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#1082639 - 12/14/07 09:45 AM How do you learn to audiate?
LaValse Offline
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Registered: 02/21/07
Posts: 1224
Loc: Mumbles, Wales
Betty mentioned she was "audiating" pieces over in the compsers forum. How does one go about learning such a skill and is it related to the perfect pitch nature/nurture can of worms...
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#1082640 - 12/14/07 10:24 AM Re: How do you learn to audiate?
Triryche Offline
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Registered: 08/11/06
Posts: 1451
Loc: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
 Quote:
Originally posted by LaValse:
perfect pitch nature/nurture can of worms... [/b]
LOL!!
Is that when you look at the score and hear how it sounds??
So far, I can only do that on a piece I already know. But I would love to be able to do this.

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#1082641 - 12/14/07 10:37 AM Re: How do you learn to audiate?
8ude Offline
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Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 2050
You don't need perfect pitch to be able to do it, but good sight-reading skills and good relative pitch. Some suggestions for getting better at it would be to take some melody lines (perhaps some easy vocal scores) and do some sight-singing. Also get scores and follow along while listening to pieces. It isn't an impossible skill to learn and its very useful to be able to glance at a score and have a decent idea of what it sounds like without having to sit down at a piano and try it out.
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#1082642 - 12/14/07 10:46 AM Re: How do you learn to audiate?
LaValse Offline
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Loc: Mumbles, Wales
Sorry Triryche, yes it means (I think) to be able to look at a score and imagine hearing it - I presume at varying levels of detail... I can't do it at all, unless I know the piece, which is not exactly very useful \:\)

Thanks 8ude, so you may in fact be audiating at some aribtrary-ish starting/reference note but it doesn't matter... and relative pitch being the ability to sing/hear intervals...

I just tried a very simple melody - I have to do: do,ri,me,fa... to get the successive intervals then try and remember the results - slow going \:\)

I haven't played the piano at all today and just did a little experiment (ha, blame MM) to imagine/sing middle C - weirdly enough I've never done that before - I 'hit' C# (and yes before anybody asks - it was the right octave!) - and for some reason I'm quite pleased with myself \:\) I'll try again tomorrow and see what happens with a hangover...
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#1082643 - 12/14/07 11:21 AM Re: How do you learn to audiate?
TThomas Offline
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Registered: 10/24/06
Posts: 545
Loc: Richmond, VA
Hmmmm....this is kind of an interesting question. So, I was sitting here thinking about it and remembered being able to do this with no problem when I played clarinet and sax, but I'm not able to simultaneously hear both staves in my head when I read piano music, at least not anything beyond VERY basic compositions. This leads me to believe that the skill can probably be developed, though. I just don't know exactly how, short of plain ol' experience.
Now, if someone were to ask me to hum a particular note, I can not do that - I'd have to do the "do re mi" thingy. Weird.

Tina
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#1082644 - 12/14/07 11:56 AM Re: How do you learn to audiate?
LaValse Offline
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Registered: 02/21/07
Posts: 1224
Loc: Mumbles, Wales
It occured to me that a little ditty I wrote for my far-too-much-energy-toddler son to jump up and and down to may be a good subject for audiation practice; i.e. simple and repetitive, and of course nobody knows it, well, except Ben, but he's into surfing and girls now so it's unlikely he'll worry to much about missing the opportunity; come to think of it, he doesn't play the piano either... anyway, here it is:-

www.sailwave.com/music/ben.pdf

\:\)
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#1082645 - 12/14/07 12:29 PM Re: How do you learn to audiate?
Betty Patnude Offline
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Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
I would think, it this is a new experience for you, that getting the pitches of the melody and the duration of each note value throughtfully would be the first step to "Audiation" for most musicians. It is basically the equivalent of sight singing, at this development point. Basically, done by singing aloud the distance and direction between each note of the melody.

Before you can do "Audiation" for our purposes to look at a piece of music and read - even away from the piano - the score as you read it, in your inner voices - both movement and sound.

When LaValse printed his father's compositions in another thread, I did not go to the piano, I read them at my computer desk - AND - enjoyed them very much. I also could have played them at sight accurately and musically if they were on a printed page. I have yet to do that. But, the music exists in my responses to what I am seeing visually.

You can be learning how to do this, but you can not demand it of yourself - you just have to build it.

Do any this in small sections from printed music, and it is better to use unfamiliar music. Don't do high level music analysis here if you have never done a melody this way before. It is also easier if you choose conjunct melodies (stepwise and repeated notes for the most part, minimum of skips). Then move to disjunct (stepwise, skipping, and repeating notes) Start with a single note melody. Keep it simple and practice on new sections.

Avoid playing the piano with it, except for tuning the first pitch, and checking your accuracy as you go. When you are done exercising your instincts, play the melody through to compare your overall work to the piece. If you have trouble reading the music for the piano hand, wait to do this until you can play the notes in pitch and time without hesitation.

I would recommend saying the degrees of the scale instead of "do-re-me", because solfeggio needs constant re-identifying due to the relationship of the last note, and you have to know your key signatures to be able to assign "do".

There are other things you need to know - but this is a first step. It takes enough experience at the piano, and studying certain features of a piece to prepare for the complete process. This is not over night wonder stuff, but a long term process, and the outcome of having this ability stored (through present moment training and observation) in your sub-conscious.

There is a lot of information about "Audiation" at GIA by Edwin E. Gordon. You can request a catalog from them. Gordons books and tools are from pages 124 - 135 in the 2007 catalog. There is also an index in the back of the book

I am going to post in the Piano Teacher's Forum about GIA - Edwin E. Gordon and "Audiation" and mention this topic in the ABF.

Audiation is so cool.

Betty

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#1082646 - 12/14/07 12:38 PM Re: How do you learn to audiate?
LaValse Offline
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Registered: 02/21/07
Posts: 1224
Loc: Mumbles, Wales
Thank you Betty, this is certainly something I would like to work on.

I just love the word too, I heard (ha) it today for the first time. I'm going to drop it into the conversation in the pub tonight and see the reaction of a load of ruffy-tuffy cat sailors and rugby players... \:\)

Thanks again...
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#1082647 - 12/14/07 12:53 PM Re: How do you learn to audiate?
pianist.ame Offline
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Registered: 05/18/07
Posts: 1164
Loc: Singapore
I never developed this skill but I naturally have it already.
I do find it very useful as I can look at a new piece and sight-sing it, know how it sounds like which is amazing.

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#1082648 - 12/14/07 01:07 PM Re: How do you learn to audiate?
Betty Patnude Offline
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Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Amelialw,

I'm glad you have natural talents and acquired skills which help you to audiate the melody.

It also applies to reading a large, difficult score - in piano, solo voices, ensembles, choral, or band and orchestra, solo instruments, and chamber music.

It's possible to do this on an entire piano score. You can't sing more than one part at a time, so if you want to increase your development level, you would graduate eventually to the whole piano scores, in which you would not only hear the music inside your brain, you would be able to respond on a tabletop with the appropriate playing gestures of a "Primo Vista" (for the first time)reading experience. (No audible sound to the room, but all happening within you with surround sound.)

Don't stop now, gain more information and experience with audiation. Develop it to your maximum ability - you will be amazed how much it helps your musicianship.

Happy Music Making!

Betty

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#1082649 - 12/14/07 05:39 PM Re: How do you learn to audiate?
pianist.ame Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/18/07
Posts: 1164
Loc: Singapore
thanks Betty.

Yes, it's true that we can only sing on part and play the rest inside our heads nevertheless it still helps alot.

My teacher has been trying to train me a little as a chamber musician before I leave for music school next year end of June and i'm very thankful.

haha...i'll never stop because I love music so much that my life would'nt be able to go on without it.

again, thanks so much
Amelia

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#1082650 - 12/14/07 06:57 PM Re: How do you learn to audiate?
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13706
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Audiation is a term invented by Edwin Gordon to describe the various aspects of what Kodaly educators call "inner hearing." (Basically, the ability to hear something in your mind's ear.)

There are many different types - looking at notation and hearing it, hearing the sound in your head before you produce it, remembering a sound you've just heard (like when a jingle gets stuck in your head.)

Gordon's discussion of it comprises the first chapter of his book, "Music Learning Theory."

Basically, it's something that elementary music teachers and good piano teachers have been doing for the last few centuries using a wide variety of methodologies. Only the term is new.

Disclaimer:

I am slightly biased against Gordon. While I think his work is important and interesting, it is not as "new" as he proclaims it to be. Much of what he has to offer is established Kodaly and Suzuki practice, put forth in American research and education jargon.

(In other words, the quality of his work is very good. But he invents terms like "audiation" and "keyality" that make people think it's this new revolutionary thing when most Kodaly teachers would say "um, yeah...we've been doing that for several decades now.")
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#1082651 - 12/14/07 06:58 PM Re: How do you learn to audiate?
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13706
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Oh, and for more info, check his website:

http://www.giml.org/
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"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#1082652 - 12/14/07 06:58 PM Re: How do you learn to audiate?
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13706
Loc: Iowa City, IA
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#1082653 - 12/20/07 07:10 AM Re: How do you learn to audiate?
keystring Online   content
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Posts: 11190
Loc: Canada
This is fascinating - I've never heard the term before. I'm an adult student who had no musical education whatsoever until middle age. Apparently I've been audiating all my life (?). I had movable do solfege as a child in one of the lower grades so I think in relative pitch.

The first thing I want to ask is how do most people normally perceive music when they play it? Is it that you see the notes in front of you, play the note because your fingers know which keys to press and you know what note that is, and then you hear the notes and find out what it sounds like after doing this?

All my life I have remembered melodies in solfege; or I guess sort of sitting on top of major and minor scales mentally - I play them that way on any instrument, I composed things in my head and would sing them in solfege. When it came to "reading" music, I would find the tonic (do) and wend my way up and down an invisible scale. I developed the ability to hear the music I was seeing. In a sense it interfered with my formal instrument (violin) learning because I played "by ear" even when looking at the music. I've only just discovered seeing a note and coupling it with the reflex of putting a finger down on that note as well as knowing it as a pitch, and I think that's what everyone else does - from eye to hand (?)

I've read through the Gordon site that Kreisler put up and apparently that's roughly the way my music awareness developed, including the rhythm audiation with its de-du's, but since I wasn't formally taught I was very weak in things like meter.

Gordon lists as "stage 6" the ability to predict patterns. This really threw my lessons in a loop a few years ago before I started approach the conventional side of music. I was given a piece with an ABA pattern to sight read, and the purpose was to practise 2nd position, so the fingering was unnatural. I was producing the right melody but wrong fingering and that's how we figured it out. What happened: In a matter of seconds I had glanced at the first phrase and heard it, predicted the completing phrase, glanced and saw it was there - standard simple composition I think. I anticipated an answering sentence with a small predictable variation, and that was there - glance, confirm. Then I anticipated the B would modulate to the dominant or relative minor and say the same thing, though I didn't think of it that way - glance, confirm. A would be duplicate of first, quick scan for key area at end. This all happened within a few seconds, and from that point on I was playing what I predicted would be there correctly, because it was an unimaginative composer. I thought I was reading the notes but my eyes were glazed over. When I was using the wrong fingering, plus couldn't find where I was on the page we figured out what I had done. This must be confusing to a teacher - essentially I appeared to be able to read music.

Sight singing: When there was a modulation my mind would hear a new pitch as "do", and if in a minor key the tonic would hear itself as "la".

I have set about learning conventionally because this is limiting in many respects. It put me into a strange situation, because I didn't know or couldn't do the most basic things, but it wasn't apparent, since I could reach the music through other means. I've come to know pitch as pitch, and associate note names with the pitch, and this is a strange new world for me. I have disciplined myself to slow down and recognize each note and intervals etc. by itself rather than reading it as a full melody, so that I have to absorb all of the qualities.

I just did both levels of the RCM rudiments theory exams, and studied for them being very strict about learning it conventionally. It is amazing to discover the theory and rules behind what I have sensed all these years.

In the same year I have moved on to the first harmony theory. After the first introduction at the end of the Barbara Wharram book which is the bible of the RCM exam, which goes as far as perfect, plagal, and imperfect cadences and writing a simple answering melody I've gone on to an old-fashioned book "Basis of Harmony" by F. Horwood published in 1948.

Horwood seems to be teaching "audiation" within his book. The book itself is very dry, with the first chapters simply practising every possible version of triads in root position within set ranges of the bass, tenor, alto and soprano voices and following the rules. The first chapter's questions are half a page long, and take up 2 pages of staff paper to complete.

But here's the audiation link, if I understand it correctly. Horwood insists that a student learn to HEAR what he SEES and writes down, and to only go to the piano to check afterward. You sing your bass note, then you sing the tenor etc., and eventually you should be able to hear the chord, as well as the chord progression, as well as the progression along each voice. I will play the bass note on the piano so that "mentally" I am working along that pitch and in the right key. I have already been helped by someone to develop an ear for pitch in an "absolute pitch" kind of way, and am at the beginning stages. I have just started working this way, and aiming toward Horwood's goals. The skills I began with is being able to distinguish major and minor chords, and I can recognize perfect,plagal and imperfect cadences by their "mood" or feel. But the sense of chords or notes played together such as in intervals is not developed at all. If I hear four notes played together I cannot distinguish one from the other, or pick out and sing back the tenor or alto - I can figure them out intellectually, hear them in my head, and then listen for them.

So these are my adventures, and I feel as though I had just landed after a lifetime sojourn on another planet. This thread on audiation blows me away.

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#1082654 - 12/20/07 10:38 AM Re: How do you learn to audiate?
keyboardklutz Offline
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 Quote:
But here's the audiation link, if I understand it correctly. Horwood insists that a student learn to HEAR what he SEES and writes down, and to only go to the piano to check afterward. You sing your bass note, then you sing the tenor etc., and eventually you should be able to hear the chord, as well as the chord progression, as well as the progression along each voice.
Sounds like you've come a long way. Add species counterpoint to your audiation. There are books which are more diatonic - Swindale is one, but I don't know how available it is.
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#1082655 - 12/20/07 01:02 PM Re: How do you learn to audiate?
keystring Online   content
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Species counterpoint? I don't even know what that is. I have only beeen studying for a total of 8 months. Do you think I'm there yet?

Just looked it up. Seems to be what someone advanced from me by a few years is studying. (?)I'm just at the very beginning of I IV V I without inversions, no melody yet, really really really at the beginning.

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#1082656 - 12/20/07 02:44 PM Re: How do you learn to audiate?
keyboardklutz Offline
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I posted this at the Composer's Lounge in the summer at a topic on Fux (who invented the species idea). You can use a piano to get C, the rest is done in your head.

For those who want to have a go at how they learnt in the 16th century:

This is in the alto clef for ease of reading. Create a part above note-for-note using these rules:
Only consonant intervals may be used. These are:

Unison
Third major and minor
Perfect fifth
Sixth, major and minor
Octave
Tenth Twelth, etc

The spacing should rarely exceed a twelfth.

Fourths and diminished fifths are NOT consonant so are avoided

Parallel fifths and octaves are forbidden (two fifths or octaves after each other)

Exposed fifths and octaves are forbidden (moving to a fifth or octave from the same direction)

Remember, all done in your head!
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#1082657 - 12/20/07 04:31 PM Re: How do you learn to audiate?
keystring Online   content
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Registered: 12/11/07
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Loc: Canada
An interesting task, KBK

edit: I posted some questions and later I realized I misunderstood, when you said "create a part above" I thought it was to be above the melody. You just mean to what you wrote 'above'. d'uh.

"Done in your head" means without an instrument, but still on paper (not done in your head without the paper)? I'll give it a try.

How did you post your image?

P.S. I'm not sure that I understand exposed fifths. Does that mean if the previous note moved up, the fifth or octave has to move down?

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#1082658 - 12/21/07 03:51 AM Re: How do you learn to audiate?
keyboardklutz Offline
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You were right first time. The 'given' part is the cantus firmus - your notes go above each of its notes.

Yes, without an instrument but on paper (this obviously is not 100% true because you need to hear your notes before putting them on paper).

Here is the original thread with one of my answers and one by Kreisler: http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/41/411.html
(though my cadence probably isn't allowed).

There is, I think, a way to post images through PW. I store them on some space I have (your ISP no doubt supplies you with at least 5 meg worth) and use the image tool to paste in.

Exposed fifths - if your two parts are an interval of a fifth or octave, they cannot have got there by moving in the same direction. All the rules have practical experience behind them. In this case the two part texture gets a little lost.
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#1082659 - 12/21/07 06:12 AM Re: How do you learn to audiate?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11190
Loc: Canada
 Quote:

Yes, without an instrument but on paper (this obviously is not 100% true because you need to hear your notes before putting them on paper).
I don't understand. In what way is it not true that you would do it without an instrument because you have to hear your notes? This would assume that you need an instrument to hear your notes at some point. (?)
 Quote:

Exposed fifths - if your two parts are an interval of a fifth or octave, they cannot have got there by moving in the same direction.
I was hung up on "same as what?" and originaly thought it was a motion in the same voice, so that if the voice you're composing had gone up, it could not go up again with the fifth or octave. But I think it means the same as the other voice of the cantus firmus, which is a regular, well-known church melody which was embellished through the other voices (I looked it up) - Did I understand what relates to what right?

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#1082660 - 12/21/07 07:27 AM Re: How do you learn to audiate?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11190
Loc: Canada


How's that?

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#1082661 - 12/21/07 07:29 AM Re: How do you learn to audiate?
playadom Offline
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Registered: 10/21/06
Posts: 1366
Loc: New Jersey
Whoa!

Could you post a link to that instead? It's way too large, and it stretches the whole the thread beyond the threshold of readability.

I also fail to see how using an alto clef is conducive to 'easy reading'. I actually have to consciously shift the notes!
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#1082662 - 12/21/07 07:49 AM Re: How do you learn to audiate?
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Help! I've created a monster!
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#1082663 - 12/21/07 11:19 AM Re: How do you learn to audiate?
keystring Online   content
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Ok, I managed to fix it. Sorry everyone. I was hoping that the odd view was restricted to my computer. \:o

I used the alto clef because that's what KBK began with. .... same thing in treble clef:


(transcription error noted by Keyboardklutz is fixed)

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#1082664 - 12/22/07 02:37 AM Re: How do you learn to audiate?
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Keystring, I'm afraid I'm no expert on these. I'd say it's OK, you seem to have followed the rules I listed. Bar 4, the G and held D going to unison G is an exposed unison (but maybe there is no such thing). Bar 3, B to F is a tritone - I can't remember if that's allowed (the tritone was called the devil's interval). What you really need is some imitation to make it interesting. You marked the intervals correct at the end but transcribed them wrong.

If I were you I'd cut your jpeg down using Paint and post it at the original topic at the Composer's Lounge. There are some REAL experts there.
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#1082665 - 12/22/07 05:42 AM Re: How do you learn to audiate?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11190
Loc: Canada
Thanks for the feedback, Keyboardklutz. I've caught myself being careless with the tritone, slipping back into solfege and not checking the interval as an interval. (Note to self.) No, it's not allowed. That's in your list.

I wondered about the unison thing. Since these rules all have their counterpart in how it sounds, would there be a logical reason for there to be an "exposed unison" rule?

Yes, I think I will bring that over to the CL topic.

Am I right that harmony was not yet used then (chord progression - which I haven't reached yet anyway except for cadences)?

I have wanted to ask: Does audiation play any role in this exercise?

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#1082666 - 12/22/07 05:50 AM Re: How do you learn to audiate?
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Yes, harmony came about around 1600. Corelli did the main job later of evolving it to how it is now.
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#1082667 - 12/22/07 06:47 AM Re: How do you learn to audiate?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11190
Loc: Canada
Keyboardklutz, I've moved this over to the composer's forum, since I think we're hijacking the audiation thread.

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CA95 noisy front rail
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It's not so simple as the 10,000 hour rule.
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