Schenker's "Elucidations" on how Compound Voices Unfold from Der Tonwille 6 (1923) to Der freie Satz (1935)

Rodney Garrison, State University of New York at Fredonia

Some of Schenker's most enlightening descriptions of compound voices do not involve words we might translate as "compound voice;" some involve "Ausfaltung" (unfolding). From Der Tonwille 6 on, nearly 50 descriptions and sketches of compound voices involve an "unfolding" word that indicates a four-pitch symbol, and in four instances, a two-pitch symbol within a larger four-pitch symbol. The two-pitch symbol, known for its diagonal beam, is called the "unfolding," Ausfaltung, and saw-tooth symbol. Much to their credit, Cadwallader and Gagné are the first textbook authors to acknowledge the four-pitch symbol as an "unfolding;" however, they do so only in light of Der freie Satz, they avoid linking "unfolding" with any German word, and they use the symbol in only one unidentified, musical graph. The lingering pedagogical issues of disconnected history, incomplete discussion, and insufficient use are addressed in this paper through the elucidation of these compound voice descriptions and sketches, including another pivotal one from the Oster Collection. Several descriptions of four-pitch unfoldings in musical graphs refer to one of two theoretical graphs. Consistencies between interrelated musical and theoretical graphs show us how the four-pitch unfolding conveys compound voices and how to employ the unfolding in graphs. Additionally, how two- and four-pitch unfoldings relate to each other is gleaned through the study of instances where they are combined as one symbol, despite their differing graphic histories and usages.