Toccata and Fugue for Major Triads
Years ago when asked in a postgraduate seminar to analyze a certain "modern"
work, I opted to use a scattergram (also called scatter chart or scatter
diagram) which simply counted and plotted a diagram of the intervals that
the composer had chosen in writing the work. The plot was more instructive
than other attendees' choices to try and use other "modern" analytic tools,
and showed that the composer in fact had chosen no octaves, perfect fourths
and fifths, very few thirds and sixths; the diagram's data was heavily
weighted towards seconds and sevenths and the tritone, showing that
composer's stance was towards dissonance (as defined by the previous common
practice period) as aesthetic foundation. Thinking on an inversion of this
twentieth-century "modern" practice, I thought simply to compose this
musical essay built on major triads.
opening gambit alternates hands, and a simple scale decorates the held tonic
G major. After stating this tonic, the right hand proceeds in parallel major
triads with extending the scheme, major triads across a major scale.
Sections for solo voice are then accompanied by parallel major triads in
second inversion, which explains the seeming distant harmonic colors unified
toccata ends in octaves without third or fifth. The fugue subject is stated
thereafter in its three voices to carry the major triads further. G-flat
functions quite as an ersatz leading tone to the overall tonic, as the
opening three triads are related by common tone in first inversion. The
subject cadences in G as tonic, and then answers appear, beginning a major
third above as at measure 77.
pages, circa 6' 00" an MP3 demo is here:
is available as a free PDF download, though any major
commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior
arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this organ
Toccata and Fugue
for Major Triads