The Heartz: A Galant Schema from Corelli to Mozartby J. A. Rice

Music Theory Spectrum

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Year
2014
DOI
10.1093/mts/mtu016
Subject
Music

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The Heartz: A Galant Schema from Corelli to Mozart  . 

Daniel Heartz has called attention to passages in eighteenth-century music with subdominant harmony over a tonic pedal, which convey a sweetness and tenderness characteristic of a certain strain of the galant style. These passages can be described as elaborations of a voice-leading schema in which a melody moves from the fifth scale degree to the sixth and then returns to the fifth, over a bass that sustains the first scale degree. I call this schema “the Heartz” and demonstrate how composers from Corelli to Mozart used it as an opening gambit and a riposte in vocal and instrumental music.

Keywords: Daniel Heartz, Robert O. Gjerdingen, schema, galant, six-four chord, neighboring sixfour, pedal, Quiescenza, Meyer, Leonardo Vinci, Leonardo Leo, Johann Adolf Hasse, Wolfgang

Amadeus Mozart.

One of the most valuable aspects of Robert O.Gjerdingen’sMusic in the Galant Style is its appeal toscholars who do not think of themselves primarily as music theorists, suggesting new possibilities for interaction between musicology and music theory. As a musicologist who has devoted three decades to the study of eighteenth-century music and has been inspired by Gjerdingen to hear that music in new ways, I present this Research Note as an example of how the insights of a musicologist (in this case Daniel Heartz, with whom I studied at the University of California, Berkeley from 1980 to 1987) can interact productively with Gjerdingen’s theoretical framework, to the mutual benefit of theorists and historians.

Heartz has repeatedly called attention to passages in eighteenth-century music with subdominant harmony over a tonic pedal. These passages convey, for him, a sweetness and tenderness characteristic of a certain strain of the galant style.

Of Leonardo Leo’s aria “Non so: con dolce moto” (Ciro riconosciuto, Turin 1737; Example 1), he writes: “the ‘dolce moto’ he sets to the sweet sounds of the subdominant in 64 position.”

Leo’s Salve Regina (Example 2) has a “typically Neapolitan sweetness, with emphasis on the tonal relaxation provided by the subdominant chord.”1 In a flute sonata by Pietro

Antonio Locatelli (published in 1732; Example 3) Heartz calls attention to “the suavity lent to it by the long subdominant harmony over a tonic pedal.”2 In “Colla bocca e non col core,”

Rosina’s first aria in Mozart’s La finta semplice (Vienna, 1768;

Example 4), “the violins in thirds . . . intone a rising melody with chromatically raised fifth degree, . . . the arrival of the sixth degree bringing with it subdominant harmony in 64 position.

The sensuous and capricious Rosina is thus captured in a musical portrait even before she begins to sing.”3 Another

Rosina’s aria, “Giusto ciel, che conoscete” (Example 5) in Giovanni Paisiello’s Il barbiere di Siviglia (St. Petersburg, 1782), is characterized by “the very tender progression of subdominant six-four chord to tonic.”4

It is no accident that all three of the opera arias cited by

Heartz contain the word core (also spelled cor). Eighteenthcentury opera composers associated the sonic sweetness of the subdominant chord over a tonic pedal with the tender emotions of the human heart.

The 64 chords in all these passages are neighboring 6 4 chords (also called pedal or auxiliary 64 chords). Dmitri Tymoczko has argued that “the vast majority of ‘neighboring 64 chords’ fall into just a couple of idioms or schemas––chiefly I–IV64 –I and V–I 6 4–

V.” He has urged the abandonment of the term “neighboring 64 chord” in favor of an “idiomatic or ‘schema-based’” explanation of the passages in which it occurs, which “correctly gives the expectation that there are just a couple of relevant progressions, occurring on specific scale degrees, and expressing specific harmonic functions.”5

Looked at from the point of view of the voice-leading schemata named and explored by Gjerdingen, and theorized in depth by Vasili Byros,6 the passages quoted above can be described as elaborations of a schema—recently referred to by

Byros as the “Sol–La–Sol”—in which a melody moves from the

To Bruce Alan Brown, Vasili Byros, Robert O. Gjerdingen, Danuta Mirka, and Dmitri Tymoczko, who kindly read earlier drafts of this paper,

I am most grateful for thoughtful and incisive comments and suggestions.

I have also benefited from conversations with Edward Klorman and Dean

Sutcliffe.  Heartz (2003, 138).  Heartz (2003, 214).  Heartz (1995, 519).  Heartz (1990, 141).  Remarks by Dmitri Tymoczko, 2 October 2011, on http://lists.society musictheory.org/pipermail/smt-talk-societymusictheory.org/2011-October/ 001202.html, consulted on 25 June 2013.  Byros (2012a) and Byros (2012b), building on and extending the work of

Leonard Meyer and Gjerdingen.  at U niversity of N ebraska-Lincoln Libraries on A pril 10, 2015 http://m ts.oxfordjournals.org/

D ow nloaded from fifth scale degree to the sixth and then returns to the fifth, over a bass that sustains the first scale degree.7

Gjerdingen quotes such a passage at the beginning of an aria in Leo’s Olimpiade (Naples, 1737). In “Non so donde viene,”

King Clistene tells of the unfamiliar feelings that come over him as he sentences a young man to death, unaware that the youth is his own son. Again the heart is the source of emotion, but the librettist Pietro Metastasio used “petto” instead of “core” to satisfy the requirements of rhyme:

Non so donde viene I know not the source of

Quel tenero affetto: that tender affection,

Quel moto ignoto that motion that surges

Mi nasce nel petto: unknown in my bosom:

Quel gel che le vene that chill which now seizes

Scorrendo mi va. my soul through and through.8  . Leonardo Leo, Ciro riconosciuto, Act 2, “Non so: con dolce moto,” mm. 7–11, from a keyboard-vocal score (on two staves) published in Johann Friedrich Reichardt’sMusikalisches Kunstmagazin (1782), reproduced in facsimile in Heartz (2003, 136–37).