Talk:Farben chord

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Vague[edit]

What is vague about "Schoenberg used the chord canonically in 'Farben'"? Hyacinth (talk) 01:25, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

It nonsensically suggest that a chord can be the subject for canonic treatment. In fact, the chord is not so used in "Farben".—Jerome Kohl (talk) 01:58, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
According to WP:V we can describe Forte's claim even if nonsensical. Hyacinth (talk) 23:01, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes, of course we can, which is why I left it as it is. However, if a statement in the article is liable to confuse readers, I think we owe it to them to try and find an explanation elsewhere. As it happens, Forte's remark (including the bit about Berg, as well)) is a passing one, in a footnote to his main concern, which is Webern. It appears that he assumes his reader will know where to look in order to understand what he is talking about. Unfortunately, it turns out to be fairly difficult to reduce the analyses in Burkhart (and other places) to a succinct phrase. I'm working on it.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 02:09, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
The simplest way that occurs to me that a chord could be used canonically is through arpeggiation. Hyacinth (talk) 04:38, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes, but that is not what Schoenberg did. In fact, the "canon" is a simple three-note melodic pattern, first up a semitone, then down a whole tone, in each of five voices. The starting pitches are in the relationship of the chord, so that one pitch after another is "deformed", first up, and then down, until the chord is completely transposed down a semitone, to B–G–B, E, A. However, this is not a proper canon, according to the definition in the article Canon (music), which states that "The follower must imitate the leader, either as an exact replication of its rhythms and intervals or some transformation thereof", because the rhythms in the five voices are not the same. This "canon" occurs five times (I think), and then is presented in inversion, with the voices in a different order. All of this needs documenting, of course, and that shouldn't be difficult, since this famous piece has been analyzed in print many times. Burkhart's article should do the trick, but he takes several pages and a full-scale diagram to do it. The problem here is to boil this down to a succinct statement.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 07:49, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
Why don't you quote Forte? Perhaps he meant "canon". Hyacinth (talk) 10:22, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
That was my first thought: does he mean "canonically" as in "the canonic operations of twelve-tone technique: retrogression, inversion, and transposition", or "canonic" as in "the contrapuntal device of strict and continuous imitation". It seems clear that he means the latter, but there does not appear to be any connection between this canonic device and the Farben chord, apart from the fact that the voices set out from that chord. In other words, it is not the chord that is being used canonically. Perhaps you are right: the best way would be to quote Forte, and leave it to the reader to try and figure out what he is talking about.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 17:17, 23 September 2012 (UTC)