Continuous Question-Answer Pairs

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Yosef Goldenberg


The article offers a generalized study of continuous question-answer pairs in common-practice tonal music. These include continuous periods (with dominant-version consequent or other consequents with non-tonic beginnings), most but not all cases of the hybrid theme type compound basic theme + consequent, and many but not all statement-response pairs in sentential presentations. In question-answer pairs, the first ending is less stable than the second, but it need not be a cadence. Various aspects contribute to the evaluation of each specific case, including caesuras, motivic parallelism, symmetry, internal organization, unit length, independence of the hyper-unit, and melodic closure.

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