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Double canon (atonal)

Luis Hernández

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This was inspired by the double canons by Brahms for female voices. But I wanted to experiment with a tonal row.



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Not bad at all. I like this row. 

A few suggestions:

1. When I begin working from a row, I begin to look for patterns within the organized rows and columns.. pitch sets that look interesting to me are ones that I'll utilize. These don't necessarily have to be the full row (OMG! A broken rule!!). To me, the idea of the row, is to see -in print- some of the possibilities in the material I intend to use. The pitch sets, thus become motivic units.

2. Counterpoint is a breeze. The most important rule to good counterpoint is 'voice independence'. If your counterpoint can stand on its own -independent of the context within which it is a) derived or b)created- then you've achieved voice independence. I've found that in this type of music, voice independence can make or break a contrapuntal texture. The ear can discern -even through harsh dissonance- many independent things. Want proof? Think of all the things you hear at the same time and can easily tell what each and every thing is. I mention counterpoint mainly cause you have a canon here -which relies on counterpoint.

3. Rhythm: One of the things that always irked me -when I was developing my use of modernity- was that each piece had to be extremely rhythmically complex. That, and you have to use thousands of extended techniques to even have any bit of relevance. To me, both of these things are hogwash and are relied upon when the material your working with isn't worth much. Sure, Stravinsky and Beethoven did it... right? Yes, but there's a difference. Just cause your using serial technique -or even fidgeting with rows... doesn't mean it has to be rhythmically complex. There's no perpetual motion rule anymore. That said, use your material idiomatically to the instrument/voice you are writing for. 

Anyways, I'm enjoying this new direction for you and am more than happy to share my experience and lessons learned with you! Looking forward to more!

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On 1/13/2020 at 11:11 PM, Monarcheon said:

(mostly because soprano's are divas). 


They are sometimes divas, but that's also right at the limit of feasibility, so getting a good sound up there becomes a risk.  Anybody with a cold is likely to lose that note, and balancing tone and dynamics becomes a challenge even when healthy.  

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