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 these two themes from the first movement of Dvorak’s Piano Quartet in Eb Major, Op. 87. They’re both built from the same musical idea. What is it, and what’s been done to it between Theme A and Theme B?
Reply to post your answer, and check back on Friday, August 27th to see if you’re right!
ANSWER for 8/23/21
The first four notes of Theme A are a motive, a short musical building block. This one drops down a sixth, then rises two seconds. The motive reappears in Theme B, starting on the fourth note, but it’s been inverted, flipped upside-down. So the motive has been reinterpreted and used to generate new music, an economical method of composing typical of Dvorak and his contemporary, Brahms.
With Breaking Barlines you learn music theory the right way: fun, useful, and with a personal touch! Have a look at the complete Breaking Barlines Course! Then sign up for a monthly subscription for full access to all video lessons, worksheets, and answer keys. New lessons are always being added, so stay tuned!
Thomas Proctor says
The repeated tone has a tone a fourth below, and a third above it; the interval pattern is reversed, though. There is a leap of a major 6th in both, also.
Steve cohen says
It’s an inverse retrograde with some displacement. The jump of a sixth is in both, down in the first and up in the second.