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Found 5 results

  1. Gustav Johnson

    Mixed Modes

    @ComposerMITA wrote a piece a few weeks ago based on a concept of lines which function relatively independent of one another and which also change 1) tonal centers and 2) modes every couple measures. It sounded like an interesting experiment, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. I-dunno, I don't hate it exactly, but it sits with me the same way that free jazz and 12-tone music do. *shrug* It's definitely a good exercise in modes, in part writing, and in trying to make each line work on its own regardless of the others. The original project requirements call for no thought given between the lower two voices and the upper two voices, but I must admit to breaking that a little - if it was possible and convenient to the line, I definitely gravitated towards tones that worked relatively better with the other parts! Viola! - erm, I mean VOILA - c'est mon "chef d'oeuvre". Gustav
  2. Luis Hernández

    Lucentum Nocturne

    This is another exploration into scales, as part of the Mediterranean Suite. Lucentum is the Roman name of my city, and means Light or Star... This city is very old. It seems to be founded by the Iberos (¿Iberians?). It was a Phoenician and a Greek colony (named Akra Leuka = White Coast). Afterwards a Roman city (Lucentum), and in 8th century the Arabs entered and stayed for 800 years, they gave the actual name: Alicante (from the Arab names: Ali and Cantara, who were a couple in love that ended in tragedy, of course). Well, this piece is a sort of nocturno with a tonal part in the beginning and in the ending. In the middle there is a development using a Lydian - Harmonic scale: first tetrachord is lydian, second one is harmonic. The generated chords make the mode moderately unstable (the tonic is stable Cmaj7 and there is a good cadential chord Bmin). In this part, what seem chromaticisms are, in fact, diatonic notes to the scale.
  3. Luis Hernández

    Musical Universe

    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...
  4. pateceramics

    Proper Accidental Notation

    Okay, so I've scoured the internet, but I still don't get it... In the simplest language you can muster, what are the rules for writing accidentals? When a note you need for a chord is not included in your current key, how do you decide whether to write it as an A# and when as a B flat? When a C flat vs. a B natural? And when is it appropriate to use double flats and sharps? Here's my best guess at some rules. If someone could tell me where I'm correct, where I'm wrong, and what I'm missing, I'd appreciate the help. I never took theory, so please click your tongue at my ignorance and take pity on me. 1. Take a look at your piece. Pick the key signature that will produce the fewest accidentals for your piece. 2. If you have an entire stylistically distinct section of the piece that is full of accidentals, change the key signature for that section to reduce them as much as possible. 3. If you just have some modulations for flavor here and there within a section, that's where accidentals are appropriate rather than a new key signature. 4. If those accidentals fit nicely into another key, use the sharps or flats appropriate to that key when writing the chord in which they appear. For example, if I'm in C major, and then need an occasional F# instead of an F natural, I could think of it as swinging into the key of G major for a moment. Since G major has F#, I would write that note I need as F#. There is no key that has G flats, but no other flats, so it wouldn't usually make sense for me to write that note as a G flat. Unless... 5. Would an exception to rule four being something that's modal? Then it makes sense to express those fun notes in the way that suggests the mode. So if my key signature is C minor (B flat, E flat, A flat), but with a locrian feel to the section, so that I have diminished fifths... G flats/F#s. It would be most appropriate to write them as G flats to suggest the locrian mode? 6. Would another exception be when you have some modulations, say where the whole chord shifts down a half step, and then down a half step, and then down a half step..., and that pattern becomes apparent at a glance if you get into double flats and such, instead of reducing the number of accidentals as much as possible? I'm looking at "When Mary thro' the garden went" by Stanford, edited by Rutter, and thinking to myself, why, John Rutter! Why!? It would be so much easier for the average choral singer to read if you would just consistently reduce to the fewest accidentals. But is it meant for the eye of the superior musician, who can manage to keep track of all four parts at once, while sight-reading at tempo, and think to themselves, ah ha! I am now the 4th in the diminished globbublub chord. Of course!? I admit, I don't know theory. But the scholar writing the paper on Stanford can clearly take the time to figure out the enharmonic transpositions, and discuss the interesting structural things going on with the harmony. I, the musician just need to be able to sight-read at speed. Somebody explain the value of writing this way. Why not just reduce to the fewest accidentals? I know this only came about with the common practice period. Why? And what are the rules? I'm writing a piece with lots of exciting chords, and I know someone is going to look at me like I'm nuts, and sweetly point out that something I've written as a natural, because... you know... fewer sharps and flats... easiest to read that way, should actually be a triple sharped something else. Or that, although my key is full of sharps, that one particular note should really be expressed as the flat enharmonic equivalent. Point me to a good book? Anyone? (: -Maggie
  5. sparky

    Modal question

    Hello everyone, I'm taking AP Music Theory and my teacher wants us to write out a 4 measure melody in three different modes. He gave us an example by playing Yankee Doodle in all the various modes, but I'm not sure if I'm interpreting what he wants correctly... Let's say I write a melody based on the C major scale. If I wanted to make it Lydian would I just raise all the 4's or would I start the melody on F? I hope I'm making sense here, thanks! :sweat: