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date: 26 July 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the musical sequence as a nexus of melodic, linear, and harmonic processes commonly found in tonal music from the seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries. It locates sequential repetition as a problematic concept within the history of tonal music, considering the various controversies it has sparked in both its critical reception and the competing models advanced throughout the history of tonal theory. The article also explores how the sequence is both prototypical for tonality more broadly and an exception to its norms. Besides acting as an agent of tonal, formal, and stylistic disruption, the sequence also provides a distinctive way of structuring the experience of musical temporality between diachrony and synchrony. The article advances the provocative idea of the sequence as a bipolar machine for transforming identity into difference and difference into identity.

Keywords: circle of fifths, diachrony, linear intervallic pattern, rosalia, sequence, sequential repetition, synchrony, temporality, tonality, tonal theory

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