." Grove's Dictionary of Music anti Musicians Vol.
Browning, who displays his knowledge of eighteenth-century music in "A Toccata of Galuppi's" in Men and Women (1855), and who displays his knowledge of musical symbolism in "Abt Vogler," which appears in the Dramatis Personae volume, doubtless knew of the eighteenth-century form of the cancrizans, or crab canon, which takes the general canonic principle of repetition by contrapuntal inversion and modifies it to the principle of repetition by retrogression.
According to Daniel Robbins, Vogler is among those who "have some peripheral roles in the development of keyboard performance practice," with specific reference to the sort of keyboard ornamentation displayed by the cancrizans (The History of Music Theory: 1700-1850: An Outline, available at http://www.minotaurz.
Benitez Rojo compares the structure of Viaje a la semilla to a canon cancrizans, a musical form typical of the Baroque.
In an attempt to identify a passage of Viaje a la semilla that conforms to the structure of a canon cancrizans, Benitez Rojo chooses what he considers to be the middle of Carpentier's text as manifesting "la extrana virtud de la estructura del canon" (71):
The essence of Benitez Rojo's argument is that this passage establishes an identity between the progressive and regressive narratives midway through Viaje a la semilla corresponding to that which exists between the notes of the melodies of a canon cancrizans midway through its performance, assuming there is an odd number of notes and they are of equal length.
(1) 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 (13) In fact, there is no part of Viaje a la semilla that conforms, symbolically or otherwise, to the strict formal requirements of a canon cancrizans. This is not to deny that some kind of comparison can be made between Carpentier's text and musical forms (which is not surprising, given Carpentier's interest in music and his musicological investigations).
Thus the shapes harmonically sound inverted cancrizans of one another at transposition(s) 2 (or 5 respec- tively).
As these shapes are harmonic palindromes, they are also inversions and/or cancrizans of one another at the same transposition.
Example 15c is interesting because it exhibits parallel features of Example 15b: two replicated shapes (also inversions and/or cancrizans forms of one another), with an anomalous third shape (possibly approximating the former again), that are separated by a potential I-IV-V motion.
These are the only six-dyad shapes that are inverted cancrizans versions of one another, the harmonic pattern that reflects the intervallic palindrome mentioned above.