* This essay was read at the annual meeting of the Music Theory Society of New York State held on 8 April 2006 at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York. I thank the Legacy of Bach session chair Reed Hoyt, fellow presenters Joel Lester and Edward Klorman, and program chair Chandler Carter, for their encouragement and advice.
1. The later music of Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924), while remaining essentially tonal, often departs from traditional practice, drawing upon contextual processes for reasons of structural integrity and expressive intent. For instances, see my essay, "The Emergence of Gabriel Fauré's Late Musical Style and Technique," Journal of Musicological Research 22, No. 3 (2003): 223-275, especially its discussions of several of the composer's mélodies, including Le don silencieux (1906; see pp. 244-254), Roses ardentes (1908; see pp. 265-268), and Dans un parfum de roses blanches (1909; see pp. 268-273). In Le don silencieux, for instance, the interval of the fifth serves as a melodic frame for vocal activity in each of the mélodie's six sections, its space gradually rising and becoming more chromatic, thus promoting a systematic brightening of vocal timbre. The vocal part of Roses ardentes reveals a process of progressive range expansion in which melodic motion, initially centered on the pitch B4 in the manner of a reciting tone, gradually expands around that point, both registrally and chromatically, until it reaches the octave E4/E5 by the end. Finally, the vocal part of Dans un parfum de roses blanches exhibits the phenomenon of chromatic completion, reserving the last of the yet unheard pitch classes for the most dramatic point of the mélodie.
2. Milton Babbitt, Words About Music: The Madison Lectures, edited by Stephen Dembski and Joseph N. Straus (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1987). I was a student at the University of Wisconsin during Milton Babbitt's residency in the fall of 1983 and recognized, as did my peers, that Babbitt's unparalleled understanding of the twentieth century's two greatest theorists enabled unprecedented insights.
3. Babbitt, Words About Music: 137-143. This passage comes from Chapter Five, "Professional Theorists and Their Influence." The well-known analyses Babbitt referred to during his presentation are those in Heinrich Schenker, Five Graphic Music Analyses (New York: Dover,  1969): 32-33.
4. Bach's association of the striking dissonance Db5/C5 with the term "b�ßen," which translates as "atone," confers an impression of urgency on that word, effectively reminding that atonement involves repentance, reparation, and reconciliation. As we shall see, this coincidence bears implications for the chorale's musical structure and contextual narrative.
5. Babbitt, Words About Music: 139.
6. Babbitt, Words About Music: 140. Babbitt's employment of the word "parallelism" should not be confused with the Schenkerian notion of "motivic parallelism," which involves the expression of the same melodic pattern at different levels of tonal structure within a composition. Babbitt's usage corresponds to what many of us would describe as the varied repetition of a melodic motive at the musical surface. For more on the Schenkerian concept, see Charles Burkhart's classic article, "Schenker's Motivic Parallelisms," Journal of Music Theory 22 (1978): 145-175. Today, many analysts prefer the term "expansion," instead of "motivic parallelism," when describing instances of motivic repetition at higher levels of structure.
7. In conversation, Mary Arlin drew my attention to a most remarkable attribute of this chorale from Bach's St. Matthew Passion. Despite the vivid imagery and profound despair of the text ("It is I, I should atone, my hands and feet bound, in Hell. The scourges and the fetters and what You endured, my soul deserves." [my translation]), all six of the cadences in Ich bin's, ich sollte büßen conclude with major triads. The choir, expressing humanity's recognition of its role and responsibility in Christ's crucifixion, nevertheless alludes to the St. Matthew Passion's fundamental message of hope.
8. Babbitt, Words About Music: 141-143.
9. Heinrich Schenker offers an account of this major-major seventh harmony in his coordinated sketches of Ich bin's, ich sollte büßen in Five Graphic Music Analyses (New York: Dover, 1969): 32-33, as well as a verbal explanation and example in Free Composition (New York: Longman  1979): 65 and Fig. 62, No. 12.
10. Babbitt, Words About Music: 139.
11. Heinrich Schenker, Free Composition, Supplement, Fig. 22a (measure numbers added). I present this version of Schenker's view of Ich bin's, ich sollte büßen here, rather than one of those in Five Graphic Music Analyses, simply because of its concision.
12. Arnold Schoenberg, "Beauty and Logic in Music," an unpublished essay preserved at the Arnold Sch�nberg Center in Vienna. I thank Eike Feß, archivist at the Schönberg Center, for sharing with me a digital facsimile of the document, whose catalogue number there is T 67.02. A partial transcription of this essay appears in Arnold Schoenberg, The Musical Idea, and the Logic, Art, and Technique of its Presentation, ed. Patricia Carpenter and Severine Neff (New York: Columbia University Press, 1995): 395-396.
13. Arnold Schoenberg, The Musical Idea, and the Logic, Art and Technique of its Presentation: 226�227.
14. Arnold Schoenberg, Fundamentals of Musical Composition, ed. Gerald Strang (London: Faber, 1967): 102.
15. For instances of Schoenberg's use of the term Grundgestalt, see Arnold Schoenberg, Structural Functions of Harmony, ed. Leonard Stein (New York, Norton,  1969): 193-194, and Arnold Schoenberg, "My Evolution," in Style and Idea (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1975): 91, as well as that cited above. (It may be of interest to MTO readers that an audio recording of Schoenberg delivering his "My Evolution" lecture at UCLA in 1949 is available at the website of the Arnold Schönberg Center; see http://www.schoenberg.at/6_archiv/voice/voice29.htm to hear this remarkable historical document.) Regrettably, Schoenberg never offered a precise and detailed definition for his concept of Grundgestalt. Patricia Carpenter explored the idea using Schoenberg's harmonic theories in her article, "Grundgestalt as Tonal Function," Music Theory Spectrum 5 (1983): 15-38. However, the best illumination of its implications may be found in Arnold Schoenberg, The Musical Idea, and the Logic, Art, and Technique of its Presentation, ed. Patricia Carpenter and Severine Neff (New York: Columbia University Press, 1995).
16. For discussions of "tonal" musical problems presented within the framework of Schoenberg's harmonic theories, see: Severine Neff, "Schoenberg and Goethe: Organicism and Analysis," Music Theory and the Exploration of the Past, ed. Christopher Hatch and David W. Bernstein (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1993): 409-433; Arnold Schoenberg, The Musical Idea, and the Logic, Art, and Technique of its Presentation, ed. Patricia Carpenter and Severine Neff (New York: Columbia University Press, 1995): 395-396; Patricia Carpenter, "Tonality: A Conflict of Forces," in Music Theory in Concept and Practice, ed. James Baker, David Beach, and Jonathan Bernard (Rochester, University of Rochester Press, 1997): 97-129; Murray Dineen, "Schoenberg's Logic and Motor: Harmony and Motive in the Capriccio No. 1 of the Fantasien Op. 116 by Johannes Brahms," Gamut 10 (2001): 3�28; Patricia Carpenter, "Schoenberg's Tonal Body," Theory and Practice 30 (2005): 35-68; Murray Dineen, "The Tonal Problem as a Method of Analysis," Theory and Practice 30 (2005): 69-96; and Murray Dineen, "Tonal Problem, Carpenter Narrative, and Carpenter Motive in Schubert's Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 3," Theory and Practice 30 (2005): 97-120.
17. For instance, see my essay, "The 'Problem' of Schubert's String Quintet," in Nineteenth-Century Music Review 2.1 (2005): 57-92, which reveals a comprehensive contextual process that simulates the impression of musical problem solving and spans all four movements of the composer's final chamber work. In that masterpiece, a dissonant harmony featured in the very first phrase but not conventionally resolved--a diminished seventh chord that collapses back on the tonic harmony--represents the crux of a musical problem whose determined pursuit appears to end with a voice leading solution that emerges in the closing bars of the finale. Schubert's String Quartet in A minor also features a comprehensive contextual process, one in which opposing melodic gestures heard at the start of the first movement seem to converse and contend until the end of the last, when a climactic synthesis achieves reconciliation and resolution of their conflict. See my chapter, "Tonal Implication and the Gestural Dialectic in Schubert's A Minor Quartet," in Schubert the Progressive: History, Performance, Practice, Analysis, ed. Brian Newbould (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2003): 53-79. Taken together, these works of Schubert, as well as those by Fauré mentioned in footnote 1 and those by Bach under scrutiny in this essay, demonstrate that contextual processes may take many different forms, only some of which are readily illuminable by Schoenberg's concept of musical problem.
18. Any admixture of Schenkerian and Schoenbergian analysis proceeds from the work of David Epstein; see his Beyond Orpheus: Studies in Musical Structure (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1979). Milton Babbitt, with whom Epstein studied, provided the Forward to that pioneering book.
19. Edward T. Cone, "Schubert's Promissory Note: An Exercise in Musical Hermeneutics," Nineteenth-Century Music 5.3 (1982): 236.
20. Arnold Schoenberg, "Linear Counterpoint," in Style and Idea: Selected Writings of Arnold Schoenberg, ed. Leonard Stein, trans. Leo Black (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1975): 290. Following the statement quoted above, Schoenberg offers two metaphors--one from the world of childhood and another from the realm of cinema--that are particularly appropriate to and illuminative of the way in which the basic musical idea of the G-sharp minor Prelude is treated. Schoenberg declares:
"I say that a piece of music is a picture-book consisting of a series of shapes, for which all their variety still (a) always cohere with one another, (b) are presented as variations (in keeping with the idea) of a basic shape, the various characters and forms arising from the fact that variation is carried out in a number of different ways; the method of presentation used can either
'unfold' or 'develop'� In the course of the piece, the new shapes born of redeployment (varied forms of the new theme), new ways for its elements to sound) are unfolded, rather as a film is unrolled. And the way the pictures follow each other (like the
'cutting' in a film) produces the 'form.'" Schoenberg, "Linear Counterpoint," 290. It would seem abundantly clear from these metaphors, as well as a consideration of Bach's music, that Arnold Schoenberg's notion of
Grundgestalt was profoundly influenced in its development by models provided by the preludes and fugues of the
End of footnotes