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What is a Tierce en Taille?

Updated: 5/3/2024
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โˆ™ 15y ago

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Tierce en Taille literally means, "Tierce in the Tenor". It comes from the organ stop known as the Seventeenth, known in French as the Tierce. On an organ, where the pitch of each stop is given in terms of the length of the organ pipe two octaves below middle C, the Tierce is 1 3/5, meaning the lowest note of the Tierce is sounded by a pipe roughly 1 3/5 feet long, or about 19 inches long. When a C is played on the organ, the Tierce stop sounds an E two octaves above that note. Because it sounds a harmonic of a note and not the note itself, the Tierce is usually used in combination with other "fundamental" stops. As such, it gives a hollow, percussive quality to a note, which lends itself well to solo lines. In the Baroque and Classical era, Tierces were almost always found only on French organs. More so than the organ music written in other countries, French organ music specified the organ registration (which organ stops were to be used) for a piece according to a fixed plan. In organ music written in other countries, the organist was generally more free to select the registration that he felt best suited the piece. But in France, all a composer needed to do was to write "Plain Jeu", "Grand Jeu", or "Tierce en Taille" at the top of the piece, and it was understood precisely which stops were to be pulled when the piece was played. Hence, famous pieces came to be known by their registrations, such as Marchand's Dialogue sur les Grands Jeux. Many pieces came to be know simply as Tierce en Taille, and the term came to be used interchangably for a particular organ registration or for a particular style of music. As a style, Tierce en Taille is characterized by a high harmony played by the right hand on a chorus of Flute stops, and a melody played by the left hand on a combination of fundamental stops and the Tierce. Most Tierce en Taille pieces are quiet, contemplative and ethereal...they demand to be listened to, but quickly carry the listener away to another world.

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โˆ™ 15y ago
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โˆ™ 2mo ago

A Tierce en Taille refers to a type of Baroque musical composition where the three upper voices are in counterpoint with each other, while the lowest voice provides a figured bass accompaniment. This form was commonly used in French Baroque music during the 17th and 18th centuries.

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Q: What is a Tierce en Taille?
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