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The Fundamental Structure (cont.)
Back to Guide | Introduction | The descent from 3 | Three Blind Mice | Other Descents | Prolonging the Fundamental Structure


Other Descents
As discussed in Harmonic Series Schenker sees the minor as a modification of the major rather than a system in its own right. Therefore most of what applies to the major also applies to minor. Whereas in major key movements, the descent from is easily the most common fundamental structure, in the minor it is at least as common for the descent to be from . The descent from is the other main type of fundamental structure and although shown in the minor below often appears in major key works as well.

In this basic form the descent from contains a dissonant passing note - . Schenker calls the passage from to the unsupported stretch because the dissonant passing note needs consonant support before it can be prolonged. In major key descents from the is sometimes still dissonant - a seventh over V

In minor key pieces the is often prolonged over III creating a section in the relative major - in this case E flat major. This is why descents from are more common in the minor than the major and apparent major key descents from often turn out to be descents from on closer inspection.

Along with the descents from and occasionally pieces can be understood as a descent from , spanning an octave. These are rare and controversial and are not discussed further on SchenkerGUIDE.

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