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#1153571 - 03/09/06 12:57 AM Please correct/critique my exercise
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
I'm currently enrolled in an aural theory (ear-training) class, and we're now dealing with harmonic dictations and analyzing the chord progressions. The trouble for me is that for some reason or another I didn't take the written theory course last semester, so even though I can easily write down the treble and bass voices from hearing a 4-voice progression, I'm just now learning on my own the written theory of basic counterpoint and harmonic progressions (which is a prerequisite for what we are doing in this class).

Given the bass and treble voices (which I've written down from hearing the 4-part progressions in class) and the roman numeral notations, I've tried to fill in the middle two voices:

The roman numeral progressions are: i - vii°6 - i6 - V - V7 - i // i - V7 - i - i - V6/5 - i // i - V6 - i - i - V7 - i // i - V6/5 - i - V - i - V7 - i.

Did I do these "correctly"? The two middle voices in the last two measures are almost in parallel motion, but the top and bottom voices are not - so is that alright?

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#1153572 - 03/09/06 10:50 AM Re: Please correct/critique my exercise
8ude Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 2052
Just at first glance, you've got parallel octaves in measures one (in the soprano and alto voices, and also in the bass and alto). It also seems to be rather spread out - if I recall correctly from my theory days, harmonizations are supposed to have no more than an octave between each voice - you routinely have tenths.

Also, I believe in four-part harmonizations you are supposed to avoid three or more of the parts moving in parallel motion at the same time, which you have in the last few measures (I could be wrong on that one though).
What you are is an accident of birth. What I am, I am through my own efforts. There have been a thousand princes and there will be a thousand more. There is one Beethoven.

#1153573 - 03/09/06 12:16 PM Re: Please correct/critique my exercise
Steve Chandler Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 3089
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
One thing I learned in theory is if the same note is in a subsequent chord to hold it. So for example in bar 2 you have an E major chord for the first 2 beats, but you change the voicing. From a 4 part sung by human voices perspective (which is what 4 part harmonizations are all about) this is impractical. I understand why you might want to do this, but changing all the voices may mess up less capable singers. It is an interesting effect to hold a voice while others change around it. This also tends to make your piece sound more contrapuntal rather than a progression of block chords.

Did you write the melody first? It doesn't sound it to my ears. If melody is king write it first and then harmonize it. This will allow you to concentrate on putting in melodic aspects that make it interesting. When you write the harmony at the same time you'll tend to compromise the melody to make harmonization easier. The things about this melody I believe make it weak are the repetitive rhythm and repetitive motives (the descending 3rd and upward mordant just aren't that interesting).

How might I change this?

bar 1. change alto to e, b, a, f, change first note in tenor to c. hold soprano c into 1rst beat of bar 2.

bar 2. hold e in bass for 2 beats, by holding c from bar one the soprano echoes the diminished 4th movement in the tenor in bar 1, but the augmented E chord resolving to E7 is interesting to my ears. Finally continue the melodic line upward with a b on beat 4 leading into bar 3.

That's just a few quick ideas that would seem to me to add strengthen the interest factor by adding some chromaticism to propel the progression. YMMV.

#1153574 - 03/10/06 12:19 AM Re: Please correct/critique my exercise
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5446
Loc: Philadelphia
Steve, if this is what I think it is, it is an exercise given to students that already has two voices filled in. Then the students, based on the symbols, are supposed to fill in the other two voices "correctly". (So, in other words, PJ did not write any of it, but is trying to fill in the proper two voices based on the symbol below the two given notes.)

PJ, I'd love to help you out, but having never taken a theory class in my life, I have no idea what they're trying to tell you to fill in. Sorry. \:\(
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

#1153575 - 03/10/06 11:31 PM Re: Please correct/critique my exercise
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868


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