On Saturday 26 May 2007 12:02, turpin d'isigny-ffytche wrote:
> So this is the analogue computer for the I-VIII modal system. What
> might they have done with the ficta? (in the privacy of the hours
> between compline & matins)
The slippery slope started with transposition. In order for any white key to be fa, you have to supply a mi for it in the cases where it doesn't already have one -- i.e. in the cases where it's not fa already, like F and B. D masquerading as fa gets a made-up mi in the form of c-sharp, and so on.
You don't ever treat H as fa, since that would involve transposing by a nasty unmentionable interval, and so you don't need as A-sharp as well as a B-flat. Out of seven notes, then, you have two (F and B) that are already fa, and one (H) that you never want to make fa, and so you need four extra mi's -- one for D, one for E, one for G, and one for A.
These are 'ficta' in he sense that they're contrived, supplementary, derivative made-up mi's, inhabiting an ontologically secondary bizarro world, and a second string, backbench row of keys.
Once the ficta notes are there, then when you're playing polyphony you get into the habit of using the ficta as raised leading tones so cadential formulae sound sweeter, and then people start thinking in terms of chords and the apple has been eaten and the garden gates of modality clang shut behind you.
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