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Charles Ives's ConcordEssays after a Sonata$
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Kyle Gann

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040856

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040856.001.0001

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The Human Faith Theme and the Whole-Tone Hypothesis

The Human Faith Theme and the Whole-Tone Hypothesis

Chapter:
(p.40) 3 The Human Faith Theme and the Whole-Tone Hypothesis
Source:
Charles Ives's Concord
Author(s):

Kyle Gann

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252040856.003.0003

The Concord Sonata is a cyclic work based on a theme that occurs in all four movements, known as the “Human Faith” theme. The appearances of this theme in various keys suggest an overarching harmonic structure based on the whole-tone scale, giving way frequently to an opposition between the keys of A and E-flat. A whole-tone scale plus one other note serves as an importance source-chord for the entire sonata.

Keywords:   Whole-tone scale, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, Martyn, Pythagorean tuning, “Hammerklavier” Sonata (Beethoven), Thoreau, harmonic series

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