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Author Topic: Jakob Schmitt OP 249 sonatina question about notation  (Read 1317 times)
deandeblock
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« on: April 19, 2015, 04:58:52 PM »

Hello pianists!

I am learning the first movement of OP 249 Sonatina by Jakob Schmitt

Full score can be found here: http://javanese.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/5/58/IMSLP111186-PMLP227048-Sch_son_p4.pdf

My question is: in measure 16 the composer notes an E# which is fysically the same as an F natural... Why does one not just write the F?

I've included a small screenshot for your review

Thanks in advance!


* jschmitt.jpg (25.4 KB, 347x175 - viewed 9 times.)
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deandeblock
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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2015, 05:08:40 PM »

My guess would be.. it was notated that way to avoid confusion since we are in G major which does not have F natural in its scale... But then again: why not just use the natural sign then?
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visitor
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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2015, 09:15:00 PM »

Difficult to go into all the theory behind it here however
The short of it is essentially the same reason there is a d# in the previous measure going to e
It is a leading tone and acts as a sort of raised 7th to pull the ear
To the goal note. 

If you play a major score built on an f# tonic you would notate it 7th as e#
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8_octaves
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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2015, 03:45:08 AM »

My guess would be.. it was notated that way to avoid confusion since we are in G major which does not have F natural in its scale... But then again: why not just use the natural sign then?

Difficult to go into all the theory behind it here however
The short of it is essentially the same reason there is a d# in the previous measure going to e
It is a leading tone and acts as a sort of raised 7th to pull the ear
To the goal note. 

If you play a major score built on an f# tonic you would notate it 7th as e#

Hi Dean and Visitor,

I think that's good points.

The question of the OP I myself asked me a long long time ago, and it's a very interesting one, and many resources may exist which describe this in different ways ( and NONE of these ways can, as should be clear, justify one or the other ( e sharp or f natural ) completely for OUR NORMAL WELL-TEMPERATED PIANOS. Since it's the same key.

But: There ARE reasons, and they lead to the facts you already mentioned.

Prof. Erich Wolf, who taught at Detmold Conservatory, Germany, writes in his "Harmonielehre", (vol. II of his "Die Musikausbildung"), which I have, the following: I try to translate:

Quote from: Erich Wolf
The Material:

[...] The gradual relation to next tones, especially "leading tone"-effects, are of importance as criteria. An "ear-pulling", leading effect do tones have then, if they stand in the offset of "minor seconds" to the neighboring grades. (Requirement for this is, that the harmonic relations bring it forward. )

The "major-scale" contains the "leading-tones-by-nature" of the IIIrd and VIIth level ( leading upwards ), or VIIIth and IVth level ( leading downwards ).
ARTIFICIAL leading tones can be created by augmenting ( = "setting a semitone higher" / "sharpening" ) a natural tone level ( eine Stammtonstufe ) (upwards ) or by flattening ( downwards ).
_______

E sharp to F sharp, here, should be such a diatonic semi-tone-step. The 6th level of G major, E, is sharpened, leading to the 7th level of G-major, wich is F sharp. F sharp, itself, is, according to Wolf and perhaps our knowledge, itself a "leading-tone-by-nature", of G-major, leading and "pulling" the ear to the "G" ( which isn't directly existing in the pic given. )

Please note, that the temperament of the instrument given plays a major role: Only if instruments are well-temperated, the aforementioned conditions may be valid, because, then, a "g sharp", for example, sounds exactly the same as an a-flat, and it's the same key on the piano, which is, at first, confusing, and can lead to the questions of the OP, and the comments by Wolf as explanation, or, at least, one explanation.

Careful should we be if it comes to the VIOLIN, for example. If it's not well-temperated, the "g sharp" would sound slightly DIFFERENT compared to an a-flat (the "sharp" sounding a little brighter, the flat a little...flatter.)

Cordially, 8_oct!


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« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2015, 05:16:04 AM »

Accordingly, this: A Diabelli-Rondo (from a students'-book) , which is in D major. Pls. see appended pic. It's actually the piece I worked on long ago, as I mentioned, and was the source for my "problem", too. ( When I was in the 6th form, aged 12. And I still have the volume. Smiley )

The more the number of accidentals increases in the tonalities / keys many pieces are written in, the more the chance increases, that one will find "double-sharps", or "double-flats", in these pieces, too, to meet the conditions.

Cordially, 8_octaves.





* Diab_Rondo_esharp.jpg (193.68 KB, 2019x460 - viewed 5 times.)
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deandeblock
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« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2015, 10:56:10 AM »

Thank you for taking your time to answer this...

So if I understand correctly the E was sharpened so it becomes an artificial leading tone towards F# (in itself the natural leading tone of the G major scale) ?

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8_octaves
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« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2015, 01:32:30 PM »

Thank you for taking your time to answer this...

So if I understand correctly the E was sharpened so it becomes an artificial leading tone towards F# (in itself the natural leading tone of the G major scale) ?


Rehi Dean,

yes, but in addition to what the foreposters said, too, and to Wolf mentioning the "harmonic relations bring it forward." => "are useful / are demanding it in a way."

1. ) The structure must be of an "ear-pulling value".
2. ) The composers would rather like to sharpen a note which belongs to the SCALE, then, than to "naturize" a note which isn't by nature (= in its NATURAL form!!!) in the scale.
3. ) There are common leading-tones. Other tones might - "in the harmonic relations" ( see 1.) and foreposters ) gain leading-function, too. They should belong to the scale and will be sharpened to evoke "leading upwards"-effect, too. The "e-sharp" would be a good example here, because "E" belongs to G major-works and to D-major works (Diabelli, e.g.), in G major the "E" is the 6th level and thus doesn't belong to the "by nature"-leading-tones, and in D major the "E" is 2nd level, not belonging, according to Wolf, to the "by nature"-leading tones either.
But in both cases they..."lead" / "Pull the ears", as visitor very nicely explained!

But other opinions / approaches may exist, too. I only have the "Wolf", as a higher qualified book of Harmony-Lore.

Cordially, 8_octaves!

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"Never be afraid to play before an artist.
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the person who knows nothing listens for the faults." (T. Carreño, quoting her 2nd teacher, Gottschalk.)
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