Thursday, January 8, 2015

Can You Hear It Talk?

A lot of music written for the newly invented piano was inspired by the instrument's innate capacity for inflection: white keys sounded different from black in terms of not just pitch but the amount of resonance they released. Suddenly there were inflections that did not exist on harpsichords, inflections that came directly out of the instrument talking, rather than out of melodic conventions left over from the Baroque era, like the sighing descending half steps.

Most of us have learned this music in terms of analyzing its harmony.  So what has become of the melody?