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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000288.txt from 2002/06

From: Neil Leupold <>
Subj: Re: [kl] A (musical?) game
Date: Sat, 8 Jun 2002 19:52:51 -0400

--- William Wright <> wrote:

> <><> Neil Leupold wrote:
> Treble clef --- key of C --- 4/4
> 1/4 C3
> Allegro con brio. Pedal tone D with a 1/2 note D major chord stacked on
> top of it, beneath C3.
> ================================
> Neil, I have almost zero knowledge about piano. (Probably I should be
> ashamed of myself, but I need to look up what "pedal tone" means.)
> I'll try my best if this is to be a clarinet/piano duet, however.

Actually, a pedal tone in composition originates with the organ, not the
piano, and refers literally to the sustained depression of an organ pedal
(pedal notes being at the lowest acoustical range of the instrument). It
facilitates melodic and harmonic activity above without altering the true
harmony of the passage, the pedal tone being ultimately the root of a
chosen sustained chord. As for the function of this chord, that depends
upon what follows, of course. I could be doing a Beethoven 1-ism and
starting our improvisatory piece on a dominant seventh, i.e., V7/V in
the key of C, if I assume we're going to follow Classical harmony and
voice leading. Or I could be thinking of this as a funkily spelled Ger-
man augmented 6th leading to C# harmony, as if C were V and we're ac-
tually in the key of F#, key signature notwithstanding (how Stravinsky
of me). Or...

> [We're agreed that the musical equivalent of yelling out "Fish Peanut!"
> is improper, correct?]

...oops! ;-)


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