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I wrote these two studies to explore the "lessons" I learned from Henry Cowell (and Persichetti, regarding the harmony by seconds).

There is much more than classic harmony... (I also like it, of course).

TWO STUDIES.mp3

TWO STUDIES.pdf

 

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Interesting pieces, I enjoyed them a lot. I have a couple of nitpicky comments:

1) The bar numbers are very strangely placed.

2) There is no such thing as an octave or fifteenth transposition downward in treble clef, the custom is to change to bass clef.

I might post more detailed thoughts about the actual music later, as I am not completely sure what I think about them (my feelings are generally positive however). I looked at the pieces myself on the piano because I couldn't hear the audio file you posted that well. For what it's worth, I decided to make a recording of them after spending an hour or so getting them to a passable level. Unfortunately because "Clusters" is a bit fast and tricky I had to splice together a recording from five different takes, but "Harmony by Seconds" is completely uncut. It's not much more than just sight-reading though, and I play the piano like Thelonious Monk…

 

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Thanks for playing and recording!

The numbers are confusing because there's a "2" in the second page which is the number of the page. Ther rest are numbered from 1 to the last, only the first measure in every line.

About the notation, I don't know, I've seen the octave and fifteenth transposition written as I did, too. Anyway, if it's clear, why not?

I've learned a lot studying Cowell and Ives, about clusters. One must be careful because it's easy to write impossible things... But I love this sounds.

 

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6 minutes ago, Luis Hernández said:

The numbers are confusing because there's a "2" in the second page which is the number of the page. Ther rest are numbered from 1 to the last, only the first measure in every line.

I meant that it's strange that it is located between the staves.

6 minutes ago, Luis Hernández said:

About the notation, I don't know, I've seen the octave and fifteenth transposition written as I did, too. Anyway, if it's clear, why not?

Because the same rules apply to both hands. The only reason why the right hand is written in treble clef is because it usually plays pitches in that register and above it. As soon as the right hand enters a register lower than usual or the left hand enters a register higher than usual, the most sensible clef is used, as if it could belong to either hand. Would you ever write, or have you ever seen, a line in bass clef transposed up a fifteenth? It is ridiculous to even think about it, and treble clef transposed down a fifteenth is ridiculous for the same reason. There are no clefs lower than bass clef or higher than treble clef which pianists are normally trained in reading, and that is the only reason why transposition signs are used. If you have a clef for the purpose, you use it. It messes with the eye and ear to read low pitches in treble clef and high pitches in bass clef (at least on piano)

Do you have any examples of scores that use transpositions like you do? Because I am very certain that it is not standard and I bet I can cite more examples that use clef changes instead. I don't mean to be antagonistic though…

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Uff, I can't find where I've seen it. It was in a score from Delius or Ives, I can't remember.

Don't worry, you're probably right, I'll keep it in mind. Although in some sites this issue seems to be open. Here, the author doesn't care about the clef, and she's talking about piano notation:

http://piano.about.com/od/musicaltermssymbols/ss/2Int_SheetMusic.htm#step8

 

I have somewhere a book about XX century notation, I'll try to find it.

 

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I really enjoy this a lot. I always like listening to different possibilities in harmony. I'm particularly fond of the harmony by seconds. 

Did you post it on the old site originally? Because it sounds very familiar to me. 

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