A Test

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Knut
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Re: A Test

Post by Knut » 24 Jan 2016, 14:33

John Ruggero wrote:Knut wrote:
...isn't it automatically implied that a slurred passage should have no internal articulation (sic, accentuation?) when there is no articulation present?
No, it isn't. Most legato passages still express the beat through at least slight emphasis. It is only special passages that don't. One way that composers have shown such special passages is through beaming. Another example of this would be beaming over the bar line to cancel a downbeat.
Right! I've always thought of this as a matter of meter, style and other contextual aspects, as well as interpretation, rather than notation, and my impression is that this aspect of beaming (including beaming over barlines) is somewhat controversial, but I absolutely see your point that beams can be used to indicate the absence of accentuation.

In that case, however, it seems to me that Beethoven's original beaming does in fact imply a certain internal accentuation, even if the context does not?

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John Ruggero
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Re: A Test

Post by John Ruggero » 24 Jan 2016, 19:01

I think that Beethoven was confident that most players would not place much emphasis on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th beats for the following reasons, and that he could safely use the standard notation of his time. (But not quite ours.):

1. the fact that players will not emphasize the note that falls on the 3rd beat because it is not part of the harmony at this point. (This assumes and maybe substantiates my interpretation of the harmony.)

2. the fact that the 2nd and 4th beats are normally played lightly in faster 4/4.

3. Another factor not previously discussed: there is a type of fast 4/4 used in the Classic style that falls between 4/4 and 2/2. We can see that this piece falls in this category by the beaming of many of the 1/8th note groups in 4's. That means that this piece will be played almost in 2 (a "subdivided 2") rather than 4 which further lightens beats 2 and 4.

In performing this measure, I would place normal downbeat emphasis on beat 1, expressive stress on the C to lead it to the Bb on beat 2, the slightest emphasis on beat 2 to show the harmony change and no emphasis at all on beats 3 and 4. I would continue the crescendo to the last note, G, which I would play as a climax and then drop into the next measure after a slight break and decline in dynamic level, taking into account the fact that the A needs good singing tone as the start of a lyrical melody.

I also want clarify that I was grappling with what I was actually hearing in this measure during the whole course of this thread and my initial remark to you about the Breitkopf engraving concerning a melodic progression A—Bb—C within this measure was incorrect. The diagram in my next-to-last post represents my final thoughts on the measure.
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Knut
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Re: A Test

Post by Knut » 24 Jan 2016, 23:03

John Ruggero wrote:I think that Beethoven was confident that most players would not place much emphasis on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th beats for the following reasons, and that he could safely use the standard notation of his time. (But not quite ours.)
My thoughts seem to be in line with Beethoven's with regard to the beaming, then.

Thanks for the update! :)

Oh, and if continuous beaming indeed is the currently accepted way to notate such short, 'stressless' phrases, I would change my vote to B on account of readability.

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Re: A Test

Post by John Ruggero » 24 Jan 2016, 23:45

You are very welcome, Knut. I hope this shed some light on a rather confusing subject.
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