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Lucien Sanchez

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About Lucien Sanchez

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    Starving Musician

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  1. I am studying Fux's Gradus Ad Parnassum, and I've gotten to the end of the first species. Before I move on to the second, I'd like to try and write a bunch of cantus firmi that I can then harmonize, for practice. The book left me with many questions about how this might be done, so I looked at a few other books and websites. Now I'm sifting through that information (not all of which is in agreement) and trying to put together a set of guidelines. I still have questions, however, and I'm hoping you can help me with some of them. The first deals with outlined intervals. I have read that augmented, diminished, and seventh intervals are not to be outlined, but the Lydian cantus firmus by Fux outlines an ascending minor seventh between notes 5 and 8: Does this mean the outlined m7 is allowed, but not the M7? Another interval allegedly forbidden in outline is the d5, but there's one in Salzer & Schachter's C Aeolian cantus (figure 1-21c) between notes 5 and 8: Is this a mistake? Or is it just that the CF was purposely not written according to "strict" rules? I've carefully analyzed the cantus firmi of Fux, Jeppesen, Salzer & Schachter, Schoenberg, and Schenker, and these are the only questionable outlined intervals I could find. At this point I am leaning toward formulating my rule for outlined intervals as follows: no augmented intervals, no diminished intervals, (even the d5) and no major seventh intervals, but minor seventh intervals are allowed. Does that seem reasonable? Thanks in advance!
  2. Thank you very much for the recommendations, Alfred, Aniolel, and kenhimura. I have added the Schoenberg, Tchaikovsky, and Kostka books to my list for future reading. My plan based on the advice in this thread is to start with Belkin's texts. After that, depending on how much Belkin's stuff advances me, I will most likely work through one of the other recommended books before returning to the jazz section of my self-study course. (And very soon after that I will study orchestration--most likely the Rimsky-Korsakov course at NorthernSounds.) I hope to read all of the books on my list at some point, as I intend on studying and learning about music for the rest of my life, but it is nice to have my focus narrowed down a bit at this point so I can begin engaging in creative work without losing my overall sense of direction. Best wishes to you all!
  3. I've just completed the classical section of an excellent self-study course that has familiarized me with the fundamentals of music theory, including scales, keys, intervals, chords, nonharmonic tones, cadences, figured bass, Roman numeral analysis, chord progressions, modulations, and voice-leading principles. I'm especially happy with what I've learned about traditional four-part voice leading, including voice ranges, inversions, doubling, objectionable motion, and how to connect scale degrees. I've taken extensive notes, and I'm confident in my ability to use these notes to perform analysis and to check voice leading for "correctness" according to the norms of the common practice period. However, the course has given me no experience generating original melodies or harmonies of any length. Since my purpose in learning is to become a composer and producer of original music, (music for video games, as well as pop music) getting such experience is very important to me. I would like a solid grounding in classical techiques, and I don't want to move on to the jazz section of this music theory course until I've written some classical music. It seems, based on the way the course has stressed four-part voice leading, that I should focus on writing (or at least harmonizing the melodies of) some Bach-style four-part chorales. I don't have money for an instructor, so I'm wondering if anyone can point me to a workbook that would provide some kind of direction and/or a framework for writing chorales? I really like the style of the book Composing Music, by William Russo, because it is made up almost exclusively of writing exercises presented within extremely limited bounds, giving the student only a few creative options at a time so as not to overwhelm him or her. However, Russo's workbook is not focused on chorales, and I haven't found one that is. My research has turned up the following resources: The Study of Counterpoint, by Alfred Mann Harmony, by Walter Piston Counterpoint, by Walter Piston Harmony & Voice Leading, by Carl Schachter and Edward Aldwell Preliminary Exercises in Counterpoint, by Arnold Schoenberg Counterpoint in Composition, by Felix Salzer and Carl Schacter Counterpoint, by Knud Jeppesen Fundamentals of Music Composition, by Arnold Schoenberg The Complete Musician, by Steven G. Laitz (actually, this one is probably too expensive for me right now) Four-Part Chorals of J.S. Bach, by Charles Sanford Terry (already planning on buying this one, unless there's a better edition) If a workbook of the type I'm looking for does not exist, which one of these books should I start with, taking into account the style of instruction I'm partial to, my level of experience, and my goal of doing some kind of original classical writing as soon as possible? Any input would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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