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caters last won the day on October 3 2019

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    Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Chopin
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    Classical, Romantic
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  1. Out of all the cadences to the tonic, I find them to be convincing in this order when I write just the cadence: PAC and Leading Tone IAC equally convincing Root position IAC Inverted IAC with the dominant inverted Inverted IAC with the tonic inverted Inverted IAC with both the dominant and tonic inverted Plagal Cadence The Plagal Cadence is so unconvincing on its own that it doesn't even sound like a cadence, but rather the middle of a harmonic cycle, like a cadence preparation rather than the actual cadence. The nocturne I am writing for piano sextet(string quintet + piano), I am thinking of possibly ending with a Plagal Cadence, given that there is a lot of subdominant emphasis in the nocturne. Ending with a Plagal Cadence would match up with that preexisting subdominant emphasis that is throughout the nocturne. But, no matter what inversion I have the subdominant in, I just can't seem to get a convincing Plagal Cadence. First inversion subdominant seems to be the most convincing, but only by a margin(Root position subdominant sounds more like a circle of fifths modulation to my ears). Am I doing something wrong? Is there a chord I am supposed to put before the subdominant to make a convincing Plagal Cadence? Or is it just so ingrained into me that V, V7 and vii°7 are cadential chords and IV is not, that my brain just isn't accepting the sound of a Plagal Cadence as being a true cadence but more like a cadence preparation? It gets even less convincing with the minor subdominant(Minor subdominant hints to me at a modulation to a minor key about to occur when the piece has been in a major key), but I have the problem of an unconvincing Plagal Cadence even when both the tonic and subdominant are major(which is like the most convincing you can get with just the subdominant and tonic). Would using the subdominant of the subdominant, making it a Double Plagal Cadence make the cadence any more convincing? In the case of my nocturne, that would mean this chord progression: A -> E -> B I really am thinking of ending my nocturne with a Plagal Cadence to match up with the subdominant emphasis that occurs throughout the piece, but I just can't seem to make it sound convincingly cadential. Any advice for me as to how to make a Plagal Cadence sound convincing?
  2. It doesn't bug me that I have this polymeter within a single time signature. I was just wondering why I am hearing such a polymeter in a single time signature, since most instances of polymeter also have more than 1 time signature at once.
  3. So, I am composing a nocturne for a piano sextet, but just so that you can hear what I mean by polymeter within a single time signature, I will use solo piano for my examples here. In my nocturne, I have it at quite a slow tempo, that I would describe as being Largo. But, what I am hearing is polymeter within a single time signature and I don't know if this slow tempo has anything to do with it or if it is just the way things are notated making me feel this. I might as well start with what is going on in the bass. In the bass, I have this subdominant emphasis going on and a lot of plagal motion, only really reaching the dominant at the end of the phrase. And this is what I feel metrically: The third beat feels twice as long as both the first and second beats. The way the bass slowly builds also emphasizes this triple meter feel. Here is the bass by itself: The half notes feel like longer beats in the bass. Now, with the melody alone, I feel a quadruple meter, still slow obviously, but it feels like the melody is in quadruple meter, like this: All the beats feel equal in length and it feels like there are 4 beats. Here is the melody by itself: Clearly a melody in 4/4 time as you can see. Now this is what happens when I combine the melody and bass: Combining the bass, which feels like triple meter and the melody, which feels like quadruple meter, gives me something that feels like a polymeter. On the one hand, those quarter note non-chord tones can be viewed as being on the fourth beat. But on the other hand, they can also be viewed as being on the second half of the third beat. I have MP3 files of everything I have mentioned so that you can hear what I mean by the bass feeling like an unsteady triple meter and the melody and bass combined feeling like a polymeter. But why do I feel this polymeter of a triple meter bass and a quadruple meter melody when everything is in a 4/4 time signature? Does it have to do with the slow tempo? Or does it just have to do with how I have notated it?
  4. And here I thought that out of all the intervals you can have a canon at, the octave was the easiest for 3 or more voices. But, if 2 voices is better for this particular canon, then I will do it in 2 voices. It will still amount to 3 voice counterpoint because of the bass line, but only 2 voices will actually be in canon. Sounds fair. Maybe just getting rid of the canon line in the bass will improve the harmonic cohesion of the canon as a whole and lead to there being less of the overlapping tonic and dominant.
  5. For a first attempt, this is good. My first attempt at a minuet was way worse than this(So bad that I never got past the A section). At first the Trio seems to only be harmonically based on the minuet section, but then the minuet motive starts appearing until it becomes more prominent than the legato eighths. Your modulations are really smooth here. C3 though, is that some sort of inversion marking, equivalent to saying C7 in third inversion or what? I'm more used to the figured bass way of marking inversions, you know, this: First inversion tonic triad - I6 Second inversion dominant seventh - V43 and so on And I love how you end your minuet with the dotted rhythm part of the motive in octaves in the deep bass. Overall, I would say that this is a good minuet that you composed here.
  6. So, I have the canon that ends the Presto section of my Spring piece, all set in terms of melody, register, and number of voices. I stuck with 3 voices for this canon, because I don't think that this particular melody lends itself well to 3 voices on the piano. But, I'm finding that I am getting some harmonic troubles and I think it has to do with the delay of my canon being 1 measure. The harmonic troubles I am getting are like for example, 2 voices playing notes from a D major chord and 1 voice playing a note from A7. With the delay I have now, I have like 1 parallel fifth between 2 voices, which, since I'm not aiming for baroque style, I'm okay with. Now, I tried shifting by a measure forward in each comes voice and I did get more harmonic cohesion. But in exchange I got a whole slew of parallel octaves, 1 after the other(It was 10 octaves in a row). That I am not okay with. So now I'm wondering, is there a delay that would both improve harmonic cohesion and have as few parallels as possible? Here is the canon as it is now with 3 voices: As you can see, there are quite a few places where 2 voices are playing notes from the tonic and the other voice is playing a note from the dominant and vice versa. And because of the rhythm, the harmony only resolves on the last eighth note which just leads into the the next note. This makes the canon harmonically incohesive. Now, like I said, I tried fixing this harmonic issue by shifting both voices in the piano by a measure so that the entrances would be 2 measures apart, but that lead to there being 10 octaves in a row, which I just am not okay with. So is there a way that I can both fix this harmonic cohesion issue and minimize parallels without having to change the melody or its rhythm?
  7. The lack of slurs is just because I haven't finished it. I tend to put the slurs in last, after I already have the tempo, dynamics, articulations like staccato and accent, melody, and harmony down.
  8. So, I don't have to worry that the left hand octaves will drown out the flute here? That's a relief. I thought that maybe they would or that the lowest note that I have in the Presto would be impossible to play at a fortissimo dynamic.
  9. I know that you can't reach a forte dynamic on the flute in the first octave(at least in an orchestral context). But what I am wondering is how low a flutist can play fortissimo. You see, I am writing this piece for a piano flute duet to represent Spring and it has 3 main sections. Those sections are: A - Quiet, Molto adagio, A minor, very melodic, rocking fifths in the bass, melody rises out of the first octave - Warming up B - Fortissimo, Presto, still in A minor, more motivic towards the beginning and more melodic towards the end, octaves in the bass - Rainstorm with the sun peaking through the clouds towards the end of the storm C - Forte, Allegro, Picardy third to A major, joyful, melodic, Alberti bass in the bass, towards the end of the piece it becomes chords There is a bridging A section between the B and C sections, this one being faster and hinting at the major tonality of the ending while still being in A minor. There is also a transition from the A section to the B section, where an accelerando and creschendo takes place. You see, I am a bit worried that I might have written part of the Presto section too low for a flutist to play it fortissimo because the lowest note in the Presto is D in the second octave. If I have, I can just raise that part up an octave in the flute with no issues. Nope, not even the issue of going too high and having to switch to a piccolo. I can imagine that on a woodwind instrument, just how low or how high you can play at a certain dynamic has to do partly with the tempo(I know that on the piano, playing pianissimo at a Presto tempo is much more difficult than playing fortissimo at the same tempo). But, is D in the second octave too low for a flutist to play fortissimo in a section that is at a Presto tempo? Or will everything be okay having D in the second octave being my lowest fortissimo note on the flute because it is a duet and not a whole orchestra? I'm just worried that the pianist might drown out the flute. The section I am most concerned about is Bars 46 and 47, where the flute plays a scalar motive to represent the wind of the storm and it is playing over an implied D minor harmony(I say implied, because the only notes in the left hand in that section are D's in octaves). The Presto starts about 2 minutes into the piece.
  10. Is this acceptable for me to submit? It is an essay about Beethoven that I wrote last year. Or do I mention Bach, Haydn, and Mozart too much in the beginning of this essay for it to be acceptable? https://drive.google.com/file/d/0By1zeS4PCFB1dVMwR3BhRGhlZ1VxaVhGN3pTYVBPb0haV28w/view?usp=sharing
  11. I am writing a polytonal 4 voice canon, where each voice is in a different key like this: Soprano: Eb major Alto: Bb major Tenor: F major Bass: C major But, I'm not sure how to go about the fourth bar, where the Soprano voice enters. I have found 3 lines for the dux that don't have parallel or hidden fifths and octaves. I have no idea which one to use. By the way, the dux in my canon is the bass voice. One uses a leap, another prepares a seventh, and yet another suspends a note across the bar. I think I prefer the suspension, since that both means that the "strong beat seventh" sound won't be present and the voices don't have to move as much. I think the one I would want to use the least would be the leap, since it is a leap of a fifth. But the leap might work better contrapuntally, I don't know, checking all the intervals in 4 voices is a bit labor intensive for me. Just so you know, I am trying to use Baroque counterpoint for this polytonal canon. So, which one of these 3 lines should I use? Or is there something that would work better in the bass voice in bar 4 than all 3 of these lines I thought of?
  12. Well, polytonality can certainly be unstable. And in general, the more tonics you have on top of each other in polytonality, the less stable it gets, even if say you have the tonics in fourths, giving a quartal sound(ex. Bb major over F major over C major is going to be less stable than either F major over C major or Bb major over C major, because it is 3 tonics instead of 2). 5 is the maximum number of tonalities that I have seen still sound polytonal. The closer the tonalities are physically, the more unstable it gets. Most unstable open interval for polytonality is the fifth, because that extra sharp or 1 fewer flat leads to a lot of dissonance. That's how come G major over C minor sounds as dissonant as it does, because of the major seventh and augmented fifth intervals between Eb and 2 of the notes of G major. F major on the other hand and you have a much more stable polytonal platform. Fourths and sixths are much more stable intervals between keys when you are dealing with polytonality in general. Thirds however are perhaps the most stable of intervals between keys in polytonality. So stable, that in some cases it may sound like just a single key(for example, a polytonal piece with 1 key being Eb major and the other being C minor is just going to sound like C minor, and it only becomes obvious on paper that it is polytonal). If you layer polytonality on top of polytonality and combine it with supposed modulations, it really becomes unstable. Now, what if the rhythm gets involved, causing a rhythmic and harmonic war? For example at 1:13 in the Mars Piano Duet, I hear the second pianist on a C pedal, which combined with the dissonance I have already heard, tells me that this is most likely C minor. A second or 2 later and I hear F minor in the melody played by the first pianist. Even at the very beginning of that piece, I am hearing what sounds like D major over G major polytonality, with the melodic tritone sounding like C#°, the leading tone triad of D major. And the melodic rhythm is Dotted quarter, eighth in quite a few sections, whereas the rhythm of the harmony, that pedal point, is triplet, quarter, quarter, eighth, eighth, quarter. These 2 rhythms alone don't work together, not even if the aim is for syncopation. Instead, these rhythms war against each other. Even the dotted half, half melodic rhythm at the beginning while working better, still sounds like 2 warring pianists because of the harmonies At some point, the modulating polytonality becomes too much and like a tall tower toppling over, it doesn't just fall leaving tonality in it's wake, it instead collapses leaving behind no intact bits of tonality. This is how come, while I hear sections that could be described as polytonal in Mars by Gustav Holst, and the way the piece is written suggests modulating polytonality, the piece isn't actually polytonal, but is instead atonal, is because this rhythmic and harmonic war collapses all involved tonalities into atonality(when the rhythms work together, the harmonies get more unstable, when the harmonies are a more stable combination, the rhythms don't cooperate).
  13. @Tortualex I just might do that, composing a version of this Scherzo in the typical Scherzo form and one in the experimental 3 part exposition sonata form. So maybe for the typical Scherzo form version, I will do a Cm -> Bb or Ab -> Cm motion for the Trio, and for the 3 part exposition sonata form version, I will do something like the development section that you suggested. And then, when I'm finished with both versions, I will attach both versions to a post about this Scherzo, making sure to link back to this thread and clarify which one is in the experimental sonata form, not just in the PDFs but the MP3s as well.
  14. That would be interesting, to treat the trio more as a development section than as a completely separate part and use all 4 minor keys in it. That might make the Eb minor easier on the string players. It would however, cause my piece to go from the typical Scherzo form of A B A to sonata form, since the second theme within the Scherzo section is in Bb major, the dominant of Eb major. I'm not sure that I have ever heard of a Scherzo in sonata form or a sonata exposition in 3 parts where the third part is the first theme slightly altered.
  15. I have heard several atonal works, and I have found what basically amount to 3 types of atonality. There is the atonality because of lack of harmony(12 tone music for example). There is the atonality because of meandering harmony that lacks a tonic(Satie Gymnopedies). And then there is the atonality from what I call "Tonic competition". This third type of atonality is what I hear in Mars from Gustav Holst's The Planets suite and is very closely related to polytonality. Polytonality is where you have multiple keys at the same time. Most of the time, this is 2 keys, but it can be more than 2 keys, like for example 5 keys in the ending of Divertimento in F, Ein Musikalisher Spass(Sorry if I butchered the German spelling there, but at least I'm getting the pronounciation out clear) by Mozart. Here is an example of some dissonant but obviously polytonal music: Eb major and E major is certainly a dissonant combination, especially the way Stravinsky uses it here. There are much less obvious examples of polytonality such as C minor and Eb major(these 2 keys together just sound like C minor and the polytonality only becomes obvious on paper). And even with 2 major keys at the same time, there are much more consonant combinations than 2 major keys a half step apart such as having them a sixth apart. Heck, even C major and C minor at the same time is much more consonant than Eb major and E major at the same time. In Gustav Holst's Mars from The Planets, it feels to me as though this polytonality is taken to the max. I hear all these keys competing for the place of tonic: G major C major C minor F minor Bb major D major A major A minor And there are probably even more competing for tonic than what I just listed. Because all these keys are competing for tonic instead of cooperating, it goes from feeling polytonal to feeling atonal. Even as it ends, it still feels atonal. This is what those last few chords sound like to me: G major on top of a C minor chord base -> F minor -> Diminished harmony -> Pattern gets repeated multiple times -> GM/Cm continues until the very last chord -> C major And the C major doesn't feel like a resolution any more than Bb major or D major would. The only sort of resolution I hear is dissonance -> consonance. I don't hear anything close to even a polytonal cadence. This is actually the way Gustav Holst originally wrote it is for a piano duet. He orchestrated this piano duet version, but hopefully you can hear what I mean by "Tonic competition" going on here in the piano duet. Even when it gets to the G pedal, there are still multiple keys competing for tonic. No wonder this piece sounds like 2 pianists warring against each other, they can't even agree on the key, the tonic for one measure. Combine that with the octave rhythm of Triplet, quarter, quarter, eighth, eighth, quarter and the melody rhythm of Dotted quarter, eighth constantly and you really have a piano duet with the 2 pianists warring against each other, both harmonically and rhythmically. I'm actually surprised that this harmonic and rhythmic war doesn't sound any worse. Basically what I am getting at with Mars by Gustav Holst, is that it feels like the polytonality has been taken so far that it becomes atonality. Do you agree with this assessment of mine? Do you feel as though it is multiple tonalities competing and in the process collapsing into no tonality?
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