Style in Musical Art

By C. Hubert H. Bart Parry | Go to book overview
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LIKE many other technical words which have been much used by theorists, the word "Subject" has grown to mean different things at different times and in different situations, and it seems impossible to find a definition which will cover all possible uses and misuses of the term and provide adequately against confusion of mind.

People who have no need to think scientifically or exhaustively would probably describe subjects as musical ideas, or phrases or groups of connected phrases upon which movements are built, and for general purposes the description would be adequate. But when it is necessary to come to close quarters with the matter it is better to have a clearer conception of what is meant. A subject derives its definiteness from the use of characteristic melodic intervals or harmonies, or rhythm, or accent, or type of motion, such as smooth and quiet motion, or abrupt and angular motion, or vivacious and headlong motion or some such quality; and it is to be observed that it is frequently made up of groups of short phrases or nuclei which the divination of the



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Style in Musical Art


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