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Found 23 results

  1. Working on a 5 part rondo piece These are the key areas I'm thinking of going with -- Bb -> Db -> Bb -> G (with some modal mixture from gm) -> Bb - For my modulation to Db, I took some jazz inspiration, and used my Bb in the flute melody to make an Ab9 chord (V7 in Db), and then a CT dim7 chord before landing on the tonic, but that transition could be smoother. I'm going to use that same chord as a Tritone Sub (or a bII - almost a Neopolotian 6th) to modulate to G Major. - I feel like my melody sounds too "rigid" if that makes sense; I almost always start with my harmonic progressions and after I get all that figured out is when I go back and write a melody to match or compliment it. I would appreciate your feedback - thanks in advance!
  2. Hello everybody! The overtone serie... : I think is essential for any kind of composition, to know and master the overtones serie. It's important to compose knowing how the sounds behave. You can experiment this on the piano or, more clearly on a guitar. Do you have the overtones in mind when you compose? Here a very nice explanation and helpful article about the overtone series. Hope you find it helpful too! https://www.piano-composer-teacher-london.co.uk/post/overtone-series-harmonicity-and-anharmonicity-as-the-foundation-of-harmony
  3. This is the result of an art trade (or collab) I did with Michellle Walker (an artist who draws). The point of the piece is to describe some kind of mysterious and nostalgic atmosphere. (I have spent more time in this piece than what I'm willing to admit.) This piece is a bit experimental from a formal point of view. The idea was to set all the main motifs of the whole piece in very few measures (basically the introduction) and then develope them in some kind of improvisational style. So basically the consistency of the work comes from the constant use of these little elements and the aesthetic of the whole piece. I also make use of recurrent motifs you can find in other works by me, like the one/s you can see between measure 2 and 3. (I hope I'm not repeating myself too much haha.) The first motif can be seen in my Memories piece and the other one is based in the same intervals as the main theme in "Gwyn, Lord of Cinder." And interestingly combining both creates some kind of mutated version of the first theme in the 3rd movement of Brahms' 3rd symphony. I got a lot of inspiration from Scriabin and you can see his mystic chord in some occasions. (At least the main harmony of the chord.) The idea was to create some kind of impressionistic piece with Chopinesque and jazz hues. And I also used a progression in measure 15 that pretty much comes from a madrigal by Gesualdo ("Moro lasso"). The best part of the piece is probably around measures 21-24. (In my opinion.) That climax and the sweet chords that descend are inspired in Debussy. Other inspirations are Ravel, Brahms and jazz in general. By the way, this is probably my best looking piano score I have ever done, and I'm quite proud about that. Anyways, I hope you will enjoy it and I'm open to criticism and feedback.
  4. Hello ! Recently, reading the book of Caplin (Analysing classical form) evaded cadences caught my attention. I found amazing the effect you get by using this cadence in the right place. Do you use evaded cadences in your pieces? I started adding them consciously and I take (as usual...) Haydn and Mozart works as my references. Here a very useful to understand the evaded cadence: https://www.piano-composer-teacher-london.co.uk/post/evaded-cadences
  5. Lately, there has been a proliferation of tutorials and videos on you tube about "negative harmony" or "mirror harmony", most of them say nothing. Because..., yes, it's easy to understand the concept, but how the hell to use it? Given a melody and harmony we can obtain their mirror versions... What can we do with them? I haven't found anything about it. I have some experience developing harmonic and melodic systems from any given scale, and I wanted to try with an example. I'm not going to explain anything about this kind of harmonies, only saying it is based on mirrored notes (that can build melody or chords) using an tonic-dominant axis (not mirroring everything from a single -tonic-note; that's other type of harmony). So let's begin: 01 - I wrote a simple thing in A major with a melody and a counter melody, the raw material called 01. A track with strings as background and a bass line. 02 - In this version, the first part is the same than in 01, but the second part (page) is the negative version changing melodies, chords and bass line. Interesting! This could be use as the repetition of a phrase or section... 03 - In this case, there is some blending. In the first part the guitar an the strings are in "positive" A maj, and the flute and the bass in "negative". In the second part the guitar and strings are in"negative" and the flute and the bass in "positive". 04 - A step further... An additional track for strings is added and the harmony plays "positive" and "negative" all the piece long. This creates a cluster effect. In the first part (m. 1-16) guitar in positive, flute and bass in negative. In the second part (m. 17-32) guitar in negative and flute and bass in positive. There are many more possible combinations. The more harmonies are mixed, the "opener" our ears should be. I think it's also possible to make this mix and change some clashing chords here and there, depending on the desired effect. I like the results and I think there is a lot of potential here. Surely many people won't like it... I hope you enjoy it. It's just an exercise, not a composition. 01 - Score.pdf 02 - Score.pdf 03 - Score.pdf 04- Score.pdf
  6. This is a work for SATB Choir and Piano that I wrote in 2017 for a competition. It's a moving work, and I would love to see it performed someday.
  7. Hi all! It's been a while since I've been on... and I'm returning with a question about Fux's counterpoint from Alfred Mann's The Study of Counterpoint: Are the solutions to each of Aloysius' examples (with corrections) the only acceptable solutions? In attempting to complete the very first exercise (first species counterpoint on the given cantus firmus, in the bottom voice, in dorian mode), I find there are good reasons to rule out most of the consonances that could be considered. However, I don't know if there are hard and fast rules which make the answers that Joseph gives the ONLY possible answers. Anyone have experience with this problem or insights? Thanks!
  8. Greetings. When I start to compose a piece, I start writing the melody, usually for instruments like flute or violin. Then, when writing melody is done, I start thinking of orchestration and arrangement. I usually harmonize violins like this : Violin I plays the melody I wrote, Violin II plays the same melody one octave lower (and when musescore or other software warns me about notes which are not on the instrument, I just replace them with rests). But, when It comes to other instruments, like Cellos, or Violas, or any other instrument, I really don't know what should I do. These are things I done before : 1. Playing the third of first note of each bar in the viola section (for example if I started violins with G, viola played B for whole bar) 2. Playing the first note of each bar in the Cello/Bass section 3. Playing the fifths in double bass section . And the same for other instruments. And for keep it working well, I just tried to keep my compositions "one chord per bar", at least when I try to write classical music. Is there any tips or advice to improve this? Regards.
  9. 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!
  10. This is my assignment for Monarcheon's masterclass, THEORY 202: Adv. Harmonic Extensions.
  11. Instructor: @Monarcheon Students Allowing: 5 Initial Writing Requirement: 16 - 32 bars, piano or harp Special Requirement: Must include 3 of the 4 harmonic functions below Initial Writing Requirement Deadline: April 8th Masterclass No. 3 will the first in a series of two classes on basic harmonic extensions: *Italian Augmented Sixth Chord *French Augmented Sixth Chord *German Augmented Sixth Chord *Neapolitan Sixth Chords Basic Guidelines: Augmented Sixth chords are used, typically as a way to create maximum harmonic tension before resolving to the dominant. The basic way to structure these are to take the dominant of whatever key you happen to be in, and go one half step up above and below it and place it as an interval. Example: D minor -> Dominant: A -> Go up one half step above/below: B-flat, G-sharp. The "type" of augmented sixth chord that results from this is dependent on what other notes you add. If you add the tonic of the tonic key, it becomes an Italian Augmented 6th chord If you add the tonic of the tonic key and the major supertonic of the tonic key, it becomes a French Augmented 6th Chord (my favorite!) If you add the tonic of the tonic key and the minor mediant of the tonic key, it becomes a German Augmented 6th Chord Examples: D minor -> Dominant: A -> Go up one half step above/below: B-flat, G-sharp [D G# Bb] - Italian [D E G# Bb] - French [D F G# Bb] - German Notice that the German chord, if restacked with the Bb on the bottom will sound like a dominant 7th chord. It is NOT a dominant 7th chord. This is very important when analyzing. Remember these augmented sixth chords mostly always resolve to the dominant. You typically use these chords in minor keys, but this is not always necessary. Neapolitan 6th Chords are based on the tonic of minor key, as a way of creating last minute tension before resolving to the tonic or the dominant. The basic structure of these are to take the minor second of the tonic key and create a major triad. Example: E minor -> Tonic: E -> Half step up: F -> Spell chord: [F A C] In classical harmony, these chords are almost always in the first inversion, because it serves as a predominant (iv chord), where the bass moves stepwise up to the dominant. Another way to extend this is to have the Neapolitan Sixth chord, then go to a tonic chord in the second inversion before moving to the dominant.
  12. Hi Bearing in mind the 12 semitones of the scale (no microtones) and excluding transpositions, the number of possible scales/modes are: 2E11 = 2048 This brings the possibility of building 2048 different harmonic systems. I don't mean using scales as improvistion tools over some chords. I mean using any scale to build chords from it (by thirds, but also by seconds, fourths, fifths, hybrids, etc...) and use them to harmonize whan we are composing. Even only ONE note may grow to a harmonic system. See Ligeti's Musica Ricercata (the first piece is built only with a note: A). If we stick to major/minor scales (modes) we are using only 0.01% of the possible systems (excluding also atonality). So there is a musical univers out there...
  13. This is quite an old piece -- approximately a year old; it is relatively short and simple, and it relies primarily on the harmony, as opposed to a melody. {{I realized the continuo-parts (guitar and harpsichord) myself}} Nonetheless, I think it is a fair piece of music myself, and I thought I should share it. Let me know what you think, and do remember this is from a while ago! :)
  14. So, when I first started theory I was told that retrograde (movement from a dominant function chord to a pre-dominant function chord) was strictly forbidden in common practice harmony. However, while working through Hindemith's "Traditional Harmony" I found that several of Hindemith's prescribed progressions in the exercises have retrograde progressions. So, is retrograde strictly forbidden? Are there exceptions? Am I just stupid? Discuss.
  15. Hi all! In 4 part harmony, moving by an Augmented Second is considered dissonant, even if the interval of 3 semitones is considered consonant. My question is : The dissonance of an augmented second is relative to the musical scale used ? Let's say an E harmonic minor scale for example: If I move a voice from C to D#, it would be dissonant because I'm moving through an Augmented second. But if I leap from E to G, it would be less dissonant because this time I'm using a minor third, even if the number of semitones remains the same (3) . Is this right, if not can someone clarify this to me ? Thanks!
  16. Some harmony exercises from an old music notebook. They belong to an elementary level course and deal with simple Renaissance harmony, so I thought they could be interesting and amusing to do for beginners here (of course, harmonizations in more advanced styles could be done). The exercises are actual Renaissance villancicos from Spanish cancioneros. We were given the top line and were asked to complete a four part harmony following rules from the Renaissance era (if you are not familiar with Renaissance harmony and want to try that style, I can give you some guidelines and pointers). The scores are available (you might need to transcribe some of them from the Renaissance notation, though), but do not cheat and write your own solution. The second song (Alta estava la peña) is transposed one octave up to fit a soprano range. I can provide rough translations of the villancicos if you want, but here is the gist of each song: 1. Soy serranica: It is about a rustic mountain girl who is feeling unlucky and miserable because of unsatisfied sexual appetite. 2. Alta estava la peña: About some plants and flowers that grow on a towering rock formation by a river. 3. Lo que demanda el romero: About a dude who is refused something he wants at the gate of his lover. (the full lyrics are missing for this song). The general structure of the villancicos is ABBA, ABBA, and so forth. I can't seem to be able to attach the score here, but here is the link to the pdf: https://app.box.com/s/rafmotbbpqk56r9h08fm I have some more of those exercises in my notebook, if you are interested. Enjoy!
  17. So I'm new here, and relatively new to harmonic analysis. I was in the process of studying some old hymns, and ran across a chord I simply can't figure out. It has me stumped. The one that has me stumped is the first beat of the last measure in this selection (which I've uploaded as a pdf). The hymn is obviously in the key of Bb major,and all the other chords are easily identifiable, but what roman numeral should be given to a chord of Eb Bb G and C? Is the C just a non-chord tone? Any ideas? I feel kind of silly not knowing, since the answer is probably a simple one, but I guess the only way to learn is to ask. Opennowthygates.pdf
  18. Hi, I'm new here, so forgive me if I'm doing something wrong. I'm writing a sonata-form movement in Romantic style (Schubert, Brahms...). I've written: 1st theme (8+8 bars), ending on i (G min) transition (G min >> Eb) 8 bars of the 2nd theme (starts at bar 57), ending on V (Bb major chord) However, I'm stuck here. :dunno: I've just moved from a classical to a romantic style, and the proportions are bigger. I know I should write something looser and more lyrical here, and it should be roughly 50-60 bars long for balance. I could use more than 1 theme (?), and perfect cadences should be used sparsely. I tend to write very "marked" self-contained themes, like the 1st one, so my initial idea was to write another 8+8 antecedent/consequent. But I can't do this, I must include more material before the V-I and the codetta. Thus, I've written some "continuations" after the 1st 8 bars ending on V, as well as a climax based on that tune, and a little codetta... I don't know how to assemble all that stuff. I've checked out tons examples, but I'm kinda blocked. Any tips? What is your experience? Thanks!! :D
  19. Fair warning: this post might get a bit technical. I really like thinking about music theory, but I don't know very many people I can discuss it with. Some time back, I came across the following website, which really changed the way I think about harmony and its relation to musical structure (we're talking mostly tonal CPP music). I'm wondering whether anyone else has seen this before, or is interested in taking a look at it. The site is www.harmony.org.uk by Tom Sutcliffe. It outlines a thesis he has developed (and a corresponding unfinished ebook, Syntactic Structures in Music) which loosely compares musical phrases to linguistic phrases, and shows how they are built up from two distinct types of harmony, which he calls static and dynamic harmony. It's based on a root progression analysis, and also incorporates some ideas from Schenker. At the very least, it's worth reading the Preface and Chapters 1 and 2 in the book to get the basic gist of the theory. You could also read through the outline thesis to see a sample analysis, and how the idea was developed. Here's my attempt to summarize his theory: First, the harmonic analysis proceeds in a fairly standard manner: - Reduce the music to it's harmonic outline by stripping out non-chord tones (which arise from voice leading effects), and chords which are produced from non-chord tones (non-functional chords). For example, cadential 6-4 chords are formed from appoggiaturas, so they would be non-functional. He attempts to be very specific about what is non-functional. - Categorize the motion of the roots of the resulting chords in terms rising and falling diatonic intervals (e.g. rising fourth, falling third). Because chord progressions are chiefly a diatonic phenomenon, the quality of the interval is not considered (e.g. major vs minor third). This means there are only a total of 6 possible progressions. - The quality of the chord (major, minor, diminished, 7ths, 9ths, etc...) is also ignored. Only the root progression is analyzed. Several observations were made from this analysis: - Sometimes root progressions come in "pairs" of opposite types (e.g. a falling fourth followed by a rising fourth), while other progressions are unpaired. - These two types of progressions (paired and unpaired) have a strong tendency to "cluster" with others of the same type. That is, paired progressions are often adjacent to other paired progressions, and unpaired progressions are almost always adjacent to other unpaired progressions. This clustering allows us to segment the music, and suggests that music is built out of two distinct types of harmony: - "Static Harmony" - sections consisting of paired progressions which oscillate around a central chord (usually the tonic, though dominant could also be used). - "Dynamic Harmony" - sections consisting of unpaired progressions which have a stronger sense of forward harmonic motion. A few additional observations can be made: - Statistically, the progressions used in Dynamic Harmony have become polarized, such that they consist almost entirely of the following three progressions, which he names after greek letters: - "Alpha" (α) - A rising 4th. By far the most common (e.g. ii-V and V-I). - "Beta" (β) - A falling 3rd (e.g. I-vi). - "Gamma" (γ) - A rising 2nd (e.g. IV-V). - The remaining 3 progressions are much rarer, and are named after their inverse, followed by a prime symbol (e.g. a rising third would be a beta-prime (β') progression). - Musical phrases (sections delimited by cadences) tend, in general, to follow some variation of the following pattern: begin with static harmony, followed by dynamic harmony, and ending in a cadence. He then compares musical phrases to linguistic phrases, and postulates that static and dynamic harmony, and cadences are the syntactic "building blocks" of musical phrases, much like subject and predicate are the building blocks of linguistic phrases. Of course, the book goes into greater detail.
  20. Hi everybody! :thumbsup: Are there compositions where tuba and cello play together (as in playing the exact same notes at the exact same time, not counterpoint or duet), providing harmony for a melody-playing instrument like violin? Both cello and tuba have a bass sound, so is it logical that they provide good balance for a high-pitched violin or flute? Thanks, El
  21. Hello everyone, I need some help and/or recommended resources/links when it comes to the topics mentioned above, thank you for your time! =)
  22. I am working on a composition but it has barely this chords: C, C aug, Dm, G, G aug; and in very short parts: Em Fm and Am. And little variations. The composition is for piano, written in the key of C major, and I am worried that most of the composition is repeating the C and D chords with little variations. Is this wrong? Is this of bad taste? Is this monotone? What do you think of the harmony in this cases? Thank you for your help.
  23. Hey everyone, I just wrote a book called, Cello Chords, which is a guide to harmony on the cello. It covers 11 different types of chords in all 12 keys and is an excellent resource for exploring all different types of music on the cello. You can check it out and purchase it here: www.bryanwilsoncello.com/cello-chords. Thanks guys!
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