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Found 7 results

  1. Back to the galant style and its schemata, because it is one of my favorites. I'm writing a suite for keyboard, this is the first one. More to come... It is funny and I love it.
  2. Yet another improv, i worry im boring people with these! I'll stop doing it soon, I.promise! I've started writing down my compositions/improvs again. I have a couple of minuets I'll upload soon, I just get so distracted when I sit at the piano. I've composed, via improv, a piano sonata in C major, I was thinking of the third movement when I improvised this. It reminds me of Haydn, I want the third movement to be light hearted and playful because the second movement I composed is in c minor and I use every trick up my sleeve to pull on the heart strings. I wish I recorded myself playing it, I worry my memory of it could get corrupted because it has more complex counterpoint. The first movement is like a piano concerto and is full of flashy runs in both hands. It has a Mozartian air and I use some of his signature moves but it has enough of me in it so it's not a cringey pastiche. Well I hope not! The improv here is a 'first run' so it's full of hesitation and mistakes but it made me smile when I listened back to it so I thought I'd upload it, I've been quiet for a few days so why not. Cuckoo!
  3. I wrote another piece just to add some more schemata to the palette. I have to say that there are many more than the ones described by Gjerdingen. Not many resources to understand how some of them work, but I'm making it. Sometimes I had to take my own solution. I didn't write all the grades in each pattern, but just a few words explaining them: The Quiescenza (quietness, rest) is a pattern used to establish the tonic, it was widely used (Mozart, for example) in the opening of a section, or at the end of the piece to re-establish the tonic. It works over a pedal on the tonic with a surprising clash between it and the sensible. The Ponte (puente, bridge) is an extension of the dominant chord which goes to the tonic. It can be as long as you want. The Monte (mountain) is a stepwise ascending (climbing) pattern that can also be extended, as I did, here. The Cudworth is one of the most used cadences, in which the melody runs from 8 to 1. A deceptive cadence ends with the 6 in the bass. An evaded cadence ends with the 3 in the bass. The Fonte (fountain, falling) is a stepwise descending pattern. The Corelli's Leapfrog was a surprise. Gjerdingen mentions it but it's not very well explained, taking into account it has many variants. It's a fantastic way to use prepared dissonances (9th and 7th) always resolving, of course, but allowing incredible clashes. The Pastorella is a recreation over a chord using thirds, and moving around the tonic. The Romanesca is universal (Pachelbel canon) that can be combined in many ways. Hope you enjoy it, it's funny! I think if someone wants to understand and write in late baroque, galant, classical, even romantic style, learning this thins is a must.
  4. I use here my "knowledge" about schemata and other resources I am learning (musical rhetorics). This is not a baroque o or exactly galant style. It's music inspired in it and using its stuff. The first part is a Fanfare in format AABBA (binary). The second takes the form of a ritornello. There's no third part, I don't want to write it.
  5. After a long hiatus, I started writing a little piano sonata as a gift for a dear friend. The piece is partly modeled after some sonatas Haydn wrote in his early years, presumable for his students. I wanted to write something that I can play myself with my rather limited skills, so it's not too complicated. Still, the attached MP3s are computer-generated. Also, I have yet to add the dynamics I use to the score. All three movements have a rising triad as characteristic motive, the slow second movement in a more drawn-out fort than the other ones. The Adagio features a strong walking bass line which is rather atypical for the overall style, but gives the movement a strong momentum. The Menuetto is rather simple to increase the contrast with the Trio that features suspensions etc., and should provide a joyous end.
  6. Hi. I've been studying "schemata" (musical formulae) which flourished in the galant style period (1830 - 1870). It's amazing how they used all those chlichés (there were dozens) so fluently. The existed in the baroque period, even before, and would be used for many many years. This is my first attempt to write something in this style. The complex polyphony is no longer wanted, it's more important a melody and bacground. I used some of those schemata: the Romanesca, the Quiescenza, some sequences, falsobordone, Cudworth cadence. I thought bout this piece as en exercise to work with schemata. Perhaps I'll write a second movement with other schemata. (I listened to Vivldi's bassoon concertos as an inspiration, they're fantastic).
  7. Hello everyone, this is my first little contribution to the forum's educational sub-board. I have become well acquainted with Baroque and Galant musical procedures in the past 6 years and I thought I would share a little of that knowledge. For those who do not know, the Baroque period, specifically the Late Baroque, spanned a period of time from 1680 to roughly 1730. The Galant Period began around 1720 and spanned up to the 1770's. A little primer on Baroque and Galant composition is needed first. The idea of music composition during the Baroque, Galant and even Classical Eras was fundamentally different from how music composition is thought of today or even in the Romantic Era. It was the Romantic Era which destroyed the institutions and thought processes that made Baroque and Galant music what it was. During Baroque and Galant the mere word "compose" or in Italian "composare" was a contraction of two words "com-" "-posare" which literally meant "put - together". It did NOT mean "create" as it means today and during Romantic times. Why is this important? Because it is the reason Formulaic writing was used during Baroque and Galant times and not during Romantic or Modern times. A music composition in 1732 was thought of as a series of "pieces" that had to be "put-together" in a certain order following the rules and conventions of the time. It was the presentation of these pieces that made a composer great. How he hid the underlying framework, how well he joined two different formulas, how good his timing was in deploying a particular formula were all critiqued by listeners of the time. This is the key to how Domenico Cimarosa wrote sixty-eight three-hour long operas during his life and Richard Wagner only wrote thirteen. Now, before the hand-wringing starts, I do understand that Wagner's works are of a much higher order of harmonic complexity and rhythmic variety but it took him a long time to compose each one because he was "creating" not "putting-together." As Dr. Gjerdingen from North-Western University, author of the book "Music in the Galant Style" said, "A professionally trained galant composer could easily compose one opera in one month." It has baffled modern composers as to how the musicians of the 18th century wrote not just with such astounding speed but also with such confidence. The simple answer? Formulas. Every professionally trained composer, especially those originating from the great conservatories of Naples knew the basic collection of formulas and progressions and it was then a measure of their talent and ability as to how they utilized the formulas. The formula that we will be discussing today is nicknamed the "Prinner" by Dr. Gjerdingen. Each formula had a nickname during the 1700's but most have been lost to us. A few like "Ponte, Monte, and Fonte" along with "Romanesca" (if you've heard Pachelbels Canon in D you are basically listening to several romanescas over and over and over again but with different variations) have survived. So what is a Prinner? There are two types of Prinners. One is the older "leaping bass" type and the more modern and streamlined "descending bass" type. However, the basic structure remains the same. http://youtu.be/9BpV3_-073A?t=1m50s The song (and the example) are in E-flat, and the clefs of the example from the top are Treble, Treble, Alto, Treble (solo) and Bass. This example by the Aria "Senti il Fato" by Nicola Porpora (who was trained in Naples) is the perfect model of a Prinner. In fact, Porpora does nothing to disguise it from its most basic form. The bottom two lines form the basic structure. The progression goes "6 - 5 - 4 - 3" in the treble (of the solo line, second from the bottom) and "4 - 3 - 2 - 5 - 1" in the bass. (Note: the "5" is optional but it was often used because it adds the great emphasis of going from 5 to 1 like a cadence). Prinners often follow the Opening Gambit of a piece or, in this case, the Opening Gambit of a soloist. (The Opening Gambit is called this because almost every piece started on some variation of 1 - 5 - 1 or 1 - 7 - 1 in the bass so it was always a gamble by the composer to get the listener's attention by the opening). Prinners are not limited to secular pieces. Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (also trained in Naples) utilizes one in the Gloria of his Mass in D-Major .http://youtu.be/SFPwrf3HsVU?t=1m4s This song is in D-Major, but the example has modulated to G-Major. Both clefs are Bass Clefs. This example is even more simple than that of Porpora (however, Porpora's should be considered the basic model of a Prinner). This portion of the song has modulated to G-Major so a quick analysis reveals the following progression in the treble "4 - 4 - 3 - 3 - 2 - 5 - 1" and the bass follows with " 4 - 4 - 3 - 3 - 2 - 5 - 1" Another example comes from the baroque composer Tomaso Albinoni of Venice from his Aria "Vien con nuova orribil guerra" in C-Major http://youtu.be/kGvScqgN0f4?t=7s This song is in C-Major, the clefs are listed. An important point to note is that the Prinner is often led to by raising 1 to 3 before starting with 4 as seen in this example. The bass goes "3 - 4 - 4 - 3 - 1 - 2 - 5 - 1" This bass line looks more convoluted than it should be and that is because Albinoni drops the 3 to a 1 between the 2nd and 3rd measures (even though its part of the same triad) for variety. The treble follows similarly to all others and if you sift through the 16th notes you will see they form "6 - 5 - 4 - 3" The trumpet line at the very top also follows "6 - 5 - 4 - 3" The next form of a Prinner is the older form which has a leaping circle of fifths bass. This is not to be confused with the circle of fifths ala Vivaldi which is ever so slightly different and is used a little differently. This is a Prinner with a circle of fifths bass. http://youtu.be/JmZKFE-qKQY?t=1m47s This example is in D-Major, the clefs are, from the top: Treble, Treble, Treble, Treble, Alto, Bass. In this example I have included my analysis table in the upper left of the actual musical score. With the leaping 5ths bass you will see that it still follows the usual "4 - 3 - 2 - 1" but in between each of these it drops a 5th so the formula becomes "4 - 7 - 3 - 6 - 2 - 5 - 1". You may be wondering what the difference is between a Prinner with a circle of fifth's bass and an actual Circle of Fifths and the explanation is: the treble lines are very smooth in a Prinner. See how the violins gradually step down little by little? In an actual Circle of Fifths such as those used by Vivaldi (and Albinoni) the treble line is broken and jagged, leaping often in opposite directions of the bass. A Prinner is smooth and gradual in its descent with the treble. The song is in F-Major, the clefs are from the top, Treble, Treble, Alto, Bass. This example is one of my own compositions utilizing one of the rules of using a Prinner. A Prinner can be followed by a second Prinner but it must differ from the first. The first Prinner is called the "Prinner Principale" and the second is called the "Prinner Riposte." I chose the modern step-wise descent for the Prinner Principale and the Leaping Bass for the Prinner Riposte. I was unable to remember or find an example of this being used, the example provided by Dr. Gjeringen in "Music in the Galant Style" was one by LeDuc I believe. However, my example illustrates how it was used. One key note: there can never be three Prinners in a row. That is a big no-no for the Galant and Baroque times. http://youtu.be/mE_J63nLllU?t=36s When I clipped these images, I kept the key signatures as the page turned for ease of viewing. I hope this is not too confusing. I am trying to keep things simple. The song is in D-Major, the example is in A-Major. This example shows the use of Suspensions. If one looks in the upper registers, one will see a series of whole notes, these are the suspensions which glide downwards as the soloists do much of the work. I have provided an analysis table for ease of understanding. This is a more traditional leaping bass form (ironic considering Dittersdorf was one of Mozart and Haydn's contemporaries). It still follows the proper bass of "4 - 3 - 2 - 1" in every other measure and Violin I in at the top makes a perfect descent from "6 - 5 - 4 - 3". The 7# is listed with a "#" because this example is set in A-Major via what the Italians called a "Minazione di Tono" or Key Ending or as Mr. Sanguinetti in his book "The Art of Partimento" calls it a "Scale Mutation". I will not discuss this concept fully, as it would require a post of similar size to this entire one but basically a Scale Mutation is a quasi-Modulation. Where a modulation shifts the song entirely into a new key, a Scale Mutation is a localized and closed event. If one looks at the example score at the very very beginning you will see a "D-Sharp" played by the Solo Viola (second from the bottom). If you listen to the link I posted this note is very obvious as a chromatic sounding note played by the viola. This one little note is what induces a Scale Mutation and a Scale Mutation must be confirmed by a cadence which is carried out by the Prinner where it ends on 5 - 1. The reason I explain this is because it shows how one simple formula can perform multiple functions in a song and often create cascading or tiering effects. Displace one formula, and you ruin the entire structure of the song. Regole (Rules) 1. A Prinner must go "6 - 5 - 4 - 3" in the upper voice and "4 - 3 - 2 - 1" in the lower voice or some variation of this in the triad of the respective degrees.. Variazione 1: Alternatively the upper voice may be in unison with the lower voice with "4 - 3 - 2 - 1". This is uncommon. 2. A Prinner may be followed up by a second Prinner of a different form but never a third. They must never be exactly the same and should vary. 3. Suspensions in the Treble may be used. Let's Test Your Knowledge! I will provide two links below to youtube videos, the top two have Modern Step-wise Prinners hidden in them (not the leaping bass). See if you can pick them out. The first one is easier since the score is provided and it is a slow tempo in the video but the second is harder because the tempo is quick and there is no score, the final piece is not too difficult. (The first video has an awful idea of a castrato's voice which is a mix of a male countertenor and a female soprano. The second video uses Phillippe Jaroussky's voice which sounds most likely identical to a real castrato's voice like Farinelli). Remember, be sure you identify the key properly in the scored piece if you want to analyze with the numeral analysis. If it modulates, you must compensate for that. Example 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-lASnC6cG0 Example 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9K8bAWy_LXU If you discover the Prinner in the second one you will also hear one of the biggest cliche's of the 18th century a "High 2" Where the treble goes "6 - 5 - 2 - 4 - 3" where the 2 is above the 4. (If you are unsure of your answer, message me and I will tell you the answer!) :) I hope you enjoyed this little peek into the 18th Century compositional process. The Prinner is just one of many formulas I have discovered and since most of this tradition was taught orally and the masters of it are now long dead, its a game of discovery and finding examples to support the discovery. I will try to post up another formula and analyze it, such as the Romanesca or the Fonte but stay tuned until then.
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