Technique in Focus:
“On the preparation of the 9th, which stems from the 3rd”
This partimento demonstrates the “Up 2nd, Down 3rd” ‘Fonte’ sequence with suspended 9ths. The purpose of this rule prescribed by Durante, is to practise the prepation of a 9th suspension using the 3rd of the preparatory chord. The third of the 6/3 chord becomes the 9th of the following 5/3 chord. This is achieved through the bass ascending from a 6/3 chord to become the root of the 5/3 chord. The bass then descends by a third with a 6/3 chord over the top. This creates a beautiful line of suspensions of the 9th over a Fonte sequence (which is the same chord progression as a Circle of Fifths).
Below I have realised this partimento in three realisations: a simple three-part realisation (this is mostly chordal), a florid three-part realisation (which similar to the simple version, but with additional diminutions), and a two-voice realisation which creates a melody against the bass. This partimento offers much rythmic interest and an opportunity to practise beautiful voice leading – the suspension of the 9th.
Partimento: A Beginner Method for Classical Improvisation
‘Partimento: A Beginner Method for Classical Improvisation’ book teaches the reader classical improvisation through updating the method of Partimento for the modern student.
During this book, we start by getting to know the basics of music, covered in Stage 1: Prerequisites. Then, from Stages 2-5 we tackle the main ingredients of improvisation (what the 18th century, Neapolitans called Regole, the “Rules”). Finally, in Stages 6-7 we practise improvising with, and without, partimenti. Here are the seven stages below:
Stage 1 – Prerequisites (pp.9-43)
Stage 2 – Cadences (pp.44-72)
Stage 3 – Rule of the Octave (pp.73-92)
Stage 4 – Sequences (pp.93-137)
Stage 5 – Modulations (pp.138-171)
Stage 6 – Partimenti (pp.172-188)
Stage 7 – Improvise! (pp.189-220)
Take your first steps into classical improvisation on the rediscovered path of Partimento.