Notation help needed - Beethoven 'Pathetique' Adagio

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Yvette
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Notation help needed - Beethoven 'Pathetique' Adagio

Post by Yvette » 27 Mar 2007, 09:44

Hello, I'm self-learning the 2nd movt of Beethoven's 'Pathetique', and am stymied by a notation in Bar 21 above F. AC - there's a squiggly thing rather like an unclosed number 8 lying on its side, and below it there's a natural sign. Any help on what the squiggly means and what the natural sign wants me to naturalise (only the A in that phrase would be flat according to the key signature) would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you, Yvette.

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WinstonChurchill
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Post by WinstonChurchill » 27 Mar 2007, 10:59

That squiggly thing's an ornament known as a 'cadence' or sometimes a 'turn'. Search for either of these terms on the internet and you should get plenty of guidance...not to be confused with cadences of the harmonic variety of course.

Basically, you're going to play notes 'around' the one in the score. This can be either on the beat, or (as in the case you've specifically asked about), on the off-beat. The natural referred to in this case is E.

NB my Peters edition of the score shows a cadence making an appearance at bar 20, and then again in bar 21.

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Post by Yvette » 27 Mar 2007, 12:02

Thanks Winston. I noticed the cadence in bar 20 but ignored it! So in bar 20, what I see is this:-

E flat, D natural, D natural (held not played), F natural, E flat

But what my fingers must do is:-

E flat, D natural, D natural held, E flat, D natural, C natural, D natural, F natural, E flat?

And in bar 21, I see:-

E flat, F natural, A flat, C natural

But must play:-

E flat, F natural, E flat, F natural, G natural, F natural, A flat, C natural?

Are those right? If horribly wrong, I'd appreciate it if you could give me the right notes!

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WinstonChurchill
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Post by WinstonChurchill » 27 Mar 2007, 12:51

Almost. What you've said about bar 20 looks fine, but in bar 21 the sequence of notes will be Eb -- F -- [and then the cadence on the off-beat] -- G--F--E NATURAL--F and then to the Ab. From the F onward you're aiming to build up to the G in the next bar.

This is one of those areas you could really do with a bit of hands-on support from a teacher, to be honest... We can list out the notes, but it's tough to explain how it should be played! I trust that you've got some records to consult on this in the absence of a teacher?

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Post by Otto » 27 Mar 2007, 20:39

I strongly advocate getting someone to show you round these things, rather than take it from a book. When all is said and done, music is a living thing and being shown by someone who knows what they are doing is worth a thousand words. (Bit like a picture, I suppose).

If you want a book to describe it all in detail, the Associated Board theory of Music book is brilliant and has hardly changed through my lifetime.

Incidentally, the term 'cadence' is more normally used to describe a chord sequence at specific points in music. This usage is certainly very novel to me.
Otto

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Post by WinstonChurchill » 27 Mar 2007, 21:09

'Cadence' is the term Bach used in the Clavier-Büchlein vor Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, which is where I picked it up at about 14...and I've been using it ever since. You're right that 'turn' is the usual term, though; hence my comment about 'cadences of the harmonic variety'.

Incidentally, this site has a reproduction of Bach's ornamentation table: http://members.aol.com/kjvisbest/jsb_ornm.htm, or there's a facsimile on this page: http://www.jsbach.net/images/ornaments.html.

There's also a copy in the introduction to the Peters edition of the Two- and Three-Part Inventions.

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Re: Notation help needed - Beethoven 'Pathetique' Adagio

Post by Dominicus » 28 Aug 2011, 09:43

Proof that anything can now be found on the internet. I also searched for the answer about the specific note sequence in the bar 21 turn of Pathetique Mov2.
Amazing, and Thank You!

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Colin Nicholson
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Re: Notation help needed - Beethoven 'Pathetique' Adagio

Post by Colin Nicholson » 28 Aug 2011, 10:01

I thought a 'cadence' was a 'musical ending' ?? being 4 different kinds'
Perfect (V-I) Imperfect (II/IV/VI - V) Plagal (IV - I) and Interrupted (V - VI).... these are like musical punctuation marks and denote a brief or final ending to a piece of music.... some abrupt, others are passing.

The turn is not a cadence, but simply an ornament (decoration around a note).
They may 'decorate' a cadence (eg trill), but they do not form cadences.

The turn in its simplest form consists of 4 notes:-
1. Note above (upper auxiliary note)
2. Note itself (principal note)
3. Note below (lower aux note)
4. Note itself again.

It also depends where the turn is written, if directly above a note, the turn starts immediately, if between 2 notes, the turn starts afterwards. If an accidental is places above or below the turn sign, this affecting the corresponding upper or lower aux note.

If you need this short extract of the Beethoven written out in full for you, let me know, I'll post a musical score for you. You can also refer to the ABRSM Grades 4 & 5 theory of music books for an explanation.... although I use my own course notes for my students.

Hope that helps....
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Re: Notation help needed - Beethoven 'Pathetique' Adagio

Post by Dominicus » 28 Aug 2011, 19:12

Thanks Colin,
I missed the "natural" modifier below the turn notation, which made it sound not right. Instead of hitting the books, I hit Google with "bar 21 pathetique" for instant satisfaction. Silver lining is having found a wonderful piano discussion forum.

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