III. Strict Four-Voice Composition, Partimenti, and Schemata

Galant schemas – Summary

Mark Gotham

These files provide a set of schemas, with the constituent parts set out as prototypically as is possible in musical notation: that is, with melody and figured bass lines, along with (in the first file’s case) chords in a middle part realizing those figures. Really, schemas are prototypes that exist apart from any specific realization, so the non-musical notations on this page are truer representations of the ideas at play.

Overall, Short Summary

This table summarizes those canonical schemas.

Name When Melodic line Bass line Meter Harmony (figures)
Romanesca Opening 1, 5, 1, 1 1, 7, 6, 3 S W S W 5, 6, 5, 6
Do-Re-Mi Opening 1, 2, 3 1, 7, 1 S W S 5, 6, 5
Sol-Fa-Mi Opening 5, 4, 4, 3 1, 2, 7, 1 W S W S 5, 5, 6/5, 5
Meyer Opening 1, 7, 4, 3 1, 2, 7, 1 W S W S 5, 6/4/3, 6/5, 5
Aprile Opening 1, 7, 2, 1 1, 2, 7, 1 S W S W 5, 6/4/3, 6/5, 5
Jupiter Opening 1, 2, 4, 3 1, 7, 5, 1 S W S W 5, 6, 5, 5
Pastorella Opening 3, 2, 4, 3 1, 5, 5, 1 S W S W 5, 5, 7, 5
Prinner Answer/Process/Transition 6, 5, 4, 3 4, 3, 2, 1 S W S W 5, 6, 7-6, 5
Modulating Prinner Answer/Process/Transition 3, 2, 1, 7 8, 7, 6, 5 S W S W 5, 6, 7-#6, 5
Fonte Answer/Process/Transition 5, 4, 4, 3 #1, 2, 7, 1 W S W S 6/5, 5, 6/5, 5
Monte Answer/Process/Transition 1, b7, 6, 2, 1, 7 3, 4, #4, 5 W S W S 6, 5, 6, 5
Ponte Answer/Process/Transition 5, 7, 2 5 S W S 5, 7, 7
Fenaroli Pre-Cadential 4, 3, 7, 1 7, 1, 2, 3 S W S W 6, 5, 6, 6
Indugio Pre-Cadential 2, 4, 6, 1, 7 4, 4, 4, 4#, 5 S W S W S 6/5, 6/5, 6/5, 6/5, 5
Deceptive Cadence Pre-Cadential 1, 2, 2, 1 3, 4, 5, 6 W S W S 6, 6/5, 5, 5
Evaded Cadence Pre-Cadential 1, 2, 2, 1 3, 4, 5, 5, 1 W S W S 6, 6/5, 5, 6
Passo Indietro Pre-Cadential 7, 1 4, 3 S W S W S 6/4/2, 6
Comma Pre-Cadential 4, 3 7, 1 W S 6/5, 5
Converging Cadence Pre-Cadential 3, 2, 1, 7 3, 4, #4, 5 W S 6, 6/5, 6/5, 5
Cadenza Semplice Cadence 1, 2, 2, 1 3, 4, 5, 1 W S W S 6, 6/5, 5, 5
Cadenza Composta Cadence 1, 2, 3, 2, 1 3, 4, 5, 5, 1 W S () S W S 6, 6/5, 6/4, 7, 5
Cadenza Doppia Cadence 4, 3, 2, 1 5, 1 S W S W S 5, 6/4, 4, 3, 5
Quiescenza Post-Cadential b7, 6, 7, 1 1 W S W S b7, 6/4, 7/4/2, 5

Itemized List

Opening Gambits

Romanesca

Stage: 1 2 3 4
Meter S W S W
Melody Treble: 1 5 1 1
Bass: 1 7 6 3
Harmony Figures: 5 6 5 6
Roman numerals: I V vi I

Do-Re-Mi

Stage: 1 2 3
Meter S W S
Melody Treble: 1 2 3
Bass: 1 7 1
Harmony Figures: 5 6 5
Roman numerals: I V I

Many of the schemas involve two steps which can be considered schemas on their own.
These often take the form of question-answer pairs.
Here, we have the Do-Re opening part as the opening question:

Stage: 1 2
Meter S W
Melody Treble: 1 2
Bass: 1 7
Harmony Figures: 5 6
Roman numerals: I V

That Do-Re is answered by the Re-Mi:

Stage: 1 2
Meter W S
Melody Treble: 2 3
Bass: 7 1
Harmony Figures: 6 5
Roman numerals: V I

The Do–Re–Mi may also appear in a four-stage version by putting those constituent parts back together.
This basically involves doubling up the central stage of the three-stage version.

Sol-Fa-Mi

Stage: 1 2 3 4
Meter W S W S
Melody Treble: 5 4 4 3
Bass: 1 2 7 1
Harmony Figures: 5 5 6/5 5
Roman numerals: I ii V I

Again this comprises two parts.

Opening part (Sol-Fa):

Stage: 1 2
Meter W S
Melody Treble: 5 4
Bass: 1 2
Harmony Figures: 5 5
Roman numerals: I ii

Answering part (Fa-Mi):

Stage: 1 2
Meter W S
Melody Treble: 4 3
Bass: 7 1
Harmony Figures: 6 5
Roman numerals: V I

This schema may also appear with the harmony slightly altered, as follows:

Stage: 1 2 3 4
Meter W S W S
Melody Treble: 5 4 4 3
Bass: 1 2 7 1
Harmony Figures: 5 6 6/5 5
Roman numerals: I vii V I

Meyer

Stage: 1 2 3 4
Meter W S W S
Melody Treble: 1 7 4 3
Bass: 1 2 7 1
Harmony Figures: 5 6/4/3 6/5 5
Roman numerals: I V V I

Opening Part:

Stage: 1 2
Meter W S
Melody Treble: 1 7
Bass: 1 2
Harmony Figures: 5 6,4,3
Roman numerals: I V

Closing Part:

Stage: 1 2
Meter W S
Melody Treble: 4 3
Bass: 7 1
Harmony Figures: 6,5 5
Roman numerals: V I

Aprile

Stage: 1 2 3 4
Meter S W S W
Melody Treble: 1 7 2 1
Bass: 1 2 7 1
Harmony Figures: 5 6,4,3 6,5 5
Roman numerals: I V V I

Jupiter

Stage: 1 2 3 4
Meter S W S W
Melody Treble: 1 2 4 3
Bass: 1 7 5 1
Harmony Figures: 5 6 5 5
Roman numerals: I V V I

Pastorella

Stage: 1 2 3 4
Meter S W S W
Melody Treble: 3 2 4 3
Bass: 1 5 5 1
Harmony Figures: 5 5 7 5
Roman numerals: I V V I

Answer/Process/Transition

Prinner and Modulating Prinner

Stage: 1 2 3 4
Meter S W S W
Melody Treble: 6 5 4 3
Bass: 4 3 2 1
Harmony Figures: 5 6 7-6 I
Roman numerals: IV I vii I

A slight variant on this inserts a root position dominant before the final stage:

Stage: 1 2 3 4 5
Meter S W S W S
Melody Treble: 6 5 4 4 3
Bass: 4 3 2 5 1
Harmony Figures: 5 6 7–6 7 5
Roman numerals: IV I vii V I

The Prinner can also be used to modulate from the tonic to the dominant.
This variant is called the ‘Modulating Prinner’:

Stage: 1 2 3 4
Meter S W S W
Melody Treble: 3 2 1 7
Bass: 8 7 6 5
Harmony Figures: 5 6 7-#6 5
Roman numerals: I V vii/V V

Again, this can come with an additional root position dominant:

Stage: 1 2 3 4 5
Meter S W S W S
Melody Treble: 3 2 1 1 7
Bass: 1 7 6 2 5
Harmony Figures: 5 6 7–#6 7/# 5
Roman numerals: I V vii/V V/V V

Fonte

Stage: 1 2 3 4
Meter W S W S
Melody Treble: 5 4 4 3
Bass: #1 2 7 1
Harmony Figures: 6/5 5 6/5 5
Roman numerals: V/ii ii V I

The Fonte has a strong relation to the Meyer and indeed to the cycle of 5ths.
This effectively tonicises the a minor key (e.g. the supertonic minor) and then a major key a tone below (the overall tonic).
The modular part is just one of those tonicisations:

Stage: 1 2
Meter W S
Melody Treble: 4 3
Bass: 7 1
Harmony Figures: 6/5 5/3
Roman numerals: V I

Monte

Stage: 1 2 3 4
Meter W S W S
Melody Treble: 1-b7 6 2-1 7
Bass: 3 4 #4 5
Harmony Figures: 6/5 5 6/5 5
Roman numerals: V/IV V V/V V

Like the Fonte, the Monte also goes through two tonicisations with a sequential treatment of a modular half:

Stage: 1 2
Meter W S
Melody Treble: 5-4 3
Bass: 7 1
Harmony Figures: 6/5 5
Roman numerals: V I

Ponte

Stage: 1 2 3
Meter S W S
Melody Treble: 5 7 2
Bass: 5 5 5
Harmony Figures: 5 7 7
Roman numerals: V V V

Pre-Cadential / Incomplete Cadences

Fenaroli

Stage: 1 2 3 4
Meter S W S W
Melody Treble: 4 3 7 1
Bass: 7 1 2 3
Harmony Figures: 6/5 5 6/5 6
Roman numerals: V I V I

Indugio

Stage: 1 2 3 4 5
Meter S W S W S
Melody Treble: 2 4 6 1 7
Bass: 4 4 4 4# 5
Harmony Figures: 6/5 6/5 6/5 6/5 5
Roman numerals: IV IV IV V/V V

Deceptive Cadence

Stage: 1 2 3 4
Meter W S W S
Melody Treble: 1 2 2 1
Bass: 3 4 5 6
Harmony Figures: 6 6/5 5 5
Roman numerals: I ii V vi

Evaded Cadence

Stage: 1 2 3 4
Meter W S W S
Melody Treble: 1 2 2 1
Bass: 3 4 5 3
Harmony Figures: 6 6/5 5 6
Roman numerals: I ii V I

Passo Indietro

Stage: 1 2
Meter S W
Melody Treble: 7 1
Bass: 4 3
Harmony Figures: 6/4/2 6
Roman numerals: V I

The ‘Passo Indietro’ is essentially the first two stages of a Prinner.
Literally a ‘stepping back’, the ‘Passo Indietro’ often precedes a significant cadence.

Comma

Stage: 1 2
Meter W S
Melody Treble: 4 3
Bass: 7 1
Harmony Figures: 6/5 5
Roman numerals: V I

Converging Cadence

Stage: 1 2 3 4
Meter W S W S
Melody Treble: 3 2 1 7
Bass: 3 4 #4 5
Harmony Figures: 6 6/5 6/5 5
Roman numerals: I ii V/V V

This cadence is also known as the ‘fa–fi–sol’ half cadence after the definitive bass line: 4–#4–5.
Note the correspondence between this schema and the Indugio.

Cadences and Post Cadential

Cadenza Semplice

Stage: 1 2 3 4
Meter W S W S
Melody Treble: 1 2 2 1
Bass: 3 4 5 1
Harmony Figures: 6 6/5 5 5
Roman numerals: I ii V I

Cadenza Composta

Stage: 1 2 3 4 5
Meter W S S W S
Melody Treble: 1 2 3 2 1
Bass: 3 4 5 5 1
Harmony Figures: 6 6/5 6/4 7 5
Roman numerals: I ii Cad. V I

Cadenza Doppia

Stage: 1 2 3 4 5
Meter S W S W S
Melody Treble: 4 3 2 2 1
Bass: 5 5 5 5 1
Harmony Figures: 5 6/4 4 3 5
Roman numerals: V V V V I

Quiescenza

Stage: 1 2 3 4
Meter W S W S
Melody Treble: b7 6 7 1
Bass: 1 1 1 1
Harmony Figures: b7 6/4 7/4/2 5
Roman numerals: V/IV V V I

The Quiescenza is a post-cadential schema.

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Open Music Theory by Mark Gotham is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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