Author Topic: creating a basic harmonic template (exercise)  (Read 8870 times)

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winknotes

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Re: creating a basic harmonic template (exercise)
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2011, 08:19:28 PM »
Here are a couple more versions.  One is more developed than the other, but I'm almost embarrassed to post it.  I wouldn't consider it a fugue but it is very imitative.  Since Michel is such a master of counterpoint I'm sure there's much wrong with this version in terms of voice leading. 

The other is completely different and reminds me of some choir pieces I've typeset before. 

EDIT:  I need to modify the contrapuntal variation because I didn't use intervals in my imitation that would bring out the polychordal progressions I came up with originally.  Dummy!  ;D

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« Last Edit: December 14, 2011, 08:17:01 AM by winknotes »
Steve Winkler
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winknotes

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Re: creating a basic harmonic template (exercise)
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2011, 08:15:41 AM »
I don't have any new music to add to this discussion, but rather something I've been reading lately that I believe is relevant. 

I'm working my way through a book called 'Beethoven and the Creative Process' by Barry Cooper.  It's out of print but I found a used paperback on amazon.  It's divided into 3 parts starting very generally about Beethoven's sketches and by the 3rd part gets into specific pieces and how he solves particular problems. 

This very exercise is similar to the way Beethoven would work on some pieces or sections of a pieces.  It's thought that he would start with the form and in particular the key relationships.  Thematic ideas would of course arise as well as harmonic ideas.  He would generally sketch very simple melodies at first and as the details of harmony, form and balance of phrase came into focus, he would modify the melodic material accordingly.  In most cases it would get more sophisticated and in a few cases it would simplify from his original surviving sketch of the idea.  Sometimes he would even sketch out multiple ideas in a single concentrated effort to give himself choices later when the piece was further along. 

So the takeaway for me so far is not to settle for the first thing that comes out of my feeble brain.  This exercise gives me a great ethic to adopt and that is exploration. 

Just some more food for thought. 
 
Steve Winkler
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Michel.R.E

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Re: creating a basic harmonic template (exercise)
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2012, 11:00:35 AM »
Nearly a year later, but I just wanted to add a tidbit to this discussion:

This remains a significant part of how I develop my own musical ideas.

So it's an exercise... and it's also a process that is equally valid from a purely compositional point of view.

This is how I wrote the 2nd movement of my 2nd symphony, the finale of that symphony, the slow movement of my Cello concertino, large swaths of the doublebass sonata, and sections of my violin sonata.

It works.
"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"

altasilvapuer

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Re: creating a basic harmonic template (exercise)
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2012, 07:04:47 AM »
After reading through this, today, I can't help but think of a movement I've been working on for the last year that has continually frustrated me at every turn.  I'm having immense trouble finding out (or deciding or planning) where it's going.  This discussion has me looking at my harmonic progressions again, because part of the problem was with non-standard progressions (I've been working on that for a few months, now - reconciling what my ear [wants to] hear against what is actually working and trying to merge the two), but also with possibly too-frequent a change of harmony.

I'll have to explore with this exercise, some, and see what I come up with.

Regarding the above exercises, I especially enjoyed winknotes' work.  Polychords and polytonality have always fascinated me, and it was very interesting and very insightful to see a glimpse of one composer's process in getting there.

-asp

winknotes

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Re: creating a basic harmonic template (exercise)
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2012, 07:10:44 PM »
You know I'm here to concur wholeheartedly with Michel and encourage you to really work out your harmonic framework.  I have pretty limited time to write and for some time I've been stuck on something I'm working on.  I'd open my Finale file, play it back and think "I have no idea what I want or where I want this to go."  Then I read the updates on this post, went back to my framework and suddenly got "unstuck".  Of course I may scrap what I came up with, but the point is now there's some momentum. 
Steve Winkler
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flint

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Re: creating a basic harmonic template (exercise)
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2012, 09:08:55 AM »
My (general) process may not match many others, but it serves me very well:
  • instrumentation
  • harmony
  • rhythm
  • melody
In that order.

Planning a basic structure is vital to prevent getting "stuck". If I lose focus, I simply return to this framework.
"Music is like wine; the less you know about it, the sweeter you like it." - Robertson Davies

winknotes

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Re: creating a basic harmonic template (exercise)
« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2012, 09:52:52 AM »
My (general) process may not match many others, but it serves me very well:
  • instrumentation
  • harmony
  • rhythm
  • melody
In that order.

Planning a basic structure is vital to prevent getting "stuck". If I lose focus, I simply return to this framework.

I think that's similar to my process as well.  Although sometimes the instrumentation changes as the piece unfolds.  I may decide to start out writing something for orchestra only to discover the material lends itself better to a smaller ensemble or vice versa. 
Steve Winkler
Finale 2011
Windows 7 64-bit
Garritan GPO4, JABB
VSL SE/SE+ Standard
Reaper (sometimes)