Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
DAI

Harmony in Dodecaphonic music

Recommended Posts

Hi!

How can you keep some degree of harmonic coherence when composing a

contrapuntal twelve note piece? In tonal writing the harmonies resulting from the simultanous melodies are guided by triadic chord progressions, but in serial music I have the feeling that the harmonies between the voices are mostly a result of chance, and it's hard to have much control over it. Do you have any advice?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi!

How can you keep some degree of harmonic coherence when composing a

contrapuntal twelve note piece? In tonal writing the harmonies resulting from the simultanous melodies are guided by triadic chord progressions, but in serial music I have the feeling that the harmonies between the voices are mostly a result of chance, and it's hard to have much control over it. Do you have any advice?

Oh dear.

Oh deary me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well.. YOU choose the tone row, and YOU choose which permutation to use at any given time, and YOU choose how to organize those pitches on the stave.

That is quite alot of control if you ask me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course I know that, but are there any general guidelines that could help to keep harmonic consistency? finding the right permutations can be a lot of trial and error.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hard to say without knowing what "consistency" is for you. One very typical element in a lot of dodecaphonic music however is creating harmonic fields that are dominated by certain intervals or interval-constellations. This obviously also has a lot to do with the choice of the row in the first place: A row that consists mainly of thirds and seconds sound a lot different to one that is built on fourths, tritones and fifths, for example. But apart from that, it also about the small combinations that come from rhythmic and polyphonic choices you make: Does a certain interval or set of intervals appear very often in chords (or just during a passage)? Do you use the rows in "close position", i.e. all notes in the same register, which creates a more linear, voice-oriented impression, or do you spread them out widely across the registers for a more pointillistic effect?

Rhythm and registration can do a -lot- there, even if rhythm doesn't -seem- to have much to do with harmony on the first glance. But just consider what happens if you write a tone row rhythmically in such a way that you have maybe three whole notes with fermatas and inbetween just extremely fast grace notes - the long notes will automatically "stand out" harmonically. Instrumentation, dynamics, etc. also have their part here.

And yes, if you're new to this kind of composition it may indeed often seem like "trial and error" until "it fits" - but consider that the very same applies to other techniques as well, such as composing a fugue. Unless you are experienced with writing fugues, you probably will have to try out many different fugue subjects and comites until it fits well, allows for a harmonically interesting development without running into major contrapunctal problems, maybe even allowing for a stretto etc. It's a question of getting used to the whole material and technique, no matter whether it's a fugue or a dodecaphonic piece.

And of course, like in learning to write a fugue, it also can help a lot to study scores, be that the almost "thematical" handling of certain intervals in Sch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Don't write 12 tone music

Gavin.

Why do you insist on participating in a conversation when you obviously know nothing about the topic and have nothing constructive to contribute?

If you don't DIG it, then kindly keep your mouth shut; if you're not going to explain your opinions and perhaps discuss why you say the moronic things you do whilst pretending to be an angsty emo "rebel" then again, I suggest you keep your snotty nose out of it.

The big kids are trying to talk about music.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even if you take 12-tone as a linear concept, there are a set of harmonic implications from the row, sort of like setting chords to a head.

I dunno, I never had any problems with 12-tone... it seems so clear. Then again, I've never studied it in great depth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Atonal music is in a sense chance, but the more you practice at writing atonal music, the better you can get at acheiving your desired effect while still keeping your audience interested and on there toes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...