Jump to content


Old Members
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Sarastro last won the day on January 31 2015

Sarastro had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

297 Excellent

About Sarastro

  • Rank
    Intermediate Composer

Profile Information

  • Gender

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. If you are actually asking this, you are probably not that interested in music, let alone composition.
  2. That is called "metric modulation". No idea about Finale, but on Sibelius you get that with regular metronome marks, and for more complex metric relationships, there is a special "metric modulation" command.
  3. That is very optimistic of you to think there would be anyone interested in doing this exercises. I'm not holding my breath. Here are some guidelines, anyway. I'm focusing more in harmony than counterpoint (it is ok for this examples because the "villancico" genre is mostly homophonic/chordal, very much like chorales). * ALLOWED NOTES: Due to the tuning systems, the available notes were: The seven natural notes and five altered notes (C#, Eb, F#, G# and Bb). The alternate alterations (Db, D#, Gb, Ab and A#) would call for retuning of the instruments in order to use them, therefore they were excluded in instrumental music. For instance, the B major chord would sound dissonant unless retuning of the third. The excluded accidentals could be used in purely vocal music, but they were still very rare. * ALLOWED CHORDS: Only major and minor triads, excluding those with the discarded alterations (B major, Db major, F minor and so forth would not belong to the system)... Also there is one dissonant chord, the diminished triad, which is used sparingly and always in the first inversion (a chord that takes on the role of a dominant, but this terminology is anachronistic). The diminished chord is the only one that has obligatory resolution to a tonic (it creates something a dominant-tonic relationship in later terminology). The other chords are linked freely, without functional relationships (except at the cadences, where a V-I structure emerges). So, the music is very consonant (there can be, of course, passing dissonances, and more deliberate, structural dissonances in the cadential formulas - more of that in a separate point). But because the music is so consonant, the subtle dissonances, even if tame by later standards, become highly expressive. * INVERSIONS: Only root position and first inversion for major and minor triads (no second inversion, sorry), and only first inversion for the diminished triad. First inversion chords happen mostly in weak beats, and the bass note is left by step (can be arrived to by a skip, though). Inverted triads are used with parsimony. * DOUBLINGS: - Major chords in root position: doubling of the root. - Minor chords in root position: doubling of the root in most of the cases, and doubling of the third allowed in certain cases for melodic considerations, such as note exchanges by contrary motion and stuff like that. - Any triad (major or minor) in first inversion: Any note can be doubled (Renaissance first inversions behave differently than later 6 chords). - Diminished triad: Doubling of any note, except the one the one acts as leading tone, which must resolve to the "tonic". The fifth of the this chord can be doubled because it can resolve either downwards or upwards. In the baroque harmony, it would always be resolved downwards, thus preventing its doubling. * OMISSIONS: In earlier styles, the third can be omitted for the last chord. This "open fifth sound" went out of fashion and later Renaissance practice would omit the fifth. The chord would have typically the root triplicated in that case. Incomplete chords are rare anyway, and basically limited to the last chord ("last chord" meaning not the actual last chord of a composition, but the last chord of a cadence). * CADENCES: V - I conclusive formulas (not a global tonic, but a local one; i.e. a piece can have a cadence on Cmaj, then on Gmin, then on Amaj and so forth. The most common type of cadence use the dissonant suspended fourth, introduced as consonance in the previous chord, and resolved downwards to the consonant third. That is all for now. If there is any real interest, I will give further general instructions on voice leading conforming to Renaissance style in chordal settings, otherwise I'd rather entertain myself with something else. Best wishes.
  4. Fux would give you a Renaissance sound, but you can use chorale style harmony à la Bach if that suits you better. Technically, neither Fux nor Bach would be appropriate models; they are too stuffy for this kind of music, which is light-hearted and fun. I'll post some general Renaissance guidelines this evening, hopefully.
  5. Simplifying things a bit, it is standard four part harmony, but with more focus on the horizontal than on the vertical. Sort of like the chords are a consequence of the independent horizontal lines, whereas baroque harmony works the other way round (horizontal lines are a consequence of a previous vertical harmonic structure). The general rules of voice leading apply (such as parallel fifths & octaves and so on). There are some rules specific to the Rennaisance harmony (types of chords and their inversions, notes that can be doubled or omitted, approach to and resolution of dissonance...) Also, the harmony is not as functional as Baroque harmony (Renaissance music is mostly modal); triads can be connected freely, with functional V-I structures happening at the cadences. I'll post more details on Renaissance harmony as soon as I can, but the tunes I posted could be harmonized in a baroque style, if you are more familiar with that one.
  6. No examples provided? I have not read that book, but I own Hindemith's treatise on traditional harmony. There is a chapter on non-chord tones and he defines neighboring tones as an unprepared suspension one second above (more common) or below (rarer) a chord tone, which then resolves stepwise to the chord tone, as a regular suspension would do. So I guess distances larger than a step would be for non-classical harmony. Perhaps "larger than a step" means an augmented second. I would imagine those would happen when using scales containing augmented seconds and one does not want to use notes outside that scale. :dunno:
  7. Some harmony exercises from an old music notebook. They belong to an elementary level course and deal with simple Renaissance harmony, so I thought they could be interesting and amusing to do for beginners here (of course, harmonizations in more advanced styles could be done). The exercises are actual Renaissance villancicos from Spanish cancioneros. We were given the top line and were asked to complete a four part harmony following rules from the Renaissance era (if you are not familiar with Renaissance harmony and want to try that style, I can give you some guidelines and pointers). The scores are available (you might need to transcribe some of them from the Renaissance notation, though), but do not cheat and write your own solution. The second song (Alta estava la peña) is transposed one octave up to fit a soprano range. I can provide rough translations of the villancicos if you want, but here is the gist of each song: 1. Soy serranica: It is about a rustic mountain girl who is feeling unlucky and miserable because of unsatisfied sexual appetite. 2. Alta estava la peña: About some plants and flowers that grow on a towering rock formation by a river. 3. Lo que demanda el romero: About a dude who is refused something he wants at the gate of his lover. (the full lyrics are missing for this song). The general structure of the villancicos is ABBA, ABBA, and so forth. I can't seem to be able to attach the score here, but here is the link to the pdf: https://app.box.com/s/rafmotbbpqk56r9h08fm I have some more of those exercises in my notebook, if you are interested. Enjoy!
  8. Forgot to add an explanation for your proposed jump solution not getting rid of the parallels: When a voice leaps, it creates a "virtual" second voice by psychoacoustic phenomena. It is like an Alberti pattern, say CGEG, which behaves as three voices, not one. Thus, when you have CG in your example, and the G leaps to the C above, you are implying a third voice. When you resolve your CGC to EB, you see why the parallels are still there (Top C steps down to B, and middle G jumps up that same B, in parallel with bottom C going to E. It also suggests a possible solution, which would be leaping from G to C (over bottom C), then do G to B (over bottom B); this way the "middle voice" (G) stays in place. I hope this makes things somewhat clearer for you, and that this reasoning can help you with other similar situations that might arise. Cheers!
  9. To break up or conceal parallels by leaps, you would need a change of position of either chord, or a pause between chords or something else. In your example, the parallels are still there no matter where the G goes before sitting in B. Only marginally better than going to B through A by steps, because at least you introduce contrary motion. If the E-B fifth happen in a weak beat after the jump to C (a third beat in 3/4 or the fourth one in 4/4) it would be less conspicuous than if it happens in strong beat, more so if you move quickly to some other harmony right afterwards. You could also take further steps to hide the parallels, such as holding the top C where the G has jumped, while bottom C goes to E, and then resolve it down to B (parallels are still there, but a little less obvious). Also, you could hold the G on top, move bottom C up to E and then do the G to C to B. Or move G to C and at the same time C to E, hold E and move C to B (that would be like changing position of the first chord before hitting the next).
  10. Anticipating your next question, any dissonance can be resolved into any dissonant note in the following chord. As .fseventsd pointed out, it is only a matter of correct voice leading, and also there are stylistic factors, i.e. some of those chains of dissonance might not be common or might sound out of place depending on the style you are going for.
  11. Well, that is in essence what the "pitch sets composition" is about. Unless you want to write microtonal music, music based on other tunings than the equal temperament, or music for non-pitched sounds, which are outside the scope of the pitch class set theory pretty much everything would apply, as a couple of members have pointed out ;) Of course, you would get bad markings if you fail to write the things you want (it would be up to the judges to determine if that would be the case).
  12. Those are still too complicated. Why not just "write whatever you want" ? Actually, we should perhaps launch a metacompetition :D
  13. To recap, here are some of the options so far: 1. Extend the Summer competition 2. Rite of Spring centenary 3. The proposed "pitch class set" thingy, but perhaps with more defined guidelines or just more stress in the "avantgardesque" angle. 4. Definition of a "generative system" (algorithmic, parametrized music and the such) with examples of some of the "musics" that can be obtained by using the system with different parameters, conditions, etc. 5. Composition and live recording of a piece of any style, duration or instrumentation. While I appreciate how this can push growth as a composer, for it will force them to write realistically for the odd resources they might have at their disposal (which can be a derelict toy piano curbed from the sidewalk, a kalimba tuned in G pentatonic that some relative bought in some exotic location and a cousin who can strum some chords on her guitar) it can also handicap lots of people and severely limit the participation... 6. Pieces written in the past. I don't see how this one could be a challenge, but I agree it can be appealing for people who wish more detailed analysis and feedback on old pieces they have written than they get from regular reviews and need an ego boost. Only, there should be some kind of pre-screening, tough criteria for admission or something to guarantee the submissions have a minimum of quality, lest the competition be flooded with tons of junk, and if there is not a theme, at least there should be categories (chamber, orchestral...)
  • Create New...