(Fr. quarte; Ger. Quarte; It. quarta; Gk. diatessarōn).
The Interval between any two notes that are three Diatonic scale degrees apart (e.g. C–F, E–A). Unless specified, the term usually implies ‘perfect 4th’, which is the sum of two whole tones and a diatonic semitone. The augmented 4th, the sum of three whole tones (i.e. the sum of a perfect 4th and a chromatic semitone), can occur diatonically (e.g. C–F in G major or E minor); the diminished 4th, which is equal to a perfect 4th less a chromatic semitone (e.g. C–F, F–B), is never diatonic. The ratio of the perfect 4th in Just intonation is 4:3.
The 4th has a unique position in Western music because it has been regarded as a Perfect interval (like the unison, 5th and octave) and a dissonance at the same time. In ancient Greek music the basis of melody was the Tetrachord, a set of four pitches encompassed by a 4th. The earliest forms of medieval parallel Organum favoured it as the interval between the vox organalis and vox principalis. With the further development of polyphonic music in the 12th and 13th centuries, the 5th replaced the 4th as the most important Consonance after the octave and the unison. By the 15th century the 4th appeared as a consonance only between the upper parts of a vertical sonority, for example in 6-3 chords of the fauxbourdon style and at 8-5-1 cadences (e.g. D–A–D); composers of the later 15th century, including Du Fay, sometimes deliberately avoided the 4th in three-part writing (seeNon-quartal harmony), and Tinctoris deemed it a dissonance in his Terminorum musicae diffinitorium (c1473).
Since the Renaissance the 4th has been considered a consonance only when it is understood as the inversion of the 5th. By itself it is considered not so much dissonant as ‘unstable’; reckoning from the lower note, it lies halfway between the 3rd and the 5th that make up a triad and must therefore resolve to one of these (usually the 3rd). With the avoidance of triadic harmony in the 20th century, in both rigorously non-tonal and ‘neo-modal’ music, the 4th has come back into use as an important vertical interval. Moreover, chords built of perfect 4ths have come to be regarded as stable harmonic structures (particularly in the music of Hindemith; their use in Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony no.1 and Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra is well known), and the tonic ‘triad’ in which the 4th has been substituted for the 3rd (in C major, C–F–G–C instead of C–E–G–C) has been used effectively by composers like Stravinsky as the final sonority of a tonal work.
A Recorder with lowest note b', a 4th above the treble instrument.
Four Tops, the.
American vocal group. Its members are Levi Stubbs (b Detroit, 1938), Abdul ‘Duke’ Fakir (b Detroit, 1938), Renaldo ‘Obie’ Benson (b Detroit, 1937) and Lawrence Payton (b Detroit, 1938; d Detroit, 20 June 1997). As the Four Aims, they cultivated the neat, jazz-influenced harmonies associated with such groups as the Hi-Los and the Four Freshmen, but as the Four Tops they made their international reputation during the mid-1960s with a series of stirring recordings composed and produced for Motown Records by Holland, Dozier and Holland. Their records featured Stubbs's gruff, pleading lead vocals ably supported by the precise harmonies of the other members. Hit songs such as Baby, I need your loving (1964), I can't help myself (1965), It's the same old song (1965), Standing in the Shadows of Love (1967) and Bernadette (1967) were characterized by swelling instrumental passages, dramatic pauses, unexpected rhythmic changes and elaborate studio production; the intricate arrangement of Reach out, I'll be there (1966) included oboes, Middle Eastern drums and flutes. In 1968 Holland, Dozier and Holland left Motown and the Four Tops's recording career went into artistic decline. Subsequently, they were successful reprising their Motown hits as nightclub and concert performers. For further information see N. George: Where did our Love Go? The Rise and Fall of the Motown Sound (New York, 1985).
(b Shanghai, 10 March 1934). British pianist of Chinese birth. He grew up in a richly varied cultural milieu (his father was an eminent literary scholar) and had piano lessons from the Italian pianist and conductor Mario Paci in Shanghai until the outbreak of civil war in 1948. After gaining the third prize at the 1955 Chopin Competition in Warsaw, at which he was given the special award for playing mazurkas, Fou was offered a scholarship to study with Zbigniew Drzewiecki at the Warsaw Conservatory. In 1958 he decided to settle in London, which has remained his base. Since then he has toured in the Far East, Australia and South America, as well as becoming a particularly familiar recitalist throughout the United Kingdom.
His musical taste is wide-ranging. With a delicate touch and keen sensibility, he excels in composers requiring finesse and varied tone colour, and these qualities have led to notable performances of Mozart, late Schubert and Debussy. His recitals also frequently feature a substantial group of Chopin's works, although in recent years a tendency to rely on key bravura pieces by the composer has at times revealed some limits to his range of imagination as an interpreter.
Fowke, Edith (Fulton)
(b Lumsden, nr Regina, SK, 30 April 1913; d Toronto, 28 March 1996). Canadian folksong collector. After studying literature and history at Saskatchewan University, she moved to Toronto in 1938 and was spurred to collect English-language folksongs in Ontario in the 1940s by a perceived dearth of recordings and publication of local music. She conducted fieldwork in southern Ontario, discovering a rich heritage of folk music especially in the Ottawa valley and Peterborough regions while also working for CBC radio. The author and editor of numerous books, articles and folksong collections, she was professor of folklore at York University, Toronto (1971–93). Recognized as a dedicated preserver and popularizer of folk traditions, her work lies in the tradition of such Canadian scholars as Marius Barbeau and Helen Creighton.
‘Anglo-Canadian Folksong: a Survey’, EthM, xvi (1972), 335–50
‘Reference List on Canadian Folk Music’, Canadian Folk Music Journal, i (1973), 45–56; rev. in vi (1978), 41–56 and xi (1983), 43–60; see also ‘Old Favorites: a Selective Index’, ibid., vii (1979), 29–56
with C.H.Henderson: Explorations in Canadian Folklore (Toronto, 1985)
with R.Johnston: Folk Songs of Canada (Waterloo, ON, 1954) [choral edn, 1954]
with A.Mills: Canada’s Story in Song (Toronto, c1960, 2/1984 as Singing our History: Canada’s Story in Song)
with P.Seeger: Traditional Singers and Songs from Ontario (Hatboro, PA, 1965) [incl. discography]
with J.Glazer: Songs of Work and Freedom (Chicago, 1967, 2/1973)
with N.Cazden: Lumbering Songs from the Northern Woods (Austin, 1970)
with K.MacMillan: Sally Go Around the Sun: 300 Children’s Songs, Rhymes and Games (Garden City, NY, 1970)
Sea Songs and Ballads from 19th-Century Nova Scotia: the William H. Smith and Fenwick Hatt Manuscript (New York, 1981)
with J.R.Rahn: A Family Heritage: the Story and Songs of LaRena Clark (Calgary, 1994) [incl. discography]