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Chopins oeuvre holds a secure place in the repertoire, beloved by audiences, performers,
and aesthetes. In Harmony in Chopin, David Damschroder offers a new way to examine
and understand Chopins compositional style, integrating Schenkerian structural analyses
with an innovative perspective on harmony and further developing ideas and methods put
forward in his earlier books Thinking About Harmony, Harmony in Schubert, and
Harmony in Haydn and Mozart. Reinvigorating and enhancing some of the central
components of analytical practice, this study explores notions such as assertion, chordal
evolution (surge), collision, dominant emulation, unfurling, and wobble through analyses
of all forty-three mazurkas Chopin published during his lifetime. Damschroder also
integrates analyses of eight major works by Chopin with detailed commentary on the
contrasting perspectives of other prominent Chopin analysts. This provocative and richly
detailed book will help transform readers own analytical approaches.
D AV I D D A M S C H R O D E R is Professor of Music Theory at the University of Minnesota.

His current research focuses on harmony in tonal music, a project that began with a
careful examination of historical analytical practices and was the basis for his book
Thinking About Harmony: Historical Perspectives on Analysis (Cambridge, 2008). The
project continues with focused studies on selected repertoires: Harmony in Schubert
(Cambridge, 2010), Harmony in Haydn and Mozart (Cambridge, 2012), and the present
book. He has written textbooks on music fundamentals and on ear-training and sightsinging and his articles and reviews have appeared in numerous journals. In addition, he is
working on a textbook, Tonal Analysis: A Schenkerian Perspective (forthcoming). As a
complement to his scholarly work, he occasionally performs on fortepiano and modern

David Damschroder
The University of Minnesota

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Library of Congress Cataloguing in Publication data
Damschroder, David, author.
Harmony in Chopin / David Damschroder, the University of Minnesota.
pages ; cm
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-107-10857-8
1. Chopin, Frdric, 18101849 Criticism and interpretation.
2. Harmony. I. Title.
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Part I Methodological orientation: the mazurkas
1 The architecture of a tonic pillar: twenty-seven regular tonic pillars from the
2 Between the tonic pillars: tonal trajectories in twenty-seven mazurkas
3 Irregular pillars in the mazurkas: alternatives to the perfect authentic cadence
Part II Masterpieces
4 tude in C Minor(op. 10, no. 12) in response to Graham H. Phipps
5 Nocturne in C Minor (op. 27, no. 1) in response to Felix Salzer
6 Preludes in E Major and E Minor (op. 28, nos. 9 and 4) in response to Fred
7 Prelude in G Minor (op. 28, no. 22) in response to Alison Hood
8 Prelude in C Minor (op. 45) in response to Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger and to
Charles J. Smith
9 Ballade in F Minor (op. 52) in response to Edward Laufer
10 Barcarolle in F Major (op. 60) in response to John Rink
List of references to music examples
Select bibliography
Index of Chopins works
Index of names and concepts

Given my intention to explore harmony from Haydn through Debussy in depth, the
decision to devote a volume to Chopin needs no special justification. Despite the narrow
range of his compositional activities, Chopins oeuvre holds a secure place in the
nineteenth-century repertoire, both beloved by audiences and admired by aesthetes. So,
having recently published Harmony in Schubert and Harmony in Haydn and Mozart, I
take a respite from Vienna (where I assume Beethoven and Brahms will wait patiently),
following Chopin westward to Paris. My decades-long fascination with his mazurkas here
reaches its culmination in the presentation of probing yet concise analyses of all fortythree mazurkas that Chopin published during his lifetime. (While at work on this project I
also performed these compositions in fortepiano recitals and taught them in a graduate
seminar.) Readers are invited to join me in exploring these wonderful creations over the
course of this volumes first three chapters. (As was the case in my seminar, a semesters
study of Schenkerian analysis should be regarded as a prerequisite.) The remainder of my
offering (chapters 4 through 10) continues a practice I pursued in Schubert and
Haydn/Mozart (note my abbreviations for those volumes): a focus on masterpieces by
Chopin that have been addressed in print or online by at least one other analyst, so that the
reader may juxtapose my interpretations with alternative viewpoints and, with my
guidance, explore the differences. Though I provide numerous detailed Schenkerian
graphs (crucial for creating hierarchy-sensitive harmonic analyses), the Roman numerals
and other symbols below the music notation will be the principal focus of my attention.
This study is intended for anyone who both especially enjoys listening to or
performing Chopins music and concurrently possesses an interest and facility in the
analysis of tonal music. Though one might suppose that such attributes would describe all
musicians, clearly some are more inclined towards nineteenth-century repertoire and to
analytical undertakings than are others. As both teacher and author, I endeavor to offer
analyses that are both insightful and vibrantly presented, hoping that any initial resistance
might eventually melt. That said, the rigorous pursuit of analysis requires dedication. This
is not a book that can be digested quickly. Especially, chapters 1 through 3 should be read
at a leisurely pace, ideally with time for repeated listening to each mazurka and (by those
who are able) for making each work come alive at the keyboard.

Authors of studies in which harmony is a peripheral concern might reasonably elect

to adopt the conventions for harmonic analysis that most readers already know and
practice. My study of Chopin, on the other hand, is part of a broader harmony project that
eventually will encompass the long nineteenth century: this is the fourth of a planned six
volumes for the period up to 1850 (including Thinking About Harmony: Historical
Perspectives on Analysis [abbreviated as TAH], the two analytical monographs mentioned
above, and forthcoming studies on Beethoven and on Mendelssohn and Schumann), to be
followed by another six volumes for developments after mid-century (TAH II plus
monographs on Verdi, Brahms, Liszt and Wagner, Mahler, and Debussy). Consequently I
have taken decisive steps to creatively transform the practice of scale-step (Roman
numeral) harmonic analysis, integrating elements from historical harmony treatises, from
Schenkers writings, and from my own thoughts on such matters. Knowing that some
readers will be encountering my perspective for the first time in this volume, in the initial
chapters I offer especially detailed commentary that should assist in coming to terms with
how my system differs from the current conventional practice. Readers already familiar
with my analytical work are welcome to pursue the books chapters in any order.
Concurrent with the creation of Harmony in Chopin I have been developing the
textbook Tonal Analysis: A Schenkerian Perspective (to be published by W. W. Norton).
Its existence might impact Chopin readers in three ways: anyone whose understanding of
basic Schenkerian principles is shaky will have another convenient resource for remedying
the situation; I occasionally reference that work in my discussion of specific concepts or to
call attention to a particular passage by Chopin that I analyze there; and because of this
pedagogical preoccupation my Schenkerian graphs within Chopin have become more
disciplined and consistent in their notational deployments.
At the heart of my perspective is the notion that imaginative thinking should play a
vital role in analysis, since the notes in the score often do not fully convey a works
structure. Consequently a major impediment to understanding will emerge if a rigid,
literalist stance regarding what may come into play prevails when analyzing a
composition. This dichotomy vividly struck me as I was viewing a painting depicting
Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, recently attributed to Adriaen Isenbrant, at the art
museum in Strasbourg. In a small area above a hedge or wall off to the left, one can make
out some illumination. What could it be? Isenbrant has painted it at a slant, as if the source

of the illumination were moving towards the right at a swift pace. Without adding
something to what is literally presented in the painting, this passage must remain a
mystery. For those who know the story, however, the illumination is central to the
paintings meaning: it comes, of course, from torches (hidden behind the hedge) carried by
men, led by Judas, intent upon arresting Christ. Likewise, elements of a musical story may
be hinted at though not explicitly stated in a composition. There is much about how music
works that will remain a mystery if one is unwilling or unable to imaginatively extend
beyond the printed score when analyzing music. By gaining a clear understanding of a
composers practice when all requisite notes are present one becomes well equipped to
make sense of more elusive passages.
My close engagement with selected contributions by numerous other analysts gives
my harmony project a unique panoramic perspective regarding tonal analysis in the
current era. These commentaries (set off by shading in chapters 4 through 10) should not
be regarded as neutral reviews such as one might find in a journal, but instead as
documentation regarding how other ways of analyzing music appear from my distinctive
vantage point. Consequently readers may engage with my perspective through an inviting
mix of opportunities to assess my own analyses and to encounter my reactions to various
alternative viewpoints (and eventually, in other publications, the reactions of others to my
viewpoints). Because so many perspectives will be assessed over the course of my project,
I have established some ground rules. First, though some analysts have been very prolific,
I will devote only one chapter to each within my set of books about music before 1850.
(Where warranted a second turn may be granted during the post-1850 phase of the
project.) Second, only analysts whose outcomes significantly contrast mine (even if we
share similar methodologies) will be the focus of a chapter. Third, I must hold a neutral
relationship with another analyst in order to write candidly about his or her work: friends,
mentors, and former students consequently are excluded. As a result, some authors one
might expect to find in a monograph on Chopin are not featured in individual chapters.
For example, one of the leading Chopin authorities of our time has published admirable
analyses of profound insight; and, I occasionally share quarters with him at music theory
conferences. Thus for reasons two and three, no chapter herein focuses on his work
(though I do quote him on occasion in the endnotes to reinforce my points or to
acknowledge alternative interpretations).

I appreciate the feedback on drafts of this work that I have received from various
quarters. I also acknowledge the support of an Imagine Fund award from the University of
Minnesota. As in the earlier volumes of my project, Peter Smucker has provided expert
setting of the music examples. All analyses are based on the scores as printed in the recent
National Edition (Cracow). In a few instances other editions and their editorial
commentaries are drawn into the discussion. I am grateful to the New York Public Library,
Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations, for allowing me to purchase on microfilm and to
make reference to the Oster Collection: Papers of Heinrich Schenker.

Conventions regarding note relations, chords,

keys, and Roman numerals
Pitch simultaneities (such as C-E-G) are indicated using hyphens (-), while pitch
successions (such as CEG) are indicated using dashes (). Direction may be indicated in
melodic succession: ascending as C<E<G, descending as G>E>C. A black arrow may be
used to indicate a descending-fifth relationship that is or emulates a V(7)I succession,
whereas an outline arrow may be used to indicate a succession from a chord of the
augmented-sixth type: for example, CFDGC; CADGC.
Keys and chords are distinguished as follows: C Major (with a capital M) is the key
of C Major; C major (with a small m) is a C major chord.
Unless another analysts methodology is being discussed, Roman numerals are
presented in capital letters regardless of a chords quality, modified by one or more
accidentals if the chord is altered. Thus C Major: I II V I and not I ii V I; and A Minor: I II
V I (closing on a major tonic), not i ii V I. An accidental to the left of the numeral
corresponds to the chords root; one to the right corresponds to its third. If the chordal
fifth, seventh, or ninth is altered, the analytical symbol will incorporate the corresponding
Arabic numeral, as in C Minor:

. (Arrow notation here II offers an attractive,

though less precise, alternative to the complete analytical symbol.) The bullet symbol ()
indicates an absent root. For example, B-D-F in C Major will be analyzed as V7 (or, with
less precision, as V).
Likewise a progression of chordal roots generally is presented in capital letters (C
DGC), though on occasions when quality is a factor in the discussion a capital letter
may refer to major quality, a small letter to minor quality, and a small letter followed by a
degree circle () to diminished quality: for example, CaFdbGeC.
A bracket is used to connect the analytical notation for two musical events that
normally would follow one another but that in the context under discussion occur at the
same moment: for example,

when an F-A-C chord sounds with,

rather than before, root B in a descending circle of fifths.

Parentheses around a pitch in an analytical example indicate that it is not actually

present in the score, though it is understood. Parentheses around analytical notation may
refer to the expansion of a deeper-level harmony (for example, when I is expanded by I IV
V I) or to the harmonic assertion of a voice-leading phenomenon (for example, when the 6
phase of a I56, as in C-E-G to C-E-A, asserts the harmonic role of VI). Open parentheses
designate a voice-leading transition between two harmonies. For example, I ( ) IV
indicates that the chords between I and IV (perhaps a circular, parallel, or sequential
progression) do not themselves participate in the harmonic progression, but instead serve
to connect the harmonies I and IV.
When a scores chordal spellings do not coincide with the structurally appropriate
spellings (for example, the substitution of easier-to-read F-A-C for cumbersome GB-D), I generally will use the structurally appropriate spellings in my examples and
commentaries, often placing the enharmonic spellings within square brackets to assist
readers in locating the pitches in question within the score.
I pay very close attention to hierarchies among pitches and chords. To alert readers to
various hierarchical relationships I often will underline some pitch names to indicate their
hierarchical prominence. For example, C<E D>B C above bass CGC conveys the
relationship between two unfolded strands: a more prominent outer strand E>D>C, and a
subordinate inner strand C>B<C.
Because diverse musical contexts are analyzed using graphs, it is difficult to pin
down precise guidelines for how their notation should be crafted and read. Many styles of
Schenkerian notation have appeared since the publication of Schenkers Free
Composition (hereafter abbreviated as FC), which itself does not present a single
normative style. I regard the creation of a reductive graph as an art, endeavoring to use
notation that is as clear and informative as possible. In general, open noteheads in my
graphs represent deeper structural or harmonic events than filled-in noteheads, while notes
at the endpoints of beams or slurs are deeper than internal notes. Notes connected to a
beam by a stem are more integral to the structure than those that are not. Especially in the
early chapters I offer abundant commentary, which will give readers the opportunity to
develop facility in interpreting my notation. Occasional annotations using abbreviations
indicate functions of individual pitches or formal events, as follows:

chromatic passing note
chromatic variant
half cadence
imperfect authentic cadence
incomplete neighboring note
neighboring note
passing note
perfect authentic cadence


Of course, the graphs often will incorporate Roman-numeral harmonic analyses, and in
this regard I sometimes depart from Schenkers practice. Because it is innovative, I
document my Roman-numeral usage very carefully as the chapters unfold.
Because measure numbers are a pervasive feature in my close analyses, I have
developed an abbreviated style of reference, in the form measurebeat. For example, the
symbol 23 indicates the third beat of measure 2. Generally the word measure will not
precede the number. I regard measures in and as containing two beats. A measure
designation such as 14/16 means that a given chord is prolonged from measure 14 through
measure 16, with contrasting content occurring between statements of the chord, whereas
the designation 1416 indicates a continuous prolongation of a single chord without
significant internal contrast. The symbol 15|16 indicates measure 16 along with its upbeat.

Part I

Methodological orientation: the


The architecture of a tonic pillar:

twenty-seven regular tonic pillars
from the mazurkas

Chopins mazurkas are admired especially for their harmonic creativity. As Jim Samson
suggests, Chopin reserved for the mazurkas some of his most astonishing harmonic
adventures, at times almost to the point of iconoclasm.1 Our substantial investment of
time and energy in these works over three chapters should offer the dividend of a striking
and vivid perspective regarding Chopins harmonic practice over the course of his career
as a composer.
All of the forty-three mazurkas that Chopin published during his lifetime contain at
least one regular tonic pillar, which is built from a phrase or group of phrases that
concludes with a PAC in the mazurkas tonic key. Though usually the tonic chord will
occur at or near the beginning of a tonic pillar, a delayed initial tonic is a viable
alternative, as long as I is established eventually and the progression then leads through V
back to I for the cadence. The initial tonic might exceptionally occur during an
introduction or only in the listeners imagination (as will be explained in due course), in
which cases the tonic pillar may be already engaged in the progression to the local
dominant at its outset.
The twenty-seven mazurkas that we explore in chapters 1 and 2 are distinguished
from the sixteen that are deferred until chapter 3 by the fact that all of their tonic pillars
(between two and four will occur within one mazurka) are regular. An irregular pillar will
cadence on the tonic without a concurrent descent to (IAC) or on the dominant (HC) or
the mediant, or it will be presented in a key other than the tonic. In all such cases a pillar
later in the mazurka will conclude with a PAC in the tonic key and thus will be regular.
Chapter 1 offers a detailed assessment of how twenty-seven regular tonic pillars are
constructed. Five broad categories are proposed to account for Chopins range of

structures: uninterrupted third-progressions, uninterrupted fifth-progressions, interrupted

third-progressions, interrupted fifth-progressions, and exceptional cases. How these pillars
fit within the architecture of their respective mazurkas will be explored in chapter 2.

Uninterrupted third-progressions
As is common in tonal music of this era, the projection of the tonic key in one of Chopins
mazurkas often is accomplished through the stepwise filling-in of the tonic triads lower
third for example, E>D>C in C Major supported by a harmonic progression that
proceeds from I through V back to I. Though the ten tonic pillars explored in this section
all convey these structural features, they nevertheless offer a considerable variety in terms
of how these foundational chords are embellished and connected. Though II or IV often
serves as an intermediary between I and V, in some cases Chopin proceeds directly from I
to V or pursues a sequential trajectory rather than relying on one of those harmonic

Opus 6/2
The Mazurka in C Minors eight-measure introduction projects a B<D melodic third,
covered by a static G. Invigorated by dissonant F at 92 (as the A1 section gets
underway), these elements yield to the tonics E>C third, covered by G. The stemmed
notes above the bass in 1.1 reveal the first-species foundation of A1s linear strands: thirds

converge upon the cadences unison C. An element from fourth species

Cs delay in descending to B is here supported harmonically by II, enhancing the

foundational I V I progression. (Whereas the full inventory of an evolved harmonys
chromatic elements and added dissonances generally will be displayed beside its Roman
numeral below the graph, a shorthand notation such as the solid arrow, which indicates
that the harmony has taken on dominant-emulating characteristics, often will appear in the
textual commentary. In this case Chopin has replaced C Minors diatonic supertonic, DF-A, with a much more dynamic, dominant-targeting alternative, D-F -A-C. Whereas
some analysts would elect to interpret this chord as diatonic in the context of the chord of
its resolution V7 of V it is interpreted here as a chromatic chord within C Minor,
with Roman II indicating that the second scale degree serves as the root.) The melodys
downward shift during V, restoring the register of the introduction, adds vitality to the
presentation and motivates further registral fluctuation as the mazurka continues. The
essence of the tonic pillars structure is not compromised by the presentation of its thirdprogression spread over a tenth or by the sounding of inner-strand pitches G and E above
the melodic descents C goal. (Chopin emphasizes the C by notating G as a grace note
and introducing E on beat two.) Because the mazurka continues beyond the tonic pillar,
the third-progression (spread over a tenth) is interpreted as motion to the interior of the
texture, consequently extending , which serves as the Kopfton (literally head tone), the
pitch from which the mazurkas deep structural descent the ultimate tonic-confirming
event will emanate. Successors to at both the middleground and background levels
emerge later (in measures 17 and 42), as we shall see in chapter 2.

Example 1.1 Analysis of Mazurka in C Minor (op. 6/2), mm. 116.

Opus 6/5 [a.k.a. opus 7/5]

The first-species framework that Chopin deploys during the tonic pillar of his Mazurka in
C Major is identical to the one we noted in opus 6/2. Stemmed notes in 1.2 reveal the
interaction between E>D>C above and C>B<C below. A CGC bass arpeggiation
supports those lines. In this case the upper strands E invokes a fourth-species delay at 712
and a G>F>E descant in measures 7 and 8 hovers above the principal line, similar to
G>F>E in measures 14 through 16 of opus 6/2 [1.1].2 That contrapuntal structure
likewise prevails at the foreground level to project the pillars opening tonic harmony.
(The Kopfton imagined at the outset is stated during the second local E>D>C descent,
which extends from 53 through 63.) The repetition of the pillar, beginning in measure 9,
both rescinds the upper-octave hoist of goal C (compare measures 8 and 12) and segues
into the B section by destabilizing the goal tonic via a 56 shift (G to A in measure 12).3
As numerous later examples will confirm, the tonics fifth often will shift to its sixth as a
means of segueing between the tonic and the supertonic, which in this case is realized as
II (D-F-A-C in measure 13, to be discussed in chapter 2).

Example 1.2 Analysis of Mazurka in C Major (op. 6/5), mm. 18.

My assertion that the introduction conveys a tonic root and Kopfton (displayed
within parentheses in 1.2) may be disconcerting. (Such bold assertions are a hallmark of
imaginative analytical thinking, which contrasts a literalist perspective.4) Because an E
(during 81) precedes the upper-strand D in the repetition beginning at 91, I retrospectively
import that context to what precedes 51. In this case the initial tonic is unconventionally
presented in position. Interpreting the solo G of measures 1 through 4 as a tonic
harmony depends upon a careful assessment of the broader context. A comparison with
another mazurka opus 30/3 reveals how Chopin will sometimes lead from a lone fifth
scale degree into a robust tonic chord during an introduction. In opus 6/5 that evolution is
elided. My proposed C and E project what I understand Chopin to have imagined as the
opening chordal structure, represented meagerly by pitch G.5

Opus 7/1
The high spirits that Chopin conveys in his Mazurka in B Major result in part from the
persistent refusal of the melody to be confined by the line that traverses the pillars

structural descent (depicted in 1.3). An upper third

coordinates with each of these elements, and even greater heights are attained as well. For
example, the F of 23, already a third above the structural D, is embellished by neighbor G
in measure 3, during a

expansion of the tonic. (The is unfurled, with E

sounding in the bass. An unfurling is defined as a chordal reconfiguration involving the

substitution of a different bass note for the one that characteristically would occur.) This G
is embellished by upper-third B before F returns. Also, whereas an E neighbor to
Kopfton D sounds as a grace note at 51 before upper third G emerges, the corresponding
spot in measure 9, during a varied repetition of the latter part of the phrase, attains greater
heights by dispensing with the E. The persistent upward striving impacts even the close
of the

descent: B sounds an octave higher than expected in measure 8

(though not in measure 12).

Example 1.3 Analysis of Mazurka in B Major (op. 7/1), mm. 112.

A collision occurs when two successive syntactic entities are juxtaposed during the
same moment in time, as in measure 6. Whereas the left hand persists in projecting the
initial tonic, the E that joins with B and D in the right hand projects II (here with
omitted root: E-(G)-B-D is interpreted as a dominant-emulating evolution of the diatonic
supertonic, C-E-G). The collision is conveyed in the harmonic analysis by placing a
bracket above Roman numerals I and II. Whereas II in opus 6/2 [1.1] is spelled as DF -A-C, in opus 7/1 the octave of the supertonic root C is displaced by ninth D,
resulting in a chord spelled as E-(G)-B-D. (In the full inventory of chordal elements
beside Roman numeral II in the graph, a bullet () indicates that the root has been
omitted.) Chopin here takes advantage of the fact that B and D are members of both the I
and the II harmonies in B Major.

Opus 24/2
The Mazurka in C Majors introduction provides the venue for the initial sounding of the
tonic harmony. By the time A1 commences at 51, the progression has already proceeded to
the tonics 6-phase chord within a local expansion of I-space [1.4]. Some imaginative
thinking is called for in measure 5, since the upper E within an E<G<C<E arpeggiation to
the Kopfton is elided to make way for the subdominants F. (Note the parentheses in 1.4.
The score presents the E<F voice leading an octave lower.) The local IV V7 I progression
that extends the initial tonic through 63 is deployed again immediately thereafter to
provide similar support for the tonics 6-phase chord, which is secured at 83.

Example 1.4 Analysis of Mazurka in C Major (op. 24/2), mm. 120.

Chopin divides the tonic pillars broad harmonic progression into two segments, each
repeated. The initiating I56 transpires during the introduction and the first half of A1
(wherein the written-out repeat during measures 9 through 12 does not recapture the
tonics initial 5-phase chord), whereas the continuation II V7 I transpires during the second
half of A1. Observe in 1.4 how G and B at the downbeat of measure 13 function as
accented passing notes that delay the full flowering of II, rather than asserting the arrival
of V.6

Opus 24/3
An unfolded G<D diminished fifth during measure 1 energizes the opening of the
Mazurka in A Major, which announces the tonic through the melodic unfolding of its
signature A<C third from 03 through 21 [1.5]. (Though the A sounds without chordal
support, it nevertheless represents the tonic: G is neighbor to A, not the reverse.) Upper
third E, which corresponds to similar thirds preceding or following the arrival of in
most of the mazurkas we have explored thus far, soon emerges. By the end of measure 4
the tonic surges towards IV. (I often use the word surge both noun and verb to denote a
dominant-emulating transformation. Here I is transformed into I through the raising of
its fifth to E and the addition of G as seventh.) The continuation from IV to V seems
more melodically focused in the tenor register (D>C>B) than in the soprano. In fact, the
soprano D>C over the bar line between measures 7 and 8 makes the perception of a PAC
at that point doubtful.7 A modified traversal of the phrases second half (extending what
might have been a normative eight-measure phrase to twelve measures) brings the D-toB third into somewhat better focus (though note that D appears within parentheses in
1.5 since it does not sound in the upper register in either traversal), with a more decisive
landing on A in measure 12. (Compare with 1.3, measure 12.)

Example 1.5 Analysis of Mazurka in A Major (op. 24/3), mm. 0|112.

Opus 24/4
The extraordinary opening of the Mazurka in B Minor involves the concurrent chromatic
filling-in of two intervals from the F-A-C embellishing chord that precedes the initial
tonic. Whereas the path from F to A is traversed in the lower strand five pitches in all
a chromatic descent from F to C in the upper strand encompasses six pitches, and so when
A arrives in measure 5 the upper strand has descended only as far as D, a half step shy
of goal C. Chopin ingeniously employs this distinctive sonority (one that recurs often in
his compositions) as a substitute for the intended one by treating downward-tending D as
an anticipation of the following tonics third, Kopfton D. Consequently the descending
fourths goal C is elided, as conveyed by the parentheses around the C notehead in 1.6.
Similar elisions and anticipations recur during the tonic pillars subsequent progression to

Example 1.6 Analysis of Mazurka in B Minor (op. 24/4), mm. 0|112.

The mediant, a common element in minor-key progressions, here lives up to its name
by serving as the mediator between the tonic and the dominant harmonies (measures 6
through 10). Segments of the descending circle of fifths, pursuing an upward trajectory,
provide the locomotion. The soprano follows this upward course as well, maintaining the
interval of a tenth with the bass at the tonic, mediant, and dominant nodal points. Such
voice leading places the normative stepwise descent from the Kopfton in jeopardy. The
arrow at measure 11 in 1.6 reveals Chopins solution to the dilemma. Though A (a
transformation of diatonic A into the leading tone) is introduced above the register of

Kopfton D, eventually it is transferred downward an octave, and a C emerges above it to

link the Kopfton D of measure 6 and the PACs B of measure 12. (Though a C sounds at
113 in the accompaniment, its melodic statement is delayed until 121, at which point it
takes on the role of a suspension.) Despite the bold path that connects the I and V

harmonies, first-species lines (here

) over a bass arpeggiation (BFB),

already noted in several other mazurkas, serve as the structural foundation.

Opus 30/2
Initially the Mazurka in F Minors opening sixteen measures might seem to represent the
tonic pillar for a Mazurka in B Minor.8 Yet the absence of a PAC should raise eyebrows
among astute listeners. Noting that these measures do not recur later in the mazurka (and
thus do not conform to the behavior of a tonic pillar), that the mazurka concludes in F
Minor (despite the scores two-sharp key signature), and that the normative cadential and
universal repetition characteristics of a tonic pillar are fulfilled instead by the material of
measures 16|17 through 32, one may reasonably interpret the opening sixteen measures as
an introduction on F Minors subdominant [1.7]. Though two mazurkas (opus 30/4 [3.4]
and opus 56/1 [1.9]) commence with the supertonic, in those cases the tonic is achieved in
the context of the initial musical idea. Opus 30/2 is unique in the extent to which the
tonics arrival is delayed. One might legitimately propose that Chopin has here gone too
far that the clash between the compositions retrospectively wayward opening in B
Minor and eventual settling down in F Minor is something that cannot be fully reconciled
by the listener.9 Nevertheless, 1.7 makes as strong a case as I can muster for tonal

Example 1.7 Analysis of Mazurka in F Minor (op. 30/2), mm. 0|132.

The melodic unfoldings during the introductions sequentially propelled progression
contain a few holes. Two traversals of the succeeding upper and interior strands, which
proceed in parallel thirds (with parentheses marking the absent pitches), occur during the
opening sixteen measures:




A ,

Note that the initial opening is not pursued beyond measure 2 (a fresh start is offered in
measure 3) and that the concluding melodic F is delayed until after the written-out repeat

(at 163). That F goal serves as the starting point for an ascent to the Kopfton, achieved at
182 by means of the reaching-over technique.10
The A1 prolongation of F Minor coordinates ascending bass motion from the tonic
through the mediant to the dominant with a rising melody, so that the normative
descending second from Kopfton A to G is presented as an ascending seventh. (Compare
with the similar tonic pillar in opus 24/4 [1.6], where the lower register is retained.)
Despite that anomaly, the line continues downward to F, so that a PAC is achieved
within the phrase. The pillars repetition commences with an interesting variant on the IV
of measure 16: D-G-B-F at 243 is an evolved IV6 (=II). (That is, diatonic IV B-DF here is expanded through the incorporation of its sixth, G. With the assertion of G
as the chords root, diatonic G-B-D-F further evolves through the raising of chordal
third B to B. Since this chord correlates not to a dominant seventh sonority, which
would be conveyed via the symbol II, but instead to what is often called an augmented
sixth chord here the French version I deploy an outline arrow to the right of the
Roman numeral: II. All chords designated by arrows are surging: through added
dissonance and/or chromaticism they target the chord with root a perfect fifth lower, here

Opus 30/3
Many features of the Mazurka in D Majors tonic pillar, displayed in 1.8, correspond to
structural elements from mazurkas we have explored above. The tonic harmony initiated
by the fifth scale degree during an introduction relates to 1.2. The transfer of Kopfton to
a higher register corresponds to 1.4. The embellishment of all three pitches of a thirdprogression by upper thirds recalls both 1.3 and 1.5. Its first-species foundation (F>E>D
against D>C<D over bass arpeggiation DAD) was similarly noted in relation to
1.1, 1.2, 1.3, and 1.6. What most distinguishes this tonic pillar is the infusion of elements
from the parallel minor key. At several points Chopin backtracks, presenting a passage a
second time or even a third and fourth time (measures 12, 14, 15, and 16) alternating
major- and minor-key pitch collections. (The minor-key accidentals are displayed within
parentheses in 1.8.) During A1 the pillars concluding tonic is built with minor third F,
which is retained for the G chord of the circular progression that initiates the B section.
Looking ahead, we note that Chopin allows the tonics F to shift back to F at the end of
the A2 tonic pillar to conclude the mazurka (measure 95).

Example 1.8 Analysis of Mazurka in D Major (op. 30/3), mm. 124.

Opus 56/1
Though the Mazurka in B Majors tonic pillar will establish the key of B Major, the B
major chord of measure 2 is not asserted as that tonic.11 It instead is an internal element
within a connection between antipodal C minor and G major chords, achieved via an
obstinate circular progression that emphasizes descending whole steps, as shown in 1.9.
Chopin here taps one of tonal musics most astonishing properties: the antipode the
chord that seems to be the furthest possible tonal distance from an initiating chord may
in fact map back onto that initiating chord.12 One type of chordal evolution is denoted
using a solid arrow (). For example, the C-E-G at this mazurkas outset could have
evolved into C-E-G-B or E-G-B-D to invigorate the succession to the F dominant
of measures 12 and 13. Another common evolution, especially prevalent with the II
harmony, involves the lowering of the chordal fifth (or retaining that fifth in a minor-key
context).13 An outline arrow () is used to denote such evolutions, which here might
result in a chord spelled as C-E-G-B or E-G-B-D.14 Though the relationship is
masked when a nickname such as German augmented sixth (which I eschew) is
employed, observe that C (a pitch that often will be omitted) serves as the root for a
chord that incorporates the antipodal triad of pitches G, B, and D! Consequently
Chopins seemingly wayward journey further and further from the initial C chord in fact
leads to pitches that, once E emerges at 121, intensify the natural tendency of the C
supertonic to proceed to dominant F. As 1.9 reveals, this potent II expansion delays V
until measures 12 and 13. The prolongation of V via a embellishing chord in measure 14
puts off the tonic arrival until measure 16.

Example 1.9 Analysis of Mazurka in B Major (op. 56/1), mm. 122.

As the supertonics minor ninth, the pitch D possesses a tendency to resolve
downwards to the dominants fifth, C. In this case that resolution will be preceded by a
embellishment (here presented uncharacteristically in a weak metrical position, at 123) that
reverts to the major modes D. Consequently Chopin respells D as C at 122, facilitating
its upward continuation. Though the dominants seventh, E, sounds at 131, the voice
leading should be understood as D>C, with E reaching over that strand, as shown in 1.9.
Though no C sounds in the upper register at measure 1, I imagine the broad chromatic
filling-in of a C-to-E third (as slurred in 1.9) as a melodic trajectory within the opening
thirteen measures. A reciprocal D-to-B third is pursued during the remainder of the pillar.
Whereas an ascent in thirds connecting I and V, with the outer voices moving in
parallel tenths, is a key feature of 1.6, a similar trajectory in the downward direction
connects I and IV in 1.9.15 The melodys subservience to the bass descent in thirds results
in an empty space in the upper register during IV. I propose that, as was also the case in
measures 5 through 11 of opus 24/3, the melodys trajectory is more fully worked out in
the interior of the texture, here as a connection of Kopfton Ds incomplete upper neighbor
E through passing note D to the dominants fifth, C (at which point the action returns to
the upper register). One way to support the E>D>C span in a IVV context is to utilize

IVs upper-fifth chord as consonant support for IVs passing seventh, D.16 This reading
wins out against the hypothesis that the tonic is restored at 183, especially since Chopins
modified repetition of the concluding measures retains the IV but dispenses with the
upper-fifth chord.

Opus 56/2
A Polish folk spirit is especially pervasive in the Mazurka in C Major, with a


sounding throughout the tonic pillar. The four-measure introductions G serves as the
starting point for an ascending arpeggiation to Kopfton E [1.10]. Though a higher G
sounds immediately thereafter, it replicates that in the tenor register, to which the A that
follows G at 53 immediately transfers. (That line then continues upwards through B to C.)
Consequently the F and D during 61 serve as neighbors to the C and E of 51. (I admit that
this reading may seem wayward. Yet compare with Chopins variant in measures 53 and
54, where Fs role as neighbor between two Es is more overtly stated.) Chromatic F is a
wobbly note (or wobble) a note that temporarily takes on a chromatic inflection that
eventually will be revoked that soon reverts to diatonic F. The G initiates an upperoctave replication of the initiating G<C<E arpeggiation, reaching C at 71 (one beat after its
arrival by step in the interior register) and eventually (via a reaching-over above D) E at
133. Thus the pillar may be divided into two regions: that in which an octave connection
between the lower and upper presentations of the Kopfton transpires (as conveyed by the
dotted slur in 1.10), supported by a prolonged tonic and local embellishing chords; and
that during which a third-progression descending from the Kopfton leads to a PAC at
201.17 In my view the altered context justifies the analytical interpretation of the chord at
1923 as an asserted dominant, with the D of the E>D>C descent that it supports taking
precedence over the maintenance of E (thereby contrasting the emphasis upon Es arrival
an octave higher in measure 13, confirmed by the reiteration of E in the lower register at

Example 1.10 Analysis of Mazurka in C Major (op. 56/2), mm. 128.

Uninterrupted fifth-progressions
The four mazurkas in this section project the tonic harmony by means of an uninterrupted
fifth-progression descending from the tonic triads fifth to its root. Several contrasting
means of supporting


are deployed, distinguished principally by whether

sounds as a stable element in a tonic context or instead as an unstable element in a

dominant context. (One could propose other options not encountered in this section as

Opus 7/4
The determination that , rather than , serves as a compositions Kopfton can be a
difficult call, especially given that another potential reading the embellishment of
Kopfton with an upper third occurs frequently. How the tonic pillar fits within the
mazurkas broader context sometimes provides useful data. For example, the chord at 363
in the Mazurka in A Major, which I propose would be spelled correctly as G-B-D-F,
features the dominants minor ninth F [E] poised towards resolution to the tonics fifth,
E, for the final statement of the tonic pillar.18 Note also that at 71 (during the initial
phrases written-out repeat) Ds arrival from above is emphasized through the resolution
of a suspended E (the grace note). Consequently I propose that the preferred reading
should be a fifth-progression from E, rather than a third-progression from C with upper
neighbor D.
Though challenging to comprehension, occasionally in music one initiative begins
before a prior one concludes: here the bass descent from tonic root A to subdominant
third F gets underway before the soprano arpeggiation of the tonic E<A<C<E
concludes. (A diagonal line in 1.11 connects the open-notehead pitches A and E to
emphasize their structural alliance. As an experiment at the piano, delay the left-hand G
and B at 23 by half a beat to sense the second-species origin of Chopins conception.) It is
reassuring to hear the high A at 31: just as an upper third often embellishes Kopfton , an
upper fourth often embellishes Kopfton .

Example 1.11 Analysis of Mazurka in A Major (op. 7/4), mm. 0|14.

With the bass taking the lead, the downward trajectory in both outer voices
coordinates with the harmonic progression from I through IV (inverted) to V, culminating
in a PAC on I.19 Though the most rudimentary support for would be within IV-space (as

in the second-species model

), the unaccented passing note C often

is shifted to the following strong metrical position, thereby becoming an accented passing


. From this perspective it would be absurd to label the

chord at 323 as I, as once was common and still persists in some quarters.

Opus 33/1
Once Kopfton D is established in measures 3 and 4 of the Mazurka in G Minor, three
pitches A, C, and E create a rich embellishing chord that at first extends Kopfton
(highlighting a D<E>D neighboring motive that plays an important role at various
points during the work, including the melodys first three pitches) and then supports the
descent through to [1.12]. As usual, the dominant supports before the PAC on .
The D-to-G descent is shadowed a third lower by B>A>G>F <G.

Example 1.12 Analysis of Mazurka in G Minor (op. 33/1), mm. 0|112.

Chopin sets up a wondrous opportunity through the means by which he establishes
the initiation point (pitch B) for that interior strand. Instead of rising swiftly to Kopfton
,20 he emphasizes the B at 12 by pursuing a descending third-progression to the tonic
pitch. This emphasis on , with a fleshed-out descent, presages the closing segment of the
phrase (measures 7 and 8). Such a coincidence of content offers a delicious opportunity: a
two-measure overlap, wherein measures 7 and 8 might be regarded as the end of the
phrase or the initiation of its repetition or both!21 The measure-number grid that
annotates 1.12, in which the numbers 6, 7, and 8 occur twice, reveals how this works. The
hairpin symbol to the right of the number 9 signals a truncation of the I-space expansion

the second time. Through these means the tonic pillars footprint extends for twelve
rather than sixteen measures.
As has been the case in several other mazurkas, the structure of the opening depends
upon imaginative thinking. (Note the parenthetical bass G at the outset in 1.12.) Since the
D at 03 corresponds to that at 63, where bass G supports a tonic chord, I do not think I
have misrepresented Chopin by proposing a tonic context for the initial lone D. However,
I have held my imagination in check during 12. Do these pitches assert themselves as II?
22 Or is this an instance (similar to that discussed above in the context of opus 7/4, 2

3) of

passing motion getting underway just as an emerging chordal structure takes shape
(chromatic C against the tonics G and B)? I have left some empty space below the staff
(at measures 1 and 7) in 1.12 for readers more persuaded by the supertonic interpretation
than I am to jot in a II numeral.

Opus 41/1 [a.k.a. opus 41/2]

Parentheses in 1.13a surround an imagined initiating chord for the Mazurka in E Minor
a stable E minor tonic (related to that at 43, established before the varied second traversal
of the phrase) to serve as an unheard predecessor of the mazurkas already surging first
chord. Granted, analysts who would label the pitches E-G-B-D as V7/IV are not in a
position to appreciate the subtlety of Chopins writing here and might propose that the
mazurka initially conveys the key of A Minor or celebrate Chopin as a master of tonal
ambiguity.23 From my more imaginative perspective I counter such claims: having so
often heard a diatonic tonic chord evolve into a surging, IV-seeking entity, I am not
alarmed that the tonics foundational consonant state is here elided. (Just as II often
evolves into II in its approach to V, so also I evolves into I in its approach to IV.) As
analyst I reconstitute that unsounded initiating chord within parentheses in 1.13a, and in
1.13b I show how, during the varied repetition of the phrase, a diatonic tonic chord in fact
precedes the surge.

Example 1.13 Mazurka in E Minor (op. 41/1) (a) Analysis of mm. 14; (b) Analysis of
mm. 18.
The subdominant of measure 2 supports

within a local descent from to . The

leap to F at 31 likely will generate concerns regarding

. I propose that the

subdominants A extends into V-space (where it sounds an octave lower), during which the
descent through G to F transpires. This is a hard call, especially since the melody of
measure 3 resembles that of measure 1. A viable alternative would be to propose an
imagined G at the end of measure 2 (thus IV8(7)), so that the G at 33 functions as a
neighbor to an already established .24
In the phrase repetition Chopin extends IV by means of a shift to its 6 phase (a
common occurrence between IV and V) in measure 7, here deploying chromatic Fnatural, attained through descent from 8 rather than the more common ascent from 5. (The
pitch F functions as a wobbly note, which one would expect to be revoked through the
reinstatement of F as the dominants diatonic fifth.) Alas, that initiative consumes two
beats of the phrases third measure, which in the earlier phrase was devoted exclusively to
the dominant. During the one beat remaining before the tonic arrival on the downbeat of
measure 8, Chopin elects not to sound the dominant root or to convey the conventional
melodic descent to scale degree 2, elements of the structure that were presented

straightforwardly during measure 3. Whereas literalist analysts likely would endeavor to

make whatever sense they could of Chopins curious third beat, my imaginative
interpretation takes two crucial factors into account: first, we have heard a dominant
harmony in the corresponding location during the initial statement of the phrase, where the
melodic G in fact descends to F; and second, the unfolded thirds A to F followed by E to
G would lead one to expect an unfolded DF third next. Though I anticipate
considerable resistance from some readers, my graph asserts a dominant function at the
end of measure 7 despite the absence of that Stufes root, third, and fifth.25

Opus 41/4 [a.k.a. opus 41/1]

Rising motion in all voices connects the tonic and the dominant in the first seventeen
measures of the Mazurka in C Minor, in a manner that places the upper-register arrival of
Kopfton G against dominant root G, rather than the initial tonic C. (A diagonal line in
1.14 connects root C and Kopfton G.) Embellishing chords, rather than a functional
harmonic progression, support the intervening melody: D-F-A26 and F-A-C within the
realm of the tonic (measures 1 through 8); F -A-C-(E) within the realm of the mediant
(measures 9 through 16); C-E-G within the realm of the dominant (measures 17
through 19). When serves as the Kopfton, as here, the fifth-progression descending to
the tonic root over the course of the tonic pillar may be supported by a double IVI
arpeggiation, as noted by the prong at the bottom of bass Cs stem in 1.14, measure 20.
(That symbol denotes the concurrent end of the first arpeggiation and beginning of the

Example 1.14 Analysis of Mazurka in C Minor (op. 41/4), mm. 132.

Though the mazurka will end desolately in C Minor, a significant part of the pillars
structure (measures 17 through 24) shifts decisively towards C Major. During the second
IVI arpeggiation, which supports

, the tonics 6-phase chord (C-E-

A, unfurled) comes between the tonic and the supertonic, presented as II at 223. In
conjunction with this II, a melodic excursion extends upwards from E through F to

G substituting for the melodys conventional descent to D, which sounds belatedly at

the cadential downbeat (as a suspended ninth whose imagined D preparation is displayed
within parentheses in 1.14). (During the A2 statement of the tonic pillar at measure 103,
near the final cadence before the coda the D is straightforwardly presented during
.) The segment of the pillar devoted to the descending fifth-progression is reprised, with
variants, during measures 25 through 32.

Interrupted third-progressions
Repetition occurs in many musical contexts, most obviously when a repeat sign instructs
the performer to play a passage a second time. A more sophisticated deployment of
repetition involves two related phrases in which the first fails to fully close while the
second does in fact achieve closure. The term interruption and some related notation
within graphs are deployed when in one phrase (the antecedent) the melodic descent
proceeds from or from to (supported by V), and in the next (the consequent) a new
try is inaugurated, this time achieving (supported by I). All of this sections tonic pillars,
from works with Kopfton , are constructed in this manner, thereby offering a more
complex inner organization than prevails in the pillars we have explored already. Analysts
display interruption using either of two distinct styles of graph notation. Though in this
book I conform to the preference that developed during my extensive study of this topic
while writing Tonal Analysis: A Schenkerian Perspective, I trust that readers who are
accustomed to the other method, which maintains a greater visual distinction between the
antecedent and consequent parts of a graph through separate beaming and separate
Roman-numeral analyses, will be able to adapt to the method on display here for the
duration of this study. Also note that analysts do not all concur with regard to how similar
the two halves must be to one another for the notion of interruption to be viable. I am
willing to allow a significant amount of variation between the two halves, so long as the
deeper structure conforms to the principles of interruption.

Opus 6/4
The four-measure theme that transpires during the Mazurka in E Minors tonic pillar is
divided into two halves that are equal in length but not in structural content. (The entire
theme is then repeated, with a few subtle alterations.) This inequality results from one of
tonal musics most prevalent and effective structural devices: the juxtaposition of similar
phrases that cadence on the dominant and on the tonic, melodically realized through an
interruption of the structural descent after . The mazurkas Kopfton is (to be justified
presently). The

of the antecedent does not continue directly to , but reaches that

goal only after a reiteration of

and its harmonic support. The two-beat dominant

at 223 is replaced by a dominant-to-tonic succession during measure 4. The analytical

notation for interruption that I employ (here at the middleground level, since it is internal
to the A1 section within an A1 B A2 ternary form) is displayed in 1.15.27 Note that the V
in measure 2 serves as the principal dominant, after which the reiteration portion of the
consequent phrase does not move the structure along at all: only the final tonic root and
the melodic that it supports hook up with the earlier components of the structural
framework. Working in three dimensions would be ideal: one could place the second
and behind the first ones, showing effectively how the final serves as the goal both
for the broad descent from over the course of four measures and for the more local
descent in measures 3 and 4. (Imagine putting some hinges into the middle beams so that
one could physically move the second half of the graph behind the first half, aligning G
and F in the two phrases and allowing the E to stick out at the right edge.)

Example 1.15 Analysis of Mazurka in E Minor (op. 6/4), mm. 0|14.

In that all three pitches of the tonic triad initiate melodic strands during the mazurkas
opening two beats, one may wonder which one serves as the Kopfton. Does the B win out
because it sounds first? Or does the E because it is the highest? Following each strand
through to its goal, one may be surprised to learn that neither of those lines is maintained
in its initial register over the long haul. Though one hears B proceeding to A (at 21), the
continuation to G in measure 4 occurs only in the tenor register. And though an
E>D>C>B fourth transpires during the antecedent phrase, in the consequent phrase
that line is more fully realized in the tenor register, though the concluding B is absent and
will be imagined during 43. Only the strand that proceeds from G is maintained in
register over the course of all four measures; and only that strand attains , by which point
it in fact is the highest-sounding strand, which is how it is displayed in 1.15. (An
incomplete neighbor occurs between and , as often is the case when IV serves as the
intermediary between I and V.)

Opus 17/3
The Mazurka in A Majors sixteen-measure tonic pillar derives its binary shape from the
interruption that occurs after the first phrases cadential dominant. Chopins prolongation
of this dominant correlates motivically with the preceding tonic prolongations: whereas
C>B>A is heard repeatedly during I-space (measures 1 through 6), B>A>G is
projected during V-space (measures 7 and 8) [1.16]. Another set of thirds plays an equally
important motivic role: just as E emerges above Kopfton C in measure 2, D follows B
and C precedes A during the pillars final two measures. (Compare with 1.3.)

Example 1.16 Analysis of Mazurka in A Major (op. 17/3), mm. 0|116.

Whereas in the context of an interruption the PAC of the second phrase will contrast
the dominant close of the first, the two phrases may display other variances as well.
Chopin offers a delectable sample in this mazurka. What are we to make of the pitch
collection that sounds during 63? From a literalist perspective A-C-E-F might be
regarded as a chromatic variant of the tonics 6-phase chord, here proceeding directly to
the dominant. Yet during the consequent phrase one tiny shift makes a clarifying
difference: Chopin lowers E to D (at 143), unleashing the chords vibrant II
potentiality. In 1.16 that interpretation is parenthetically supplied in the earlier
presentation as well. Just as we can discern Michelangelos intentions even in his
unfinished sculptures, so also a chordal function may be perceived even when

incompletely realized. I have chiseled away at the E to reveal the D that it conceals,
using parentheses to acknowledge my participation.28 The phrases harmonic defect,
like its failure to achieve a PAC on , is rectified during the second phrase.

Opus 33/2 [a.k.a. opus 33/3]

A compositions underlying structure and the presentation of that structure by a composer
may not exactly match. Consequently pairs of parentheses are encountered frequently in
graphs to indicate pitches that the analyst proposes an alert listener will imagine. In
Chopins Mazurka in C Major, even the Kopfton E (= ) is an imagined note [1.17]. There
is evidence of its influence: the E>D suspension/resolution pair in measure 7 depends on
the conventional preparation by an E during the preceding I56, and the mazurkas B
section twice ascends to the imagined Kopftons wobbly displacement, E (measures 20
and 28). The descending parallel sixths in the soprano and alto registers during measures 0
through 6 logically would begin with . Since no such E sounds, I have reconstituted the
structure that I propose grounds Chopins mazurka. I admire rather than condemn
Chopins free presentation.

Example 1.17 Analysis of Mazurka in C Major (op. 33/2), mm. 0|116.

The antecedent phrases harmonic path conforms precisely to the normative
convention for the supertonics use: the tonic first shifts to its 6 phase (here surging as
VI, in measure 6), which leads effectively to the supertonic (also surging: II) followed
by the dominant. For the consequent phrase, Chopin foregoes the tonic 6-phase chord to
facilitate an earlier dominant arrival, leaving time for the tonic in the phrases concluding

measure. Not only is the surging VI absent; IIs surge is retracted as well (so that the
subtler diatonic II7 serves as herald of the dominant).

Opus 33/3 [a.k.a. opus 33/2]

Whereas Kopfton is an imagined pitch in the Mazurka in C Major [1.17], is imagined
in my analysis of the Mazurka in D Major [1.18]. Fortunately the redundancy of descent
within an interruption structure means that a second opportunity for the sounding of
exists. In this case measure 6 achieves what measure 4 neglects. As usual, the altered
agenda of the consequent phrase results in revisions of the harmonic progression, geared
towards achieving an earlier dominant arrival to make room for the cadential tonic. Here
Chopin elects to dispense with his three-measure prolongation of I-space, leaving only the
initial one-measure arpeggiation. This drastic cut permits an elective addition preceding
the dominant arrival: namely the supertonic, which occupies measure 6.

Example 1.18 Analysis of Mazurka in D Major (op. 33/3), mm. 0|18.

Interrupted fifth-progressions
Interruption is as useful in developing structures emanating from Kopfton as from

. The examples explored in this section demonstrate some strategies for

supporting the descent from that did not emerge among the non-interrupted lines
explored above.

Opus 7/2
The tonic pillars two phrases in the Mazurka in A Minor offer related yet contrasting
harmonizations of the structural line descending from Kopfton . During the antecedent
phrase the span from to transpires during an expansion of I-space, followed by II,
which, with embellishment, serves as the initial support for before the HC dominant
arrives [1.19]. During the consequent phrase a shift to I6 coincides with the arrival of . In
a minor key I6 is innately suited for a dominant-emulating role, which may be enhanced
through the addition of a minor seventh, propelling a surge (as VI) towards II. Since
Chopin realizes that potentiality here, the two phrases offer a strong contrast at this
juncture: supported by II versus supported by II. (Compare 73 and 141 in 1.19.)
Though II is not innately inclined towards V, listeners have accustomed themselves to
the IIV succession, which composers have promoted as a means of preventing their
compositions from leading into the abyss. An extension beyond the diatonic pitch
collection is held in check: BE occurs rarely in A Minor, whereas the antipodal B-toE continuation has become the norm. (Here Chopin forgoes presenting II in its first
inversion, a common means of softening the effect of the antipodal root connection.) The
melodys B wobble temporarily displaces diatonic B, which duly emerges during the
dominant that follows though not in the soprano register, where parentheses denote its
imaginative presence within a descending fifth-progression in 1.19.

Example 1.19 Analysis of Mazurka in A Minor (op. 7/2), mm. 0|116.

Opus 17/2
During the Mazurka in E Minors tonic pillar, Chopin devotes equal time to the
establishment of the initial I-space, with Kopfton , and to the fifth-progression that leads
ultimately to a PAC. Both of the pillars phrases are twelve measures in length. Over the
first six measures a dotted slur in 1.20 connects Kopfton B in its middle and upper
registers. Both outer voices pursue arpeggiations of the tonic pitches: E<G<B<E in the
bass, and B<E<G<B in the soprano. Mediant G (measure 4) is achieved in the bass via a
circular progression (EADG) during which Kopfton B is embellished by its upper
neighbor, C. A reminiscence of that embellishment occurs in the context of the upper Bs
arrival in measure 6, where C again serves as a neighbor.

Example 1.20 Analysis of Mazurka in E Minor (op. 17/2), mm. 0|124.

Once the upper-register B is secure, the descent towards E commences. The B>A>G
segment of that fifth occurs over a tonic pedal from 63 through 83, embellished by A.
(Compare with F in 1.10, measure 6.) Chopin provocatively transfers G to an even higher
register in measure 10. That act turns out to be of only local significance. Though residual
high notes persist through measure 12, the structural

should be imagined in the

conventional soprano register beginning at 111, as shown by the parenthetical F in 1.20.29

(The E and D that follow in that register depend upon the imagined precedent of F. Note
that the F sounds belatedly during 113 and 121. No parentheses are required during the
consequent phrase, since F sounds during 231.)
The consequent phrase, displayed in somewhat abbreviated form in 1.20, presents the
six-measure opening tonic expansion once again, followed by a full fifth-progression to

the PAC. The II that supported

before the dominants arrival during the antecedent

phrase is suppressed: the earlier IIV HC gives way to a VI PAC. Though most of the
phrases content corresponds to what was presented earlier, Chopin offers a particularly
delicious innovation between 231 and 241. Observe how, above F (=

), some residual

upper-note activity based on chromatic lower neighbors and their resolutions emerges:




The underlined notes reiterate the chromatic line of measures 6 through 8 (and 18 through
20). There the B and A were components of the middleground structural descent; here they
represent an interior strand hoisted to a position above the structural F. As the arrow in
1.20 indicates, dissonant As resolution pitch G sounds in the restored interior register,
below the cadential .

Opus 17/4
As a preface to our exploration of the tonic pillar in the Mazurka in A Minor, a review of
1.11 is warranted. Observe how Chopins melody there accomplishes the upward transfer
of Kopfton E by means of arpeggiation. It is especially notable that the bass has already
begun its descending trajectory from the tonic root A before the upper E is secured. Yet
once that happens the soprano joins the bass in pursuing a downward trajectory. Three

consecutive sixths

occur within a broad I IV V I progression.

For the Mazurka in A Minor I depart from standard analytical notation to show the
essence of Chopins writing in an overtly contrapuntal manner. In 1.21a the essential
content of 1.11 is maintained, transposed into A Minor. The representation of soprano C in
its foundational role as an unaccented passing note reveals the motivation avoidance of
parallel fifths that would cause a composer such as Chopin to shift its presentation to the
following accented beat. Several types of expansion are applied concurrently in the
transformation of 1.21a into 1.21b. First, by leading the initiating soprano pitch E to its
upper neighbor F, a series of 76 suspensions graces the descent. Second, a chromatic link
connects the G-B-E passing chord and the F-A-D subdominant.30 Third, the dominant is
expanded via a

voice exchange.

Example 1.21 Mazurka in A Minor (op. 17/4) (a) Contrapuntal model for the tonic
pillar; (b) Analysis of mm. 120.
The measure numbers annotating 1.21b assert that this model serves as the
foundation for Chopins tonic pillar. Notably the Kopfton is omitted at the outset. The
mazurkas first sonority an A-B-D-F embellishing chord that resolves into I6 (at 42 and
61) rather than I5 syntactically follows the imagined moment of the initiating tonic.31 As
in 1.11, an ascending transfer achieved via arpeggiation occurs in the opening measures,
but in this instance that transferred pitch is not the Kopfton ( ), but instead its upper
neighbor: F (presented during the introduction) through A (53) and C (61) to F (72).
Throughout the melodic descent various substitutions occur: F for E at 91, F for D/E at
101, E for C at 111, and C for A at 121. The last two of these substitutions do not occur
during the consequent phrase: the first because a C (an octave higher) actually sounds at
191 (justifying the omission of parentheses around that pitch in 1.21b); the second because
the passing note is omitted when measures 11 and 12 are condensed for presentation in

measure 19. (Chopins abbreviation of the dominant makes room for the consequent
phrases cadential tonic.)

Opus 63/2
The two halves of the tonic pillar in Chopins Mazurka in F Minor pursue contrasting
harmonic trajectories [1.22]. Though both begin with a motion from a prolonged C
embellishing chord to the F Minor tonic, during the antecedent phrase a sequential
progression connecting the tonic and the mediant supports the descent from through an
imagined (above which a prolonged F serves as a substitute) to , while is delayed
via a wobble, supported by II. (Compare with 1.19, measures 14 and 15.) During the
consequent phrase, in contrast, the initial minor tonic is elided, with I in its place
(measure 12). Consequently the progression proceeds to IV, which supports
the surging tonic targets IV, measure 13 is aptly interpreted as

. (Because

rather than as an

inverted II7.) Each pitch in the consequent phrases fifth-progression is treated to

embellishment by an upper fourth or third, extending the practice we first encountered in

Example 1.22 Analysis of Mazurka in F Minor (op. 63/2), mm. 116.

Some exceptional tonic pillars

The five tonic pillars explored during the chapters final section distinguish themselves
from those considered already either through their internal ternary form or through an
initial statement that seems to lack forward momentum, a state of affairs that is corrected
during a later phase of the pillar. Ultimately each proceeds to a PAC in the tonic key,
justifying their inclusion within this chapter.

Opus 6/1
The two phrases that constitute the Mazurka in F Minors tonic pillar do not conform to
the interruption-generated antecedent/consequent structure of the two-phrase pillars we
have explored above. In fact, the first phrase amounts to a false start: once tonic F Minor
and Kopfton are established (employing reaching-over during the initial ascent), the
bass and soprano both lead upwards a third [1.23]. So far, so good! In most cases the bass
would continue upwards from the mediant to an inverted II or II or to IV, followed by
V. (Compare with the first phrase in 1.22.) Here, however, the phrase unexpectedly loses
its harmonic propulsion. Astonishingly, we waft gradually downwards through tonal space
for four measures, maintaining outer-voice tenths while guided by the circle of fifths:

The C chord upon which the descent lands is, of course, the same C chord as that which
occurred in measure 1.33 In this manner Chopin gives himself a second chance to make
something of his promising opening.

Example 1.23 Analysis of Mazurka in F Minor (op. 6/1), mm. 0|116.

The inverted subdominant to which that progression leads in the second phrase is
made distinctive through a wobbly fifth, F, that eventually reverts to F.34 As expected,
V follows.35 Yet one aspect of the structure near the cadence is highly unconventional.
Soprano B in measures 13 through 15 is an incomplete upper neighbor to Kopfton A (=
). (Both A and B are embellished by an upper third: A<C D>B.) Generally the descent to
from such a neighbor either via a leap or filled in by a passing note will sound

during V, facilitating a

melodic close to form the PAC. (Compare with the

normative contexts for an incomplete upper neighbor displayed in 1.9 and 1.15.) In this
case, exceptionally, B extends into the domain of the goal tonic. As 1.23 reveals, a daring
non-alignment of the soprano and bass elements of the structure occurs, with a belated G
(during 161), which belongs with the dominant chord of 153, serving as the thirdprogressions .36

Without opus 42B

The progression from the tonic to the dominant during the Mazurka in A Minors tonic
pillar is expansively realized: Chopin devotes four measures each to the tonic and to the
mediant, content that he repeats before proceeding through II to V, which arrives at
201 [1.24].37 Though he could have produced a structure of equivalent dimensions to
balance that opening, Chopin instead limits the tonic pillar to sixteen measures of content,
expanded to thirty-two measures via written-out repeats, corresponding to






Consequently the a2 region must somehow balance what precedes it structurally, despite
its comparatively modest dimensions. Chopin accomplishes this by sacrificing the

Example 1.24 Analysis of Mazurka in A Minor (without opus 42B), mm. 0|132.
The mazurkas Kopfton is a primordial entity that does not literally sound in the
upper register at the outset. The melodic C>B from 22 through 31 (matching the preceding
inner-strand A>G) functions as a suspension and resolution based on the assumption of a
prior C preparation.38 An even bolder claim is required for the mediant expansion that
follows: whereas Chopin provides a location (at 03) for an imaginative insertion of the
tonic root A and Kopfton C, the corresponding location for imagining the mediant root and

its E (in the vicinity of 43) is elided. Fortunately both C and E are stated in measures 17
and 18 (after the repeat of the first eight measures), so that both s successor, (B), and
the descant E>D<E in measures 19 and 20 are well grounded.
The means by which Chopin extends III during measures 17 and 18 is called into
service during measures 21 and 22, transposed down a third, to reinstate the tonic
harmony and Kopfton C, this time with no imaginative insertions required. Now the
supertonic (which here evolves into II) links I and V directly. Note that the descant,
which extended the mediants E in measures 18 through 20, is absent. Compactly, a2
indeed succeeds in completing the structure that was initiated during a1 and b.

Opus 50/1
The half cadence characteristic of an interruption is not the only means by which a
composer may express a sense of irresolution in music. In the Mazurka in G Major Chopin
composes eight measures without proceeding beyond the initiating tonic, whose final
iteration within the phrase by default serves as the cadence.39 (Beats 2 and 3 of measure
8 play a transitional role between the tonic pillars two phrases.) A structural departure
from I-space emerges only after the fresh start in measure 9 [1.25].

Example 1.25 Analysis of Mazurka in G Major (op. 50/1), mm. 116.

Not only is the first phrase lacking in substantive harmonic activity; it also leaves
unresolved whether B or D will serve as the mazurkas Kopfton. The upward arpeggiation
D<F<A<C at the outset would most normatively be answered by a descending line such
as B>G>E>D (as in 71 through 81). Consequently the positioning of E>D an octave higher
in measure 4 seems quirky. Is D the upper third of Kopfton B? Or is Chopin instead
ascending in tiers, as C>B E>D? That question remains unanswered until measure 12,
where the F and G that emerge against D set the downward trajectory of a fifth to G in
motion. (Though initially G-B-D-F may seem to convey I surging towards IV, the
evolution continues to G-B-D-F, a version of I6 that surges as VI towards II.)
A double GDG bass arpeggiation supports that fifth-progression. Chopin projects
an inner strand a third below this line: note how the initial B<D unfolding to the Kopfton
is complemented by C>A in measures 13 and 14 (with A reiterated during 151) and by
A>F in measures 15 and 16. This context helps one to understand that the melodys G at
152 is a member of the inner strand, above which the outer strands third pitch, B, should
be imagined. (The preceding downbeat B, though tempting, is not the structural B, but

instead an accented passing note connecting the preceding outer C and interior A: is an
unfolded interval of V7.) Thus, though the structure is unevenly distributed, with almost
all of the content falling within the second phrase, it eventually begins to resemble what
we have come to expect of a tonic pillar with Kopfton .

Opus 50/2
Whereas the tonic pillar in 1.25 begins with a phrase that goes nowhere tonally, and that in
1.23 ascends a third, that in the Mazurka in A Major descends a third [1.26]. Chopins
timing is at first extraordinarily luxuriant: an eight-measure introduction arpeggiates
E<G<B<D, preparing the arrival of the tonic harmony and of Kopfton C (=


Though the melody sounds both a C and an E during measure 9, here the structural
priority of C is emphasized through the linear descent of C>B>A over four measures.
(Compare with the less decisive situation in 1.25.) The tonics progression is then repeated
a third lower during the following four measures. In sum, Chopin has devoted eight
measures to a mere I56. Rather than continuing with this languorous trajectory, he chose
to start afresh in the next phrase: the G-E-D chord at the end of measure 16 functions in
the role of the introductions chord, facilitating the restoration of the initiating tonic
harmony in measure 17.

Example 1.26 Analysis of Mazurka in A Major (op. 50/2), mm. 128.

In stark contrast to what has preceded it, the twelve-measure phrase that follows is
among the most densely packed with content to be found in any tonic pillar from the
mazurkas. Considering first its deeper structure, note that tonic A is prolonged from
measure 17 through measure 26, during which an

voice exchange occurs in

the outer voices. (The parenthetical A in the upper voice [1.26, measure 26] sounds an
octave higher in the score.) A conventional I6 approach to II follows, though the II and
its successor, V7, collide. (That is, the supertonic sounds over the dominant root during
2712, as indicated by the bracket placed above the II and V numerals in 1.26.)

Incorporating upper-third play (B<D C>A) reminiscent of that which embellishes the
foreground C>B>A line of measures 9 through 12, Chopin achieves a PAC in measure
The tonic prolongation of measures 17 through 26 is based on a I III V7 I
progression, as displayed in 1.26. Note the wobbly E above bass C and the presentation
of V7 in its position. The connection between the tonic and the mediant is achieved via a
circular progression: A D G C. The first link in that progression is filled in as
A>F>D.40 At this foreground level one belatedly discovers how Chopin incorporates
the A>F span, introduced during the a1 phrase, into a broader structure. With that
succession now condensed into four measures through an elision (A>E<A>F becomes
A>E<F), the F divides the circular progressions initial descending fifth into two thirds.

Opus 63/3
An unusual occurrence in the Mazurka in C Minor should induce some analytical
speculation: whereas the initial tonic pillar employs four phrases, spread over thirty-two
measures, its reprise near the end of the mazurka occupies only two phrases and sixteen
measures (49 through 64), followed by a partial repeat incorporating variation. Clearly the
initial pillar must contain some dispensable content. The second and third phrases pursue
two common though optional features of minor-key compositions: an upward shift to
the mediant during the second phrase, and an interruption during the third. Neither of
those devices is employed in the condensed reprise of the pillar. However, 1.27 reveals
how both devices contribute to the establishment of a ternary internal form for A1
reminiscent of that in 1.24. Whereas the second phrases extension to the mediant could
have linked the initial I and an upward continuation to the dominant (again like 1.24), here
Chopin devotes the first part of the third phrase (measures 17 through 22) to reestablishing the C tonic.41

Example 1.27 Analysis of Mazurka in C Minor (op. 63/3), mm. 0|132.

Several features of this mazurkas structure reprise constructions similar to those we
have noted in other mazurkas. The E<G<C<E arpeggiation to Kopfton (with the
device of reaching-over assisting in the final third) resembles similar octaves in 1.4, 1.11,
and 1.20, as well as the reaching-over ascent in 1.23. The chromatic descent G>F >F>E
recalls a similar line in 1.20 (there descending from Kopfton ). The circle-of-fifths
connection between I and III resembles that in 1.26. The I II V antecedent most closely
resembles 1.24, which also shares the conversion from II to II for the final phrase.

The analyses in this chapter provide compelling evidence that, despite the
extraordinary richness and diversity on display in these tonic pillars, Chopins
compositional style depends to a large extent upon mixing and matching a finite range of
structural devices, all designed to perform specific roles within either broad or local
traversals of harmonic progressions from the tonic through the dominant back to the tonic,
as support for descending third- or fifth-progressions from the Kopfton to the tonic pitch.
Whereas chapter 1 has focused on the tonic-to-tonic harmonic progressions characteristic
of a regular tonic pillar, chapter 2 will place these pillars within the broader tonic-to-tonic
trajectories of complete mazurkas.

Between the tonic pillars: tonal

trajectories in twenty-seven mazurkas

In the mazurkas that we explore in this chapter, repetitions of the tonic pillar alternate with
episodes that pursue a wide range of tonal paths, usually diatonic though occasionally not.
The most common trajectories are the maintenance of the tonic key (perhaps with a shift
of mode) or proceeding to the dominant (perhaps tonicized). Around a third of the
episodes pursue tonal paths, marked by shading in table 2.1, that extend beyond the tonic
or the dominant.
Table 2.1




First Non-Pillar

Second Non-Pillar


1.23, 2.18

V prolonged

I to V


1.1, 2.19

V tonicized

I to V


1.15, 2.1

I prolonged


1.2, 2.2

I to tonicized V


1.3, 2.20

V tonicized

I to V


1.19, 2.15

I prolonged

I prolonged


1.11, 2.21

I to V

I to V


1.20, 2.3

I to V


1.16, 2.16

I to V

lower third (CV2)



1.21, 2.22

V prolonged

I to V


1.4, 2.23

lower fifth tonicized

I to upper third


1.5, 2.4

I to upper third


1.6, 2.24

I to upper thirds V

I to upper thirds V


1.7, 2.5

I to upper third


1.8, 2.6

I to lower thirds V


1.12, 2.7

I to upper third


1.17, 2.8

I to lower third


1.18, 2.17

V tonicized

I to V


1.13, 2.9

V tonicized


1.14, 2.10

I prolonged


1.24, 2.11

I prolonged


1.25, 2.25

progression in tonic

progression in tonic


1.26, 2.26

upper third

lower fifth


1.9, 2.27

I to lower third

I to lower third


1.10, 2.12

lower third


1.22, 2.13

I to V


1.27, 2.14

I prolonged

To conserve space the examples in this chapter present the tonic pillars in an
abbreviated form. In each case a more detailed graph may be found in chapter 1. For the
same reason a phrase pair defined by a local interruption may be abbreviated. Because

most of the mazurkas contain multiple episodes, it was not feasible to arrange the analyses
in this chapter according to their various tonal trajectories. (The data in table 2.1 facilitates
locating all the episodes that proceed along any given path.) Instead, we shall proceed by
opus number in three groups, distinguished by the total number of tonic pillars: two, four,
and then three. Exploring the four-pillar mazurkas before those with three pillars is
warranted because in some cases the latter are conceived as abbreviations of the former.
Though a coda generally will be displayed more compactly than will the mazurkas nonpillar episode(s), it will be at least minimally acknowledged in the voice-leading graph
when one occurs.

Two-pillar mazurkas

Opus 6/4
The Mazurka in E Minors B section repeats the foundational structure of A1:

over I V I occurs in both contexts, without a change of

mode or key. (Compare 1.15 and 2.1.) Yet contrasting mechanisms are employed to

connect and

. In A1 an incomplete upper neighbor to the Kopfton and a harmonic

progression featuring IV occur, while a local interruption allows two measures of content
to be spread over four measures. In B a circle of fifths is deployed as the means of
connecting I and V. It is paced so as to spread the structural content over four measures.
The confluence of dissonance and local chromaticism in the second and fourth chords of
the circle creates surges that push towards the succeeding downbeats, thereby emphasizing
the descent in tenths displayed in 2.1. Whereas the bass connects the E and B roots, an
upper line traverses a G>D diminished fourth.1 An F, emerging above that D from a
strand that transpires in the tenor register, helps to shape the third-progression (beamed in
2.1) that spans the four measures.

Example 2.1 Analysis of Mazurka in E Minor (op. 6/4).

The essence of the mazurkas form may be represented as | A1 |: B A2 :|, with an

immediate, written-out repetition of each component. Though it would be more normative
for this form to transpire as |: A1 :|: B A2 :| (a form that often is called rounded binary,
though I prefer rounded ternary or simply ternary, due to the three letters required to
depict it), here the repetition within A1 created by the interruption, followed by the
written-out repetition (measures 5 through 8), followed by a repeat-sign repetition would
lead to stagnation. Consequently Chopin elected to omit the conventional repeat sign after
measure 8.

Opus 6/5 [a.k.a. opus 7/5]

As chapter 2 unfolds we will have opportunities to observe how the non-pillar regions in
Chopins mazurkas may either prolong the tonic (perhaps with a modal shift) or lead to the
mediant, subdominant, dominant, or submediant. The dominant is by far the most
common choice. It provides a context for the maintenance of or for an interruption of a
descent (from or from ) at , as in the Mazurka in C Major [2.2]. The I-space of its
A1 section (analyzed in 1.2) concludes with a brief yet significant sounding of the pitch A
(at 123).2 As often is the case, here the 56 shift softens the potentially abrupt connection
between I5 and II, on the path to V.

Example 2.2 Analysis of Mazurka in C Major (op. 6/5).

In this mazurka the same thematic content (at two pitch levels) is employed in both
the A and B sections. When this happens a background melodic connection between the
two may seem doubtful.3 How can the pitches C, E, and G relate linearly with their
counterparts a fourth lower? I propose that in this mazurka the tonics E and the
dominants D form a background

connection, even if that interpretation requires

a note that in its tonic context serves as an upper third to the Kopfton to perform a deep
structural role when transposed into the dominant key. The voice leading works as


Opus 17/2
The Mazurka in E Minors tonic key is established through the fifth-progression that
transpires during the A1 tonic pillar [1.20]. The components of the extended B section that
follows pursue a range of tonal goals. At first the tonic is prolonged, with a temporary
modal shift to E Major in measures 31 and 32 [2.3]. Next E Minors mediant G-B-D is
tonicized. Chopin extends this mediant through measure 49 using local embellishing
chords infused with chromaticism. Finally an unusual realization of IV56 leads to the
sections tonal goal, V, which falls into place at the last possible moment at 523,
coinciding with the melodys upbeat B that inaugurates A2. (Compare with 03.) By this
point the background descent has reached

, and thus an interruption occurs. This

(which sounds first in the bass and then in the tenor register) is covered by B, the of
A2s initial tonic.

Example 2.3 Analysis of Mazurka in E Minor (op. 17/2).

The ascending registral shift of Kopfton B during A1 is rescinded as the lower B is
restored during measure 25, at the onset of the B sections tonic prolongation, which
mirrors A1 in traversing a complete fifth-progression, now without interruption. Soon
thereafter the mediant emerges, unexpectedly. Whereas the tonic-prolonging phrase
proceeds downwards in the bass from E to C via a G embellishing chord (measures 24
through 28), the reprise of this content in measures 32 through 36 proceeds in a
contrasting manner, projecting the root progression GCDG as a tonicization of the
mediant even though its initial chord is surging towards Gs subdominant C from the
outset. Because the new context for measures 33 and 34 motivates a re-orientation of the
local chordal hierarchy, the eventually rejected connection between E and C (displayed via

a slur placed within parentheses) and the ultimately triumphant G-to-D tonic-to-dominant
motion are juxtaposed in 2.3. The background descent from through

to occurs

during this mediant tonicization.

The soprano G (= ) that arrives imaginatively at 373 and literally at 391 does not
budge through 491. Neighbors A and A embellish G without weakening its hold. The
mediant is maintained throughout, after which the span from measure 49 through measure
52 completes the B sections structural agenda in an unconventional way namely, by
placing the Urlinies descent from to

in the bass and the foundational basss ascent

from G through A to B in the soprano. This important activity may take listeners by
surprise, since Chopin here converts melodic devices that had played embellishing roles
during the mediant prolongation into the instigators of the harmonic motion to

This subdominants 6-phase chord surges as II in the approach to V.

Whereas on the one hand Chopin endeavors to make A2 less complex than A1 by
rescinding the local interruption, on the other hand he postpones achieving the goal PAC:
opportunities for a cadence in measures 64 and 66 are declined, delaying the PAC until
measure 68.

Opus 24/3
When a mazurkas B section leads to the dominant, a background descent from Kopfton
or to

often occurs. That option not only provides a high level of contrast, but also

ideally prepares for the tonics return during A2 for a post-interruption descent to .
Another option occasionally employed by Chopin is to proceed to the mediant, which
offers neither the level of contrast nor the tonic-targeting characteristic of the dominant
harmony. Because both and are components of the mediant, the Kopfton generally
will be prolonged.
The Mazurka in A Majors A1 and A2 sections open with a melodic unfolding of the
third from A to C [1.5]. That interval also guides the broad bass trajectory during the B
section [2.4]. It appears that Chopin intends to traverse that span via a descending circle of
fifths: A D G C. However, in his execution of that agenda the projection of the initial
A>D fifth as two thirds is abandoned after F is attained at 183. Observe how local upper
thirds (reminiscent of the upper thirds that pervade the A1 section) embellish various
points along the way. The initial bass A is preceded by downward motion from a C minor
chord. Likewise F emerges from upper third A. In my view the F minor chord at 192
should initially be perceived as the starting point for another descending third, this time
from F to D. But Chopin, recognizing that his strategy might become tedious if pursued
adamantly, elides this passage. (It appears within square brackets in 2.4.) Instead, a
collision occurs: a D indeed does emerge in the bass sooner than expected and in
coordination with an apposite though accelerated soprano A>G>F but concurrently the
following chord in the broad circular motion sounds.4 Because this collision does not
allow diatonic D to wobble to D, the G chord emerges as G.5

Example 2.4 Analysis of Mazurka in A Major (op. 24/3).

The goal mediant chord at 201 incorporates a wobble (E). Consequently
foundational major chords are juxtaposed in the mazurkas A and B sections, a feature
shared with major-key movements that proceed instead from I to V. This chord
corresponds to what I call the mediants Chromatic Variant 1 (CV1), with one chromatic
pitch.6 Since the preceding passage led the melodic line some distance downwards from
Kopfton C (= ), Chopin quickly reconstitutes that register: a melodic C persists from 203
through 242. This C then hooks up with the C of A2, launched by the A<C unfolding of
243 through 261. (In accordance with the interpretation of the tonic pillar displayed in 1.5,
the A tonic returns at 243. It is here preceded by local passing note B.7) At this point
within the mazurka the descending third-progression of the tonic pillar will be interpreted
as background

. Local melodic thirds persist during the extension that

transpires during measures 36b through 43. Though a structural close on is achieved in
measure 36, residual echoes of the Kopfton persist.

Opus 30/2
In the Mazurka in F Minor, the A1 tonic pillars initial IV (at 163) was preceded by the
introductions prolonged subdominant [1.7]. In contrast, the A2 pillar (whose initial IV is
embellished through the addition of 6-phase G at 483) is preceded by the III that is
attained during the B section [2.5]. As often is the case, a segment of the circle of fifths
(F B E A) serves as the means by which the tonic and the mediant are connected.
Concurrently the melody within the B section focuses on C, which falls within a
downward trajectory connecting A1s cadential F to A2s reinstated Kopfton A.

Example 2.5 Analysis of Mazurka in F Minor (op. 30/2).

Though this mazurkas tonic pillar, once it emerges, is in fact regular (with I V I

), its context is idiosyncratic because competing material (in a

key that conforms to Chopins misleading key signature of two sharps) seems at first to be
performing the role of tonic pillar.

Opus 30/3
Chopin confronted options at every turn as he composed each mazurka. Whereas usually
listeners hear only one out of several potential harmonic trajectories, in the Mazurka in D
Major Chopin makes a point of juxtaposing alternatives. The road not taken becomes
instead one of two roads that he takes in succession. Earlier we noted how he alternates
between retaining D Major and moving into D Minor during the tonic pillar. The
accidentals within parentheses in 1.8 convey his maybe yes, maybe no attitude, which
persists until the wobbly note F reverts to F in the mazurkas final measure. Other sorts
of options are juxtaposed during the B section.
Note in 2.6 the connection between the pillars tonic root D and the dominant root
A of measures 58 and 59. (This dominant resolves to I6 rather than to I5, a topic to be
addressed later.) Bass G (measure 57), which supports an inverted II, precedes A.
Chopin well understood that two very common strategies for connecting the A1 sections
tonic root and measure 57s supertonic bass are an ascent via the mediant (D<F<G) and
the progression I56 II (in which the tonics 6-phase chord might be dominant-emulating:
VI targeting II). Decisions, decisions! In this case Chopin surprises us by not deciding:
he instead juxtaposes. The descending circle of fifths at the onset of the B section connects
I and VI (measure 32), which could have continued directly to II (as arrives eventually,
in measure 57). Chopin instead halts the harmonic trajectory, backtracking to pursue the
circle of fifths again. This time he proceeds along the circle only as far as F. After an
extended mediant prolongation (in measures 49 through 56, not shown in the graph), the II
harmony finally is attained.

Example 2.6 Analysis of Mazurka in D Major (op. 30/3).

We observed in 2.1 how a tonic prolongation might serve as a B sections sole

content, and in 2.3 how a tonic prolongation inaugurating a B section may precede further
tonal activity. The structure through measure 60 could have been followed by bass
E<A>D supporting a soprano descent to D (resulting in a PAC in D Major). In this
case, however, Chopins progression instead tonicizes B Minor (perhaps a factor in his
decision not to persist with the B chord of measure 32). An F-to-B fifth-progression
substitutes for the F-to-D third-progression that we might have expected as a means of
prolonging Kopfton F. Thereafter Chopin backtracks once again. Will he succeed this time
in attaining a PAC in D? Succinctly the D Major tonic of measure 10 recurs in measure
66, the dominant of measures 58 and 59 recurs in measure 67, and the 6-phase tonic of
measure 60 recurs in measure 68. Note one significant difference: Chopin now fails to
achieve a PAC in B Minor, breaking off after the penultimate chord. Whereas an
interruption on is a common goal for a B section, here Chopin closes a third lower on


of B Minor thereby creating a novel juxtaposition at the juncture of B and A2.

In some especially creative writing, he slithers downwards chromatically from F (the root
of B Minors dominant) to D (the root of D Majors tonic) during measures 70 through
79. The mazurka concludes with a reprise of the tonic pillar, this time with the cadential
tonic shifting from minor to major quality at a breathtakingly late moment.

Opus 33/1
The melodic B>A>G that played a prominent role during the Mazurka in G Minors
tonic pillar [1.12] guides the B section on its path from tonic G to an inverted C chord,
initiating a circular progression to the diatonic mediant, B major [2.7]. Complementing the
descending fifth-progression within A1 (D to G), that C chord supports the upward
arpeggiation of a sixth (G<C<E in measures 21 and 22). Consequently an upper
neighbor, E, embellishes the Kopfton in the middleground structure, echoing the local
D<E>D neighboring motions within A1 (measures 01, 34, 5, etc.). Often the mediant
will serve as an intermediary in a progression from the tonic to the dominant (as in 2.3 and
2.6).8 In this case it serves as an upper-third embellishment of the tonic (akin to the
structure of 2.4). As was the case at 03, the lone D at 363 signals the return of I-space.

Example 2.7 Analysis of Mazurka in G Minor (op. 33/1).

Opus 33/2 [a.k.a. opus 33/3]

Though the mediant and submediant chords may participate in harmonic progressions,
they sometimes instead serve as terminal points within a contrasting section, contexts that
may be interpreted as tonic embellishment. Several of the mazurkas explored above
proceed from the tonic to the mediant and back over the course of A1 B A2. In the
Mazurka in C Major Chopin deploys the submediant, which sounds (evolved as VI) in a
harmonic context during the A1 section [1.17]. During the B section that follows, another
chromatic variant A-C-E is attained and even tonicized [2.8]. In this case the
structure proceeds essentially from C-E-G to C-E-A (unfurled as A-C-E) and then
back to C-E-G: tonic C-E-G is extended via the concurrent pursuit of an embellishing
chromatic neighbor (G<A>G) and a wobble (E>E<E).9

Example 2.8 Analysis of Mazurka in C Major (op. 33/2).

The chordal juxtaposition in measures 16 and 17 is extraordinary. In the context of
the A Major tonicization that is commencing, C-E-G (measure 16) is chromatic in the
sharp direction, whereas D-F-A-B (measure 17) is chromatic in the flat direction.
Consequently a diatonic E<F major second is converted into an E-to-F diminished
second! Chopin chooses that very moment to shift from piano to forte. Also note some
interesting realignments in the melodic structure. From a contrapuntal perspective,

measure 21 might be interpreted as E<F>E>D over E (third species), resolving to


at the next downbeat. In conjunction with the insertion of chromatic E and

the prolongation of the neighboring F, the unaccented passing note D shifts to the
following downbeat position. Similarly in measure 23, C>B over cantus pitch E (fourth
species) is embellished by the chromatic lower neighbor B and the upper neighbor D, so
that the C suspensions resolution pitch is delayed until 241, where it coincides with the
tonic root. The foundational structure without these local rhythmic shifts is displayed
in 2.8.

Opus 41/1 [a.k.a. opus 41/2]

The descending fifth-progression B>A>G>F>E from the Mazurka in E Minors A1








(D<E<F<G<A<B), connecting the dominants third and octave, during the B section
that follows [2.9]. Though the dominant often supports the Urlinies descent to , here
is maintained. In fact, inner-strand D takes a position above Kopfton B and serves as the
initiation point for a descending fifth-progression during the 6 phase of a dominant


in measures 33 through 40.10 That descent brings the

melody close to the B sections D starting point, which is restored at 411, preceded by a
retransitional embellishing chord featuring the diminished fifth

. A renewed ascent to

B, achieved at 451 and again covered by D, gives the B section a ternary internal form.

Example 2.9 Analysis of Mazurka in E Minor (op. 41/1).

Another third-relationship (not graphed) warrants consideration as well. At a local
level the connection between B and G (the tonicized major dominants 5-phase and
unfurled 6-phase chords, as in measures 30 and 33) may be invigorated through an internal
D chord (as in measures 31 and 32), which relates by perfect fifth to G. Chopin reaches
D-F-A early in the B section (measures 23 and 24), but there its potential to lead to G
is not tapped: instead it functions as an upper-third extension of B-D-F. Consequently
measure 33s G chord is all the more satisfying, since it comes about through the
realization of something that was at first denied. When D-F-A is deployed again as the
tonicized dominants upper-third extension in measures 55 and 56, it reveals its versatility

by proceeding neither back to B nor to G, but instead to the restored tonic E of A2. Outervoice parallel octaves are averted through the presentation of the surging tonic in

Opus 41/4 [a.k.a. opus 41/1]

Already during the Mazurka in C Minors A1 tonic pillar, the hold of the C tonics
minor modality wavers [1.14]. Though a conventional juxtaposition of C minor and E
major chords transpires during the opening measures, elements from C Major are
incorporated beginning in measure 17, affecting even the pitch content of the pillardefining fifth-progression (with E substituting for E during measure 20). Consequently
the common form-defining juxtaposition of parallel keys (A1 in minor followed by B in
major) is here subverted, since the shift to major precedes the formal division (at measures
32|33). Further confounding expectations, A2s tonic pillar incorporates C Majors E
from the outset [2.10]. There is very little about this mazurka that reflects its foundational
C Minor tonality until the coda, where the minor tonic is restored and the works only
fifth-progression utilizing diatonic E is traversed. The mazurka ends in desolation,
especially devastating given the presumed conquest of dark forces by C Major.

Example 2.10 Analysis of Mazurka in C Minor (op. 41/4).

During the B sections opening measures the voice leading projects an ascent through
C Majors C<D<E third, with a reinstatement of Kopfton G during measure 40. The
local dominant at measure 39 is uncharacteristically spelled using B, which is retained as
the following dominant-emulating tonics minor seventh from the outset.11 That surging
I targets IV (measure 49). Concurrently Chopin undertakes a descending registral shift,
not quite reaching the lower F the second pitch in the descending fifth-progression that
is traversed during the section by the time IV arrives. (Consequently that F is displayed
within parentheses in 2.10.) An extension of IV through measure 53 (by means of a 56
shift and a temporary modal borrowing of A from C Minor)12 supports the melodic
descent through E to D, the third and fourth pitches of the descending fifth-progression.

That D is restored to the upper register during the following dominant harmony
(assuming that the D at 561 belongs in the preceding measure). The cadential C (at
562) occurs in that register as well.
As the measure numbers that annotate 2.10 indicate, a second traversal of this
progression occurs immediately after that cadence. All goes well until the cadential
moment (651), at which point Chopin substitutes C Minors I6 for the expected C-EG tonic. This insertion results in a second approach to the tonic goal, temporarily
reminding listeners of the darker forces of C Minor that underlie the mazurka. The
progression transpires as


69 71



C Minor:



This progression is especially noteworthy in that the pitches D, F, and A (measures 71

and 72) that emerge as IVs Neapolitan 6 phase are retained as the fifth, seventh, and
ninth of the dominant that follows.13 In this case, exceptionally, wobbly D does not revert
to diatonic D.
Though some residual elements of C Minor are retained from A1 (the use of A in
measures 73 through 79, as well as the employment of E in measures 81 through 88 as the
divider between C and G), the A2 section completes the background structure
essentially in C Major, as mentioned above. A more bravura close transpires during a
repetition (measures 97 through 104).
Chopin places an important element of the mazurkas tonal plot within the coda:
though it begins in C Major (measure 105), the initial C Minor tonic is restored at
measure 119 and is retained through the end of the mazurka. Though its fifth-progression
is displayed uniformly in the register just above Middle C in 2.10, in Chopins score its
impact is enhanced by means of a gradual downward registral shift of two octaves: G a
twelfth above Middle C (measure 119), F a fourth above Middle C (measure 127), and
the remaining members of the descent sounding in the octave below Middle C.

Without opus 42B

The internal harmonic progressions employed within the A and B sections of the Mazurka
in A Minor proceed along similar routes. (Compare 1.24 and 2.11.) Both lead from the
initial tonic to the diatonic mediant (A Minors C-E-G during the A sections, A Majors
C-E-G during the B section). Both continue with a root-position II that leads to V(),
where a middleground third-progression is interrupted, followed by the post-interruption
attainment of a PAC. The principal form-defining event within the mazurka is the wobble
of the Kopfton from C to C and back to C, as displayed on the top beam in 2.11. (C is
anticipated during A1s cadential tonic in measure 32.)

Example 2.11 Analysis of Mazurka in A Minor (without opus 42B).

The B sections shape is ternary: x1 y x2. The binary x1 regions antecedent half
begins with an extension of I-space via a embellishment (unfurled as D-F-A) and an
ascending arpeggiation from Kopfton C through E to A, followed by II V, where a local
interruption occurs on

at 403. Though is restored during the consequent half, the

opening tonic is displaced by I6, with a restoration of I5 (at 443) only after the

embellishment. Concurrently the ascending arpeggiation attains greater heights, reaching

the upper octave of the wobble-modified Kopfton C at 461. Chopin employs arpeggiation
to descend from that high C to goal A in the lower octave during measures 46 through
48. Defying structural norms, no supported by V comes between C and A. (I propose
that Chopin projects the sense of a PAC in measure 48 nevertheless.)
The B sections y region opens with a robust prolongation of A Majors mediant (CE-G), first stated in measures 49 through 51 along with a reinstatement of the raised
Kopfton C. The sequential progression that emanates from that C chord normally would
pursue the following course:







In this instance Chopin allows the F chord of measure 55 to evolve into F.

Consequently a brief and wayward excursion to a targeted B chord occurs. It appears that
Chopin is toying with an alternative means of proceeding from III to V, via a circular
progression: C ( ) F B (E). That alternative route is forsaken as he picks up again
with the F chord and proceeds, as initially expected, to C in measure 58, followed by a
repetition of the F C segment of the sequence, confirming the revised course. Only then
in measure 61 does the broader progression continue with II V. Because the
sequence led the melody a significant distance downwards from the raised Kopfton, that
register is temporarily vacant. (Note the B notehead inserted within parentheses at the top
of the II chord in 2.11.) The following Vs B (middleground ) occurs only at the end of
a gradual filling-in of a G<B third, completed just as x2 commences. The B section
concludes with the full mapping of the x1 content into the x2 region. Likewise, the
mazurka as a whole concludes with the full mapping of the content of A1 into the A2
section (minus the C wobble of its closing measure).

Opus 56/2
The G<C<E arpeggiation that initiates the Mazurka in C Majors tonic pillar [1.10]
performs the same initiation duty, now transposed into tonicized A Minor and filled in by
passing notes, at the onset of the B section: E<F<G<A<B<C during measures 28 and
29. Though E serves as the movements Kopfton (now a fifth above tonicized root A,
rather than a third above C), it temporarily remains out of the limelight so that C may
serve as the starting point for a descending third-progression (with interruption) during the
B sections first eight measures [2.12]. As was also the case during A1, Chopin moves
freely between registers: the third-progression begins in the lower register, yet concludes
in the upper register. Kopfton E re-emerges during measure 38.14 As we have seen on
several other occasions, a circle of fifths (here with surging chords: A D G C) is
deployed to connect the tonic and the mediant. A conventional II

I cadence supports

the latter half of the fifth-progression from E, which is then repeated in full.

Example 2.12 Analysis of Mazurka in C Major (op. 56/2).

What is the listener to make of the contents of measures 53 through 68? My proposed
interpretation rests upon two crucial facts: (1) the filled-in ascending sixth of measure 53
relates both to G<C<E in measures 1 through 5 and to E<A<C in measures 28 and 29; and
(2) what follows this passage is the second half of the material that was presented earlier
as A1. Consequently I regard the passage as the onset of A2, wherein Chopin incorporates
a free variant of what occurred in that location during A1. Whereas my reading of A1
posits a broad ascending arpeggiation to the high E of 133, during A2 such a lengthy
process of attainment for something that has by now become a prominent feature of the
mazurka might no longer remain engaging to listeners. Perhaps that is why Chopin does

not emphasize the E beyond its initial statement in his reformulated A2. Concurrently he
invigorates another basic idea: the persistent F>F that occurs six times during A1.
Normally if one had to choose one of those two pitches to eliminate, it would be F,
leaving F as a diatonic neighbor to Kopfton E. Chopin surprises us by retaining F in place
of F. (The latter will have its turn also, in measure 56 and its replicates.) Within this
mazurka Chopin has created contexts for (measures 6 and 56),

(measures 3738),

(measure 54) in close proximity. The relationship between F or F and E is a

significant factor in my reading of the works structure as emanating from Kopfton .

The new material stalls temporarily in measures 67 and 68. Its melodic D in the
lower register hooks up perfectly with the arrival of upper-register D at the onset of the
continuation borrowed from A1. The mazurka concludes without a hitch. Its final tonic
chord offers yet another registral juxtaposition.

Opus 63/2
During the Mazurka in F Minors tonic pillar, the antecedent phrases melodic descent
from Kopfton C through imagined B to A transpired in the context of I proceeding to III
[1.22]. The background

, which occurs early in the B section, is supported

in a similar way, though in this case III arrives before the descent begins [2.13]. The
continuation to the supertonic is not surprising, since II points toward the B sections
dominant goal, which will arrive after a repetition of what has been accomplished thus far
within B. One pitch during that repetition is especially noteworthy: D at 303. Whenever I
and III are juxtaposed, the analyst should consider whether the III assumes a prominent
position along the path to V, or whether it instead resides within a broader prolongation
of I. The first of these interpretations is projected in 2.13, based on how measure 22 is
structured: though the tonic pitch F sounds, it serves there as a passing note connecting
IIIs E and IIs G. (Via chordal unfurling, F is doubled in the bass.) Chopins
reconfiguration of this chord during the repetition (at 303) instead supports the second
interpretation, since with D the chord now represents a chromatic variant of I6 (F-A-CD), another common herald of II. Though it is a small point, Chopins subtle change
reveals the richness of his thought on harmonic processes.

Example 2.13 Analysis of Mazurka in F Minor (op. 63/2).

I developed the notion of peculiar juxtaposition in Schubert (chapter 1) to account for
successive passages that one might think should be analyzed in equivalent ways due to
their corresponding surface constructions but that, taking the broader context into account,

turn out to play contrasting roles. Chopins repeat of I6 II (measures 30 through 32) in
the more assertive form VI II (measures 33 and 34) provides a strong incentive to
interpret the next two measures as V I. Yet in 2.13 the potential tonic chord is displayed
instead as a passing within a prolongation of the dominant harmony. This passage
parallels the mazurkas first three measures: the tonic arrives in measure 4, not measure 2.
Even when the is unfurled (as in measure 42 and measure 36), F is not asserted as the
tonic root. Chopin goes even further in developing this construction. Whereas in measure
37 a D is added to the embellishing chord as a neighbor, in measure 39 that D is
absorbed as a chord member, consequently lowering its resolution by a third, to an A
major chord. In the broader context this A chord serves as an embellishment of the
dominant (as conveyed by the figures and the abbreviations N and W in 2.13). The
dominant function resumes at the onset of the A2 tonic pillar, followed by the reemergence of Kopfton C and tonic root F, setting the stage for the descent to the final

Opus 63/3
The ascent from C through D to Kopfton E during the opening measures of the Mazurka
in C Minors A1 section provides the kernel that Chopin creatively expands during the B
section [1.27 and 2.14]. An interior E that sounds inconspicuously at 322, during A1s
PAC, serves as the initiation point for a stepwise ascending line that traverses a full octave
(filling out that from 03 through 42), leading to the restored upper-register Kopfton for
the A2 section. (Though Chopin employs a D Major key signature in his score, that of C
Minor is retained in 2.14.) At first the tonic is prolonged (from 343 through 442), taking on
first the major third and later also the minor seventh of I. The long-extended E results
in a temporary conversion into C Major. Consequently the subdominant that resolves I
is IV. Yet the ascending 56 sequence (with surging 6-phase chords) that leads to IVs
upper-third chord targets C Minors A major (measure 49), rather than C Majors A
minor. The broader progression continues with IVs 6-phase chord in its II incarnation
(at 493).16 By this point the melodic content of the A2 tonic pillar is commencing, with a
harmonization that at first contrasts that of the A1 presentation. Yet with the


measure 50 the correlation is restored. Though the tonic pillar within A2 is shortened and
modified, a suitable PAC is achieved in measure 64. Those modifications are of special
interest, in that they correlate with highlights of the B section: I recurs in measure 60,
IV in measure 61, and II in measures 6162. An imitation-enhanced repetition of most
of the modified pillar concludes the mazurka.

Example 2.14 Analysis of Mazurka in C Minor (op. 63/3).

Four-pillar mazurkas

Opus 7/2
The four presentations of the tonic pillar (a) within the Mazurka in A Minor are arranged
as follows:

|: a1

:|: b




A Minor

|: a1
A Major

:|: b



A Minor

Consequently the B section stands out more boldly than do the b regions. Whereas b
resides within an internal rounded ternary form, B is a more independent entity what
musicians often call a trio. Given how often the tonic pillar recurs, it is not surprising that
its internal binary structure (the antecedent and consequent phrases shown in 1.19) is
truncated during the a2 statements, where only its consequent half is presented.
The embellishing chord that occurs during the a regions first measure influenced
how Chopin shaped the b region. Whereas in its initial statement the chord might be
imagined as deriving from concurrent neighboring motions E<F>E and (C)<D>C
another common context for a would be

Chopin devotes the entire b region to filling in the space between this devices


components, deploying a hybrid circle of fifths. Whereas bs first two measures present a
viable start from a1s A through D (realized as F-A-C-E = D) to G, Chopin
abandons that progression, backtracking to pursue a more novel route. From a reinstated
D in measure 19 he drops down a third to B.17 The continuation of the circle of fifths
proceeds along this lower trajectory, as shown by the letter names that annotate 2.15.18 A
corresponding upper-third shift occurs as the circle draws to a close in measure 24,
where E-G-B-D arrives as if rooted on C, but is departed as if rooted on E. Over the

course of the b region the melody fills in the tonics E>A fifth, while the bass concurrently
fills in its A>E fourth. (These expanses are slurred in 2.15.) The continuation in measure
25 (which corresponds to measure 1) is unfurled into position to accommodate the
inverted A chord of 243.

Example 2.15 Analysis of Mazurka in A Minor (op. 7/2).

The B sections internal ternary form juxtaposes tonic prolongations during the outer
parts (labeled x in 2.15) with a motion to the dominant (via a conventional I56 II V
harmonic progression) during the middle part (labeled y).19 I propose that whereas E (=
) serves as the Kopfton for the mazurka as a whole, the B sections melodic focus is the
third from C to A (with interruption).20
Kopfton regains prominence with the onset of A2. The background descent from
to occurs during that sections a2 region, bringing the mazurka to a close [2.15].

Opus 17/3
During the Mazurka in A Majors tonic pillar the Kopfton C (= ) serves as the starting
point for a descending third-progression to the tonic root [1.16]. In the context of the A1
sections internal a1 b a2 form (in measures 0|1 through 40), that third-progressions C
leads through B during b to the restored pillars endpoint A during a2 [2.16]. (These
pitches will constitute the background descent during the reprise after the mazurkas B
section.) The b region begins with six measures of strumming on II, focused melodically
on the chromatic filling-in of IIs F>D third, thereby prolonging the Kopftons upper
neighbor, D. The next two measures feature an evolved dominant, during which the
regions melodic goal (B) is attained.21

Example 2.16 Analysis of Mazurka in A Major (op. 17/3).

The B section (likewise ternary) is in the key of F Major (which Chopin presents as
E Major), a chromatic variant of I6, as noted in 2.16.22 Consequently the Kopfton wobbles
from C to C. Harmonically there are no surprises: the x regions proceed from the tonic to
the dominant in their antecedent phrases (where a descending fifth-progression from C is
interrupted at G [F]),23 and through the dominant to the tonic in their consequent
phrases (where the fifth-progression is completed). The y region that intervenes proceeds
from II to V, supporting a prolonged C in the upper line, here covered by E. The
ascending C<D<E that is repeated several times during measures 57 through 64 (where
it undergoes an internal upward registral shift, not shown in 2.16) is one of numerous
upward motions from deep structural pitches throughout the mazurka: compare this
C<E third (tenth) with C<E in measure 2 and D<F in measure 17. That upward drive

also energizes measures 41|42 through 45|46, where the arpeggiated bass from the tonic
root to the dominant root (F<A<C) is mimicked in the soprano as C<E<G, after
which C is restored preceding the descent to F. For locomotion, Chopin deploys a
circular progression with one omitted element: F (B) E A D G C. Consequently
the bald parallel motion on display in 2.16 does not occur in the musical foreground.

Opus 33/3 [a.k.a. opus 33/2]

The Mazurka in D Major offers an interesting study in contrasts. The outer A sections
(first heard in measures 0|1 through 48) are uncommonly repetitive and uncomplicated in
their harmonic fabric, whereas the interior B section is strikingly original, displaying
chromatic writing that likely baffled many of Chopins contemporaries. Whereas the initial
tonic pillar (a1 within A1) succeeds in establishing D Major via an interrupted thirdprogression (F>E>D) descending from Kopfton [1.18], the transfer of that material to a
dominant context for the b region that follows offers no successor to : the C of its
C>B>A third-progression relates to the tonics interior D, rather than to F. Though some
may find my parenthetical E in measures 17 and 89 of 2.17 dubious, it is consistent with
my imaginative approach to analysis, which tolerates some discrepancies between the
musical surface and a works foundational conception. In this case it even constitutes a
motivic relationship, since a parenthetical E occurs in my reading of the tonic pillar as

Example 2.17 Analysis of Mazurka in D Major (op. 33/3).

Recall that in 2.16 the relationship between the A-C-E tonic (with Kopfton C) and
a chromatic variant of its lower-third chord, F-A-C (with wobbly note C) was at the
heart of the move into and out of the B section. A corresponding shift emerges at the onset
of the B section in 2.17: from tonic D-F-A to B-D-F. Yet in this case the progression

moves beyond the B chord, ultimately to D Majors dominant, A-C-E. Consequently the
soprano F here functions broadly as a chromatic passing note, rather than as a wobbly
note, even if its successor E sounds in the bass (at 691) rather than in the soprano, where
yet another appears within parentheses in my graph.
Whereas IIs root E serves as the diatonic second scale degree in both D Major and D
Minor, the diatonic sixth scale degrees are not identical. In D Major, B serves as , and in
the context of I56 II the tonics 6-phase chord often evolves into a surging VI, targeting
II. In a minor key, where B serves as , one might instead encounter VI targeting II,
wherein the supertonics lowering fixes the augmented fourth interval from diatonic
up to diatonic (transferring the imperfect interval to the connection between II and V).
Observe that in this mazurka Chopin in fact proceeds from B-D-F (the I6 from the
parallel minor key) to E-G-B (II). How is this accomplished?
Though B<E is an awkward relationship within diatonic tonality (modulo 7), it is a
favored relationship within chromatic tonal space (modulo 12), since it represents exactly
half the span of an octave. It can be traversed with ease once the bounds of diatonic
tonality are removed: for example, as 2+2+2 or as 3+3. Chopin pursues the latter course:
10 1 4 in modulo 12 numerical notation (where C = 0). Because music notation was
designed to accommodate compositions conceived in modulo 7, composers had to contend
with infelicities such as a succession from B to D (the first +3) followed by one from
D [C] to E (the second +3).
Turning now to some details not conveyed in 2.17, note that the D Major tonics
chromaticized 6-phase chord (B-D-F) is tonicized during an eight-measure phrase
leading from B to a cadence on its F dominant (measures 49 through 56). The following
phrase, charged with undertaking the first +3 ascent, first converts to the parallel minor
(B-D-F), thereby placing goal D within a locally diatonic context. The D-F-A chord
that arrives in measure 62 plays no role within D Major. It instead is a connector (within
an obstinate circular progression: 3+3) between two chords that do function within that
broad context.

Chopin deals with the task of enharmonic conversion at 651, where a dominantemulating evolved state of the D/C chord targets F. Yet the F-A-C chord does not
take hold. Chopin backtracks, resolving the E-G-B-D chord repeatedly. Only on the
third try does its resolution endure and function within the broader harmonic progression.
That chord is not F minor, but instead A major (in measure 70). The accomplishment of
the second +3 is sudden and unexpected, yet alert listeners would of course be aware of
the special properties of the particular evolved chord that Chopin introduces in measure
65. Whereas C-E-G-B would have targeted F forthrightly, E-G-B-D offers
alternatives. Chopin demonstrates that its root might be C, or that it might be E. By
measure 69 we come to understand that E-G-B-D stands for G-B-D-F, an
interpretation confirmed when ninth F yields to root E. Having achieved II (thereby
completing the 3+3 ascent), the dominant goal is easily attained in measure 70. The
mapping of A1s structure into the A2 space rounds out the mazurka, as shown in 2.17.
The background arrival on is followed by a tonic-focused coda.

Three-pillar mazurkas

Opus 6/1
The pitch C, the upper third to Kopfton A (= ), is prominently projected during the
Mazurka in F Minors a1 tonic pillar [1.23]. When A gives way to G (supported by V)
during the A1 sections b region, C serves as an upper fourth, repeated forcefully on the
downbeat of every second measure.24 At first this buries G, though a forzando G
emerges in the upper register at 202 (still below the highest C). The dominant is
prolonged without a tonicizing harmonic progression [2.18]. Instead, three concurrent
descending lines connect chord members during the regions eight measures: most
prominently, the third from G to E (which serves as the dominants counterpart to a1s
A>F third); the fourth from C to G; and the fourth from E to B, in parallel sixths
below. G is restored in the lower register as the terminus of the C>G fourth (during
243). The return of the melodys A during the a2 region that follows conforms to the
structure of an interruption (here at the middleground level), as shown in 2.18. The goal of
the melodic descent, F, arrives at 402.

Example 2.18 Analysis of Mazurka in F Minor (op. 6/1).

Because A1 is organized as a rounded ternary form (internal to the larger form of the
movement), the mazurkas B section comes across as a trio. Though it offers little variety
either tonally or structurally, its playful (scherzoso) character leads to a considerable
contrast nevertheless. The tonic pillars A>G>F structural line is reconstituted as
B>A>G>F during measures 41 through 48, ending in a PAC. (This melody transpires in
the textural interior, though the upper line doubles most of its pitches. Chopins accent
marks, if observed by the performer, will help focus the listeners attention on this line.)
What at first appears to be a written-out repetition of those eight measures leads instead to

a ritenuto-enhanced HC, corresponding to the dominant of the earlier b section (though

now at the background level), supporting background , as displayed in 2.18.
Though listeners might expect to hear a da capo presentation of A1 that is, a
repetition of a1 b a2, perhaps omitting the repeats as a conventional continuation after the
trio, Chopin here abbreviates that structure, supplying only the tonic pillar. Even with that
reduction in content, the B sections interrupted
concluding PAC.

connects with at the mazurkas

Opus 6/2
Since serves as the Kopfton for the Mazurka in C Minor [1.1], as it did also in opus
6/1, it is not surprising that the young Chopin created virtually identical foundational
structures for the A1 sections of these two works. (Compare 2.18 and 2.19.) A descending
line again prevails during the internal b region of opus 6/2, this time with more overt
harmonic support than was the case in opus 6/1, as the G Major tonicization displayed in
2.19 suggests. Whereas C , following its surge tendency (), might have led upwards to
D for the dominant harmony, followed by an 87 descending motion through C to the
melodys B goal, in this case that D is elided, permitting a direct connection between C
and C.25

Example 2.19 Analysis of Mazurka in C Minor (op. 6/2).

As in opus 6/1, the B section of opus 6/2 eventually attains background , supported
by V. Chopin here calls upon III to mediate between I and V. Embellishment of the
type (with an unfurling of the chords into position) pervades the mediant
presentation. Its repetition is so persistent that we are relieved to hear an unexpected shift
during measure 40. But what is the entity that Chopin so emphatically presents? As the
section unfolds we come to understand that he has jumped the tracks, so to speak, by

juxtaposing the embellishment of mediant E and the embellishment of dominant G.

(Note the temporary wobble of Kopfton E to E.) This dominant continues to the end of
the B section, which segues into a reprise of the material from the introduction. Following
the B sections background

, the third-progression of A2 (where, as in opus 6/1, a

statement of the tonic pillar with written-out repeat substitutes for a full a1 b a2 reprise)
achieves closure on .

Opus 7/1
The Mazurka in B Major, whose tonic pillar projects Kopfton

[1.3], shares an

interruption-based middleground structure for its rounded ternary A1 section with opus 6/1
and opus 6/2, with modest variations in the detail. (Compare 2.18, 2.19, and 2.20.) An F
sounds above both the D (= ) of the a1 tonic pillar [1.3] and the C (= ) of the b region,
and in both cases upper neighbor G embellishes this F. A structurally deep interruption
occurs at the close of the B section (again matching opus 6/1 and opus 6/2), here achieved
via a chromatic D>D>C descent (completed in the tenor register), supported by I II V.
The restoration of the tonic and the post-interruption descent to occur within A2, which
abbreviates the full reprise of the initial A1. Chopin instead inserts repeat signs requesting
a second pass through the B and A2 sections (reminiscent of the once common, though by
Chopins day often neglected, repeat of the development and recapitulation sections within
a likewise ternary sonata-form movement). That feature is not shared with opus 6/1 or
opus 6/2.

Example 2.20 Analysis of Mazurka in B Major (op. 7/1).

Opus 7/4
Though serves as the Mazurka in A Majors Kopfton [1.11], the structural agenda of its
A1 section (divided into a1, b, and a2 regions) still corresponds to those of the three
mazurkas with Kopfton that we have just explored: namely, a local descent to (here
prolonging rather than ) during a1, an interruption on

during b (achieved here by

means of a middleground descent through and ), and a descent to during a2 [2.21].

Since the B and A2 sections lie ahead, that descent is a middleground rather than a
background event. Kopfton is embellished by upper neighbor F during the B section,
followed by the background descent from to during A2.

Example 2.21 Analysis of Mazurka in A Major (op. 7/4).

Though Kopfton E is not literally stated as the b region begins, its prolongation
during A1 makes it available as the starting point for linear initiatives as the mazurka
continues. The E<F (in the textures interior) during measure 9 emerges from the
Kopfton, while the soprano melody temporarily presents pitches from an interior strand.
The D>C of 103111 continues that line (wherein F serves as an incomplete upper
neighbor) in the first of several descents of a third from Kopfton E, here within the tonal
context of the tonicized mediant, C Minor. Though initially one might suspect that the A
chord at 111 represents a restoration of the original A Major tonic, the broader context of

measures 9 through 14 projects a I56 II V I progression in the key of C Minor, wherein

A-C-E serves as Cs 6-phase chord. Chopin cleverly moves beyond III using the II of
its tonicization as IV within the broader A Major progression connecting I and V over the
course of the entire b region.26 (Compare D-F-A at 132 and at 152.) The chromaticism in
the tenor register during measures 15 and 16 (C<D<D<E<F) extends beyond the
dominant root by a half step, creating a more dissonant variant of V than might be
expected at this point. Its occurrence here attains greater significance in that an identical
chord concludes the B section (at 363).
The B section begins with a tonicization of D Major, which supports Kopfton Es
upper neighbor, F. An interrupted third-progression transpires over the course of measures
25 through 28 and then is repeated. Though D-F-A could come about as a
embellishment of tonic A, here what follows confirms that a harmonic interpretation is
appropriate: from the I that concludes the A1 section, IV leads through its chromaticized 6
phase to V. As mentioned above, this Vs disposition matches that in 163, due to the nonresolution of suspension F in measure 36, as shown in 2.21.
Abbreviating the ternary A1, the A2 section focuses entirely on the tonic pillar. Given
its position near the end of the composition, the descending fifth-progression heard earlier
in A1s a1 and a2 regions now assumes a background role, so that the A at 403 concludes
the Urlinie. The descent is then repeated in the mazurkas final four measures.

Opus 17/4
Kopfton (E), prolonged via a local fifth-progression during the Mazurka in A Minors
tonic pillar [1.21b], is the starting point for a middleground descent commencing during
the ensuing b region [2.22]. Note how Chopin auditions two alternative harmonizations
for C (E-A-C in measures 38 and 42 and D-F-A-C in measure 40) before proceeding to
B. (Some upper neighbors embellish E-A-C, as shown in 2.22.) Since the descent is
interrupted at , the A1 sections middleground fifth-progression is completed during its
a2 region.

Example 2.22 Analysis of Mazurka in A Minor (op. 17/4).

The B sections first eight measures conform to the standard disposition of an
antecedent phrase, with a descent from Kopfton E interrupted at B. Chopin presents this
material in the parallel key, A Major. The second phrase (not graphed) does not so well
conform to what we might expect. No descent to A (= ) occurs, and thus the interrupted
of the antecedent has no successor within the melody. During the repeat of the two
phrases, the situation deteriorates even further. Whereas at least a D occurs in measure 76
as a token inauguration of descent during the first consequent phrase, in measures 91
and 92 Chopin ascends to F. The motivation for this turn of events can be found in the
structure presented in 1.21b, where an F plays a crucial role in energizing the soprano line.
Here that process is already under way during the latter portion of the B section and
continues through A2 to the background close on in measure 108.

This mazurkas coda is extraordinary. The reading in 2.22 depends upon two
potentially controversial assertions.27 First, I suggest that the II harmony spelled as DF-A-C in measure 109 is prolonged through measure 114 (where Chopin spells D
enharmonically as E). A parallel progression of diminished seventh chords (embellished
by two anticipations, F and B) connects those two supertonic statements.28 The
melodys unfolded D>C is complemented by B<D in measure 115 and A<C in measures
115116.29 Second, I suggest that the bass A, which functions as a pedal point, prevents
the interior A pitch (doubled) during measure 115 from descending to G, as its role as a
suspension normally would require. The A-B-D-F chord substitutes for G-B-D-F (a
highly evolved V). A tonic resolution occurs in measure 116. Once that progression has
been repeated and briefly extended, Chopin proceeds to echo the material of the
introduction. Consequently the mazurka closes with a tonic chord embellished by F, an
unresolved upper neighbor.

Opus 24/2
The relationship between G-B-D and D-F-A in measure 13 of the Mazurka in C Major is
interpreted in 1.4 as a embellishment (unfurled) leading into the harmonically asserted
supertonic . A similar , now both unfurled and tonicized, is prolonged throughout the
works B section of this five-section (A1 B A2 C A3) mazurka [2.23]. This tonicization
offers a surprise. Normally if the pitch F is established as a temporary tonic in C Major,
the diatonic pitch collection of F Major will be employed. However, in this case the C
Major pitches are retained (B instead of B), despite the fact that a I II V I harmonic
progression clearly establishes F as a local tonic. Whereas the B of measure 22 occurs
often as a chromatic pitch in F Major (as the third of II), the B in the melody at the end
of measure 27 projecting V7 as a chord with a major seventh is not characteristic of
that key. Consequently the mode of the F tonicization is not major, but instead Lydian.

Example 2.23 Analysis of Mazurka in C Major (op. 24/2).

The B sections melody acrobatically jumps between two registers during the F
Lydian theme. Upward and downward stems in 2.23 segregate the two principal strands,
both of which descend a third (A>F and C>A). The melodys F at the cadence serves as an
upper neighbor to the mazurkas Kopfton, E.
The C section following A2 offers an alternative to what occurred during the
introduction. Recall from chapter 1 that between the 5 and 6 phases of the initial tonic
harmony, a G-B-D chord occurs [1.4]. That is an idiomatic choice within tonal practice.
An equally viable and more dynamic option is E, which leads to A via a surge. Chopin
devotes the entirety of the C section to a traversal of the path between the tonic C and this

surging E chord, a strategy motivated by the fact that this mazurkas A sections commence
on I6. An idiosyncratic ascending 56 sequence serves as the means of locomotion.
Whereas a diatonic sequence with evolved 6-phase chords might proceed as





Chopin here charts a chromatic course, as







E C[B]

When a linear pattern works in units smaller than the diatonic steps, some enharmonic
conversions will be required, as here an inevitable consequence of using notation
designed for diatonic modulo 7 tonality to convey what is essentially a chromatic modulo
12 conception (here with the cycle targeting D elided).
One detail of Chopins writing during the sequence is astonishing. Note that measures
7374 and 8586 are identical in pitch content. Yet one precedes an E chord and the
other an E chord. How can this be? In the former, Chopin treats the E as an upper
neighbor to chord member D, so that

targeting the E chord of measure 84. In the latter, Chopin treats A as an anticipation of
the following E chords third (alas, occurring at the same moment as an enharmonic shift),
so that

targeting the E chord of measure 88.

The A3 sections restored tonic arrives at 903. The tonic pillar continues along its
normative course from there, supporting the descending third-progression that at this late
point in the mazurka is interpreted as the background descent to . The coda deploys

embellishments freely over the course of a I IV V I harmonic progression, bringing the

mazurka to its close.

Opus 24/4
In a minor-key composition the mediant often emerges on the path between the tonic and
the dominant (as is the case during this mazurkas tonic pillar [1.6]). Yet it may serve
instead as a sort of major-key oasis: from the tonic to its upper-third chord and back again.
The Mazurka in B Minor deploys such an oasis twice: during A1s b region, and again
during the B section. Though Chopin uses contrasting means to attain the mediant in these
two cases, they both conclude with the same strategy for tonic restoration, designed to
accommodate the specific manner in which the tonic pillar opens.
As often happens in a minor-key context, a segment of the descending circle of fifths
connects I and III at the onset of A1s b region in conjunction with a stepwise ascent from
Kopfton D to A [2.24]. When serves as a movements Kopfton, it generally will
appear at the bottom of a third- or fifth-progression during the tonicization of the mediant
key. The harmonic progression that transpires through measure 28 supports not only the
melodic descending fifth from A to D, but also an interior strand that descends by step
from D to F. The mediant oasis continues with a repetition of the structure (not
graphed).30 Yet a surprising turn of events emerges in measure 35, where the progressions
penultimate chord, V7 in D, loses its will to continue and quickly veers downwards in
half steps, landing on the V7 of the mazurkas B Minor home key (retaining the wrong
note D in place of C, as was also the case during the initial statement of the tonic pillar
[1.4]). Squiggly lines in 2.24, like those in 1.23 and 2.6, indicate the free fall through tonal

Example 2.24 Analysis of Mazurka in B Minor (op. 24/4).

Chopins strategy for accomplishing the B-to-D shift during the B section contrasts
the earlier circular strategy, yet it is closely allied to the D-to-B shift that closes both of
these contrasts to the tonic pillar. We noted above that two dominants are juxtaposed at the
end of A1s b region:
D Major:

B Minor:

Chopin employs the same principle in reverse during measures 53 through 64:
B Minor:
D Major:


In this case there is no free fall (in part because the bass ascends from F to A), but
instead a harmonic trajectory is pursued in the context of D Major, noted in 2.24. While
attaining the mediant, Chopin also transfers Kopfton D down an octave.
Above and beyond the contrasting melodic and harmonic frameworks, two features
of the B sections D tonicization differ from what occurred during A1s b region. First,
despite the apparent intent to contrast the minor-mode tonic, D Major soon takes on
features of D Minor. Second, the phrase that establishes D as a local tonic ends in a half
cadence at both measures 76 and 92 (extended). Consequently the dominant harmony that
Chopin calls upon in his strategy to get back to B Minor is already established as a goal
and does not need to be removed from its context, as was the case with the A dominant in
measure 35. Chopin adds a further element of excitement during this second traversal: his
free fall begins not with the dominants fifth (E) in the melody, but with its seventh. The
third G>F>E>E (measures 95 through 97) precedes the E>D>D that occurs in A1s
b region.
The mazurkas background structural descent transpires during A2. Though the
preceding B section dwarfs the A2 phrases eight measures, Chopin elected not to reprise
the entire A1 rounded ternary predecessor as A2. Instead, after stating the tonic pillar a
second time (as was the case during A1s a1 region as well) he proceeds immediately to a
substantial coda, where a poignant surprise emerges: at the end of a second pass through

an extended and evolving embellishing chord, the tonic re-emerges with major third D (at
1282), which is retained through the end of the mazurka.

Opus 50/1
The D-F-A-C chord that precedes I at the opening of the Mazurka in G Major does not
participate in a substantive harmonic progression [1.25]. However, in both the B and C
sections of the five-part form, Chopin creates a vibrant tonic-prolonging harmonic
progression that calls upon this chord (at the onset of the second and third statements of
the tonic pillar) to take on a more assertive harmonic role, as V7 within a I56 II() V I
progression [2.25]. The B section proceeds only so far as II, pointing to A2s initiating
V I. During C, V (initially with both ninth and seventh) is attained and then reiterated
once the tonic pillar (A3) begins. In the former, II surges towards V, whereas in the latter
the tonics 6-phase chord surges (as VI) towards II.

Example 2.25 Analysis of Mazurka in G Major (op. 50/1).

The deluge of chords during the C section dwarfs the B sections modest dimensions.
Yet most of those chords are deployed in the context of two circular progressions that
connect hierarchically deeper chords. Chopin calls upon the versatility of the descending
circle of fifths to pursue both ascending and descending trajectories. Emphasizing every
third chord, he ascends two thirds (G<B<D in measures 42 through 46); emphasizing
every second chord, he descends two seconds (D>C>B in measures 50 through 52).
Whereas a local G D G progression would be an ideal means of prolonging I5, when
instead a I56 succession is being pursued (measures 42 through 53), an internal B
embellishing chord often occurs instead of or after a D chord.31 The circular progression
in measures 50 through 52 accomplishes a downward migration of the surge tendency,
from D through C to B. The I6 to which B resolves is asserted as VI.32
In its final statement, as A3, the tonic pillars fifth-progression serves as the
mazurkas background descent. A coda projects that fifth again, as outlined in 2.25.

Opus 50/2
Recall that a C major chord (C minor with a wobbly E) crops up during the Mazurka in
A Majors tonic pillar [1.26, measures 22 through 24]. Later, a C Minor tonicization
extends through the B section within the mazurkas five-part form [2.26]. Its initial C
chord likewise incorporates E, propelling (in conjunction with the seventh, B) a surge
towards C Minors IV at the outset.33 (The chords diatonic C-E-G state is elided.) In
fact, since the section ends with a Picardy third, a minor tonic never sounds. It is sensed
through the pitches A, B, and D that occur during the phrase interiors. The two phrases
(measures 2932 and 3336, which are integrated in 2.26) differ in two principal respects.
First, the second phrase is more overt in its harmonic orientation, with the bass potently
projected as C>F<G<C. Second, they realize the notion of antecedent/consequent pair in
an uncommon way. Here Kopfton C is an octave above tonicized root C. Chopin elects to
traverse a descending sixth-progression (from C to E) over the course of the section,
proceeding only so far as the dominants seventh (F) during the antecedent phrase.34 The
concluding E resolves that dissonance definitively only during the consequent phrase (at
the end of which the inner-strand D>C is transferred to the top of the texture).

Example 2.26 Analysis of Mazurka in A Major (op. 50/2).

Another sixth, F<D in measures 60 through 67, inaugurates the mazurkas C section
in the context of the A tonics unfurled embellishment, tonicized as D Major. The
sections deep structure is guided by an interrupted F>E>D third-progression whose
concluding D serves as the upper neighbor of the movements Kopfton, C. Chopin

deploys a familiar tonal trajectory during the middle part (y) of the sections three-part
form: from the tonics 6-phase chord through II to V7. The II harmony is enlivened by the
pitch C, an anticipation of the following dominants third. (The C results from Chopins
maintenance of measure 70s melodic contour despite the contrasting harmonic trajectory.)
A final statement of the tonic pillar brings the mazurka to a close, with a background
descent to coordinating with the PAC.

Opus 56/1
The Mazurka in B Majors tonic pillar is unusual in that it begins with an extended II to
V7 harmonic succession, preceding the tonic arrival at 161 [1.9]. Consequently the tonal
design of the B1 and B2 sections must be compatible with having II as an immediate
successor, a situation not encountered in any of the other mazurkas we have explored.
Chopins instinct to use the tonics 6-phase chord as the B1 sections goal (measures 69ff.)
reflects the prominence of I56 II V7 I progressions in the music he knew and composed
[2.27a]. In this case I6, unfurled as diatonic G-B-D, sounds initially in its first chromatic
variant, G-B-D, which Chopin spells enharmonically as A-C-E. Because a D [E]
region (a tonicized expansion of Gs upper-fifth embellishing chord that eventually
targets G as D) precedes the G [A] chords arrival in measure 69, an E Major key
signature is employed. As is often the case in ascending a third from the tonic (here B to
D [E]), a segment of the descending circle of fifths is deployed (B E A D).
Whereas D arrives during the fourth measure of the B1 materials first statement
(measure 48), it is present from the onset of the second statement (measure 61). In the first
statement a G [A] chord (measure 53) functions as IV within the local tonicization of
D Major, whereas at measure 69 it takes on the role of I6 in the connection of B Majors I
and II. Despite the potential for this prolonged G chord to surge as VI, targeting the C
supertonic that begins A2, Chopin here restores diatonic G-B-D at measure 79, just
before the continuation to C. Though that event often would signal that B will be
absorbed by the C chord as its minor seventh, here that is not literally the case, though
one might easily prolong the B imaginatively through beats 1 and 2 of measure 81, with
resolution to A on beat 3.

Example 2.27 Mazurka in B Major (op. 56/1) (a) Analysis of the work; (b) The
sequence of measures 181 through 189.
Chopins tonal plan during the B2 section concludes with an astonishing passage.
Recall that the essence of the B1 section was to proceed from D to G, with time
devoted to attaining and then tonicizing the D chord before its surge reached full
force. At the onset of the B2 section (measures 102103), a variant of that trajectory, D
G, occurs swiftly. Whereas the B1 sections G-B-D is the unfurled first chromatic
variant of the B Major tonics 6-phase chord, the B2 sections G-B-D is the second. Due
to its immediate arrival, more time is available for a G Major tonicization. As 2.27a
shows, it appears that a fifth-progression descending from D (a wobble from Kopfton D)
is in the works. An antecedent phrase proceeds as far as G Majors dominant, supporting
A, the penultimate note in that fifth-progression. Will the consequent phrase that begins
in measure 119 succeed in attaining a PAC in G Major?
Whereas the B1 sections G chord leads effectively to the C supertonic that initiates
the tonic pillar, the B2 sections G chord does not. Might the pillar begin a half step lower
(a Neapolitan transformation) during its A3 presentation to accommodate the G major
variant of I6? Or might the G chord somehow be raised by a half step to lead effectively to
the diatonic supertonic? Chopin chose the latter alternative, which he realizes in a
flamboyant manner. In both phrases a D emerges at the top of the dominant chord that

might lead to the PAC tonic. (In the graph this is condensed into a single presentation,
labeled with measure numbers 112/132.) Over the course of measures 136 through 142
Chopin deploys arpeggiated

chords (beginning with F-A-D) to float gently

downwards through tonal space from that dominant to a tonic that happens to be one half
step higher than the expected one. That half-step elevation is the very correction that will
allow the B2 section to proceed effortlessly to the supertonic that begins the A3 tonic
pillar, repeating the trajectory that led from B1 into A2.35
The coda confirms B Major through two consecutive statements of a magnificent
hybrid circle of fifths (measures 181189 and 189197). Though Chopin incorporates a
number of minor deviations, such as anticipations and suppressed melodic pitches, the
normative contour displayed in 2.27b guides its course. Whereas the circle might have
proceeded in an alternation of 8 and 5 in the outer voices throughout, its first half
transpires with the bass lowered by a third, so that the 8 5 alternation is replaced by 10 7
(thereby charged with dissonance).36 Of course, this lowering from B to G replicates the
tonal course of the mazurkas B1 section. In this case an ascending third restores the
normative bass for the second half of the progression.37 The two boxes below the staff in
2.27b denote the sites of the lowering and raising by a third.

Irregular pillars in the mazurkas:

alternatives to the perfect authentic

The projection of a mazurkas tonic key is sometimes accomplished via a tonic pillar that
does not conclude in a PAC on the tonic. Closes on the dominant, on the mediant, or with
an IAC on the tonic are viable alternatives to a regular tonic pillar. For example, irregular
and regular tonic pillars may serve successively in shaping the A sections of a broad A1 B
A2 form. An irregular pillar that concludes in a half cadence may be referred to as a IV
tonic pillar, while one that leads to the mediant may be referred to as a IIII tonic pillar.
These situations, as well as some more unusual designs, are explored in this chapter,
which brings our exploration of all the mazurkas that Chopin published during his lifetime
to a close.

A tonic pillar concluding with an IAC

Opus 17/1
The Mazurka in B Majors enigmatic tonic pillar might elicit several potential structural
interpretations. Does the principal line connect and , and , or and ? Is the line
traversed in four measures and then repeated, or instead spread over eight measures?1 The
prominence of Fs upper neighbor G in the mazurkas B section (sounding first in measure
29) is a factor in choosing F rather than D as the Kopfton. The model for a1 displayed in
3.1a seems to me the most apposite. Kopfton F is prolonged during I-space, where an
embellishing facilitates the local descent of a third (F>E>D). The V that follows

and likewise incorporates a descending third (E>D>C), preceding a tonic

close on , where, this time, the motivic third (D>B) lacks an internal C. The entire
phrase is then repeated in measures 5 through 8, with modest variants (such as the 43
suspension in measure 7).

Example 3.1 Mazurka in B Major (op. 17/1) (a) Analysis of mm. 0|129; (b) Analysis
of the work.

Chopin alters the tonic pillar in important ways during its a2 presentation (measures
17 through 24), following the b region. The A that enlivens I-space from the outset
results in a surging approach to the embellishment (here with minor-hued G
substituting for G) from above: (elided B)>A>G>F connects the boundaries of I-space
during measures 17 and 18. The presentation of the tonic chord in its second inversion at
183 allows for a stepwise connection to bass G for the inverted

(again with a

borrowing from the parallel minor key) that now shares duties with V in supporting .2 In
the phrase reiteration that follows in measures 21 through 24, Chopin further develops the
supertonic, both through its evolution into II and through the expansion of the preceding

I-space into I56, a characteristic means of leading into II. (Observe that I6 is here asserted
as VI, pointing dynamically toward the supertonic.) Note also how measure 24 differs
from the similar measures 4, 8, and 20 (all of which sound D on their third beat,
supporting my reading of within linear descents from at those points). In that the
tonic pillars as yet have presented only the upper half of the F>B fifth, measure 24 is the
day of reckoning: will the line achieve its B goal, resulting in a PAC; or will we have to
settle for an IAC as the structural close? Whereas earlier the b region (to be explored
presently) introduced the second scale degree, now the descent through

to occurs

quickly just as the section (or, during A2, the entire work) comes to a close.
The b region that comes between a1 and a2 to shape the mazurkas A1 section deploys
II V to succinctly achieve its dominant goal. Though the that serves as s successor
in the linear descent is presented forzando in the low and middle registers at 91, its
sounding at the top of the texture is delayed until 151 (at the end of a crescendo). The
structural content is presented in four measures (9 through 12) followed by a varied
repetition, thereby matching the format introduced during the a1 region. Chopin indulges
in a flamboyant flourish during that repetition, with a rapid traversal of a circle of fifths
supporting a stepwise descent through the dominants C>F fifth.
The B section is structured as an autonomous trio [3.1b]. The B tonics embellishing
chord (first heard in measure 2) is here unfurled and asserted as the key of E Major.
Though the chordal progressions at various structural levels remain uncommonly simple,
the embedding of one interrupted progression within a broader one is sophisticated.
Chopin undertakes excursions above the melodys fundamental structure. The third from
C to A, filled in chromatically between 343 and 363 and between 431 and 433, is
especially intriguing. In fact, given that in both contexts the motion continues downwards
(by leap) to F, a reference to measures 15 and 16 may be discerned, despite the contrasting
tonal contexts (fifth to root of dominant F in B Major versus ninth to fifth of dominant
B in E Major).
The that is restored along with the resumption of the B Major tonic for the onset
of A2 again serves as the starting point for a descending fifth-progression. Because the A2

section concludes the work, this time that descent corresponds to the Urlinie.

The immediate restoration of I after a IV tonic


Opus 7/3
In a mazurka whose A1 section closes with a PAC in the tonic key, the B section may
initially extend that tonic and then pursue a dominant goal. (As an example, see 2.3.) That
strategy may prevail even if A1 ends in a vibrant HC. In 3.2, which displays an analysis of
Chopins Mazurka in F Minor, observe how the melodic A>G that transpires over the
course of A1 (with written-out repeat) is followed by the quick reaching-over of B, which
resolves to a restored Kopfton A early in the B section. Consequently the background
tonic extends into measure 28, despite the HC in measures 16 and 24.

Example 3.2 Analysis of Mazurka in F Minor (op. 7/3).

The mysterious introduction is grounded on lower-neighbor embellishment of the
tonics root and third (imagining a G to go along with C and E, as occurs literally in
measures 77ff.). The potential assertion of the introductions C-E-(G) as V and F-(A)B-D as II will be discussed later, in the context of this materials recurrence at the
juncture of B and A2.3 The initial tonic pillar that follows is simply constructed: the tonic
is solidly established by means of upper-neighbor embellishment of its third and fifth in
measure 11 (complementing the lower neighbors of the introduction), followed by a
progression through II to V.
The harmonic trajectory that prevails during the B section follows a conventional
course, though with one notable omission. Most of the section is devoted to the connection
of the F tonics 5- and 6-phase chords: F-A-C and D-F-A. One of two intermediary
chords often occurs between those points: either C-E-G (as

C, an embellishing chord

of the preceding F tonic) or A-C-E, which likewise possesses a natural dominantemulating tendency (as A, which embellishes the 6-phase D-F-A, here abetted by the
addition of G at 613). Chopin pursues the latter course, first attaining the A chord via a
segment of the descending circle of fifths (measures 26 through 30) and then tonicizing it
until it surges towards D. The proposal of an omission, mentioned above, stems from the
fact that I6 often leads to II, which in turn targets V. In a minor key, a very special
relationship exists between I6 and II: the former (D-F-A in Chopins mazurka) may be
a subset of the latter (D-F-A-B).4 Yet instead of adding B in the vicinity of measure
73, Chopin allows the three pitches of the unfurled I6 each to descend a half step in turn,
in a direct approach to V.5 This memorable and unusual voice leading heightens the
emotional impact that Chopin seeks to attain also through the pianissimo dynamic
indication and the ritenuto, sotto voce, and smorzando markings. Rewarding those
listeners who noted the II omission, the following dominant prolongation (which
reprises the mysterious introduction) uses the very notes of II D-F-A-B in an
embellishing context. Though Vs arrival concludes the B sections harmonic
progression, the embellishing chords that follow uncannily project the unsounded
harmonic predecessor of V.
The A2 section is constructed as a regular tonic pillar. Though its first phrase again
ends on V, the phrase that follows is no mere repeat of the preceding one (as are
measures 17 through 24). It instead serves as a conventional consequent phrase,
concluding in a PAC that supports background .
Ultimately the A1 sections irregular close is of only local significance. The circle of
fifths that leads out of I-space soon after the onset of the B section would transpire just the
same regardless of what cadence occurs in measure 24.

Opus 30/1
Several features of the Mazurka in C Minor [3.3] echo those of the Mazurka in F Minor
[3.2]. The A1 sections of both works present a IV tonic pillar, employing II to lead to
V. Likewise, a restoration of the tonic function occurs at or near the beginning of both B
sections, followed by a segment of the descending circle of fifths that leads to the mediant.
In the Mazurka in C Minor that restored tonic (at 163) is surging, already targeting the next
chord in the circle of fifths. Both mazurkas tonicize the mediant, and both reach V by the
end of the B section. During A2 suitable revisions convert what was an irregular pillar
during A1 into a regular one.

Example 3.3 Analysis of Mazurka in C Minor (op. 30/1).

The chief difference between the two mazurkas structures concerns the manner in
which the background V is attained. Whereas the mediant in the Mazurka in F Minor
ultimately leads to the diatonic I6, which could have proceeded (but does not) to II before
V, in the Mazurka in C Minor the mediant is followed by a chromatic variant of I6 at 283.
This chord in fact does lead through II to V.6 Yet Chopins conception is even richer.
As the two tiers of measure numbers in 3.2 and 3.3 suggest, both mazurkas make
extensive use of repetition. For a few measures of the Mazurka in C Minor, Chopin
eschews that practice and composes distinctive content, so that the connection between the
mediant and dominant in measures 22 through 24 (not graphed) does not match that which
occurs between measures 28 and 30. (Note also that the mediant is expanded measures
20 through 22 during the former phrase, while the dominant is extended measures 30
through 36 during the latter.) The former leads from III through IV to V. (The stepwise
connection between III and IV is facilitated by the shift to IIIs 6-phase chord at 232.)

Because of the persistent repetition during the A1 and B sections, the two dominant
arrivals should be understood as equivalent. Chopin achieves his goal; then he backtracks
and presents another pathway to the same goal. To enhance clarity the graph integrates
those trajectories as much as possible, favoring the latter when they diverge.
One way or another, the irregular tonic pillar of A1 must be transformed into a
regular one during A2. The latters opening phrase reprises the full content of A1s IV
progression. What follows starting at 451 which one might even resist calling a phrase
attains tonic closure in an unusual way. Instead of proceeding through the dominant to the
expected PAC, it merely prolongs its initiating tonic. Consequently the local E>D>C
descent of measures 46 through 48 serves as a motion to background , the endpoint of
descending lines from at three distinct structural levels, as indicated by the multiple
beams in 3.3.

Op. 30/4
The chords of the Mazurka in C Minors introduction precede not only the tonic harmony
that opens the A1 section, but also, through their recurrence at the end of the B section, the
initial tonic of A2 as well. Their structural implications will be discussed below in terms of
the latter context, which the introduction replicates only in part. Once the tonic harmony
and Kopfton E emerge in measure 5, a broad tonic expansion ensues. Fs roles as both
neighboring note to E and passing note to upper-third G are on display in 3.4. The II
harmony serves as the principal connector between I and V during the expansion of .
Though the arrival of the pillars cadential dominant is placed at measure 31 in 3.4,
Chopins writing in measures 28 through 31 teases listeners: should the passage be
interpreted as repetitions of V I followed by V, or instead as repetitions of V
(with the chords unfurled)?

Example 3.4 Analysis of Mazurka in C Minor (op. 30/4).

As in the other mazurkas explored in this segment of the chapter, the tonic harmony
and the Kopfton are restored early in the B section. Initially the C minor chord is fortified
through motion to its upper fifth, G (measures 39ff.). The broad melodic descent
E>D>C over measures 34 through 65 shifts from representing the third to root of the C
tonic chord to the seventh to fifth of an F chord. Whereas Chopin utilizes the descending
circle of fifths in the B sections displayed in 3.2 and 3.3 to connect the tonic and the
mediant, here the circle extends only to its third chord: C F B. This B chord is tonicized

between measures 66 and 95 (parts of which are displayed in 3.4). Chopins tonal plan
involves a conversion from subtonic B to dominant G.7 The harmonic analysis in 3.4
displays the B chord as a not yet fully formed dominant: the pitch B is the wobbly third of
the G major dominant, with the arrival of root G delayed until measure 99. The B-DF tonicization is an upper-third substitution for the rightful G-B-D dominant
tonicization. Chopin negotiates the transition between B and G by juxtaposing
embellishing chords targeting each: F in measures 94 through 96 and D in measures
97 and 98. By the time the G chord arrives, it is too late for further tonicization. Its minor
seventh F is already in place, and so instead of content extending its role as I in tonicized
G, it asserts its background role as

, announcing the restoration of the C tonic for

the A2 section. As mentioned above, the D and G chords were first encountered
within the mazurkas introduction.
The A2 section offers an intriguing reprise of the dominantsubtonic relationship.
Certainly a PAC must be attained at the close of A2. The dominant at measure 128 is
where the precedent harmonic trajectory of A1 concludes. How will Chopin achieve a
tonic cadence? His extraordinary response involves a plan to proceed from the already
attained dominant to its subtonic upper-third chord and then back again. Both of those
moves are accomplished through an inspired yet unconventional construction. Whereas
the subtonicdominant connection within the B section was negotiated via a shift of
embellishing chords, in these final measures Chopin instead deploys a linear progression
to connect the G and B chords themselves: a wondrous application of the descending
circle of fifths, filled with altered pitches, added dissonances, and enharmonic spellings,
which transpires as






In this interpretation, a collision at beat 3 of measure 132 involves two adjacent chords
within the circle F (which in a familiar evolved state would be correctly spelled as AC-E-G) and B (spelled as B-D-F-A) that are enharmonic equivalents of one
another. The passage in fact comes across as a parallel progression of major-minor seventh

chords as a temporary transfer from diatonic modulo 7 tonal space into the modulo 12
realm, where spans such as this G>B may be traversed by unconventional means, in this
case through a descent in half steps: 8 (7) 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 11 (with C = 0).8 The dominant
restoration is likewise inventive. Whereas B-D-F-A would be a suitable successor of
the subtonic chord, projecting a conventional intensification of the dominant function, in
this case leading tone B is displaced by an anticipation of its resolution: C-D-F-A is
prolonged during measures 133 through 138.9 At the cadence F resolves to E and A
resolves to G above tonic root C. The soprano tonic , anticipated during the dominant
harmony, sounds only in the bass at the cadence. Consequently the C that concludes the

melodic descent is displayed within parentheses in 3.4.

Without opus 42A

A prominent feature of the irregular tonic pillar that serves as A1 for the Mazurka in A
Minor is its array of

descents [3.5a]. Most are local manifestations, within their

own four-measure phrases. Some are preceded by their upper thirds. (The descending third
E>D>D>C beginning in measure 9 inverts the ascending sixth E<A<B<C in the left
hand of measures 1 and 2.) Others are perched a third higher, in a temporary tonicization
of the mediant, attained via a segment of the descending circle of fifths in measures 15
through 17 (the same means by which the mediant is attained in 3.2 and 3.3). The that
arrives at 331 is of a higher order. The dominant root E that supports it is attained by
means of a gradual bass ascent from the initial tonic A through mediant C, supertonic third
D, and surging D. Its arrival at the outset of a four-measure phrase strengthens its impact.
Though the melodic line starting at 332 matches that of the opening measures, the context
does not support a tonic assertion.10 (In this case C-D-F-A serves as an embellishing
chord between two dominant chords, rather than as an asserted II connecting I and V.)
Even the tonic that seems to re-emerge at measure 37 might serve foundationally as an
unfurling of the dominants embellishment (as displayed in 3.5a), here asserted as I at
the foreground level to inaugurate a synoptic repetition of the pillars I-to-V trajectory.

Example 3.5 Mazurka in A Minor (Without opus 42A) (a) Analysis of mm. 140; (b)
Analysis of the work.

The mazurkas B section is a binary construction [3.5b]. Both halves begin with an
unhurried attainment of the major tonic (measures 44 and 60), which is then extended via
a I IV56 V7 I progression. During the x1 half, the progression continues thereafter to the
mediants first chromatic variant, of major quality. (Whereas during A1, tonic A-C-E
proceeds to C-E-G, the x1 half of B proceeds from tonic A-C-E to C-E-G.) Though
the opening of x2 is modified harmonically to accommodate the continuation after the
mediant (as opposed to the dominant, as was the case at the juncture of A1 and B), the
tonic re-emerges as expected in measure 60. Prolonged through measure 68, the
progression then continues with
Passing motion to

, which supports Cs incomplete upper neighbor.

coordinates with the dominants arrival. Given its location at the

divide between B and A2, this dominant functions at the background level, supporting the
Urlinies . As is often the case, an interruption of that lines descent coincides with the
A2 tonic restoration, which here also re-engages the diatonic Kopfton C, rescinding the B

sections C wobble.
The tonic pillar that ensues within A2 is regular: is attained in the context of a PAC
in measure 110. Numerous reiterations, which complement the local
that pervade the initial portion of A2, extend this close.


Op. 63/1
The eight-measure phrase that opens the Mazurka in B Major proceeds in a conventional
fashion: from I56 through II to V [3.6a]. (An unfurled embellishing chord in measure
3 extends the initial tonic.) The next phrase is not a consequent ending in a PAC, but
instead a repetition of the progression to the HC, with the melody presented an octave
higher. Consequently the tonic pillar is irregular.

Example 3.6 Mazurka in B Major (op. 63/1) (a) Analysis of the work; (b) Analysis of
mm. 3161.
As in the four mazurkas explored earlier in this section, the tonic is restored soon
after the B section begins. (Like measure 24 in 3.3, the tonic in measure 21 of this

mazurka is surging as B upon its return, setting in motion a descending circle of

fifths.) Unlike those four mazurkas, here the B section broadly extends the tonic. Observe
in 3.6a how the harmonic progression at the onset of B is a variant of that in A1, the most
crucial difference being its close in a PAC in measure 28. Immediately thereafter the latter
part of the phrase is reiterated: from II in measures 29 and 30 to V7 in measures 31 and
32. Though eventually that dominant will find its tonic, closing the B section (as shown in
3.6a), an extended episode that tonicizes F Major intervenes. Before we explore that
passage, note how the fact that the B section prolongs I results in a modest revision in the
chordal content at the onset of A2, where the succeeding root F (compare with measure
5) occurs already against the Kopfton (measures 6970).11 In contrast to the A1 statement
of the tonic pillar, this time the pillars second phrase, which is expanded, leads to a PAC.
At its most basic level, the prolongation of the F dominant during the latter part of
the B section does what most tonicizations do: it proceeds from the tonicized pitch (F) to
its dominant (C) and back [3.6b]. In this instance the F<C fifth is divided into two
thirds, with A prominently articulated several times between measures 34 and 48. An
upper-third extension of this mediant sounds first in measure 39. There is even a brief
competition between upper-third C and upper-fifth E (in measure 41, not graphed). The
definitive motion to dominant root C (attained in measure 57) is accomplished via an
ascending 56 sequence from the mediant. Note in 3.6b that both of the unfurled 6-phase
chords are surging: A F B G C. Chopins writing in measures 57 through 66 is
especially potent because fifth-relationships at three distinct structural levels are
juxtaposed. First G C completes the sequential motion to the F tonicizations
dominant. Then C F completes the F tonicization. Finally, in measure 65 F B
reinstates the tonic that was previously stated in measure 28. In this instance a motion
from Kopfton F through E to D coordinates with the motion a third lower through C to
B (as shown in 3.6a).

Other contexts for IV tonic pillars

Opus 6/3
The establishment of the tonic harmony and of Kopfton at the outset of the Mazurka in
E Major integrates multiple layers of arpeggiation, with some filling-in by passing notes.
The melodic pitch B is emphasized during the eight introductory measures not only
through its repeated sounding in the left hand but also through the descending arpeggiation
B>G>E. (The initial C neighbor recurs in the upper register at 121.) Further local
arpeggiation transpires to hoist B up an octave during measure 9, followed by a deeper
level of arpeggiation traversing the tonics remaining pitches E in measure 10 and Kopfton
G in measure 12 [3.7]. Some playful embellishing arpeggiation occurs between passing
note F and goal G in measures 11 and 12. The tonic expanse is followed by II V,
accomplished in such a way that the E<F<G leading up to the Kopfton is matched by a
reciprocal F>E>D. (The accented B>B octave during measure 16, corresponding to the
B<B of measure 9, completes the reciprocation.) During A1 the content from measure 9
onwards is repeated beginning in measure 21, resulting in an irregular tonic pillar. Later,
during A2, a tonic-cadencing consequent substitutes for that repetition. That relationship is
critical for determining just how far into the movement the opening tonic pillar extends.
Though the content of measures 33 through 40 brings the harmonic progression initiated
during the pillar to a tonic cadence, those measures do not reside within the pillar.

Example 3.7 Analysis of Mazurka in E Major (op. 6/3).

As with the other IV pillars explored in this chapter, the tonic is restored during the
B section before further tonal adventures ensue. Yet whereas in those other mazurkas the
tonic restoration occurred quickly, so that one sensed the tonic to be an initiating entity

within the section, in this case A1s middleground

is complemented by a full

eight-measure presentation of . Within that expanse Chopin deploys a double dose of

embellishing chord. Whereas the B-D-F dominant may be embellished by two
concurrent lower neighbors (A-C-F), here the unfurled F-A-C chord likewise is
embellished by two lower neighbors (E-G-C, not graphed). Observe that one of the
neighbors does not return to its starting point: though A in measure 34 could have
ascended back to B in measure 38, it instead is retained as the dominants seventh. This
phase of the B section concludes with the tonic, achieving a PAC in measures 39 and 40.
The pitch B, which sounds above Kopfton G in measure 12, recurs in measure 41.
During the ensuing eight measures, which extend the tonic, B is transferred down an
octave, so that the C>A third (complementing G<B) that serves as the focus for the
remainder of the B section occurs in the middle register exactly where it ought to be to
facilitate the reinstatement of the initiating B of the A2 section in measure 69. The A
Major tonicization results from an expansion of the following tonic-prolonging figuredbass formula in E Major:
8 7 6 5
3 4 3

The chord, which arrives unfurled in measure 50, is tonicized: a descending thirdprogression (C>B>A) in A Major transpires over the course of eight measures [3.7].
During a repetition of this passage beginning in measure 58, Chopin creatively modifies
the harmonization so that a fully chromatic filling-in of a descending seventh connects the
tonic root A at 581 and the supertonic root B at 631. The chromatic line takes on the
character of a stupefying feat, enhancing the mazurkas robust character.

The restoration of the tonic in measure 69 coincides with the onset of a fresh
B<E<G arpeggiation to initiate A2. As mentioned above, this time suitable revisions are
made (beginning in measure 87) so that a PAC is achieved in the tonic key, resulting in a

regular tonic pillar. Because the B section features the Kopftons upper neighbor, A
(flagged in 3.7), the third-progression from to (interrupted) during the A2 section
serves as the background descent.

Opus 24/1
A recurring formula for Chopins irregular pillar usage may be observed in the Mazurka in
G Minor. The first sixteen and the last sixteen measures of the composition are equivalent
except at their endpoints: II V (= HC) in the former is replaced by V I (= PAC) in the
latter. Chopins large-scale tonal plan takes advantage of the fact that the pitches of V7
occur during the pillars opening measure. Whereas in that context they serve locally as an
embellishment of measure 2s initiating tonic, the broad tonal trajectory extending through
A1 and B leads to this chord as an asserted member of a middleground harmonic
progression I56 II

that culminates in the restoration of I during the second

measure of A2 [3.8].

Example 3.8 Analysis of Mazurka in G Minor (op. 24/1).

Chopin offers a liberal sprinkling of colorful chords during the pillar: the tonics
embellishing chord G-C-E sounds at the beginning of measure 3 but evolves into a
more intense F-A-C-E over tonic pedal G before the tonic restoration on the following
downbeat. Likewise II sounds as C-E-G-B over a dominant pedal (from sixteenthnote C during 63 into measure 7). Eventually the dominants root D is joined by third F
(at 73), concurrent with IIs root A displacing ninth B, thereby creating a potent
collision of II and V.

In mazurkas explored earlier in this chapter the initial IV tonic pillar has been
followed after variable amounts of delay by a tonic restoration before the B sections
agenda continues. Consequently listeners might expect minor seventh C to emerge soon
after the D-F-A chord of measure 16, so that D targets a G tonic. Yet in this case
Chopin skips the tonic restoration, instead proceeding to the tonics closely allied upperthird chord. Consequently the addition of dissonance is integrated with an upward hoist of
a minor third during measures 17 through 20, where F-A-C-E (= F) targets B-D-F.
This B chord persists through the cadence of measure 32. (The first ending at that point
incorporates a transition back to the G tonic for a repeat of A1 and the first part of B.)
Relief from the emotionally distraught mood projected during A1 is offered not only by
the shift of mode to major during the B section, but also by the absence of such features as
the melodic augmented seconds of measures 3 and 6|7 and the chordal collision during
measure 7. Instead one is treated to some luscious chromaticism, for example during the
descent in parallel sixths from 223 through 242. (Note how Chopin seamlessly increases
the chromatic density during the repetition of that passage, where not only the D>C and
F>E seconds are filled in, but also the upper lines concluding C>B and the F<G below
in measure 32a.)
A G-to-B opening bass trajectory in a minor-key composition might proceed directly
to bass C (supporting IV or an inverted II or II) and then to dominant root D; or a surge
(B) may lead the progression to E, the G tonics 6-phase chord. The latter trajectory
occurs here, with Es arrival occurring in measure 34. Two eight-measure phrases
(equivalent until their final measures) prolong the E chord, with the main melodic
interest being the juxtaposition of B>G thirds and B<G sixths. The delicate succession
from I6 to II occurs during the second phrases final measure 48. The pitch C (at first
spelled enharmonically as D) against E-G-B is sufficient to infuse the chord with the
sense of rootedness on A, with a II function.12 The ninth B (an incidental dissonance)
resolves to A within the chord, before II proceeds to

at 491. The upward resolution

of C to D is elided. Instead, the dominants seventh C sounds during all of measure 49.
As mentioned above, the mazurkas second tonic pillar is regular. Because no
interruption occurs during the B section, Kopfton B is still in force at the onset of the A2
section. An interrupted third-progression leads through background A at measure 56 to
goal G in the final measure.

Opus 50/3
Though by definition a regular tonic pillar is intended to project I-space, that which
Chopin created for the Mazurka in C Minor is disproportionately devoted to the
dominant: the G-B-D-F embellishing chord of the first four measures will be
deployed in an abbreviated form later as a dominant extension (measures 32|3334),
whereas a long internal dominant prolongation (measures 9 through 15) nearly
overwhelms the pillars initiating and closing tonics (measures 5 and 16) [3.9a]. The
irregular pillar that occurs within this mazurka (the second of four, in measures 32|33
through 44) results from simply not following through to the conclusion of the regular
pillar, as presented in measures 0|1 through 16. In fact, with such potent dominants on
both edges as well as an internal dominant pedal point one might doubt whether the
tonic chord of measure 35 (repeated in measure 39) can overpower the dominant
hegemony in that region. In the fourth pillar, which repeats the content of the second, only
the freshly composed continuation after the dominant of measure 133 (leading to a
cadence on the tonic in measure 157) tips the scale decisively in favor of the tonic.
Though the initial a2 pillar reprises (in abbreviated form) the I II V portion of the
preceding a1 pillar, at best it represents a mere reiteration of the approach to the dominant
attained during the b region (akin to what is displayed in measures 37 through 40 of 3.5a).
Its supposed tonic chord might even be interpreted as an unfurled embellishment of the
dominant (expanding upon the content of measure 3, as graphed in 3.9a).

Example 3.9 Mazurka in C Minor (op. 50/3) (a) Analysis of mm. 0|192; (b) Analysis
of the work.

A no-nonsense fifth-progression from G to C provides the melodic shape for the

mazurkas opening five measures [3.9a]. Here Chopins contrapuntal proclivity is overtly
realized, with a tenor line that imitates the soprano. Only after goal C is attained at 51
does Kopfton E emerge (embellished by D and F). Early in measure 6 the tonic absorbs
the 6-phase pitch A, preceding the arrival of II, at which point another fifthprogression (from D to G, whose goal we expect will be achieved at 91) begins. Though
the dominant in fact arrives as expected, Chopin withholds the melodic G for several
measures, placing an embellishing minor ninth A at the top of the texture. The resolution
to G and restoration an octave lower (measure 13) occur before the dominants D
descends to the tonic-supported C, completing a conventional third-progression from the

A tonal trajectory connecting the tonic and the dominant is an attractive option during
the b region of a ternary A1 section. (Compare with 2.16.) The fact that the middleground
interruption at the end of b will not be resolved during the upcoming irregular a2 pillar has
no effect upon how the b region transpires. In this instance the tonic is extended through
measure 24 via a sequential connection between two tonic chords. Whereas normally the
sequence employed would proceed with bass C>G<A>E<F>C supporting a
descending sixth-progression from Kopfton E, in this case the G chord is internal to a1
and thus resolves to tonic C before the A chord emerges in measure 17. During the II
that follows after the sequence, the melody gradually builds back upwards to the D
(measure 27) that succeeds Kopfton E at the middleground level and connects with the D
of V (measure 32).
As indicated above, a2s tonal plan demotes the impact of the tonic restoration,
instead favoring dominant prolongation. Consequently the b regions

ultimately is left

dangling at the end of the a2 region. Chopins re-engagement with the thematic content of
a1 here involves contraction: the essence of measures 0|1 through 9 is stated in measures
32|33 through 37 and is then repeated even more succinctly. The region closes with a fourmeasure melodic arpeggiation of the pitches of V, segueing into the B section, which
begins in measure 45.
Though the V that concludes the A1 section unexpectedly lacking a tonic
resolution is a middleground event and the V that ends the B section (measures 8992)
is a background event, the uncommon dominant density at this juncture makes a
conventional I-to-V trajectory ill suited for B. Chopin therefore has elected instead to
tonicize a chromatic variant of the dominants upper-third chord. Because dissonant BD-F cannot be tonicized, Chopin allows B to wobble to B. That lowering, introduced
in measure 45, is not rescinded until measure 89. Because B Major is in a sense the
wrong key, the trajectory that Chopin sets in motion for its tonicization a local ternary
form divided by an interruption after the

that arrives at measure 70 [3.9a] is not

fully realized (and thus resonates with the unresolved ternary interruption during A1). In
this case the y region is extensively developed, with a surging I leading through IV56 to
V, while the x2 region that follows proceeds only through its initial pre-surge I phase.

One foreground detail (not graphed) plays an important role in the realization of
Chopins tonal plan for the B section: namely, the incorporation of the B tonics 6-phase
chord as a substitute for the dominant during the repeat of x1 (measures 53 through 60).
The basic idea, which extends into the onset of the y region, is I87, the conversion of the
stable B-major tonic into a surging chord targeting IV. That tonic is expanded via a local
B>F<B bass arpeggiation, into which bass G (an unfurled I6) is inserted. That very 6phase event will recur at the same location during x2 (measure 89), where, with G
asserted as root and with major third B, it assumes the role of background V, thereby
bringing the G roots upper-third expansion to an end.
The chief structural concern during the traversal of A2 is that its a2 region should not
conclude on the dominant, as it did during A1, but instead forge ahead to become a regular
tonic pillar. As 3.9b displays, the potent dominant achieved in measures 129 and 133 is
the foundation for an extended passage whose prolongation eventually leads to a PAC in
measure 157. (The graph shows the principal strand, D>C, covered by F>E.
Concurrent with the background close on , this E opens the tonal space that will be
traversed as a reprise of the E>D>C descent during the coda.13)
The magnificent coda deploys the lowered supertonic (measures 165 and 171) as the
principal intermediary between the tonic and the dominant [3.9b]. Though usually that
chords wobble (here D) would be rectified by the dominants D, in this case a
supertonic evolution during measure 173 results in a D-rooted version of II occurring
prior to the onset of V.14 (I have displayed the chord as F -A-C-(E) in 3.9b, though D
might be imagined instead of E: both convey the function II.) Chopins means of
connecting the tonic and the lowered supertonic incorporates an obstinate circular
progression that I propose resides outside of conventional modulo 7 tonal space. Instead,
once it gets on track modulo 12 chromatic tonal space subdivides into four equal
segments. Using the numbers from 0 through 11 (with C = 0), the progression proceeds as



















The conversion of this lucid and elegant circular progression into modulo 7 music notation
inevitably results in some enharmonic inelegance, requiring a mix of minor third and
augmented second intervals. (Though Chopin chose to notate the bass as B<D<F<G<B,
the augmented second could be moved to any other juncture without injury to the
progression, because what the pianist sees in the score and the rationale for what is
actually occurring are unrelated.) Dominant root G arrives in measure 173, coordinating
with a embellishment. The decisive V7I cadence occurs in measures 180 and 181.

Contexts for the IIII tonic pillar

Opus 41/2 [a.k.a. opus 41/3]

Though the Mazurka in B Majors diatonic mediant is D-F-A, that chords first and
second chromatic variants D-F -A (spelled by Chopin as E-G-B) and D-F-A,
both of major quality emerge at corresponding locations (measures 17 and 37) within the
initial presentation of A1 and what at first appears to be A1s exact written-out repetition
[3.10]. The D major chords F is a wobble that reverts to F with the arrival of the
dominant in measure 20, while the D major chord comes about as a result of Chopins
elective shift to B Majors parallel minor key (in which D-F-A is the diatonic mediant)
starting in measure 35.

Example 3.10 Analysis of Mazurka in B Major (op. 41/2).

The eight-measure phrase that opens the A1 sections a1 region is conventionally
constructed: after a tonic that is extended via neighboring-note embellishments and an
upward registral shift of Kopfton D (at 71), II V provides an appropriate close. The
second phrase begins like the first, but instead of again proceeding via C to F, A
D (spelled by Chopin as B E) transpires, concluding a tonic-to-mediant connection
propelled by a descending circle of fifths B E A D. (The E chord, with root omitted,
is realized by adding G , spelled as A during 151, to the tonics B-D-F. The chord
functions as E.) The lavish attention devoted to the mediant arrival, including a
repetition of A D, extends the phrase beyond eight measures. Yet Chopin persists in
his agenda until the dominant is attained in measure 20, not only closing with a half
cadence (more definitively than in measure 8) but also an important point for
understanding what happens later creating a phrase that divides into groups of four
measures (a hypermetrical organization boldly introduced by the repetitive measures 14
and 912). Instead of proceeding directly to the mazurkas B section, Chopin begins over

again in measure 21. What will happen this time: a tonic-closing consequent phrase (the
most normative realization of the a1 and a2 form markings in 3.10), resulting in a regular
tonic pillar; an exact repetition, resulting in a IV irregular tonic pillar; or something else?
In a sense, listeners never learn the answer, because that phrases conclusion is
preempted by the B sections unexpected onset in measure 39. Measure 38 (which
corresponds to measure 18) is the tenth of what we should expect will be a twelvemeasure phrase that could conclude over the next two measures either with a PAC (D F |
B) or with another HC (D | F). Chopin diverts the D chord from its apparent role as
divider between tonic B and dominant F, which would transpire if the initial a1 regions
BDF arpeggiation were again deployed, now in a minor-mode context. (Note
especially how a circle of fifths again links the tonic and the mediant.) Surprisingly, the D
chord serves instead within a broad sequential descent in thirds:

(marked in 3.10). One may confirm the extraordinary nature of what ensues in measure 39
by counting four-measure units through the end of the B section: 3942, 4346, 4750,
and 5154. From what precedes it, measure 39 should function as an internal element of a
four-bar hypermeasure; yet based upon what follows (and fostered by Chopins forte and
accent markings), the listener must undertake a metrical recalibration so that measure 39 is
interpreted as a hypermetric downbeat.
The sequential descents goal E chord (at 493) serves as IV within a broad harmonic
progression in B Minor. The dominant and then the tonic bring that progression and the B
section to a close in a PAC, with soprano B belatedly making good on the intention to
complete the descending third-progression that was interrupted at measure 20.
Because the B section does not close on the dominant, the background structure is no
further along at the onset of A2 than it was during A1. We should expect that a regular
tonic pillar incorporating background

will be presented as the content

of A2. Chopin achieves this through truncation, not proceeding to (or, at this point,
beyond) the mediant that was the final structural event within A1. Consequently there is no
opportunity for a post-interruption descent to complete the background third-progression,

following the of measure 66. In this context the D in measure 69 does not correspond
to a reinstatement of . Instead, as 3.10 shows, the B of measure 67 which was not so
emphasized during A1 serves as the arrival of background , directly after . The Ds
that follow may be interpreted as upper-third extensions, echoes of the Kopfton that persist
in multiple registers through the final chord. Brief glimmers of a minor-mode resurgence
(G in measures 72 and 74) do not ignite. The mazurka concludes as it began, with
repeated iterations of an embellished major tonic chord.

Opus 41/3 [a.k.a. opus 41/4]

The Mazurka in A Major projects a straightforward structure in a daringly incomplete
manner. The listeners ability or willingness to engage in imaginative musical thinking
is tested. If ones internal ear does not perform structure-completing operations to make up
for lacunae at both the end of the B section and the end of the A2 section, the mazurkas
structure likely will seem defective.
The broad tonal plan supports an Urlinie descending by step from Kopfton , with an
interruption after

. The

span occurs during the A1 section, in

conjunction with a straightforward I IV56 V7 I harmonic progression [3.11a]. The

continuation to occurs at 522, the final measure of the B section. Despite the absence of
audible harmonic support, this B and its upper third, D, certainly project the dominant
harmony, whose root E and third G have been inserted parenthetically in 3.11a. Under
normal circumstances, the remainder of the work (the A2 section) would be devoted to
completing the structure interrupted after the B sections

. All begins well, with a

restoration of along with tonic root A. Yet sooner or later Chopin must confront the
fact that the tonic pillar he deployed during A1 is irregular. He cannot simply reprise A1,
since the descent would not reach , nor would the tonic harmony end the work. The
and III that conclude A1 effectively precede the emergence of

and V during the B

section. Yet that state of affairs may not likewise conclude A2. What to do?15

Example 3.11 Mazurka in A Major (op. 41/3) (a) Analysis of the work; (b)
Hypothetical measures 83 and 84.
What Chopin does is both elegant and mysterious. Taking advantage of the fact that
both halves of the tonic pillar are repeated during A1, he plays with fire by again moving
from the A tonic to the mediant during the first statement of the pillars second half
during A2 (measures 74 through 76, corresponding to measures 22 through 24). The final
phrase begins in measure 77. Chopin needs to replace the circular progressions G C
of measures 31 and 32 (likewise measures 75 and 76), supporting soprano D to C, with a
harmonically asserted E A, supporting soprano B to A (= ). He proceeds just to
the point where that shift would come into play. Then he simply stops, mid-phrase!
Though two measures that might suitably complete the final eight-measure phrase are
offered in 3.11b, they do not sound within the composition. Chopins fermata gives time
for the imaginative generation of such an ending, leading to the Urlinies concluding pitch,
. It is as if the diminuendo that has been in progress since measure 78 succeeds to the
extent that the concluding measures of the composition become inaudible. Consequently
Chopin did not write them down.16

Opus 59/2
The Mazurka in A Majors background events are all normatively positioned within the
form: A1 begins with , B ends with , and A2 ends with [3.12a]. Chopin complicates
matters by proceeding to the mediant at the end of A1, resulting in an irregular pillar that
will require modification for presentation during A2. In this case that necessity leads to an
astonishingly inventive alternative ending involving the juxtaposition of two contrasting
means of achieving the supertonic, and with II replacing II.

Example 3.12 Mazurka in A Major (op. 59/2) (a) Analysis of mm. 189; (b) Analysis
of mm. 89101.
The A1 sections first phrase is a model of elegant harmonic writing. The opening
tonic is prolonged via an unfurled embellishing chord in measure 3. Its 6-phase F
emerges in measure 6, perfectly setting up measure 7s II, which leads to a half cadence
on V in measure 8. Were a regular tonic pillar in the making, the next phrase would
conclude with V7 I. Instead Chopin allows the 6-phase chord of measure 14 (related to
that of measure 6) to be subjected to its own 6-phase extension, thereby lowering the
continuation by a third: instead of the antecedents B E, Chopin leads via G to a

cadence on mediant C. Rather than moving directly to the written-out repeat of what has
occurred thus far, Chopin allows time for the listener to savor the mediant attainment
(measures 17 through 22). One might imagine a local

during 223 (meagerly

represented by F) as a means of directing the progression back to the opening tonic. The
progression from the tonic to the mediant is then repeated.
As is also the case after several of Chopins irregular IV tonic pillars (explored
earlier in this chapter), a tonic restoration follows after this irregular IIII tonic pillar (via
II7 V7 I in measures 45 through 52) to initiate the B section. Yet that is only the first of
two alternative continuations ensuing from the D-F-A-B chord of measure 45. Since
that chord is reinstated in measure 53, and since the latter scenario turns out to lead into
the further stages of the composition, the tonic-restoring material is displayed as a
parenthetical passage in 3.12a. Beginning in measure 53, D-F-A-B serves as an
embellishing chord of the mediant, evolving into D-F-G-B before resolution, at which
point the mediants third wobbles to E. Though the C mediant chord might have taken on
further surge characteristics, targeting I6 (= F minor), the E dominant emerges instead in
measure 68, bringing the B section to a close. The mediants wobbly third (E) and the
dominants minor ninth (F) are juxtaposed during 6812.
The A2 sections first phrase reiterates the I56 II V progression of its A1
counterpart. Thus far I6 has not been asserted as VI. Since some revision of content
during A2s second phrase is required in any event (so that a regular pillar cadencing on I
rather than on III is achieved), Chopin elects to go all out, expanding the phrase to
thirteen measures. The first sign of this is his connection of the tonics 5- and 6-phase
chords via an ascending 56 sequence, proceeding as follows in measures 81 through 84:






(As often is the case in this context, Chopin here abbreviates the ascent by omitting the
chords within parentheses, made possible by the fact that A5 and C6 both are composed
using the pitch classes A, C, and E. Note also that the 6-phase chords all evolve into
surging entities.) Some rambunctiousness at 841 displaces Fs 5-phase C with the
premature arrival of 6-phase D. Yet it turns out that at that moment the sequence is

breaking up, and so the D is understood in retrospect to function as a passing note

connecting the F chords elided fifth C and minor seventh E (enharmonically spelled as
D). The VI at 843 potentially could lead (as do, without surging, the several I6 chords
of earlier phrases) to II.
Chopin does not pursue that trajectory. Recall that the A major tonic chord
possesses, in all, four consonant 6-phase chords the diatonic version and three chromatic
variants. Three of these four chords are employed within this mazurka: diatonic A-C-F
(measure 6 and its replicates); the first chromatic variant, A-C-F (measure 84, to which
E [D] has been added); and the second chromatic variant, A-C-F (measures 85/88.)
Any of these choices may lead effectively to some form of supertonic. As explained in the
context of the Mazurka in F Minor, op. 7/3 (see page 96, above), the addition of D to FA-C results in II. It turns out that Chopin makes use of that strategy during this
phrase. The abandoned F chord consequently is displaced by an alternative 6-phase
chord a half step lower, achieved by tapping the potential for F (= F-A-C-E) to
function as a B chord (= D-F-A-C, confirmed by the shift of ninth C to root B during
843). Though Chopin proceeds through the circle of fifths (F B E from 843 through 851),
the E functions as rather than as . (In fact, Chopin spells the chord as F-A-C
just before resolving to II during 881.) Adding further interest to an already abundantly
fertile region, the F chord is prolonged via a modulo 12 circular progression that divides
the octave into three equal (parts (4 0 8 4, spelled as E C A F) in measures 85 through
88.17 Once that cycle has concluded and the D has been added to instill the II function,
the V7I cadence occurs without incident between 882 and 891.
The coda expands upon an idea from measures 1 through 4. In that earlier context,
A-D-F serves as an embellishing chord of the tonic. During the coda it is twice asserted
as IV (above a tonic pedal point), each time followed by V7 and I [3.12b]. (The second of
the two phrases contains several borrowings from the parallel minor key, including IVs
minor third, F.) Two sonorities are particularly vivid and unusual. In measure 91 the
chromatic passing note F (which Chopin spelled as E) sounds simultaneously with
anticipations G and C (not graphed), creating a memorable sonority against pedal point
A. The momentum stalls during the second phrase as the local fifth-progression descends
through to

. Cadential chords with both minor- and major-key inflections are

auditioned. The descent continues downwards to for a PAC only on the third try, during
which the minor-key (C, spelled as B) is supported by the dominants third G and the
chromatic passing note E (spelled as D) connects the dominants root E (imagined) and
seventh D.18 The remaining measures of the coda provide echoes of Kopfton (at 1041,
1081, and 110111) and restore the embellishing role of A-D-F (at 10731081).19

Opus 59/3
Pillar closure is of special interest in the Mazurka in F Minor. Because the irregular pillar
of the a1 region concludes on the mediant (measure 16), Chopin restructures the a2
regions second phrase, with the apparent intent to achieve a PAC [3.13a]. However,
measure 44 does not offer the expected tonic resolution. Instead, the dominant is extended,
embellished by pitches from F Major. The a2 regions tonic goal (with melodic F
concluding a middleground fifth-progression descending from Kopfton C) merges with
the B sections initiating F Major tonic (with melodic C reinstating the mazurkas
Kopfton) in measures 45 and 46. Since neither of the preceding pillars offers a normative
PAC, Chopin has no precedent for building the mazurkas final tonic pillar (A2), where he
electively inserts an extended cadenza-like passage between the second phrases seventh
and eighth measures (115 and 134). As we shall see, the initiation of the pillar during A2
likewise departs from a conventional formulation.
Example 3.13 Mazurka in F Minor (op. 59/3) (a) Analysis of the work; (b) Analysis of
mm. 6470; (c) Analysis of mm. 80134; (d) Analysis of mm. 115134.

The a1 tonic pillar opens with a robust projection of Kopfton C in two registers:
C<C is traversed quickly from 03 through 22, followed by a leisurely stepwise descent
to the lower C (site of the first phrases HC in measure 8), which serves as the starting
point for a second C<C traversal to inaugurate the second phrase. During measure 6 the
tonic 6-phase pitch D (chromatically altered to match the impending supertonics raised
fifth) serves in its traditional capacity linking I and II, part of a normative approach to
the HC V. In contrast, the equivalent D-(F)-A-C at 123 represents a B chord within
the segment of the circle of fifths that Chopin here traverses to connect the tonic and the
mediant. As 3.13a displays, the middleground fifth-progression that guides the melody
through measure 46 descends through B to A in conjunction with this mediant arrival.
Most of the A1 sections b region is devoted to reiterations of the C>B>A third (with
unfolded upper thirds), presented in the context of a mediant prolongation. The regions
one new and vital structural element occurs during the final beat of measure 24: the
middleground progressions and its dominant support. This event occurs at the precise
moment when one would have expected instead to hear the initial C of a2 (as in 03). In
this case the C<C octave announcing the post-interruption C is truncated.
Because the final measures of a1 lead to the mediant, new content is required to
conclude a2, in order to arrive at the expected PAC. Chopin concurrently extends the
regions second phrase: its fifth and sixth measures (37 and 38) are repeated and then
rewritten (with IV

replaced by IV56), so that measure 43 counts as the phrases

seventh measure. The dominant of that measure should resolve to an F-A-C-F tonic
in measure 44. As mentioned above, Chopin instead extends the dominant, postponing the
tonic attainment until the onset of the B section.
Coinciding with a shift to F Major, the B sections opening phrase shares several
features with the tonic pillars first phrase. In both contexts the phrases third measure
presents a embellishment of the tonic. (That is unfurled during the a1 regions second
phrase and during the B section, and both of those realizations are preceded by a surging
F-A-C-E.) Both phrases likewise achieve their dominant goals via a tonic 6-phase
chord (in measures 6 and 50) leading to II.

The return to tonic F Major that we expect after the B sections first phrase and its
repetition is magnificently expanded in measures 64 through 70 [3.13b]. Whereas
melodically the Kopfton C might have proceeded directly to the dominants seventh B
before resolution to A, here an upward melodic excursion through E (at 523, repeated at
643) to G (at 651, repeated at 751) occurs.20 As with the upward C<C motion at the
onset of A1, here also the downward complement, which fills in the dominants G>B
sixth between measures 65 and 70, is stepwise in this case chromatic. Supporting that
descent is a chord progression that begins as a tonicization of the C dominant (I56 II
V7 I) but that then continues unabated as a circle of fifths (continuing the tonicizing
progressions chain of fifths: A D G C leading to F and beyond). As
always in such a circle, if the initiating chord is to return as the eighth chord, one of the
fifths must be imperfect. Observe that the A chord at 683 lacks a minor seventh and thus
does not strongly project the sense of A, targeting D. That is where Chopin inserts the
corrective diminished fifth, A>D.
The juncture of the B and A2 sections (measures 96|97) is the site for a creative
structural variant. In most cases the return of the so-called tonic pillar will project the
tonic harmony at or near its outset. In this case, however, the B sections closing measures
proceed to a dominant harmony at that location. (See 3.13c, to be discussed below.)
Things are out of kilter here: though one background dominant has occurred during the B
section, guiding the Urlinies to , another dominant generally would occur to support
, which, interrupted, would resolve to after the A2 sections post-interruption
downward fifth-progression from a restored

. All of these features are displayed in

3.13a, though with one curious shift: the background dominant is delayed until the first
phrase of A2. What had been a local dominant in measures 8 and 32 now functions at the
background level. To accomplish this, Chopin places the dominant root C at the bottom
of the phrases initial chord (which earlier had served as the tonic), thereby converting it
into a embellishment of the dominant. In this context the G chord of measure 103
(matching that of measure 7) serves as an embellishing chord inserted before the s
resolution to

Given the highly idiosyncratic start of A2, the preceding B section must conclude
atypically with a chord that will lead effectively to V. There is no better choice than II.
Yet Chopin first auditions another trajectory following the internal tonic of measure 70: he
leads to the mediant via a circle of fifths (F B E A in measures 7374), reminiscent of
measures 9 through 16 (here converted to a major-mode context). As the earlier b region
reminds us, III (here represented by the parallel major keys major mediant, A-C -E)
may lead directly to V. Yet Chopin instead backtracks, repeating the background
(measure 80) and then restoring F Minor (measure 87), followed by an
alternative circle of fifths (displayed in 3.13c) that leads not to the mediant, but instead to
the supertonic (II). This is accomplished in an ingenious way. From tonic F, B E
A D transpires without a hitch. At that point, Chopin takes advantage of a wondrous
enharmonic equivalence: D-F-A-C, which we might expect will lead to a chord rooted
on G, instead takes on an alternative meaning as B-D-F-A, a chord rooted on G. Since
at one point a half-step shift is required to keep the circle of fifths on track (as we noted
above in the context of the D chord in measure 69), Chopin astonishingly brings about
that shift by doing nothing! Upon arrival D-F-A-C is As rightful successor, D;
upon departure B-D-F-A serves as G, Cs rightful predecessor.21 (In 3.13c the
chord is written twice juxtaposing its alternative spellings and analyzed first as a chord
rooted on D and then as a chord rooted on G.) From IIs resolution to V (with
extended embellishment), the progression continues as described above.
In that measure 115 corresponds to measure 43, listeners should sense that the
moment of closure is close at hand potentially as early as measure 116. Chopin delays
that resolution until measure 134 by proceeding through a cadenza-like passage (indicated
by open brackets in 3.13a and presented in detail in 3.13d). Initially the C dominant is
tonicized, with an idiosyncratic ascending 56 sequence leading from C to its dominant
G (measure 119) and back.22 The melodic connection of G>B in measures 119 through
121 is reminiscent of the same interval in a similar context in measures 65 through 70. At
measure 122 an internal IAC occurs, consequently postponing the deeper closure (with
background ). The harmonic progression that begins thereafter has the promise of
bringing about a PAC due to the melodic G that arrives in measure 127, but yet another

G>B sixth transpires, so that the tonic of measure 131 likewise is not the closing tonic.
The lowered supertonic chord that follows finally breaks the spell: as 3.13d shows, the
dominant of measure 133 does succeed in bringing about a PAC.23 A coda follows. (Its
essential features are graphed in 3.13a.) Given that a Picardy third occurs at the preceding
PAC, the coda traverses the major-key fifth-progression C>B>A>G>F.

Idiosyncratic tonic pillar contexts

Opus 33/4
The opening tonic pillar in Chopins Mazurka in B Minor (measures 0|1 through 24,
followed by a written-out repeat) is classified as irregular because it cadences on the
dominant. This is a conventional sort of irregularity, like several we encountered earlier in
this chapter. Chopin makes a predictable adjustment during the pillars final presentation,
where the second phrase concludes with a PAC (measure 200).24 Such a construction
justifies the mazurkas placement within this chapter, though not within this section, which
is devoted to idiosyncratic pillars. That categorization results from Chopins extraordinary
continuation after the HC of measure 24: the a1 pillar is repeated, but with a remarkable,
strange, and unexpected turn of events at its cadence.
The lowered supertonic (Neapolitan) chord arises naturally in a minor key: a
diatonic presentation of I56 (here B-D-F to B-D-G) produces a chord that (especially
when enhanced by the addition of the pitch F to B-(D)-G, as at 171) inherently leads
towards II. In accordance with an unwritten covenant among composers pertaining to the
use of the lowered supertonic, the keys foundational B<F tonic-to-dominant relationship
will prevail despite the awkwardness of the internal CF root succession. The dominant
root F supports a restored diatonic C (perhaps imagined) after wobbly note C. Chopin
conforms to that covenant in measure 24, where the doubled F root represents the F-AC dominant harmony [3.14].

Example 3.14 Analysis of Mazurka in B Minor (op. 33/4).

Through 482 it will seem to listeners that a routine repeat of the entire opening tonic
pillar is being presented. Yet the performer will note, perhaps with some alarm, that the
expected goal root F (as in measure 24) is notated as G in measure 48. Chopin indeed
fulfills the implications of that spelling: the line ultimately proceeds as G>G>F, with G
serving as a chromatic passing note. Whereas II generally proceeds to V (as in measures
5 and 6), the lowered supertonics inherent dominant-emulating tendency generally will
not be tapped by composers, since II leads into the abyss: it points towards the tonics
antipode, in this case F. Consequently the meek F at the end of measure 48, which in

fact introduces that antipode, is an astonishing event. It causes the b region, which
commences in measure 49, to open in the highly unusual key of I.
Ultimately the mazurkas tonal course will be corrected: by the end of the b region
the conventional F dominant is attained. Yet a half-step depression within tonal space
prevails from 483 through measure 63. How is this accomplished? Whereas F is expected
in measure 48, F occurs instead (as explained above); and whereas F is expected after
what should initially be interpreted as a C chord in measure 63, that chord is
enharmonically transformed into an F chord. Observe in 3.14 how II in B Minor is
reinterpreted as II in B Major, leading to V in that key. Given that build-up, it is not
surprising that the b region robustly asserts a B Major tonic. In fact, a standard
progression prevails in that key through measure 63: I is followed by IV, and IV undergoes
a 56 shift in which the 6-phase E-G-C sounds in its evolved state E-G-B-D (= II).
Without the visual clues that Chopin provides in the score, listeners should reasonably
expect this chord to resolve to V in B Major. Yet Chopin (as also most readers of this
book) certainly had learned that this particular variant of II (often referred to as the
German augmented sixth) may be enharmonically transformed into a dominant seventh.
It so happens that this C chords enharmonic equivalent is the very F chord that
would lead the progression back to B Minor.
Under normal circumstances the mazurka might continue with a2 (concluding the A1
section) followed by B, after which a concluding A2 would offer the final PAC. Yet in this
case there are two contrasting a1 models from which the content of a2 might be derived:
either the conventional irregular version of measure 0|1 through 24, which ends on V, or
instead the key-shifting irregular version of measures 25 through 48, with its half-step
depression. By choosing the latter for a2, Chopin arrives at a tonal juncture (at the end of
measure 88) not well suited to precede a normative B section (which in this case will
begin in the initial tonics parallel key, B Major). Rather than grapple with that
juxtaposition, Chopin takes the unusual step of inserting a full statement of the b region,
thereby putting his tonal house in order before the onset of the B section. Though b
content is employed, Chopin achieves the same tonal goal as if a2 had instead proceeded
as in the initial a1 model. This is the only instance of a direct succession from a b region to
a B section within Chopins published mazurkas: the b designation in 3.14 truly deserves
the exclamation point that annotates it.

The B section opens in measure 105 with two eight-measure phrases, each
proceeding from the tonic to the dominant in the key of B Major. Both phrases are shaped
by the traversal of a descending fourth from Kopfton F, thereby matching the contour of
the original a1, though with alternative harmonic routes between the initial I and goal V.
The next sixteen measures repeat these phrases with modest adjustments and one
significant change: the second phrase concludes without achieving its dominant goal. The
dominant instead serves as the initial chord of the following phrase, where it supports
background , which is followed by at the tonic resolution. After several repetitions,
the passage breaks off at background , supported by V, in measure 151. A written-out
cadenza that expands the dominant (and recalls content from the preceding measures)
transpires during the next seventeen measures.
As mentioned above, the original tonic pillar is constructed in such a way that a PAC
may be attained with minimal modification. Yet Chopins tonal plot thickened during the
initial a1s repetition: due to the extraordinary C<F succession in measures 4648,
listeners no longer can have a clear sense of what the II chord introduced in measure 185
will do: will it proceed to the F dominant, as in the first a1 pillar; or will it instead
proceed to F, as in the modified a1 and the a2 pillars? The chord becomes a show-stopper:
whereas each of the earlier II chords was prolonged for seven measures, the final one
persists for fifteen measures, the latter half of which comprises no more than a solo line
alternating between the chords fifth and root in the midst of a diminuendo. Will
G>G>F again lead away from the B Minor dominant? No! Aroused afresh, Chopin
instead uses C, the other of the two pitches he has been dangling before the listener, as
the initiation point for a similar descent in half steps: C>B>A introduces the B Minor
dominants leading tone. The
measure (200).

and I that conclude the mazurka sound within a single

Opus 56/3
Chopins Mazurka in C Minor contains one of the most astonishing constructions in his
entire oeuvre. To understand it, imagine a keyboard mechanism placed on rollers, so that it
may move freely to the left or right, consequently hitting different piano strings and
thereby facilitating transpositions. Whereas normally such a mechanism would be in the
locked position, imagine a pianist performing a mazurka with it accidentally unlocked
while several earthquake tremors occur, moving the keyboard a total of seven times to the
right, each resulting in either a half-step or a whole-step shift. Despite these seismic shifts,
the performer maintains the integrity of the tonal plan according to what the fingers are
doing instead of according to the sounds that the strings are emitting.25 It so happens that
these seven seismic shifts add up to twelve half steps, so that, despite the extraordinary
sonic output, the mazurka ends in the key in which it began.
The mazurkas basic tonal plan incorporates an irregular tonic pillar I II V during
its A1 section and prolongational I II V I progressions in the dominant key during both the
A1 and B sections. The chordal roots are displayed in the context of C Minor at the top of
3.15a, with much of the content in that line shaded to indicate where seismic shifts ensue,
resulting in alternative sonic output, as displayed below the shaded regions. The A1
section opens with a progression that broadly extends from I to V, incorporating an
evolved tonic 6-phase chord and a minor supertonic [3.15b]. Chopin proceeds with a
written-out repeat, during which a seismic shift raises supertonic D to E in measure 49.
Whereas the minor D chord might have undergone chordal evolution so as to result in a
D surge directed towards dominant G, now instead E targets dominant A, which
arrives in measure 52. Another seismic shift affects a repetition of that passage: F B
occurs in measures 53 through 56. This B chord represents C Minors dominant even if
by now the seismic activity has moved it three half steps higher. The tonic pillar concludes
with a prolongation of this dominant, engaging a fifth-progression in the melody during
measures 56 through 72 (with the normative D>G dominant span raised to F>B). Though
at first the chord introduced in measure 57 may seem to be yet another II (a third
seismic shift: E, F, F), the progression ultimately incorporates that chord within
the B dominant prolongation. Consequently the chord spelled by Chopin as if its root
were F functions as a C-rooted chord (initially II in tonicized B Major, shifting to II
during measure 68), as clarified by the modified spelling in 3.15b.

Example 3.15 Mazurka in C Minor (op. 56/3) (a) Tonal content of mm. 2136; (b)
Analysis of mm. 0|1136; (c) Analysis of mm. 137220.

Seismic shift (in

half steps)


Foundational progression

(= G

G )














+12 =

The key of B Major prevails during most of the B section (from measure 73 until the
renewed seismic activity beginning in measure 134). That choice conveniently allows the
composition to retain the pitch D as : though normally D would be the fifth of dominant
G Minor, here it instead serves as the third of the seismically achieved dominant B
Major. The ternary B section opens with an x1 region (measures 73 through 88) that
pursues the tonicizing I II V I harmonic progression that will be subjected to numerous
seismic shifts during the x2 region. (Note how the B tonic extends through the end of
measure 77, where elements of its embellishing chord F and C and its surging third
and minor seventh D and A collide.)
The B section continues with a y region that, after adopting the hue of B Minor,
leads conventionally via II to the dominant in measure 105 (extended through measure
120). Though a middleground interruption of the melody on

typically would be

resolved by during the x2 region, the intended D<E>C>B melody that is initiated in
measure 121 is jolted by repeated seismic shifts that move the goal B up a major sixth to
G (in the bass at 1363). Examining the phrase that begins with melodic pitch D at 1291,
note how upper-neighbor E is supported by II at 1341. This C-G-E chord might evolve
to surging B-E-D (= II) before dominant A-F-C (whose C would be

within the

local melodic descent) arrives. Yet at that very moment a new wave of seismic shifts
begins, so that B-E-D is jolted upwards to C-F-E (thereby being distinguished from
the preceding diatonic II only by the half-step descent of G to F). The dominants thus
is represented by D rather than by C at the end of measure 134. Each of three
repetitions of II V coordinates with another whole-step seismic shift, so that V within

the dominant prolongation, represented by an F chord during most of the B section, is

raised not only to root G, but also to A, B, and C. Whereas the G-B-D-F chord at
1362 might initially be interpreted as yet another whole-step shift (as C -E-G-B,
functioning as II in G), the bass instead descends as G[A]>G, and therefore the goal
I of the dominant-tonicizing progression is achieved. Whereas the dominant C chord of
1361 normally would resolve to F, one final seismic shift this time the shift of a half
step leads to goal G, completing the trajectory presented in 3.15a.
The tonic pillar of A1 is doubly irregular: not only does it conclude on V, but that V
has shifted seismically upwards a minor third. During A2 we expect that such irregularities
will be foresworn and that the tonic pillar will conclude regularly with a PAC on tonic C
(to which Chopin applies a Picardy third, E, in measure 189). The decisive swerve away
from the precedent of A1 occurs at measure 173. The ensuing progression begins as if
Chopin intends to pursue a conventional harmonic course: I IV56

in measures 171

through 176. Yet the chord with bass B in measure 176 eventually evolves into the chord
with bass C in measure 180. From that point, the bass moves chromatically downwards
to F (at 1871). As 3.15c shows, an idiosyncratic descending circle of fifths that connects
IVs 5-phase F-A-C and chromatic 6-phase F-A-D chords propels this line.26 This
extended IV yields to

in measure 188, followed by goal I in measure 189.

The coda, which commences in measure 189, contains a double C<G>C bass
arpeggiation, supporting


. Each half is repeated, as

is conveyed by the measure numbers annotating 3.15c. Chopins treatment of is of

special interest. When D occurs below

, it at first reverts to D (at 1963) before Vs

resolution. Yet during the repetition of that segment the wobbly note does not yield to the
diatonic pitch: D holds out at 2043. However, during the span from
wobble yields to D in both traversals, at 2083 and at 2123.

to the D

Opus 59/1
The Mazurka in A Minor is constructed in the most extended of Chopins mazurka forms,
with four tonic pillars in all: A1 and A2 sections (both with a ternary division into a1, b,
and a2 regions) surrounding an internal B section (where the parallel key A Major
prevails). Chopin defies his own conventions by presenting the third of the tonic pillars (at
the onset of A2) not in A Minor, but instead in G Minor. As we shall see, he begins
preparations for this unusual event as early as A1s b region.
The mazurkas inaugurating tonic pillar opens with a three-measure prolongation of
the tonics E-G-B-D embellishing chord. (A local embellishment in measure 1, before
E sounds at the bottom of the texture, should not be confused with the arrival of tonic A.)
This chord will be asserted as a relatively deep structural V at the onset of a2 (measures
2527), following a b region that proceeds only as far as an evolved IV6. (See 3.16a.) The
juxtaposition of surging B, E, and A chords during measures 9 and 10 and the weak
metrical placement of the A chord might call into question the deep structural role
assigned to that A chord in 3.16a. Yet an elision occurs: instead of a conventional
expansion of the broader I-space (via a local supertonic and dominant) followed by a
transformation of the goal I to surge towards IV, the tonic reinstatement at 103 is already
surging. Perhaps compensating for this fleeting A-chord restoration, an expanded version
of the progression during the b region extends the equivalent tonic harmony for five
measures (17 through 21) before proceeding to IV.

Example 3.16 Mazurka in A Minor (op. 59/1) (a) Analysis of mm. 136; (b) Analysis
of mm. 37130.

The Kopfton E is the first pitch heard in the mazurka. Extended via upper-third G (in
conjunction with the local shift to tonic A Minors upper-third chord C-E-G in
measures 5 through 8), a middleground descent E>D>C over the course of the pillar
likewise incorporates an upper-third embellishment of D (F>D in measure 11) before goal
C, presented as an anticipation at the end of measure 11, sounds. The descent only as far
as during the initial tonic pillars (a1 and a2) will affect how Chopin proceeds during the
B section (measures 37 through 50) and will be rectified during A2s a2 region, to be
explored below.

The b region draws upon a1s establishment of the A Minor tonic and of Kopfton to
launch its tonal trajectory, which is similar to that which inaugurates a1: the II of
measure 13 replicates much of what occurred in measure 9, leading to V in measure 14
(as in measure 10). What follows is unusual, an instance of a seismic shift. Instead of
proceeding directly to I, Chopin repeats the II V succession in a transposition down
a half step (measures 15 and 16), consequently achieving tonic A not via its normative E
dominant predecessor, but instead via E its antipode! This half-step depression is
displayed within a box in 3.16a. While the ear may succeed in making the broad
connection between roots E (measure 14) and A (measure 17), the passage sets the stage
for a more remarkable deviation that will occur later, at the onset of A2.
Though a b region often will conclude on V, here the dominant function is already
built into the initial measures of the tonic pillar, as mentioned above. Consequently the
prolonged I of measures 17 through 21 proceeds only to IV and its evolved 6-phase
chord (D-F-A-C) before the pillar theme enters in the left hand at 251. The a2 tonic
pillars progression is similar to that of a1, with the structural melody again descending
E>D>C. The goal C is transferred down an octave and wobbles to C for the onset of the
B section (in A Major) in measure 37.
Indeed the fact that the linear progressions descend only a third from during the
initial two tonic pillars results in some unfinished business that Chopin addresses at the
onset of the B section, where the major-hued C yields to B and then A in measures 37
through 42 [3.16b]. Only upon that lines completion is Kopfton E freshly stated, with a
full descent of the E>A fifth transpiring during measures 42 through 50. The E>D>C
component of that fifth is complemented by ascending motion in the bass, in an A56 B56
C5 sequential trajectory. A C chord is, of course, a common predecessor of the tonics
6-phase chord.
The next round of tonic prolongation (measures 49 through 82) is extraordinary. Note
the extended prolongation of the E minor chord first sounded in measure 56. Chopin
explores several possible continuations before proceeding through F to B in
measures 71 and 72 (the version displayed in 3.16b). That B chord should lead to
dominant E. (Compare with the B chord of measure 13.) Yet at that point an extended
half-step depression (another seismic shift) begins. Now with augmented fifth, B-D-F

leads not as expected to E-G-B (to inaugurate the third statement of the tonic pillar, as in
measures 25 and 26), but instead to D-F -A, which shares two common tones with the
preceding II. This D dominant sets A2 in motion, resolving to tonic G in measure
82. The entire a1 region maintains this half-step depression. Fortunately Chopin has
already devised a means of re-establishing the rightful tonal center. The depressed chords
of measures 15 and 16 (displayed within a box in 3.16a) are the same as the last two
depressed chords displayed within a box in 3.16b. Chopin simply persists along the course
of a1 and b until those chords emerge (stating them twice so as to maintain the dimensions
of the b region from A1), and then does exactly what he did during the earlier b region to
emerge out of the depression. (Compare measures 1617 and 9495.) The remainder of b
and the onset of a1 correspond to their counterparts within A1.
Whereas both the a1 and a2 tonic pillars within A1 traverse the linear progression of a
third descending from Kopfton , during the final pillar (the a2 of A2), a revision of the
harmonization in measure 114 prevents the occurrence of an unsuitable IAC. (See 3.16b.)
The pitch C (background ) is supported by an embellishing chord (D-F-A-C, which
later evolves into D-F-A-C) that comes between presentations of the dominant
supporting (at 1133) and (at measures 123 through 129). The PAC in the works final
measure coordinates with the descent from B to A (= ) in conjunction with the tonics
arrival. Despite the irregularities of cadence and tonal center that have characterized the
earlier statements, a regular tonic pillar in A Minor throughout and with a full descent
from to finally prevails.

Part II


tude in C Minor (op. 10, no. 12)

in response to Graham H. Phipps

Graham H. Phipps, drawing upon precepts of the eminent Austrian theorists Simon
Sechter and Arnold Schoenberg, offers a robust study of Chopins tude in C Minor in an
article from 1983.1 That composition was selected with good reason: Phipps was keen to
explore Schenkers extensive and detailed graphs of the work and to reveal ways in which
his own Sechterian/Schoenbergian perspective offers contrasting and, in his view, superior
insights, just as my taking up the work again now offers an opportunity to assess Phippss
perspective. I, too, am uncomfortable with aspects of Schenkers reading, but so as not to
complicate the presentation or distract from my focus on Phippss analysis, my comments
relating to Schenkers graphs will be relegated to the notes, for the most part. Phipps
contends that Schenkers theory is restrictive in a manner which prevents him from
perceiving significant musical relationships (p. 544) and that it is at fault by (as
Schoenberg contends) ignoring the musical facts (p. 545). He does not attempt to build
upon Schenkers insights, as I do.

The introduction and the A1 section, part 1

The introduction and the A1 section, part 1

(measures 118)
Charged with preparing the C Minor tonic arrival at 91, the introduction projects two
variants of the tonics most characteristic embellishing chord: G-B-D-F and its more
potent variant, B-D-F-A. Whereas the A>G appoggiatura of 11 is reiterated con forza at
the top of the texture during 51 (embellishing the pitch G, which will emerge as the works
Kopfton), that motive is raised a step to B>A during 73 to assert the chordal ninth,
which reverts to G during 83 as a G>E>C arpeggiation of the tonic triad commences.
(Make special note at this point that I underline the pitch names G and A. My contention
that the works Kopfton is G rather than E likely will be controversial, and so my
attentiveness to how G is deployed throughout will warrant the readers attentive
consideration.) Through this means the A1 themes G<A>G neighboring-note motive is
adumbrated during the introduction. (See 4.1.) That tonic arpeggiation also provides the
unfolded E>C resolution of the introductions pervasive

diminished fifth. (Thus

advocates of Kopfton may also find supportive evidence in Chopins introduction.) This
third (ascending from C to E and filled in by passing note D) likewise is incorporated
within the A1 theme.

Example 4.1 Analysis of tude in C Minor (op. 10/12), mm. 118.

The descending triadic arpeggiation leading into 91 is complemented by the A1

themes ascending arpeggiation during measures 10 and 11: C<E<G. (See 4.1.) Though
the E is emphasized through metrical placement, dynamics, and an upper-octave
doubling, it becomes apparent as the phrase proceeds that both E and G serve as starting
points for descending fourths: a partially chromatic descent from G to D complemented by
a fully chromatic descent from E to B. Even if E, D, and C are doubled at the upper
octave, a consideration of that strands span over the course of the entire phrase (where
Cs successor, B, sounds only below the G strands D during measure 18) confirms that it
is an interior structural component. Chopins harmonic support for these two strands is a
creative realization of a conventional construction: IV serves as the principal connector
between I and V, and the succession from I to IV invites the emergence of a dominantemulating tonic, here (E)-G-B-D at 1534. Yet before that chord sounds, the tonic is
prolonged via a foreground I II V I progression whose consonant tonic resolution is
elided, replaced by the surging I.2
To inaugurate my critique of Phippss analysis, I ask readers to go to a piano and
to play the following chord near Middle C:
Then move three fingers a half step to the right, playing
Then play the first chord again. Though the first chord is poised to resolve to
a C-E-G tonic chord, and though the second chord in fact contains the pitches C,
E, and G, my ear refuses to hear a resolution, as Phipps proposes (p. 554 and ex.
2, system 1). The introduction features both arpeggiation and embellishment. Early
on we hear how, individually, A embellishes G while E embellishes D. The last
beat of measure 2 integrates those two embellishments with yet another: passing C
connecting D and B. The B leading tone, sounded at the outset, does not resolve
until 91.
Any meaningful analysis of this music must grapple with the hierarchical
relationships among the numerous sixteenth notes. Nothing in the score states
explicitly that C at 234 is dependent upon B at 31. Yet I propose that there, and at
434, 71, 73, and 82, the pitch that serves as the movements tonic performs a

subservient role: B and D belong to the prolonged embellishing chord, whereas C

does not.
As the introduction progresses the underlying arpeggiated chord intensifies,
evolving from B-D-F-G to B-D-F-A. Consequently the A>G second of 11 (and
numerous other statements through 63) is elevated to B>A during 73. Phipps
does not make that association. Instead he proposes that this B serves as a chord
member: the dominant root in a potential shift of the tonal center to E Major (p.
554 and ex. 2, systems 2 and 3). Whereas I perceive an unwavering presence of B
(against which B clashes) from its sounding during 73 to its sounding during 82,
Phipps places the B on a higher plane, with a B>A>F>D arpeggiation of V7 in
E Major potentially resolving to its tonic during 81. That interpretation requires
some curious hierarchical shifts: in a context in which the first and third sixteenth
notes of a beat embellish the second and fourth, exceptionally the B during 73 and
the E during 81 must counter that trend.3
Phipps proposes that the introduction serves as the Schoenbergian
Grundgestalt for the tude. If that is the case, then it seems to me he has
overlooked an important feature of its shape: the neighboring motion from G to
A, then back to G (as displayed in 4.1), conveying an intensification and then
retreat prior to the tonic resolution. That process is then mapped onto the tonic,
with the A at 121 embellishing Kopfton G.
It is heartening to know that Phipps (in alignment with Sechters view)
concurs with my reading of the F-A-C-E chords root as D (measure 14),
though my II label (or II with numbers, accidentals, and a bullet symbol, as in
4.1) conveys something slightly different from his dominant of G terminology
(p. 556). Phipps suggests that the emergence of this chord will come as a surprise:
focusing on the right-hand A-C-E, he proposes that root F is expected in the
left hand. I hold a more neutral perspective on what might happen after a phrases
initial tonic, regarding II (in which A, C, and E serve as the fifth, seventh, and
ninth) and IV (in which those pitches serve as the third, fifth, and seventh) as
equally viable successors. In this case Chopin employs F-A-C-E, initiating an
exploration of the chords mehrdeutig character.4 Here it leads to G, whereas,
reinterpreted as A-C-E-G (which Chopin presents in its F-A-C-E variant), it

leads to B in measures 24 and 25, and, reinterpreted as C-E-G-B , to D in

measures 64 and 65.
Phipps and I propose opposing hierarchies for the chords of measure 15.
Whereas he regards the first-inversion G major chord at 151 as the onset of a
four-measure resolution extending through measure 18 of the F-A-C-E
dominant (p. 556), I instead regard all that has transpired within the phrase thus
far as contributing to the establishment of the phrases initial I-space, culminating
in a potent I at 1534. (Phipps and I agree that this chord functions as a tonic, as
a comparison of his ex. 6 and my 4.1 confirms.5 We disagree regarding its
hierarchical depth.) Consequently the IV at measure 16, which supports the
the melodic path between and


, resides deeper within the structure in my

reading than in Phippss. A consistent descending half-step motive transpires

within many of the phrases measures: from the melodys signature A>G in
measure 12 to the basss B>B and A>A (measures 15 and 16) to the melodys
E>E and E>D (measures 17 and 18). Though Phippss ex. 6 displays most of
these seconds, for the most part he does not propose any hierarchical relationships
among them. Had he done so, the contradiction between the B>B pitch hierarchy
and the V (I) analytical hierarchy in measure 15 would have stood out glaringly.

The A1 section, part 2 (measures 1948)

The A1 section, part 2 (measures 1948)

After a two-measure allowance for the C Minor tonic chord to settle in (measures 9 and
10), the A1 section proceeds with eight measures 10|11 through 18 during which
Chopin traverses a conventional I-to-V harmonic progression, supporting the descending
melodic fourth from Kopfton G to D. That content is reprised in a more definitive and
much expanded statement during measures 21 through 41, which are organized as 8 + 8 +
5 measures. (The five-measure unit dovetails with a reprise of the introduction material.
The tonic re-emerges in measure 49 to inaugurate A2.) Whereas in the first phrase the bass
trajectory from C through B and A to G coordinates with the harmonic progression I
IV V, for the expanded version Chopin instead pursues a circular progression that
incorporates C, B, and A as roots (C F B E A ), thereby providing an alternative
means of support for the stepwise descent from Kopfton G. The circles component chords
are delineated in 4.2, in which two alternative conclusions for the passage are juxtaposed.
(These measures are displayed in graph notation in 4.3, which will be introduced during
our consideration of the A2 section but which may be consulted now.) Chopin in fact
jumps off the circles tracks in an unexpected development over the course of measures 33
through 35. How does he initiate the circular progression, and why does he elect to
abandon it?

Example 4.2 Analysis of tude in C Minor (op. 10/12), mm. 2141.

Example 4.3 Analysis of tude in C Minor (op. 10/12).

The two parts of A1 begin along the same course: measures 10|11 through 13 map
onto measures 20|21 through 23. Even the melodys A at 241 stems from the earlier
passage. Yet the upward drive initiated by that pitch now persists for three measures, in
coordination with a crescendo and even a stretto. Though numerous combinations of
pitches sound during these measures, I propose that they are guided by an evolutionary
process that may be expressed in symbols as C : that is, in targeting the circles
second chord (F during measure 27), the C minor tonic chord first becomes dominantemulating (C-E-G-B during 2612) and then takes on an augmented-sixth character (EG-B-(D) during 264). The augmented sixth (which most often occurs in the context of
a supertonic), in coordination with the embellishment of the following major F chord,
gives a strong sense of a B Major tonicization (II V I) to the passage from 264 through
281, though from a broader perspective this trajectory remains bounded by C Minors C
tonic and potential G dominant. With that internal B Major tonicization in mind, the A
of measure 24 serves as a diatonic component of a sequential connection between the C
supertonics root position and surging first inversion:









C )

This sequence is somewhat rambunctious, in that the D5 component is elided. The addition
of the pitch F to C6 fosters the direct link to D6, as FB.6 Drawing upon the momentum

generated thus far, Chopin extends further during measure 26, from C to E in the top
voice and from E to G in the bass. Root C finally yields to root F at 271.
Chopin begins a shift from notation in flats to notation in sharps during measure 28.
The curiously juxtaposed G and B during 284 should be regarded as components of a
B7 chord, targeting the circles next component, E [D].7 Chopin complicates matters by
employing an unfurled embellishment to precede that E arrival (measures 29 and 30),
as displayed in 4.2.8 Consequently the B chords dissonant A [G] at 284 is suspended
for a full measure before resolution to G [F] at 301. Though the similarity in how the F
chord in measure 27 and the E chord in measures 29 and 30 are embellished might have
created a parallelism within the circle, the E chords minor quality prevents it from
imparting a dominant function. (Thus a potential tonicization of A Major following that
of B Major is declined.) Yet the minor quality of the E [D] chord followed (after some
linear connection) by an A [G] chord of dominant character (measure 33) constitutes the
onset of an alternative and quite striking tonicization: that of the lowered supertonic
(Neapolitan) key, D Major. The continuation marked as Alternative 1 in 4.2 realizes
that potentiality and proceeds onward to the G goal. However, Chopin abruptly changes
course after the A [G] chord.
If left unattended, a descending circle of (perfect) fifths does not chart a course from
the tonic to the dominant. Instead, C would lead through F, B, E, A, and D to G, the
tonics antipode. Composers are left with two options (unless they are willing to take the
long route reaching G [A ] at the circles twelfth chord): either they can modify one of
the perfect fifths by a half step (generally at FB, at AD, or at DG); or they can
abandon the circular progression before the dominant arrives. The two alternatives
displayed in 4.2 reveal how these options might be realized. In the first, the melodic
descent overshoots the mark, requiring a corrective shift from D to diatonic D in
coordination with a DG diminished fifth in the bass. This is a common occurrence in
music, one that Chopin in fact will call upon later in the tude (as the measure numbers 72
and 75 in 4.2 indicate). Yet he here elects instead to pursue the second of the two options,
deploying two seismic shifts to hoist the A [G] chord targeting D upwards first to
B (measure 34) and then to C (measure 35).9 Perhaps a factor in Chopins choice
was the desire to realign this part of A1 harmonically with the I IV V trajectory of the
sections first part, despite the altered relationship with the melodys descent from Kopfton

G to D. Or perhaps he wanted to reserve the Neapolitan chord, which will be featured

during A2 (measure 72).10 In any event, the sections melodic goal , supported by V, is
achieved at 411.11
Though both Phipps and I are drawn to the F B succession of measures 27 and
28, we contextualize it in contrasting ways. Whereas he singles out the F chord of
measure 24 as the means for movement to the B-major cadence (p. 558),
therefore apparently proposing a four-measure extension of F (though no further
details are provided), I instead interpret that initial F within the expansion of an
evolving C chord, with the C-to-F succession occurring over the bar line between
measures 26 and 27. (Though he acknowledges a cadence in measure 28, Phipps
calls the F-B-D chord at 2713 a tonic harmony in B major (p. 558), further
distinguishing his interpretation of the broad CFB circular trajectory from
mine.) Equally problematic, in my view, is his assertion that this B Major
cadence marks a sectional close (p. 558), thereby relegating measures 29 through
40 to the status of a retransition (p. 564). I instead regard root B as internal to a
dynamic circular trajectory whose continuation to E is already under way by the
end of measure 28, with the arrival of Bs minor seventh, A [G]. (Phippss
detailed harmonic reduction of measures 28 through 36 his ex. 10 omits that
Phippss ex. 10 (p. 560) is rich in information. I commend his interpretation
of the hierarchical relationship between the chords of measures 29 and 30, and of
measures 31 and 32. (He displays IV I successions in E Minor and in C Minor.
Schenker, on the other hand, binds the A chords of measures 29 and 33, thereby
reversing the hierarchy that both Phipps and I propose.12) Though I go one step

further, interpreting Phippss G-to-D motion as E[D]

, and though I

do not regard this brief flourish on E as a tonicization, I acknowledge that, within

the context of his perspective, the analysis is exemplary.
That said, the interpretation of measure 29s content as IV (in E Minor)
causes syntactic difficulties, since the preceding B dominant chord would be

leading to an A chord. This infelicitous succession is spirited away through

Phippss insertion of a silent interdominant (p. 559), which he labels as I within
parentheses in his ex. 10 (between the V and IV numerals). Though I am a
vigorous advocate of imaginative analysis in general, in this context in which the
B dominants seventh, A [G], arrives at 284 and is then retained within the
following measure the tactics viability becomes doubtful. (As mentioned above,
Phipps avoids that issue by omitting the A from his example.) I propose instead a
broader, hierarchically differentiated trajectory: from B (the first chord in
Phippss example) to E [D] (the third chord) and then onward to A [G] (the
sixth chord).
Chopins writing in measures 33 through 37 has elicited quite different
responses from Schenker, from Phipps, and from me. Schenker inserts a
parenthetical D chord to resolve the surging A, and a parenthetical E chord
to resolve B.13 Phipps, on the other hand, inserts a parenthetical F chord
(presumably surging) between A and B and a parenthetical G chord between B
and C in his ex. 10 to justify Chopins deceptive resolutions of dominant
harmony (p. 559). I propose a more radical interpretation, in which only the third
of these chords actually resolves: the tendency inherent in the surging A chord
is simply raised two notches, first to B and then to C, in the double
application of a seismic shift (a strategy introduced on page 133, above). By this
means the progress of the broad progression (C to A) in measures 21 through
33 is retracted through the reinstatement of the tonic chord (now surging), so that
IV becomes the principal intermediary between the perimeter I and V harmonies,
as it was also in measures 9 through 18.

The A2 section and coda (measures 4984)

The A2 section and coda (measures 4984)

The recurrence of the A1 sections opening part at the onset of A2 helps to define the form
as binary. (See 4.3.) Indeed, Chopin might have proceeded in a parallel construction until
the vicinity of the A2 cadence, where a PAC would replace A1s HC. He instead chose to
compose fresh material that in several ways expands upon constructions already set forth.
The chord of measure 14 proves to be a source from which diverse continuations flow. It
was of course no secret during Chopins formative years that diminished seventh chords
are susceptible to multiple enharmonic interpretations. In its spelling as F-A-C-E in
measure 14, it serves as II, leading to V in a local tonic-prolonging progression
(displayed in 4.1). In its spelling as A-C-E-G, it would lead to a B chord. Resolving the
chords ninth G (an incidental dissonance) to F, that is what Chopin accomplishes in
measures 24 and 25, as explained above. At the outset of A2 the II function of measure
14 is reprised in measure 54. That leaves one remaining opportunity for a novel resolution,
which Chopin fulfills with aplomb. Though the chord of measure 64 is spelled like that in
measure 54, it targets II, and thus its correct spelling would be C-E-G-B (as shown
in 4.3). The downward-resolving B displaces the chordal root A. Yet the D-F-A
resolution that might have occurred as early as 651 is postponed through a
embellishment.14 At this point Chopin taps another of the structural notions he has been
pursuing: the avoidance of a functional II harmony. The embellishment of II never
achieves its expected resolution. Recall that the seismic shifts during measures 33
through 35 resulted in the juxtaposition of three chords with the same resolutional
tendency in an ascending trajectory. Only the third of those chords resolves. Now three
chords with the same resolutional tendency are juxtaposed in a descending trajectory, at
the downbeats of measures 65, 67, and 69.15 Only the third of these chords resolves to
the expected : E descends to D at 701, whereas G descends to F at the end of measure
70. At this point yet another factor comes into play: having descended a third from the
potential II resolution to subtonic VII, Chopin now engages (as a collision, before the

has fallen into place) a subtonic-to-dominant shift. (Compare with the third model in FC,
fig. 111a.) The remainder of the progression proceeds from this dominant in a
conventional trajectory, one that includes (finally!) an uncontested II.16 The cadential
tonic at 771 is of major quality. It is followed by a coda that twice traverses the melodic
third C<D<E, displacing the potent C<D<E motive first stated in measure 10.
Please return to the piano to explore some diminished-seventh resolutions. Since
we know that Chopin liked to compose at the piano, it is not unreasonable to
imagine that the chords you play will echo some that Chopin struck while
auditioning ideas for this work.
First play the tonic triad, C-E-G, followed by C-E-F-A. The tension
thereby created could resolve in a number of ways. This time proceed to B-D-G.
Chopin develops that conception in measures 13 through 15 (repeated in measures
53 through 55).
Then play the first two chords again, proceeding now to D-F-B. In this
context the F would be spelled appropriately as G. Then play these three chords
again, replacing G in the second chord with F, thereby lessening the chords
dissonant intensity. Chopin develops that conception in measures 23 through 25.
Now play the first two chords followed by D-F-A. In this context the
second chord would be spelled appropriately as C-E-G-B . Though B is a
downward-tending note, a embellishment of the resolution chord might result in
an upward detour to B before the A resolution pitch sounds. (For this reason the
chord often will be spelled using A, as Chopin does in measure 64. Note that he
postpones the G spelling until measure 65.) Play the chords of this progression:
C-E-G, C-E-G-B , D-G-B, D-F-A. Chopins presentation of this model
in measures 63 through 66 fails to achieve the D-F-A goal. Yet at the end of
measure 66 the listener might still have hope of success. Play the progression
again, inserting D-E-G-B between the given third and fourth chords. This
usage is referred to nowadays as a common-tone diminished seventh chord, a
type of embellishing chord that was already acknowledged in print early in the
nineteenth century.17 Consequently, among the possible continuations that the
listener might expect will occur after measure 66, a D major chord should hold a

place. Chopin instead interprets the D-E-G-B chord as an evolved form of

G (appropriately spelled as B-D-F-A ), a transposition of the C-E-G-B
chord from measure 64, thereby beginning a downward trajectory that lands on
subtonic B in measure 69.
Phipps proposes that the chord spelled by Chopin as D-E-G-B in measure
66 might lead to a root-position F minor chord (pp. 561562 and ex. 13). To me
that seems unlikely, given that D resides in the bass.18 (A continuation to F would
be probable if bass D were to descend to C against the E, G, and B. But it does
not.) Consequently for me the tension is not between competing potential
resolutions to F and to C, but instead between remaining on D (via commontone resolution) and descending to C.

Nocturne in C Minor (op. 27, no. 1)

in response to Felix Salzer

Felix Salzer, a student of Schenker who migrated from Vienna to America at the outbreak
of the Second World War, is remembered both as a central figure in the florescence of
Schenkerian studies in New York City and as the author of Structural Hearing (1952),
which served for several decades (until Free Composition appeared in 1979) as the
principal means through which Schenker-oriented analysis could be pursued in English.1
With Carl Schachter, Salzer wrote a textbook on counterpoint; and with William J.
Mitchell, he edited an influential series of volumes called The Music Forum, devoted in
part to analytical essays based on Schenkers method. Salzers analysis of Chopins
Nocturne in C Minor (op. 27, no. 1) appeared in the second Music Forum volume,
published in 1970.2 Though Salzer does not acknowledge an involvement by Schenker
himself in the Nocturne analysis, similarities between sketches in Schenkers Nachlass3
and Salzers published analysis leave little doubt of a direct influence either through
Salzers study of the piece with Schenker during the early 1930s in Vienna or through
Salzers access to the Schenker Nachlass, which also made its way from Vienna to New
York as a consequence of Hitlers aggression.

The A1 section (measures 128)

The A1 section (measures 128)

In the manner of an Indian raga the nocturnes C Minor tonic is evoked initially through
an unwavering left-hand arpeggiation. Though subdued, a harmonic progression emerges
gradually out of the tonic expanse: I IV56 V I (measures 3 through 6). The
foundational C pedal is maintained even against B and D (measure 5). Enhancing the
languorous mood, voice-leading activity is minimized between IV6 and V, where
Chopin takes advantage of the fact that the formers pitch collection (F, A, D) is a subset
of an evolved form of the latters (F, A, D, with added B). (See 5.1.) Chopins
maintenance of D during the dominant harmony (resulting in a rather than a surge)
flouts the near-universal practice of resolving the Neapolitan wobbly note (or at least
allowing a place for its imaginative resolution), as Chopin does in measure 21, where the
parenthetical D within the local third-progression in 5.1 is justified by the sounding of
D within the left-hand arpeggiation. Whereas a tonic-establishing linear progression
descending from the Kopfton usually follows a diatonic course, descents at several levels
within 5.1 proceed as E>D>C. (The incomplete neighbor F coming between E and D
at 43 is unremarkable, given that I IV occurs in the context of Kopfton .) Another
convention is flouted as well: whereas in a minor key the mediant often plays a prominent
role during the basss traversal of the span from the tonic (at 31) to the dominant (at 94), its
introduction at 71 is immediately rescinded.4 That episode nevertheless serves Chopins
compositional agenda in three ways: (1) the diatonic E>D>C descent to the tonic root in
the bass normalizes the melodys eccentric E>D>C; (2) the melodys G>F>E third
echoes the E>D>C third and establishes a precedent for the prominent G>F>E span
between 112 and 131; and (3) the mediants later emergence in measure 48 is adumbrated.
The tonic pillars evocative calmness is enhanced by the cessation of melodic and
harmonic activity in measure 10 (the final measure of the A1 sections a1 half). Having just
heard a V I succession in measures 5 and 6, listeners will understand that a tonic
resolution has been deferred. The contorted dominant that lingers through measure 10
creates a singular antecedent effect. Closure is attained only with a2s PAC in measure 18,
concluding the initial presentation of A1.

Example 5.1 Analysis of Nocturne in C Minor (op. 27/1), mm. 128.

The a2 half of A1 (measures 11 through 18) is built from two phrases that relate to
one another as a local antecedentconsequent pair, as graphed in 5.1. (That is, a local
interruption occurs in measure 14, within the second half of the period delineated by the
more basic interruption in measure 10. The dominant of 1434 is interpreted as possessing
an imagined diatonic D.) Note especially Chopins persistence in employing the F>D
third first stated in measures 4 and 5. The cadence in measure 18 completes the tonic
pillars agenda. A written-out repeat of A1 (with variants) commences in measure 19.
The listeners sense of the nocturnes formal shape will shift during the repeat.
Whereas initially it appears that the nocturne opens with a regular tonic pillar of binary
construction (in which Kopfton is introduced and then extended via a descending thirdprogression to the tonic root), the non-completion of its repetition with the onset of the
contrasting B section beginning at measure 29 leads to the revised designation of the
tonic pillar as irregular that is, without closure on the tonic (likewise the case in many of
the mazurkas that we explored in chapter 3). The agenda of measures 19 through 28
(including a two-measure extension at the end), which repeat a1, is not further pursued
until measures 84 through 94 (including a two-measure preface and a one-measure
internal expansion), which constitute the A2 section. In the meantime, the initial tonic and
Kopfton are restored near the onset of the B section, whose exuberance starkly contrasts
the languid repose of the outer A sections.

For me the A1 sections mesmerizing effect stems in large part from the persistent
traversal of descending third-progressions from Kopfton E. Comparison with
Chopins Mazurka in A Minor (op. 7/2), measures 33 through 40, is instructive.
Observe how an upward detour from the tonicized A Major tonics third C to
incomplete neighbor D precedes a descending motion through B to A four times
within eight measures (graphed once in 2.15).5 The arpeggiation B>G>E
transpires during the succession from


, during which the preceding

D neighbor is transferred to the tenor register for downward resolution in

conjunction with the arrival of I. In the Nocturne in C Minor, a similar upward
detour from Kopfton E to incomplete neighbor F (via chromatic passing note E
during the tonics surge, since the mode is minor) is followed by a D>B
arpeggiation during the succession from IV6 to a dominant configured as V
rather than as V. Though the neighbor F does not sound before the resolution
during measures 56 or at the dominant of measures 910, it follows the
mazurkas precedent through transfer to the tenor register for the resolutions of
measures 1314 and 1718. Salzer does not display a descent from the Kopfton
during the first two of these four statements. Instead he focuses on an ascending
third from E through F to G. In his analysis of the third statement (see his fig.
5), an E>D>C descent (against which F resolves to E in the tenor register)
coordinates with an E<F<G ascent. Only the concluding cadence (at measures
1718) shows a straightforward and uncontested descent from



Consequently, in my view Salzer has lost sight of one of the A1 sections principal
unifying threads.
Salzers reading of the harmony likewise differs in significant ways from
mine. Three layers of harmonic analysis annotate 5.1. The highest level shows the
basic progression within A1 and its incomplete repetition, interpreting chords that
contain the uncommon pitch D as dominants. The middle layer focuses on the
midpoint interruption within the initial A1s a2 component, where again a
dominant (now normatively spelled) is a critical structural element. The bottom
layer shows several foreground progressions, again incorporating dominant chords
containing the pitch D. In all, I read dominant functions (at one structural level or

another) at seven locations. Salzers application of Roman numerals in his fig. 5 is

inconsistent. They are as well deserved in measures 1 through 6 (where none are
displayed) as in measures 19 through 22 (where they occur). More crucial to my
reading of the large-scale shape of the section, the dominants of measures 910
and 2628 do not enter into his harmonic thinking, whereas for me they serve
(despite their uncommon constitution) as the structurally most significant
dominants within A1 and its incomplete repetition (the only dominants in my
upper row of Roman numeral analysis). Likewise the dominant at 1434 (which
emerges in my middle layer of analysis) is unlabeled in Salzers graph.

The B section, part 1 (measures 2964)

The B section, part 1 (measures 2964)

The tempo change and new thematic content at measure 29 coincide with the onset of the
nocturnes B section, which opens with a much expanded reiteration of the tonic-tosubdominant succession of measures 3 and 4 [5.2]. The surge propelled there by a
augmented fourth now derives its energy from an

diminished fifth (measures 33 and

41). Yet whereas the A1 sections motion to IV resides within a harmonic trajectory, the
subdominant target of the B sections initial surge instead resides within a descending
circle of fifths connecting the C Minor tonic and its upper-third chord (measures 30
through 48). Though the spelling of the chord at 483 might suggest a continuation of the
circular progression, with E targeting A, Chopins continuation does not support that
reading. At that point Chopin shifts to a key signature in flats, in a mildly deficient means
of conveying the key of D Major (anticipating C Minors parallel major, C Major,
which prevails beginning in measure 65).7 Alas, the chord of 483 falls in the cracks, with a
spelling that mingles elements from C Minor (E-G-B-C ) and its enharmonic equivalent
D Minor, preceding the transformation to D Major (F-A-C-D). Retaining the C
Minor signature, 5.2 reveals that Chopin here redeploys another feature from the A1
section, though in a contrasting context: whereas D-F-A in measure 5 absorbs B to
become V (leading to I), E-G-B in measure 48 absorbs C to become VI (leading to
II).8 In fact, a broad chromaticized voice exchange

transpires between

measures 30 and 48, dynamically targeting the supertonic, which in turn targets (as II)
the dominant. (Consequently the E major chord of measure 48 the goal of the circle of
fifths serves as an interior element within a broad I876 initiative, wherein the
concluding I6 is presented in an evolved state: C -E-G-B, derived from absent root A,
instead of diatonic C-E-G-A.) Though a high G [A], reminiscent of that in measure 6,
emerges during this progression (as shown in 5.2), it returns to the textures interior at
measure 52. The plainness of the dominant arrival contrasts its A1 predecessor (measures
2526). In both contexts a dominant extension precedes the next compositional initiative.
That of measures 52 through 64 features ascending motions connecting the dominants
root and third (G<A<B) and its fifth and seventh (D<D <E<F), as shown in 5.2.

There are three main reasons why I regard the E of measure 30 as a reinstatement
of the Kopfton (covered by G), rather than following Salzers lead by delaying
that reinstatement until measure 48. First,

resolves the local dissonance of

measure 29 (carried over from measure 26). Second, E is reinforced through the
voice exchange in measures 30 through 32. Third, the E<E<F
inaugural melodic gesture of A1 recurs here. (Due to the voice exchange, it
transpires in the bass during measures 32 through 34.) Whereas my reading of a
descending circle of fifths corresponds to Salzers annotation asc[ending] 4ths
(desc[ending] 5ths) in his fig. 5 (p. 293), I find his coordinating beamed lines
(E<F<F <G in measures 38 through 46 and G>F>E in measures 46 through
48) curious. I instead regard the G as a neighbor to F (thus F<F <G>F) prior
to a G arrival at measure 48, since F not G is a stable member of the circle
of fifths F and B chords. (The excursion to G is not displayed in 5.2.)
Salzer offers no interpretation of the chord at 483, which I regard as a potent
chromatic variant of the tonics 6-phase chord, surging toward the supertonic. We
likewise have divergent views of the mediant that precedes it: for Salzer it is the
principal connector between the tonic and the dominant, whereas for me it is an
upper-third extension of the tonic, an intermediary between the tonics 5- and 6phase chords. I regard II, rather than III, as the principal harmonic event
between the perimeter tonic and dominant chords. That chord is not labeled in
Salzers Roman numeral analysis.
Though I commend Salzers display of the dominant prolongation in
measures 52 through 63, I suggest that the slur labeled 6th (5+1) in his fig. 5b
(p. 293) should be omitted. The penultimate note of this sixth, D [E], reinstates
the interrupted D of measures 49 through 52. (See my D-to-D slur in 5.2.) By
definition an interruption involves a descending motion whose completion is
delayed. Whereas a foreground D [E] leads from this D to the reinstated and
now wobbly Kopfton E [F] of measure 65 (to be explored below), the D of
measure 63, reinstated at 792, ultimately finds its successor in C at 941.

Example 5.2 Analysis of Nocturne in C Minor (op. 27/1), mm. 2964.

The B section, part 2 (measures 6583)

The B section, part 2 (measures 6583)

Though the interruption at

, supported by V, is achieved in measure 52, in this case

Chopin builds some redundancy into his structure, electively reiterating the B sections
principal events in the context of the parallel major key, C Major. Consequently all three
viable threetwo descents are utilized within this nocturne:

. Concurrently the subdominant chord is again featured, becoming a

unifying feature despite contextual differences. Whereas the F-A-C chord first stated in
measure 4 and repeated several times during A1 fulfills a normative harmonic function (as
IV) between the tonic and dominant, and the F-A-C chord of measures 3436 and 42
44 is an internal element within a descending circle of fifths that connects the tonic and
the mediant, the F-A-C [G-B-D] chord in measures 66 and 70 serves as an unfurled
embellishment of the major tonic.
A portion of the circle of fifths recurs as well. Whereas in measures 30 through 48 the
minor modes diatonic C F B E trajectory is pursued (with each chord eventually
surging toward the next), in the context of C Major (measures 71 and 72) a less common
path transpires: C F B [D G C], as shown in 5.3. Though B Major, whose
tonicization is accomplished through repetition of the same foreground progression that
earlier established the C Major tonic, generally would be regarded as a remote key, it
nevertheless holds a special place within C, as a chromaticized variant of the dominants
upper-third chord (major B-D -F as variant of diminished B-D-F).9 When the pitch
A [B ], which I regard as a substitute for the dominant root G, arrives at 791, D and F
reveal themselves to be wobbly notes, for tonal order is restored through their lowering to
D and F, respectively. (See 5.3.) The A serves as the G dominants minor ninth (as in
measures 25 and 26).10 Its resolution (as an incidental dissonance) to G first in the upper
register (at 833) and then in the lower register (during the cadenza that follows) provides a
normative dominant context for the B sections close.

I expressed concerns above regarding how Salzer treats the soprano D [E] of
measures 63 and 64. That concern likewise pertains to the similar construction in
measure 68. Despite Chopins slurring, the tonic pedal point, and the nonalignment of chord members, I propose that measure 68 should be read as
representing A-C-E-G.
My application of the V numeral (at various structural levels) has been much
freer than Salzers (beginning, as noted, with the chord of 534). Likewise here we
are at odds: my structural dominant, emanating from its upper-third chord, takes
hold in measure 79, four measures before Salzer applies the Roman numeral V in
his Example 5.

Example 5.3 Analysis of Nocturne in C Minor (op. 27/1), mm. 6583.

The A2 section and coda (measures 84101)

The A2 section and coda (measures 84101)

Each of the three graphs presented thus far conveys the basic contour of tonic to dominant
(at one structural level or another), supporting some manifestation of

to some

manifestation of . The model in 5.4 shows how they interact and how the Urlinie then
continues to its inevitable close on at 941. The coda that follows develops the distinctive
E>C>G [F>D>A] arpeggiation of measure 65, now presented (twice) more slowly
and filled in during measures 94 through 98. The subdominant of measure 66 finds its
counterpart in measure 99.
Whereas both Salzer and I place the principal interruption after the dominant
arrival in measure 52, he proposes that the major tonics in measure 65
inaugurates the post-interruption descent to . I instead regard that as the onset
of a parenthetical insertion that reiterates the descent to

, thereby delaying the

A2 tonic restoration until measure 84.

In addition, Salzer proposes that s successor (C) holds sway beginning
at measure 84. I instead interpret that moment as the initiation of a postinterruption third-progression descending from . I accept the contorted E>D>C
line that follows as fulfillment of the descent to background . (Salzer does not
connect those three pitches as a line.) The C in the lower register at 941 is the
moment of cadence. (It is displayed up an octave in 5.4.)

Example 5.4 Analysis of Nocturne in C Minor (op. 27/1).

Preludes in E Major and E Minor (op.

28, nos. 9 and 4)

in response to Fred Lerdahl

Building upon the foundation that he established with Ray Jackendoff in A Generative
Theory of Tonal Music (1983), Fred Lerdahls sophisticated and multi-faceted Tonal Pitch
Space (2001) develops and demonstrates innovative ways of charting key shifts and
chord-to-chord progressions in chromatic music. The essay below, which compares my
interpretation of Chopins E Major and E Minor Preludes with his, is a study in contrasts:
his abundant Roman numerals in a range of keys (presented in a grid formation annotated
by squares, circles, and arrows) versus my sparse rows of numerals with, in these two
cases, no diversion from the tonic key whatsoever.1 This juxtaposition will encourage
readers to ponder some of the major questions confronting any analyst of nineteenthcentury music:
Which combinations of notes congeal into chords?
Which chords should be interpreted as harmonic, and which as prolongational or
connective voice leading?
At what point do pitches that are chromatic within the home key begin to take on
diatonic roles in tonicized keys?
If indeed some of a musical structures pitches do not sound explicitly in a
composition, how can one guard against being either too unimaginative (and thus
overlooking relationships likely intended by the composer) or too fantastically
imaginative (and thus making unjustified claims)?
For the most part I simply place my perspective beside Lerdahls in the essay that
follows. There is a huge gulf between our outcomes. Readers consequently have a good
opportunity to ponder our contrasting analytical practices and to decide which approach (if
either) they might wish to pursue further. In one respect, though, I have elected to mount a

rebuttal. In that I am uneasy about how Lerdahl has organized these scores pitches into
various hierarchical levels (a task that must precede the application of his innovative
techniques for generating keys and Roman numerals), I reveal for the reader as much of
how my analytical thought process regarding hierarchy operates and why I consequently
am led to reject many of Lerdahls interpretations as I can convey in words.
These works have been much studied and commented on already, of course. Lerdahl
draws inspiration especially from Edward Aldwell and Carl Schachters analysis of the E
Major Preludes second and third phrases.2 With regard to the E Minor Prelude, two
essays by Schachter3 and an article co-authored by Justin London and Ronald Rodman
were consulted.4 The authors of the latter provide, as their fig. 6, a transcription of
Schenkers unpublished analytical jottings on the E Minor Prelude.5 Unfortunately their
transcription is rife with errors and omissions.6

Structural overview of the Prelude in E Major

The Prelude in E Majors three phrases, each four measures in length, present the two
halves of an A1 A2 binary form with some redundancy: despite its contrasting internal
content, the second phrase repeats and more fully conveys in both soprano and bass
the structural framework of A1. The content of measures 5 through 8 is displayed within
square brackets in 6.1 to indicate that it reiterates the

background structure

presented already in measures 1 through 4. On the one hand the analysis conveys details
concerning a concrete harmonic progression (dependent upon a potent dose of hierarchical
thinking, to be explored presently), almost all of whose bass pitches can be located in the
score, though sometimes in enharmonically equivalent spellings. On the other hand much
of the open-notehead structural melody is imaginatively constructed in this analysis:
though each pitch relates to an actual note in the score, only the G of measure 8 and the
concluding E actually sound in the upper register during the composition. One of the
melodys main characteristics throughout is an upward striving from the interior to the top,
a process that succeeds during A1 only on the second try, with the attainment of Kopfton
G [A] at 81. Yet that accomplishment is short-lived: in both A1 phrases, whatever
progress in rising above the initial B has been achieved is wiped out before the cadence.

Example 6.1 Analysis of Prelude in E Major (op. 28/9).

The Prelude in E Majors first phrase (measures

The first interval of a structurally deep ascending arpeggiation guides the melody of
measures 1 through 3: the tonics B<E fourth (filled in) is traversed in conjunction with a
shift from the tonics 5-phase E-G-B to 6-phase E-G-B-C (unfurled and with retained
fifth). That upward initiative might have continued (and during the second statement of A1
does continue) to Kopfton G (= ). (A detailed view of the phrases structure is presented
in 6.2.) Instead, the melody loses ground after 31, with an E>C third (likewise filled in)
leading back to the neighbor of the initial inner-strand B, which is restored at the phrases
cadence. (Whereas conceptually the pitch C belongs at the downbeat of measure 4,
passing note D from measure 3 is extended as a suspension against bass C and then F,
finally resolving at the end of 42. The resolution phase of a C>B suspension during the
remainder of measure 4 likewise occupies only one-fourth of a beat.) The non-attainment
of Kopfton G is a motivating force for the repeat of A1 (measures 5 through 8), where the
elusive G goal in fact is attained via an alternative route.

Example 6.2 Analysis of Prelude in E Major (op. 28/9), mm. 14.

Whereas many analysts grant harmonic status to almost all chords within a
composition (for example, I IV II V III VI for the first six chords in 6.2), the imposition of
a greater distinction between the workings of harmony (in the sense of Schenkers Stufen)
and of connective voice leading results in a clarity that rewards the increased difficulty of
execution. (It seems to me that, in that numeral-intensive methodology, chord labels are

applied rather indiscriminately. My practice adds the step a challenging one of

carefully pondering a works hierarchical associations to develop a sense of which chords
stand out in relief as goals of linear initiatives or as prolonged entities before Roman
numerals are applied.) Within this phrase an ascending 56 sequence is deployed to
connect the tonics 5- and unfurled 6-phase chords, with a G<A<B<C strand (in
multiple registers in the score, displayed within a single register in 6.2 to enhance clarity)
ascending in tenths below the principal B<C<D<E fourth discussed above.7 The goal of
this transitional initiative is reached at the downbeat of measure 3, at which point a
prolongational initiative involving contrary motion commences: a melody that descends
as E>D>(C) and a reiteration of (G)<A<B<C (again in multiple registers) serve to
extend I6 through the downbeat of measure 4. Consequently thirteen of the phrases
sixteen beats are devoted to the projection of I56. The concluding II V succession fits
snugly within the final three beats. The HC goal, V, is introduced on the metrically strong
third beat of measure 4.
Lerdahl and I share the conviction that tonal compositions such as Chopins
preludes are hierarchically organized. His fig. 3.2 (pp. 9293), which he describes
as a reductional analysis, reveals the outcome of a vigorous and pervasive
assessment of relatedness and structural depth among the compositions various
chords, conveyed through the specific pitches displayed at each level, through the
sophisticated tree diagram, and through the liberal application of stems, flags, and
both solid and dotted slurs. Though this process is essential to Lerdahls enterprise,
it is not intended as the focus of his analysis: he acknowledges at the outset that
his presentation will bypass discussion of the derivation of his hierarchical
description (p. 89).8 Yet this abundantly rich figure reveals much about Lerdahls
hearing of the piece. Since the numerous additional figures accompanying his
analytical discussion are all grounded upon the decisions reflected in fig. 3.2, it is
important to my enterprise that I carefully assess how Lerdahl has represented the
composition therein. Given that the bulk of his commentary addresses the second
and third phrases (wherein Chopins intense chromaticism occurs and thus where
the better opportunity to show off the advantages of his system resides), I will be
especially dependent upon this figure in comparing Lerdahls and my readings of
the first phrase.

A major component of my disagreement with Lerdahl in all three phrases is

his treatment of the dominant. (A different dominant issue arises in each phrase.)
In that the first phrase ends in a half cadence, the dominant serves as the goal of its
harmonic trajectory. Even before comparing Lerdahls reduction with the score,
one might be struck by the singularity of a conception that proposes a dominant
arrival already in the second of four measures, inaugurating a ten-beat
prolongation. (Lerdahl displays the low B bass noteheads of both measures 2 and 3
with downward flagged stems, connects those noteheads using a dotted slur, and
connects the second B and the D of measure 4 using a solid slur.) In my
experience harmonic goals generally are attained somewhere near the end of a
phrase, especially one as metrically regular as is this one.9 Thus my placing of the
dominants structural arrival point at 43 is a more normative reading, at least from
a statistical perspective. That arrival point is preceded by a surging supertonic
(II). Chopin deploys such a goal-directed supertonic only at 42 not before the
B chord of either measure 2 or measure 3.10
Given Chopins famously idiosyncratic use of slurs, I am wary of making
analytical decisions concerning a works structural framework based upon how he
has marked up his score.11 Yet the three bass slurs deployed by Chopin in
measures 1 through 3 (A>F>B, B>C, and A>B) seem to me to be consistently
applied, in that they all span the interval of a descending seventh (each displayed
as an ascending second in 6.2 to enhance clarity).12 Whereas A>F>B might have
been followed by B>G>C, the acceleration of the sequences pacing during
measure 2 results in the omission of a low G during 24: yet note that G is in fact
a chord member at that point. Consequently I hear the sequential initiative leading
through not to the B major chord that Lerdahl interprets as the phrases
dominant arrival. Only after the attainment of the tonic 6-phase chord at 31 does
the persistent upward thrust of the three individual strands displayed in 6.2 abate,
with a corresponding shift from the process of 6-phase attainment to that of 6phase prolongation, which nevertheless reprises the G<A<B<C fourth stated
during the attainment process. The third of Chopins descending-seventh slurs,
which once again connects that fourths internal A and B, supports the notion of

The Prelude in E Majors second phrase

(measures 58)
Whereas II is the principal intermediary between the tonic and the dominant during the
first phrase, Chopin explores an alternative means of filling in the bass E<B fifth during
the second phrase.13 As 6.3 reveals, G divides that fifth into two thirds. The G major
chord that it supports is made distinctive through a wobbly third, B.14 The mediant
occurs with greater frequency in the context of a minor key, in part due to its ease of
attainment via a diatonic path along the circle of fifths (such as E A D G). To span the
major third from E to G by the same means, one of the circles internal fifths must be
imperfect (here E A D G), creating an interesting compositional challenge that a
composer of Chopins mastery will relish.15

Example 6.3 Analysis of Prelude in E Major (op. 28/9), mm. 58.

The circles initial fifth (E>A) is traversed with its own internal division into two
thirds (displayed as E>C>A on three successive downbeats in 6.3).16 So far, so good.
Now the treacherous link between A and D must be negotiated. Chopin here pulls off an
ingenious feint. As mentioned above, one of musics well-worn paths is to proceed from E
and A to D and then G. Through the end of measure 7, Chopin persists in fostering the
impression that the A chord (which evolves into A) will proceed in that direction.

(Because enharmonic reinterpretation is a factor in his ruse, alternative spellings of the

chord at 74 are juxtaposed in 6.3.) Though C-E-G-B corresponds to A, ultimately
Chopin treats that chord as F -A-C-E, an evolved form of D, the third element in the
alternative trajectory of the circle of fifths. (Because the same four pitch classes represent
both A and D between 72 and 74, a collision bracket appears at that point in 6.3.)
Chopin negotiates what might have been an awkward link with maximal smoothness: the
most parsimonious voice leading imaginable is no voice leading at all! The A chord,
which might have resolved to D, instead transmutes into D, which in due course
resolves to the circles final element, G. Unhelpfully, Chopins spelling of the D
chord as G-B-D-F at 74 reflects his upcoming enharmonic presentation of the G
mediant as an A chord. The root trajectory E<A<B over the span of the phrase is
nonsense, of course. (I attribute no greater purport to his spelling than a desire to avoid the
double-sharp accidental for Gs leading tone.) It stands for E<G<B, as displayed in 6.3.
Though G is the goal of the circle of fifths, it is not the goal of the phrase. In due course,
the upward bass arpeggiation continues to B (still within the normative four-measure time
frame), thereby bringing the second phrase to the same point within the broad structure as
the first.
The melodys trajectory during the second phrase at first leads upwards from B to E,
as was the case also in the first phrase. Here E is supported by the transitional C major
chord and by the A major chord of the circle of fifths, rather than by the tonics diatonic 6phase chord. The continuation of the upward trajectory during measure 7 inspires renewed
hopes of conquering the Kopfton summit (G = ), which in fact is achieved at 81.
Though the G chord is stated initially in position and thus might be interpreted by some
instead as an embellishment of the D chord, prolonged for two additional beats, I accept
it as the onset of the circle of fifths goal G chord.17 Lerdahl concurs, distinguishing
between the more conservative conventions of eighteenth-century practice and the spirit
of much nineteenth-century usage (p. 97).
Lerdahl proposes a disparity of dimension among the preludes three phrases:
whereas the first two begin on a downbeat, the third phrase commences with an
upbeat (at 84). (See the brackets below the time-span reduction (TSR) labeled e in
Lerdahls fig. 3.2.) Consequently the three phrases contain sixteen, fifteen, and

seventeen beats, respectively. I reject that interpretation, proposing in its stead that
the second phrase functions as a variant of the first (maintaining the tonic opening
and HC close), within the most conventional of all musical forms: the binary
antecedent/consequent pair. Here Chopin twice attains V (at 434 and at 84) but
goes no further (the antecedent phrase and its repetition). Then, shifting that V to
an earlier point within the allotted four measures (at 114), he succeeds in achieving
the goal tonic at the final downbeat (the consequent phrase). Either placing such a
crucial dominant as that of 84 within the third phrase or eliminating it altogether
see fig. 3.2, TSR d, c, and b and PR (prolongational reduction) ab is, in my
view, a misrepresentation of what Chopin is doing here.18
Positing a cadence on the mediant (at 83) is essential to Lerdahls
interpretation of the broad structure: the equal subdivision of an octave into three
descending major thirds (E in measure 5, C in measure 6, G in measure 8, and E
in measure 9). This reading is fleshed out with arrows wending through grids of
regional space and Roman numerals in his figs. 3.4 and 3.7a. Thus we disagree not
only regarding which chord corresponds to the cadence, but also regarding the A
major chord at 71, which I interpret as the goal of a descent in thirds (E>C>A
over three measures) within the broader circle of fifths. Lerdahl instead hears a
prolongation of C from 61 through 74, thus harboring hopes of a resolution on an
F major chord longer than I do. (Though in note 16 I acknowledged a potential for
such a continuation after C, the emergence of the A chord at 71 decisively shifts
the odds in favor of a circle-of-fifths continuation, which is confirmed by the
succession from D to G.)
Lerdahls proposal of a prolonged C chord was strongly influenced by an
analysis published by Edward Aldwell and Carl Schachter.19 They interpret the A
major triad at 71 as an emphasized passing chord. (They also propose a cadence
in A [G] in measure 8.) Lerdahl has, with proper acknowledgement,
incorporated their reading into his conception.
Lerdahls path through regional space (as displayed in his fig. 3.4) depends
upon enharmonic equivalence (with the shift displayed between A and G). In
his view the journey in the unfolded toroidal structure begins and arrives on
different Es (p. 94). My alternative reading instead maps back onto the original

E. Viewing a fresh grid (Lerdahls fig. 2.22a, regarding E as tonic), one might
proceed from E through G to C (as does Lerdahl), but then move leftwards to A,
followed by a bold upward shift to D (a boldness that is mitigated by the collision
of those two entities within the same diminished seventh chord), thereby putting
the phrases concluding G and B close at hand.
Given that early on in my study I developed multiple concerns regarding
Lerdahls hierarchical assessments and reading of the phrase goal, my perusal of
his various charts was pursued dutifully, rather than with enthusiasm. In some
cases I was unable to comprehend the logic behind the display of certain paths: for
example, why does an arrow connect V and A in fig. 3.7a but instead vii and A
in fig. 3.7b? (I am not expert enough in his methodology to distinguish between a
minute typographical error and a conceptually meaningful distinction.) And I was
surprised that a circled

was included in fig. 3.13b. Indeed, I strongly endorse

interpreting the A major chord of 71 as an important structural element. But

Lerdahl does not: he describes it as an incidental consequence of the voice
crossings in bars 67 (p. 101). It seems to me that his representation would more
accurately represent his conception if

were omitted, though I suspect that his

comment about how the diatonic substratum shines through (p. 101) might
offer a clue regarding why he included it.20

The Prelude in E Majors third phrase (measures

The rich harmonic agendas of measures 4 and 8 have implications for the construction of
the third phrase (which serves as a consequent A2 within the preludes binary form), in
that now the harmonic activity must extend beyond the dominant to the tonic for a PAC. A
chord of such importance as a final tonic generally will be introduced on a strong beat,
ideally the concluding measures downbeat. Chief among Chopins concerns appears to be
deciding whether or not to proceed sequentially to a tonic 6-phase chord, as occurred
during the first statement of A1. To better understand his options, consider the three
sequence segments displayed in 6.4. The first, a diatonic sequence, corresponds to the
opening of the first phrase. Though such a trajectory could be employed again, a literal
repeat of the first phrase through the prolongation of I6 would not be viable for A2,
because the remaining harmonic content (likely some form of II V I during the final three
beats) could not reasonably be situated in such a way as to facilitate placement of the
cadential tonic in a metrically strong position. Chopins alternative trajectory begins in
measures 9 through 103 as an obstinate sequence, ascending in half steps. As shown in the
second sequence segment displayed in 6.4, the rigorous pursuit of that trajectory for the
same number of chords as occurs during the first phrases diatonic sequence would lead to
V rather than to an unfurled I6. That alternative goal has a significant advantage: it would
allow for a downbeat arrival of the cadential tonic at 121 (assuming a willingness to
jettison the more involved approach to V projected by one or the other version of A1). Yet
the trajectory that Chopin elected to pursue during the third phrase turns out not to be
obstinate, but instead idiosyncratic (also shown in 6.4): it begins as if it were going to
ascend by half steps, but then proceeds more broadly so that one would expect (if one had
never heard the phrase before) that a chromatic variant of I6 (C-E-G) will emerge at 114.
Observe how this model harbors several modest surges: E to A, F to B, G to
Chopin indeed could have allowed the G chord to follow its natural inclination and
resolve to C, which might then lead to II5 supporting soprano F and V supporting D
during the first two beats of measure 12, followed by I at 123. Contrary to such
expectations the G chord instead leads to B at 114, thereby reverting unexpectedly in a
musical non sequitur to the goal of the hypothetical obstinate sequence that at first had
seemed to be the trajectory that Chopin was pursuing. (See the arrows in 6.4.) Since the

sequence reaches V (a PACs conventional penultimate chord) at the end of the phrases
third measure, the prime position for a tonic close on the final measures downbeat is
available. Consequently Chopin avoids the down-to-the-wire cadence attainments of both
A1 phrases by presenting a robust four-beat tonic in measure 12.

Example 6.4 Sequences related to Prelude in E Major (op. 28/9), mm. 13 and 911.

Again in the third phrase, Lerdahls and my hierarchical perspectives conflict. For
me, the ascending sequences alternation of local 5- and 6-phase chords places
emphasis on the former, even if the latter are unfurled into position and occur on
downbeats. Consequently the initiating tonic (which via the shortcut described in
note 7 incorporates both the 5-phase bass E and 6-phase bass G) inaugurates a
stepwise upward motion E(G)<A<B<C during the diatonic sequence, E(G)
<A<B[A]<B during the obstinate sequence, and ultimately the latter again
during the idiosyncratic sequence. In Lerdahls fig. 3.2 (PR cd), the stems on E,
F, G, and then B obscure the linear approach to the dominant root. As was the
case also in the second phrase, Lerdahls reading relates to one published by
Aldwell and Schachter.21 Whereas they propose an ascending motion through a
parenthetical passing (II) to III on the way to V, my interpretation of the passage
using their style of Roman numeral usage would appear as follows, with the boxed
area corresponding to the omission that results from the shortcut, wherein the
initial I (E-G-B) maps onto the VL (voice leading) chord after III (G-B-E):

In my view, the sequences final VL chord (B-D-G) should lead to VI5 (CE-G). The substitution of V results in a retroactive enharmonic transformation of
B: roots A<B<C into A<A<B.
The reading in Lerdahls fig. 3.2 (TSR c) juxtaposes 6-phase F-(A)-C and 5phase B-D-(F) the third and final chords of 6.4s idiosyncratic sequence model
fostering the misleading impression that a harmonic succession from II5 (the
Neapolitan) to V underlies the sequential progression. Given my view that Chopin
has diverted the sequences expected course via a non sequitur to achieve the
dominant, Lerdahls arrow connecting G and V/E in his fig. 3.8b seems to me too
blithe, giving the impression of normalcy to a succession that is astonishing in its

Structural overview of the Prelude in E Minor

Whereas the Prelude in E Major engages two alternative versions of its binary forms A1
section, in the Prelude in E Minor a single A1 suffices. Kopfton sounds even before the
first chord is struck with no struggle for attainment, as in the other prelude. The
structural line descends through at the end of measure 9 to in measure 10, followed
by repetitions that lead to the eventual incorporation of the truant . The phrase ends in an
The normative standards of formal construction that Chopin upheld would ordain that
after an interruption on

during A1, should be restored so that a descent to may

ensue during A2. Though that in fact does occur, Chopin has reconstructed the phrases
interior to a greater extent than would have been necessary to fulfill his formal obligations.
As will be explained in greater detail below, a slithering downwards through tonal space,
mostly in half steps, occupies the preludes first eight measures. Tonal coherence is
maintained because both the beginning and ending points of the passage project the tonic
(a diatonic minor I followed by I). In the process a number of vibrant chords are passed
through, any of which potentially could be asserted to take on a harmonic role. During A2
Chopin undertakes such a conversion of function for one of these chords: instead of
slithering as far as I, which targets IV, he converts what in measure 6 was no more than
a diminished seventh passing chord into an asserted V harmony, which resolves to a
minor I. (The exact G-B-E-B sonority that began the phrase is restored at the end of
measure 17.) The progression continues without surge from that I to IV (which now
undergoes a conventional 56 shift), then onwards (incorporating some extraordinary local
embellishment) through V to I to complete the phrase.

The Prelude in E Minors first phrase (measures

Just as a 56 sequence may be pursued as an obstinate ascent in half steps (as shown in
6.4), a parallel progression of chords may descend obstinately in half steps.23 The
proposed model for Chopins extraordinary progression in the preludes first eight
measures, shown in 6.5, displays an expansion from a progression of such chords to the
fuller sonority of diminished seventh chords.24 Slurs are employed to connect each lines
perimeter pitches: B>G, E>B, B>F, and G>D. The relationship between the initiating
and concluding chords is of critical importance for the viability of such a progression. As
the harmonic analysis below the system in 6.5 reveals, these pitches here realize a
frequently encountered chordal evolution: from diatonic E-G-B to surging G-B-D-F, an
ideal means of propelling the succession from I to IV.25 Chopin of course understood that
the innards of such a progression might hit upon some pitch combinations quite foreign to
an E Minor tonic context. It is important for my analysis that these chords harmonic
potentialities be held in check: we tiptoe through this field of chords without provoking
them into harmonic assertiveness. By pursuing a style of harmonic analysis that imposes a
high standard for the bestowal of a Roman numeral label, we avoid numerous unwieldy
and misleading symbols that would seek to impose harmonic meaning where, I contend,
none was intended.26 Each internal chord has the potential to take on a harmonic role. (We
shall see how Chopin activates one such potentiality during the A2 section.) But if its
context does not offer evidence that a chord is actually being asserted as a harmony, then
the imposition of a Roman numeral label generally will impede understanding.27

Example 6.5 Analysis of Prelude in E Minor (op. 28/4), mm. 0|112.

There was good reason for Chopin to be timid about during the structural descent:

s harmonic support, IV, is presented in first inversion, bass C descending to

dominant root B against G (hypothetically inserted by revising the melody in the second
half of measure 9 to D>C>A>G) to F would result in parallel fifths. Chopin averts that
unpleasantness twice by leaping from A to F. In the final iteration of the cadential
succession he slips a G in (justifying the absence of parentheses around the open G
notehead in 6.5), deftly delayed until the phrases final downbeat (121) to become an
accented passing note, thereby staggering the arrival points of B and F.28 Had IV not
been inverted, the conventional model


(as in FC, fig. 16, ex. 5, model 2) could have been pursued without impediment.

Again with the Prelude in E Minor, my concerns regarding Lerdahls reading

mounted as I studied his TSR and PR analyses (presented in his fig. 3.19), even
before I proceeded to the more innovative aspects of his practice the display of
the path through regional space and the tree diagram (figs. 3.20 and 3.21). Though
there is much variability in how Chopin wends his way downwards during
measures 1 through 8, there is nevertheless a subtle consistency: each of the voices
engaged in the descent of parallel chords makes a move before any of the voices
takes another turn. Incorporating both my spellings from 6.5 and Chopins
sometimes wayward spellings from the score, the following chart (which should
be read line by line from top to bottom) noting in particular the horizontal lines
(which in all cases coincide with bar lines within the score) that indicate the
congealing points of the parallel progressions successive individuated passing
chords conveys the inner workings of the passage.
m. 1

m. 2




m. 3

m. 4

mm. 56

mm. 78

If this segmentation holds, as I suggest it does, then it renders much of

Lerdahls foreground reduction (TSR f and PR ef) untenable, since two of the
four chords between the perimeter chords are missing from his reading, while four
chords that represent uncongealed states (points along my chart that are not
directly above a horizontal line) are present. Among the other levels, Lerdahls
TSR d holds some promise in that the two perimeter chords (representing the
initial minor I and I) are present (at least if one fixes the typographical error in
the latter by hoisting the misplaced natural up a third). The next level (TSR c),
where is the sole entity positioned between the initial tonic and the cadential
dominant, is less successful, in my view. My reading could be summarized as
An initial tonic (I)
Some connective chords
A restoration of the tonic, now surging (I)
The goal of the surge attained (IV)
The continuation to the dominant (V)
This is an oft-told story. Lerdahls narrative in TSR c is not a viable abridgement
of that story:
An initial tonic (I)
A connective chord
The dominant (V)
Three separate problems emerge here: (1) the connective chord that Lerdahl
displays is among those that I have referred to above as uncongealed, and thus
hierarchically of very low ranking, lower than several other chords in its vicinity
that are excluded; (2) the connectivity that Chopin achieves results from a close
association among multiple passing chords (the four-chord interior to the long

slurs in my 6.5) all functioning at the same hierarchical level, from which no
individual one should be singled out for inclusion at a deeper level; and (3) the
connectivity that Chopin pursues between measures 1 and 8 is that between two
forms of I, which Lerdahl commutes into a connectivity between I and V.
Paralleling his dependency upon Aldwell and Schachter in the E Major
Prelude analysis, Lerdahl acknowledges a dependency upon an analysis of the E
Minor Prelude published by Justin London and Ronald Rodman.29 The emphasis
upon the chord that I have found problematic is in fact a prominent feature of
their presentation. It would be illuminating for readers to detect and come to terms
with the many ways in which my 6.5 contrasts both the left half of Lerdahls fig.
3.19 and the first page of London and Rodmans ex. 1. Observe especially how my
slur connecting Kopfton B in measure 1 and the G of measure 8 cannot be made
to jive with their prolongation of A from measure 5 through measure 9.30
Both Lerdahl and the London/Rodman team consider two essays by
Schachter that shed light on the E Minor Prelude.31 Whereas I propose that Chopin
has entered into a fully chromatic tonal space during measures 1 through 8, with a
uniform bass descent in half steps G>F>F>E>D>D Schachter instead
proposes some internal hierarchical differentiation, resulting in a foundational line
that descends as G>F>E>D. (Note the stems marking those four noteheads in the
graph published with the 1994 essay.)
Given the extraordinary lack of agreement between Lerdahls and my
readings regarding which simultaneities between measures 1 and 8 constitute the
essential chord progression, I cannot endorse his display of the phrases pitchspace journey in fig. 3.20 or the tree diagram conveying a regional prolongational
analysis in fig. 3.21. As Lerdahl himself states (and as I have already quoted in
note 8), It is sometimes troublesome to determine the grouping structure of a
piece, but once that is in place the rest mostly follows like clockwork (p. 7).
Indeed, the clockwork part of his effort processes the TSR and PR structures of
fig. 3.19 in an exemplary fashion. (His discussion relates Chopins harmonic
practice within this prelude to Wagners penchant for being in a key without
touching upon its tonic chord.) Even from a statistical perspective, the

dissimilarity of our conceptions is astonishing: whereas my analysis retains one

key throughout the phrase, Lerdahl proposes a succession of six: jumping from e
to a back to e and then over to G followed by a return of a and finally back to e;
and whereas I convey the phrases harmonic progression using just three Roman
numerals, Lerdahls grids contain a total of forty Roman numerals, of which ten
are actively engaged via circles and arrows.

The Prelude in E Minors second phrase

(measures 12|1325)
Though the downward contour from the opening of A1 is maintained during the
corresponding measures of A2, the latter realization is somewhat more aggressive. For
example, whereas diminished F-A-D[E] sounds against soprano B in measure 2, the
bass rambunctiously continues onward to F as rather than after D falls into place in
measure 14. Then, from 162 through 171 Chopin introduces a significant jolt (achieved by
injecting several leaps, inaugurating a stretto, pumping up the volume level, and
introducing a downbeat dominant root B) that converts the penultimate chord of the earlier
parallel progression (D-F-A-B[C] in measure 6) into a potent, asserted dominant ninth
(B-D-F-A-C in measure 17). Consequently the parallel progression serves now as a
connection between two different harmonies, as is indicated by the open parentheses
between I and V in 6.6. That example also shows how, within the projection of I-space
that transpires during measures 13 through 17, the internal dominant harmony supports the
A of a B>A>G third-progression. (This A undergoes a downward migration so that the
third-progressions G ends up sounding at the bottom of the texture, while the tonic root E,
expected in the bass, sounds at the top of the texture. See the arrows in 6.6.)

Example 6.6 Analysis of Prelude in E Minor (op. 28/4), mm. 12|1325.

Even without the fanfare of a surge comparable to that which transpired during 82, IV
emerges as the principal connector between I and V during A2. (Note how closely the
melody that IV supports during 181 relates to that of 92.) The IV chords 6-phase F (at the
fourth eighth note of measure 18) serves as the starting point for a descending third to the
leading tone (F>E>D) whose E gets stuck for two measures, making the arrival of D
at 202 all the more gratifying. (Compare with the repeated sounding of resolution pitch D
in the corresponding passage of A1 measures 10 through 12.) Coordinating with that
interior strand, the structural A (= ) thrice descends to F (= ), again as in the earlier
passage. In this case the truant never sounds (in contrast to A1, where a belated G is
heard at 121), and thus the structural G (= ) is displayed within parentheses in 6.6.
In both phrases the extension of the initial I-space coordinates with the filling-in of
the tonic triads upper third (B>G during measures 1 through 8 and B>G during measures
13 through 17). Consequently the filling-in of the dominant triads upper third (F>D
during measures 1820 through 24) is especially appealing.32 Yet Chopin goes further.
The initial phase of the dominant prolongation in measures 18 through 20 (like that in
measures 10 through 12) engages, in the bass, the same B<C>B neighboring motion that
embellishes the melody in the phrases opening measures. Thus Cs recurrence in the bass
at 211, supporting the passing note E within the dominants F>D third, invokes several
layers of association. One of tonal musics more poignant embellishing chords, built from
four pitches each a half step distant from one of the major dominant triads members,
emerges over the course of measure 21: C-E-G-A[B]. Though the

augmented sixth

typically would resolve outwards to a octave, Chopin luxuriates in the chord, pursuing
in two voices the same sort of descending chromatic motion as was utilized in three or
four voices during both phrases opening measures: C>B>A coordinating with
A>A>G>G. (Brackets in 6.6 mark the locations of the two intervals that are filled in.)
Consequently the augmented-sixth interval sounds as a diminished third (
Chopin as

, spelled by

, at the bottom of the texture at 231), resolving to a unison B in coordination

with the dominant roots restoration at 241. Es descent to D completes the dominants
prolongation, which is followed by the cadential tonic at the final downbeat.
At the outset I suggested that Chopin has reconstructed the [second] phrases
interior to a greater extent than would have been necessary. In assessing how
Lerdahl interprets the second phrase in his fig. 3.19, it appears to me that he has
reconstructed the second phrases interior to an even greater extent than has
Chopin. Comparing my 6.5 and 6.6, note that the two phrases are of approximately
the same length twelve and thirteen measures. The dominant arrives in the tenth
measure of the first phrase, whereas in the second it arrives somewhat abruptly in
the sixth measure, after a curtailed subdominant. Chopin has emphasized the
revving up the presentation of the initial I-space in the first phrase, while
focusing more on the leave-taking the expansion of the cadential dominant in
the second. Yet in both cases the harmonic progression proceeds from I through IV
to V. Even with Chopins alterations in pacing, one can perceive a strong
correlation between IV in measure 9 and in the first half of measure 18, and
between V in measures 10 through 12 and in the second half of measure 18
through measure 20. Granted, the bass B at 171 is a conspicuous note: low, loud,
and metrically strong. Yet I propose that Chopin has applied those markers to
convert a chord that earlier (measure 6) played no harmonic role into a functional
dominant within a middleground progression that expands the phrases initial Ispace, before the continuation to IV and then V. Lerdahl instead hears the onset
of the dominant function at 171 as extending for eight full measures, though indeed
he proposes that not all of the dominants pitches are in place until the second half
of measure 20. (Note the BF diagonal line spanning those measures in his PR c
d.) Consequently the seeming correlation between his regional prolongational
analysis in fig. 3.21b, which displays the noteheads E, A, B, and E, and my I IV
V I harmonic analysis in 6.6 is incidental: his A and B correspond to measures 14
and 16, respectively, whereas my IV and V both reside in measure 18. In
addition, though I concur with his placement of the first phrases soprano pitch G
at the downbeat of measure 12 in PR cd, placing the second phrases G in
measure 17, thereby neglecting the A of the thrice-stated A>F third
(corresponding to an A that was significant to the analysis in the first phrase),

seems inconsistent. In my imaginative approach to analysis, A>F may stand for

A>G>F whether (measure 12) or not (measure 20) a G actually sounds within the
composition at that point. In his reading a sounding G in the wrong location
trumps the parallelism between the two phrases (based on the similarity of
Finally, two small points: (1) both phrases begin with an upbeat B<B (the
second time with embellishment), and thus the dividing point between the brackets
in TSR f should be shifted a bit to the left; and (2) since bass C at 211 serves as a
neighbor to dominant root B, not as a resolution (it supports the melodys passing
note E within the traversal of the dominants

third), there is no cadence at that

point, as is proposed in TSR d.

Though I do not endorse the London and Rodman graph of the second phrase
(which they in any event have constructed in part only to knock down, as if their
fabrication of a Schenkerian graph for the work would match the best of what a
more committed Schenkerian analyst might be able to achieve), we concur on one
important point: V resolves to I during measure 17.33 (As do I, they display tonic
root E within parentheses, attached to a beam, at that point.) At a broader level,
our graphs both convey the same structural bass arpeggiation EBE over the
course of the phrase. I am not so enthusiastic about their reading of the descent
from , especially their placement of background within the prolongation of V
(at 211).
In his Chopin Studies graph, Schachter proposes a later dominant arrival at
191 with the bass B at 182 serving as a passing note between A and C.34 Whereas
I am drawn by the similarity of content between all of measure 10 and the second
half of measure 18 and by the B<C>B<C>B bass motion over two-and-a-half or
three measures, I suspect that Chopins soprano slur, which extends to the
downbeat of measure 19, and the attainment of a downbeat arrival point for V
(matching measure 10) were factors in Schachters hearing a prolongation of IV
throughout measure 18.35

It is uncommon to have an EBE bass arpeggiation in which both of the E

noteheads appear within parentheses, as displayed in my 6.6 (measures 13 through
17). Yet I would argue that the inverted opening tonic is the principal reason why
Chopin neglects the E in the bass again at 172. (It resides in the soprano.) The
perimeter sonorities of this five-measure tonic expansion match exactly: G-B-E-B.
Whereas in the first phrase IV is approached via a descending bass (from the
imagined E through D to C, resulting in an inverted IV), in the second phrase the
tonics third G leads upwards to IVs root A (181). Whereas Lerdahl, London and
Rodman, and I all agree that soprano F (=

) arrives before bass C emerges at

211, Schachter instead proceeds in his structural descent from A to G at that point,
in the tenor register. (To his credit, that reading is consistent with his interpretation
of the first phrase, which has proceeded only so far as a middleground

by the

point of the cadence in measure 12.) He labels the C chord as VI (within

parentheses). If I were to acknowledge a harmonic function for this embellishing
chord, it would instead be II.
London and Rodman use words such as problematic and even unruly to
describe the E Minor Prelude. I demur. To be sure, Chopins subtle, inventive
writing calls for an approach toward analysis that is both imaginative and flexible.
In this prelude, at least, his innovations transpire within a conventional framework.

Prelude in G Minor (op. 28, no. 22)

in response to Alison Hood

Just as my Harmony in Schubert appeared around the same time as Suzannah Clarks
monograph on that composer,1 so also Alison Hoods book-length study of Chopins
music and the present work appear within a year or so of each other.2 Though I had not
seen her volume before mine went to press, I was able to study an article she published on
Chopins Prelude in G Minor (op. 28, no. 22) and later revised for her monograph.3 Since
those who keep abreast of developments in the field of tonal analysis likely will compare
our two books, the juxtaposition of my reading of this prelude with hers here offers
readers an opportunity to explore the considerable contrast in our methods, our
presentations, and our outcomes.

The A1 section (measures 0|18)

The A1 section (measures 0|18)

More so when performing the Prelude in G Minor on a nineteenth-century fortepiano than
on most modern instruments, the left-hand octaves shine through boldly, projecting the A1
sections principal melody. The tonics root consequently emerges among the right-hand
pitches, rather than at the bottom of the texture, during 42. (In 7.1, root G is placed within
parentheses in the bass register.) The phrase proceeds from that tonic to the major
dominant, as is typical of an A1 section within an A1 A2 binary period. (As of measure 8
the listener has no reason to suspect that the prelude will extend beyond sixteen measures
in length.) The goal dominants root likewise does not sound in the bass. In fact, root D is
postponed until the start of the A2 section: E descends to D in the right hand during
measure 9, completing a chromatic G>D fourth that transpires at the top of the texture.
That chromatic line causes the subdominant that comes between I and V to be presented
as a major chord (with E rather than diatonic E at 62 and 72). A concurrent interior line
also takes on a maximally chromatic aspect: D occurs during 61, resulting in a potent I
surge towards IV. Though IV87 might have directed the Urlinie downwards from C to
B, so that A (the antecedent phrases goal ) could arrive in conjunction with the onset
of V, in this case C extends into the dominants domain, with the descent through B to
A occurring during 82. In the context of a small-scale A1 A2 binary form, the antecedent
phrases descent from to

is interpreted as a background line, interrupted before the

final . Consequently 7.1 displays four open noteheads with upward stems connected to a
beam. (Note the upward transfer of Kopfton D just after it is established. The lower
register will be reinstated later.)

Example 7.1 Analysis of Prelude in G Minor (op. 28/22), mm. 0|18.

The instability of the pitch B at 82 (in a dominant context) is an important factor in
deciding how to interpret the pitches that precede measure 1. Rather than displaying A as a
passing note between tonic pitches B and G, 7.1 proposes (through what it includes and
what it omits) that the listener (aided by the discerning performers shaping of the line)
instead should interpret the initial B as an appoggiatura embellishment of A, followed by
G>F (below E>D).4 The resulting F-A-C-D chord, which targets the initial tonic, is
prolonged until 42, in the process evolving into the more dissonant state F-A-C-E.
I applaud a perception displayed within Hoods Graph 2G: a stepwise descent at
the top of the lower staff during measures 5 through 8 (D>C>B>A). Though I
would advise beginning the slur that binds these notes with the prior D of measure
4 (thereby capturing the not-yet-evolved tonic support that inaugurates the I-to-V
progression), this line in the register that both Hood and I acknowledge to be the
melodys principal domain should be a primary focus of the listeners attention.
Its halting on A (one step shy of the keys tonic pitch) is a prime motivating factor
for the impending onset of what one initially should expect will be a normative
eight-measure consequent phrase, the second half of a parallel period.
What Hood makes of her perception cannot be discerned from her graphs 2G
and 2H, for two reasons: (1) though 2H contains abundant Roman numerals over
most of its substantial length, this passage curiously appears without a harmonic
analysis; and (2) though slurs within 2G bind elements within the passage together,

there is no visual indication of how these measures connect to what precedes and
follows them. Both quandaries are clarified by looking elsewhere at graph 1E or
1F for a sense of the local harmonic progression, and at graph 1D for Hoods
interpretation of A as neighbor to the tonic third.
Hood and I are at opposite poles regarding both the extent and structural
depth of the phrases goal dominant chord. For me, it arrives at 81 and functions as
the preludes background V, supporting the Urlinies pre-interruption


shown in 7.1); for her, its emergence occurs instead at 52, and its foreground role
apparently allows a Roman numeral (V in her style of analysis) to be omitted, even
in a graph (1G or 2H) in which dozens of other numerals are included.
To clarify my reading of Chopins harmonic conception, for a moment
assume that measure 5 does not exist. The preceding chord (B-D-G) and the
following chord (B-D-F-A) are, in my view, the same harmony, first in its
diatonic state and then in a highly evolved state. Such an evolution of the tonic
generally comes about as the succession to IV (here represented by IV during 62)
draws near. Though in this case that evolution is extreme I rather than I the
transfer of root from G to C at 62 nevertheless shines through. Now reinstating
measure 5, we come to understand that the tonic is prolonged via a conventional
local progression (not fully displayed in 7.1) whose concluding tonic happens to
be highly evolved: I II V I. The fifth-relationship between II and V
transpires with exactly the same evolution as that between the terminal I and the
IV that follows.5 Taking into account this more developed harmonic conception,
the fact that the phrase fills eight measures within an opus that includes several
preludes of around sixteen measures in length, and a realization that the next
phrase (to be discussed in detail below) begins exactly as would a consequent
phrase within a parallel period, I propose that the dominant arrival in measure 8
and the to which the melody descends conform to the normative closure of A1
within an A1 A2 binary form.
If the music that one is analyzing seems ambiguous, it is important to
compare the passage in question with other passage(s) within the same movement
that the composer may have fleshed out more fully.6 In this case the logical

comparison is between measures 0 (for which supportive harmony is absent) and

8. Hoods and my graphs both convey that the G and B in the middle of measure
8 do not correspond to a tonic resolution of the preceding dominant. (Though
Hood displays the G as a passing note between F and A in her graph 2G and I
display it as a neighboring note between two Fs in 7.1, neither conception
projects G as an asserted tonic root.) Hood reverses that hierarchy in her reading of
measure 0, where A appears as a passing note within a slurred B>G third. (The
first appearance of this figure unmistakably outlines tonic harmony (paragraph
17, emphasis added).) She indeed replicates this tonic in measures 8|9, starting
with upbeat bass G.7 Though I am strongly supportive of imaginative thinking as a
component of analysis, my internal ear prolongs the right-hand notes E, A, C, and
E through the rests of measures 8 and 9, with (importantly) the conclusion of a
chromatic descending fourth that began with the high G of measures (4)|5
achieved with the arrival of D at 92. Bass G at 91 connects the A and F of that
prolonged chord. For me, an imagined tonic chord (unmistakably!) does not
emerge above that G. Transferring this reading of measures 89 to measures 01,
B, G, and E would be interpreted as appoggiaturas to members of the opening
F-A-C-D sonority.
I likewise suggest that no tonic chord occurs in measure 2, where E sounds
throughout and where I imagine C continuing after its eighth-note sounding as
well. The chord is G-B-C-E, rather than the tonic Hood proposes. As 7.1 shows,
the chord of measure 2 may be interpreted as a connector between two different
inversions of the embellishing chord that precedes the initial tonic. (In the context
of the consequent phrase that begins in measures 8|9, this embellishing chord takes
on the role of extending the dominant harmony of measure 8.) Chopin later
provides strong support for this reading. Near the end of the prelude the G-B-CE chord is repeated during each measure from 36 through 38. Then,
magnificently, in measure 39 it evolves further, with a chromatic shift from C to
C coinciding with the concurrent sounding of all four pitch classes in one of the
preludes boldest chords. This embellishment of the dominant possesses a
quality. Recall my assertion that the chord at 61 serves as I. Comparing those
two chords, one notes their obvious dissimilarity. Consequently, I cannot endorse
the notion that a tonic chord occurs in measure 2. The tonics first sounding occurs

in measure 4, supporting Kopfton in the melody. A conventional descent from

to ensues, in coordination with a harmonic progression from I through IV to

The A2 section that Chopin might have composed

The A2 section that Chopin might have composed

(measures 8|9(16))
Not all of a works notes are of equal importance. I propose that the doubled A at the end
of measure 15 is an extraordinary note with far-reaching consequences. That measures
slur connecting the bass melodys E, C, and A (also incorporating passing note B) and
the right-hand chord that sounds immediately thereafter which listeners as yet have no
reason to regard as anything other than F-C-E bring to mind the content of 81: a
dominant harmony (successor of the subdominant), which in the consequent phrase is
positioned a tad earlier to make room for the tonic during the phrases final measure
(which we suspect will be measure 16, thereby complementing the eight-measure
antecedent). This is a conventional compositional strategy that Chopin ultimately does not
realize. A hypothetical conclusion to A2 that fulfills the promise of what precedes the
fateful A (resulting in a prelude of sixteen measures) is displayed in 7.2. Postponing a
consideration of that As consequences until the next section of this chapter, lets explore
(with the help of 7.3) the normative eight-measure version of A2 that Chopin might have

Example 7.2 Alternative version of Prelude in G Minor (op. 28/22), measures 15 and

Example 7.3 Analysis of Prelude in G Minor (op. 28/22), mm. 8|916 (incorporating
The chief difference between the two phrases (prior to the cadence) concerns how the
tonic, once attained, is prolonged. (Compare measures 46 and 1214.) Both versions are
highly chromatic, yet they pursue different strategies, resulting in contrasting evolutions of
the tonic (both of which target IV): first I (B-D-F-A at 61), then I (B-D-F-G at
142). The cadence supplied in 7.2 borrows material from Chopins cadence in measures 40
and 41, while completing the descending background line left dangling after


measures 8 and 9. The at the downbeat of hypothetical measure 16 (reminiscent of 82)

belongs at the end of measure 15, where it appears in 7.3.
Any notion of a parallel relationship between the phrases of measures 18 and 9
(16) would be difficult to develop in the context of Hoods erratic application of
Roman numerals: whereas no IV numeral appears below the subdominant of
measures 6 and 7 in any of her graphs, a iv appears below the minor subdominant
of 151 in her graph 2H (though not in graph 1F or 1G, which also incorporate
Roman numerals). Explanations for how Chopin proceeds from I to IV might
indeed take several courses. Yet before proceeding to that investigation, I suggest
that some revision in the hierarchical relationships among pitches that Hood
displays is in order. Graph 1F shows a bass descent from E through D to C in

measures 13 through 15. To my ears the line possesses a more uniformly

chromatic character, with the final note of each beat within measures 13 and 14
serving as the principal note, in coordination with the likewise chromatic soprano,
as follows:

E > D

D > C

D > C

C > B

Two intervals of the tonic triad (whose third shifts from B to B over the course
of the passage) are traversed: B to G, and D to B. An interpretation of the
chordal progression would need to accommodate the following:

One might regard these chords as the first two cycles of an obstinate sequence
whose next chord, e, fails to emerge owing to the interaction between the g and
G chords, resulting in a succession instead to c, as follows:

G Minor:

I (


Or, one might regard f as a chromatic upper-third substitution for D in a tonicprolonging


tonic expansion. The f enhances the dominant-emulating quality of the G

chord by being pre-dominant emulating, so that measures 14 and 15 take on the
aspect of



in what some would interpret as a brief tonicization of the C Minor subdominant.

None of these notions coordinate with Hoods hierarchical interpretation of the
bass, from which the Roman numeral analysis in her graph 2H is derived. After
twelve measures of music during which only one Roman numeral has been
applied, suddenly two measures are annotated by eight numerals (some surrounded
by parentheses or single quotation marks) in the context of three keys. Though
these numerals are correct insofar as they indicate root and quality for a range of
stacked-third chords, they do not succeed in conveying what I regard to be the
measures essential feature: the evolution of the meek diatonic minor tonic (which
Hood displays as i within parentheses and as

of V within single quotes,

thereby diminishing its hierarchical importance) into a surging, iv-targeting I

(which she labels as

of iv without discernible connection to the preceding

minor tonic). Finally, whereas my perception of how what has occurred thus far
conforms to the conventions of a parallel period guides my ears to expect that after
the IV of 151, V will follow (in accord with the prior succession from IV to V
during measures 7 and 8), Hoods analysis is silent concerning measure 15s
F[G]-A-C-E chord (exactly the same evolved state as in measure 8, though in a
different inversion). That brings us to the fateful moment of bass As arrival
(triggering Fs enharmonic shift to a G role, in accord with Chopins spelling),
which both prevents closure in measure 16 and directs the progression on a more
expansive course, to be explored below.

Chopins expanded A2 section (measures 8|941)

Chopins expanded A2 section (measures 8|941)

Two common continuations from IV are available within Chopins tonal syntax. Perhaps
the dominant will follow directly; or perhaps the path to the dominant will be expanded
through a 56 shift applied to the subdominant. In G Minor, subdominant C-E-Gs 6phase chord might emerge as diatonic C-E-A; or, a more colorful Neapolitan variant
(C-E-A) might sound instead. Chopin chose this latter alternative (as displayed in 7.4),
going so far as to briefly tonicize A Major. (The initial statement of the A chord in
measures 15 and 16 is already surging as I towards IV within the tonicizing progression
in A Major, as is conveyed by the parentheses around 8 to the right of A Major: I in

Example 7.4 Analysis of Prelude in G Minor (op. 28/22), mm. 8|941

The two continuations from G Minors IV under consideration dominant D-F-A
and lowered supertonic A-C-E are antipodally related (that is, their roots are separated
by a diminished fifth or augmented fourth). This is an ideal context for the mehrdeutig
deployment of a diminished seventh chord.8 The four pitch classes on the fourth and fifth
eighth notes of measure 15 might have been spelled either as F-A-C-E (an evolved state
of G Minors V chord, which Chopin could have confirmed by resolving ninth E to D,
as occurs in 7.2) or as C-E-G-B (an evolved stated of a II chord surging within its

own tonicization, which Chopin does confirm by resolving ninth B [A] to A at the end
of measure 15 and by undertaking a chromatically filled-in voice exchange
over the bar line between measures 15 and 16). As 7.2 and 7.3
demonstrate, the first interpretation would lead to a PAC in G Minor at the normative
point, the phrases eighth measure. In contrast, 7.4, which corresponds to what Chopin
actually composed, shows how the II alternative results in a longer route to the PAC.
Once a cadence during the phrases eighth measure is decisively rejected, Chopin seems in
no hurry to reach his goal: the phrase expands from the normative eight to an astonishing
thirty-three measures by means of the already mentioned tonicization as well as several
internal repetitions and expansions, acknowledged by 7.4s grid of measure numbers and
by a hairpin symbol. The more developed harmonization stems in part from Chopins
decision to replace the single-arpeggiation bass (GD) of A1 with a double-arpeggiation
bass (GDGDG) during A2.
Whereas the Neapolitan version of IV6 proceeds to V7 and then I to support the
span from through

to during the opening segment of A2, the path from to

proceeds by way of incomplete upper neighbor C, which is presented in the soprano

register during measure 24, supported by the supertonic harmony. After a repetition of this
portion of the structure, the A (= ) is transferred downwards, not to the register in which
the descent to

transpired during A1, but instead (in the middle of measure 34) to the

register of the initial sounding of Kopfton D a seventh below Middle C (in measure 4).
From that low A, prolonged through measure 40 via embellishing chords (including the
potent C-E-G-B of measure 39, mentioned above), the background lines concluding G
emerges by stepwise descent, supported by the PAC tonic. Doublings of G an octave and
two octaves higher bring closure concurrently in all of the registers in which portions of
the fundamental line have sounded during the prelude.
Hoods graph 1F contains a remarkable analysis that highlights our widely
divergent views of the works harmonic dimension. She deploys only three
analytical symbols to provide the basic harmonic sense of measures 9 through 22: i
N i. (In her work, N stands for Neapolitan; the latter i is followed by an Arabic 6 to

convey that the tonic chord appears in its first inversion.) Though my 7.4
incorporates equivalent symbols I II I my contextualization of the Neapolitan
chord contrasts Hoods in important ways. Note first that our difference of opinion
regarding the arrival point of the phrases initial tonic chord emerges once more:
Hood places the tonic in measure 9, whereas I place it in measure 12. Yet we agree
that, one way or another, the phrase establishes the G Minor tonic before the
Neapolitan arrives. Though I acknowledge that II is tonicized, I nevertheless
regard it as the asserted 6 phase of a hierarchically deeper chord namely, IV,
whose attainment is emphasized through the transformation of the minor tonic into
a surging I. In Hoods Graph 1F this IV chord lacks a label (as is also the case in
the more detailed Graph 1G, though in Graph 2H a iv appears among the twenty
symbols numerals, N, and +6 that annotate this fourteen-measure passage).
Likewise, in my view a harmony that is hierarchically deeper than II precedes the
tonic resolution namely,

. (The three bass noteheads for this passage

connected to a beam in 7.4 are G, D, and G.) Hood displays evidence of some
sympathy for that view in her graph 1B (though, again, no V label appears). I am
not in a position to decide whether the competing hierarchies displayed in 1B and
1F amount to an assertion that the Neapolitan imposes a shift in the relationship
among these various chords (in accord with the ambiguity theme of Hoods
article); or whether, instead, the annotation of the latter graph with harmonic
symbols is in need of repair.
I also note a significant discrepancy between the presence of Roman numeral
i at measures 3435 in graphs 1A through G and its absence in graph 2H.9 Again,
is this an inadvertent omission; or is Hood intending to juxtapose two quite
different readings of the closing measures, fostering the notion of ambiguity?
(Though neither version matches what I display in 7.4, graph 2H is far closer to
my view. However, I suspect that Hood would quickly add V and i numerals, to
conform with the other graphs, if the discrepancy were brought to her attention.)10
Though other issues could be addressed (for example, Hoods +6 label, in the
context of C Minor, for what I interpret as the initial statement of the II chord at
the end of measure 15), by now it is clear that there is little common ground
between our interpretations, despite our use of similar analytical strategies.

Readers may wish to extend the comparison of our perspectives beyond this single
brief prelude, placing Hoods recent monograph alongside mine for a double dose
of invigorating Chopin study.

Prelude in C Minor (op. 45)

in response to Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger and to Charles J. Smith

Jean-Jacques Eigeldingers lifelong dedication to Chopin has enriched the musicians
library with important books, articles, and scores. He edited all of the preludes (both op.
28 and op. 45) for the recent Peters Urtext edition and has displayed his musicological
acumen in a wide-ranging article on the Prelude in C Minor, op. 45.1 Though devoted in
large part to contemplations regarding Chopins interactions with Delacroixs views on
painting and his indebtedness to Beethoven, that essay offers a sophisticated analytical
study of the prelude as well. (Eigeldinger acknowledges the contribution of Georges
Starobinski in its formulation.) Another noteworthy analysis of that work, by Charles J.
Smith, has appeared in a volume of essays, intended for students, by a range of luminaries
in the field of analysis, edited by Deborah Stein.2 In that Smith has held a special interest
in both Chopin and in harmonic analysis throughout his career, the opportunity to explore
his reading of the prelude here is especially welcome.

The Prelude in C Minors introduction (measures

The opening measures of the Prelude in C Minor only gradually come into focus as an
establishment of the C tonic, confirmed by the potent G>C bass succession over the
bar line between measures 4 and 5, supporting a PAC in that key. Parallel progressions of
chords were featured often in Baroque thoroughbass treatises.3 Yet once harmonic
thinking began to emerge as a central component of musical speculation, their analytical
treatment turned out to be especially problematic.4 Though certainly one could concoct a
Roman numeral label for each chord within Chopins progression, in my view that
exercise would be pointless, since many of the internal chords do not fulfill the roles that
they would in harmonically asserted contexts. (Though the labels I VII VI V IV III II, for
example, may succeed in indicating where within tonal space the various chords of a
parallel progression reside, they do so at the expense of syntactic sense. Any harmonic
system that can blithely accommodate VII proceeding to VI, or IV to III, is so watered
down as to be of no value.) I propose instead that Chopin pursues a focused and nuanced
downward linear initiative for three measures, broken off (at 41) just before the phrases
concluding V I cadence, where the logical next chord within the pattern E-G-C
(displayed conjecturally in 8.1a) is replaced by E-G-C (which here functions as a
cadential whose bass G is tardy), embellished by a suspension (quarter note A) and
retained for half a measure to help break the momentum of the descending progression.
Chopins writing divides the preceding descending seventh (which in retrospect will be
interpreted as a broad connection between I and II) into three thirds. Note how the A and
f chords become nodal points through the insertion of downbeat neighboring chords,
thereby expanding the domain of each within the stepwise descent from one to three
quarter notes. Consequently the model in 8.1a displays three levels of activity: the
foundational c to D (traversing a descending seventh that projects I to II), the
segmentation of that seventh into three thirds (with internal nodal points at A and f), and
local passing chords that connect nodal points and neighboring chords that prolong the
two internal nodal points.

Example 8.1 Prelude in C Minor (op. 45) (a) Analysis of mm. 13; (b) Analysis of
mm. 15.
In that music analysts for good reason have come to regard the II (Neapolitan)
chord as a normal occurrence within minor-key contexts, some care in assessing how it
comes about here is in order. (This assessment will prove to be crucial for our
understanding of a later passage from the prelude.) I propose that Chopin is proceeding in
this descending path not according to diatonic precepts (even if A and f coincide with
diatonic chords within C Minor), but instead in an obstinate manner. As such, he is not
bound by the dictates imposed by the C Minor key signature, which favors seven specific
pitch classes. When thinking outside the diatonic realm, the numbers from 0 to 11 (with C
= 0) offer a neutral means of displaying pitch interactions, in a modulo 12 framework free
from the hierarchical differentiations imposed by key-based (modulo 7) thinking. Chopins
descending triads thus may be represented as follows:



Note especially that each chords third and fifth hold over from the preceding chord, and
that the chordal qualities alternate between minor (m) and major (M). Once the
descending trajectory has run its course (as determined by the composer), the endpoint is
thrust back into the context of diatonic tonal space, which must somehow make sense of it
according to the conventional relationships within the key. Though in this case the chord
that is thrust back is not diatonic, it happens to coincide with the common Neapolitan
variant of the supertonic. The graph displayed in 8.1b thus interprets chromatic D as a
frequently encountered and therefore unremarkable wobbly note resulting in II, with
diatonic pitch D restored (as it almost always is) during the dominant harmony that
follows. Minor-key tonality ultimately prevails: D is subservient to D, and the major
dominant is the principal structural event between the perimeter tonic harmonies, as
indicated by the beamed bass notes, CGC (Schenkers sacred triangle). The graph
displays one unusual feature: because the soprano melodys descending seventh during the
parallel progression places the endpoint chords in contrasting registers, a foundational
linear connection emerges between the first chords lowest sounding pitch, E (which I
propose serves as the Kopfton), and the II chords highest pitch, D, which proceeds via
the D wobble correction to tonic C, completing a third-progression. After the cadence,
the Kopfton is reinforced (indeed, in this unusual context it needs some reinforcement)
through the bass melodys projection of an apex E in three successive registers at the
middle and end of measure 5 and the end of measure 6, and then repeated.
Eigeldinger interprets Chopins opening melody not as a descending seventh
followed by cadential gestures, as I do, but instead extends a bit further, to a

descending octave, split into two tetrachords: CG and FC (p. 246). To

support his tetrachord interpretation, he directs readers to measures 80 and 81,
where those tetrachords (plural) allegedly recur (note 29).5 Exploring the latter
assertion first will provide some useful perspective for an assessment of the
The G-C-E-G chord that boldly brings the cadenza to an end at 801 would
lead listeners to expect a specific continuation: the dominants root G will be
retained while the three remaining pitches of

will sooner or later fall into

place (or will be imagined to fall into place if not literally stated). Nothing through
measure 82 hints at any progress in achieving that result. Instead, the dominants
third (B), imagined fifth (D), and seventh (F) emerge concurrently at 831.
Between measures 80 and 83 Chopin presents a descending arpeggiation touching
upon all of the cadential chords members: G>E>C>G. During this
arpeggiation he incorporates at each nodal point exactly the same sort of
embellishment as was deployed at the two internal nodal points during the
introduction: half-step lower neighbors. The following stages convey my
conception of how Chopin constructed this intriguing melody:

G>F <G



G<F <G

G>F <G



F <G

G C B A >F <G


F <G

Observe how, as the melody takes on its distinctive shape, two pitches (C and
G) are elided, one pitch (B) is displaced, and one pitch (the initial G) is
embellished by an upper-fourth flourish. That flourish indeed corresponds to
Eigeldingers upper tetrachord the only meaningful fourth available within this

context. I reject his assertion that an FC tetrachord occurs as well: no F

sounds during the passage, and the D does not descend to C.
The accentuated metrical placement of F and D (both half-step lower
neighbors) in measure 81 corresponds to my reading of the introductions
accentuated G at 21 and E at 31 as neighboring embellishments (as shown in
8.1a). Whereas Eigeldinger proposes two descending fourths CG and FC
(with some unexplained notes coming between them) as the foundational
organizing principle of the introductions melody, I propose instead a succession of
three interlocking descending thirds, set off by lower neighbors and presented
uniformly as the second through fourth quarter notes of three consecutive



The persistence of third-relationships during the main section of the prelude

further supports this reading.6
Eigeldinger has put his finger on an important point by suggesting that the
introduction wavers between C Minor and A Major (p. 246). He directs our
attention especially to the pitch D, which differentiates A Majors diatonic pitch
collection from that of C Minor. As an experiment, perform the introduction as
written until 42, substituting D for D at that point. You will discover that the
following B will want to shift to diatonic B and that the low bass note E (instead
of G) will sound right. Letting those notes proceed according to their inclinations,
one ends up cadencing on A at 51. Indeed, the introductions nodal c, A, f, and
D chords are all diatonic in A Major, and if Chopin had in fact proceeded as in
our experiment, one likely would regard the initiating c chord as tonic As upperthird chord. The descent would in that case be interpreted as a filling in of the
A>D fifth, corresponding to I ( ) IV. It is only through the strength of Chopins
cadence that an analyst may, instead, retrospectively assign the initiating c chord
despite its brevity and weak metrical placement the structural role of initiating

tonic. As stated at the outset, the opening measures of the Prelude in C Minor
only gradually come into focus as an establishment of the C tonic.
Smiths analysis takes the unusual tack of comparing Chopins composition
to the narrative trajectory of a thriller movie, proposing that just as the film
audience tries to resolve the various plot entanglements and figure out who the
culprit is, so also auditors of Chopins prelude will ponder it as a puzzle that needs
to be resolved. I dont buy it. As Smith suggests, sometimes the key to resolution
is hidden in plain sight (p. 240). In this case the introduction is that key.7 If one
does not suitably come to terms with its nuances before proceeding to the main
body of the work, the complications that arise likely will be perplexing. I do not
think that Chopin intended to obfuscate what he was doing: the introduction
pursues a straightforward course in a direct and uncluttered presentation.
Nevertheless, Smith (following Eigeldingers lead) proceeds to segment the
melody into tetrachords rather than trichords, and consequently his reading of the
passage does not sufficiently correlate with the contour of the works main section
(to be explored below) for him to recognize the latter as a gargantuan variant of
the former.
Smiths annotated score 20.1 (p. 243) contains a curious and telling use of
curved arrows. During the first four chords, the initial c is the target of an arrow
that curves leftwards from the fourth chord; whereas during the fifth through
eighth chords the initial A is the target of no arrow, while the eighth chords arrow
curves to the right, targeting the ninth chord. Compare that inconsistent reading
with 8.1a, where the fourth and eighth chords perform equivalent roles as
expanders of the nodal points that immediately precede them. Though Smith
yearns for a D chord in measure 4 (a chord that is crucial to his plot denouement
later in the work), I contend that such a D chord is a conspicuous part of the
preludes fabric at the end of measure 3.8 The plot thus may be summarized as
follows: after the initial tonic, a descent in thirds through A and f proceeds as far
as D, which (following the conventions of the Neapolitan chords usage) leads
to a V I cadence. As we shall see, the main section of the work at first pursues
the same trajectory, reiterating the introductions c, A, f, and D nodal points
(measures 6|7 through 18) and thus giving auditors a second chance at

comprehending this essential component of the plot, after which multiple wobbly
notes transform the second through fourth chords, so that ultimately D (II)
rather than D (II) precedes the main sections V I cadence in measures 66 and
67 (which, as we shall see, Smith relegates to the status of a retransition).
Smith gives considerable weight to chords that he regards as tonicized. In his
fig. 20.5 (p. 248) he shows a triangular relationship among the introductions c,
A, and tonicized f (to which D is appended off to the side). An arrow points
directly from f back to c. My 8.1b accounts for all of those chords (with a
contrasting reading of their hierarchical relationships) and notably includes one
that is absent from Smiths account: the G dominant, a member of the
introductions foundational sacred triangle, CGC.9

The Prelude in C Minors main section

The Prelude in C Minors main section

(measures 567)
During the preludes introduction a brief though dense linear passage connects I (measure
1) and II (measure 3) prior to the V I cadence. Chopins construction of the preludes
main section pursues a similarly modest agenda, now astonishingly expanded: between the
I of measures 5 through 8 and the II of measure 65, Chopin passes back and forth
among the nodal points established during the introduction, even as they undergo
chromatic mutation. (See 8.2.) The extraordinary size of this connective passage stems not
only from the fact that Chopin now pursues a roundabout course, with multiple ups and
downs along the descending-seventh trajectory, but also from the substitution of multiplechord progressions for the individual chords that connect or expand nodal points during
the introduction. For example, a connective b chord comes between the c and A nodal
points during measure 1. In descending from c to A during measure 7 through measure
13 that b chord indeed recurs (measure 11), though now it resides within a segment of the
descending circle of fifths: c F B/b E A. The G connective chord that passes
between A and f during the introduction is replaced by a more dynamic C during 141.
(Note that its context retains the sense of stepwise descent between soprano pitches A and
F, now incorporating diatonic G, along with a lower sixth in the alto register.) Though
the D chord emerges directly after f, its prolongation during measures 15 through 18
incorporates vestiges of the G-B-E connective chord of measure 3: the E at the end of
measure 15 passes between the melodys F and D, whereas the

of measure 17

. Likely a shorter composition would have resulted if this D chord

(asserted as II) had proceeded to dominant G, as was the case during the introduction.
Chopin instead backtracks to f in measure 19 creating some distance from the chord
that during the introduction resided at the juncture of the linear initiative and the
concluding harmonic initiative. The prolongation of this chord, including a modal shift to
F at measure 31 and a mutation to F at measure 55, is one of the principal features of the
main section, followed by the definitive descent to D at measure 65. (One may trace
the progress of the f chords evolution in 8.2, noting especially how f, F, or F resides
at the internal phrase boundaries, indicated by the bar lines.) One might even regard all the

material between the f of measure 19 and the F of measure 64 as a parenthetical


Example 8.2 Analysis of Prelude in C Minor (op. 45), mm. 567.

At first it seems that the prolongation might be of brief duration, since the new phrase
that begins at measures 20|21 inaugurates, starting on f, the same circular progression
that earlier led from c to A. Listeners are poised for a D arrival at 271. Chopin indeed is
prepared to confirm that D with a five-measure tonicizing expansion deploying a local I
IVVI harmonic progression (compensating for the absence of even an embellishingchord expansion at the D nodal point during the introduction). This progression does in
fact transpire, though down a third, since B unexpectedly displaces the D goal at 271. Its
cadence measure (31) offers yet another surprise: a further drop now from B to G
occurs. This G is confirmed via a similar five-measure expansion (transposed), which
cadences successfully in measure 35.
It may appear that Chopin has managed to move from a sharp key (F Minor) to a
very flat key (G Major). Yet ultimately G will be accepted as F, even if the notation in
flats persists for some time in the score. This is a thorny and controversial issue. In my
view, the passages obstinate chord progression should be interpreted outside the realm of
diatonic tonality. In a modulo 12 context (already called into service during our discussion
of the introductions obstinate progression), the following grid aptly represents the
descending in thirds progression:



In a modulo 12 context an octave may be traversed (here as 6>2>10>6) with no

enharmonic seam. Whereas the introductions obstinate progression alternates between
minor and major chords each of which shares two pitches with its predecessor, here a midcourse shift in the relationship between adjacent chords results in the juxtaposition of three
major triads (starting with the elided 2-6-9 of measure 27), connected by only one
common tone. Once that modulo 12 progression concludes, the goal chord is thrust back
into the diatonic context. In this case accommodation is easy: the progression has come
full circle, from a minor to a major chord rooted on F. The emergence of the enharmonic
G spelling comes about through the use of modulo 7 notation (wherein three major
thirds span an augmented seventh) to convey a modulo 12 conception.
The trajectory proceeds upwards from F at the onset of the next phrase, which
begins at measures 36|37. (This discussion will be presented in terms of sharps,
corresponding to my 8.2, not the flats of Chopins score.) Whereas each of the sections
first two phrases was inaugurated with the traversal of a descending major third, navigated
via a segment of the circle of fifths (c to A in the first, and f to (D) in the second), now
an obstinate ascending 56 sequence is set in motion to chug upwards a major third (F to
A), with D (Fs chromaticized 6-phase chord) in measure 39 targeting the passing
chord G (measure 42) and E (Gs chromaticized 6-phase chord) in measure 47
targeting goal A. Yet A is not one of the nodal points introduced during the
introduction, and so Chopin revises course mid-sequence by shifting E down a half
step to E (measure 53), thereby targeting nodal A. Yet, just as the goal chord of measure
27 is elided and displaced by a chord a major third lower, so also is this A goal (measure
55) elided and displaced by F. Thus we have ended up in the cracks (outside the

confines of the initially established nodal points) after all. This wayward F nevertheless is
treated to the same sort of chordal expansion as was the F arrival of measure 31. We now
seem even further from tonal resolution than was the case at that point.
The sections final phrase sets things aright and achieves the long-awaited goal with
surprising alacrity. First the usurping F chord is simply hoisted up a half step to the
legitimate nodal F (measure 64), the oddity of the voice leading (three simultaneous
wobbly-note resolutions!) mitigated by the concurrent sounding of a descending passing
note (E) in the bass. Fs major quality (acquired in measure 31) is not relinquished. The
presence of pitch A as third of the F chord leads to the substitution of II for the
introductions II as the progression continues downwards its final third. Of course, either
incarnation of the supertonic may serve as the predecessor of V. That dominant (measure
66) in turn targets the tonic goal (measure 67), bringing to a close the extraordinary
twelvefold expansion of an idea that during the introduction transpired in just five
It is understandable that Chopin elected to present a large chunk of this sharp-key
composition using flats. He has thereby spared performers (including many
amateurs) from having to read numerous frightfully spelled chords, such as the
E chord (with suspended ninth) at 491, whose appropriate spelling would be
E-B-F -G -B. Granted, an enharmonic shift is required at some point in order
for the section to end where it started in C Minor, rather than D Minor. The
logical spot for that shift within ones analysis would be during the modulo 12
equal subdivision of the octave (measures 21 through 31): from f to F, rather
than f to G. In his ex. 2 (p. 247) Eigeldinger instead copies Chopins flat
notation at that point. Sharps are restored at measure 51s E-A-C chord.
Undertaking a cosmetic (and therefore distracting and potentially misleading)
enharmonic shift while concurrently charting chordal associations in an analysis is
exceedingly dangerous. Consequently my analytical diagrams generally do not
follow composers when they employ spellings of convenience. (Theory-savvy
readers of technical analyses should be able to handle a few double-sharps!) Given
that chords related by a third have been a pervasive feature of the entire
composition, it is reasonable that Chopin pursues an ascending-third trajectory
from the stable F chord of measure 37. Yet what should that initiatives goal be?

Earlier the relationship between A and f was established. Does the conversion of
f into F warrant targeting upper-third a (or A) instead? Or should A be
maintained nevertheless? The ascending 56 sequence that Chopin employs could
lead to either goal, depending upon how the 6-phase chords are constructed. F
D G (an elaboration of F56 G5) is a good start in either case. But should
Gs 6-phase chord be E (G-B-E, surging towards A) or instead E (G -BE, surging towards either a or A)? The score bears witness that Chopin wove
indecisiveness on this point into the fabric of the work: he initially selects the
latter trajectory (measure 49) but soon shifts to the former (measure 54). Thus two
potential fifth-relationships are juxtaposed: E A and E A. When goal A is
displaced by F, a descending third-relationship is implied: A (imagined) to F.
Eigeldingers spelling of E as F (his annotation for measures 47 through 63
during which the cosmetic enharmonic shift from sharps to flats occurs reads
F A F) equates the initiating and closing elements of this complex and
fascinating passage, a reading that not only betrays an insensitivity to the
difference between descending fifth (ascending fourth: E<A) and descending
third (A>F) relationships but that then proceeds by claiming that the home key of
C Minor is symmetrically divided into three enharmonic thirds: c, F, and A (p.
246). Whereas I accept A as one of the works main players (what I have referred
to as a nodal point along the c>D trajectory, whose D will be replaced by D in
measure 65), I reject Eigeldingers F: as E it is an internal element of a sequential
progression, and as F at the cadence it is a temporary usurper of F, whose
restoration in measure 64 is accomplished before further progress in the tonal
trajectory occurs.
Indeed, the equal subdivision of an octave is featured occasionally in music
of this era: Chopin in fact pursues it in the 6(2)106 passage of measures 21
through 31, as I have noted above. But to pick a C here, an A there, and an F
somewhere else and claim that these are the poles around which the pieces
harmony is constructed (p. 246) distorts their compositional roles within Chopins
prelude. As the juxtaposition of 8.1b and 8.2 makes clear, the bass CGC
sacred triangle plays a foundational harmonic role both in the introduction and in
the main section, and in both contexts some sort of supertonic (II or II),

achieved via a descent in thirds, serves as the principal connector between the
tonic and the dominant. As is typical of tonal music in general, the bulk of
Chopins creative energy here is devoted to what comes between the initial I and
the cadential V. In claiming that the D chord of measures 15 through 18 is
established without any functional raison dtre (p. 246), Eigeldinger neglects its
potential to continue immediately to V, a scenario that Chopin passes over in
favor of a longer and far more captivating build-up to the supertonic (II) in
measure 65.
If the preludes main section is in fact a gargantuan variant of the
introduction, as I have proposed above, then there is a significant structural
connection between the cadences on tonic c in measures 45 and 6667. (Play
them one after the other to hear how they rhyme.) My reading of the form gives
them comparable status: as close of the introduction and of the main section. The
latter is divided into four parts (indicated by bar lines in 8.2), set off by a rather
amorphous halt on F in measure 19 and dynamic (and equivalently formulated)
cadences on F in measure 35 and on its usurper, F, in measure 59. (Eigeldingers
ex. 2 likewise presents the expanse from c in measure 5 to c in measure 67 as a
single multi-sectional entity, though his internal bar lines do not in all cases
coincide with mine. He annotates the goal c chord with the word Reprise,
which I take to imply a dovetailing of the end of the main section with the onset of
its modified repetition.) Smith proposes a contrasting view of the form, which he
classifies as rounded binary (p. 242).10 Though he divides what I call the main
section into the same four parts as I do, my first two parts correspond to his first
section, my third part to his middle section, and my fourth part to his retransition
(p. 241).11 Consequently what follows the cadence of measure 67 is for him a
more vital part of the formal design than it is for me. (In my view a one-part form
has fully run its course by the cadence of measure 67 and will be reprised in an
abbreviated version that retains all essential deep structural features; whereas
Smiths middle section, which cadences in F Major, requires the material after
measure 67 to re-assert the tonic and to balance the open-ended first section.) As
the remainder of this essay will help clarify, I propose that the prelude is organized
as a set of four distinct passes through the same structural theme: the
introduction, the main section, its modified repetition, and the coda. That view is

incompatible with Smiths interpretation of the passage leading to the cadence in

measures 6667 (for me the site of the works background Urlinie descent) as a
Despite our disagreement regarding the preludes form, Smiths fig. 20.3
(which he calls the Schematic form) and my 8.2 have much in common over the
course of what I call the main section until the final part, between F and c
(measures 59 through 67), where his representation goes blank while mine
robustly includes three of the sections seven open noteheads and two of its four
Roman numerals. This is an intensified replication of our disagreement regarding
measure 4, discussed above. Whereas Smiths focus emphasizes tonicized keys
(going so far as to omit the structural dominant, which is labeled as V7/c in his
score 20.6), my perspective intermixes chords derived from modulo 12
progressions, chords modified by multiple wobbly notes, and structural harmonies
regardless of whether or not they are reinforced by local progressions that
incorporate their leading tones. I regard tonicization and structural depth as
distinct notions that often do not correlate.12
Given the roster of chords left after his selective purging, it is not surprising
that Smith has appended a listing of two chordal cycles to his fig. 20.3: BDF
and FAC. (They are presented in triangular diagrams in his fig. 20.4 as well.)
His commentary explains: This CAF cycle accounts for the overall shape
of the preludes beginning (C minor to A) and end (F back to C minor); in
contrast, the DBG cycle is the source for the harmonic motion through the
middle (p. 247). Whereas the latter corresponds to my 62106 cycle (modulo
12) for measures 21 through 31, the former, which Eigeldinger endorses as well
(as we have seen), falls apart for me because all of the various A() and F()
chords above the open parentheses in 8.2 serve as nodal points (with or without
wobbly-note mutation) along the path between the hierarchically deeper I and

The modified repetition of the Prelude in C

The modified repetition of the Prelude in C

Minors main section (measures 6784)
After the PAC that is achieved in measure 67, the prelude could proceed directly to the
coda (jumping from 671 to 842) with no injury to the form. Instead, Chopin electively
repeats the structure that has just been presented, now in a much tidier (though, due to the
cadenza, still very impressive) manner. A repeat of the initial c-to-A motion transpires
during measures 67 through 75. (See 8.3.) Then Chopin takes advantage of a nifty trick of
the trade: adding F to A-C-E results in II. Thus the progression avoids entirely the
intricate and extended navigation among mutating nodal points that characterizes the main
sections initial statement. The written-out cadenza briefly postpones the denouement, in
the process accomplishing a shift from II to II (thus bringing this progression into a
closer alliance with that of the earlier main section, where II occurs in measure 65).14
From the cadenzas initiating D chord (which Chopin spells enharmonically using
easier-to-read G in place of F ), the second through ninth four-note groupings work
downwards by half steps. The ninth chord in the series (eight half-steps below the starting
point) incorporates a mutation: presented by Chopin as F-B-D-G rather than as F-BC-G. From that point he works his way back up again, achieving C-G-E-B (which
represents D: F -A-C-E) in the middle of the thirteenth four-note grouping. That
chord returns and is prolonged at the end of the cadenza, where the correct spelling is
employed. Bass F at the start of the final four-note grouping resolves to the dominants
G (three octaves lower) at 801. A three-measure expansion of the cadential chord
(measures 80 through 82) precedes a staid V I close. Though the rhyme with measures
45 and 6667 is inexact, the effect is one of increased stability due to the downbeat
arrival of soprano . Yet eighth notes rise again from the depths, initiating a brief coda.

Eigeldinger tacitly confirms the formal redundancy of this section by giving it

hardly any attention in his analysis. The word Reprise in his ex. 2 suffices.15 The
annotations in Smiths score 20.8 demonstrate one of my principal concerns with
conventional harmonic analysis: the use of widely divergent symbols for
essentially the same harmonic function. The cadenza connects two very similar
chords: A-C-E-F and F -A-C-E, both of which target V. My notational
practice, either with Arabic numerals (as displayed in 8.3) or with arrows (II),
emphasizes that a mere wobbly note differentiates those two sonorities. Smiths
conventional analysis instead makes them seem disparate: Ger versus vii7/V. (If
one agrees with me that their shared root is D, then the = A7 in Smiths
annotation will seem curious as well.) Equally problematic, in my view, is the
label i for the chord of measures 80 through 82 (Smiths 81 through 83), though
so much ink has been spilt on that issue over the years that I will hold my peace.

Example 8.3 Analysis of Prelude in C Minor (op. 45), mm. 6784.

The Prelude in C Minors coda (measures 8491)

Whereas the penultimate left-hand pitch in the cadential measure 67 is G, an accented A
emerges at that location in the counterpart measure 84. This A of course brings to mind the
various A major chords that have initiated progressions away from tonic c in the
preceding regions of the prelude (measures 1, 13, and 75). In those earlier contexts A led
either to f (on the way to D or D) or directly to D. Now, with the help of the G
that emerges in measure 85, A targets D directly. (See 8.4.) Listeners thus may admire
the range of similar though distinct trajectories that Chopin juxtaposes in this work. Yet
there is something even more delicious to savor: the chord of measure 85 (spelled A-CE-G) is the enharmonic equivalent of the chord of measure 76 (spelled A-C-E-F ).
Consequently alert listeners might develop a special interest in finding out how Chopin
will proceed after measure 85: will A lead to II; or will D lead to V? Chopin
chooses the II route, thereby restoring the introductions version of the dominant
preparation. The PAC that follows brings the progression to a close, with lingering echoes
of Kopfton E in the post-cadential measures.

Example 8.4 Analysis of Prelude in C Minor (op. 45), mm. 8491.

Ballade in F Minor (op. 52)

in response to Laufer Edward

Edward Laufers detailed analysis of Chopins Ballade in F Minor appears in a book
devoted to sonata forms.1 Given the venue, Laufer focuses especially on the works form
and motivic associations. I am not persuaded by his formal assessment, which has
appeared with some frequency in the literature devoted to this ballade. I propose that
Chopin instead pursues a creative variant of an A1 A2 binary form, with multiple
repetitions of A1, incorporating variation and internal expansion, accounting for the bulk
of the work, followed by a single A2 statement near the end. (Laufer refers to the latter as
a coda.) Since my focus is on harmony, I will not dwell on our disagreement regarding the
form, but instead will glean as much as I can about harmonic matters from Laufers
generous graphs. Though his examples are dense to the point of sometimes exceeding
what might reasonably be squeezed onto a page2 Laufers use of Roman numerals is
uncommonly sparse. Consequently I sometimes reconstruct the implied harmonic
progressions through an assessment of the graphs pitch content and of the associations
indicated by slurs and beams.

The introduction and the initial statement of A1

(measures 122)
The Ballade in F Minors A1 section presents a conventional trajectory from a minor tonic
(introduced at 82) to its major dominant (attained at 222).3 This trajectory is presented four
times over the course of the ballade (incorporating progressively more extraordinary
elaborations and expansions), after which a tonic-cadencing A2 finally commences at
measure 211. Consequently a cadential dominant and the onset of a fresh tonic are
juxtaposed multiple times: at measures 2223, 5758, 151152, and 202211. That same
juxtaposition is deployed at the juncture of the introduction and the initial A1: a C major
dominant is tonicized from the opening measure through the fermata chord of 72, thereby
coordinating with what precedes each of the later A-section onsets.
Gradually emerging out of a misty repeated octave G, the introductions tonicized C
chord soon surges towards IV, whose 6 phase leads the progression onwards to V and
then I.4 (See 9.1.) The entire progression is repeated during measures 4 and 5, followed by
fragments that extend the introduction for an additional two measures. The establishment
of G (F Minors ) at the top of the texture as the introduction begins is critical. Whereas
G is emphasized from the outset during the dominant-focused introduction, during each
statement of A1 or A2 it serves as the successor of Kopfton A, which first emerges (in the
same register as the introductions G) during 131. As 9.1 shows, Chopins melody
juxtaposes a pair of unfolded thirds over the course of the ballades first thirteen measures:
G down to leading tone E during the dominant introduction, followed by tonic resolution
F up to Kopfton A during the opening measures of the A1 section. (As often is the case in
minor-key compositions, an upper-third chord A-C-E plays a role in the
prolongation of the initial F-A-C tonic.)

Example 9.1 Analysis of Ballade in F Minor (op. 52), mm. 113.

During the initial statement of A1 (measures 7|8 through 22), IV comes between Ispace (which eventually surges, targeting IV) and the cadential

. (See 9.2.) Tonic Fs

minor seventh, E, sounds in a consonant context during an excursion to the tonics upperthird chord (A-C-E in measures 12 through 15). Es ultimately dissonant character is
unleashed through the restoration of tonic root F and the shift from A to A during 161.
(An E-G()-B-(D) embellishing chord separates the A chord from the F tonic both
upon arrival and upon departure.) The upward melodic unfolding from F reaches Kopfton
A during the prolongation of the upper-third chord.

Example 9.2 Analysis of Ballade in F Minor (op. 52), mm. 7|822.

Once attained, the subdominant is prolonged via a tonicization of B Minor,
supporting a local third-progression from D down to B, as is displayed in 9.2. This
tonicization likewise proceeds to an upper-third chord (again aided by an intervening
embellishing chord). The progression continues with II7 and then

within B Minor.

Though prolonged for several measures, the F dominant does eventually resolve to B, at
which point Bs role as IV within the broader F Minor progression is fulfilled by the
continuation to dominant C. The sketch proposes that what conventionally might occur as
a stepwise connection between Kopfton A (during 131 and 141) and its incomplete upper
neighbor B (at 162 and 221) here coordinates with a registral shift, so that the seventh
A>B (broken up into three thirds) is traversed instead of the second A<B. From that
B a downward leap to the HC goal, G (= ), is easily accomplished during measure 22.
The structural division over the bar line between measures 22 and 23 (where V7 and I
harmonies are juxtaposed) is reinforced by the slurring, by the rests in the melody, by the
fact that the melody does not descend from G to F, and by the correspondence with the
initial A1 onset of measure 8.5
Whereas the introductions C major chord is inaugurated with a melodic G, its
interior third, C<E, is thrice stated in the melody during measures 3 through 6. At
the outset of A1 Chopin responds to that major third in two significant ways: first,
in the context of the F minor tonic harmony, C<E yields to C<F (measure 8); and

second, that fourth remains an interior interval, preceding the arrival of the summit
pitch A (measure 13). The graph presented in Laufers ex. 7.3a does not make
these correlations. The tall stem marking the C of measure 8 as the Kopfton
imposes a visual barrier between related pitches.
At the phrase ending, what I interpret as a structural divide between measures
22 and 23 does not register as such in Laufers graph. Our differing views stem in
part from our contrasting determinations of the Kopfton: from Laufers (= C),
the B>G third of measure 22 is interpreted as an unfolding from an outer to an
inner strand, encouraging a continuation from dissonant B to an A resolution (as
is conveyed by his soprano beam); whereas from my , a succession to


conventional point of interruption within an A1 A2 binary form) is attainable, since

B may be interpreted as s incomplete upper neighbor.6 Laufer complicates
matters further by suggesting that the subdominant is the goal that the quick V
that follows serves only to reintroduce the I (p. 162). Despite the duration of its
tonicizing prolongation, IV is displayed in my 9.2 as an interior element of a
conventional tonic-to-dominant progression, with HC at 222 rather than IAC at
231. If the dominant here seems a bit slight, keep in mind that Chopin will fortify
an equivalent dominant arrival point later (in measures 195 through 210).
One small point: within the B Minor tonicization, dominant F major arrives
without seventh E at 182. An embellishing chord (over F pedal) at 202 presents as
its third an E that is retained when the F chord is restored. Laufer shows elements
of the embellishing chord in his ex. 7.3a but does not acknowledge the restoration
of the

. Here as elsewhere, a more generous display of Roman numerals

would have been useful. (Note that a I numeral appears neither at measure 8 nor at
measure 23 in Laufers graph. Nor is the hierarchical relationship between the
mediant and what I call a surging tonic clarified in measures 12 through 16. I
suspect that Laufer intends III56 IV, which I regard as viable.)

The second statement of A1 (measures 2357)

Though the section that begins in measure 23 might have served as a consequent to the A1
antecedent, it turns out to extend no further than did that initial A1. Since it likewise
cadences on the dominant (measure 57), it should be regarded as a varied repetition of A1,
incorporating a bold internal expansion. Note in the score how what occurred during the
upbeat half of measure 8 now is positioned during the downbeat half of measure 23. This
metrical shift persists up to the point where the cadence would be expected. Instead of
extending just one beat beyond measure 36 to attain that cadence (incorporating the C
chord of 222), Chopin pauses on the B subdominant, concluding the trajectory to the
dominant only after the insertion of over twenty measures of new material. The
subdominant chords of 362 and 571 represent the same moment within the harmonic
trajectory introduced during the initial statement of A1. Especially since a G chord leads
away from the B minor chord in both measures 31 (as in measure 17) and 38, this region
will come across as a juxtaposition of two contrasting means of extending the
subdominant before it eventually yields to F Minors dominant in measure 57. In all, the
subdominant controls all but nine of the sections thirty-five measures.
An analysis of these added measures is offered in 9.3. The material falls into two
parts. During the relatively static first part the minor subdominant is fortified through the
transfer of its structural soprano pitch, B, upwards by an octave to the register of the
initial A Kopfton (measures 13 and 27), to which it relates as an incomplete upper
neighbor and through its evolution into a surging B chord by means of Ds shift to
D and the addition of minor seventh A. During the dynamic second part that surges
energy ignites a spirited circular progression that traverses all the diatonic roots in the
tonicized key of B Minor, as noted in 9.3.

Example 9.3 Analysis of Ballade in F Minor (op. 52), mm. 3657.

During the B Minor tonicization within the initial A1, a B>A>G>F fourth was
traversed (bound by a slur in 9.2, measures 16 through 18). That fourth plays a role in both
parts of the expansion displayed in 9.3. The shift from F to G (tentatively touched upon
at 371, then decisively embraced in measure 38) begins an ascending trajectory that
reaches B in measure 46. (Note the slur, incorporating an internal downward registral
shift, below the staff in 9.3.) Whereas the G chord might have served as II (a chromatic
variant of IVs 6-phase chord), offering an alternative route to the goal C major dominant,
instead an A-C-E-(G) passing chord leads back to the B subdominant, which is
subsequently embellished by F-A-C-E in measure 49. Then during the circle of fifths the
same filled-in fourth, highlighted by the beam above the staff in measures 50 through 57
of 9.3, reverts to the descending direction. Mapping 571 of 9.3 onto 221 of 9.2, we should
not be surprised that the C dominant (supporting

) that follows in measure 22 also

emerges in measure 57.

Will a fresh start, beginning in measure 58, lead to success in achieving the longedfor PAC goal in the context of A2? Or will Chopin instead undertake an even more daring
expansion of the A1 structure?

Two issues regarding hierarchical relations surface during a comparison of my 9.3

and Laufers ex. 74. First, I hear the soprano G introduced in measure 38
extending through measure 45, noting that a descending G>E third is answered
by an ascending D<F third. Laufer instead hears the F of measure 42 as the
successor of G and precursor of the F of measure 46. (Thus F behaves, in his
view, as what I call a wobbly note.) Later, I do not hear the G of 552 extending
through measure 56. (Note Laufers G>E slur and parenthetical reinstatement of
G below E.) Instead, I suggest that G here resolves as a 98 suspension,
confirmed by Chopins alto-register F during 562. (Laufers reading of a G
prolongation until the downbeat of measure 57 is presented most clearly in his ex.
74 c.)

The third statement of A1 (measures 58151)

At a basic level the tonal tale that the A1 section tells is unremarkable: after its initial
stabilization the tonic surges, targeting the subdominant, which, after a tonicizing
expansion, proceeds to the dominant for a half cadence. In an idiosyncratic organizational
plan, Chopin repeats A1 several times, maintaining approximately the same structural
framework for the tonic, for its surge, and for the dominant arrival, while developing the
internal subdominant prolongation in ever more wondrous ways. During the first three
statements of A1 this burgeoning content is anchored by straightforward and repeated
presentations of the subdominant chord in a characteristic register (as first stated during
162 and 221). The following account of how those subdominant expansions transpire
during the first three A1 sections will guide our discussion.
First statement:
The foundational state of the subdominant tonicization, featuring a third-progression
(D>C>B) supported by a harmonic progression within the tonicized key of B Minor
Second statement:
A reprise of the foundational state of the subdominant tonicization.
A fresh expansion of the subdominant, featuring a fourth-progression (B>A>G>F)
supported by a descending circle of fifths within the tonicized key of B Minor [9.3].
Third statement:
What begins as a straightforward reprise of the foundational state of the subdominant
tonicization is transformed into an extended traversal of the D>C>B third-

progression, incorporating an interruption and a shift to B Major [9.4].

A fresh expansion during which B Minor is restored, again traversing a thirdprogression (D>C>B), this time with C supported by a dominant whose prolongation
incorporates a segment of an obstinate ascending circle of thirds (F<A<C) [9.5].
A reprise of the foundational state of the subdominant tonicization.

Example 9.4 Analysis of Ballade in F Minor (op. 52), mm. 6699.

Example 9.5 Analysis of Ballade in F Minor (op. 52), mm. 99145.

In coordination with greater underlying energy, generated by a steady stream of

sixteenth notes, the foundational harmonic trajectory from the minor tonic through a surge
to the subdominant is reprised during measures 58 through 66. A bass motion from B
through D and E to F again initiates that subdominants tonicization during measures 66
through 68. (The chord above bass E during 672 evolves into II in tonicized B
Minor.) Yet whereas in the previous presentations of A1 an expansion of Bs dominant
for seven beats is followed by its resolution to B, now the F dominant extends from 681
through 801. The phrase in fact ends on a half cadence (with an interruption after C, B

, as shown in 9.4). A consequent phrase that achieves the desired PAC

(supporting ) commences as the tempo is restored in measure 80.

A wondrous parallel progression extends the F major dominant chord of measure 68.
Though its most characteristic surge would be in the form of V (as appears to be
emerging during measure 70), C soon wobbles to C, so that V (A-C-E-G) sounds
during measure 71. This chord, rooted on an unsounded F, is enharmonically equivalent to
its antipode, C, as Chopin acknowledges through the spelling C-E-G-B during
712. Without losing its V function, this chord spelled as C is the starting point for a
parallel progression that ascends obstinately in major seconds: C D E F. Thus
through the ascent of three whole steps V maps onto V! To close the phrase a cascade
of sixteenth notes transports the melodys C (=

) to the upper region of the keyboard,

after which it eventually descends three octaves to Middle C, above which the initiating
D of the post-interruption phase of this subdominant prolongation will be introduced in
measure 80.
Though the progression of measures 80 through 99 resides squarely in B Major, and
though the thematic content comes across as fresh, nevertheless there are associations with
the pre-interruption phase of the subdominant prolongation. (Both phases of the
prolongation are displayed in 9.4.) Note especially how the melodys upper thirds in
measures 6667 (D<F E>C) find their way into a major-key context in measures 84
through 90. The descent from C to B is suppressed at the cadence of measures 91 and 92,
though it may be imagined. An expanded repetition of the passage (acknowledged by the
two tiers of measure numbers in 9.4) leads definitively to the PAC (supporting C to B) in
measure 99, in coordination with a ritardando. Chopins local harmonic progressions

juxtapose the two principal means by which the tonic is departed: via a 56 shift that leads
to II, and via a surge (I) that targets IV. The tonics 5- and 6-phase chords are connected
via a segment of the descending circle of fifths (B E A D G) in measures 80 through
83. The simple addition of the tonics minor seventh, generating a surge effect in measures
86 and 87, serves as the foundation for an impressive expansion during the repetition in
measures 92 through 95, where the endpoints of a long crescendo symbol coordinate with
the tonics 8 and 7. (The bass ascends by step from root B to seventh A.)
Though the B goal of 992 resembles its predecessors in 221 and 571, both its major
quality and its sounding during the measures second beat contrast those earlier contexts.
These flaws are sufficient reason for Chopin to forgo an immediate succession to F
Minors C dominant to conclude this A1 presentation. The ensuing further expansion of
the subdominant (which eventually reverts to its initial minor quality) offers some of the
ballades most inventive writing.
Third-relationships come to the fore during the phase of the subdominant
prolongation that extends from 992 through 1452. At the outset a major-mode variant of
the passage from measures 36ff. is pursued. (Compare these passages in 9.3 and 9.5.)
Whereas the B minor chord is followed by G major, now B major is followed by G
minor (preceded by its D embellishing chord); and just as A in measure 45 connects

G and the restoration of B, so also E A in measures 104 through 107 might have

proceeded to F B. Instead, Chopin abandons this trajectory. (Note the instructions to

slow down and diminuendo during measure 107.) A second D G ensues, this time
inaugurating a progression that quickly proceeds via II to V, whose minor quality begins
the process of restoring the minor modal character of the tonicized B, in accordance with
its diatonic role as IV in F Minor. Of course, this F minor dominant in the tonicized
subdominant key is the same chord that elsewhere functions as the ballades tonic. Chopin
goes so far as to prolong it employing the same strategy as in the tonic prolongation
namely, through an excursion to its upper-third chord and back. (Compare the A major
chords of 121 and the end of 1132.) Whereas during measures 8 through 16 only the A-CE upper-third chord sounds between the initial F minor tonic and its surging F major
evolution, the projection of the shift from B Minors diatonic dominant (F-A-C) to its
leading-tone enhanced version (F-A-C) during measures 111 through 138 is mirrored by
the juxtaposition of two variants of the upper-third chord: A-C-E and A-C-E. (The

ascent of a half step between A and A is accomplished by means of a 56 shift during

measure 128. By resorting to enharmonic spellings, Chopin facilitates the ascent to A
rather than to B.)
In a context that is rife with third-related chords, the A-to-F relationship that restores
the F dominant attains a prominence that in more traditional writing likely would be
fulfilled by fifth-related chords. For example, at the outset Chopin supports the arrival of
the tonic in measure 8 by means of a C-to-F fifth-relationship. (See 9.1.) As if to signal the
newfound importance of Fs upper-third chord (even though F here functions as the
subdominants dominant rather than as the movements tonic), the A Major passage during
measures 129 through 136 draws upon thematic and harmonic content from that opening
C Major region. Chopin even reprises the fermata usage of measure 7 in measure 134.7
Such third-play is further developed in fascinating ways. For example, the
relationship between the A and F chords, discussed above, is replicated in the excursion to
As upper-third chord, C major, in measure 132. Is Chopin pursuing an equal subdivision
of the octave (4 + 4 + 4 = 12)? In this case no, since C reverts to A, and A eventually
yields to F. A similar scenario emerges during the remainder of the section, where the
relationship between A and F is replicated twice: as C to A and then as E to C. (See
9.5.) One wonders once again whether an equal subdivision of the octave is under way (3
+ 3 + 3 + 3 = 12). Again no, since the C chord resolves directly to the F chord. (The C
chord offers a consonant context for the introduction of the F dominants minor seventh,
E.) Though this might seem a curious juxtaposition, it corresponds to the Neapolitan-todominant succession, here deployed as embellishment of a dominant that has already been
established. The invigorating succession from C to f from measures 110 and 111 is here
contorted to become C to F.
Whereas the B chord that emerges during measure 145 is now of the appropriate
quality, its metrical positioning matches that of 162 rather than that of 221. Consequently
Chopin reprises the foundational subdominant prolongation here, thereby attaining the
ideal subdominant chord at 1511. Without further ado, the dominant goal arrives
immediately thereafter, followed by the onset of the fourth (final) statement of A1.
Though many details in Laufers exx. 7.5a and 7.5c are commendable, the display
of how two crucial dominant harmonies relate to their broader contexts seems

problematic to me. First, consider the dominant that I propose extends from 681
through 801. Laufers graphs make it appear that the melodic trajectory from D
through C completes its path with an imagined B during measure 80. (Note that
this B is placed within parentheses in his ex. 7.5c, though not in ex. 7.5a.) I
propose instead that an interruption delays that melodic goal: in my 9.4, C in
measure 68 connects to a B imagined in measure 92 and stated in measure 99.
Laufers reading in his ex. 7.5 seems to contradict his own graphs in ex. 7.6,
where, instead of descending to B, the beamed C of measure 68 either connects
with upper-third E or is juxtaposed with the D of measure 81.
Second, whereas I propose that the dominant harmony in measure 91 resolves
to the tonic of measure 92 (more definitively stated at the end of the varied phrase
repetition, in measures 98 and 99), Laufer here does not imagine a B resolution
pitch for the melodic line. (Though his reading of F in measure 87 as the starting
point for a linear descent subtly contrasts my reading of that F as Ds upper third,
we both acknowledge the arrival of C in measure 90.) Consequently what here
appears from Laufers notation to be an interruption actually is not one, whereas
what in the vicinity of measure 77 appears not to be an interruption actually is one.
My assertion of an interruption before the onset of the B Major material that
emerges in measure 80 is of special importance given Laufers proposal that a
sonata-form second subject begins at that point. (On p. 162 he acknowledges
that the key scheme differs from what one would find in a classical sonata.) That
notion would be hard to reconcile with my interpretation of the B tonicization as
residing within an F<C tonic-to-dominant trajectory, with this subdominant
prolongation of over eighty measures corresponding to the six-measure version of
the initial A1. If one interprets all of measures 66 through 99 as integral to a single
third-progression within B Minor/Major (as is proposed in 9.4), the potential
formal division that Laufer proposes will seem less apt.
Laufer and I offer contrasting interpretations of yet another dominant
harmony in what follows. The subdominant prolongation that I sketch in 9.5
ultimately yields, after further expansion, to the dominant at 1512. That dominant
exactly matches what we have heard at corresponding locations within the A1
structure earlier, in measures 22 and 57. In all three cases, a fresh tonic emerges on

the following downbeat. Laufer graphs a structurally deep tonic restoration in the
first two (see his exx. 7.3a and 7.4a), but one does not find in ex. 7.7 any trace of
the corresponding dominant harmony in the third. (In his commentary on p. 166,
he describes the chord of 1512 as a rather insignificant V.) His point is that the
subdominant, already extensively prolonged, continues through this region to
measure 160. Not only is the dominant so insignificant that it is not included in
Laufers richly detailed graph, but the tonic chord of measure 152 (for me the
starting point for the fourth statement of A1) is annotated as not real I (ex. 7.7a):
This return must be read as parenthetical (p. 166).
Concerning measures 99 through 145, the details of Laufers ex. 7.7 and my
9.5 diverge on two points. First, I regard the ritenuto marking of measure 107 as
indicative that the harmonic trajectory being pursued will not be continued. For
me, the surging D chord of measure 108 is a restoration of that introduced in
measure 100, offering an opportunity to pursue an alternative course. Laufer
instead integrates the latter D chord within the context of what directly precedes
and follows it. Second, I regard the F chord that emerges in measure 111 as an
important harmonic arrival point, prolonged until its resolution at 1452. Laufer
both refrains from projecting such a prolongation and visually emphasizes bass A
at 1132, further diluting Fs impact.

The fourth statement of A1 (measures 152210)

As a generator of interesting content, Chopins strategy thus far has been highly effective:
by clearly delineating four basic structural elements for A1 at the outset a minor tonic, its
evolution into a surge targeting the subdominant, a modest tonicization of the
subdominant, and finally a cadence on the major dominant listeners are introduced to a
paradigm whose repetitions are laden not only with creative variants in the local figuration
but also with progressively more daring broadenings of the subdominant tonicization that
nevertheless do eventually proceed to the C major dominant. As a result the ballade will
come across (assuming that an A2 complement to A1 eventually emerges) as an amalgam
of a theme and variations, a simple binary form, and a fantasie. Elements of the last have
given rise to Laufers claim of a relationship to sonata form.
The fourth (final) statement of A1 is radical. Amidst animated figuration in both the
right- and left-hand parts, the chord progression from the minor tonic through its surge to
the subdominant proceeds as expected, while the subdominants tonicization leads yet
again from I (B) to V (F). Yet this time that V (which arrives in measure 162) does not
return to B. (It did so directly during the first two A1 statements and after a local
interruption during the third statement.) Chopin instead abandons this trajectory in midprogression!
Perhaps Chopin wishes to convey some frustration with a process that has generated
ever more robust content without achieving the PAC that would confirm a remolding of
A1 into an A2 shape. In any event, he has elected to shift from one to another of the
principal routes through which the tonic and the dominant are connected in tonal music:
seeing that I IV resists accommodating his plan (but instead generates longer and
longer subdominant expansions), he switches to I56 II. Whereas IV was tonicized in the
earlier passes through A1, now I6 (asserted as VI) is. Chopin nevertheless achieves some
continuity between these passages by deploying, now in D Major, thematic material that
was introduced when B Minor temporarily shifted to B Major earlier. (Compare
measures 84ff. and 169ff.) This quest for continuity between contrasting paths through
A1s tonic-to-dominant tonal trajectory does not seem to me to be generated according to
the precepts of sonata form, as Laufer and others have proposed. Instead, what was at first
a modest tonal utterance during the initial A1 is imbued with ever more wondrous
outpourings from Chopins fantasy in the succeeding reiterations of that formal unit.

Though in its local context the F major chord of measures 162 through 168 will come
across as V in the tonicized key of IV (B Minor), it nevertheless is reminiscent of the
initial F Minor tonic, with a modal shift from minor to major. As such, Chopin uses it as a
springboard in shifting to the F Minor tonics 6-phase chord, D major, which emerges in
measure 169 and extends through measure 191. Because Kopfton A is supported by 6phase D as well as by the initial F Minor tonic, it may serve as the starting point for
descending linear progressions in tonicized D Major. The first transpires between
measures 169 and 177 (as shown in 9.6). The passage is a model of elegant writing,
incorporating both a surge from I to IV and the traversal of the IVV succession via a 5
6 shift. Yet the linear progressions goal D does not sound (and thus it is imaginatively
inserted within parentheses in the graph), thereby providing the impetus for a
repetition, one that further develops both the tonic surge and the 56 shift (as is
documented in 9.6). During this repetition the prolongation of the A dominant culminates
in the arrival of its seventh G, which triggers the resolution to D major. This time, the
melodys linear progression traverses a third (A to F). As the broad progression in F
Minor draws to a close, that third is followed by second (supported by II) in measure
194 and then third

(supported by V) in measure 202. As with the earlier extended

prolongations of IV, here the F Minor tonics 6-phase chord (tonicized as D Major)
dwarfs both the evolved supertonic and the dominant that follow to form the cadence.
Chopin provides more heft for the phrases ending by inserting parenthetical passages
offering somewhat frantic chordal progressions, the first of which re-targets the cadential
(measures 195196) and the second of which comes between that and the onset of its
resolution (measures 198200).

Example 9.6 Analysis of Ballade in F Minor (op. 52), mm. 152210.

Alas, with the arrival of the cadence in measure 202 we find that, even with a
dramatically instigated alternative harmonic path, the dominant persists as the goal: we
have traversed yet another A1 structure, not its A2 complement. If the latter is ever to
emerge, it appears that an even more radical transformation of content will be required.
Consequently what transpires beginning in measure 211 bears distinctive evidence of
novelty from the outset.
In that Laufer and I hold contrasting views regarding the hierarchical relationship
between the B chord of measure 151 and the F chord of measure 152 (discussed
above), it is not surprising that the D Major tonicization that commences in
measure 169 is displayed in different ways in our respective graphs. For Laufer, it
is the subdominants upper-third chord (his ex. 7.7a); for me it is the tonics 6phase chord (9.6).8 Either way, it is prolonged until II emerges in measure 194. I
place greater weight on that potent supertonic surge than does Laufer: in my view,
it supports the melodys descent from A to G, after which the A of the cadential
serves as a neighboring note. (Observe that both F and G are members of the II
chord. G arrives from above, not from below.) Laufer instead interprets that G as a
passing note between F and A. Consequently he prolongs (A) into the domain
of the dominant.
Within the D Major tonicization, Laufer again displays a tonic-cadencing
progression as if there were an interruption: I propose that the A>G>F>E line
beamed in measures 172 through 176 of his exx. 7.8a and 7.8d should continue
with an imagined D in measure 177, corresponding to a cadence on the D tonic.

(See 9.6.) That tonic then surges, leading to the arrival of IV at 1822 (not 1812, as
Laufer proposes). A similar surge of IVs 6-phase chord (as II) heralds the
arrival of V at 1842. (Observe how in both cases the surge coordinates with a long
crescendo marking, so that the resolutions occur at moments of peak intensity, just
as a decrescendo begins.) Laufer instead extends the IV56 trajectory through
measure 189. A key factor in my reading is the assumption that the embellishing
chord B-D-F-G at 1871 should resolve to C-E-A (an inverted dominant).
That chords E is elided during 1872. Instead, F is retained as an anticipation of
the following downbeat chords F.9
Whereas I regard measure 211 as a new beginning (finally, the onset of A2!),
Laufer places that measure at the end of his fig. 7.8 graphs. He proposes both that
the Urlinie reaches goal there and that a coda commences there. (Note that in his
fig. 7.9a but not 7.9b through 7.9d the goal F appears within parentheses. In his
fig. 7.10 the parentheses recur, and the chord is annotated as follows: evades
strong close on .) Given my reading of the ballades deep structure thus far as
consisting of four distinct melodic descents from to

, each supported by the

harmonic trajectory from I to V, I propose that the A of 2111 serves as the

initiation point for a descent that attains the Urlinies goal at 2231 (to be
explored below).

The A2 section (measures 211239)

The A2 section (measures 211239)

The triplet sixteenth notes that pervade the A2 section complete the gradual enlivenment
of rhythmic content that has characterized the ballade. The A2 section, whose structure
unfolds beginning in measure 211 (as shown in 9.7), is loosely related to its A1
predecessors: the Kopfton (now stated at the outset) is supported by the tonic harmony,
with a pervasive deployment of II at diverse structural levels (contrasting the tonicized IV
favored in the initial statements) proceeding to V (with C-F-G to C-E-G in measure 218
echoing the earlier occurrence of that distinctive construction in measures 201 and 202).
Yet certainly a sense of novelty prevails. Finally we achieve a breakthrough, extending
beyond the confines of the dominant-cadencing A1 to A2s long-anticipated PAC tonic,
presented fortissimo at 2231, with reiterations at 2251 and 2271 (where the minor tonics
third finally is correctly spelled as A). Though an impressive hierarchical nesting of
chordal activity is documented in 9.7, that visualization actually is somewhat simplified
from Chopins version, since a chord-dense parenthetical passage, reminiscent of those in
the vicinity of measures 196 through 200, emerges between

(at 2184) and


2224). I regard it as a written-out manifestation of something that otherwise might have

been improvised, serving to heighten the already considerable intensity in the final
approach to the cadence.

Example 9.7 Analysis of Ballade in F Minor (op. 52), mm. 211239.

The chordal progression in measures 215 and 216 may seem baffling. The
middleground C major dominant harmony attained at the end of measure 214 is here
embellished by a chord spelled as F-B-D-A. To get back to C, Chopin traverses a
segment of the modulo 12 division of the octave into six equal parts, each spanning two
half steps. The forzando markings highlight two successive -2 shifts, shown in 9.7. By this
means we arrive at the diminished seventh chord corresponding to dominant C, which is
fully restored with the resolution of D to C in the bass (a conversion to a less evolved
state of V) during 2161.10 In this construction, the E-D-G-B chord at the end of 2151
serves as a local connective chord (filling in the first whole step) rather than as a
The prominence of II during the harmonic progressions (at various levels) that are
integrated to form A2s structure contrasts the tonicized IV within the various
manifestations of A1. As soon as the PAC is achieved (at 2231) Chopin boldly substitutes
IV for II during two quick reiterations of a tonic-affirming progression. Whereas the minor
tonic of 82 eventually surges (as F-A-C-E during 161), the surge in measure 223 (spelled
as A-C-E-G) gets under way breathtakingly soon after the moment of cadence. Chopin
has spelled that juxtaposition not with A to A (as was the case during the A1 surge), but
instead as G to A. Whereas some analysts (including Laufer) would argue that Chopin
here elides the minor tonic entirely (until 2271), intending G as an accented passing note
between the dominants G and a major tonics A, I support the alternative view that, since
Chopin frequently employs quirky spellings, one should not give too much weight to the
curious G here. As a listener (not watching the score), I acknowledge the expected
cadence on the minor tonic and then am jolted by the surprising and vigorous surge
towards IV. In either reading, the IV (with soprano B) that emerges in measure 224
corresponds to that of measure 22. As such, the melodic third from B down to G should
be expected in coordination with the dominants arrival. (Contrasting the earlier
presentations, here IVs 6-phase chord emerges between IV and V.) Yet in this case E<F
occurs instead of G>F at the cadence. (Thus the structural G is placed within parentheses
in 9.7.) Chopin responds to that lacuna by emphasizing a G>F second following the
cadence (measure 227). After several reiterations, a long tonic-affirming cascade descends
to the downbeat of measure 237, followed by a final cadential gesture that reinstates the
I56 II approach to the dominant, Chopins final word on the matter.

Though Laufers paucity of Roman numerals makes an assessment of his reading

of the works harmonic dimension especially challenging, I question his
interpretation of measure 212, based upon the notes included in his graph (ex.
7.10a). I suggest that I6 (or VI), rather than I, sounds at the downbeat of that
measure. Perhaps Chopin delayed sounding D in the bass to avoid forming
parallel fifths against the melodys G<A. Yet it clearly holds sway in the alto
register. Later in the measure D yields to G (typical of I56 II in a minor-key
context). Laufer instead proposes a 56 above D.
For the progression of measures 215 and 216, Laufer offers an insightful
alternative interpretation. Given five consecutive diminished seventh chords
descending in half steps, my reading depends upon Chopins forzando marking of
the first, third, and fifth of the chords, reinforcing their already strong metrical
positioning. Laufer, in contrast, is swayed by the pitch continuity between the first
and fourth of the chords, whose pitches he connects using a beam and a tie.
Finally, I acknowledge that Laufer is more indefatigable than I am. Poised on
the verge of the structural close at 2184, Chopin embarks upon a subsidiary
progression that circles back to the dominant (now with minor seventh) at 2224. In
the context of my graph 9.7s hierarchical level, that passage does not add
significantly to the structure, and so I have inserted a hairpin symbol to
acknowledge that several measures are not accounted for. Laufer instead forges
ahead to incorporate the passage within his sketch, in the process (and dubiously,
in my view) resolving the dominant to a tonic in measure 220 and then proceeding
to a fresh dominant.


Barcarolle in F Major (op. 60)

in response to Rink John

John Rinks extraordinary devotion to Chopin has resulted in an impressive series of
books and articles, as well as a critical edition of the piano concertos and contributions to
several online Chopin resources. An essay on the Barcarolle was his first Chopin
publication, in 1988.1 Carefully crafted and richly illustrated with graphs, it both offers a
detailed analysis of the work and assesses the several manuscripts that have survived.
Though my analysis differs from Rinks in numerous ways (in part because I propose that
the Barcarolles Kopfton is , rather than ), his reading is brimming with intriguing

The introduction and the A1 section (measures 1

The introduction and the A1 section (measures 1

The introductions initiating C-E-G-B chord, which targets the A1 sections opening
tonic (measure 4), possesses two distinct layers of dissonance. The audacious D of 123 is
an incidental dissonance: it embellishes the leading tone (E), which falls into place just
before the onset of the downward chordal cascade that lowers the C chord by an octave
via a stepwise parallel progression. In contrast, the chordal seventh (B) is an essential
dissonance: it is still a force to be reckoned with during 32, after the registral shift has been
accomplished. It resolves in register to the tonics A during 42.2 Concurrently the
initial chords highest pitch (G), having been transferred down an octave by 32, descends
to the tonics F, also in the register below Middle C. (These resolutions are displayed via
a slur and an arrow in 10.1.) After the surging C chord, the tonics filled-in F<A
third exudes a calm stability.

Example 10.1 Analysis of Barcarolle in F Major (op. 60), mm. 116.

The perky C that concludes measure 4 is the first hint of an initiative that will have a
major impact upon the broad sweep of the A1, B, and A2 sections. Whereas the
introduction begins boldly in the upper register and gradually descends, Kopfton A (first
stated during 42) is transferred up an octave in measure 7 and finally resounds in the upper
register during A2 (near the end of measure 30, supported by the tonics surging 6-phase
chord). Thus A<C, A<C<F, and ultimately A<C<F<A are all stages in a
restorative process motivated by the stepwise G>G octave of measures 1 through 3.
Observe in 10.1 how the second of those arpeggiations is stretched (via an internal C<C

registral shift) into a thirteenth over the course of measures 4 through 6, followed by a
descending sixth that brings the Kopfton to the register of the introductions lower G.
Immediately thereafter a chromatic filling-in of the A<C third occurs. In fact, between
73 and 93 three tonic-prolonging lines coordinate: A<B<B<C, F<G<G <A, and
F>E>D>C.3 Despite continuing activity above these strands, Kopfton A is not
attained in the upper register during A1, and so a line from the middle-register A of 94
and of 1123 (the latter supported by the tonics 6-phase chord) leads downwards by step to
G (emphasized by a trill) when I6 proceeds as it often does to II. Though IIs evolved
state (II) targets V, the confluence of the pitches C, E, and G at 121 does not
represent an asserted dominant, but instead serves as an unfurled passing chord within a
prolongation of II. (The essence of this prolongation is displayed in 10.1.) Note how
yearnings for the upper register continue to affect the musical fabric, here splitting the
descending fifth-progression extending from G into G>F>E (presented in the
chordal interior, with F colliding with, rather than following, the G above) followed by
D>C in the upper register. Even the G from which this fifth-progression descends has a
moment in the upper-register limelight, at 141. Chopin extends beyond that G, with a
high C (two octaves above the middle-register C where the pitch was introduced at 121)
sounding at 142. Its successor (B, which also sounds briefly in that high register) is
restored to the middle register in 10.1, preceding the cadence on V. Because the tonic is
not attained at its close, the Barcarolles initial tonic pillar may be described (using
terminology introduced in our study of the mazurkas, above) as irregular.
Though Rinks and my conceptions of the introduction are similar, my ear does not
isolate the initial right-hand B-D-G as a sonority independent of root C and
consequently worthy of a

label, as Rink proposes (p. 198). The D indeed is

wondrously extended for nearly two beats. Yet its role is identical to that of the
eighth-note C of 14 and all the upward-resolving appoggiaturas that follow during
the downward cascade.
The contrast in our assessments of measures 4 through 6 is of far greater
consequence. For me the low register projected during measures 4 and 5 serves as
a sort of subterranean germination area from which the principal melodic notes of

the upper registers sprout. (This area is entered again in measures 35 and 113,
corresponding to the onsets of the C section and of the concluding region of the
coda.) The voice leading from the introduction is precisely etched: the C
chords dissonant seventh, B, resolves by descending step (as sevenths generally
do) to the tonics A, while the soprano G is transferred downwards before
descending by step (as a suspension) to F. The slurs in Rinks ex. 9 propose
exactly the opposite voice leading: that Bs resolution upwards by step to C
(which Rink regards as the Kopfton) occurs an octave higher, while G ascends
by step to A. Indeed C is the first pitch within A1 to sound in the principal
melodic register (at 62), and it recurs at the cadence (at 151). Yet an insistent
focus is not sufficient grounds for the granting of Kopfton status (p. 197, n. 6,
where Rink awards A an honorable mention for its important role as well). I
instead regard the initial C as residing within an ascending arpeggiation
(A<C<F), one of numerous ascending initiatives that ultimately will succeed in
attaining the capstone A of 304; while C at the cadence is the concluding pitch
of a G>C fifth-progression, atypically sounding above the initiating G as a
consequence of further efforts to attain the high register. Though some of the
factors that have affected my determination that serves as the Kopfton come
later (to be explored below), even the limited content of measures 1 through 15
seems to me far more supportive of than of .
Rinks ex. 4 presents his reading of the regions harmonic progression. It may
appear that we concur, given that his



is an alternative means of conveying my



Yet our conceptions turn out to be quite different. For Rink, this V resides within a
broad linear descent.4 Note the stemmed bass notes D, C, B, and A in measures
10 through 20 of Rinks graph. They coordinate with the Roman numerals




According to Rink, this V may be interpreted as an interior step along that

descending path. In my view the F chord at 174, which Rink displays but does not
label, serves as a resumption of the tonic (as will be explained below with the help
of 10.2). In such contexts an internal cadence on the dominant (which may be
referred to as a back-relating dominant or as a divider) is common. In my view
bass G (lacking a stem in Rinks graph) is the principal intermediary between F
and C.5 I further question his placing the G chords arrival at 144. I propose
instead that II-space begins three measures earlier. In that context the pitch C
emerges as a neighbor to an already established II chords third, B (as indicated
by the N abbreviation in 10.1). Rink displays this C instead in the soprano. It is
the only soprano notehead in the vicinity that is stemmed, despite the fact that C
is a member neither of the vi nor of the V/V triad.

The B and A2 sections (measures 1734)

Irregular tonic pillars of the IV type, such as that which transpires during the Barcarolles
A1 section, are found in several of the mazurkas that we explored in chapter 3. As was
noted there, often the tonic will be re-established at or near the beginning of the B section
that follows. (Review 3.2 through 3.8, especially 3.6a, measures 1723.) The E that
emerges at 171 should not be interpreted as a shift to the dominants parallel minor, but
instead as an anticipation of the emerging major tonics minor seventh:



through elision and anticipation becomes

C> F
The restored tonic (now surging as F) launches a circular progression that proceeds
through B and E to A. The A major goal chord is prolonged via a descending parallel
progression similar to that of the introduction.6 Whereas a surging A major chord was
deployed at the end of measure 9 to connect the tonics 5- and 6-phase chords (in which
context C ascends to D), here the A-C -E sonority serves as an upper-third
embellishment of the tonic chord (with wobbly note C returning to C at 241). The upper
row of Roman numeral analysis in 10.2 displays its voice-leading origins.

Example 10.2 Analysis of Barcarolle in F Major (op. 60), mm. 134.

It stands to reason that the A2 section should draw upon A1s I56 II V trajectory,
though now proceeding beyond V to I for a PAC. Those expectations are fulfilled, as 10.2
reveals. The upper-register Kopfton A arrives at the culmination of a magnificent
sequential ascent, connecting the tonics 5- and surging 6-phase chords (measures 24
through 30). As often happens, here the traversal of the ascending 56 sequence, which in
full would run as






is abbreviated to become

(= F



A )

(Compare this abbreviated sequence with the idiosyncratic sequence displayed in 6.4.)
Whereas an A chord (during 94) connects the tonic 5- and 6-phase chords during A1,
here the sequence culminates in a chord that mutates to A. The supertonic that follows
D5 (= I6) is presented initially in its diatonic form, only gradually developing its
characteristic surge towards the dominant, which here is gloriously stated with suspended
ninth and eleventh. The excursion into the upper reaches of the pianos range extends even
beyond that of measure 14, reaching a D near the end of measure 32. The D>E

descending seventh that follows will seem mildly disappointing, in that Ds upward
yearning is not fulfilled yet. (See measures 92 and 93.) That E completes, in register,
the descending third left off after the trilled F of 314: the ascending F<G<A so
modestly presented in the low register during measure 4 (and replicated boldly in the
upper register during measures 25 through 30) is complemented by a G>F>E third,
sounding in the upper register during measures 31 and 32 (as shown in 10.2).7
The contrast between Rinks and my interpretations of the B section hinges upon
what we make of the F-A-(C)-E chord at 174.8 For me that chord represents a
restoration of the F tonic (now surging), as indicated by the F-to-F bass and
A-to-A soprano slurs in 10.2. Though the chord is of only one beats duration, it
represents the culmination of a tonic expansion that has persisted for fourteen
measures. Rink instead regards the latter F as a local event: just as G targeted
the C of measure 15, now F targets the next step in a broad descending scale,
To help us come to terms with this thorny issue, please turn to measures 103
and 104, which inaugurate the Barcarolles coda. Those measures contain four
two-beat chords, as follows:

I propose that the first three chords constitute a tonic expansion, whose surging
conclusion targets B.9 Despite the proximity of their roots, there is no direct
relationship between the C and B chords. The question is, how much more
emphasis can the C chord be given before the relationship between C and B
begins to overpower that between F and F? Looking at the first four chords of
10.2, I maintain that root Fs impact extends through three chords, whereas Rink
maintains that the stepwise relationship between C and B overpowers the
potentiality for an F restoration at measure 17.
Upon the arrival of B in measure 18 listeners might reasonably speculate
regarding which of several viable tonal trajectories is being pursued. Chopin
allows a measure for the chords impact to sink in before proceeding to what might

be taken as Bs 6-phase chord (B-D-G at 193). Consequently one might suspect

that I IV56 is inaugurating a progression that will continue with V and then I.
Yet F is reintroduced under the trilled G, behaving as a suspension that resolves
downwards to E, so that ultimately F B E A charts a circular route between
the tonic and the mediant, as shown in 10.2. (Rinks commentary on the
foreground jumps from measure 16 to measure 20 (p. 204), as do his foreground
graphs (examples 9 and 10). The E chord is not acknowledged in his
middleground graph (example 4), though the 6-phase pitch G is present.) In that
the Barcarolles C section will proceed from F to the tonicization of a different
variant of the mediant (A Major), an F-to-A connection during the B section
makes good sense. Perhaps the most common means of achieving the mediant is
via a circular progression, which in the case of ascending a major third will
incorporate one imperfect fifth (here B to E).10
Regarding A2, a comparison of Rinks and my analyses of measures 28
through 31 (within his ex. 4 and my 10.2) reveals significantly contrasting
readings of measure 30. First of all, it seems to me that surges are at work
throughout, and thus whereas we both display A-to-B and B-to-C resolutions,
the omission of C (which resolves to D) in his graph curtails the momentum
before the ascending trajectory has reached its goal. Measure 30 is, in fact,
different from the previous measures in three ways: unlike A and B, C arrives
after not at the downbeat; C s chord is of the rather than of the type;
and, whereas the B and C goal chords (whose arrivals Rink refers to as
cadences (p. 206)) are consonant, the D chord is a surging dissonant chord. Yet
those differences serve to make the attainment of goal D all the more potent and
notable. In that IV and V numerals are provided, Rinks omission of a label for this
VI chord is curious. In my view he both misrepresents the extent of the upward
initiative and loses sight of the close alliance with the harmonic progression of A1
(where the only connecting chord between I5 and I6 is a variant of the C surging
chord omitted from his ex. 4: A at the end of 94 and A at 302).11
In that I perceive a broad I56 expansion over the span of measures 7 through
30, the high A of 304 is presented in 10.2 as a structurally deep event, an upperoctave replication of the Kopfton, attained at literally the last possible moment

just before the middleground descent through G to F that closes A2. Rinks ex. 4
displays that A as internal to a slurred B>A>G third. Though I cannot make
out exactly what hierarchical relationship Rink intends by placing Roman
numerals in two rows (I think his perspective would be more consistent if he
accepted the first of the two V chords as the arrival of the dominant, with the stem
from bass C attached to the beam at that point), certainly the absence of a label
for the D chord is indicative of the contrast that our two readings offer. My
version highlights I56 II V as a shared component of A1 and A2 (and, as we
shall see presently, of A3 as well).

The C and A3 sections (measures 35103)

The F-A-C tonic chords diatonic upper-third chord A-C-E was passed over during
the B section, which instead features A-C -E, the diatonic chords first chromatic
variant.12 Prolonged for four measures (20 through 23), it serves as a voice-leading
embellishment of the tonic, which is restored in measure 24. Unlike A or A (both of
which occur in one or the other of the initial tonic pillars, as noted above), this major A
chord does not proceed by descending fifth to the chord that follows. During the
Barcarolles C section the upper-third chords second chromatic variant A-C-E not
only is attained, but also is tonicized. The F Minor flavor of the section opening
(measures 35 through 38) facilitates its emergence in measure 39. Its impact persists
through measure 70 and beyond. What will happen after its tonicization has run its course?
Will it again lead back to the initial F tonic, as was the case with A-C -E? Or might it
instead behave as A, targeting tonic Fs modified 6-phase chord, D-F-A, which
could lead onwards to II5 (the Neapolitan chord) and beyond?
Lets look at the big picture first (with the help of 10.3), filling in some details later.
Earlier, the B sections A chord coordinated with a rising third in both outer voices: from


. The resumption of the initial tonic puts a crimp on the upward motion in the

bass, but not in the soprano: from C the line first undergoes a wobble correction (to C)
and then continues upwards through F to a high A, completing an octave arpeggiation.
During the C section a similar upward trajectory is inaugurated by the initial rising thirds:


. Though the stabilization of the latter third initially is problematic (to be

explored below), eventually the progression of thirds continues: from



. Though an upward continuation would have been viable, Chopin chose to assert the
E chord as V in A Major, thereby tonicizing the A-C-E chord. In so doing, the high G
serves as a leading tone that resolves by step to A, and thus an A<A arpeggiated octave
is traversed in the soprano of measures 3539 through 68, corresponding to the A<A
octave of measures 47 through 30. The Barcarolles fundamental line thus descends from

A (Kopfton ) through A to G (measure 76). Though he might have proceeded directly

from the A upper-third chord to the dominant, Chopin elected to reinstate the tonic in
measure 76 (thus mimicking the treatment of the B sections upper-third chord), from
which he proceeds via II to V, the same succession that was employed during the
progressions of A1 and A2.13 That internal tonic reinstatement is accomplished by a shift
of an A-targeting E chord to an F-targeting C chord in measures 72 through 76.14
The C sections interrupted , supported by background V, proceeds to at the PAC that
concludes the first statement of the A3 tonic pillar, as shown in 10.3.

Example 10.3 Analysis of Barcarolle in F Major (op. 60), mm. 193.

Now lets explore some more local details. The sense of a new beginning proposed
for the C section, with its broad A<A arpeggiation replicating (down a half step) the
A<A arpeggiation of the A1 B A2 regions, is fostered by its initiating melodic
C<F<G<A (the second through fifth pitches in measure 35), which is closely allied
with the second through sixth pitches of measure 4 (where Kopfton A was first stated,
also a third below Middle C). In the earlier instance, an A<C<C<F>C>A melodic
trajectory (incorporating an internal registral shift) during measures 4 through 7 reinforces
the Kopfton. The same end is achieved by a similar means in measures 35 through 39. In
this case A<C<F transpires quickly during 3523, after which the F Minor tonic chord
is twice embellished by a

neighboring chord (with passing note C at 354 and 362

connecting sixth D and fourth B).15 The F>C span transpires between 364 and 381,
embellished by upper neighbor G and passing notes E and D, followed by the C>A
span between 381 and 391, embellished by upper neighbor D and passing note B. The

registral shift in this case is postponed until the end at 391, where goal A below Middle
C is surmounted by an A an octave higher.
The C in measure 41 begins the C sections upward melodic trajectory. In that the
third is a member of both the F minor tonic triad and its major upper-third triad,
there is some wavering between the two chords. Recall that the descending circle of fifths
(traversed as F B E A) was called into service during measures 17 through 20 to
negotiate the span between the F Major tonic and its upper-third chord. Chopin uses the
same means to instead descend in seconds from upper-third A back to tonic F in
measures 41 through 46 (A D G C F). That tonic (at first in its initial major
formulation, but soon with the shift of its third to A) is confirmed by means of a I II V
progression, stated twice in measures 46 through 50. Consequently it may appear that, just
as the A upper-third chord of measures 20 through 23 soon dissipates, likewise the A
upper-third chord of measures 39 through 41 is not sustained. Yet this time Chopin offers
A a second chance. Just as in measures 72 through 76 E and C will be juxtaposed
to lead from A back to F, here Fs C bows to As E (measure 50), leading to a
repeat of the A Major material beginning in measure 51, now transferred up an octave.
Alas, the same circle-of-fifths descent that earlier plagued the maintenance of A occurs
again, and by measure 57 the F tonic has reasserted itself. The I II V progression is
reprised as well. Chopin then offers A a third chance, with the C/E juxtaposition of
measure 61 leading to A-C-E yet again. This time, however, As fifth (E) plays a
prominent role in the melodic line, both definitively contrasting the pitch collection of the
F-A-C tonic triad and anticipating the E of the

third within the ascending-thirds

progression. The ascending circle of fifths (now in a chain of four chords and thereby, like
measures 17 through 20, ascending a third) is called into service again to complete the
attainment of that ascending third: A D G C in measures 65 and 66. (The circles
internal D chord is represented by F -C-E.) A continuation to E (via C F B E)
follows in measures 66 and 67. As mentioned earlier, this E chords resolution back to A
(thereby terminating the ascending-thirds trajectory) confirms the tonicization of A Major
that we now may retrospectively trace back to the C sections earlier A major chord
(measure 39). The dominants G>E>D augmented fourth, which unfolds from 673 to 682,
is complemented by the tonics C<E<A during 6834.

As explained above, the tonicized A region ultimately serves as an upper-third

embellishment of the F Minor tonic, which consequently extends from 351 through 762.
The progression to the background dominant is facilitated by a very brief (though
structurally deep) II during 762. Earlier the projection of the F Major tonic chord was
accomplished by means of an A<A registral shift and a descending third-progression
from to the tonic root (A>G>F), as displayed in 10.2. Now this C dominants
tonicization incorporates both a G<G registral shift and a descending fifth-progression

to the dominant root (G>F>E>D>C), as displayed in both 10.3 and (in

greater detail) 10.4a. The tonicizing harmonic progression engages two interlocking C
GC sacred triangles in support of the descending fifth-progression. The minor quality
of the subdominant at 774 (whose A reflects the A goal of both bass and soprano from
measure 68) indicates that F Major has not yet gained full tonal control; though certainly
by the time of the C7 chord at 8334 it has.

Example 10.4 Barcarolle in F Major (op. 60) (a) Analysis of mm. 7682; (b)
Hypothetical measures 77 and 78.
Occasionally one encounters in Chopins music a progression of chords that resists
explication by ordinary means.16 The passage omitted at the spot marked by a hairpin
symbol in 10.4a indeed may well cause perplexity among analysts. My hypothesis
regarding how Chopin conceived this passage involves a sudden shift from one viable
tonal trajectory to another: a potential I56 II V7 I unexpectedly replaced by I IV V7 I.

The first four chords in 10.4b, which presents the alternative progression that I propose
Chopin might have pursued, actually sound in the composition, though there their roles are
camouflaged by easier-to-read spellings. Note that the examples second chord is an
upper-fifth embellishing chord of the third, replicating the relationship between the last
chord of measure 76 and the first chord of measure 77, now hoisted up a half step. Those
precedents suggest that the fourth chord in 10.4b ought to resolve to an A major chord,
as is shown within square brackets. That chord would be ideal in such a context, because it
serves as I6 (evolved into surging VI). As the example confirms, the harmonic
progression to V7 may proceed via VI II just as easily as through I IV (as displayed
in 10.4a). In this context the C major chord serves as a chromatic variant of A majors
upper-third chord. (Consequently the Roman numeral VI is introduced below bass C ,
with the bullet symbol indicating that root A is absent.) Just when the fully constituted 6phase chord is about to be introduced, Chopin diverts the progression to a surging I (EG-B-D), resulting in IV rather than II serving as the principal intermediary between I
and V7. Why did Chopin undertake this unusual tactic? Though we will never know for
sure, I find it intriguing that over the broad span of the C section an upper-third A major
chord plays an important role, though it is rescinded (via the F restoration in measure 76)
before the broad progression continues through supertonic G to dominant C. During
the dominant prolongation that follows, tonicized Cs lower-third chord is rescinded
(again replaced by a restored, and in this case highly evolved, tonic) even before it has the
opportunity to sound!
The A3 tonic pillar, which commences in measure 84, follows the general contour of
the A2 pillar, and thus it achieves a PAC whose soprano , magnificently doubled at the
upper octave at 931 (compare with the restrained cadence at 331), serves as the close of the
broad A>G>F fundamental line that spans the composition to this point. (See 10.3.)
Whereas the A1 and A2 pillars were presented only once each, A3 is repeated in a
varied form, as shown in 10.5. Note especially how 1014 through 1023 correspond to 914,
how 1024 (with the distinctive ninth and eleventh above the dominant root) corresponds to
9214, and how 1031 corresponds to 931. In that the attainment of the upper-register A
has already been accomplished, the variant traverses the span between that upper A and
an even higher F (previously sounded at the cadence of 931) during measures 96 through
99, as a substitute for the A<A arpeggiation. (This material is derived from the A Major

region of the C section, measures 62ff.) The II of measure 101 initially takes on a
coloration, though eventually it bows to the of A1, A2, and the earlier A3. A coda (to be
explored below) follows the cadence of 1031.

Example 10.5 Analysis of Barcarolle in F Major (op. 60), mm. 93116.

I shall divide my critique of Rinks analysis of the C and A3 sections into six parts.
Measures 35 through 39. Rinks interpretation of how the pitches within these
measures relate with one another is commendable. (See his fig. 11 and
commentary on p. 206.) Though I give more weight to A and its upper-sixth F
and he to the internal C, those differences relate to the broader issue of versus
as Kopfton. Nevertheless, we disagree regarding the role these measures play
within the Barcarolle. For me, measure 35 is closely aligned with measure 4: my
analysis interprets both as structural initiation points. Rink shares my view with
respect to measure 4, describing measures 4 through 16 as Theme A in his
formal synopsis (his fig. 1). However, in that same synopsis measures 35 through
39 are described as a transition, and bars 139 are treated as a suitable chunk
of the Barcarolle to assess at one time, both in his commentary (p. 198) and in a
middleground graph (ex. 4). Consequently his series of B themes is set squarely in
the key of A Major, followed by another transition that attains Fs dominant on
C. My contrasting segmentation projects a broad progression from F (the
measures in question here, which Rink analyzes as vi in A Major (p. 200)) to C
all within the boundaries of what I call the C section.

Measures 39 through 50 (with a varied repetition in measure 51 through 61).

Two broader analytical decisions affect Rinks and my interpretations of these
measures: whereas my C section begins in F Minor, Rinks formal unit Theme
B(1) begins in A Major; and whereas I regard A as the Kopfton (by this point
lowered to A), Rink proposes C for that role. Consequently the


(seventeenth) during measures 47 through 50 resonates for me as a back to square

one sounding of the C sections initiating tonic chord in a way that it would not to
someone committed to A Major and to Kopfton C. Whereas I would not make use
of Roman numerals (as Rink does, on p. 201) during the circular progression
descending from A to F, I certainly would employ them (as Rink does not) as F
progresses to its dominant (twice) in measures 47 through 50, wherein a II that
juxtaposes B and D as a diminished third, rather than more conventionally as an
augmented sixth, serves as the intermediary between I and V. For me the
passages principal melodic line is a descent from A to G ( to in F Minor,
a typical HC trait). From this perspective, the C major chord of 5012 (and later
611) is the phrases goal, while the remainder of that measure plays a transitional
role preparing for the backtracking to a restatement of the phrase-opening A chord
(measure 51) or to a new trajectory emerging from an A chord (measure 62).
Measures 62 through 70. Rinks Theme B(2), which transpires during these
measures, resides squarely within the key of A Major. In his view the themes
principal melodic event is a repeated traversal of an E>D>C third (as shown in
his ex. 6). For me, instead, the principal event is a filled-in ascending arpeggiation
from the A Major tonics third, C, through E to the A Major dominants third,
G, which resolves to A (completing a full-octave ascent from the initiating A of
measures 3539) in coordination with the resolution to the tonic (as shown in
10.3). It seems to me that Rink has missed the essence of the voice leading
between 653 and 673, where a straightforward example of the reaching-over
procedure occurs:
C descends to B, above which D reaches over.
D descends to C, above which E reaches over.

E descends to D, above which F reaches over.

F descends to E, above which G reaches over (concurrent).
Consequently leading tone G sounds in an exposed position at the top of the
texture during 673. The resolution to A comes across as especially pronounced
not only because of its registral placement, but also because a G>D augmentedfourth unfolding (through 682) resolves to C<A.
Measures 70|71 through 83. Rinks and my views are highly contrasting in
this region. I propose that an expansive C section, distinguished from what
precedes it by the shift to F Minor, begins in measure 35 and continues until F
Minors dominant is attained and prolonged in measures 76 through 83. This
dominant goal coincides with the arrival of background

, whose interruption

(with restoration of diatonic during the A3 section) is one of musics principal

form-defining devices. In contrast, Rink regards both the initiating F Minor and
the attainment of the tonicized dominant, C Major, to reside within Transition
sections (his fig. 1), thereby elevating the importance of the tonicized A Major
mediant. Taking a hint from how Chopin treats the B sections A major chord in
relation to the F Major tonic context, I regard the C sections A Major
tonicization to reside within a broader F Minor expanse, noting especially the
symmetrical relationship between measures 50 and 60 (which juxtapose Fs C
and As E) and measures 72 through 76 (which juxtapose As E and Fs
C). Consequently the F minor chord at 762 is for me a hearkening back to the
C sections opening measures (35 through 38), conveyed by the broad bass slur
connecting those two Fs in 10.3. Rink, in contrast, does not permit the C of
761 to resolve: he regards it as the arrival of the structurally deep dominant, to
which the following F minor chord is appended (example 6).17 Granted, one
cannot prove that one interpretation should be preferred over the other. Readers
are simply encouraged to compare these two starkly contrasting views so stark,
in fact, that neither the soprano pitch G during 763 nor its upper-octave replicate
at 782, projecting the

of the Barcarolles background

descent in my

reading, is even present in Rinks detailed ex. 6 (though the lower G does appear
in his ex. 2 and the higher one in his fig. 12). As one might expect if G indeed is

a structurally deep pitch, a fifth-progression descends (with internal upward

register transfer) from G to the tonicized dominants root, as displayed in 10.4a.
Rink displays the lower third of this fifth in his fig. 12. The thorny passage
explored in 10.4b is not assessed in Rinks essay.
Measures 84 through 93. Though I propose that the high F of 931 belongs
with the preceding measures (in opposition to Rinks breaking off his Theme A
with measure 92 in his fig. 1), we both interpret this passage as a potent projection
of the restored F Major tonic.18 I regard this cadence as supporting the descent to
the that concludes the background line broken off after the C sections goal

That cadence is followed by a varied repetition of A3, which solidifies that closure
through a second cadence at 1031. Rink instead postpones that closure until the
second cadence in my view not a point about which all analysts will or need to
agree. In that Rink and I work from contrasting Kopftons, our structures are not
identical. Yet he and I both project a sense of closure during this region (or at the
downbeat of measure 93, which is curiously snipped off from this region in Rinks
formal synopsis).
Measures 93 through 103. Because this region borrows thematic material
from the C sections A Major region, Rink labels it as Theme B(2) in his formal
synopsis (his fig. 1), where he again snips off the cadential tonic chord, placing it
within the domain of the coda. Fortunately his ex. 7 persists through the downbeat
of measure 103, and his commentary addresses bars 93103 (p. 203). Though
that example does not provide a detailed harmonic analysis, the bass slur from
imagined F (at 1003) to C (at 1013) projects the sense of tonic prolongation. (A
more detailed graph in his fig. 15 displays that C with a stem and omits the B
that follows.19) I instead regard the chord supported by D (at the end of 1012) as
the onset of the supertonic: here II (D-F-A-B) followed by an incomplete
B-F-A chord into which one might imaginatively insert either D or D, and
then by II (G-B-D-F) during 10213. Consequently bass C at 1013 serves
as a passing note (connecting D and B) within the domain of the supertonic,
rather than as a waning moment of I-space.

The coda (measures 103116)

Upward striving that may traverse as much as a full octave, and downward linear
progressions of a third or a fifth, have been characteristic of the A and C sections
contents. The introduction, in contrast, descends an octave by step, as does the coda,
where the notes of an F>F octave (with some potent chromatic mutation) occur between
measures 103 and 110. The beginning and ending portions of that line sound at the top of
the texture (F>E>E>D>D>>B>A>G>F), whereas during the middle either the
listener will imagine a pitch (C during measure 106) or a pitch sounds but is covered by
other chord members. The harmonic analysis that annotates the presentation of this voice
leading in 10.5 reveals a boldly realized double traversal of the basic I IV V I progression.
The initial tonic surges towards IV, that IVs 6-phase chord takes on a Neapolitan flavor,
and the dominant that follows is attained by simply adding leading tone E to the
Neapolitans pitches (resulting in V, and consequently not alleviating the G wobble).
The tonic that resolves that dominant evolves gradually into I during measures 106
through 108, proceeding to a IV whose D extends into the domain of V, where
eventually G shifts to G, resulting in a second V approach to the tonic. Indeed, Chopin
has reserved some of the Barcarolles most memorable harmonic writing for the coda!
A concluding melody begins in measure 113, notably on the same A that introduced
the Kopfton in measure 4. The progressions initial I-space supports the ascending
arpeggiation A<C<F (as shown in 10.5). The pitch B that emerges during 1144
continues the upward trajectory, resolving to the A above Middle C in coordination with
V7s resolution to I. Consequently the melody accomplishes an A<A registral shift.
Chopin does not pursue the matter further, to attain a PAC close. Instead of initiating a
descending third-progression, the A fades out after 1151, its impact as echo of the
Barcarolles Kopfton fulfilled before the bravura closing gesture.

Though Rink expresses admiration for Chopins sonorities of extraordinary

dissonance in relation to the pedal on F during measures 103 through 111 (p.
210), he does not offer a harmonic analysis in his ex. 8 or 16, wherein his
allegiance to Kopfton C is maintained despite what I hear instead as a sweeping
descending octave (F>F) filled in by step and modified by chromaticism. In his
reading, C plays a prominent role during the remaining measures as well (p. 212).
I am mesmerized instead by the A of 1151. Though I have not compiled statistical
data, my experience as an analyst suggests that when such a pitch emerges after
the structural close it usually will serve as an echo of the Kopfton.


Chapter 1: The architecture of a tonic pillar

Chapter 1: The architecture of a tonic pillar

1. James Samson, The Music of Chopin (Oxford University Press, 1985), p. 111 .
2. This reading proposes that E in the soprano register extends from 63 through 72. One
should ponder whether an E in fact could be imagined during 71 against the E<F motion
an octave lower. Perhaps not, in which case the E of 72 would instead serve as a passing
note between an imagined neighbor F and the D. Yet note the correlation between my
proposed G-B-F-(E)-A chord (

with 65 suspension) and the D-F-C-B-E chord at

192, in the tonicized dominant key.

3. The question of where and how to end the mazurka (given Chopins curious Dal
segno senza Fine instruction) is complicated by this 56 shift. I propose that measure 12
should conclude the performance regardless of how many times the A and B sections
sound in alternation but that in the final presentation of the A section the pitch A
should be rescinded. (The left-hand chord of measure 12, beat 3, could be replaced by a
4. For a literalist interpretation of this mazurka, see Nicholas Meess Questions de
mthode: La Mazurka op. 7 no. 5 de Chopin, Analyse musicale 32 (1993), pp. 5863 .
Though its ex. 5 appears to contain a printing error, it is clear that Mees interprets what
I call the tonic pillar as a projection of

5. Compare also with the opening of the Grande Valse brillante, op. 18, discussed in my
forthcoming Tonal Analysis: A Schenkerian Perspective, chapter 7.
6. The embellishment of C-E-G in measures 1 through 4 and of D-F-A in measures 13
and 14 are symmetrically related: in one case lower seconds of the root and third occur,
while in the other upper seconds of the third and fifth occur. In both contexts the
embellishing chord is unfurled for presentation in position. Similar embellishment
will occur during the mazurkas coda.

7. Schenker offers a graph of this mazurkas tonic pillar in FC, fig. 40, ex. 7. Whereas
his reading suggests that Chopins motivation for the phrase expansion has to do with
the slow pace of the ascending arpeggiation to the high C of 102 (which he presents as
the arrival of the Kopfton), I propose instead that the unsatisfactory cadence of measure
8 results in a backtracking to permit a second cadential attempt. In the context of a IV
V succession, the C of measures 6 and 10 serves as a passing note between the
structurally deeper pitches D and B (connected by a slur in 1.5). Consequently I do
not accept this C (highlighted through presentation in the upper register) as a statement
of the Kopfton. (That reading is reiterated in various graphs from the Oster Collection:
Papers of Heinrich Schenker, housed at the New York Public Library for the Performing
Arts at Lincoln Center. See especially file 32, item 22, listed as in the hand of
Schenkers student Angi Elias with emendations by Schenker.) On the other hand,
during the A2 sections traversal of the tonic pillar the high C at 36b2, which
superficially matches that of 102, occurs in a tonic context and thus aptly serves as an
upper third to the background . (The swift C>A of the first ending is expressed in a
more leisurely fashion and an octave higher as C>B>A during the second ending.) In
his Idiosyncrasies of Phrase Rhythm in Chopins Mazurkas, in The Age of Chopin:
Interdisciplinary Inquiries, ed. H. Goldberg (Bloomington: Indiana University Press,
2004), pp. 95105 , Carl Schachter explores this tonic pillar in detail, essentially
agreeing with Schenkers reading of the high C of measure 10 while questioning (p. 98)
his relative neglect of the C at 21, which conforms in register to the mazurkas other
structurally deep pitches.
8. It is so labeled in standard editions of the mazurkas, including the National Edition
used in creating this chapter.
9. This mazurkas juxtaposition of keys is not unique in Chopins oeuvre. Other
examples that have been widely discussed include the Scherzo (op. 31), addressed by
William Kinderman in his Directional Tonality in Chopin, in Chopin Studies, ed. J.
Samson (Cambridge University Press, 1988), pp. 5975 and by Harald Krebs in his
Tonal and Formal Dualism in Chopins Scherzo, Op. 31, Music Theory Spectrum 13
(1991), pp. 4860 , and the Ballade (op. 38), addressed by Jonathan Bellman in his
Chopins Polish Ballade: Op. 38 as Narrative of National Martyrdom (Oxford

University Press, 2010) and by Kevin Korsyn in his Directional Tonality and
Intertextuality: Brahmss Quintet Op. 88 and Chopins Ballade Op. 38, in The Second
Practice of Nineteenth-Century Tonality, ed. W. Kinderman and H. Krebs (Lincoln:
University of Nebraska Press, 1996), pp. 4583 .
10. The notion of reaching-over is a common voice-leading principle, an essential
component of the Schenkerian perspective. (See my Tonal Analysis: A Schenkerian
Perspective, chapter 7.)
11. For a contrasting interpretation, see David Kopps analysis in his Chromatic
Transformations in Nineteenth-Century Music (Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp.
235240 . I do not concur that the tonic pillar projects tonal ambiguity for much of its
duration (p. 236): the juxtaposition of antipodal C and G chords (a focus of my
analysis) is a strong signal of tonic B, with only its mode (major versus minor) as yet
12. Compare with Haydn/Mozart, 1.5.
13. The mazurka begins in the middle of a harmonic progression. Taking into account
measure 22, which presents an E major chord to lead back to the opening material (in a
written-out repeat), it would be appropriate to regard the initial II as an asserted IV6.
Note especially the 56 connection between tenor-register B at 222 and C during 231
(= 11). For this reason, and by noting how bass B at 212 is reiterated by bass B during
31, I regard the initial E-G dyad as representing C-E-G (with the C arriving half a
beat later) rather than as representing E-G-B with C serving as a neighbor to IVs
fifth, B.
14. Once introduced to these notions, my students at the University of Minnesota began
referring to as a supersurge, while remained a surge or, more precisely, a
simple surge.
15. Note Chopins persistence in incorporating an upper third in the vicinity of the
Kopfton s arrival. D<F<G>F>D here (measures 16 and 17) corresponds to
D<F<G>F>D in measures 2 through 4 of opus 7/1.

16. Compare with Schubert, 1.23.

17. This division of structural content does not coincide with the pillars division into
two halves, each repeated: measures 5 through 8 recur as 9 through 12, and measures 13
through 20 recur as 21 through 28. Chopin transcends that surface division by extending
the ascending arpeggiation into the second half.
18. Chopins misspelling comes about as a result of his substituting easy-to-read A-CE in the preceding harmony for the correct spelling, B -D-F. Further pertinent
considerations will emerge in the exploration of this mazurkas structure in chapter 2.
19. As 1.11 reveals, the fifth-progressions E, C, and B are all embellished by an
upper fourth or third. Chopin offsets the neglect of D (resulting from its delayed arrival
within the beat) later, during the mazurkas B section: D<F occurs in both measure 13
and measure 15.

20. As noted above, the embellishment of Kopfton by an upper fourth (here G

during 41) is a common occurrence. When D does arrive, that high G serves as a sort
of confirmation.
21. Schenker comments on Chopins slur binding measures 7 through 9 (thus extending
through the phrases potential PAC moment) in FC, p. 110. In his Phrase Rhythm in
Tonal Music (New York: Schirmer, 1989; reprint edn., Ann Arbor: Musicalia, 2007),
pp. 229233 , William Rothstein offers an extended discussion of Chopins phrasing
within this mazurka.
22. If one answers affirmatively, an elision would occur at C s resolution: instead of C
<D>C, the shortcut C >C is pursued. (Compare with TAH, 6.20.) In his Harmonic
Complexity and Form in Chopins Mazurkas, Ostinato rigore: Revue internationale
dtudes musicales 15 (2000), pp. 102103 , Joel Lester labels this chord as vii7/D and
describes the passage as a fleeting instance of motion by dominants around the circle
of fifths.

23. See Edward T. Cones Ambiguity and Reinterpretation in Chopin, in Chopin

Studies 2, ed. J. Rink and J. Samson (Cambridge University Press, 1994), pp. 142143 .
24. Though Schenker provides a detailed analysis of this mazurka in FC (his fig. 75), it
is difficult to determine which route he endorses for the fifth-progression between B
and E. Observe that his graph is inconsistent in its placement of the internal G and F
during A1 and A2. In the former (corresponding to measures 1 through 4), the placement
of G before the arrival of dominant root B would seem to favor an imaginative
insertion, though no parentheses are placed around his G notehead. In the latter
(corresponding to measures 57 through 60), the placement of G above the dominant
root B would seem to correspond to the G of 593. I propose that his version for A1
endeavors to recompose the passage in accordance with the second species of
counterpoint (wherein G would serve as a passing note above bass A), subjected to a
considerable shift in Chopins realization, where that passing note is delayed until after

the dominant root arrives. That is, the foundational state

may shift (via

the unaccented passing note of species counterpoint being transformed into the accented

passing note of free composition) to create a cadential context, as

or even further, so that A lingers to sound against the dominant root, as

25. Compare G, which here neglects to descend to F, with D (which neglects to
descend to C) in 1.6, m. 5. Carl Schachter, in The Prelude in E Minor Op. 28 No. 4:
Autograph Sources and Interpretation, in Chopin Studies 2, ed. J. Rink and J. Samson
(Cambridge University Press, 1994), pp. 161182 , takes a literalist approach (as does
Schenker in FC, fig. 75). Schachters ex. 9.4 (p. 168) displays the melody pitch E at 73
as an anticipation of that in measure 8. (The intervening G a crucial note for me is
omitted from his graph.) He adds a special annotation above the bass beam: No V!

Whereas my graph projects an imagined diatonic within the descending fifthprogression from , Schachters descent (like Schenkers) incorporates the earlier .
An intriguing analysis by Franz Eibner in part concurs with my reading. See his
ber die Akkorde im Satz Chopins, in Chopin-Jahrbuch 1970, ed. F. Zagiba (Vienna:
Notring der wissenschaftlichen Verbnde sterreichs, 1970), pp. 324 . The initial
chord is analyzed as E Minors tonic and is provided only with the Roman numeral I
(once with to the right, in his fig. 7 on p. 23). He comments as follows: Durch den
Dominantklang am Beginn ist nur die IV. Stufe (von T. 2) tonikalisiert worden und
also mu dieser Dominantklang in der ganzen Kadenz die I. Stufe der Haupttonart
reprsentieren (p. 6). His fig. 4 (p. 20) displays both a parenthetical D below G at the
end of measure 7 and a parenthetical bass B for the final beat of that measure, under
which he places the Roman numeral V within square brackets. (His fig. 5 on p. 21
provides additional perspective, including an indication that the melodys G at the end
of measure 7 serves as an Antizipationston.) He reads the Kopfton as , supplied
within square brackets and annotated with the word Ellipse in his fig. 6 (p. 22). (The
G is connected to the F of the mazurkas B section, graphed in his fig. 7 on p. 23.)
Though in disagreement with Schenkers reading of the Kopfton as , which Eibner
addresses in his n. 3 on pp. 1819, his choice has the advantage of not raising the
expectation of a G between A and F. I remain unpersuaded, however, due to the
prominence of the initial B, its clear voice-leading descent to A in measures 2 and 6,
and the relationship between the A sections fifth and the B sections
(inverted to


), to be explored in chapter 2.

26. This D-F-A embellishment of a C chord corresponds to the A-C-E

embellishment of a G chord in opus 17/2, mm. 39ff. Its exotic flavor inspired Dmitri
Tymoczko to interpret the mazurkas mode initially as phrygian. See his A Geometry
of Music, pp. 312313.

27. Schenker alternates between two notational practices for interruption in FC. (See
editor Ernst Osters note 7 on p. 37 of the example volume.) I have adopted the one that
I prefer. For a more detailed introduction to this important topic, see my Tonal Analysis:
A Schenkerian Perspective, chapter 4.
28. I have placed the D in the bass, in conformity with 143. The parentheses around the
C above this D indicate merely that it is displayed in a higher register than where it
occurs in the score.
29. Whereas Schenker (FC, fig. 106, ex. 2c) proposes a local ascending C<D<E<F
line (split between two registers) during measure 11, I instead interpret the high D as a
passing note between the E of 102 and an imagined C at 113, which would resolve to B
at the HC. The E at 113 resides within an (F)>E>D third. It conforms to the
prescription that a seventh should resolve by descending step.
30. The parentheses between I and IV in 1.21b acknowledge the several passing chords
that come between the harmonic progressions I and IV. A contrasting interpretation is
offered by Joel Lester in his Harmonic Complexity and Form, pp. 113117, where he
proposes that the keys of C, B, and B (misprinted as E) are hinted at, though their
fundamental progressions evaporate. An important component in any analysis is to
assess the function of all dissonant sevenths, since that interval may serve as a chord
member within a 7/5/3 context, or instead as an embellishment within a 76 context.
Here Lester proposes the first interpretation, and I the second.
31. Consequently the first sounding of the Kopfton occurs at 81, precisely the same
moment within the structure as its upper-octave occurrence in 1.10. My conception is
subtly different from that proposed by David W. Beach in his Chopins Mazurka, Op.
17, No. 4, Theory and Practice 2/3 (1977), pp. 1216 . Whereas he interprets the E of
measure 8 as the Kopftons onset, I propose instead that it should take hold before the
series of suspensions begins. Thus I regard the tonics 5 phase to be elided, preceding
the mazurkas first sounding chord.
32. Performers should experiment with contrasting degrees of rubato and accentuation
in the projection of measures 13 through 15. If the third note of each measure is

emphasized, the melody D>C>B (followed by B>A>A) will lead to an IAC. If

instead (and as I recommend) the performer leads downwards to the fifth note of each
measure, then the melodic path leads to the F at 162 (as displayed by the stemmed notes
in 1.22) for a PAC.
33. In his A Geometry of Music, pp. 288290, Dmitri Tymoczko presents within his fig.
8.5.9 a root progression similar to mine, though flawed in two ways: first, I propose that
it should commence with the A chord of measure 4, not the G chord of measure 5; and
second, he omits an analysis for the G chord of 83. (The latter is not a printers error,
because his commentary explicitly notes the exceptional descending semitone D to
C.) Both of these points of contention relate to my willingness to allow imperfect fifths
into my circle. His G D span contains only perfect fifths, avoiding my preceding
AD and following DG. Compare with ex. 362 in Felix Salzers Structural Hearing:
Tonal Coherence in Music, 2 vols. (New York: Boni, 1952; reprint edn., New York:
Dover, 1962) . Though Salzers model suitably starts on the A chord, he omits the D
chord of measure 5. In addition, he makes it appear as if a harmonic progression
proceeds from III in measure 4 through V (which would be displayed as V in my
notation) in measure 9 (III and V are connected by an arrow) to I, contrasting my view
that the initial upward trajectory breaks off after III, with a fresh start in measure 9.
34. Though Chopins slurring in measures 13 and 14 would support a reading that
maintains the tonic until 151 (with the D-A-F-B chords functioning as local
embellishments), his slurs so often counter his mazurkas structures that I here am
willing to discount them. One might instead view their presence (in coordination with
the dynamic markings) as helping to emphasize the subdominant statement on three
consecutive downbeats. The progression proceeds beyond IV only on the third try. In
performance the third-beat A chords should seem like a backtracking to the position of
measure 12.
35. The 56 shift that often transpires during IV is realized here as (8)76. (The 7
sounds from the outset.) The G that arrives at 152 prevents the descending parallel
fifths that would have occurred had A functioned instead as IVs chordal seventh.

36. I suspect that Chopins ear was bothered by the prospect of a soprano B>G leap
coinciding with the bass D>C step (creating hidden fifths in the exposed outer
voices). Consequently he called upon C (related to the Cs of 133 and 143) as a
substitute for G at 153. The unusual situation at the cadence also in part justifies my
rejection of what might seem to many as a clear instance of Kopfton . (This issue will
be touched upon again when the remainder of the mazurka is assessed in chapter 2.)
37. The written-out repeat of the juxtaposed I and III phrases is facilitated by some
transitional chords (during 83) that do not recur during measure 16. They are not
displayed in 1.24.
38. For the written-out repeat of a1, the mediants C from 82 corresponds to the
imagined Kopfton, with a C>B>A third-progression extending from that point through
39. Though I do not regard C-E-G at 73 as a harmonically asserted chord (it is instead
an unfurled embellishment of the tonic), this situation corresponds to what some
analysts call a plagal cadence.
40. In 1.26 I propose that a sequential progression A>E<F>C<D supporting a
stepwise-descending melody is the means of locomotion. That reading requires an
imaginative interpretation of 203. The potent pitch E and already sounding inner-voice
pitch C surmount the persistence of F and A below to assert the sense of a C chord.
41. Though in some contexts the juxtaposition of roots E and C might be interpreted as
III56, in this case the melodic thirds (G>F>E followed by B>A>G followed by
G>F>E, all displayed in 1.27, measures 5 through 22) give more the sense of a tonic
reinstatement than of a mediant expansion.

Chapter 2: Between the tonic pillars

Chapter 2: Between the tonic pillars

1. The bass E>B fourth is a meaningful interval in the context of E Minor, whereas
the upper strands G>D fourth is not. The latter span, which incorporates the
conventional modal shift from diatonic D to leading tone D near the cadence, is
justified because it follows in upper tenths the contour set by the bass.
2. Chopin is having some fun in this mazurka by juxtaposing GC during the A section
and DG during the B section. Could this be interpreted as I IV V I in G Major?
The Dal segno senza Fine instruction in fact may be intended to eradicate the memory
of which chord is first established as the tonic. My term tonic pillar reflects the
observation that a mazurkas A section invariably establishes the tonic key. To argue
that this mazurka is in G Major would require both that the tonic pillar correspond
instead to the B section role and that Chopins C Major key signature is bogus. (The
least conventional of Chopins mazurkas in this regard is opus 30/2. See 2.5.)
3. The analysis of this mazurka by Nicholas Mees in his Questions de mthode: La
Mazurka op. 7 no. 5 de Chopin, Analyse musicale 32 (1993), pp. 5863 , embraces
such doubt.
4. The earlier components of the circle of fifths coordinate with descending filled-in
melodic thirds at two distinct structural levels. For example, a surface E>D>C third
occurs within measure 13, while a broader third transpires between 132 and 143. (Only
the latter is displayed in 2.4.) I propose that though A>G>F in measure 19 will at first
seem to be of the former type, it ultimately performs (speedily) the role of the latter
5. The sounding of D (rather than D) at 193 creates a motivic connection with the
D>C over the bar line between measures 1 and 2, strengthening my assertion that the
unfolded A<C third of the opening melody guides the middle sections bass.
6. In A Major, the diatonic upper-third chord is C-E-G, CV1 is C-E-G, CV2 is CE-G, and CV3 is C-E -G. This numbering system for the chromatic variants, in
which the variant number conveniently corresponds to the number of chromatic pitches,
was proposed in Schubert, pp. 5660.

7. This small point is very important: the I harmony is reinstated at 243, not 261. (Note
that now each of the tonic chords pitches is preceded by an upper second: B>A
D>C F>E.) Consequently measure 25 ought not to be interpreted as background V
within a broad I III V7 I progression.
8. In fact, Edward Laufer proposed such a reading for this mazurka in his lecture
Parenthetical Passages, delivered at the Mannes College of Music Schenker
Symposium in 1985. Ex. 19 of his handout displays bass open noteheads on G (at 121),
B (at 261), C (at 412 or 452), and D (at 433 or 473) before the close on G. (His
Roman numeral analysis is I III56 IV V I.)
9. Though certainly one could deploy the Roman numeral VI 5 at measure 20 in 2.8
(in keeping with Schenkers practice in FC), I here instead account for that sonority by
means of symbols to the right of the I numeral: the wobble from E to E and back (3
) and the chromatic neighbor A embellishing G (565). By this means I
emphasize that chords alliance with the initial tonic and acknowledge that it does not
lead anywhere harmonically.
10. A descending circle of fifths supports this fifth-progression. Observe how the
already surging tonic E that opens the A1 tonic pillar (measure 1) is echoed by the
already surging G that initiates the circle of fifths (measure 33). These chords also
share an upper-neighbor embellishment (B<C>B and D<E>D). (The relationship
between these neighboring motions was more emphatically projected in the original
version of measure 33, where the E occurs on beat 3 in a rhythmic context exactly
matching that of measure 1. The original and revised versions are juxtaposed in Jeffrey
Kallbergs The Problem of Repetition and Return in Chopins Mazurkas, in Chopin
Studies, ed. J. Samson (Cambridge University Press, 1988), p. 14, ex. 6 .) Though the
dominant is tonicized during the B section, the cover tone Ds upward tendency as
leading tone eventually is fulfilled: the opening of the A2 tonic pillars theme coincides
with Ds resolution pitch E in measures 5758.
11. Reinforcing the tonics dominant-emulating impact, the preceding dominant is
supertonic-emulating in its minor quality. Compare with Haydn/Mozart, 6.4c.

12. Though of no apparent consequence initially, the tinge of C Minor supplied by A

in measure 53 sets the stage for the surprising turn of events beginning in measure 65.
13. Compare the addition of B to D-F-A here (measure 72) and the addition of E to
G-B-D in 1.8 (measure 12). That examples resulting II is a more characteristic
context for this evolved chordal formation than is this mazurkas V.
14. Though it may appear that the circular motion proceeds uniformly as B E A D
G C during measures 37 through 42, in my view the prior establishment of A as the
local tonic places the B E A segment within its domain (extending from minor A to
surging A), so that the progression extends beyond the tonic only with the arrival of
D in measure 40, coinciding with the onset of the fifth-progression descending from
Kopfton E.
15. In the context of A1, the content of measures 1 through 3 embellishes the initial
tonic. The harmonic progression begins with I, not V. At the juncture of B and A2, the
prior establishment of V imbues equivalent content (measures 41 through 43) with an
asserted dominant function, extending the B sections harmonic goal into the domain of
A2, preceding the re-emergence of the tonic.
16. Chopins spelling of II as D-G-A-C at 493 is incorrect, of course. Yet in this
case F s upward resolution to G is elided, resulting in the direct succession to the
dominants seventh, F. Consequently the incorrect G reflects the lines atypical
downward orientation.
17. Compare with a similar lower-third shift in Schuberts Piano Sonata in B Major (D.
960), mvmt. 4, measures 41 through 62, which I address in my Conspicuous 6-Phase
Chords in the Closing Movement of Schuberts Piano Sonata in B-Flat Major (D. 960),
in Rethinking Schubert (Oxford University Press, in press).
18. Two examples in Joyce Yips Tonal and Formal Aspects of Selected Mazurkas of
Chopin (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Michigan, 2010) numbered 24 (p. 188)
and 61 (p. 263) are derived from an analysis of this mazurka by Edward Laufer,
presented in a talk entitled A Different Reading for the Same Music that he delivered
at Queens College in 1993. (Similar graphs appear in his handout for the lecture

Parenthetical Passages, delivered at the Mannes College of Music Schenker

Symposium in 1985.) Whereas he proposes a connection of the A chords at 213 and 243,
I instead regard the former as an internal element within a circular progression whose
endpoints correspond to the shift from A to A. Laufers title refers to his intriguing
proposal that whereas the chord of measure 1 embellishes that of measure 2 (thus
establishing the tonic at the outset), the chord of measure 26 may be regarded as
dependent upon that of measure 25 (as its upper fifth), resulting in a bold D<E<F bass
motion over measures 25 through 28. I instead interpret the chord in measure 25 as the
unfurled equivalent of that in measure 1. More recently, Dmitri Tymoczko has offered
an interpretation of this passage in A Geometry of Music: Harmony and Counterpoint in
the Extended Common Practice (Oxford University Press, 2011 , ex. 8.5.9). His
succession of root labels for measures 19 through 24 (which correlates only fleetingly
with my interpretation in 2.15) is as follows: A7 B2 A2 A2 G2

19. The relationship between local tonic A Major and a potential D Major tonicization
within this mazurkas B section is assayed in TAH, pp. 157160.
20. My focus away from Kopfton E during the B section is one of several potential
readings, each quirky in its own way. (Chopin in fact keeps the E fire alive above C
during measures 35 and 39 and 51 and 55 and above B during measures 47 and 48.)
For example, one might instead propose a fifth-progression descending from A1s wellestablished Kopfton E through D at 332 to C at 351 (extended by the C of measures
41 through 47), leading to B (presented an octave lower) during measure 47 and finally
A at 502 (repeated at 522, 542, and 562).
21. The b regions D>C>B third is a counterpart to the a1 regions C<E and a
varied replication of the D>C>B in measure 15. In FC, fig. 30a, Schenker proposes
that the D neighbor is prolonged: D>C>B instead of D>C>B.
22. Though the accented C at 40b3 might be understood merely as an anticipation of
the following downbeat, it instead might be regarded as a last-moment shift of the A
sections key to A Minor, with which the upcoming F Major relates as diatonic I6. F
has been a prominent feature of the local harmonic fabric even in A Major, from the
downbeat of measure 1 onwards. See Patrick McCrelesss The Pitch-Class Motive in

Tonal Analysis: Some Historical and Critical Observations, Res musica 3 (2011), pp.
5963 , for thoughtful commentary on Chopins deployment of F in this mazurka from
both Schoenbergian and Schenkerian perspectives.
23. During his analysis of this mazurka and commentary on Schenkers reading in
Phrase Rhythm in Tonal Music (New York: Schirmer, 1989; reprint edn., Ann Arbor:
Musicalia, 2007), p. 220 , William Rothstein proposes: Chopins slurs are an
analytical minefield. No composer so frequently slurred against the phrase structure of
his music rather than in support of that structure. Here the slur ends not in measure 48,
coinciding with the close of the antecedent phrase, but instead during the following
measure, after the first three notes of the consequent phrase.

24. In some compositions it is challenging to decide whether or serves as the

Kopfton. Though I regard as the better reading in this case, I acknowledge that I have
received prodding from an anonymous external reviewer to instead choose . My
reading is worked out in 2.18, where A and G play prominent roles at various stages.
Anyone intrigued by this conundrum might wish to create an alternative analysis based
on Kopfton and then to compare the two interpretations. Which elements of the
composition are emphasized when is regarded as the Kopfton, and which are
emphasized when is? How might a performance of the mazurka suitably project one
or the other of these readings?
25. Compare with TAH, 6.19 through 6.21.
26. It is important not to assume a direct correlation between tonicization and structural
depth. Though C Minor is tonicized during the b regions initial measures, root C falls
within the tonal path from tonic A to dominant E (represented by the inverted
dominant harmony of measure 16). Though neither tonicized nor presented in root
position, that dominant is hierarchically deeper than the preceding mediant. (Note that
its imagined root E is the only element of the b region that is attached to the
middleground bass beam in 2.21.) Consequently I do not concur with the reading of the

basic harmonic progression for the mazurkas A1 section (measures 1 through 24) as I
iii I, as is proposed by John Rink in his Tonal Architecture in the Early Music,
in The Cambridge Companion to Chopin, ed. J. Samson (Cambridge University Press,
1992), pp. 7897, ex. 8 (p. 90) .
27. Felix Salzer offers a reading that calls upon neither of these assertions in his
Structural Hearing: Tonal Coherence in Music, 2 vols. (New York: Boni, 1952; reprint
edn., New York: Dover, 1962), ex. 361 .
28. Compare with a similar parallel progression in TAH, 7.14c.
29. Note that the codas E>D>D>C third was stated several times during the b section
(measures 3742).
30. Chopin misspells the chord at 283. E stands for F, minor ninth of an E chord
that is derived from that which occurred at 203.
31. This notion is explored in my Tonal Analysis: A Schenkerian Perspective, section
32. Though the chord of 523 is spelled as B-D-F, the melodic A>G>F third of
measures 4852 serves to extend A, so that B-D-F(-A) is understood as B7. The
imagined seventh, A, resolves to VIs third, G, at 531.
33. Though the pitches at these two locations correspond, the C chord during the A1
section proceeds to the dominant, whereas that during the B section is part of a backand-forth motion that embellishes the tonic, as is conveyed by the Arabic numerals just
below the bass beam in 2.26.

34. Whereas a conventional cadential in measure 35 embellishes the consequent

phrases dominant, the corresponding chord during the antecedent (measure 31) serves
as a common-tone diminished seventh. Chopin might have spelled it more appropriately
as A-C-E-G, with the lower three pitches ascending by minor second to resolution
on B-D-F-G in measure 32. Concurrently ninth A displaces the dominant root. All
this occurs above a tonic pedal point. Perhaps Chopins spelling in flats was motivated

by a desire to avoid a concurrent C and C. (My colleague David Grayson, a pupil of

Nadia Boulanger, related to me her observation that Chopin often misspelled his chords,
but that Schumann did not.) For an exemplary account of Chopins often quirky
orthography, see part I, chapter 2, of Maciej Gobs Chromatyka i tonalnosc w
muzyce Chopina (Cracow: Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne, 1991) ; as Chopins
Harmonik: Chromatik in ihrer Beziehung zur Tonalitt, trans. B. Hirszenberg (Cologne:
Bela Verlag, 1995) .
35. The means by which the G chord is attained offers insight into why Chopin lowers
B to B during measures 79 and 142. Since the G triad is a half step too high for the
G Major context, the B of measure 142 might be perceived as an effort to attain G-BD within the downward cascade of chords. The triads unyielding G and D prevent
the achievement of that outcome.
36. Compare with a passage by Schubert in my Conspicuous 6-Phase Chords, exx. 4
and 5.
37. Compare with 2.14, mm. 16 through 24.

Chapter 3: Irregular pillars in the mazurkas

Chapter 3: Irregular pillars in the mazurkas

1. Though Schenkers readings of this mazurkas tonic pillars harbor several
contradictions, he does not waver from displaying the Kopfton as . See FC, fig. 76,
ex. 5; fig. 83, ex. 2; and fig. 119, ex. 11. Unfortunately most of these interpretations are
neither detailed nor adequately annotated by measure numbers. However, it appears that
for the most part he proposes a PAC close after four measures, though he offers a
contrasting reading at measure 20. In Parenthetical Passages, a lecture delivered at the
Mannes College of Music Schenker Symposium in 1985, Edward Laufer presented an
analysis in which measures 3 and 4 project
and 8 project

, while the equivalent measures 7

. For him, what occurs between those pairs of measures

consequently constitutes a parenthetical passage. I instead espouse the view that each of
the three regions within the mazurkas A1 and A2 sections offers four measures of
content, followed by a four-measure varied repetition. Measure 24 exceptionally departs
from that design, to conclude the tonic pillar with a PAC. Compare this structure
(including how repeat signs are deployed) with that which prevails during the two-pillar
Mazurka in E Minor (opus 6/4), analyzed in 1.15 and 2.1.

2. Though an interpretation of 182 through 192 as

(reinforced by a

voice exchange) is tempting, Chopins slurring, which matches that of the

a1 pillar, binds the and tonic chords within measure 18. Thus I propose that I-space
persists through the end of measure 18, maintaining the model of measures 2 and 6.
3. Though each measure of the introduction begins with the interval of a perfect fifth,
none of those fifths are structurally significant. Instead Chopin alternates between
and neighbors

, with both E and B consistently delayed by suspensions. The tonic

harmony emerges in measure 9, not measure 2 or measure 4.

4. Compare with Chopins construction in 1.9. Note how the G-B-D chord of measure
6 there eventually takes on an E, thereby projecting root C.
5. Though initially the pitch F serves as a wobble within the D chord, in the broader
context it is transformed into the major dominants third, E. The diatonic context
would be whole step F>E. Here the F is lowered and the E is raised, resulting in the
juxtaposition of the enharmonically equivalent pitches F and E.
6. Chopins particular approach to the tonic 6-phase chord in this mazurka resembles
that employed by Mozart in the Trio of his Symphony in G Minor (K. 550), analyzed in
Haydn/Mozart, 9.2.
7. I offer a detailed exploration of the subtonicdominant connection in my Schenker,
Schubert, and the Subtonic Chord, in A Music-Theoretical Matrix: Essays in Honor of
Allen Forte (Part II), ed. D. C. Berry, Gamut: Online Journal of the Music Theory
Society of the Mid-Atlantic 3 (2010), pp. 127166 .
8. See also my discussion of this passage in TAH, pp. 7075, which includes
commentary on Schenkers reading of the passage (FC, fig. 54, ex. 6).
9. Indeed this turn of events is unusual and thus susceptible to a range of analytical
responses. Michael Klein calls it a dark subdominant (with an added sixth) and
interprets this passage as residing within a coda in his Chopins Dreams: The Mazurka
in C Minor, Op. 30, No. 4, 19th-Century Music 35 (20112012), p. 255 . This article
(pp. 238260) offers a range of intriguing ideas that readers are encouraged to explore
as a complement to the harmonic focus of my work.

10. Given the pillars broad harmonic trajectory from I to V (supporting to ), the
melodic attempt to reignite the tonic (potently colliding with the dominant during
measure 33) is, in my view, doomed to failure. (The restoration of the tonic
transformed into I is deferred until the fourth measure of the B section.)
Consequently I regard the melodys A at 333 as ultimately bending to the dominants
will: instead of igniting a reinstatement of I by means of an A<B<C third, the A will in

this context come across as a passing note within the third from an imagined G up to
11. Observe how in the connection between the tonics 5- and 6-phase chords in
measures 1 through 6, an F embellishing chord of the 5-phase B intervenes, whereas in
measure 73 that chord metamorphoses into an embellishing chord of the 6-phase G. In
fact, a modest collision occurs: before the soprano E that belongs with the F bass
arrives, that bass has ascended to F (third of an imagined D). The passage is
displayed with those events placed in their more normative order in 3.6a.
12. Though some analysts might contend that Chopins E7 spelling offers the prospect
of an excursion to A Major, I think instead that he is being genteel. The augmented
sixth is so potent an interval that Chopin at first masks it by means of a misspelling. In
my view there can be little doubt that, as the B section winds down and the D-F-A-C
chord that initiates A2 looms on the horizon, Chopin intends II as the link between I6

. In his Mazurka in G Minor, op. 56/2, his innate gentility bows to the brutal

reality of the tonal situation: G-B-D absorbs E (not F) in measure 12. (He also shifts
notation from D to C .)
13. Readers are encouraged to compare my reading of the mazurka with an equally
detailed one by Carl Schachter, in his Counterpoint and Chromaticism in Chopins
Mazurka in C Minor, Opus 50, Number 3, Ostinato rigore: Revue internationale
dtudes musicales 15 (2000), pp. 121134 . Though Schachter acknowledges an earlier
1st extended cadence targeting the tonic of measure 157, his structural cadence
(which I read instead as an event of the coda) extends to measure 181. (See especially
his ex. 1 on p. 122.)
14. The restoration of diatonic D as imagined root during the domain of II warrants
placing the natural sign corresponding to D to the right of the Roman numeral, so that
the shift from D to D may be noted. Because D does not sound, it is marked by a
bullet symbol. Compare with Haydn/Mozart, 4.15, as well as n. 24 on p. 264 of that

15. The situation is similar to that at the end of the a2 tonic pillar in 3.1a, where an IAC
on is forestalled by the swift insertion of and during measure 24.
16. The magic of Chopins composition would be lost if such measures were actually
performed. Thus the recommendation that the more extended ending published by
editor Jan Ekier along with the score of the Cracow National Edition (2004) be used
only if the Mazurka is performed separately (and not as part of the cycle)
(Performance Commentary, p. 6) goes too far, in my view. My hypothetical ending
(3.11b) is supplied for its analytical implications only.
17. The A chords fifth, E, is elided at 871.
18. Though Chopins D-G-B spelling during measure 99 facilitates reading ease,
analytically inclined pianists might prefer the structurally appropriate spelling, E -GC. The point of Chopins dallying is to allow time to ponder whether to proceed using
C or C as during the descending fifth-progression. Displaying the C victor as B
at 992 obfuscates the intimate bond with the C at 952.
19. Charles Burkhart discusses this mazurka in two essays: Chopins Concluding
Expansions, in Nineteenth-Century Piano Music: Essays in Performance and
Analysis, ed. D. Witten (New York: Garland, 1997), pp. 95116 , and The Phrase
Rhythm of Chopins A-flat Major Mazurka, Op. 59, No. 2, in Engaging Music: Essays
in Music Analysis, ed. D. Stein (Oxford University Press, 2005), pp. 312 . Despite the
fact that we work from similar premises, our readings are surprisingly different. Note
especially that I place more hierarchical weight on the tonic of measure 52 and the
dominant of measure 68 and less weight on the subdominant of measure 82. Given that
the A1 section presents an irregular pillar, the second phrase of A2 (beginning in
measure 77) is duty-bound to project regularity, despite its considerable expansion.
Thus from my perspective it is important that the I56 II V of the pillars antecedent
phrase (measures 6976) be followed by a similar harmonization during the consequent,
where V will resolve to I. For me, the relationship between F-A-C-E at 743 and F-AC-E[D] at 843 is crucial, and thus the supposed IV at 821 is, in my view, internal to
the sequential expansion of I56. Whereas Burkhart proposes the label IV7 for the

chord on D during 881, I suggest instead that the chords root is an unsounded B (with
ninth C spelled as B due to the imminent upward diversion to neighbor C). From that
perspective the antecedent phrases II is transformed into II during the consequent.
20. Whereas we might expect G to arrive before the harmonic progression that
expands the C dominant commences, that arrival coincides with the sounding of Cs
6-phase chord.
21. Like most other North American music analysts, I was accustomed to labeling
chords such as D-F-A-B as a German augmented sixth. Though I expressed
reservations about that nomenclature in TAH (pp. 185190), it was not until I decisively
turned my back on that practice in Schubert and started providing such chords with an
imagined root (here G) that their various roles in music were clarified. In the present
context, such an imagined root is essential to an understanding of how the circle of
fifths transpires.
22. Because the span from C to G is a half step shy of four whole steps, one of the
cycles within the sequence must ascend only a half step. Chopin handles this first:
though C -E-G-B at the end of measure 116 may seem to function as the local tonics
6-phase chord, surging (as A) towards D, Chopin instead treats the C as an
anticipation of D, so that the succeeding 5-phase chord has more the character of a
seismic shift up a half step from the starting point. From then onwards, however, the
sequence ascends in whole steps, propelled by surging 6-phase chords. The pitch B is
elided at 1171, where the chromatic passing note B (which along with C connects that
elided B and D) occurs on the downbeat. Observe that the voice-leading technique of
reaching-over is employed repeatedly in the melody.
23. Though the wobble of G to G for the II chord in most cases will revert to the
diatonic state during the dominant that follows, in this case the chordal evolution within
II-space results in the reinstatement of an unsounded G as root for the B-D-F-A
chord during 1331. See the discussion of a similar event and an assessment of its
analytical representation in note 14 on pages 101102, above.
24. In some editions of this mazurka the a2 region (which commences in measure 65)
incorporates the full statement of a1 and its written-out repetition (measures 1 through

48), whereas in the recent National Edition (ed. Ekier) from which I work only the
repetition presentation occurs there. Consequently readers may need to add 24 to the
measure numbers indicated in my commentary from measure 65 onwards.
25. I introduced the concept of a seismic shift in Schubert, p. 173. The notion was
called upon several times in Haydn/Mozart as well.
26. The careful management of chordal inversions so as to result in a circle of fifths
with a chromatic bass line was demonstrated in numerous harmony treatises from the
early nineteenth century. Samples are printed in TAH, 3.7b and 3.11. Chopins
progression employs two different sorts of enharmonic reinterpretation (displayed with
both spellings in 3.15c). What arrives as B-rooted B-D-F-A in measure 180 departs as
F-rooted A-C-E-G, and what arrives as D-rooted F-A-C-E in measure 186 departs
as A-rooted C-E-G-B .

Chapter 4: tude in C Minor, op. 10, no. 12

Chapter 4: tude in C Minor, op. 10, no. 12

1. A Response to Schenkers Analysis of Chopins tude, Opus 10, No. 12, using
Schoenbergs Grundgestalt Concept, The Musical Quarterly 69 (1983), pp. 543569 .
2. Though I selected this tude in order to compare my analytical practice with that of
Phipps, his selection of the tude was motivated by Schenkers extensive treatment of
the work in various publications, most comprehensively in his Fnf Urlinie-Tafeln
(Vienna: Universal Edition, 1932) , which I have consulted through the Salzer edition,
Five Graphic Music Analyses (New York: Dover, 1969), pp. 5361 . Looking at the 3.
Schicht graph of measures 1 through 18 on p. 54, I question Schenkers dotted slur
connecting the Es in measures 11 and 17, essential to his determination that serves
as the Kopfton. In my view the latter E originates as the passing seventh within IV87,
shifted from its normative unaccented position to a metrically strong position (though in
this case the arrival of the E is delayed by chromatic E). For a more straightforward
context, consult FC, fig. 16, ex. 5, whose second model shows E in its foundational
passing context (derived from the second species of counterpoint). That examples
fourth model shows how this E may shift to coincide with the arrival of the dominant
root. Yet it remains a passing note. Thus, returning to the tudes C Minor context, the
cadential s E cannot serve as Schenker proposes as a reinstatement of the
Kopfton, since it is hierarchically dependent upon the F and D that it connects. In
addition, I disagree with Schenkers inclusion of D (rather than D) in the interior
strand during measure 15. (These two pitches are displayed without hierarchical
distinction in his foreground graph on p. 57.) From my harmonic perspective, G-B-D
plays an important role in the succession from I to IV, serving as a reinstatement of the
tonic in its surging I state (imagining E). Consequently D serves as a link between
E and D.
3. Because this descending-second motive is so pervasive, I cannot endorse Schenkers
reading of the first E during 84 as a neighboring note to F. (See Five Graphic Music
Analyses, p. 57.)
4. Regarding Mehrdeutigkeit (multiple meaning), see TAH, 156161.

5. I applaud Phippss use of the Roman numeral I during measure 15 of his ex. 6,
despite the fact that he has placed it within parentheses. I disagree with his use of that
numeral during measure 17.
6. Chopin here makes the most of the fact that the diminished quality of C6 (C-E-A)
results in an inherent uncertainty of intent. Will that chord proceed to D5, as the
sequential pattern dictates? Or will it heed its own internal urge to resolve the
augmented fourth? The addition of F to the chord pushes decisively toward the latter
outcome. Fortunately those two outcomes reside in adjacent positions within the
sequence, so the choice of the latter comes across as an omission of one chord within
the sequential ascent. On another level, measure 24 corresponds to measure 14, where
C-E-A was complemented by F to project D. If that F is reinterpreted
enharmonically as G, the surge would shift to F. With F rather than G (a lessening
of intensification, while retaining the function), that chord sounds in measure 24.
7. The sixteenth notes within measure 28 chromatically fill in two intervals from the
B chord: (D)>D>C>C>B and B>B [A]>A[G].
8. Compare with the embellishment of II during the Mazurka in C Major (op. 24, no. 2),
measure 13 [1.4].
9. Bass C [B] at 331 comes after two-measure units that emphasize E [D] (the
circles fourth element) and D [C] (a passing chord). Though initially the attentive
listener will regard C as the third of a chord rooted on A (the circles fifth element), the
downward trajectory from E through passing D does ultimately lead to C as root,
taking into account the transformation that transpires during measures 33 through 35.
Consequently the structural melodic line, which has descended from Kopfton G through
F to E, now detours upwards through E to incomplete neighbor F in measure 37 (in a
trajectory divided between the soprano and bass) before reaching goal D in conjunction
with the dominant. (See 4.3.)
10. Chopin rejects the D-F-A sonority twice during this passage: first, the circle of
fifths is abandoned just as the A chord is targeting a D arrival; and second, the
minor IVs chromatic 6-phase chord, F-A-D, is auditioned during measure 38 but

rejected, with the D of measure 40 successfully leading from IV onwards to V.

(Though D is chromatic if F-A-C is interpreted as IV in C Minor, the onset of an F
Minor tonicization would instead support C<D>C, echoing the G<A>G sounded
during A1s opening tonic presentation.)
11. Though Schenkers and my conceptions of the A1 sections second part correlate to
some extent, we disagree on numerous points. Again looking principally at Five
Graphic Music Analyses, note how our interpretations of the path from root C to root F
are similar, even if I make more of the interior E-G-B-C chord than he does and
interpret the melodic line as emanating from Kopfton G rather than E. I regard his
assertion of s arrival at measure 27 to be untenable. The I chord that immediately
precedes root F could contain either an imagined C or an imagined D (displacing C).
Either way, the D of measure 27 is a neighboring note that resolves to the C at that
measures close. D is a member neither of the C chord nor of the F chord. How, then,
can it be regarded as the onset of ? Looking next at measure 28, Schenker
acknowledges the addition of minor seventh A to the B major chord in his foreground
graph (p. 58), yet he does not follow through on assessing the repercussions of that
surge-inducing act namely, the succession from B to E. During measures 29
through 33 he and I present opposing hierarchies for the chord pairs. From his
perspective root A takes hold at measure 29, whereas in my view the circle of fifths
proceeds normatively to E before the arrival of A (realized by a chord in first
inversion) in measure 33. Though he has moderated the potent seismic shifts that raise
A to C in measures 33 through 35 through the extensive use of parenthetical notes
in his foreground graph, we both understand that this activity is leading the progression
towards IV, though I find it curious that the IV numeral is postponed until measure 40 in
his foreground graph at the point where IV shifts to its 6 phase.
12. See Schenkers foreground graph in Five Graphic Music Analyses, p. 58.
13. Five Graphic Music Analyses, p. 58.
14. Though not identical, the structure here closely resembles that of 264 through 274.

15. Diminished seventh chords in measures 66 and 68 soften the stark voice leading
displayed in 4.3. That in measure 66 targets the chord of measure 67 as that in measure
64 targets the chord of measure 65. Because the descent of the chords is not evenly
spaced (a major second from D to C, but a minor second from C to B), the chord of
measure 68 does not function like those of measures 64 and 66. Instead it anticipates the
upcoming subtonic.
16. Though this II offers fulfillment after the frustrations noted in the vicinity of
measures 33, 38, and 65, Schenkers graph of the entire movement in FC, fig. 12, erases
it, displaying instead a diatonic II with at measure 72. Readers mystified by such
seeming errors may gain insight into Schenkers thinking by comparing the two graphs
labeled 1. Schicht and 2. Schicht in Five Graphic Music Analyses, pp. 5455.
17. See TAH, p. 313, n.14, for samples of creative diminished-seventh usage on display
in August Swobodas Harmonielehre (Vienna: Haykul, 1828) , tab. V. The date and
place of publication tantalizingly encourage the hypothesis of a direct encounter with its
contents (or even with the author himself) during Chopins two visits to Vienna
preceding his migration to Paris. For an account of Chopins documented or presumed
exposure to music theory during his Warsaw years (including notions derived from
Albrechtsberger and from Kirnberger), see the exemplary account in part I, chapter 1, of
Maciej Gobs Chromatyka i tonalnosc w muzyce Chopina (Cracow: Polskie
Wydawnictwo Muzyczne, 1991) ; as Chopins Harmonik: Chromatik in ihrer Beziehung
zur Tonalitt, trans. B. Hirszenberg (Cologne: Bela Verlag, 1995) .
18. Phipps cites a motion to an F minor chord in measures 3637 to support his
assertion. Note, however, that there the bass is E (sounded at 351), which targets
resolution pitch F (presented in multiple registers during measure 37). In contrast, the
bass D (measures 65 and 66) is disinclined to ascend to F, though Phipps displays
exactly that hypothetical resolution (his ex. 13).

Chapter 5: Nocturne in C Minor (op. 27, no. 1)

Chapter 5: Nocturne in C Minor (op. 27, no. 1)

1. It was recommended to me in 1976 by my first Schenkerian analysis instructor, John
2. The Music Forum was published in New York by Columbia University Press.
Salzers article is found on pp. 283 through 297 of volume 2. His analysis is discussed
in Alison Hoods Intraopus Connections in Chopins Nocturnes, Opus 27, in The
Sources of Chopins Style: Inspirations and Contexts, ed. A. Szklener (Warsaw:
Narodowy Instytut Fryderyka Chopina, 2005), pp. 371385 . Hood incorporates
additional commentary from John Rinks 1989 Cambridge University dissertation, The
Evolution of Chopins Structural Style and Its Relation to Improvisation, which I
have not been able to access.
3. The Oster Collection: Papers of Heinrich Schenker (housed at the New York Public
Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center), file 32, item 51. The archive
includes several intriguing graphs by Ernest Oster of a passage from the nocturne (file
32, item 46). Osters placement of the abbreviation recap. at measure 84 concurs with
my reading, in contrast to Salzers assertion of a formal division at measure 65.
4. It would be reasonable to propose that measures 7 and 8 should be read as III56 IV,
with the internal III6 asserted locally as I. My analysis in 5.1 instead juxtaposes two
continuations from the same starting point: from minor tonic to the mediant between 31
and 71 as a means of expanding the initial tonic, then a tonic restoration proceeding to a
contorted dominant between 73 and 94. Chopins excursion to the mediant extends the
first phrase into a fifth measure, requiring some compensatory compression: the second
phrase begins now in the middle of measure 7, rather than at its outset.
5. In the second and fourth of these statements, C is embellished by an excursion up to
E (as C<E or C<D<E), corresponding to the Nocturnes E<F<G in measures 13
and 17.
6. Salzer does not interpret this cadence as the conclusion of the A1 structure, to be
followed by the initiation of a written-out repeat. Instead he refers to the succeeding
measures as the last phrase of section A (p. 287).

7. Since composers were cognizant of the challenges that their works imposed upon
amateur performers, they often would substitute a five-flat for a seven-sharp signature.
Chopins four-flat signature corresponds to the initial goal, the A dominant of measure
52, rather than to the D tonic that emerges in measure 65. (Though my principal
analysis retains C as the tonic, a local tonicization of the dominant, as goal of a II V
I progression in G [A] Major from 483 through 523, is feasible.) Consequently it was
necessary for Chopin to manually insert a G accidental numerous times during
measures 63 through 80, after which a restoration of the four-sharp signature occurs.
8. Whereas C Minors diatonic I6 chord would inherently surge (as A) towards II,
here the supertonics D root is targeted through the chromatic shift of the 6-phase
chord to A.
9. I display its normative functioning as a connector between the tonic and the dominant
in Schubert, 1.8 (Model 2), while Schenker demonstrates its use in FC, fig. 111a
(second model). Regarding the latter, see my Schenker, Schubert, and the Subtonic
Chord, in A Music-Theoretical Matrix: Essays in Honor of Allen Forte (Part II), ed. D.
C. Berry, Gamut: Online Journal of the Music Theory Society of the Mid-Atlantic 3
(2010), pp. 127166 .
10. Whereas it is well known that a diminished seventh chord may be used to bring
about the tonal shift of a minor third through enharmonic reinterpretation, in measures
77 through 79 a diminished seventh connects two chords a major third apart. Initially
A -C -E-G serves as an embellishment of the preceding B major chord. Yet upon
resolution it takes on the character of a common-tone diminished seventh chord.
(Compare with Haydn/Mozart, p. 213.) Chopin complicates matters by allowing the
common tone (G) to be displaced by its chromatic upper neighbor at the moment of
resolution (791, where I show a retained G within parentheses in 5.3). As a result, two
diminished seventh chords sound in succession. (In fact, diminished sevenths persist
through the melodic peak at 811.)

Chapter 6: Preludes in E Major and E Minor (op.

Chapter 6: Preludes in E Major and E Minor (op.

28, nos. 9 and 4)
1. Lerdahls analyses appear in Tonal Pitch Space (Oxford University Press, 2001), pp.
89109 . They had earlier been published, in a somewhat abbreviated form, as PitchSpace Journeys in Two Chopin Preludes, in Cognitive Bases of Musical
Communication, ed. M. R. Jones and S. Holleran (Washington DC: American
Psychological Association, 1992), pp. 171191 .
2. Though Lerdahl consulted the first edition of Aldwell and Schachters Harmony and
Voice Leading, readers will find the same analysis in the current fourth edition (Boston:
Schirmer; Cengage Learning, 2011), pp. 589591 and 628629 .
3. The Prelude in E Minor Op. 28 No. 4: Autograph Sources and Interpretation, in
Chopin Studies 2, ed. J. Rink and J. Samson (Cambridge University Press, 1994), pp.
161182 , and The Triad as Place and Action, Music Theory Spectrum 17 (1995), pp.
149169 , reprinted in Unfoldings: Essays in Schenkerian Theory and Analysis, ed. J.
N. Straus (Oxford University Press, 1999), pp. 161183 . (The Unfoldings page
numbers will be employed in references to the latter.) Readers may wish to expand their
study of the Prelude in E Minor by consulting a lively critique of Schachters analyses
by Bengt Edlund, who both conveys a vociferous anti-Schenkerian stance and offers an
alternative analysis in chapter 3 of his Chopin: The Preludes and Beyond (Frankfurt am
Main: Peter Lang, 2013), pp. 201233 , which I encountered only after the present book
went to press.
4. Musical Genre and Schenkerian Analysis, Journal of Music Theory 42 (1998), pp.
101124 . (Schachters graphs from the articles listed in note 3 are reprinted in London
and Rodmans article.)
5. This sheet is a part of the Oster Collection: Papers of Heinrich Schenker (file 32, item
98), housed at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.
6. A partial list of errata: missing stems in line 1; a missing slur, Roman numeral, and
words in line 2; a missing accidental, commas, dash, word, and abbreviation in line 3;
the presentation of a line connecting E and D instead as a slur in line 5; the

transcription of fis as bis (and omission of a slur connecting and fis and another slur
connecting fis and h) and the positioning of the D notehead a measure too soon in line
7. The complete rendering of a 56 sequence to connect the tonics 5-phase (E-G-B)
and unfurled 6-phase (C-E-G) chords would involve a total of eleven chords (E56
F56 G56 A56 B56 C5). Chopin here makes use of a common shortcut, facilitated by
the fact that E5 and G6 employ the same pitch classes. Consequently his sequence
employs a total of six chords.
8. Lerdahls omission of commentary regarding how he went about creating his fig. 3.2
is curious, given a comment he made earlier while establishing his systems theoretical
foundations: It is sometimes troublesome to determine the grouping structure of a
piece, but once that is in place the rest mostly follows like clockwork (p. 7). One is left
with the impression that the figure depends to a large extent upon the analysis of the
preludes second and third phrases in Aldwell and Schachters Harmony and Voice
9. Lerdahls reading is very similar to an unpublished graph by Schenker, now in the
Oster Collection: Papers of Heinrich Schenker (file 32, item 108), housed at the New
York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. I suspect that that graph
was an inspiration both for Lerdahl and for Aldwell and Schachter.
10. These comments echo my similar concerns about the analysis of TR sections in twopart, major-key sonata expositions. In my view, II often will serve as the goal of TR
(at the medial caesura), followed by V at or soon after the onset of S. An analysis that
places the arrival of the structurally deep V before the caesura II puts the cart before
the horse, in my view. (See Haydn/Mozart, pp. 5867.)
11. Schenker commented on Chopins slurring in the Mazurka in G Minor (op. 33, no.
1) as follows: Chopin, with his penchant for the melodic, employs the slur in his own
special way. Thus the song of this upper voice, as if absorbed in itself, seeks to remain
an indestructible unity and therefore basically resists articulation (FC, p. 110).

12. The score that Lerdahl published as fig. 3.1 deploys slurring that starkly contrasts
that shared by two recent Urtext editions: the National (Cracow, 2000) edited by Jan
Ekier and the Peters (London, 2003) edited by Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger. Neither
editors critical commentary mentions alternative slurring from any Chopin source.
Lerdahls slurring exactly matches that in the Students Edition of the Preludes by
Alfred Cortot (Paris: ditions Salabert, n.d.), though its origin may be earlier.
13. Though I interpret their formal relationship in a different way due to the contrasting
context, the first two phrases of the Mazurka in B Major (op. 41, no. 2, analyzed in
3.10) behave harmonically approximately as do the first two phrases of the E Major
14. Whereas this B (spelled by Chopin as C) raises diatonic B (spelled as C when
restored by Chopin at the end of 83), its enharmonic equivalent C in measure 6 lowers
diatonic C (restored at 71). Both are wobbles.
15. Continuing the comparison with the Mazurka in B Major from note 13, Chopin in
that case highlights the peculiarity of the BEAD circle of fifths by instead
traversing the parallel minor keys BEAD during the varied repetition of the
mazurkas A1 section.
16. The E>A fifth is filled in by step in the bass: E>D>C>B>A. The passing note B
seems at first to attach itself structurally to the C chord (at 63), forming a C surge
towards F. Chopin indeed may be playing with listeners expectations by projecting the
first two chords of a I

II5 V progression, a chromatic variant of the first phrases

I56 II V. Yet by the downbeat of measure 7 that potentiality loses its viability, and the
deeper connection between E and A becomes paramount.
17. Concerning this thorny issue, see TAH, 7.6 (including the commentary regarding
Progression 3 on p. 175).
18. Continuing the discussion of slurring begun in note 12, the score that Lerdahl
provides as fig. 3.1 contains a bass slur beginning at the B of 84 and extending through
the E of 93. Again, that does not correspond to the recent Urtext editions, where a single

long slur extends from 51 through the final chord. Though I disagree in some details
with Schenkers unpublished analysis of the prelude (see note 5 above), his jottings for
measures 5 through 8 twice show a progression from I through III (sic) to V, supporting
a structural descent from to .
19. Aldwell and Schachter, Harmony and Voice Leading, pp. 628629.
20. Dmitri Tymoczko offers an alternative analysis of this phrase in his A Geometry of
Music: Harmony and Counterpoint in the Extended Common Practice (Oxford
University Press, 2011), pp. 218219 . Our widely divergent views on harmonic
analysis are apparent even in some basic statistics: my example (6.3) employs three
Roman numerals (one chromatically modified) and four letters indicating roots (two of
which coincide with Roman numerals), all in E Major; his example (6.6.2) employs
sixteen Roman numerals in the keys of E, C, F, d, A, and then E again. (My strongest
objections relate to both passing chords, labeled as ii , and to the chord with
suspensions labeled as iii within parentheses.) We both read the phrase as continuing to
E Majors dominant at the end of measure 8, contrasting Lerdahls close on the
preceding G [A] chord.
21. Aldwell and Schachter, Harmony and Voice Leading, pp. 590591.
22. Though Lerdahls commentary acknowledges the exceptional nature of this passage
modulates to a distant place, returning home at the last moment and remarkable for
its pitch-space journey (pp. 8991) his fig. 3.8b conveys neither a veering away from
an intended course (in the way that my crossing out a chord, highlighted within a box,
does in 6.4) nor even that there is an intended course targeting C. In addition, the
juxtaposition of G and V/E appears to grant the G a higher hierarchical status than the
structural dominant. Note that the B dominant chord of 114, because it resides within
the tonal sphere of goal E, is absent from the representations in his figs. 3.5 and 3.6; and
though a V appears and is circled in his fig. 3.8b, it there pales in comparison with the
bold presentation of circled E, a, F, g, and G. My discomfort with this visual
presentation corresponds exactly to a similar sentiment expressed in my assessment of

the early nineteenth-century author Gottfried Webers analytical procedure in TAH (p.
147 and 6.7).
23. A whole step in one voice occurs at the preludes outset: B>A in measures 1 and 2.
Consequently a parallel progression of diminished rather than minor chords ensues.
Given their role in filling in a broader tonic expanse, there is no one correct way to
spell the progressions internal chords. In fact, Chopin shows no predilection even to
spell them using a sixth and a third above the bass, as I have done in 6.5.
24. Parallel progressions of diminished seventh chords descending in half steps were
sufficiently commonplace by the beginning of the nineteenth century to be featured in
the harmony textbook used at the Conservatoire National de Musique in Paris: CharlesSimon Catels Trait dharmonie [1802]. See TAH, 3.11b.
25. One might propose an alternative hypothesis in which the surging I is asserted
earlier at the end of measure 3 (G-B-D-F, with B locally embellished by neighbor
C) and then prolonged through the end of measure 8. (This hypothesis is closely allied
with Schenkers reading, published in London and Rodman, Musical Genre, p. 119.)
One could accommodate that view by spelling the third tenor note in 6.5 as G and
adjusting the slurring. However, I do not hear measure 3 as anything other than an
interior element of an expansive downward glide. Thus I stand by my reading as
presented in 6.5.
26. Though a minority opinion during the nineteenth century, this perspective is not
without historical precedent: see TAH, 3.4b and 7.14c. Dmitri Tymoczkos A Geometry
of Music, fig. 8.5.5 (p. 287), offers the antithesis of my perspective: seventeen analytical
symbols in a total of five keys over the course of the phrase.
27. Two distinct levels of hierarchy are at play here. Several bona fide passing chords
(such as E-G-C-A[B] in measure 4) connect the perimeter tonic chords of measures
1 and 8; while at the surface level the gradual falling-into-place of those various passing
chords results in a range of incidental simultaneities that perform a connective role
between the individual passing chords. For example, E-G-D-B at the beginning of
measure 4 should not be interpreted as I even though the ultimate goal of the

descending parallel progression is, in fact, a form of I. (On this point, I disagree with
Schenkers analysis in the Oster Collection, cited above.)
28. Note the lovely motivic association between G>F and C>B in measure 12. The
latter occurs twice (corresponding to the B<B octave that began the first phrase during
the upbeat to measure 1), with C embellished by appoggiatura D the second time. (That
is, the D>C>B triplet should be interpreted as a layering of neighboring
embellishments: C embellishes B, whereas D embellishes C. It makes no sense from a
Schenkerian perspective to process the triplet as London and Rodman do as a filledin unfolding of the third

, since D not D is a member of the dominant harmony

prolonged since measure 10.) The C>B neighbor reiterates the bass motion of measures
9 through 12 and is then taken up by the melody during measure 13, as in measure 1.
29. London and Rodman, Musical Genre.
30. Regarding the critical G-B-D-F chord at the end of measure 8, Lerdahls vii/a
reading (in his fig. 3.20b) is similar to my surging tonic (I) reading. We agree that it is
a chord that potently targets the A minor chord of measure 9. In my view London and
Rodmans Schenkerian reading misses the point: the vii7 label in their ex. 1
(presented instead as vii7 within quotation marks in their commentary on p. 102)
pertains to the D-F-A-C chord of 81, from which they proceed directly to measure 9s
iv6, omitting consideration of the G-B-D-F chord altogether at this level. (They
propose a subdominant prolongation from 51 through 92.) In the succeeding paragraph
of their commentary they do mention the I chord, labeling it vii7/iv. It appears in the
foreground layer of their ex. 1 as a connective chord between vii7 and iv6. Since they
were attempting to construct a Schenkerian analysis of the work, it is curious that they
did not take into account that Schenker employed only one Roman numeral for all of
measures 7 and 8: I below a D-F-G-B chord. (Though Schenkers analysis in the
Oster Collection is sketchy, on this point the perspective is clear: the measure numbers
78 sit squarely underneath a I3 numeral not off to the side, as in the botched
London and Rodman transcription.)
31. Schachter, The Prelude in E Minor, and Schachter, The Triad as Place and

32. That third is traversed both in an interior strand during measures 18 through 20, as
indicated by the slurred noteheads in 6.6, and in the upper register (where a beam is
employed) during measures 18 through 24.
33. London and Rodman, Musical Genre, p. 104.
34. Schachter, The Prelude in E Minor.
35. Though his Roman numeral analysis does not acknowledge Fs presence in the
chord, I think Schachter would agree with me that by this point the IV Stufe has shifted
to what I refer to as its 6 phase, with F serving as the sixth above root A. (The Arabic
6 at measure 16 of Schachters 1994 graph instead indicates that the iv chord initially
sounds in an inverted state.)

Chapter 7: Prelude in G Minor (op. 28, no. 22)

Chapter 7: Prelude in G Minor (op. 28, no. 22)

1. Analyzing Schubert (Cambridge University Press, 2011).
2. Interpreting Chopin: Analysis and Performance (Farnham: Ashgate, 2014) .
3. Ambiguity of Tonal Meaning in Chopins Prelude Opus 28, No. 22, Festschrift for
Steve Larson, Music Theory Online 18/3 (September 2012) . A revised version of this
article appears on pages 111 through 124 of Interpreting Chopin.
4. This relationship between B and A is replicated later, in measures 24 and 32 (treble
clef). The gesture collides with the dominants embellishing chord (B-E-G) during
5. In that an evolution of the type occurs most often in the context of II proceeding
to a major dominant, it is opportune that the subdominant to which I proceeds is of
major quality (atypical in a minor-key context).
6. Hood employs the word ambiguous or one of its derivatives a total of twenty-six
times within her six-page essay. Indeed, when I was younger I found many passages in
Chopins music ambiguous, though I did not extol ambiguity as an important
compositional feature. As I have aged I have found less and less of the music that I
study to be ambiguous. I regard this as a sign that my analytical acumen has developed
(to the point that I now willingly publish my analyses, something I refrained from doing
during that earlier phase of my career). Certainly some readers (including Hood) might
suggest instead that an undesirable rigidity has invaded my thinking that I too
summarily reject alternative readings that might hold potential. Though I do not
celebrate ambiguity as Hood does, I appreciate the sincerity of her conviction.
7. Hoods graphs and her commentary present somewhat different conceptions. Her
paragraph 16 asserts: The vii7 at the beginning of measure 8 encourages us to hear the
A as part of a dominant-functioning harmony. Yet, at the same time, because BAG
sounds as an upbeat (as it did previously) we can also hear it as prolonging tonic
harmony, so the A is heard as a passing tone that resolves to G it can now be
interpreted in two mutually-exclusive ways. Whereas I am using the comparatively

unambiguous context of measures 8 and 9 to come to terms with measures 0 and 1, she
is imposing her interpretation of measures 0 and 1 upon measures 8 and 9 even though,
as she acknowledges, the chordal accompaniment does not support it. A review of the
graphs from chapters 1 and 3, above, reveals that thirteen of the forty-three mazurkas
explored there do not begin on a tonic chord. Whereas I suggest that this prelude
conforms to that 30 percent option, Hood is endeavoring to hear the work in terms of
the alternative 70 percent option, despite Chopins instructive presentation within
measures 8 and 9.
8. Mehrdeutigkeit (multiple meaning) is explored in TAH, pp. 155161.
9. Compounding my confusion, the score labeled A2 in Hoods ex. 2 places a I numeral
(why capital?) at the end of measure 33 (note that the bar line between measures 32 and
33 was inadvertently omitted) rather than where I think it was intended below the G at
the end of measure 34.
10. Certainly the author of an article whose title begins with the word Ambiguity
should be extra careful in proofreading, lest unintended additional instances of
ambiguity divert the readers attention, as it has mine. The remarks in this chapter
correspond to the articles state on October 12, 2012, not to the version later published
in Interpreting Chopin (after Harmony in Chopin went into production).

Chapter 8: Prelude in C Minor (op. 45)

Chapter 8: Prelude in C Minor (op. 45)

1. Chopin and La note bleue: An Interpretation of the Prelude Op. 45, Music &
Letters 78 (1997), pp. 233253 ; as Chopin et la note bleue: Une interprtation du
Prlude opus 45, in Eigeldinger, J.-J., Lunivers musical de Chopin (Paris: Fayard,
2000), pp. 169188 .
2. Rounding Up the Usual Suspects?: The Enigmatic Narrative of Chopins C-sharp
Minor Prelude, in Engaging Music: Essays in Music Analysis, ed. D. Stein (Oxford
University Press, 2005), pp. 236252 .
3. See TAH, 3.2.
4. Ibid., 3.3, 3.4, and 3.5.
5. When working on this article, Eigeldinger regarded the preludes cadenza as
occurring in measure 80. Yet in the subsequent Peters edition (2003), which he edited,
the cadenza is counted as a continuation of measure 79. (The latter view conforms to
the National Edition as well.) Consequently I have tacitly lowered all of the articles
measure numbers higher than 79 by one in my commentary.
6. Eigeldinger hears echoes of his tetrachords (with some chromatic inflection, and
curiously breaking off in the middle of the second one) in the forthcoming main
sections bass. In note 29 he asks readers to ponder the following series of stepwisedescending bass pitches: C (51), B (91), A (131), G (171), F (191), and E (231). I
reject the placement of G within this series, in that the G chord resides within the
domain of a hierarchically deeper D chord; and I can make sense of E only as an
internal component of an F>E>D third whose goal D is elided at 271 (as will be
explained in due course). I will argue that the C-to-D contour of this region
corresponds to the C-to-D seventh introduced during the introduction.
7. Readers will find the relationship I propose between the introduction and the main
section of this prelude reminiscent of the correlation I draw between the introduction
and exposition of Schuberts Symphony in B Minor (Unfinished), movement 1. See
Schubert, chapter 7.

8. Smith acknowledges this D chord without assigning it a significant role (p. 251). In
his score 20.1 he places the following symbol underneath measure 4 (not measure 3):
9. In that editor Deborah Stein introduces Smiths essay by informing readers that he
has long been interested in the theories of Heinrich Schenker (p. 236),
impressionable young readers (the books intended audience) might assume that there is
something Schenkerian about Smiths analysis. That assumption would be incorrect.
Any Schenker-influenced reading would acknowledge the foundational role of I V I
within the introduction, as conveyed in 8.1b.
10. Though the bold type in which the words rounded binary form are printed prods
readers to look up the term in the glossary provided at the end of the volume in which
Smiths essay appears, the definition found there (p. 331) and the formal description of
the prelude in his essay do not correspond.
11. Smiths word retransition corresponds to the German word Rckleitung in
Hugo Leichtentritts analysis of the prelude. See his Analyse der Chopinschen
Klavierwerke, 2 vols. (Berlin: M. Hesse, 19211922), vol. 1, pp. 177179 .
12. As I did also in my critique of Lerdahl (note 22 on pp. 274275), I trace my
discomfort with this visualization back to a similar sentiment expressed in my
assessment of the early nineteenth-century author Gottfried Webers analytical
procedure in TAH (p. 147 and 6.7).
13. It is important to keep in mind that the F chord of measures 55 through 63 is a
wobble-infiltrated mutation of F, and not a misspelled E chord. Consequently Smiths
application of the word mediant in his n. 16 (p. 241) is entering dangerous territory, in
my view. Likewise, Gunner Rischels Roman numeral III (within the progression III IV
II V I) is off the mark. (See his Tonal analyse, Musik & Forskning 14 (19881989), p.
127 .)
14. The cadenzas emphasis upon the D nodal point in part compensates for the brevity
of that chord (measure 65) during the initial presentation of the main section.

15. In the glossary of Engaging Music, the volume in which Smiths essay appears,
editor Deborah Stein distinguishes two different meanings for the word Reprise: a
repeated section or the repetition of opening material later in the piece (p. 331). In
the context of my one-part form, I use the word in the former sense; in the context of his
idiosyncratic rounded binary form, Smith uses it in the latter sense. I suspect that
Eigeldinger intends the repeated section meaning as well, though the terseness of his
commentary leaves that open to question.

Chapter 9: Ballade in F Minor (op. 52)

Chapter 9: Ballade in F Minor (op. 52)

1. Laufers essay, On Chopins Fourth Ballade, is published in Keys to the Drama:
Nine Perspectives on Sonata Form, ed. G. Sly (Farnham: Ashgate, 2009), pp. 157175 .
Another substantial account of the ballade (from a contrasting perspective) that readers
might wish to pursue concurrently is Michael Kleins Chopins Fourth Ballade as
Musical Narrative, Music Theory Spectrum 26 (2004), pp. 2355 .
2. Before proceeding to publication, Laufer presented his analysis at the Fourth
International Schenker Symposium (Mannes College of Music, New York, March 17,
2006). The longhand examples were printed on pages that measure 11 by 17 inches.
Typeset for publication with no changes in layout, the same examples were reduced so
as to fit onto pages that measure approximately 6 by 9 inches.
3. My reading of the work embraces this conventional flow from the tonic to the
dominant. In his Chopins Modular Forms in Variations on the Canon: Essays on
Music from Bach to Boulez in Honor of Charles Rosen on His Eightieth Birthday, ed.
R. Curry, D. Gable, and R. L. Marshall (University of Rochester Press, 2008), pp.
198199 , Robert P. Morgan proposes that the theme ends instead with a full cadence
in iv followed by a brief, half-measure transition back to V of F minor following the
end of the theme. That perspective coincides with Laufers analysis, to be explored
4. In his Ambiguity and Reinterpretation in Chopin, Chopin Studies 2, ed. J. Rink and
J. Samson (Cambridge University Press, 1994), pp. 140160 , Edward T. Cone savors
Chopins treatment of the ballades initial C chord: what may at first seem to function as
the dominant of an F tonic arriving in measure 2 (displayed as one of two analytical
hypotheses in his ex. 8.1) is tonicized for several measures, after which it reveals its
role as dominant of the F tonic that emerges in measure 8. Cone projects the
conviction that Chopin wished us to hear the passages as deliberately ambiguous
(p. 141). I endorse an alternative perspective on this issue. Whereas for many analysts a
chord such as C-E-G-B automatically will be labeled as V7 (either as a dominant or as
an applied dominant, here V7/IV), I am comfortable with such a chordal configuration
emerging at any point where a descending-fifth root succession occurs. Chromatic

pitches often are incorporated so as to enhance the forward momentum generated when
a chord surges, without concurrently signaling diatonic pitch content within any key.
Consequently when listening I embrace the energetic initiative of a I or II or VI
without concurrently expecting that the chords they target will function as a tonic at any
level. Clearly this is a matter that defies resolution. Though Cones strongly worded
conviction that a convincing analysis must reveal such an intention is
reasonable, certainly others may pursue alternative perspectives with equal justification.
5. Since the cadence will be a major point of contention between Laufer and me, I
mention here that Lauri Suurps analysis in The Path from Tonic to Dominant in the
Second Movement of Schuberts String Quintet and in Chopins Fourth Ballade,
Journal of Music Theory 44 (2000), pp. 468469 , similarly proposes an interruption at

. Suurp does not acknowledge Chopins establishment of A as the Kopfton prior

to the cadence. Instead he proposes a novel and in my view doubtful structural
reading, ascending from to . (The establishment of as the Kopfton in the context
of a mediant chord, as I propose occurs in measure 13, is demonstrated by Schenker in
FC, fig. 38a and fig. 40, ex. 10.) For a reading more in line with Laufers, see William
Rothsteins Ambiguity in the Themes of Chopins First, Second, and Fourth Ballades,
Intgral 8 (1994), p. 25 , where he proposes that the dominants in question are not
typical half cadences. The large-scale harmonic progression of each variation
basically I-(III)-IV-V7 closes into the tonic at the beginning of the next variation, so
that a chain of overlapping progressions results. My subtly different reading proposes
that a hierarchically deep C, E, and G during the second half of measure 22 collide
with a foreground B that serves as a local voice-leading connection to the following I.
6. Though what ensues in measures 23ff. turns out to be a modified repetition of A1
rather than A2, listeners might reasonably surmise that the work has embarked upon the
post-interruption half of a binary structure at that point.
7. The flourish of notes following the fermata chord in measure 134 suggests that
Chopin might likewise have intended the fermatas of measure 7 as an invitation to some
improvised embellishment. Nowadays any deviation from the printed score during a

performance attracts inordinate attention, since many members of the audience have
heard numerous live or recorded performances of the work already. Clearly that state of
affairs was not in play during Chopins lifetime. A modern performer might at least
privately (and perhaps even publicly) seek to regain that spontaneity through tasteful
additions to the printed score in contexts such as measure 7.
8. Laufers correlation of the D tonicization to the already established B subdominant
echoes a reading presented by Carl Schachter in his review of Jim Samsons The Music
of Chopin, Music Analysis 8 (1989), p. 190 . On the other hand, Laufer and I disagree
with Schachter regarding how Chopin leads onwards from D: we interpret the
prominent chromatic line A<A<B<B in measures 191 through 194 as a connection
between A and B (note the stems in Laufers ex. 7.8a and 7.8d), in contrast to
Schachters restoration of IV (through a 56 motion) with the arrival of B in
measure 193.
9. The F at the downbeat of measure 187 functions as an incidental dissonance a
dissonance that may resolve without a change of chord. (See TAH, p. 19.) A descent to
E is avoided both at that point and during the chord with bass C that follows.
10. As often is the case when a modulo 12 procedure is presented in music notation
designed for modulo 7 conceptions, some enharmonic correction is required. Whereas
three of the strands represented in 9.7 display two major seconds (F>E>D, B>A>G,
and D>C>B), the upper strand appears awkwardly as A>G>E. Using modulo 12
numbers that line would be represented without enharmonic seam as 8>6>4. One attains
the downbeat embellishing chord within the prevailing F Minor key (modulo 7), enters
the domain of modulo 12 for the -2-2 parallel progression, and then thrusts the goal
chord back into the modulo 7 environment.

Chapter 10: Barcarolle in F Major (op. 60)

Chapter 10: Barcarolle in F Major (op. 60)

1. The Barcarolle: Auskomponierung and Apotheosis, in Chopin Studies, ed. J.
Samson (Cambridge University Press, 1988), pp. 195219 . Readers also should consult
David Kopps On Performing Chopins Barcarolle, Music Theory Online 20/4 (2014)
, which appeared after the present book went to press.
2. The parallel progressions upper line, which traverses all the diatonic steps within a
G>G octave, is highly embellished, particularly with incomplete upper neighbors
following the principal pitches, beginning with the last pitch in measure 1: F<G. Two
of those upper neighbors are themselves embellished by an appoggiatura: B<C at 24
becomes B<D>C and G<A at 32 becomes G<B>A. Consequently only the interior
B during 32 a step below Middle C will be perceived as the chordal seventh. It is in
that register that it resolves to A during measure 3.
3. Though the interior lines G sounds in the upper register at 91, it may be imagined
over a wider span. An uncommon juxtaposition of B and B occurs during 923.
Whereas the upper strand proceeds as B<C, with an intervening D appoggiatura, the
appoggiatura that intervenes between the inner strands G and A is B.
4. It appears to me that Rinks graph and his textual commentary are not exactly in
sync. In his ex. 4, bass F>F (bound by a dotted slur spanning measures 6 through 24)
is filled in by stemmed noteheads corresponding to a descending F Major scale,
missing only E. That notation makes V/V appear subordinate to the vi and V that
surround it, with V serving as an internal point within the broad stepwise trajectory.
(Rink relates that each pitch in the scale supports a tonicized harmony with the
exception of the penultimate, G (p. 200).) Yet at an earlier point in his commentary
Rink refers to the resolution from the tonic to the dominant in bar 15 (p. 198), a
notion that I endorse and convey much more resolutely in my 10.1 than he does in his
ex. 4. In particular, that reading would warrant that V/V (my II) be interpreted as
hierarchically deeper than vi (I6).
5. Though Rinks foreground graph of the region (his ex. 9) contains a greater
abundance of bass stems, it nevertheless does not deploy Schenkers characteristic S-

shaped slur (F via G to C), which would decisively clarify the hierarchical
relationship between D and G.
6. During the introduction each of the parallel progressions three principal strands
traverses an octave (fifth>fifth, third>third, and seventh>seventh), and so a uniform
descent ensues. During the prolongation of the tonics upper-third chord during the B
section, the three principal strands connect different elements of the prolonged chord
(fifth>root, third>fifth, and root>third). Consequently the line emanating from E gets
off to a slow start, since it has a shorter distance to cover. The interior strand does not
pursue a maximally linear course, which would be C >(B)>A>(G)>F>E. (Chopin
omitted the notes enclosed within parentheses.)
7. The proposed broad F<G<A third (upward-stemmed noteheads in 10.2) develops
out of a reading of measures 28 and 29 that incorporates unfolded local thirds: F>D
(fourth and sixth soprano noteheads of measure 28) and G>E (fourth and sixth
soprano noteheads of measure 29). The situation is complicated by the linear activity of
the interior strands. Whereas internal A>G>F in measure 28 reinforces the
F>E>D above (both connecting members of the F and the following B chords),
the D of an E>D>C third (seventh to fifth within the F chord) collides with the
sounding of F during 283, and that thirds C (the note to which D passes) sounds
only an octave lower.
8. Rink lists what I refer to as the B section as a Development single quotes included
in his formal synopsis of the Barcarolle (his fig. 1).
9. I explore this issue in detail in TAH, pp. 162165, incorporating analyses of a passage
from Chopins Prelude in D Major by Schenker and by Schoenberg [6.21ab]. The C
in the Preludes measure 9 is the equivalent of the E in the Barcarolles measure 17.
10. As suggested above, a comparison with 3.6a, an analysis of the Mazurka in B Major
(op. 63, no. 1) just three opus numbers after the Barcarolle! is encouraged.
11. Rinks presentation of the A chord of 94 in his foreground graph (example 9) is
botched: whereas the chords A, C , and E are all accounted for, the magic is missing

because Fs ascent to G is neglected. All the pitches of A in 302 are accounted for
in his fig. 11.
12. The chromatic variants of an upper-third chord were introduced in Schubert, pp. 59
60. For F Majors upper-third A-C-E, the first chromatic variant is A-C -E, the
second is A-C-E, and the third is A-C-E.
13. Likely some Schenkerian analysts would instead interpret this passage as III56
(with the 6-phase chord unfurled into position) proceeding to II. The correlation
with Chopins treatment of the B sections upper-third chord has influenced my
willingness to posit a full-fledged return of I in measure 76. As with the tonic chord of
174, its duration is breathtakingly brief. Nevertheless, it represents the completion of
broad tonic prolongation, in this case embellished by an uncommonly potent and
extended upper-third chord.
14. As commonly occurs in the shift of a minor third, the diminished-seventh sonority is
called into service. From E-G-B-D in measure 72 Chopin proceeds to G-B-D-F at
the end of measure 75. Resolution to A-C-E seems imminent. Yet in terms of what
follows, this chord behaves as if its spelling had been E-G-B-D, representing C.
That alternative interpretation is confirmed by the arrival of root C at 761.

15. This

embellishment stems from

at 64.

16. See, for example, the progression explored in 6.4.

17. Though foreground Roman numerals are not provided, it appears that Rink intends a
tonicization of C Major via what I would label as I IV V7 I.
18. Rinks positioning of a PAC under his measure number 91 in ex. 3 is not borne out
by the content of that measure in Chopins score. The cadence is indisputably at 931, as
he proposes in his ex. 7 (contradicting his exx. 1 and 3).
19. Bass D>C>B during measure 101 coordinates with the tenor registers
B<C<(D()) in a chromaticized voice exchange. The absent pitch above B could be

imagined either as D (for an exotic version of II) or as D (for a version of II

whose ninth A will resolve, as an incidental dissonance, to G during measure 102).
Rink has included the passing note C in his fig. 15 but not the B to which it passes.
The harmonic progression is complicated by a collision. The VI chord at the
downbeat of measure 101 is expanded by means of a chromatic filling-in of its seventhto-fifth span: C>B>B>A[B]. Chopin inaugurates the succession to II before that
thirds traversal is complete. Consequently between the harmonic entities D-F -A-C
and D-F-A-B (a normative succession from a surging I6 to an evolved II) the
pitches D, G, and B happen to sound at the same time. That is a purely incidental
consequence of these colliding voice-leading initiatives, in no sense asserting a II5
(Neapolitan) function, which Rink proposes (with his label II ) as the harmonic
support for background (p. 210).

List of references to music examples

1.1 5, 7, 12, 73
1.2 12, 44
1.3 9, 12, 23, 31, 74
1.4 12, 41, 79, 83, 269
1.5 12, 49
1.6 12, 14, 81, 256
1.7 49
1.8 50
1.9 11, 32, 86
1.10 27, 60, 257
1.11 29, 30, 41, 74
1.12 52
1.13 54
1.14 56
1.15 32, 42
1.16 67
1.17 25, 53
1.18 69
1.19 31, 65
1.20 41, 45
1.21 77
1.22 32, 62
1.23 37, 41, 71, 84
1.24 39, 41, 58

1.25 37, 84
1.26 41, 86
1.27 63
2.1 50
2.3 50, 53, 95
2.4 53
2.6 53, 83
2.15 160
2.16 114
2.18 73, 74
2.19 74
3.2 96, 98, 99, 101, 236
3.3 99, 101, 236
3.4 11, 236
3.5 111, 236
3.6 236, 283
3.7 236
3.8 236
3.10 273
6.4 236, 283

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Index of Chopins works

op. 38 (F Major), 254
op. 52 (F Minor), 213232
Barcarolle op. 60 (F Major), 233252
tude op. 10, no. 2 (C Minor), 145156
Grande Valse brillante op. 18 (E Major), 253
op. 6, no. 1 (F Minor), 32, 43, 71, 7374
op. 6, no. 2 (C Minor), 45, 7, 43, 7374
op. 6, no. 3 (E Major), 106109
op. 6, no. 4 (E Minor), 2223, 4244, 264
op. 6, no. 5 [a.k.a. op. 7, no. 5] (C Major), 56, 43, 4445
op. 7, no. 1 (B Major), 67, 43, 74, 255
op. 7, no. 2 (A Minor), 2627, 43, 6465, 160
op. 7, no. 3 (F Minor), 9598, 123
op. 7, no. 4 (A Major), 1617, 43, 7475
op. 17, no. 1 (B Major), 9195
op. 17, no. 2 (E Minor), 2729, 43, 4547
op. 17, no. 3 (A Major), 2324, 43, 67
op. 17, no. 4 (A Minor), 2930, 43, 77
op. 24, no. 1 (G Minor), 109111
op. 24, no. 2 (C Major), 78, 43, 7981, 269
op. 24, no. 3 (A Major), 89, 14, 43, 4749
op. 24, no. 4 (B Minor), 910, 12, 43, 8184

op. 30, no. 1 (C Minor), 9698

op. 30, no. 2 (F Minor), 1012, 43, 4950, 259
op. 30, no. 3 (D Major), 6, 1213, 43, 5052
op. 30, no. 4 (C Minor), 11, 98101
op. 33, no. 1 (G Minor), 1718, 43, 5253, 273
op. 33, no. 2 [a.k.a. op. 33, no. 3] (C Major), 2425, 43, 5354
op. 33, no. 3 [a.k.a. op. 33, no. 2] (D Major), 25, 43, 6770
op. 33, no. 4 (B Minor), 130133
op. 41, no. 1 [a.k.a. op. 41, no. 2] (E Minor), 1820, 43, 54
op. 41, no. 2 [a.k.a. op. 41, no. 3] (B Major), 116119, 273, 274
op. 41, no. 3 [a.k.a. op. 41, no. 4] (A Major), 119120
op. 41, no. 4 [a.k.a. op. 41, no. 1] (C Minor), 2021, 43, 5658
without opus 42A (A Minor), 101104
without opus 42B (A Minor), 3235, 43, 5860
op. 50, no. 1 (G Major), 3537, 43, 84
op. 50, no. 2 (A Major), 3739, 43, 86
op. 50, no. 3 (C Minor), 111116
op. 56, no. 1 (B Major), 11, 1314, 43, 8690
op. 56, no. 2 (C Major), 15, 43, 6062, 265
op. 56, no. 3 (C Minor), 133136
op. 59, no. 1 (A Minor), 136142
op. 59, no. 2 (A Major), 120124
op. 59, no. 3 (F Minor), 124129
op. 63, no. 1 (B Major), 104106, 283
op. 63, no. 2 (F Minor), 31, 43, 6263
op. 63, no. 3 (C Minor), 3941, 43, 6364
Nocturne op. 27, no. 1 (C Minor), 157165

op. 28, no. 4 (E Minor), 166167, 176186
op. 28, no. 9 (E Major), 166176
op. 28, no. 15 (D Major), 283
op. 28, no. 22 (G Minor), 187197
op. 45 (C Minor), 198212
Scherzo op. 31 (B Minor), 254

Index of names and concepts

Aldwell, E., 167, 173, 176, 273
antecedent/consequent, 21, 2223, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 41, 58, 62, 65, 67, 77, 86, 108, 116,
122, 158, 172, 187, 189, 191, 216, 220, 262, 266
antipode, 13, 14, 2627, 131, 141, 151, 194, 220, 254
applied dominant, 18, 255, 280
arrow symbols ( and ), 4, 12, 1314, 255
augmented sixth chords, 12, 14, 132, 150, 183, 212, 248, 265, 266
Beach, D., 257
Beethoven, L. van, 198
Bellman, J., 254
Boulanger, N., 263
bullet symbol, 7
Burkhart, C., 266
Catel, C.-S., 275
chromatic variant, 48, 63, 67, 6970, 88, 114, 116, 123, 164, 246, 259260, 283
circle of fifths, 10, 13, 27, 29, 32, 39, 41, 43, 48, 49, 50, 52, 5960, 65, 67, 81, 84, 88, 90,
94, 9698, 99, 101, 105, 116, 118, 119, 123, 124, 128, 129, 135, 149, 150151,
162164, 171, 172, 173, 204, 206, 217218, 219, 221, 237, 240, 242, 244, 248,
258, 259, 260261, 267, 269, 274
circle of thirds, 199, 205, 219
collision, 7, 39, 48, 101, 109, 110, 134, 153, 171, 173, 265, 277, 281, 283, 284
common-tone diminished seventh chord, 155, 263, 272
Cone, E. T., 255, 280
Cortot, A., 273
Delacroix, E., 198

dominant emulation, 4
Edlund, B., 167
Eibner, F., 256257
Eigeldinger, J.-J., 198212, 273
Ekier, J., 266, 273
elision, 6, 8, 9, 18, 31, 35, 39, 48, 73, 81, 86, 94, 111, 123, 137, 150, 201, 206, 229, 231,
237, 255, 257, 261, 266, 267, 278
embellishing chord, 9, 17, 20, 30, 31, 45, 47, 54, 63, 73, 75, 79, 81, 84, 88, 95, 96, 99,
101, 104, 108, 109, 111, 116, 120, 122, 123, 124, 126, 128, 129, 134, 136, 142,
145, 150, 153, 163, 183, 186, 190191, 196, 199, 205, 211, 214, 215, 216, 218,
221, 228, 229, 231, 234, 242, 246, 253, 258, 263, 264, 265, 277
enharmonic equivalence, 14, 67, 70, 77, 7981, 88, 101, 110, 115, 116, 123, 124, 129,
131, 150, 153, 155, 161, 167, 171, 173, 176, 183, 205, 206, 207, 208, 211, 212,
220, 223, 245, 255, 263, 264, 265, 266, 267, 271, 273, 281, 283
equal subdivisions of the octave, 173, 208, 223, 231
essential dissonance, 233
Gob, M., 263, 270
hidden fifths, 258
Hood, A., 187197, 270
hypermeter, 116, 118
idiosyncratic progression, 79, 175, 176, 237
incidental dissonance, 153, 233, 281, 284
interruption, 2123
Jackendoff, R., 166
Kallberg, J., 260
Kinderman, W., 254
Klein, M., 265, 279
Kopp, D., 254

Korsyn, K., 254

Krebs, H., 254
Laufer, E., 213232, 260, 261, 264
Leichtentritt, H., 279
Lerdahl, F., 166186
Lester, J., 255, 257
London, J., 167, 180181, 185186, 276
lower-third chord, 69, 246
lowered supertonic see II
Lydian mode, 79
McCreless, P., 262
Mehrdeutigkeit, 148, 194, 268, 277
modal mixture see parallel keys
modulo 7 vs. modulo 12, 70, 81, 101, 115116, 123, 200, 205206, 207, 281
Morgan, R. P., 280
Mozart, W. A., 264
multiple meaning see Mehrdeutigkeit
Neapolitan sixth see II
obstinate progression, 13, 70, 115, 174, 176, 177, 193, 200, 205, 206, 219, 220
Oster, E., 271
Oster Collection, 254, 271, 272, 273, 276
parallel fifths, 29, 178, 232, 258
parallel keys, 42, 45, 56, 70, 77, 94, 116, 123, 132, 136, 161, 163, 274
parallel octaves, 13, 54, 67
parallel progression, 77, 101, 177, 179, 182, 198199, 220, 233, 237, 275, 281, 282
parenthetical passage, 122, 165, 205, 228, 231, 264
passing chord, 177, 218, 257, 275

peculiar juxtapositions, 63
Phipps, G. H., 145156
Picardy third, 86, 129, 135
reaching-over, 11, 14, 15, 32, 41, 95, 249, 267
registral shift, 4, 29, 47, 49, 83, 116, 168, 215, 218, 233, 234, 242, 244245, 252
Rink, J., 233252, 262, 270
Rischel, G., 279
Rodman, R., 167, 180181, 185186, 276
Rothstein, W., 255, 262, 280
Salzer, F., 157165, 258, 263
Samson, J., 3
Schachter, C., 167, 173, 176, 181, 185186, 254, 256, 265, 273, 276, 281
Schenker, H., 145, 152, 167, 169, 185, 200, 253254, 255256, 257, 260, 262, 264, 265,
268, 269, 270, 271, 273, 274, 275, 276, 278, 280, 283
Schoenberg, A., 145, 147, 262, 283
Schubert, F., 261, 263, 278
Sechter, S., 145, 148
seismic shift, 133135, 141, 142, 151, 152, 153, 267, 269
sequence, 4, 11, 31, 5960, 64, 7981, 106, 114, 122123, 128, 129, 141, 150, 169, 170,
174175, 176, 193, 206, 207, 208, 237239, 259, 267, 268, 273
Smith, C. J., 198212
species counterpoint, 4, 5, 10, 12, 16, 29, 54, 256
Starobinski, G., 198
Stein, D., 278, 279
surge, 89
Suurp, L., 280
Swoboda, A., 270

tonic pillar, 3, 91, 259

tonicization, 42, 45, 47, 53, 54, 60, 73, 75, 79, 83, 86, 88, 96, 99, 101, 106, 108, 114, 128,
150, 160, 164, 166, 194, 196, 203, 205, 210, 213214, 215, 216, 217, 218, 219,
221, 224, 225, 226, 228229, 241, 244245, 250, 253, 260, 261, 262263, 271,
280, 281, 283
twelve-note chromatic space see modulo 7 vs. modulo 12
Tymoczko, D., 257, 258, 261, 274, 275
unfurling, 6, 53, 54, 58, 63, 79, 99, 104, 106, 111, 115, 163, 168, 176
upper-third chord, 53, 54, 81, 99, 106, 109, 114115, 161, 163, 164, 193, 214, 215, 221,
223, 228, 241, 242244, 246, 282, 283
voice exchange, 30, 39, 161, 162, 194195, 264, 284
Wagner, R., 181
Weber, G., 275, 279
wobbly note, 15, 19, 24, 27, 31, 32, 39, 48, 50, 53, 5859, 69, 73, 86, 88, 99, 104, 114,
115, 116, 122, 131, 136, 141, 157, 163, 164, 171, 200, 203, 207, 212, 218, 220,
237, 241, 251, 260, 262, 264, 267, 273, 279
Yip, J., 261
56 shift (5- and 6-phase chords), 5, 78, 24, 25, 30, 37, 44, 45, 47, 49, 52, 54, 56, 64, 69,
70, 75, 79, 84, 86, 88, 94, 96, 98, 110, 111, 115, 122, 124, 126, 132, 133, 135,
141, 163, 168, 169, 170, 172, 174, 176, 177, 182, 194, 214, 218, 221, 223, 226,
228, 229, 231, 232, 233, 234, 237, 239, 241, 246, 251, 253, 254, 258, 259, 264,
265, 266, 269, 271, 276, 283
II, 2627, 31, 58, 6970, 75, 88, 99, 130131, 133, 150, 151, 153, 157, 176, 194195,
196, 197, 200201, 203, 207, 212, 218, 223, 241, 251, 267, 270, 271, 284