Composers vs Editors: Another controversial note

Discuss the rules of notation, standard notation practices, efficient notation practices and graphic design.
Post Reply
User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 1405
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Composers vs Editors: Another controversial note

Post by John Ruggero » 14 Mar 2019, 22:33

Several controversial notes occur at the end of Chopin's Etude op. 10 no. 8. Analysis proves helpful in dealing with the following one:
Chopin Etude op 10 no 8 MS.jpg
Chopin Etude op 10 no 8 MS.jpg (62.18 KiB) Viewed 1939 times
At the asterisk in measure 60, many editions (including the New Polish National Edition) have felt that the composer omitted a natural through oversight, a common error for him, and the left hand note shown with an asterisk should be a C natural rather than C sharp. The rationale is that the progression in ms. 57-60 is a series of passing diminished seventh chords that connect a C dominant seventh chord in second inversion to an F triad. In each case, Chopin chooses a diatonic scale tone as the passing tone that falls between the second and third tones and this also includes the final one which should therefore be a C natural.
Chopin op 10 no 8 m 60 Ex A-C.jpeg
Chopin op 10 no 8 m 60 Ex A-C.jpeg (45.19 KiB) Viewed 1939 times
However, when I play through a condensation of this passage according to this theory as seen at EXAMPLE A, I find that when I emphasize the fourth chord while feeling the overall large C7 harmony resolving to an F triad, it clashes against the musical sense, and is not what I hear when I hear an actual performance of this piece.

A deeper analysis convinces me that the situation is actually more complex.

As shown at EXAMPLE B above, the highest right hand melody line: E-F-G-A is accompanied by line lowest left hand line in parallel sixths: G-A-B flat-C, so C7 actually appears in two positions, in second inversion under the melody note E and in third inversion under the melody note G.

In order to maintain the same style of left hand figuration within the cramped third inversion chord, Chopin changes the previous meaning of the first three notes of the pattern from:
chord tone-passing tone-chord tone
to: chord tone-chord-tone-passing tone,
as seen in EXAMPLE D.
Chopin op 10 no 8 m. 60 Ex D.jpeg
Chopin op 10 no 8 m. 60 Ex D.jpeg (42.78 KiB) Viewed 1939 times
In other wrods, the C that arrives in the left hand on the fourth chord in EXAMPLE B is a chord tone representing the continuation of the V7 harmony. The following tone is a passing tone C sharp whose resolution is withheld until the D within the final passing diminished seventh chord that connects directly to the F chord. Note also the suspension of the C sharp passing tone before it resolves as seen in EXAMPLES C and D.

For this reason, I think that Chopin made no error and that the C sharp was the intended note.
Mac mini (OS 10.8.5) with dual monitors, Kurzweil Mark 5 with M-Audio Midisport 2 x 2,
Finale 2014d with GPO 4, JW Plug-ins, SmartScore X Pro, Adobe InDesign CS4,
Inkscape .48.5 and .91, FontForge 20150526
http://www.cantilenapress.com

User avatar
OCTO
Posts: 1211
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 06:52
Location: Sweden

Re: Composers vs Editors: Another controversial note

Post by OCTO » 05 Apr 2019, 08:24

Sorry for slow response.
My feeling is that having C or C# is equally valid. In both cases it is a passing tone, with C# it is more as "dominant to" feeling. The only reason why someone should make it not valid is that the dominant chord (a)+c#+e+g should be only to major or minor chord, which is not true here. But that is very academic approach.

John, in your example D, I think the second 16 in each pattern is always the passing tone in both hands. Having different passing tones in LH/RH as criss-cross is not harmonically valid.
Freelance Composer. Self-Publisher.
Finale 25 • Sibelius 2018 • MuseScore 2 • Logic Pro X • Ableton Live 9 • Digital Performer 9 /// OS X El Capitan, (side system: Debian 9, Windows 10)

User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 1405
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: Composers vs Editors: Another controversial note

Post by John Ruggero » 05 Apr 2019, 12:39

OCTO, we probably have a very different orientation when it comes to harmonic vs. decorative notes. For me, having passing tones occurring at different times within a single harmony is not at all invalid.

In any case, consider then that there are two different "harmonies" within each beat of beats two and three in example D. C7 and C# dim. 7 alternate within each beat.

I should also add that my whole argument rests on whether one hears a C dominant 7 or a C# dim 7 as the main harmony of beats two and three of Example D. If one hears C# dim. 7, then the C natural would be the more likely intended note on beat 4. I hear a C dominant 7 as the main harmony with C# as a passing note.
Mac mini (OS 10.8.5) with dual monitors, Kurzweil Mark 5 with M-Audio Midisport 2 x 2,
Finale 2014d with GPO 4, JW Plug-ins, SmartScore X Pro, Adobe InDesign CS4,
Inkscape .48.5 and .91, FontForge 20150526
http://www.cantilenapress.com

User avatar
OCTO
Posts: 1211
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 06:52
Location: Sweden

Re: Composers vs Editors: Another controversial note

Post by OCTO » 05 Apr 2019, 21:31

I hear (and understand) the main harmony as simple as this chromatic progressive dim7 chord:
progression2.jpeg
progression2.jpeg (14.65 KiB) Viewed 1643 times
I prefer that solution because it is same pattern throughout systematic, and on the second 16 it falls always the neighbour tones (chord).
The finale F maj chord is a simple deceptive cadence (Dominant of a-minor to VI, or tP, or tM). I don't say that it is "a minor", since the tempo is extremely fast, modulations extremely fast, and therefore F-maj seems to be quickly re-established.

In any case, C :n or C :s (in your question) is equally fine for me. I would prefer to hear C :s , as a short neighbour tone of chromatic type.

p.s. are you making your own editions?
Freelance Composer. Self-Publisher.
Finale 25 • Sibelius 2018 • MuseScore 2 • Logic Pro X • Ableton Live 9 • Digital Performer 9 /// OS X El Capitan, (side system: Debian 9, Windows 10)

User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 1405
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: Composers vs Editors: Another controversial note

Post by John Ruggero » 08 Apr 2019, 11:14

Whereas I hear:
Chopin op 10 no 8 example.jpeg
Chopin op 10 no 8 example.jpeg (15.06 KiB) Viewed 1595 times
As explained in my original post, those who hear only a diminished seventh chord at this point, usually prefer the C natural since Chopin has used only scale tones for the passing notes in all the previous broken chords. However, having achieved a C# in the previous two beats, the reversion to C natural seems unconvincing to me even though it is just a passing tone.

Thanks for asking, OCTO. Yes, I continue to do editions of piano and chamber music based on the original sources. My edition of the Chopin Etudes is now finished in a "beta" version. I have begun work on Beethoven's piano sonatas and will probably post here regarding my observations as I go.
Mac mini (OS 10.8.5) with dual monitors, Kurzweil Mark 5 with M-Audio Midisport 2 x 2,
Finale 2014d with GPO 4, JW Plug-ins, SmartScore X Pro, Adobe InDesign CS4,
Inkscape .48.5 and .91, FontForge 20150526
http://www.cantilenapress.com

User avatar
David Ward
Posts: 276
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 19:50
Location: Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Contact:

Re: Composers vs Editors: Another controversial note

Post by David Ward » 08 Apr 2019, 18:22

John Ruggero wrote:
08 Apr 2019, 11:14
… … …I have begun work on Beethoven's piano sonatas and will probably post here regarding my observations as I go.
If you let me know the details when ready, assuming I'm still compos mentis (well, I am getting a bit ancient), I'd like to buy your Beethoven sonata edition. There might be less point in my buying the Chopin, I fear.
Finale 25.5 & F 26.1
Mac OS 10.13.6 & 10.14.6
http://www.composers-uk.com/davidward/news.htm

Schonbergian
Posts: 182
Joined: 03 Feb 2017, 02:25
Location: Toronto

Re: Composers vs Editors: Another controversial note

Post by Schonbergian » 09 Apr 2019, 04:06

It will be interesting to see how much improvement you can get on the Schenker edition, John. Even seventy-five years later, it's still the reference edition for many, with engraving from one of the finest publishing houses in their prime.

User avatar
OCTO
Posts: 1211
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 06:52
Location: Sweden

Re: Composers vs Editors: Another controversial note

Post by OCTO » 10 Apr 2019, 10:28

John Ruggero wrote:
08 Apr 2019, 11:14
As explained in my original post, those who hear only a diminished seventh chord at this point, usually prefer the C natural
Sorry for my to fast reading, I didn't noticed that you have written this statement.
Anyway, me preferring dim chords still think that :s is more valid.

Another side question: do you prepare it for printing or just you think to sell PDF? And if the former, where will you print, as your own or through a publisher?
Freelance Composer. Self-Publisher.
Finale 25 • Sibelius 2018 • MuseScore 2 • Logic Pro X • Ableton Live 9 • Digital Performer 9 /// OS X El Capitan, (side system: Debian 9, Windows 10)

User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 1405
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: Composers vs Editors: Another controversial note

Post by John Ruggero » 11 Apr 2019, 10:56

Thanks for your interest, David.

OCTO.,. I have my own publishing company, Cantilena Press. www.cantilenapress.com. The music is printed.
Mac mini (OS 10.8.5) with dual monitors, Kurzweil Mark 5 with M-Audio Midisport 2 x 2,
Finale 2014d with GPO 4, JW Plug-ins, SmartScore X Pro, Adobe InDesign CS4,
Inkscape .48.5 and .91, FontForge 20150526
http://www.cantilenapress.com

Post Reply