Webernian Row in Bach BWV 996

Measures 3 and 4 are overwhelmed by the scent of major 7th harmonies - 045 and 015. One of the rare moments in tonal music where a harmony other than a triad is held, made to pervade for a spell. Non-triadic scents swim in the triadic water.

For argument's sake, this is a fledgling Webernian row. Resist if you must, but in post-tonal music something like a Webernian row is very important to build a large scale form, to create distinct sections with distinct harmonic flavors.

Fernando Sor does it in the opening of his very Baroque D major Study. Measure 2 continues the sound of measure 1. They are both minor 7 harmonies--

Here, instead of thinking about the modulation, we can think about the minor 7 sound in measure 1, the other 035 in the tune, across the barline to measure 2, and then a third minor 7 sound in the second measure; it is the 035 across the barline that is displaced by 045 in measure 6. I find this an inviation to think about stories to do with collections rather than modulations. And if you have adopted Babbitt/Rahn terms, you speak of "set class music". This study is full of Moorish abstractions--look at the melodic 4ths in, for instance, measures 7, 8, 9...

Brahms op. 88 is "set class" music.

The opening major 7th (045) tune/harmony is a flavor that permeates the famous sarabande--the one that Brahms carried in a notebook for years. It surfaces in measures 84 and 85--

Tonal music has the advantage that unusual harmonies swim in water of triads and scales that recede, making other harmonies memorable, thrusting them to the foreground.

Webern's rows are wonderful and we might resist them because they are an extreme case, almost a reductio ad absurdum.

Schoenberg op. 9 is a better example. All the interval cycles have a theme, the themes swirl around, but precisely so to land the fourths in the middle section. Op. 9 is like op. 88, a set class sonata. Some people think Schoenberg's twelve tone music was a bad move, but I've come to see that work as a brilliant way to make customized water, and he still found places for extraordinary sounds to pop through--the whole tone harmonies at the end of Op. 27 #4, for example.

Brickle's Farai un vers is a a more recent example. Each stanza has the flavor of a distinct harmony.

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