Author Topic: Comments on Getting Started Mini Guide  (Read 3857 times)

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bandcoach

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Comments on Getting Started Mini Guide
« on: May 23, 2011, 05:06:01 PM »
3. examine the relationship between the soprano and the bass
.....

when your melody and your bassline coincide too often, you remove the effect of "harmony" between those two fundamental voices. the more satisfying the relationship you create between soprano and bass, the easier and richer the possibilities for what comes in between the two voices.

watch for excessive unisons between soprano and bass. examine the first beat of a measure and the first beat of the following measure and the relationship between the soprano and bass. are they playing unison on both of those important beats? This weakens the sense of harmonic movement.


This line "when your melody and your bassline coincide too often" seems ambiguous to me as it is not clear whether you are referring to rhythmic coincidence or pitch class coincidence.

Even the next paragraph does not make the distinction clear.

I would see that there are issues with both rhythmic coincidence and pitch class coincidence, but would appreciate your clarification.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2011, 09:39:08 AM by Michel.R.E »

RichardMc

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Comments on Getting Started Mini Guide
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2011, 05:57:34 AM »
I usually start by working out a harmonic progression, checking for proper voice leading. Then I sort of tease a theme from the progression by adding non-harmonic tones etc. While the results are musical, I'm not sure they are as expressive as the could be if I were to start with a melody. But my fear is that if I start with a melody I will miss out on the harmonic opportunities that are created when conceiving of a progression first. When I start with a progression I end up in places where my ear might otherwise not take me if I were to start with melody alone. I don't know if this makes any sense but I am open to any thoughts or suggestions.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2011, 09:39:48 AM by Michel.R.E »

Ron

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Comments on Getting Started Mini Guide
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2011, 08:16:39 AM »
I usually start by working out a harmonic progression, checking for proper voice leading. Then I sort of tease a theme from the progression by adding non-harmonic tones etc. While the results are musical, I'm not sure they are as expressive as the could be if I were to start with a melody. But my fear is that if I start with a melody I will miss out on the harmonic opportunities that are created when conceiving of a progression first. When I start with a progression I end up in places where my ear might otherwise not take me if I were to start with melody alone. I don't know if this makes any sense but I am open to any thoughts or suggestions.

The problem, to me, to this approach is that it dissects the creative process. Harmony is part of melody and melody is part of harmony. I can't separate the two in my mind. Yes, of course I can take a pre-existing melody and harmonize it differently, but I am talking about the original inspiration. All elements meld into one image on which the rest of the work is built. An example that is easy to follow is the prime idea in the first theme of Beethoven's 5th symphony. It's not just the rhythmic pattern that creates this element, but also the harmonic construction (a falling major third, followed by a falling minor third; ie: G - Eb; F - D). That "rest-dot-dot-dot (fall) hold" appears in many forms throughout the entire symphony with suggestions of it in both the 2nd and 4th movements.

Anyhow, one note suggests the following one; one chord suggests its following. I don't know how else to explain it, but, when done, the progession of all elements should seem "logical"  or coherent.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2011, 09:39:59 AM by Michel.R.E »
Ron
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RichardMc

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Comments on Getting Started Mini Guide
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2011, 08:35:30 AM »
Thank you for your reply. I will try to take that in and apply it to my own efforts.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2011, 09:40:09 AM by Michel.R.E »

Michel.R.E

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Re: Comments on Getting Started Mini Guide
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2011, 09:38:44 AM »
This line "when your melody and your bassline coincide too often" seems ambiguous to me as it is not clear whether you are referring to rhythmic coincidence or pitch class coincidence.

Even the next paragraph does not make the distinction clear.

I would see that there are issues with both rhythmic coincidence and pitch class coincidence, but would appreciate your clarification.


fixed it for you.
I thought it was clear enough.
remember, this is a "beginner mini guide", not a doctoral thesis, and most of the people who will be garnering any "new" information from it will probably also have no idea what a "pitch class" is.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2011, 09:40:20 AM by Michel.R.E »
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vivies

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Re: Comments on Getting Started Mini Guide
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2012, 06:53:52 AM »
well, extreme voices have to be complementary..Doubling soprano and bass voices gives a flat effect..

Michel.R.E

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Re: Comments on Getting Started Mini Guide
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2012, 05:48:07 AM »
well, extreme voices have to be complementary..Doubling soprano and bass voices gives a flat effect..

the issue with doubling soprano and bass has nothing to do with giving a "flat effect".

having the soprano and bass play the same line effectively removes a voice from the texture.

every time two voices play the same notes, whether it be for a few notes, or for a whole phrase, you are in effect "removing one voice" from the overall texture.

This is why parallel octaves are forbidden in traditional harmony (and that rule, in my opinion, still holds true for non common-practice harmony, especially for the relationship between the soprano and bass parts).

"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"