hear the tritone (or absence thereof) in the upper voices.

Improvisation: Games and Exercises

1) Improvise a melody over a progression using the paradigms you discovered in the Chorale
Workshop. Consider adopting a rhythmic feel from the earlier chapters.
2) Rhythmic Improvisation: Practice the rhythmic patterns from excerpts 8-1 and 8-6 above. Now
compose/improvise a rhythmic round, setting a text of your choosing. Be sure to keep the rests
crisp and in tempo.
3) Now, apply the harmonic paradigms above to your rhythmic piece, with one chord per measure.
Use the soprano patterns above to give your melody a basic structure, but feel free to embellish.
Stick strictly to the rhythms found in your rhythm piece.
4) Starting with the repeating sequential ground bass from the Pachelbel Canon (8-4 above), add
additional voices to the canon in the upper voices. Then improvise a melody over the top,
utilizing chord tones, complete neighbors, and passing tones.

Improvisation: Focus on Rhythm and Meter

1) Rhythmic Improvisation #2: The following excerpt is from The Geographical Fugue by
Ernst Toch, the entire score for which is reproduced in Chapter 7. In order to prepare for
quartet performances of the complete work, you should begin practicing the five basic
rhythmic paradigms (patterns). You may wish to start by marking in the 4/4 meter and then
subdividing according to either the 8th note (particularly for paradigm (b), in which every
8th note is divided into a 16th-triplet), or the 16th note (for the remaining rhythms). It is
recommended that you practice with a metronome slowly increasing the tempo until you
can move fluidly back and forth between rhythmic patterns at a quarter note=60.





Chapter 8-8
Sight Singing and Musical Style


Once you have learned the rhythmic patterns above, practice performing them as a round in a group of
3 or 4. Be prepared to perform them this way in class. Also try a chance exercise, wherein each
person picks a different random order for the patterns, and then you perform as an ensemble, with one
individual entering at the beginning of each successive measure.

Drills: Intervals and Arpeggiations

1) Arpeggiation Drill: Arpeggiate triads as suggested in the chorale workshop above. Be sure to try
ascending and descending arpeggiations in both major and minor.
2) Review the Up-Down Interval Drill as described in chapter 5. Make sure that you can sing it
fluently and without error from the tonic pitch.
3) Now, practice the Up-Down Interval Drill from the dominant. Be sure to start by establishing the
tonic and then proceed as summarized here:

Chapter 8-9
Suggested Smartmusic Assessments:
Start by practicing the excerpts listed belowbe sure that you can sing them smoothly and accurately
on scale degrees or syllables, while conducting the appropriate meter. Log into Smartmusic, click
assignments, and complete the assigned assessments for the following excerpts. Be sure to try to
identify (a) harmonies, when possible, (b) types of harmonic sequences, where applicable, (c) types of
linear intervallic patterns, when applicable: Ex. 8-1 (bass only), 8-2 (bass only), 8-4 (outer parts), 8-6
(bass only), 8-7 (outer parts), 8-9 (melody), 8-10 (both parts), 8-12 (both parts).

Note: you will be assessed by the computer, but can repeat the exercise until it is done to your own
satisfaction. In addition, your instructor may choose one or two of the recordings to evaluate directly.
Remember the following Smartmusic tips:
***Smartmusic tip#1: to hear your starting pitch for an excerpt before the accompaniment starts to
play, click P on your computer. Avoid doing this more than once during your actual assessment as
this constitutes cheating!
***Smartmusic tip#2: you can always change the key, tempo, and click options for your Smartmusic
excerpt before completing an assessment.

Chapter 8-10
Sight Singing and Musical Style



All the Things You Are, Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein
A jazz standard from the 1930s, All the Things You Are has been recorded by dozens of the Twentieth Centurys most
famous recording artists and is cited by Charlie Parker as being among his favorite songs. It is a unique song in structure
as well as in music that is enjoyed by many.

1. What is the meter of this seven-measure (!) excerpt?

2. The excerpt starts on an F-minor harmony, and the melody starts on A b . On which pitch
does it end? What is the root of the chord that underlies the final measure?
Ending melodic pitch: ______. Root of the final chord: ______.

3. How often does this sequential excerpt change harmonies (i.e. what is the harmonic
a) every measure b) every two measures c) twice per measure

4. Accurately transcribe the bass (both pitches and rhythm) for the entire excerpt on the staves

5. Now transcribe the melody (both pitches and rhythm) for all the measures except for m. 6,
which starts and ends on an F.

6. Note that the second pitch in m. 6 is a chromatic alteration. What is the interval of the leap
in m. 6? See if you can guess the second pitch in m. 6 (notate on the staff).
a) M3 b) A4 c) P5 d) P4 e) d5

7. Underneath the staves, label the roots of the harmonies implied in each measure. Note
that all the harmonies are in root position.

Chapter 8-11
Contextual Listening 8-1 All the Things You Are (continued)

8. What quality of chord is implied in m. 6?

9. What type of harmonic sequence controls this excerpt? Note that the melodic sequence is
longer than the rate of harmonic change. Try bracketing the model and the subsequent
sequences in your transcription.
a) descending thirds
b) ascending step
c) descending fifths
d) ascending fifths

Chapter 8-12
Sight Singing and Musical Style


America, from West Side Story, Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein is one of the most influential figures in twentieth-century music. Aside from writing the widely known
musical, West Side Story, Bernstein was one of the New York Philharmonics most famous conductors and pioneered
childrens education programs in music. Bernstein also created a volume of works that are now a part of the classical
repertoire, including three symphonies and the choral masterwork Chichester Psalms.

1. What is the meter of the excerpt? Hint: the rhythm of the first and third bars will indicate
the meter. Measures two and four suggest a different meter or a syncopation of the initial

2. What meter might be suggested in measures 2 and 4?

3. How many measures are in this excerpt?

a) 4 b) 12 c) 8 d) 16 e) 2
4. What is the primary motivic idea (some might consider them two separate ideas)? Describe in
prose and with a musical example.

5. Notate the rhythm and outer parts of the first four bars only.

Chapter 8-13