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Giò

'Philip Glass - Opening' harmonic analysis

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Giò    0

Hello!

Can you guys help me to figure out what harmonies are used in bar 4th, 16th and 36th?

music sheet
audio

This is the full analysis if you want to check it as well (question marks where I couldn't identify the harmony)

F dorian mode

A
bar 1 to 12: I - I - V35 - ?  x4

B (bar 17 to 32)
I46 - IV7 - VII46 - V46 x4
but bar 32: VII36

C
bar 33 to 44: IV46 - IV34 - III - ? x3
bar 45 to 48: II - II - IV34 - IV46

 

Thank you!

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Monarcheon    255

Thing is, using standard Western analysis for these chords won't really help, since it's so different from what they were used to at the time. 
m. 4: V˚9 (no third, in the 4th inversion with a pedal tonic in the right hand).
m. 16: V24 (no third; in jazz, we would just write it as C no third/Bb).
m. 36: III9 (no 7th, in the 4th inversion; in jazz, we would just write this as Ab/Bb or Ab add 2).
 

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Giò    0

Thank you.

I came from dozens analysis of standard classical music and this is one of my first attempts on minimalism. I know both standard Western and pop harmony analysis, but I totally lack in jazz. In this moment my aim is to understand minimalism style. What do you advise in order to get into its harmony perspective? Is jazz notation the more logical one to use? In this case, have you some link or book to advise in order to get started?

Anyway I understood the harmonies you wrote, they seemed to me unlogical from the classic perspective I came from, so I wasn't sure of them. I have just one question: in m. 4, how can you state it's a V9 instead of one of a III11b (no 5th, 5th inversion) or a II11 (no 7th, 2nd inversion)? These last two have both the 3rd, which makes them stronger and the pedal on the 3rd grade of the scale is unusual and it lasts for a very short time. Instead, I can accept the V9 with no 3rd as it comes from a proper V and two voices move in a conjunct movement. I'm obviously sure you're right, I'm just expressing my thoughts that come out.
 

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Minimalist progressions are non functional many times. So, the simpler a chord is notated the better. There always be more than one was to write a chord.

Very often chords changes are made note by note. Modal harmony is also frequent in Glass.

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Monarcheon    255
5 hours ago, Giò said:

in m. 4, how can you state it's a V9 instead of one of a III11b (no 5th, 5th inversion) or a II11 (no 7th, 2nd inversion)? These last two have both the 3rd, which makes them stronger and the pedal on the 3rd grade of the scale is unusual and it lasts for a very short time. Instead, I can accept the V9 with no 3rd as it comes from a proper V and two voices move in a conjunct movement. I'm obviously sure you're right, I'm just expressing my thoughts that come out.

Well, see, that's kind of what I'm saying. We use Roman numeral analysis for the earlier stuff mostly because that's what they worked with. It doesn't exactly apply to the harmony we see now. To answer your question, if I was being super clear, the left hand and right hand are playing to two different harmonies. The left hand plays ii˚ as a sub for V, while the right hand plays I (first inversion; saying I6 means something different), then a true V with the last beat going to G. 

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Giò    0

Thank you guys.

I've studied jazz harmony notation and analysed two Glass's Metamorphosis. I link them here if someone wants to check them.

Metamorphosis 4
sheet - audio

In measure 4 I identified it as Db6/Ab instead of Bb-7/Ab. Am I right?
In m. 61 the Cb and C natural in the same bar look strange to me.

Metamorphosis 5
sheet - audio

In m. 5 I identified it as C7 sus4 no 5th. Am I right?

 

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