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Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance

Continuous Question-Answer Pairs Extended: Beyond Common-Practice Tonal Music

The presentation is based on my recently published “Continuous Question-Answered Pairs”; questions are welcome on the published paper as well.
In question-answer pairs (QAPs), the ending of the first unit is less stable than that of the second, but the units need not be phrases, nor need the endings be cadences. The paper focuses on QAPs that are continuous. This covers continuous genuine periods, but also some hybrid themes and many statement-response sentential presentations. Various aspects contribute to the evaluation of each specific case, including caesuras, motivic parallelism, symmetry, internal organization, unit length, independence of the hyper-unit, and melodic closure. “Open Periods”, accepted by Schoenberg and the Russian school, are excluded from the category of QAPs. I shall start with a short demonstration of most crucial ideas of the original paper, using selected examples by Haydn, Schubert, Dvořák and Grieg. While all the examples in the original paper come from common-practice tonal music, one strength of the QAP concept is its capacity to apply to a wider range of music. The presentation offers an opportunity to have a glimpse at other repertories. Some examples simply share general principles found in common-practice tonal music, i.e., the beginning of the Arabic song Kaduk al-Mayas is based on a split fifth-progression. Other examples show variants without Classical parallels, i.e. the two endings of the Sephardic song La Rosa Enflorece use what I call an imperfect half-cadence. Finally, the first ending of the opening QAP in Shostakovich’s Third String Quartet is not only not a cadence, but even non-chordal. Unlike all examples in the published paper, it is also asymmetrical.


Conference Photo Nicholas Hunter.jpg

Yosef Goldenberg teaches at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, where he also serves as head librarian. He is a theorist of tonal music and a scholar of Israeli music. On music theory, he is the author of Prolongation of Seventh Chords in Tonal Music (Edwin Mellen Press) and co-editor of the SMT award winning Bach to Brahms: Essays on Musical Design and Structure (University of Rochester Press). He published extensively in leading journals. His recent publications include “Harmony without Voice Leading?” in Music Analysis “Cadential Six-Fours at Boundary Points” in Music Theory and Analysis, and “When and How are Modulations Diatonic?” in Intégral. Currently he works on a full-length book on enharmonicism.

Yosef Goldenberg

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