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Polaris

New thread for my works In progress

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I've improved since my last topic for posting my incomplete works, so I'm starting a new one.

I'm aware that there a couple of awkward spots in these, but I'm still interested in getting feedback.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I deleted this one because exporting it added a bunch of static. The version in the post below fixes that.

Edited by Polaris

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Posted (edited)

One spot was bothering me. I looked at the notation, and found that I had written a tritone cross relation. Those almost always sound bad. Here's a still more polished version of the music.

Edited by Polaris
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3 hours ago, Ali Jafari said:

Very good, seems like you're fan of Yngwie.

 

Thank you for your compliment. : ) (I've never heard of Yngwie, so I'm hoping it's a compliment. *goes to look it up*)

Anyway, I realized that when voice crossings occur--my current style allows them freely and plentifully--the resulting voice-leading must act accordingly. More specifically, if a C3 in voice X is followed by a C3 in voice Y, it would be somewhat inadvisable to, at the same instant, create a dissonance against C3. Since it  It would count as an accented, unprepared dissonance, which is usually harsh-sounding. I took account of that in the following composition, another 3-voice canon, and the voice-leading is much clearer than it was before:

 

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1 hour ago, Polaris said:

I've never heard of Yngwie, so I'm hoping it's a compliment.

Yes it was surely a compliment, the harmony and arrangement together reminded me of Yngwie Malmsteen's style, which is Neoclassical Metal.

1 hour ago, Polaris said:

the resulting voice-leading must act accordingly.

You're right, but don't be afraid to use dissonance too, even unprepared dissonance, which in my opinion can often be used to create beautiful effects. Also, I would recommend you to study non-harmonic tones more systematically if you haven't. things like passing tones (which you have already used), appoggiaturas, auxiliary tones, suspensions, échappées and cambiatas can really make your melodies more beautiful.

I think we can all agree that Bach knew counterpoint better than anyone, and we must consider the fact that he was also a master of using non-harmonic tones and balancing them in his contrapuntal writing. He also tried to use dissonance as much as he could, to the point where he even used a Maj7#5 chord in his music, a type of chord which is not heard again until probably the 20th century.

Edited by Ali Jafari

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1 hour ago, Ali Jafari said:

Yes it was surely a compliment, the harmony and arrangement together reminded me of Yngwie Malmsteen's style, which is Neoclassical Metal. 

You're right, but don't be afraid to use dissonance too, even unprepared dissonance, which in my opinion can often be used to create beautiful effects. Also, I would recommend you to study non-harmonic tones more systematically if you haven't. things like passing tones (which you have already used), appoggiaturas, auxiliary tones, suspensions, échappées and cambiatas can really make your melodies more beautiful.

I think we can all agree that Bach knew counterpoint better than anyone, and we must consider the fact that he was also a master of using non-harmonic tones and balancing them in his contrapuntal writing. He also tried to use dissonance as much as he could, to the point where he even used a Maj7#5 chord in his music, a type of chord which is not heard again until probably the 20th century.

 

I'm especially fond of the the timbres of the church organ, human voice, electric guitar, and harpsichord, and Bach is my biggest musical role model, so I'm not surprised that I might be sounding Neoclassical Metal (a genre which has a lot of music that I like).

About dissonance: I mainly use passing notes, like you say. I know about the other types of dissonances, as well, and like to use them, but for the most part I'm finding it surprisingly difficult to get them into my canons.  I'm using strict guidelines that I've worked out for the melodies, guidelines have given me the best contrapuntal clarity that I've been able to achieve so far. But these guidelines also make most of the more exotic types of dissonances difficult to work into the music. How so? Well, each melodic interval only occurs in one direction, the direction that I've determined is the path of least resistance. This creates smoothness and a strong forward drive. It so happens, though, that this does not include descending seconds in a lone voice, which means that suspensions and cambiatas are tricky to implement. Using my guidelines--and my most recent experiments suggest to me that these guidelines are good ones--they can only occur, really, in a texture where horizontal descending seconds occur as a result of diagonal voice crossings. In other words, a descending second must be outlined by two different voice paths that cross. With these canons, I'm using separate timbres for each voice, and that makes it nearly impossible to do that. It would sound like a a poorly handled dissonance. I'll definitely follow your advice, though, and try studying non-harmonic tones in a more or less systematic fashion.

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Unfortunately, I think it sounds a little stale. It's hard to write a strong melody within the limitations posed by a canon.

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11 hours ago, Polaris said:

a genre which has a lot of music that I like

It's a pretty good genre, I like it a lot too.

11 hours ago, Polaris said:

I know about the other types of dissonances, as well, and like to use them, but for the most part I'm finding it surprisingly difficult to get them into my canons.

I think it will be really good if you study Schoenberg's book on counterpoint, apparently he explains how to use different non-harmonic tones in imitative counterpoint and canonical melodies. Unfortunately I haven't reached those parts of the book yet so I can't give any further information.

1 hour ago, Polaris said:

Unfortunately, I think it sounds a little stale. It's hard to write a strong melody within the limitations posed by a canon.

It's not bad, but as far as I can hear, you're still using passing tones for the most part.

 

By the way, do you determine the harmony before writing your melodies?

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16 minutes ago, Ali Jafari said:

It's a pretty good genre, I like it a lot too.

I think it will be really good if you study Schoenberg's book on counterpoint, apparently he explains how to use different non-harmonic tones in imitative counterpoint and canonical melodies. Unfortunately I haven't reached those parts of the book yet so I can't give any further information.

It's not bad, but as far as I can hear, you're still using passing tones for the most part.

 

By the way, do you determine the harmony before writing your melodies?

 

I actually have read Schoenberg's guide to counterpoint. It was five years ago, when I was still in the earliest stages of learning to compose music. I don't remember a whole lot about his book except that it was largely an updated version of Fux's  guide, which I've also read.

Traditional counterpoint poses no difficulties to those wishing to use dissonance. My own form of counterpoint is a little different, though, in that every interval occurs melodically in one direction only, the most natural direction. I've found that this goes a long way toward ensuring that music sounds clear and that each harmony follows naturally from the previous one. However, it also, like I said, makes it tricky to introduce and resolve certain types of dissonance. Suspensions, for example, are easier to resolve upwards or by leap downwards (which ideally would be recovered immediately by a number of steps upwards) than they are to resolve in the normal fashion by one or two semitones down.

I don't determine the harmonies before writing the melodies. I must confess that I get very little out of standard harmonic theory--it gets much of its apparent coherency by arbitrarily labeling some harmonies in a piece of music while ignoring others that either don't have labels or simply don't fit the theory--beyond the fact that certain cadences tend to create tension while others, most especially V-I, release tension. I certainly don't use a chord road map any more than I use a melody road map (which I sort of do, but it's a fairly loose one).

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My 12th 3-voice canon:

I tried applying some strict guidelines to the  melodies, and I think it mostly worked. Any shortcomings in them are mainly due to the tight restrictions on motion that occurs when writing a three-voice canon.

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