Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Bias on melody?
Today's class was on Webern's Op. 24, a very pointillistic work with very few melodic lines. Several students did not like the work because of this fact, though many also agreed when I suggested that it is another example of farbenmelodie, where the emphasis is on timbre rather than pitch. Almost every melodic interval in the first movement is either a major seventh or a major third, so while pitches do change (it is a 12-tone work), there isn't much traditional melodic variety in the small fragments (most instruments play only three notes at a time before resting). How do you feel about music that focuses on timbre or rhythm instead of melody?