Treatise on Melody
Anton Reicha’s Treatise on Melody (1814) was one of the most widely read and influential treatises of the early to mid 19th century. Reicha systematically lays out a theory of melodic phraseology examines factors of cadential closure and prolongation and provides and early classification of musical forms (including the first description of his grande coupe binaire).
Reicha’s progressive theories of rhythm motivic development harmony musical perception and idea in music influenced compositional practice for much of the 19th century. Many leading composers came into his orbit including Hector Berlioz Franz Liszt Adolphe Adam Charles Gounod and Cesar Franck.
Reicha was one of the first theorists to base his ideas empirically on musical practice. The treatise contains a full 77 pages of musical examples and analyses many of which are overlaid with analytical symbols and technical apparatus.Remarkable for its time this collection of musical analyses provides the modern reader with a rare glimpse into how musical processes were formulated by one of the most informed musicalminds of the age.