Inherent Irregularity

Finally,--there exists another, third, condition,

besides those mentioned at the head of this chapter, whereby a phrase may

assume an irregular dimension; not by doubling or dividing its length (as

in the large and small phrases) nor by the processes of extension,--but

by an arbitrary and apparently incalculable act of melodic liberty,--by

allowing the melody to choose its own time for the cadential

interruption. This comparatively rare occurrence is illustrated in Ex.

17, No. 1 (five-measure phrase), and Ex. 17, No. 2, second phrase (six

measures long). It is true that in each of these cases the extra

measures might be accounted for as extension by modified

repetition,--for instance, in No. 1 the second measure might be called

a reproduction (or extension) of the first measure. But cases will be

encountered where a phrase of three, five, six, or seven measures will

admit of no such analysis. In such instances the student is compelled to

rely simply upon the evidence of the cadence. As was advised in the

context of Ex. 17, he must endeavor to define the phrase by recognition

of its beginning and ending, as such; or by exercising his judgment

of the cadential impression. See also Ex. 48, second phrase (six


See Schubert, pianoforte sonata No. 1 (A minor, op. 42)

Scherzo-movement; first 28 measures, divided into 5 phrases,--as

demonstrated by the melodic formation--of 5, 5, 5, 7 and 6 measures.

Also Schubert, Impromptu, op. 90, No. 3, measures 42 to 55 (phrases of

5, 5 and 4 measures.)

LESSON 6. Analyze the following examples, locating the cadences and

defining their value (as perfect or semicadence); and determining the

nature of each irregular phrase (as small, large, or extended phrase):

Beethoven, pianoforte sonata, op. 22, second movement (Adagio), first

30 measures.

Beethoven, pianoforte sonata, op. 28, Scherzo-movement.

Beethoven, pianoforte sonata, op. 14, No. 3, Menuetto.

Mendelssohn, Songs Without Words: No. 4, first 5 measures.

No. 46, last 9 1/2 measures.

No. 42, last 15 measures.

No. 45, last 11 measures.

No. 12, last 12 measures.

No. 14, last 11 measures.

No. 36, last 22 measures.

No. 37, last 11 measures.

Beethoven, pianoforte sonata, op. 27, No. 2, last movement; measures 7 to

23 from the second double-bar.

Beethoven, pianoforte sonata, op. 28, first movement; from the double-bar

(near the middle of the movement) measures 21 to 94 (fermata symbol);

in this extraordinary specimen of phrase-development, the original

four-measure phrase yields seventy-four successive measures, with very

few cadences to divide it even into sections. Same sonata, last

movement, last eighteen measures.

Group Of Parts Length Of The Regular Phrase facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail