Examples of Rhythm (§ 8 - § 11)
Examples of Rhythm
For paragraphs § 1 to § 7 see:
§ 8To conclude this part of the chapter we will analyze one example of an enlarged sentence.
This is a melody of 18 bars beginning in E flat and ending in B flat. That it is one melody and not two is evident, and we must try to explain its construction.
First let us look for repetitions. The parts of bar 5 and 6 marked (a) are clearly repeated in bars 6 and 7. So also the bars marked (b). Now for the melody; the first phrase is a perfectly regular one of four bars. In the second phrase the first section (a) is repeated, and to restore the balance caused by this repetition a whole new responsive phrase (* … *) — lengthened by the repetition of (b) to 5 bars — is added. The melody might end here, but the remaining bars clearly belong to it, and the question arises what relation do these bars bear to the melody? We shall see that a movement often ends with a coda to mark definitely the conclusion. These 5 bars form a coda to the melody, and it is no uncommon thing to find such a coda added to a lengthened sentence. The construction of the coda is simple enough. The two bars (c) are repeated slightly varied, and the final bar (d) in another varied form of the preceding bar. The whole melody may be summed up thus:
4 (first phrase) + 9 (second phrase) + 5 (coda).
Before leaving the subject of Rhythm, we may just draw attention to the occasional interpolation of a single bar of a time different from that of the whole movement. This is sometimes caused by overlapping. Thus in Schumann’s song “Weit, weit”, which is written in 6/8 time, at the end of the first phrase the accompaniment has two bars of interlude, the first in 9/8 and the second in 6/8, but this begins on the last half of the last bar of the melody, thus overlapping.
Other cases are caused by lengthening together with the temporary change of time, or by a new rhythmical grouping of a melody when an interpolated bar becomes necessary to restore the movement to its original rhythm. There are interesting examples of this in Dvořák’s Stabat Mater.
In some cases a whole melody consists of an alternation of bars in different times. This, as a rule, however, does not affect the rhythm, as is seen from the “Canzone di Magali”, from Gounod’s Mirella, which is written in alternate bars of 9/8 and 6/8 time. The first sentence is just 8 bars, the unequal bars merely giving a quaint effect to a perfect regular melody.
In some cases, like the one just quoted, 2 bars are combined into one, when we get such signatures as 5/4 (that is 2/4 + 3/4). An example is seen in Chopin’s Sonata Op. 4, III movement.
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Cfr. Bertenshaw, Elements of Music (Longmans ed. 1896), Ch. LXIV