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I'm taking an introductory course in Music Theory and got stuck on this part. The way my textbook explains it to me is quite confusing, so if anybody could help with a simple explanation it would be very much appreciated!

  • Just take note it is considered common courtesy to wait a day before you accept an answer giving everyone from all time-zones a fair chance to bid for your accepted answer status. – Neil Meyer Nov 22 '19 at 6:43
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    I can't believe those terms are included in an introductory theory course! There's a million far more important and more useful snippets of theory information that should come well before! What tome are they from? – Tim Nov 22 '19 at 9:43
  • Hey @NeilMeyer sorry I'm new to Stack Exchange an were kinda desperate for an answer since I'm falling behind on my class, but definitely will take this in mind! – heehee Nov 22 '19 at 15:44
  • @Tim the book is called "Basic Organization of Music" and i'm taking the course in Canada – heehee Nov 22 '19 at 15:47
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An echapee is a non-chord tone. It's defined as a tone which follows the principle tone either a step above or below then "leaves" by a skip in the opposite direction. So in a C major chord, a possible echapee would occur in the progression C-D-A or C-B-E or C-Bb-D.

I think that cambiata has more than one meaning. The one I'm familiar with is a pattern connecting a note with an ensuing note a third below; it starts with a descending second, then a descending third, then an ascending second. Example: one can connect C to A (below) using C-B-G-A. The B and G are usually on unaccented beats.

I think (but I'm not sure) that cambiata is also used for a double neighbor: C-B-D-C or C-D-B-C. (It's like a turn without playing the middle note in the middle.)

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  • Thanks for the informative answer! Just one more question, in your example of the echapee tone (let's take the first one, C-D-A), is the echapee tone the D, or the two tones D and A? Same goes for cambiata, in the pattern C-B-G-A, would the cambiata tone be the two tones B and G, or just B/ G? – heehee Nov 22 '19 at 5:52
  • As I read the texts, the echappe, in C-D-A, it's the D. – ttw Nov 22 '19 at 14:12
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Echapee together with the Accacciatura is the two escape tones. The only real difference between the two is that the one is done on the strong part of the beat while the other one is done on the weak part of the beat.

Meaning that they are non-chord notes or notes that are foreign to the harmony that escapes the harmony and then move back towards the next harmony, it is one of the ways you can give your music color, hence the often-used term chromaticism (Chroma meaning color).

Here is an example that is taken from Wikipedia. (Take note this escape tone is on the weak part of the beat and is thus an echapee.

enter image description here

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  • I may have confused appoggiatura with acciaccatura, if that part of the answer is inaccurate please feel free to edit. – Neil Meyer Nov 22 '19 at 6:45
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An echappe (note - not echapee, but with acute accents on both es) is an 'escape tone' - is a leap of a third in the direction opposite to that of the stepwise movement, as opposed to the movement back to the original note, which is called the 'returning tone'.

Nota cambiata (changing note) is a leap of a third away from an essential note. Originally a three note figure, it was expanded to four. In US it's known as 'cambiata'.

So each is an embellishment of the melody, similar to 'grace notes'.

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