Studies of tonality in Monteverdi's madrigals have focused on cadential harmonies at phrase endings, for the most part ignoring the music that comes in between. The present study, focusing on homorhythmic music, identifies three elements lying between chordal arrivals: schemata, splices, and elisions. Schemata are short conventionalized outer-voice progressions that can connect a variety of starting and ending chords; splices are alterations by which the second version of a progression is varied when it is repeated in transposition; and elisions are made by common tones between the last chord of one progression and the first of the next. Each one of these essentially contrapuntal strategies is a crucial building block of Monteverdi's tonal structures: together they contribute to closing tonal circles, to an expressive use of register, and to meaningful changes of texture.

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