Style Periods of Music History Considered Analytically

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Historians usually have found sound reasons for defining historical periods as qualitatively different eras marked off by events that serve merely as benchmarks. They recognize that such events were most often symptoms rather than generators of change, that few if any of the witnesses of those events noticed changes in their lives and surroundings, or were even aware that an epoch-marking event had taken place. History is not life, but an interpretation of selected aspects of life. For example, at least one teacher of undergraduate history1 liked to remind his classes that the Roman Empire "fell" when a general was assassinated and a little boy was sent home to his mother.2

In other disciplines—literature, art, music—we take the historians' symbols perhaps too seriously. As things now stand, we may have to admit that a Renaissance playwright could employ Baroque musicians in a predominantly Medieval technology. Period terminology can even stifle thought: our literary colleagues, with an unexpected poverty of language, are still choking on the semantic absurdity of the term "post-modern"—an assertion that no writer can ever again be modern!

In music, we are not better, merely luckier. The technical character of our notation and the intermediate nature of the musical document oblige a serious scholar to attempt to minimize the inevitably subjective components in his work. They encourage him to seek those as-objective-as-possible descriptions—that is, analyses—which form the basis of all responsible criticism, performance, and perhaps even of composition.3 Without such descriptions, a responsible history of music cannot be written, for music history is not primarily the history of musicians (however fascinating that may be) but, rather, the history of musical styles. Before we can investigate how, when, or why historical styles4 change, we must first identify them with adequate descriptions and appropriate labels.

Musicologists do not usually invent their own labels. Less contentious than literary critics, less omniscient than art historians, they have quietly accepted the received notions—Medieval, Renaissance, Romantic—and have made whatever chronological adjustments seemed necessary to fit the musical facts. No matter if music's benchmarks do not always agree with those of some sister disciplines; it would be improvident to throw away a set of labels that has worked so well for so long.

Yet, it must be conceded that a certain ambiguity clings to these labels. Each of them carries a double implication for us: a set of stylistic expectations and a time-frame. Unfortunately, the first of these usually appears as an ill-defined and uncatalogued set of notions; the second, a too-precise calendar. Unless these implications reverse their qualities, they can have little value for us.

The term "time-frame"—in spite of its implication of identifiable terminal dates—can serve our purposes if we keep in mind the purely symbolic significance of such dates. Obviously, the composer who wrote in Renaissance style on Friday, 31 December 1599, did not on Saturday, 1 January 1600 (if that is our benchmark), promptly begin composing Baroque music. His style and the styles of his musical environment changed (if at all) more slowly than that, indeed, slowly enough and continuously enough to allow us to foster our stylistic expectations of his work with some degree of confidence.

The continuity of the process of stylistic change is an essential factor in the formation of our historical perspective. Every stylistic phenomenon either finds a place in that continuum or it advertises itself as an anomaly that requires explanation. About the perspective from which we make our judgements, we can be certain only that sooner or later it must succumb to revision. The styles of our own century seem to have been changing with sometimes bewildering rapidity; but collectively they may perhaps evoke a more coherent set of expectations for some future generation. Do we not, for all our confident use of the labels, recognize a diversity of Medieval styles, of Renaissance styles?

Two questions arise here: what are our expectations in any given style? and, how do they coordinate with a given time-frame? As for the time-frame, we all recognize that style periods, like lives, overlap. In the words of Paul Henry Lang, "Every period of time has three elements: the dying past, the flourishing present, and the promising future."5 A common representation of this situation looks like this:

 

Figure 1. Segment of a time line with a conventional time frame

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Each of the arcs represents a span of time during which a set of relatively stable style characteristics seems to have predominated. The space under the intersection of two arcs represents the time during which stylistic tendencies belonging to both arcs enjoyed favor concurrently. Such a diagram does not seek to account for centrifugal tendencies such as the microtonal speculations of Vicentino and Costeley in the Renaissance environment, or the cultivation of the stile antico throughout the Baroque era. The dates in the diagram must serve our convenience without constricting our understanding. For example, Baroque tendencies may seem surprisingly early in a composition of 1560, but not anomalous. Our concept of a style must always remain wider than the time-frame we assign to it.

The style characteristics that, figuratively, lie under each arc are another matter. All musicians share more or less the same expectations about a given style, but very few have attempted to systematize this common knowledge. Perhaps the first, and certainly the best known effort was Manfred Bukofzer's comparison of Renaissance and Baroque styles, shown below:6

RENAISSANCE BAROQUE
One practice, one style Two practices, three styles
Restrained representation of the words Affective representation of the words
Musica reservata and madrigalism Textual absolutism
All voices equally balanced Polarity of the outermost voices
Diatonic melody in small range Diatonic and chromatic melody in wide range
Modal counterpoint Tonal counterpoint
Intervallic harmony, and intervallic dissonance treatment Chordal harmony and chordal dissonance treatment
Chords are by-products of the part-writing Chords are self-contained entities
Chord progressions are governed by modality Chord progressions are governed by tonality
Evenly flowing rhythm regulated by the tactus Extremes of rhythm, free declamation and mechanical pulsations
No pronounced idioms, voice and instrument are interchangeable Vocal and instrumental idioms, the idioms are interchangeable

Bukofzer follows his table with a warning of the limitations implicit in such abstractions; nevertheless, his has proven its value over the years, and we have all used it with profit. Still, although it is admirably systematic and compact, Bukofzer's table seems to invite at least a degree of amplification. The most natural framework for its re-examination would seem to be the SHMRG order proposed by Jan LaRue.7 However, that fresh point of view seemed to indicate gaps in Bukofzer's list and suggested recasting it in a longer and more detailed form—if not a significantly more comprehensive one (see Appendix B).

Bukofzer provided not only the starting point for that list, but also, by his example, the idea that similar lists might lead to clearer views of other styles. A comparison of Medieval and Renaissance styles constructed on the same model proved no difficult matter—after others had shown the way (see Appendix A).

All such tables suffer from inherent drawbacks: they collect gross over-simplifications, they sweep exceptions under the carpet, and (because of the respect we seem to have for presumably scientific tables), they appear to assert a final, rigid authority in matters over which flexible judgement ought to prevail. Still, it seems to me that such formulations (Bukofzer's or mine) do have utility if they are not abused. In some ambiguous questions, they can provide a framework for objective evaluation; in others, they may at least define the areas open to subjective disagreement.

For example, I have always had difficulty in associating the work of Dufay with Renaissance style. Despite the harmonic influence of the contenance angloise, his music has always sounded to me, if not Medieval, then at best transitional. We can draw explicit stylistic criteria from Appendix A to support that subjective notion. To list a few of them:

Dufay does not favor homogeneous textures
Dufay does not favor pervading imitation
Dufay does favor melismatic decoration
Dufay does favor rondeau and ballade
Dufay demonstrates a significant interest in isorhythm

This last trait, more than any other that might be adduced, seems to link him more directly with Medieval style than with the Renaissance. It is true that if we listen to some art historians, the Renaissance began with Giotto, who died in 1337—a judgement formed on stylistic grounds, but one which simply does not fit with our musical evidence. More recently, art historians have re-defined their concept and designated the period from the early 15th century to c. 1500 as the Early Renaissance—a "revisionist" notion that agrees better with current views, but one which could lead us to regard Dunstable, Grenon, and their contemporaries as Renaissance figures. Naturally, we can discern Renaissance characteristics in the style of Dunstable—especially when we contrast it with earlier styles—but evidently the time-frame adopted by one discipline on the basis of its own stylistic criteria will not always fit the stylistic history recorded in another discipline. Why can we not imagine a Renaissance painter working side-by-side with a Medieval musician, if we recognize that the seeming paradox resides only in the terms "Medieval" and "Renaissance" themselves—or rather, in the chronological authority we habitually accord them? If we keep stylistic criteria at the forefront of our judgements, the paradoxes usually evaporate.

It would be naive to believe that Appendix A proves Dufay a Medieval composer. Subjectivity not only colors that opinion but it permeates Appendix A itself. The individual stylistic traits in the table may have some claim to objective validity—that is, they may indeed represent significant aspects of a relatively stable, coherent style that one can represent by one of the large arcs in Figure 1, and which one may choose to call "Medieval"—but the selection of those particular traits out of the unordered reality of the styles of generations of musicians derives ultimately from subjective considerations. And, in the same manner, the decision to call them "Medieval" betrays the same subjectivity implicit in any interpretation of the surviving records of the reality of the past as History. A historian may choose to identify the shot fired at Sarajevo as the benchmark for the onset of World War I, but what of the prior treaty signatures and the subsequent ultimata? Did the American Revolution begin with the Boston Tea Party? the Boston Massacre? the skirmishes at Lexington and Concord? or in the business dealings of Sam Adams? Evidently, we cannot use benchmarks intelligently unless we see them as conventions, as convenient points of departure for particular lines of thought. Labels like Medieval, Renaissance, etc., and tables like those presented here can "prove" something only within the subjective framework of a conventional understanding of the problem.

"Medieval" means what we say it means—until we decide to say it means something else. All we can require of a critical argument is that it presents a reasonably consistent basis for discussion. The tabular Appendices offered here have value only insofar as they contribute to that consistent basis for discussion. I do not offer them as a contribution to TRUTH; they are too prone to suffer revision at any time. I do contend that they have both validity and utility sufficient not merely to warrant applying them in critical argument, but to encourage a search for similar tools that may serve to clarify other areas of stylistic discussion.

These considerations made it seem desirable to proceed further: to attempt to form similar tables comparing Baroque with Classical style and Classic with Romantic. The efforts did not meet with success. The difficulties were such that they seemed to cast doubt either on the skill of the investigator or the validity of the question. As to the first alternative: nobody is perfect. I have long harbored the opinion that the Classical style never defined a distinct period of music history—a view expressed most emphatically by Friedrich Blume,8 and more guardedly by Daniel Heartz, who finds evidence of "a 'classical' moment, if not period" in the stylistic unity of the close of the 18th century.9 Possibly, holding such an opinion could prejudice this investigator's readiness to examine the elements of Classical style in the objective spirit prerequisite to critical judgement. Yet, as we have noted, we cannot expect to suppress completely all subjectivity in matters of style. On the other hand, if there were indeed a flaw in the question itself, should there not exist some objective indication of a contradiction? Indeed, there is one.

Charles Rosen, in his imposing examination of the Classical style, distinguishes five fundamental aspects of the 18th-century musical language, which we may summarize as follows:10

  1. Tonality: The hierarchical arrangement of the triads and the keys they represent in fifths.
  2. Equal Temperament: The convention that allows closure of the circle of fifths.11
  3. Harmonic Direction: The greater influence accorded to harmony (over melody) in controlling the progress of a piece from one point to the next.
  4. Period Structure: The increased importance of more or less regular phrase structures as formal units.
  5. Sonata[-Allegro]: The chief formal vehicle of Classical style.

I fail to see how anyone can seriously disagree with Rosen's perceptive analysis of the style. At the same time, we may not ignore the obvious fact that all the elements he discerns in Classical style are also fundamental elements of Romantic style as well. The denial of anyone of them would significantly impair our understanding of Romantic style. I take this as evidence of a contradiction implicit in the problem of drawing up a table of comparisons with Classical style, implicit in regarding the Classical as a self-sufficient entity. It is quite difficult to identify elements of Romantic style that do not occur (to a greater or lesser degree) in the music of the 18th century. In other words, taking the features of both styles one at a time, it proves difficult to draw sharp contrasts between what is clearly Classic and what is clearly Romantic. The two styles seem to differ chiefly in degree—that is, quantitatively rather than qualitatively. If so, then the comparisons should have been sought directly between Baroque and Romantic. When these two styles are regarded as chronologically adjacent, the materials for comparing them prove exceedingly rich and illuminating (see Appendix C).

From the traditional point of view, comparing Baroque and Romantic seems to skip an essential style. However, anyone tempted to believe that "skipping" makes the problem artificially easy, is invited to perform the parallel experiment of comparing Medieval with Baroque (skipping Renaissance) or Renaissance with Romantic (skipping Baroque). Doing so produces no meaningful distinctions because those pairs of styles share no significant points of contact. Comparing them seems to explain nothing. A different situation prevails in our Appendix C which seems to outline, for the most part, qualitative changes. That is the aim of such tables.

The foregoing argument does not deny the existence of a Classical style either as a musical fact or a critical concept. It does maintain that Classic and Romantic belong to the same segment of the continuum, that they do not pursue basically different stylistic directions—as do Renaissance and Baroque. In this context, the perennial debate whether we should regard Beethoven as a Classic or a Romantic composer loses much of its heat. He was obviously both; the question is one of degree.

This broader view of Romanticism breaks down yet another artificial distinction: it allows us to trace the real roots of Romanticism, not in some morbid aberration of Classical style, but rather in Empfindsamkeit—a style with avowedly Romantic intent, one which grows quite naturally out of the Baroque aim of moving the passions. Classical style flourishes, it is true, in an emotional climate somewhat cooler than that of later Romanticism, but not cooler than that of the empfindsamer Stil. Classical style does not reject emotion; it merely favors a less personal balance between emotion and kinetics. This, too, marks a difference of degree, hence, a question open to conflicting interpretations.

All productive discussions of style rest ultimately on consensus. No single critic—neither Bukofzer nor this writer—has all the answers; no single critic has (or ought to have) the authority to ordain an orthodoxy for a discipline as complex and as intangible as music. Bukofzer's formulations provided the first step; the tables offered here could serve as a second step toward gathering the collective insights of musical scholars into less personal, and hence more truly authoritative statements about the slippery questions of musical style.

Notwithstanding the detailed arguments injected here by way of example, the chief goal of this essay is not to change opinions regarding the historical position of Dufay or of the Classical style, but rather to show that by applying the tools of style analysis we can move the discussion to a less subjective plane. Inevitably, subjectivity biases tables like those offered here, but the tabular form focuses attention on more sharply defined arguments. By limiting discussion to one point at a time, the tables impose some discipline on the boundless perceptions that often characterize stylistic pronouncements. At their best, the tables present style-observations of sufficient magnitude to allow us to perceive them as qualitative distinctions. It is the number, the magnitude, and the subjectively weighed significance of these discriminants that allow us to recognize when we have passed from one stylistic watershed to another. The descriptions attempted here of four central styles dare not claim to be definitive, but their example suggests a systematic approach to the problem of forming a critical consensus on fundamental historical issues.




Appendix A

Comparison of Medieval and Renaissance Styles

MEDIEVAL RENAISSANCE

SOUND

Non-homogeneous textures prevail Homogeneity becomes the ideal
Treble-dominated polyphony common Equality of the parts becomes the ideal
Modest ranges in individual parts Broadened ranges of the voice parts
Modest range of total score Broadened range of the total score
Hocket a popular device - - - - -
Limited interest in imitation (G) Imitation a favored texture
Settings a 3 favored Settings a 4 and a 5 favored

HARMONY

Primary harmonic units = Perfect intervals Primary harmonic units = Triads (but not recognized until c. 1500)
Thirds used with some restraint Harmony becomes richly triadic
"Irregular" (unsystematic) resolution of dissonance Dissonance treatment becomes regular
"Consonance-with-tenor" rule prevails Total internal consonance prevails
Exclusively diatonic harmony Beginnings of chromatic harmony (and even some microtonal experiment)

MELODY
(in polyphony)

Melismatic writing common Syllabic writing common
Melody often ornate, soloistic Melody usually simpler, "choral"
? Ad libitum ornamentation documented

RHYTHM

Often structural Most often text-based
Often decoratively detailed Usually relatively simple
Fundamentally metrical Imitative textures often disrupt metrical regularity, but the tactus remains regular
Rhythmic Modes arise and decline as Ars nova notations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
form the basis for the work of the next six-and-a-half centuries

GROWTH

"Motet-principle" common "Conductus-principle" common
Formes fixes flourish Formes fixes decline and disappear (exception: frottolistic types); musical structure less dependent upon the structure of a text
Isorhythm evolves Isorhythm a dead issue
Cantus firmus structures common Cantus firmus declines in importance
Cantus prius factus most often in tenor part Cantus prius factus often in highest part and in other parts as well
Discant-tenor technique emerges Discant-tenor technique declines as harmonic factors gain importance
Paraphrase technique emerges Wide use of paraphrase technique
Imitation used chiefly in special types (rota, caccia) Pervading imitation becomes a common tool
Rhythmic-melodic structures prevail Melodic-harmonic structures prevail

TEXT INFLUENCES

Polytextuality common Single text is the convention
Music adorns the text Music depicts the text

ADDENDUM: The last item in Appendix A (asserting that Medieval music adorns its text, whereas Renaissance music depicts its text) expresses an opinion held by many scholars, and is included here in this form for the sake of simplicity (like so many other entries). However, Ritva Jonsson and Leo Treitler, in their "Medieval Music and Language" (Studies in the History of Music, 1: Music and Language, New York: Broude Bros., 1983, pp. 1-23), have recently called attention to serious defects in this particular pedagogical over-simplification. I do not disagree with their sound and important arguments, but I have chosen to allow the paradigm to stand. It has been my intention to refine that statement in a book I have in progress on text-music relationships. In the meanwhile, those particularly interested in the topic are advised to consult the article cited. At this point, it is worth repeating the admonition that since all generalizations are to some extent unreliable, so also are those given in the tables. Few pieces, if any, will conform closely to these outlines. What value they have resides in their power to sketch some general outline of a particular style—that is, to provide us with no more than a set of reasonable stylistic expectations.




Appendix B

Comparison of Renaissance and Baroque Styles

RENAISSANCE BAROQUE

SOUND

Chief attention devoted to vocal music A significant repertory of independent instrumental music evolves
The a cappella ideal prevails for most music Accompaniment becomes the ruling convention for almost all music
Unspecified instrumental media (exception: lute, etc.) Instrumental choices specified by composer
Undifferentiated styles ("apt for voices or viols") Idiomatic writing (a new delight in tone color for its own sake)
Homogeneous textures favored Polarized textures commonest

HARMONY

One "practice" ( = conservative dissonance treatment) Two "practices" (Seconda prattica legitimizes a new freedom of dissonance treatment)
Harmony is still the relatively unplanned product of linear writing ( = melodic control) Harmonic planning evident
Modal theory influences harmony Tonality controls harmony

MELODY

Basically conjunct (vocally influenced) melodic shapes Disjunct (instrumentally influenced) melodic shapes become common
Modally influenced melody Harmonically influenced melody

RHYTHM

Undifferentiated flow of tactus often lacking metrical organization Rhythmic duality: Strongly metrical, dancelike rhythms alongside irregular, unmeasured rhythms
Closure of structures dependent on text (exception: dance forms) Independently organized, self-sufficient structures become common

TEXT INFLUENCES

Music is mistress of the poetry (Really an unconscious slander of Baroque musicians against styles they no longer cultivated) Poetry must be mistress of the music (the battle-cry that had introduced the madrigal, now served the rise of opera)
Music depicts the text Music expresses the text
Objective representation of the passions Subjective representation of the passions
Restrained representation of the passions Dramatic (public) representation of the passions
Affections of noble reserve cultivated (serenity) Affections of the extreme states cultivated (agitation)
Word-painting and symbolism may regulate the progress of the music Word-painting and symbolism flourish at a decorative level




Appendix C

Comparison of Baroque and Romantic Styles

BAROQUE ROMANTIC

SOUND

A significant body of independent instrumental music evolves Instrumental music occupies the chief attention of most major composers
Instrumental choices specified: idiomatic writing for those instruments Orchestration becomes a new basic art
The standard orchestra emerges Orchestral size increases greatly
A new prominence for the virtuoso A higher degree of skill required of orchestral players (and amateurs)
Broadly sketched dynamic marks appear Carefully marked dynamics (from ppppp to ffff by 1900)
Ornamentation and articulation left largely unspecified Careful indications of ornamentation, bowing, phrasing, etc. now common
The viola a filler instrument Viola gets more independent responsibility
Basses and cellos form a unit Basses and cellos may part company
Brasses limited in function Valves add new lyric potential to all brasses
Woodwinds effective only in a limited number of keys Woodwind fingering systems and intonations improved in all keys
The early clarinet appears by 1710 The clarinet supplies the most characteristically Romantic tone of the orchestra
Percussion: chiefly timpani, chiefly in pairs Three timpani becomes the standard number; a more varied battery appears—at first in opera
Keyboard: organ and harpsichord share favor The piano becomes the reigning keyboard instrument
Leading voices in opera: soprano and castrato Castrati disappear from the scene; the tenor emerges as a leading voice; new powerful methods of voice production emerge to compete with fuller orchestral accomp.

HARMONY

Theories of chordal harmony come to the fore A steadily expanding vocabulary of harmonic configurations
The repertory of keys somewhat restricted in practice (E to E-flat; f to b) All keys, major and minor, fully exploited; enharmonic changes more common
Nearby key relationships exploited A continuously broadening family of key relationships and modulatory schemes; an expanding concept of tonality
Opening gestures make clear tonal statements Occasional ambiguities may delay or disguise the main key
Chord progressions serve tonal goals Chord progressions may also have basically coloristic function
Chromatic harmony is a special dialect A tendency toward progressively more chromatic harmony in all contexts
Diminished 7th chord serves in dominant function Diminished 7th chord used freely for coloristic or dramatic effect
Continuo controls part-writing Increased freedom of part-writing

MELODY

Melodic subjects employ fairly modest ranges Melodic subjects employ progressively wider ranges
Melodies are usually clearly diatonic A tendency toward progressively more chromatic melody
Baroque melody is most characteristically clearly articulated Romantic melody often tends toward a seamless style, concealing articulations—an effect of sensuous continuity
Modest intervalic content; wider leaps are usually chordal Wide expressive leaps become increasingly common
Melodies usually presented integrally Durchbrochene Arbeit becomes a common occurrence
A patronizing use of folk elements A fresh interest in folk and exotic elements (scales, intervals, etc.)

RHYTHM

Rough tempo markings appear Metronome markings appear
Tempo changes not usually certain Tempo changes common and marked
Accelerando and rallentando are uncertain questions Accelerando and rallentando marked
Rubato an uncertain quantity Rubato is the most characteristically Romantic rhythmic practice
Occurrence of cross rhythms is a debated issue Cross rhythms a common occurrence
Macrorhythm tends to coincide with the underlying meter Liberation of the macrorhythm from the underlying meter (from the "Tyranny of the bar-line")
Conventional dance rhythms common in sophisticated music Folk dance rhythms occur in sophisticated music
Continuous motion (busy rhythms) a common rhythmic texture Expressively changing rhythmic motions more common
Syncopation a rhythmic ornament Syncopation more in evidence, often as a dramatic tool

 

GROWTH

So-called "monothematic" episodic structures based on Renaissance practices Structures based on opposition of themes with differentiated functions
The evolution of new formal conventions A tendency to modify the conventional forms, or to abandon them in favor of new or free structures
Dominant tension evolves as a binding force that culminates in the Baroque Binary The rise and fall of the Classical Sonata-Allegro (a thematically differentiated Baroque Binary) as more distant key relations and the growing importance of dramatic content dissipate the organizing power of dominant tension
Instrumental pieces reach only modest dimensions Instrumental pieces of vast new dimensions emerge
Cyclical pieces (apart from variation suites) are exceptional Considerable interest in cyclically conceived multi-movement pieces
Thematic transformation begins to emerge from renaissance motivic practices Thematic transformation becomes a common organizing feature
Sets of pieces issued in sixes or dozens with only a nominal relationship to each other Connected sets of pieces and song cycles become significant
Contrasts exploited structurally Contrasts often exploited for their own sake (sensationalism)

TEXT INFLUENCES

The marvelous and exotic affect only opera to any extent A new emphasis on the strange, marvelous, the exotic, the long ago and far away
Scriptural associations common A fresh emphasis on literary concepts and associations
Song interpretation is essentially virtuosic or theatrical The poetic interpretation of song, the sensitive understanding of poetry by composer, singer, accompanist and listener becomes a requirement of the art
Pieces may use conventional symbolism to embody hidden significance Pieces with hidden, subjective, intimate personal significance are now published
Depiction of the passions (viewed from without) Expression of (the composer's?) personal emotions
National dialects of an international style cultivated Assertions of nationalism within the cosmopolitan style
Programmatic instrumental pieces (which trace their lineage back to the 6th century B.C.) begin to receive more attention A vastly increased interest in programmatic instrumental music

1Then Professor, later Dean Henry H.B. Noss, New York University.

2The little boy was the emperor, Romulus Augustulus; the general was his father, Orestes.

3Edward T. Cone, "The Authority of Music Criticism," Journal of the American Musicological Society XXXIV (Spring 1981), p. 4, et passim.

4The term, historical style, means here the generally prevalent style of a period, as opposed to the personal style of an individual within the prevalent style.

5Paul Henry Lang, Music in Western Civilization (New York: Norton, 1941), p. xx.

6Manfred Bukofzer, Music in the Baroque Era (New York: Norton, 1947), p. 16.

7Jan LaRue, Guidelines for Style Analysis (New York: Norton, 1970), pp. 10 ff. The letters of the acronym SHMRG (pronounced "shmerg") stand for the elements of music: Sound, Harmony, Melody, Rhythm and Growth (the latter a more descriptive term for "form"). Although the musical whole is always greater than the sum of its parts, LaRue has demonstrated how we may derive profit from such methodical examinations of the elements of a style.

8Friedrich Blume, "Klassik," Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, edited by Friedrich Blume, Band 7 (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1958), col. 1031; translated by M.D. Herter Norton, Classic and Romantic Music (New York: Norton, 1970), p. 9. Blume does not attempt to offer an analytical basis for his reasonable opinion that "there is no Classic style period in the history of music, only a Classic-Romantic one."

9Daniel Heartz, "Classic," The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. Stanley Sadie (London: MacMillan, 1980), IV, 451.

10Charles Rosen, The Classical Style (New York: Norton, 1972), pp. 22-29.

11Without the equal temperament it produces a b-sharp equal to c and an f-flat equal to e, we have, not a circle, but a spiral of fifths.

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