5

I have a doubt about a musical analysis that I found on an italian book. The author wrote that in the final part of the Prelude n.2 op. 40 by Sergej Bortkiewicz, there is a repetition of the tonic note (B) alternated with a "diminished fourth degree".

Now, I know what is diminished fourth but I don't understand what the author is referring to, since I can't find a diminished fourth in those bars.

In fact, I can't see neither a chord with a diminished 4th nor a diminished chord on the 4th degree of the B minor scale.

What do you think he was referring to?

There is the link with the op. 40

https://petruccimusiclibrary.ca/files/imglnks/caimg/0/07/IMSLP06638-Bortkiewicz_-_Op.40_-_7_Preludes.pdf

2
  • 2
    Could you post the entire quote (ideally both the original and the translation)? The additional context may be helpful.
    – Aaron
    Sep 21 at 4:42
  • 1
    If not the full quote, could you at least tell us the identifying details of the book the analysis is from — title, author/editor, date?
    – PLL
    Sep 21 at 7:47
6

First arrow indicates a repeated B, second arrow indicates an interesting (and quite 'outside') interval of a diminished FIFTH (not fourth) between F♯ and C♮.

I can't see what else the book might have been referring to. Is there any possibility of a misprint or error in translation? A diminished 5th is common. A diminished 4th is rarely encountered because it's almost impossible not to hear it as a major 3rd. (Like an augmented 7th, which just INSISTS on sounding like an octave!)

enter image description here

4
  • How do you interpret that chord, especially in the previous measures, B-F#-C-E, and a passing note A# (the chord you show here seems to be a simplified echo of that one)? Something like Bphryg♮7? Sep 20 at 23:06
  • 1
    Not quite sure what note you're referring to? But if we're looking at the last beat of the preceding line, I wouldn't say the A# was a passing note. I'm seeing a dominant function (outlined by the E and A# - any chord containing that tritone in a B minor context just about has to be a dominant) over a tonic pedal. The B is an unprepared suspension - or you could count it as prepared by the preceding B an octave lower. Sep 20 at 23:26
  • Yes, that chord... interesting! Sep 21 at 1:07
  • 1
    @user1079505 All of the Bs in that chord are participants in the B pedal tone. The A# is a chord tone. The chord itself is an augmented sixth chord CEGA# built on the bII of B minor. It follows from the preceding measure, which contains a C#dim chord (C#EGA#) — the ii chord of B minor. In essence, the chords form a melodic progression from C# to C to B.
    – Aaron
    Sep 21 at 2:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.