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Society for Music Theory Stravinsky's "Mass" and Stravinsky Analysis Author(s): V. Kofi Agawu Reviewed work(s): Source:y S p ectrum , Vol. 11, No. 2 (Autumn, 1989) , pp . 139-163 Published b y : Universit y of California Press on behalf of the Society for Music Theory Stable URL: . Accessed: 10/12/2011 19:39 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates y our acce p tance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact University of California Press and Society for Music Theory are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Music Theory Spectrum. " id="pdf-obj-0-2" src="pdf-obj-0-2.jpg">

Society for Music Theory

Stravinsky's "Mass" and Stravinsky Analysis Author(s): V. Kofi Agawu Reviewed work(s):

Source: Music Theory Spectrum, Vol. 11, No. 2 (Autumn, 1989), pp. 139-163 Published by: University of California Press on behalf of the Society for Music Theory

Accessed: 10/12/2011 19:39

Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at .

JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact

Society for Music Theory Stravinsky's "Mass" and Stravinsky Analysis Author(s): V. Kofi Agawu Reviewed work(s): Source:y S p ectrum , Vol. 11, No. 2 (Autumn, 1989) , pp . 139-163 Published b y : Universit y of California Press on behalf of the Society for Music Theory Stable URL: . Accessed: 10/12/2011 19:39 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates y our acce p tance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact University of California Press and Society for Music Theory are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Music Theory Spectrum. " id="pdf-obj-0-48" src="pdf-obj-0-48.jpg">

University of California Press and Society for Music Theory are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Music Theory Spectrum.

Stravinsky's Mass




V. Kofi Agawu


A recent debate concerning the natureof Le Sacre du printemps has brought to the

pitch organization

fore centralissues

in Stravinskyanalysis.1 The exchange between Allen Forte and RichardTaruskin epitomizes the broad divisionbetween tonal- ists and atonalists, between analysts who hear in the Rite an in- evitable prehistory and therefore develop methods to explain these allegiances, and analysts for whom the radicaland mod- em are uppermost, and who therefore prefer methods that deal with the work "on its own terms."2However stark the dichot-

omy appears conceptually, however, its execution rarely suc-

ceeds in maintainingconsistently each of

its perspectives. On

the one hand, advocates of atonality are obliged to deal with

the uncontroversialcontention that no music can be discussed

without some reference to its historical circumstances, even where the relationship between the work and its predecessors is

an essentially negative one. On the other hand, an analysis whose extent is the detailing of a work's sources, elements, pro-

cedures, and gestures, and which makes no attempt to explain

  • I wish to thank Rhian Samuel,

Whittall for their detailed and

Richard Smith, Richard Taruskin, and Arnold challenging comments on an earlier version of

how these function together to create a unified (or disunified) and coherent (or incoherent) whole, is equally limited.3

3Although I have postulated a broad, dichotomous relationship between Stravinskyanalysts, the actual trends offer a multiplicity of approaches. It is now widely acknowledged that the first significantbreakthrough came with Ar- thur Berger's article, "Problems of Pitch Organization in Stravinsky"(Per- spectivesof New Music2 [1963], 11-42), not only for its clear recognition of the problems of syntacticorganization in Stravinsky, but also for its demonstration of ways in whichsome of these problemsmight be resolved. One line of descent from Berger may be traced to Pieter van den Toorn's The Music of Igor Stravinsky (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1983) and Taruskin's pair of articles, "Chernomorto Kaschei: Harmonic Sorcery; or,

Stravinsky's 'Angle'," Journal of the American Musicological Society 38

(1985), 72-142

and "Chez Petrouchka: Harmony and Tonality chez

Stravinsky,"Nineteenth-Century Music 10 (1987), 265-286. Van den Toorn

provides an exhaustive inventory of Stravinsky's octatonic vocabulary, while

Taruskin, in the former study,

traces nineteenth-century precedents for

Stravinsky's octatonicism and, in the latter, analyzes a whole

scene from Pe-

trouchkato show that "an octatonic complexe sonore stable point of reference governing the whole span of

is maintainedas a [the] composition" (p.

. . .

267). Of the other theoretical formulations, Allen Forte's TheHarmonic Orga- nization of "The Rite of Spring" (New Haven and London: Yale University

Press, 1978) develops an approach rooted in set theory, thereby suggesting an implicitsynchronic connection with other early twentieth-centurymasters; see

this essay.

the Editor," Music Analysis 5 (1986),

also Charles M. Joseph, "StructuralCoherence in Stravinsky'sPiano-Rag-

'See Richard Taruskin, "Letter to

Music," Music Theory Spectrum 4 (1982), 76-91 for a direct application of


and Allen Forte, "Letter to the Editor in Reply to Richard

Forte's method. A provocativepair of articles by Joseph Straus, "A Principle

Taruskin," Music Analysis 5 (1986), 321-337. 2Joseph Straus, "Stravinsky's Tonal Axis," Journal of Music Theory 26 (1982), 263.

of Voice Leading in the Music of Stravinsky," Music

Theory Spectrum 4

(1982), 106-124 and "Stravinsky's Tonal Axis," Journal of Music Theory 26 (1982), 261-290, suggest ways in which harmony and voice leading functionin

  • 140 Music Theory Spectrum

What the Forte-Taruskin debate dramatizes most vividly is

the difficulty of generalization with regard to all of Stravinsky's oeuvre, given its unpredictable, chameleonic style of evolution.

For even

Pieter van den Toorn's rigorous and comprehen-

sive demonstration of octatonic consistency in Stravinsky un- dervalues what Schenker calls Zusammenhang-coherence -or, more specifically, "connection," the ultimate indicator of dynamism both in tonal and (arguably) in atonal music.4 In

pre-serial Stravinsky,drawing on comments made by Stravinskyhimself, pects of Gestalt psychology as applied to music by Leonard B. Meyer, and the


descriptiveapparatus of Forte. Some of the difficultiesin Straus'sformulations

are addressed by Taruskinin "Stravinsky's'Angle"' and by David Schulenberg in "Modes, Prolongations, and Analysis," Journal of Musicology 5 (1986), 303-329. Among analyticalofferings, WilliamE. Benjamin's "Tonality with- out Fifths: Remarkson the FirstMovement of Stravinsky's Concertofor Piano and Wind Instruments," In TheoryOnly 2/11-12 (1976), 53-70 and 3/2 (1977),

9-31 provides a wide-ranging but at the same time rigorousexploration of sev- eral basic issues in Stravinsky analysis, notably the relationship between

"deep" and "surface"structures. Benjamin'sstudy is also one of the

few that

makes effective use of recomposition. Robert P. Morgan's "DissonantProlon-

gation: Theoreticaland CompositionalPrecedents," Journal of Music Theory

20 (1976), 49-91 develops an insight of Schenker'sinto a theory of prolonga- tion of non-triadic sonorities in the music of Schubert, Liszt, Wagner, and

Scriabin. Arnold Whittall's Musical Analysis: Descriptions and Distinctions

(Inaugural Lecture in the Faculty of Music, King'sCollege London, 1982) and

"Music Analysis as Human Science? Le Sacre du printemps in Theory


Practice," Music Analysis 1 (1982), 33-53

initiate a pragmatic turn in

Stravinskyanalysis, proposing a synthesis of the most powerful explanatory methods currently available. Despite the considerableintuitive appeal of ideas

of stratification,interlock, and synthesis, EdwardT. Cone's "Stravinsky: The

Progress of a Method," Perspectivesof New

Music 1/1 (1962),

18-26 has not yet

elicited much of a response, partly because the concepts are particularly sensi-

tive to, and dependent upon, context, broach, namely rhythm and texture,

and partly because the dimensions they remain undervalued by contemporary

theorists. But see ChristopherHasty's discussion of Stravinsky'sSymphonies of Wind Instrumentsin "On the Problem of Succession and Continuity in

Twentieth-CenturyMusic," Music Theory Spectrum 8 (1986), 58-74, which profitably extends a line of discussioninitiated by Cone. 4Heinrich Schenker, Das Meisterwerkin der Musik, Vol. 2 (Munich: Drei

Masken Verlag, 1926), 12; "Resumption of Urlinie Considerations," in Sylvan

spite of token gestures in that direction-Chapter 12 of van den


book is entitled "dominant-tonic progression"-there

is no attempt to build on previous work in which the status of

diminutions in Stravinsky's music is considered.5 To skirt the issue of so-called "pitch classes of priority" may be a conven-

ient analytical strategy for the Rite, but it does injustice to a later work such as the Mass, whose studied archaism resists fac-

Sol Kalib, "Thirteen Essays from the Three YearbooksDas Meisterwerkin der

Musik by HeinrichSchenker: An

Annotated Translation" (Ph.D. dissertation,

Northwestern University, 1973), Vol. 2,164. 5The most frequently cited discussion of the operation of diminutionsin Stravinsky's music may be found in Schenker's "Resumption of Urlinie Con-

siderations," which contains the first voice-leading graph ever published of a Stravinskypiece, the first 16 measuresof the Concerto for Piano and Wind In-

struments. Assessing the significance of this

analysis, Milton Babbitt wrote in

1964: "It is as symptomatic a commentary on the climate of musicaldiscourse

as it is

a considerable irony that Schenker's analysis of only 16 measuresof the

Piano Concerto, for all that it bristles with normative irrelevancies,provided the most revealinginsight into the proceduresof Stravinsky'scomposition. His

work suggested furthermodes of analysiswhile, not incidentally, demonstrat- ing that the path was not backwardbut forward to an extension of certain

means of

prolongation and continuationwhich provided a basis for


the span of certain traditionallynon-stable, thus non-extensible, conforma- tions. If the rhythmic texture superficiallysuggested Bach, the dynamics of

pitchprogression were suggestiveonly of a futurein sound and in design, and in

the means of motivating such a

rhythmic texturefrom differentcauses and with

very differenteffects" (Milton Babbitt, "Remarkson the Recent Stravinsky,"

Perspectivesof New Music 2/2 [1964], 35-55; reprinted in Perspectives on

Schoenberg and Stravinsky, ed. Benjamin Boretz and EdwardT. Cone ceton: Princeton University Press, 1968], 165-185; emphasis added).



Babbitt merely asserted has been given fuller demonstration by Morgan in

"Dissonant Prolongation," a study that is howevernot restrictedto Stravinsky. Other significant demonstrationsof the nature of voice leading in Stravinsky

may be

found in the following works:Adele T. Katz, Challenge to MusicalTra-

dition: A New Concept of Tonality (New York: Knopf, 1945), 294-349- which, curiously, is not even mentioned by van den Toorn in TheMusic of Igor

Stravinsky; Allen Forte, Contemporary Tone Structures (New York: Columbia

University Teacher's College, 1955); Felix Salzer, Structural Hearing: Tonal Coherence in Music (New York: Charles Boni, 1952; reprinted by Dover,

1962); and, most recently, Straus, "A Principle of Voice Leading."

ile categorization into a diatonic, octatonic, or octatonic- diatonic grid.6 This is not to underplay the value of van den

Toor's insight that

octatonic collections permeate apparently

unrelated Stravinskian surfaces, but merely to point out that

the apparentlyrigorous theoretical demonstrationof stylistic

consistency still leaves room for-one

might say requires-

further synthesis and integration in analyticalapplication. The aim of the present study is to describe the principal

methods of

pitch organization in a single work of


the Mass, a work whichhas not been muchtreated in the recent

Stravinsky literature.7I should indicate at the outset that my task is analytical, not theoretical. The fact that analysis involves

"the close and systematic study of individual compositionsby referenceto a set of technical principles which are coherentand comprehensive"8 is sufficientindication of the necessarily dia- lectical interplay between theory and analysis, but it is not an implicit denial of the possibility for emphasis within the ana- lyst'splot. Thus I stress Schenker'sidea of "connection," mani- fest in three conventional categories, cadence, diminution, and

6These categories are culled from Berger's "Problemsof Pitch Organiza- tion in Stravinsky"by van den Toorn, for whom they provide the most effective classificationscheme for "confronting the question of consistency, identity,

and distinctionin Stravinsky's music" (The Music of Igor Stravinsky,xv). 7Composed between 1944and 1948 (the Kyrie and the Gloriawere finished in 1944), the Mass was first performed in 1948under the baton of Ernst Anser- met at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan on October 27, 1948. It is scored for two oboes, English horn, two bassoons, two trumpets, three trombones, and a cho- rus of men's voices (tenors and basses) and children'svoices (descants and al- tos). Basic background information may be found in Robert Craft, "Stravinsky's Mass: a Notebook" in Igor Stravinsky, ed. Edwin Corle (New

York: Duell, Sloane, and Pearce,

1949), 201-206, and in Eric Walter White,

Stravinsky: The Composer and His Works (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966; 2nd ed. 1979), 446-450. Of considerableinterest are two early crit-

ical reactions to the piece, Richard F. Goldman, "Current Chronicle," The

Musical Quarterly 35 (1949),

451-458; and Joseph Kerman, "ProgressReport

on Stravinsky," The Hudson Review 3 (1950), 124-131. 8Whittall,Musical Analysis, 2.

Stravinsky's Mass and Analysis


prolongation, each of which is not merely applicable to the Mass but, further, provides the most effective tool for reading

the dynamic sense of the passage in question. By takingmy lead from Schenker-a lead that goes in directions not necessarily

advocated by him-I

seem to be

rather than an atonal Mass. It is

arguing the case for a tonal not on such a sweeping and

simplistic declaration that my argumentturns, however. The tension between "old" and "new" which inevitably confronts

Stravinskyanalysts is

an important motivationhere too, but it

should not obstruct the central task of suggesting ways in which, to put it simply, we might hear or learn to hear the



A central articulatingdevice,

one which orientsthe sense of

various segments of the Mass, is the cadence. It serves to close

off numerous sections of the piece, not merely as a "terminat- ing convenience" (to borrowvan den Toorn's suggestiveterm)

but as the most important element of an implicitclosing mecha- nism. There are two complementaryproperties of cadence, a

syntactical arrangement and what might be called a gestural sense. Both are necessary to ensurethat not all V-I successions,

9By rating the explanatory potential of Schenker's Stravinskyanalysis so highly, I have not overlooked the subversivenature of his enterprise-namely, to show that Stravinsky's Piano Concerto exhibits "bad writing," that it "does

not merit the name music," and also that Stravinsky'sdisregard for "connec- tion" results in a piece which is "thoroughlybad, inartistic, and unmusical" ("Resumption of Urlinie Considerations," in Kalib, Vol. 2, 212-216). We need not, however, share Schenker'saesthetic preferences in order to accept the explanatory value of his theories. Adorno's essentially one-sided compara-

tive study of Schoenberg and Stravinsky,Philosophy of ModernMusic (trans. Anne G. Mitchell and Wesley V. Blomster, New York: SeaburyPress, 1980), considers the problematic aesthetic-technical conjunction in several places. See also Hasty, "On the Problem of Succession and Continuity in Twentieth-

Century Music."

  • 142 Music TheorySpectrum

for example, are counted as perfect cadences, since temporal placement, register, rhythm, and duration, among other fac- tors, contributeto the articulationof a sense of closure. In con- ventionaltonal music, these factors may be said to be in equilib-

rium, but in Stravinskythey are constantlyplayed with, played off against each other, or retained as Gestaltenof an outdated

common practice. In Example 1 are assembled ten cadences which provide a

basis for study of Stravinsky's cadential practice (the fact that the majority of these cadences are from the Kyrie is a not in-

significant factor in the later discussionof tonal orientation).10


In Example la, the terminal sonority is an F-major chord in position. To acknowledge F as the pitch class of priority is to


recognize that connection or voice leading plays an important role in our perception of the structuralelements of the cadence.

Specifically, since three of the four voices in the final bar are stationary, the highly implicative 4-3 motion in the tenor is

thrown into relief. To refuse to

acknowledge the priority of F

simply because the chord is in 6 position, traditionally a disso- nance, is to misunderstandthe passage, for there is clearly no other pitch class of priority on the same level of structure.But this does not mean that such tonal meanings are simple. On the

contrary, it is the multiplicity of meanings that most signi- ficantly characterizessuch passages. In this context, one might wish to hear, in additionto the primaryF, a secondarypitch of priority,C, by virtue, first, of its functionas bass of the conclud-

ing sonority, and second, of its continuitythroughout the entire opening phrase of the Kyrie.11

A conventional voice-leadinginterpretation of this cadence

would ordinarilyrequire numerous quotation marksin


make its point, but at the same time it is difficultnot to hear

these overtly tonal connections (see reductionin Example la). In Example lb, the cadence in Bl, is fully articulatedin the

voice parts as shown in the reduction,although here too the ter-

minatingsonority in full textureis a


chord. The priority of


however, is not in doubt. In Example lc consistent stepwise motion or "connection"leads to a terminal sonority that can be

heard as the dominantseventh of G, arrivedat by stepwise mo- tion in four of the voices (a quasi-resolution is given in brack-

ets). It is as if a goal-orientedprogression were cut off in mid- stream, to be resumed later and brought to a satisfactory

completion. The timbraland textural disjunction between mm. 15 and 16 contributeto this sense of an abandoned process, this in spite of the retention of pitch class D as link between the two

sections. (Subsequentanalysis shows that the postponed reso-

lution of this chord, prolonged through the following six mea- sures [16-21], takes place in the finalmeasures of the Kyrie.)12

The syntacticalarrangement of each of the cadencesconsid-

ered thus far, while acknowledging the combinedroles (norma- tively speaking) of melody and harmony, also suggests that the two parameters do not necessarily have the same perceptual

"The most stimulating recent discussionof multiple as opposed to simple

'?Inthis and all subsequentexamples, I have used a form of the hierarchic notation stemming from Schenker that is by now standard.Roman numerals

meanings is Charles J. Smith, "The Functional Extravagance of Chromatic Chords," Music Theory Spectrum 8 (1986), 94-139, which, however, refers


harmonic function while capped

arabic numerals (1, 2, and so forth)


melodic function. All extractsare

located by both measurenumber and

rehearsalnumber. It goes without saying that hierarchicnotation is used here,

not in the mannerof a fundamentalist, but in largely ad hoc

is nonnegotiable for the analyst of Stravinsky's music will low.

ways. That such use become clearer be-

mainly to a tonal context. Brief remarkson Stravinsky'spredilection for such uses may be found in van den Toorn, The Music of Stravinsky, 54-55.

12Amodal reading of Example Ic is also possible, and would suggest a II6-V "Phrygian" cadence. Were the seventh over D not so stronglyreferential, the

modal reading might have been preferable to a tonal

one. This is only the first

of numerous positive conflictsthat we will encounter throughout the Mass.

Stravinsky's Mass and Analysis


Example 1. Cadences

a. Kyrie, mm. 4-5 n

























_v w


7 -b7








d. Kyrie, mm. 24-25






























"-,"4 2





"I6" `"V`"4-3`l


b. Kyrie, mm. 8-9




c. Kyrie, mm. 14-15













son .....








son ....













e. Kyrie, m. 21









f. Kyrie, mm. 33-34





- -









',4D:"V6 ..

"V6" "I"












  • 144 Music TheorySpectrum

Example 1. (cont'd.) g. Kyrie, mm. 37-38





I :j




i. Sanctus, mm. 67-69 (voices only)





kM 7-

















j. Gloria, m. 88












wi :?









force, and that one day may predominate over the other. Mel- ody, in fact, may be said to lead the ear, even though it retainsa

particular contextual harmonic identity. To separate melody from harmonyis, of course, an analyticalconvenience, but one which proves useful for distinguishing between a particularsyn- tactical arrangement and the hierarchically based forces of per-

ception that project this syntax.13 In Example ld, the cadence is on A, complete with a voice

exchange between bass and tenor (markedby arrowsin the dia-

gram). This exchange enables an interpretation of these three

chordsas a prolongation of A, overlooking for the moment the tonal conflictin the first sonority between C# and C, or between

an enharmonic B# (tenor) and B (bass) in the second sonority. What directsthe ear, however, is the quasi-3-2-1 descent in the

bass, the archetypal cadential gesture which, although tex- turally inverted from conventional tonal practice, is neverthe-

less perceptually dominant. Example le involves what Robert Crafthas called a "modulationto D."14 Leaving aside for now

the complex issue of modulationin Stravinsky'smusic, we can

agree that the pitch class of priority is D. The apparentpandia- tonicismof this cadence colors, but does not challenge, its sense

of hierarchy, since the combined7-8 and 2-1 progressions serve to orient the voice leading to D. And the fact that the voices

stop short of the finalD is significant for reasons of texture, not reasons of voice leading.

Example If describesa cadence in B , arrivedat by stepwise chromaticmotion in the top voice and descending thirdsin the lowest voice. Like previous cadences, this one is marked by

conjunct voice leading-not, however, in only two voices, but

13Forfurther discussion of such shifts in perception, see Whittall's analysis of Stravinsky's Serenadein A in Musical Analysis. Whittallalso includes some discussion of Stravinsky's predictably contradictory-and for that reason

illuminating-comments on

the uneasy balance that attachesto the interaction

of melody, harmony and rhythm. 4Craft,"Stravinsky's Mass," 204.

Stravinsky's Mass and Analysis 145

in four: (reading from top to bottom) 7-8, 2-1, 4-3 (by octave displacement), and "#2-3 (by enharmonicsubstitution for 633).

Example lg describesa cadence on F, but, unlike previous ca-

dences, its terminal sonority is not a triadbut a tetrachordcon-

sisting of the pitches F, G, B ,,

and C. This is set class 4-23 or


significant for its symmetrical intervallic arrangement

and, in

this context, for its relatively "open" sound, the latter

enabling an exploration of tonality-defining intervals such as fourths and fifths. It is a cadence because, as a terminalsonor-

ity, it represents a moment of rest, of completion;rhythmic ar- ticulation and voice leading secure the cadential function. To

accept this functionis to accept a fundamentalextension of con-

ventional tonal practice in Stravinsky'slanguage. The issue turnson definitionsof dissonanceand consonance-in particu- lar, whether the terminal sonority of any perfect cadence is not by definitiona consonance. Whittallhas suggested that certain

strategicallyplaced dissonances in the Rite function as focal

points, serving to orient structural procedure in ways analogous to focal consonances in conventional tonal music.15 In the

Mass, however, there is no consistentuse of 4-23 as a cadential

sonority; what is important, as we will see later, is its extensive but contextually dissimilaruse. The significance of Example lg

thereforereaches beyond the individualmoment to the work as a whole.

The symmetrical structure of 4-23, although it multiplies the number of potential meanings inherent in the sonority, does not relinquish a sense of hierarchy. In the context of Ex-

ample lg, F has priority not only because it is the bass note of

the sonority but further, and more important, because the jour- ney to F follows a dual 3-2-1 (bass) and 7-8 ("tenor") course. As

in Example ld, the descent enhances ratherthan contradictsa sense of tonal orientation. Example lh describesthe final cadence of the movement as a dominant-tonic progression in G. The elements of this pro-

15Whittall, "Music Analysis as Human Science?," 35.

  • 146 Music TheorySpectrum

gression include the explicit V-I descent of the bass voice, itself

approachedby way of a precadential subdominant.There are many nondiatonic pitches in this cadence (the flatted third and raised seventh over the dominant are cases in point), but the

temporalposition as well as the gestural sense confirmthat this

is a cadence.

The picture is less clear when one considers the

activity in the accompanyinginstruments, but the change is one of degree, not of kind. For although the final sonority is a G-

major chord in first inversion, the manner in which it is ap- proached and its consonance relativeto what precedes it give it the normativestatus of a consonance. The notion that the manner in which sonorities are ap-

proached is important to their definitionas consonancesor dis- sonances, which also lies at the heart of Schenker'sdiscussion

of connection in Stravinsky,may be conceptualized in terms of


"foregrounding" of

process, by which is meant that consist-

ent voice leading takes perceptualprominence over the actual

resultantsonorities. This is a formulationwith some intuitive

appeal, and it

has been invoked in other studies of Stravinsky's

music as well as in studies of highly chromatic music, Robert

Craft, for example, defends the finalcadence of the


these lies: "[The movement] concludeson a G 6th, whichis ap-

proached, one might say justified, from four differentcadence

tones simultaneously."16Example li, from the end of the Sanc- tus, provides a vivid illustrationof the way in which consistency in voice leading can help to shape a line so that its cadential function is made perceptible. The voice parts, considered in isolation, show two kinds of motion: a pedal E in the soprano, which serves to regulate the activity of the other voices; and

predominantlystepwise motion in alto and bass. This makes the finaltwo chords, with the bass leap from dominantto tonic, all the more striking, since the voices have been obviously di- rectionalin their approach. That one can describethis as a V-I cadence is not much in doubt. The behaviorof the instrumental

16Craft,"Stravinsky's Mass," 205.

parts, however, challenges without negating this sense of ca-


by adding to this relatively simple vocal part numerous

apparently extraneous notes, including,significantly, a fifth, G- D, to the final A-major chord. It is the bassoon line that retains

the explicit element of connection, charting a stepwise ascent C-D-E-F-G-(E/C#), which again serves to orient the voice

leading in the directionof the final, hierarchicallysuperior so-


Finally, Example lj interprets the closing bars of the Gloria as a plagal cadence. Its archaic, almost quotational characteris

mediated by Stravinsky'sidiosyncratic vocal partwriting, nota- bly the resolution to F# in both "tenor" and "bass." The mo-

dernity of the procedure, in other words, lies in its voice lead-

ing, while

its conventional allegiance derives from the shadow

cast by a IV-I progression in D. Even though the cadences described in Example 1 have been taken out of their largercontexts, the functions ascribed to them are entirely compatible with conventionaltonal prac- tice. As we have seen, each perfect cadence includes between

one and four elements of idiomatic voice-leading(7-8, 2-i, V-I, and so forth), elements which then interactwith other, not nec- essarily tonally oriented motion. But the temporal placement of these events as well as their gestural sense make it possible to describethem as cadences. The full significance of Stravinsky's

17Inthis connection, see the response by White to Ansermet's contention

that the interpolation of the G-D dyad in

the final A-major chord produces a

"literallycacophonous" ending to the Sanctus (Stravinsky,450). Ansermet ac-

knowledges the compositionallogic of the ending-"the fifth may be justified on paperby the movement of partsleading up to the finalchord"-but findsthe

results aurallyunconvincing: "Once the auditortries to analyze the sound, he has no idea what it really means." White answersthis by asserting the logic of

voice leading without, however, making the observationthat the perception of



may well override that of sonority, in whichcase Ansermet might have

listening to the "wrong"thing! This is not, of course, an avoidanceof the


of labeling that final sonority, only

an argument that by placing process

and product in the same continuum, one can conceptualize a hierarchicshift in

perception in this particular context.

methods of cadentialarticulation is a subject too vast to be con-

sidered in this essay, but even this brief survey shows that

Stravinskyexploits both the syntactical and the gestural com- ponents of conventional tonal practice, tilting their balance somewhat in directions different from but not incompatible with such convention.


In her study of voice leading in early Stravinsky, Adele Katz drawsattention to the frequency with which diminutionschar-

acterize the surface of Stravinsky'smusic; of all these it is the neighbor note that plays the most prominent role.18The Mass

affordsnumerous examples of this and other diminutions, and

the purpose of this section is to describethem.

In conventional tonal music, all harmonicevents can be ex-

plained with reference to three principal diminutions:the pass-

ing note (P); the neighbor note (N); and the arpeggiation

(Arp.).19 The Gestaltenof

all three diminutionsare present in

the Mass too, but it is the neighbor note that occurs most fre-

quently. Example 2a, from the beginning of the Gloria, pro- vides instances of the three types of diminution. In the top

voice, the D of the overall E-D-Cl descent may be interpreted as a passing note, and the composing out of this interval as an

unfolding-that is, the horizontalizationof the E-C# interval

contained in the initial sonority. On lower levels of structure, a

passing note

links the A and C# in the middle voice, just as the

18Katz,Challenge to Musical Tradition, 302-304. 19SeeAllen Forte and Steven E. Gilbert, Introductionto SchenkerianAnal-

ysis (New York: Norton, 1982), 7-37 for definitionand extensive illustrationof

the functionsof these diminutions.There is a sort of "defective"

consonant skip (CS), cern us here.

a problematicfourth, the so-called arpeggiation, which need not con-

Stravinsky's Mass and Analysis


interveningC# between two A's in the lowest voice is an incom-

plete arpeggiation. The

lower voices also afford an example of

implicitneighbor-note motion, C#-D-Ct, the attainmentof the

third coinciding with the the top voice. There is no

conclusion of the 5-4-3 descent from

need to justify furtherthis interpreta-

tion, which seems fairly self-evident.But such an interpretation rests more on the notion of connectionthan on the consonance- dissonancefactor. That is, a passing note is firstand foremost a

link between two other pitches; only secondarily is it a disso- nance between two consonances. Ultimately, of course, the

two attributescannot be separated, but to make this conceptual

(and arguably perceptual) distinction is to set into relief

Stravinsky'splay with convention, a play that does not, how- ever, negate the traditionon which it is built. As with the point

made earlierin connectionwith cadences, the argument here is

that the morphology of a passing note is what matters most in Stravinsky, the function occupying a secondary position.

Shape, in other words, is tion.

dislodged from contrapuntal func-

Example 2b, from the beginning of the Credo, may be heard

as a neighbor-noteprogression. Three sonorities (labeled 1,


and 3) are related as follows. Sonorities1 and 3 are identical, so

that sonority 2 represents a departure from a contextualnorm.

Both durationand articulationmake clear the relativelydepen- dent status of sonority 2. But perhaps most important of all is the set of neighbor-notemotions, both actualand implied, con-

tained in the 1-2-3 progression as a whole. These include

E-F-E, G-F-G, B-C-B, B-A-B, and E-D-E. The

implication of

this interpretation is that the pitches of priority are those con-

tained in sonorities

1 and 3, with sonority 2 serving to "pro-

long" that sonority. Again, as far as the sense of the gesture is

concerned, there can be no doubt that a neighborreading is ap- propriate. What is less clear-cut is the statusof these sonorities

as consonancesor dissonances, for here we run into a rich con-

flict between an idealized, acontextualconsonance and contex-

tual consonance, between acoustic consonance and aesthetic

  • 148 Music Theory Spectrum

Example 2. Diminutions

a. Gloria, mm. 1-2








b. Credo, mm. 1-3



Pa - trem






:; W2



c. Credo, mm. 12-16


























- 5-





--- .-r t'r







d. Credo, mm. 80-81




-e- P-' .






















- -






- - -


__ _




_ _







Stravinsky's Mass and Analysis


Example 2. (cont'd.)

e. Credo, mm. 129-130

f. Sanctus, mm. 13-14 (bassonly)

[38 + 6

[45 + 3












































consonance.20Considered as isolated units (that is, as pure acoustical phenomena), sonority 2, a minor triad with the sev-

enth, is relatively more consonantthan sonority1, a minortriad with the fourth. In context, however, the nature of voice lead- ing obliges us to hear sonority 2 as more dissonantthan either

sonority 1 or 3. For an analyst committedto procedures of con-

20Iuse the term "acousticconsonance" to describeconsonance determined

by explicitly stated physical criteria-put forward by various theorists includ-

ing Helmholtz, Stumpf, and Hindemith-and "aesthetic consonance" to de-

note the often arbitraryadoption of a particularphysical sound as "consonant"

by the force of its compositional use. There is, of course, nothing absolute

about "acoustic consonance"; the opposition invoked here is simply a conven-

ient fiction.

nection, the apparent conflictis no conflictat all, for the crucial

point is not the intrinsic property of a sonority but its behavior

in a musicalcontext. To set up a relationship of tween normative consonance/dissonanceand

equivalence be-


functionalaxes respectivelymay be an oversimplication, but it enables us to contrast Stravinsky'sapproach with that of con- ventional tonal music. In the final analysis, notions of conso- nance or dissonanceare based on the force of context, with the referential elements becoming nominal or arbitrary conso- nances while the subsidiary elements are heard as dissonances.

Example 2c provides another illustrationof neighbor-note motion very similarto that of 2b. The principalsonority is a sev- enth chord on F#, from which the sonority in the fourthbar de-

  • 150 Music TheorySpectrum

parts, and to which it returnsin the last bar of the example. Ex-

ample 2d is also interpreted as a neighbor-note progression since it enshrines several neighbor-note patterns. It differs

from 2b, however, insofaras its third element, sonority3, is dif-

ferent from sonority 1. But there is no perceptualchallenge to the neighbor motion which occurs in four voices in both upper

and lower forms. In Example 2e, a G-D pitch-classpedal is ar- ticulated by neighbor-note motion as shown in the reduction

beneath the music. Here, both complete and incompleteneigh- bors are invoked. And finally, Example 2f shows that the sub-

ject of the fugato of the Sanctus, consideredin isolation, con-

sists of a double neighbor-note motion followed by a skip from

E to G

(the latter will later be shown to form part of

ation of an E-minor triad).

an arpeggi-


If cadentialarticulation is centralto the Mass, and if its voice leading admits diminutionson a fundamental level, then, pro-

ceeding hierarchically, we can say that prolongation is also cen- tralto structuralarticulation. In its simplestform, prolongation

is conceived as a composing out of an interval or chord. The

fundamentallyacknowledges hierarchic organization, but it re- tains a strategicflexibility in the methods by which that hierar-

chy is expressed. It is important to stressthat these various ways

are not merely stylistic-having to do with a variety of musical

surfaces-but structuralas well. It is

in recogn