Channan Willner



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I would comment on the interpretation of Bach's Chorale passage shown in Example 1 (in the Defense Talk). I think there is a more simple reading for these eight measures than any of the four shown in the Example. I would read the F# minor harmony in m. 5 as prolonged by voice exhange until the strong beat of m. 7. In my reading, the passage embodies an archetypal modulatory progression I5-6 (=F#minor) - II# V, which fits the hypermeter in a straightforward way. This reading is also supported by the unified motivic pattern in mm. 5-7. (Another interesting feature is the parallelism between the F#-E-D-C#-sharp progression in mm. 3-4 and its transposed augmentation C#-B-A-G# in mm. 5-8, which also suggests treating the E in m. 3 and the B in m. 6 analogously as passing elements.)

Olli Väisälä
Lecturer, Sibelius Academy