the heartz: a galant schema from corelli to heartz: a galant schema from corelli to mozart john a....

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  • The Heartz: A Galant Schema from Corelli to Mozart John A. Rice This is a pre-publication version of a paper published in Music Theory Spectrum 37 (2014): http://mts.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/09/24/mts.mtu016 Abstract: Daniel Heartz has called attention to passages in eighteenth-century music with subdominant harmony over a tonic pedal, which convey a sweetness and tenderness characteristic of a certain strain of the galant style. These passages can be described as elaborations of a voice-leading schema in which a melody moves from the fifth scale degree to the sixth and then returns to the fifth, over a bass that sustains the first scale degree. I call this schema the Heartz and demonstrate how composers from Corelli to Mozart used it as an opening gambit and a riposte in vocal and instrumental music. Daniel Heartz (with whom I had the privilege of studying at the University of California, Berkeley from 1980 to 1987) has repeatedly called attention to passages in eighteenth-century music with subdominant harmony over a tonic pedal. These passages convey, for him, a sweetness and tenderness characteristic of a certain strain of the galant style. Of Leonardo Leos aria Non so; con dolce moto (Ciro riconosciuto, Turin, 1737; Example 1), he writes: the dolce moto he sets to the sweet sounds of the subdominant in 6/4 position.1 Leos Salve Regina (Example 2) has a typically Neapolitan sweetness, with emphasis on the tonal relaxation provided by the subdominant chord.2 In a flute sonata by Pietro Antonio Locatelli (published in 1732; Example 3) Heartz calls attention to the suavity lent to it by the long subdominant harmony over a tonic pedal.3 In Colla bocca e non col core, Rosinas first aria in Mozarts La finta semplice (Vienna, 1768; Example 4), the violins in thirds... intone a rising melody with chromatically raised fifth degree, ... the arrival of the sixth degree bringing with it subdominant harmony in 6/4 position. The sensuous and capricious Rosina is thus captured in a musical portrait even before she begins to sing.4 Another Rosinas aria, Giusto ciel, che conoscete (Example 5) in Giovanni Paisiellos Il barbiere di Siviglia (St. Petersburg, 1782), is characterized by the very tender progression of subdominant six-four chord to tonic.5

    1 Heartz (2003, 138). 2 Heartz (2003, 138). 3 Heartz (2003, 214). 4 Heartz (1995, 519). 5 Heartz (1990, 141).

  • 2

    EXAMPLE 1. Leonardo Leo, Ciro riconosciuto, act 2, Non so; con dolce moto, mm. 711, from a keyboard-vocal score (on two staves) published in Johann Friedrich Reichardts Musikalisches Kunstmagazin (1782), reproduced in facsimile in Heartz (2003, 13637). Translation: I do not know. With a gentle motion my heart trembles in my breast.

    EXAMPLE 2. Leo, Salve Regina in F, mm. 15, from Heartz (2003, 139)

    EXAMPLE 3. Pietro Antonio Locatelli, Flute Sonata in A, Op. 2, No. 7, II, mm. 17, from Heartz (2003, 215)

    EXAMPLE 4. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, La finta semplice, act 1, Colla bocca e non col core, mm. 14

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  • 3

    EXAMPLE 5. Giovanni Paisiello, Il barbiere di Siviglia, act 2, Giusto ciel che conoscete, mm. 1524. Translation: Just heaven, you know how sincere my heart is.

    It is no accident that all three of the opera arias cited by Heartz contain the word

    core (also spelled cor). Eighteenth-century opera composers associated the sonic sweetness of the subdominant chord over a tonic pedal with the tender emotions of the human heart.

    The 6/4 chords in all these passages are neighboring 6/4 chords (also called pedal or auxiliary 6/4 chords). Dmitri Tymoczko has argued that the vast majority of neighboring 6/4 chords fall into just a couple idioms or schemaschiefly I IV6/4 I and V I6/4 V. He has urged the abandonment of the term neighboring 6/4 chord in favor of an idiomatic or schema-based explanation of the passages in which it occurs, which correctly gives the expectation that there are just a couple of relevant

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  • 4

    progressions, occurring on specific scale degrees, and expressing specific harmonic functions.6

    Looked at from the point of view of the voice-leading schemata named and explored by Robert O. Gjerdingen, and theorized in depth by Vasili Byros,7 the passages quoted above can be described as elaborations of a schemarecently referred to by Byros as the Sol-La-Solin which a melody moves from the fifth scale degree to the sixth and then returns to the fifth, over a bass that sustains the first scale degree.8

    Gjerdingen quotes such a passage at the beginning of an aria in Leos Olimpiade (Naples, 1737). In Non so donde viene, King Clistene tells of the unfamiliar feelings that come over him as he sentences a young man to death, unaware that the youth is his own son. Again the heart is the source of emotion, but the librettist Pietro Metastasio used petto instead of core to satisfy the requirements of rhyme:

    Non so donde viene I know not the source of Quel tenero affetto: that tender affection, Quel moto ignoto that motion that surges Mi nasce nel petto: unknown in my bosom: Quel gel che le vene that chill which now seizes Scorrendo mi va. my soul through and through.9 The melodys motion over a tonic pedal, beautifully decorated with

    leaps from up to and down again to , conveys the tender affection of Clistenes heart (Example 6; in this and all subsequent musical examples, and in the text, I follow Gjerdingen in using black disks to refer to scale degrees in the melody, and white disks to refer to scale degrees in the bass).

    Gjerdingen describes measures 1718 as an opening gambit and measures 1920 as the beginning of a Prinner in which a Meyer is embedded.10 I would argue that measures 1720 together constitute a schema that is both common and distinctive enough to deserve its own name and a place among the galant schemata. I call it the Heartz, in acknowledgment of Daniel Heartzs recognition of it as a characteristic and expressively potent element of the galant style, and also as a reminder of the frequency with which composers used it to communicate the meaning of texts that include the Italian word for heart.

    6 Remarks by Dmitri Tymoczko, 20 October 2011, on http://lists.societymusictheory.org/pipermail/smt-talk-societymusictheory.org/2011-October/001202.html, consulted on 25 June 2013. 7 Byros (2012a) and Byros (2012b), building on and extending the work of Leonard Meyer and Gjerdingen. 8 Byros (2013, 221) uses Sol-La-Sol in reference to one of the galant scale-degree schemata in the first movement of Mozarts Piano Sonata in C, K. 279. The passage, with the tonic pedal shifted to a middle part, is atypical of the schema discussed here. 9 First stanza only; translation from Gjerdingen (2007, 297). 10 Gjerdingen (2007, 301). On the Prinner see Gjerdingen (2007, 4560); on the Meyer, Gjerdingen (2007, 11116).

  • 5

    EXAMPLE 6. Leo, Olimpiade, act 3, Non so donde viene, mm. 1722, after an annotated edition of the aria in Gjerdingen (2007, 300308) and I-Nc, manuscript Rari 7. 3. 8. Translation: I know not the source of that tender affection. Gjerdingens annotations in italics, mine in roman.

    I share Gjerdingens reluctance to associate a particular voice-leading schema with particular extra-musical meanings.11 Many schemata are topically neutral: they do not communicate meaning through the system of musical topics, intensively explored during the last thirty years by Leonard Ratner, Wye Allenbrook, Robert Hatten, Raymond Monelle, Kofi Agawu, William Caplin, and others, and the subject of a forthcoming book.12 But some schemata do convey, or have the potential to convey, meaning, as Gjerdingen implied with the Italian names he gave them: the Quiescenza (a state of repose or inactivity)13 and the Indugio (a playful tarrying or lingering).14 Likewise the Heartz is not only a melodic-harmonic framework but also a gesture that can, in combination with other musical parameters, communicate the idea of intense, heartfelt emotion. Thus we might be justified in thinking of the Heartz not only as voice-leading schema but also as a topic.

    Table 1 presents a prototype of the Heartz.15 It differs from most galant schemata in its symmetry: both the melody and the bass begin and end on the same scale degree. In this it resembles the Quiescenza, with