Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Awakened by a Note

Not just any note: This is the all-too-familiar yet totally baffling first note on the violin of Beethoven's "Spring" Sonata, Op. 24, subject of Vol. III of Tone Perception Visualized.  Why does it wake me up?

  • It is too long
  • It is difficult to tune
  • It doesn't really go anywhere
  • Yet it eventually becomes four closely connected As in unison with the piano
  • Later to turn into trills, also in unison with the piano
No wonder it wakes me up.

Is there a possibility that Beethoven is telling me something I hadn't thought of before?  I had known that this sonata is about the difference between tones that are stable and tones that move, usually by sliding rather by articulated motion.  But this is a kind of tone motion I had not yet figured out.