Show off your theory chops with my weekly challenge! You’ll find a new question here every Monday. Please comment to post your reply.
This Week’s Challenge:
Listen to the audio for the first four bars if this Symphony (if you already know it, shhhhhh……don’t tell anyone until Friday!). Then, explain how we get the violins’ melody from the chain of falling thirds pictured below:
Post your reply and come back Friday, February 25th for the answer!
ANSWER for 2/14/22
This is the opening of the Fourth Symphony in E Minor, Op. 98 by Johannes Brahms. His very economical method of composing was what Arnold Schönberg would later call “developing variation.” Brahms derives the entire first part of this melody from the interval of the third, and twice inverts a falling third into a rising sixth. Another way of looking at it is octave displacement. Either way, Brahms constantly reinterprets these tiny building blocks to generate new ideas. The result is music that organically develops and evolves throughout the movement.
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