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Daniel

Lessons with nutrinoland

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OK, we're going to start with chorale harmonisation.

I'm going to post a chorale melody with a bass line, and I want you to suggest what chords should be used to fill out the harmony.

I'll edit this post later to add the exercise.

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OK, here's the bass and melody of the chorale (a Bach chorale).

attachment.php?attachmentid=18112&stc=1&d=1249053410

First step is: I want you to look through it carefully, and suggest in words what chords would fit with each note of the melody and bass.

If you could annotate the score to show that, it would be handy, but you can just type it here with reference to bar numbers, if you want.

After that, we can start trying harmonies ourselves, and thinking about inner parts.

A book I reccommend you get is: 'Harmonizing 'BACH' Chorales' by Malcolm Boyd. It's short, but covers a lot of issues and important details.

18112.attach_thumb.jpg

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Hey Daniel...

ok..so here is what i have done..

I have attached a pdf with the score, a midi piano roll jpeg and a midi file.

I had a little trouble with the notation software.I am not too familiar with some of the features.Although I think it turned out ok...little trouble on Bar 6.

I am going to order the book you suggested soon.Don't know if i can get it around here so i may have to order it online...I had no luck finding the Ebook version of it...Anyway..

alright..now the explaination of what chords i have used to harmonise the chorale..

Mostly i have stuck to the primary chords to harmonise this piece.

Time Sig -4/4

Key Sig - G Maj

Bar 1 :- G Maj - G Maj - D Maj - D Maj (I-I-V-V)

Bar 2 :- G Maj - G Maj - D Maj (I-I-V)

Bar 3 :- C Maj - G Maj - C Maj - G Maj (IV-I-IV-I)

Bar 4 :- D Maj - G Maj - D Maj 7 -D Maj (V-I-V-V)

Bar 5 :- G Maj (I) [V-I Cadence]

Bar 6 :- G Maj - D Maj - A Maj - D Maj (I-V-II-V)

[Amaj is V of V secondary dominant]

Bar 7 :- G Maj - A Maj - D Maj - G Maj (I-II-V-I)

Bar 8 :- G Maj - G Maj - C Maj - G Maj (I-I-IV-I)

Bar 9 :- D Maj - G Maj - D Maj (V-I-V)

Bar 10 :- Gmaj (I) [V-I Cadence]

This Chorale Starts in the key of G Maj and Ends in the key of G major.

It does not modulate to another Key.

I have attempted to harmonise the chorale and fill in the inner voices wiith proper voice leading to the best of my abilities.I had a few doubts.

I was not sure if i could have a unison between any of the parts.

In the second bar, the bass note is a B and the Soprano note is a G, a sixth above.This only left me with D, and i had two voices left to fill in.So i had to have the Alto and soprano voices in unison at G and the tenor at D to avoid any crossing of voices..A similar situation occured at bar 6..I hope this is ok..

I have also avoided using any 7th chords untill i am more familiar with rules to resolve such chords..

Thats it ,I guess....

looking forward to your response...

Thanks...

.

Chorale Ex 1 [4 part].pdf

18126.attach_thumb.jpg

Chorale Ex 1 [4 part].mid

PDF

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Sorry, I didn't notice you had replied. I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

Edit:

OK, your chord suggestions seem fine, mostly.

You did a decent attempt at the chorale, but I didn't want to jump ahead so many steps, so I'm not going to comment on it.

Now that you have worked out the chords for each bar, I want you to add them in as harmonies -- NOT as moving parts. If bar one, first two beats are G major, then fill out a G major chord in the tenor and alto part, leaving the bass and melody the same.

From there, we will refine things, and later add more movement.

When writing in the chords, try to fill out all the 3 notes of the chord, and move to the next chord with the least amount of jumping about as possible -- i.e., in each voice (alto, tenor) move to the closest available chord tone for the next chord, unless there is a problem.

Don't bother sending a piano roll or a midi -- just the score is fine. (Your score looked fine -- bar 6 just needed the tenor voice to be in the bottom staff.)

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Hey..

no worries...

yes i did get carried away and did more than you had asked... :D

anyway...

i'll get started on this...

edit:

i'm not too clear on what to do this time...

do you mean that i should just fill in the harmonywithout any consideration to voice leading as of now, trying to have all three notes of the triads wherever possible with minimum leaps/jumps ?

All the chords in root position where the melody and bass allow it....?

anyway...i'm gonna give it a go from what i understand...

i'll PM u when i'm done...

thanks...

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Find in the harmony... yes consider voice leading, of course, but don't try to create fully independent inner parts -- just the chords for now.

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hello...

not too sure if this is how it is supposed to be..hopefully i understood the instructions correctly...

thanks..

(trouble on bar 6 again....not able to notate a quarter note and an eighth note together as two voices....it changes both to either a quarter or both to an eighth...so i have put the b and g of the first 2 beats in the trebble clef once again...)

Chorale Ex 1 [4 part] rev.pdf

PDF

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Good. This is what I wanted.

We're going to use this as a skeleton, and expand it into a fully worked out chorale.

I'll update this post with corrections later.

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OK, there are some mistakes.

b.1 parallel 8ve between tenor and soprano. Tenor could maybe move G - D instead.

Last beat of this bar has an incomplete chord. You need and F# in there, as in chorale stuff, you always need all 3 parts of the chord to be used.

b.2 ditto - incomplete chord on 3rd beat.

b.3 your bass and alto are effectively in parallel 8ves here. (There is a suspension, but it does little to alleviate the effect.) Try and find an alternative for this bar (and when this figure re-occurs later).

b.4 beat 3, your harmony does not fit the melody + bass. Try changing the tenor to a G on beat 3, and change the alto to an E. Leave beat 4 as it is.

This will imply an A minor 7th chord, which better leads to the cadence.

An effective perfect cadence usually features the subdominant (or supertonic) before the dominant, which leads to the tonic.

b.6 beat 3, try replacing the tenor's A with a G.

b.7 parallel 8ves between bass and tenor. Try and find a solution.

Try to avoid the second inversion (6/4) chord as much as possible in chorales.

You have one in b.7 -- try to use a different chord.

b.8 the space between tenor and alto is too big. If there is ever a big gap between parts, it's only allowed to be between bass and tenor.

Definitely not a bad attempt. Just try to make some of the changes I suggest.

Also, play through it yourself at the keyboard, and keep listening to see if there's anything that sounds wrong, or any way you could fine-tune it.

Try playing it in a different key - that might help.

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Hey...

Howz it going...

ok.I have made corrections to the score and attached the pdf ..

I have a few questions.

- if two voices move from 8ve to fifth or fifth to 8ve in similar motion is this considered wrong and to be avoided like

parallel fifths and 8ves.

-Is repeating the same chord with a fifth in it ,considered parallel fifths?

-The use of second inversion 6/4 chords should be avoided, but On Bar7 beat1, the 5th of the chord is in the bass

part 'D' ,and the root in the soprano voice 'G'.Does this mean that the chord is already in second inversion ?

There is also a second inversion chord on Bar 4 beat 1.Not sure if this could have been avoided without reworking the previous bars.

- what is the biggest interval gap between upper three voices ? is a major sixth allowed ?

- what is the biggest leap that a voice can make?

Thank you..:)

Chorale Ex 2.pdf

PDF

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Hey...

Howz it going...

ok.I have made corrections to the score and attached the pdf ..

I have a few questions.

- if two voices move from 8ve to fifth or fifth to 8ve in similar motion is this considered wrong and to be avoided like

parallel fifths and 8ves.

This is sometimes considered wrong, but it depends on the context.

For now, avoid it when you can.

-Is repeating the same chord with a fifth in it ,considered parallel fifths?

No.

-The use of second inversion 6/4 chords should be avoided, but On Bar7 beat1, the 5th of the chord is in the bass

part 'D' ,and the root in the soprano voice 'G'.Does this mean that the chord is already in second inversion ?

Yes.

You can get around that 2nd inversion chord, though it is actually not too bad in this case.

There is also a second inversion chord on Bar 4 beat 1.Not sure if this could have been avoided without reworking the previous bars.

You're going to want to avoid them all, except at cadences, when you can use a 6/4 tonic followed by 5/3 on the dominant.

- what is the biggest interval gap between upper three voices ? is a major sixth allowed ?

Don't think there's a set rule, just try to be reasonable. I'd start to be worried if it was much more than a 5th. I can imagine cases where you'd need a sixth though, but it won't sound just as good.

- what is the biggest leap that a voice can make?

Thank you..:)

I wouldn't leap more than a major 6th.

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The new version with corrections is much better.

There are some awkward bits. I'm going to tell you the awkward bars, and you tell me what you think the problem is, and what a possible solution might be.

bar 3

bar 7

bar 9

Remember to keep the tenor voice to the bottom staff always. Always two voices to each staff.

Good work.

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Hey...

ok...I tried to figure it out...I am not able to spot the awkward bits..

Bar 3 - I think that the voice leading from bar 2 to bar 3 is wrong because all the voices are moving in the same direction (similar motion)

Bar 7 and 9 - I'm not sure what is awkward here...Is the harmonic progression I used awkward (ii-I-V-I in bar 9-10) ? The voice leading seems fine..is it the Major Sixth gap between the alto and soprano voices in Bar 9 second beat and minor sixth gap between the tenor and alto on the fourth beat ?

Please give me some hints,I am not able to figure it out...:(

Thank you...

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hi Daniel..

In the last lesson you asked me to find the awkward bits in bar 3,7 and 9.

I have attempted to figure it out, but I am still unsure about which bits are awkward.I have explained a little more about where I am stuck, in my previous reply.

Could you pls guide me through this bit of the chorale exercise.

In the past few weeks I have been working on analyzing some pieces and then trying to use the existing harmonic background/chord progressions to come up with something new.

This helps me learn about the structure of the pieces,melody and motifs,chord progressions etc....

I have attached midi files.The two pieces i used are by Vivaldi and Strauss.

Please take a look at them when you can....

(probably made a lot of sloppy mistakes in these pieces)

thanks....:)

Vivaldi variation.mid

strauss variation.mid

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I'll look at the other things later.

The chorale is now mostly decent.

You have some suspensions that aren't really typical of a Bach chorale, e.g., the one in the bass in bar 3. The E moving to D in the bass ends up on a 6/4 (2nd inversion) chord, which, as we've mentioned, are nearly always avoided in chorales.

More times you've used 6/4 chords: start of bar 4; start of bar 7. Try rewriting these.

The modulation in bar 6 to D major is a good idea, but you do it too quickly, and then you come back out of D major too quickly -- the C natural in bar 8 is very jarring.

Try rethinking this modulation.

The tenor's F sharp in the penultimate chord does not lead upwards to G, which it should, since it is the leading tone of G major.

Try correcting these, or finding better alternatives.

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Thanks..I'll get to work on this....

cool....now i see the mistakes..

great....

i'll make changes and then post a reply...

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hey Daniel..howz it going...

ok I have made the corrections..

Bar 3 - I have changed the chords,so as to avoid 2nd inversion chords and also parallel fifths.

Bar 4- I used a different chord here to avoid using a second inversion chord.

(F# Dim triad)

Bar 7- since i had 'G' in the soprano voice and 'D' in the bass,which implied a G maj second inversion chord,I chose to use an E min 7 chord .I'm not sure if this is correct.

Bar 6- The modulation to D Maj continues to stay in D Maj for a little longer since I have changed the next chord from G maj to E min 7 thus forming a I-ii-V-I progression in D maj.

not sure if this is correct either...also please could you explain what you mean by "The modulation in bar 6 to D major is a good idea, but you do it too quickly, and then you come back out of D major too quickly " how can i modulate less quickly? This time have i managed to stay in the new key a little longer, before the next key change happens ?

I am also not very clear about what the exact difference is between a V/V chord and a modulation . when am i just using a secondary dominant briefly and when am i actually modulating to the new key ? do i require to be in the new key for a longer duration followed by a perfect cadence ,to have modulated to the new key?

Last Bar- I have changed the 'B' in the tenor voice to a 'G' so that the F# in the penultimate bar leads up to the root of the key 'G' ...I am guessing that it is fine to not have all three notes of the triad in the final chord ?

Thanks...I'm enjoying the lessons...:)

Chorale Ex 2 sep 20th.pdf

PDF

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There are still some issues with this, but we shall move on now.

You have made quite a free use of passing notes, which is good, but try to avoid passing note clashes between bass and tenor, as in bar 2 of this. The suspension between bass and tenor in bar 1 is good.

OK, next exercise.

Here's your chorale melody.

http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-CM/AustieferNot1Scheidt.jpg

Now I want you to come up with a suitable bassline.

Write a bassline, leave it for an entire day, come back to it, and try to criticize it. I expect a GOOD bassline should take you a few days of proper thinking to get right. Feel free to make multiple attempts to get it right.

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