Monday, 15 November 2010

A passion for scrunches

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Scrunches are dissonances in diatonic music, caused - usually - by having different musical lines move close-together: either in counterpoint, or progressions of harmony when the parts have some autonomy.

Generally they are transitions - in which what will eventually be a consonant note comes a bit early, or where a peculiar transitional note is used, or when a note is suspended from a previous harmony; at any rate scrunches are en route to resolution and relaxation on a major chord.

I love them.

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They usually come in Renaissance and Baroque music.

Like this Crucifixus by Antonio Caldara (c1670 – 1736):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6vx6NC98NM

Tell me, please, anybody - why this sublime piece of music is not world famous?

There isn't anything better than this. Different in genre and equally good, yes, but this is perfection of its kind.

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As is O Nata Lux by Thomas Tallis (c1505-1585)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aVnt3jj7ko

The scrunches near the end are an exquisite agony. 

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Note: wrt Caladara Crucifixus: This version is slower and it is easier to hear what is going-on in the counterpoint - tho' overall I find it less musical, somehow: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WPkfGd1q-s . This version is an amateur camcorder recording, but extremely good: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QK-bPccxLME


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