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12 Motive, Phrase, Period ‘of phrase, including that of the cadential punctuation by which phrases are marked. is sometimes regarded as related to the natural intervals of breathing in singing or in playing wind instruments “The underising harmonic content of a typical phrase of tonal music can su ally be described very simply. Often it consists of a basic succession (I-V or V-I for example) modestly elaborated, or even a “single” basic harmony prolonged by surface elaboration, The melodic-thythmic features of the upper voice are usually of primary effect and immediacy, to both ear and eye: here the phrase’s beginning, progress, and end, as well as the motives into which its divisible. are usually most readily apparent ‘The leneth of the phrase cannot be specified since it varies widely, depending ‘on Such disparate factors as tempo. the possible extension through deliberate avoid- ‘ance of cadence, and the perceptual capacities of the listener. In traditional music. ‘especially that of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the phrase often consists of even-numbered multiples of 2 measur sures long (or 2 measures in slow tempo, 8 in quick tempo). But by no means is this to be taken 2s 2 rule for even the classical period. In considering phrase length. meter is also a factor: a 2-measure unit in 12/8 has the same “length” as a A-measure unit in 6/8, if the 8th-note is of the same value. “The phase is often composed of a 2-measure motive in sequence (EX. 1.22) €x. 1.22. Beethoven, Sonata in Bat, Op, 22, fourth movement. Allegretto Like the motive. the phrase often begins with an anacrusis. Here again. the ‘approach from weak {0 strong, of “inhalation” to “exhalation,”* is a generative ‘one: the upbeat affords a “push” that sets the phrase in motion (Ex. 1.23), 4.1.23. Beethoven, Sonata ia D,Op. 10, No.3, frst movement, asures, and is very commonly 4 mea- 13 Motive, Phrase, Period Occasionally, the upbeat may be considerably prolonged, constituting an elaborate preparation for the first strong downbeat in the phrase. Ex. 1.24 Beethoven, Sonata in Bat, OP, 22, fest movement. Allegro con brio ia [F| Sie a Many phrases are of irregular length—3, 5, or 7 measures. for example (see Ex. 1.25). This disruption of perfect symmetry has been discussed earlier as more than a rare exception even in the works of composers of the classical period. Ex. 1.25 Moray, String Quartet nF, K. $9 third movement. Allegretto h 4 ietete tery, ‘The irregular phrase may be a basically symmetrical one which has been ex tended in some manner. There may be internal extension by repetition of a patlem the final pattem (Ex, 1,27), by avoid- £1.26 Haydn, Symphony in Ba Atego virace =