The Open University since 2006
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
City in The Sky: AirborneWednesday, 29th June 2016 02:45 - BBC TwoThe second episode of City in the Sky looks at how 100,000 flights stay airborne every day without colliding. Read more: City in The Sky: Airborne
All in the Mind - Summer 2016: All in the Mind Awards Ceremony from the Wellcome Collection in LondonWednesday, 29th June 2016 15:30 - BBC Radio 4
Thinking Allowed 2016: Good neighbours, The connection between sport and domestic abuseWednesday, 29th June 2016 16:00 - BBC Radio 4
Old School With The Hairy Bikers: EPISODE 1Thursday, 30th June 2016 01:05 - BBC Two (England only)
All in the Mind - Summer 2016: All in the Mind Awards Ceremony from the Wellcome Collection in LondonAvailable for over a yearClaudia Hammond presents the series that explores the limits and potential of the human mind. Read more: All in the Mind - Summer 2016: All in the Mind Awards Ceremony from the Wellcome Collection in London
Martin Conway: Flashbulb memoryProfessor Martin Conway, Professor of Cognitive Psychology at City University London talks us... Listen now: Martin Conway: Flashbulb memory
Genius of the Modern WorldIn this three-part OU/BBC co-production for BBC Four, Bettany Hughes explores the life and works... Watch now: Genius of the Modern World
The value of coffeeThis free course explores the economic and cultural value of coffee. You will follow the chain of... Try: The value of coffee now
Organisations and management accountingThis free course, Organisations and management accounting, examines the nature of organisations,... Try: Organisations and management accounting now
- You are here:
- History & The Arts
- Voice-leading analysis of music 2: the middleground
- 5.1 Interruption as a structural device
This free course, Voice-leading analysis of music 2: the middleground, continues our examination of 'voice-leading' or 'Schenkerian' analysis, perhaps the most widely used and discussed method of analysing tonal music. In this course, this method is explained through the analysis of piano sonatas by Mozart. The course is the second in the AA314 series of three courses on this form of harmonic analysis, and concentrates on the 'middleground level' of voice leading. As you work through this course, you will become familiar with the deeper levels of harmony in Mozart's piano sonatas.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- understand more deeply the complete movements from Mozart's sonatas, studied both here and in the course 'Voice-leading analysis of music 1: the foreground'
- recognise extracts from other Mozart piano sonatas
- recognise typical techniques used by Mozart to organise the harmony of complete short sections within musical works
- understand the use of symbols in voice-leading graphs of the middleground of harmonic structure
- relate this sort of graph to the score of the music it analyses.
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Melodies within melodies
- 3 Unfolding
- 4 Self-contained musical structures
- 5 Interruption
- Current section: 5.1 Interruption as a structural device
- 5.2 Identifying an interrupted structure
- 5.3 Interrupted structure and typical features of the style
- 5.4 Different analyses of a single theme
- 5.5 Interruption: a summary
- Current section:
- 6 Towards a deeper level of structure
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
5.1 Interruption as a structural device
Now that we have seen how a middleground linear descent can organise the structure of a whole phrase, the next main topic of this course is to consider cases where this descent stops short of reaching the tonic note. This is called an interrupted structure. While the following examples are quite short and relatively simple, the principle of interruption has a far-reaching influence which can affect the overall form of entire movements, particularly those in sonata form.
We are going to look at three case studies of ‘interrupted form’, one from a sonata you have already done a lot of work with, and two from sonatas new to this course. You may find it helpful to make your own attempt at an analytical graph of each extract before looking at mine; but in each case the most important aim is to hear the main shapes and patterns shown in my graphs.
I recommend that you listen to each of the recordings several times as you work through the three case studies. To begin with, I will give quite a lot of detailed discussion of the graphs in order to explain my analytical decisions, but as we proceed I hope that you will find them increasingly self-explanatory.
This free course includes adapted extracts from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Music courses or view the range of currently available OU Music courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Friday, 5th February 2016
Last updated on: Friday, 5th February 2016
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
If you enjoyed this, why not follow a feed to find out when we have new things like it? Choose an RSS feed from the list below. (Don't know what to do with RSS feeds?)
Remember, you can also make your own, personal feed by combining tags from around OpenLearn.
All our alternative formats are free for you to download, for more information about the different formats we offer please see our FAQs. The most frequently used are Word (for accessibility), PDF (for print) and ePub and Kindle to download to eReaders*.
- Word (1.9 MB)
- PDF (1.3 MB)
- ePub 3.0 (18.1 MB)
- ePub 2.0 (1.4 MB)
- Kindle (1004 KB)
- RSS (320 KB)
- HTML (25.5 MB)
- SCORM (25.5 MB)
- OUXML Package (32 KB)
- OUXML File (111 KB)
- IMS Common cartridge
- Moodle backup (26.3 MB)
*Please note you will need an ePub and Mobi reader for these formats.