Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Function, Mystery, Timing, Tempo

A word about the connection between those four terms:

Knowing in advance about tonal or chordal function I am less susceptible to the mystery of particular voicings or registers.  I tend to be less interested in a predictable resolution than in a potential that is hinted but not spelled out.

This affects my sense of timing.  I am by nature impatient.  Let's get on with it, I seem to say to myself.

But what if the tempo indicates that a bit of reserve is called for?  Put it differently:  what if the tempo indicates that the music epitomizes reserve?

Going back over Schubert I am convinced that this is what he means by moderato.  I might define it thus: It moves to a reliable beat except when it doesn't.