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Lessons with Matthaeus


matt.kaner
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Matthaeus has asked for some lessons on the basics of music theory. He's already familiar with the very fundamentals: keys and key signatures, clefs etc.

For the first lesson we're going to start with cadences. I've compiled a couple of PDFs to make for easy reading/printing.

The first will probably serve as a recap for you M

Lesson1.pdf

tutorial.pdf

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OK, i'm ready with the V - I perfect cadences. During the exercise I realized that the base note of the dominant chord should not be moved in any direction.

I'm not sure with the last "B minor" cadence, but for my ears it seems to be ok.

I haven't tried V7 - I cadences since I don't know, yet, what rules apply for them.

EDIT: Uploaded PDF for easier access to the score

Matthaeus_hw_01.MUS

Matthaeus_hw_01.pdf

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Hey Matthaeus that's all great. The last cadence isn't wrong, but you've put chord V into 1st inversion (6/3). In most situations cadences take place in root position. Don't worry about using V7, we'll come onto these later when we look at dissonances properly. I want to be careful to do things all in the right order with you, that way you'll save a lot of confusion later! I've attached a PDF of the B minor perfect cadence for you. More tomorrow hopefully. Good work so far!

Matt

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Thanks, I was careful with all the rules you gave me, as you suggested.

I've tried to make stepwise motion for the bass in the B minor example so - without knowing it - I've inverted the chord by accident.

I see now why it is the best to let the bass leap and other voices step (or no motion). This is the only way to place both chords in root position.

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Yeah that's exactly right. In the tutorial PDF, as CreationArtist rightly pointed out, there was a mistake - I marked IV as submediant - which it isn't! It's the subdominant, and I've uploaded a new version for you. Another lesson will come later today, with more homework etc.

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Great, I will read it!

EDIT: "Lesson 2" written by matt.kaner is reuploaded in a reduced resolution form.

Lesson2_lowres.pdf

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Ok - it seems like a few people have an interest in some of things that I'm teaching Matthaeus here. CreationArtist has asked that I put something up about the naming of chords and inversions etc., which is cool with me and I will do once I get the chance. If anyone else has any questions that relate to what I'm teaching etc. they are more than welcome to post in this lesson thread, and I'll try my best to keep up!

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I've finished the homework (phew). It was much more difficult than the first, but I've learned a lot. There are some not-really-necessary 10ths between the tenor and bass but it was easier for me to look it over.

Just a few questions:

1. When doubling the root of a chord, is there any influance in strength or stability which note is the doubled one (soprano, alto, tenor)?

2. Is it always necessary to keep the bass as far as possible from the tenor?

3. Can I double the 3rd of the IV in an imperfect cadence in major mode? (in the E major part of the homework, may the tenor go from c# to d# instead of e to d#?)

4. Is it possible to create an imperfect cadence in minor mode starting with root positioned IV ? (I haven't managed to do it.)

I don't know if my last F sharp minor imperfect cadence is good, but I was impressed how easily can a dissonant diminished chord go to a consonant one. Now I start to realize why it is important to learn how to use 7th and diminished chords correctly. Voice-leading can be much easier and more continuous with them. (Please, correct me if I am wrong.)

Matthaeus_hw_02.MUS

Matthaeus_hw_02.pdf

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Sorry about the part-crossing, I should be more careful in the future! I have time for my homework after work only when my brain's already "out-of-order". :happytears:

You shouldn't be impressed about the ii6/3 imperfect cadence, since you was who mentioned it in your 2nd lesson. I've just tried it, and I think it sounds best!

Thanks for the instructions, it makes many things clear for me.

M

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Thanks, I will check it!

Just a technical question:

Is it a good idea to write my homework on paper first, than copy it into some notation program? Just asking because when I'm writing something on computer I have the feeling that I'm just _editing_ it.

But it might be just my foolish thought...

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Thank you, Matt! I will be working on paper then, because I'm really in "early stages" yet! :D

My homework is done.

I'm just wondering if it is possible to insert a passing note between the 3rd-leap (similar to the I6/3 imperfect major cadence)

Matthaeus_hw_03.MUS

Matthaeus_hw_03.pdf

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Thanks, Matt! It looks really challenging!

I've already started to do my homework (on paper first :w00t: ), but some things are still unclear

1.) about the lesson (pdf):

- It seems to me, that IV -> I is a progression by fifth instead of fourth.

- "Please write four progressions" means that I should write 4 progressions in each 6 keys (so I have 24 homeworks?)? Nothing is bad about it, just asking to be sure. :)

2.) about chord progression:

- Can I use cadences (V->I, IV->I) in the middle of the progression, or these are only permitted at the end?

if YES:

- If a cadence has a "weaker version", is it a good idea to use that in the middle, and use the "stronger" at the end?

- I have to use chords 3rd,4th,5th or 6th apart from each other. Is this rule applies for final cadences, too? So, can I use an imperfect IV6/3 -> V ending cadence, which is a progression by 2nd?

3.) about voice leading:

- You've mentioned that the soprano may leap to create interest. Should I let the soprano leap in this excercise or I just lead it as smooth as possible?

- During my A major chord progression excercise, one of the inner voices (the tenor) started to move steadily in one direction (up). At the end of the progression it reached "a1" which was 2 octaves higher than the "A" of the bass! I find it bad that one of the inner voices pulled the other upper voices in one direction.

Should I try another chord progression or it's better to leave as it is and break the "smooth voice leading rule" and force the tenor to move down in some places?

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OK, Matt, with your guide I've managed to finish my homework.

It's written on paper first with almost random progressions by 3rds, 4ths, 5ths, and 6ths. Later I've made some corrections on computer (especially around iii chords), but not much. I've tried to follow all the rules, but there are still some really weak progressions.

I wasn't sure if I can use V in minor mode before cadence (because there's a nondiatonic 3rd in it), so I've used v only.

Matthaeus_hw_04.pdf

Matthaeus_hw_04.MUS

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Never mind, Matt! We don't need to hurry with the lessons, beacuse I need much practicing to learn the theory. So yesterday I did another 8 basic progression exercises in different major/minor keys and I can write down these types of progressions really fast now.

Waiting for the next lesson, which looks even more interesting!

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