Sweelinck - Pavana Lachrimae

Form, Melody, Harmony/Tonality, Texture, Rhythm, Instrumentation

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Harmony/Tonality

  • Tonally ambiguous: A minor with elements of Aeolian Mode
  • frequent use of G naturals as opposed to expected leading note of A minor G#
  • False relations: bar 96
  • Modulation to G major: bar 9-10 - unrelated therefore gives a modal hue
  • Strain B begins in relative major C in bar 33 - harmony could be said to be used as a structure defining tool
  • Most dissonant passage: bar 65-69
  • consonant 4ths
  • parallel 7ths (68)
  • Appoggiaturas (68)
  • bare 5th chord (69)
  • dominant pedal (65)
  • Suspensions: 7-6 suspension = bar 2-3 (in alto part) / 4-3 suspension = bar 37
  • tierce de picardie = bar 81
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Texture

  • Instrumental compositions frequently indebted to vocal styles and techniques; the four parts correspond to Renaissance polyphony and ranges of SATB choir
  • Homophonic: bar 11-16 (melody passes through the parts)
  • Imitative textures: bar 42-45
  • Canon: bar 91-93
  • Free Counterpoint: first 8 bars
  • Complex textures for one pair of hands: bar 23-32
  • Texture plays a structural role? Varied strains differ through more florid passages
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Form

tripartite structure but each section has a varied repetition 

A: bar 1-16 = perfect cadence in A minor

A1: bar 17-32 = perfect cadence in A minor

B: bar 33-48 = Phrygian cadence (IVb-V) in A minor (strain B is structurally differentiated by beginning in relative major C major thus harmony used as a structure defining tool)

B1: bar 49-64 = Phrygian cadence (IVb-V) in A minor

C: bar 65-81 = perfect cadence in A minor

C1: bar 82-98 = perfect cadence in A minor

Figural variation

constant use of elaborate rhythmic figures to ornament and rhythmically diminish an original melody:

bar 17 = replaces longer notes from bar 1 with mainly conjunct, stepwise semiquavers

bar 23 = F and D minims from bar 7 are rhythmically diminished to semiquavers

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Rhythm

Due to the harpsichord's inability to sustain the player would probably have spread the chords 

written out cadential 'trills' involving 8 demisemiquavers : bar 30/ bar 45

simple, quadruple metre

rhythmic diminution provides structural differentiation: G - F quavers at the end of bar 1 are rhythmically diminished to G - F semiquavers at the end of bar 17

dotted rhythms: bar 42-44

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Melody

conjunct/stepwise

disjunct writing - leap of a minor 6th: bar 2

falling perfect 4th theme programmatically insinuates the falling 'tears' of Dowland's original: bar 1-2

this motif is transposed, transforming into a descending diminished 4th: bar 3-4

complex textures for one pair of hands: bar 23-32

sequential writing: bar 17 - descending sequential treatment of three-note figure E-D-C then C-B-A

sequential writing with climactic effect: bar 94

F and D minims are rhythmically diminished to semiquavers: bar 23 from bar 7

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