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#1160261 - 03/09/09 07:18 PM Is it right? (harmony theory)
keystring Offline
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Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11166
Loc: Canada
I'm near the beginning. This is the first time I'm working with melodic minor. The question shows the top voice and I had to put in the other three voices including the bass. I only know how to do first inversion, so that's a limitation I guess. I can't quite tell if I've done it correctly, and I'm especially unsure about the second phrase.



I've assumed it's melodic minor because of the A natural in the top voice at the beginning, and the G# A# bar 7. Am I right to assume that all the other notes would have the same pattern, i.e. a Gnat & Anat for descending notes, and G# A# for ascending? The book says that the dominant chord in the cadence is an exception because it has to highlight the key note through the leading note.

Thanks in advance.

Keystring

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#1160304 - 03/09/09 08:17 PM Re: Is it right? (harmony theory) [Re: keystring]
Harmosis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/15/07
Posts: 308
Loc: California
Hi keystring,
A few things:

1) You've got parallel 5ths and octaves in mm 1,2,3, & 7 (let me know if you have any trouble finding these).

2) The harmonic progression itself could be better (that is, it could make a little more sense functionally).

3) The spacing between the soprano and alto is too much in m 5, beat 1 (keep it to an octave or less).

Overall the voice leading is a little awkward, although, your V-I cadence at the end is good. Before I comment further, can you tell me if the inversions and accidentals are yours or were they given by the book?

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#1160343 - 03/09/09 09:57 PM Re: Is it right? (harmony theory) [Re: Harmosis]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11166
Loc: Canada
Thanks, Harmosis.

1) I've found all the parallels except for in measure 2. In the measure the soprano and tenor have similar motion (D,B - B,G) but that's a compound third, so I can't find parallel fifth or octave in m. 2.

3) I know better, feel stupid. Thanks.

2) I was not certain about that part. The cadences are clear: "nn-V" for the first, and "V-I" for the second, always in root position. The book suggests Ib VIIb Ia or Ia VIIb Ib for the beginning if possible. Whatever comes before the cadence is pre-cadential (?) and I'm not quite sure what I'm doing in the middle of each phrase.

In m. 5 I was especially uncertain about the first chord.

Quote:
Overall the voice leading is a little awkward

In other words, every voice should be singable or playable, not just the soprano? Or does awkwardness mean something else? If I'm using the wrong chords / functions, might that be affecting what I can do with voice leading as well?

Quote:
Before I comment further, can you tell me if the inversions and accidentals are yours or were they given by the book?

The book gave only a top soprano voice. The inversions are my own. I only have root position and 1st inversion to work with. The accidentals from the soprano aren't my choice, of course.

In case it wasn't clear, this is how the question looked:


I wonder now if I do understand what I'm doing in terms of functional chords beyond cadences. I've done 6 of these exercises. Should I post 2 or 3 to check if I'm lost or just stay with this one, I wonder (??)

Many thanks, by the way. smile

KS



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#1160496 - 03/10/09 03:39 AM Re: Is it right? (harmony theory) [Re: keystring]
Harmosis Offline
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Registered: 02/15/07
Posts: 308
Loc: California
1) m2 is involved in parallel 5ths across the barline: tenor & alto, m1 beat 2 to m2 beat 1; and parallel octaves: bass & alto, m2 beat 2 to m3 beat 1. Also, you have direct 5ths between the alto and soprano, m2 beat 1 to m2 beat 2. The rule here is to avoid similar motion to a 5th or octave when the soprano is leaping.

2) Yes, I think your cadences work just fine. In tonal music VII (as opposed to viiº) is not normally used to return to i in any inversion. It is typically used in descending motion only (i.e., i VII VI V). It is more common to use V or viiº to resolve to i. So for the beginning, I would go i V65 i (or something like that). Also, you've got a iiº (m6, beat 1) moving to a i63. As a pre-dominant chord, you'd normally see iiº move to a dominant chord (V or viiº). When I say “awkward” voice leading, I’m talking about the parallel 5ths and octaves, the direct 5ths in m2, the tritone leap in the bass at m6 beat 2 to m7 beat 1 – things like these. I don't want you to get the idea that your chord choices are bad, just think about what the harmonic progression is doing functionally. Also, consider each line separately as a melody. I think you would really benefit from going through several of Bach's chorales and doing harmonic analyses. Then you could see which chord/inversion tends to go to which other chord/inversion.

As to the individual voices, the melodic interest should be in the soprano and bass (since they stand out more), while keeping the common tones in the tenor and alto as much as possible. In general, avoid awkward leaps like tritones and augmented 2nds. Yes, voice leading is tied to functional harmony in the sense that if you use proper voice leading, functional harmony is easy to achieve. Again, I don't want to say that you're using the "wrong" chords - just put some thought into what your chords are doing, how they function. The only chord that I would say is "wrong," is the VII (subtonic) moving to i because you’d be hard-pressed to find it in the common practice literature.

Have you done figured bass realization? If not, I would advise you to get proficient with that before harmonizing any more melodies. In figured bass, the harmony is dictated by the figures so you don’t have to try to figure out the “right” chords. After doing several of these, you will become more familiar with common harmonic progressions, and then harmonizing melodies will be much easier!

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#1160553 - 03/10/09 07:58 AM Re: Is it right? (harmony theory) [Re: Harmosis]
keystring Offline
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Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11166
Loc: Canada
I wonder if, before going any further, I should tell what I am using. I suspect that some things are being introduced gradually and of course I don't have the overview as a learner. If I have tritones and such, (do I?) then those shouldn't be there because the last chapter did deal with it.

I am using "The Basis of Harmony", F.K. Horwood, Gordon V. Thompson Music, U.S.A. 1948. Horwood was Canadian. I am on chapter VII, and believe I have the other chapters down pat. If you are familiar with the book, you will know what, how & why he has introduced - and what that might mean.

I'll be going over what you wrote before saying or asking more.

Many thanks

KS

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#1160696 - 03/10/09 01:40 PM Re: Is it right? (harmony theory) [Re: keystring]
Harmosis Offline
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Registered: 02/15/07
Posts: 308
Loc: California
I'm not familiar with that text, but I did find a partial copy on Google. Aside from some non-standard labeling, the book seems pretty solid. There are figured bass exercises at the ends of Chps. IV, V, and VI (pp. 11, 17, 23). I highly recommend doing these exercises if you have not done so.

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#1160720 - 03/10/09 02:44 PM Re: Is it right? (harmony theory) [Re: Harmosis]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11166
Loc: Canada
I have done every exercise in the preceding chapters. So far I'm seeing a couple of things that I can control. 1. Intervals between tenor and alto are less apparent to me because it's across clefs and I simply need to be attentive. 2. I had not considered looking across bars. smirk 3. I have been mostly concerned about contrary motion of bass to soprano, and haven't paid enough attention to parallel fifths, octaves, and bad intervals such as tritones. But it's possible that this is the first time that this risk existed since before the bass was always set up for me. I can do something about these three things.

Re:
Quote:
In tonal music VII (as opposed to viiº) is not normally used to return to i in any inversion.

I'm not sure if this is the same thing. Ch. VI stresses the idiom Ia-VIIb-Ib (I-vii6-I6?) and Ib-VIIb-Ia, suggesting that it be used as much as possible to begin phrases. That is what I tried to do - but I have a dim. 7 because it's a descending melodic minor scale.

Ch. 5 deals with secondary triads but only in root position. It gives me the following functions (I'm using the Roman numerals generically without distinguishing major/minor etc. via I, i etc.)
II - for imperfect cadence II-V
..... "excellent approach to perfect cadence" II-V-I, which I assume is pre-cadential.
VI- as substitute for I. role in deceptive cadences.
III - its indefinite nature. role in descending scale passage.

What is good and bad motion for root movement.
- a fourth or fifth is good
- rising a third is weak, but ok on weak beat
- falling a third is good
- rising a second is good except IIa to IIIa

All of these are before first inversions are mentioned, and I cannot know whether they also apply to inversions.

Ch. 6 Introduces first inversions.
- New chords are possible for minor keys
- It suggests that inversions are good for step-wise runs

These are what I have memorized and worked with. I have also leaned heavily on the suggestion to use 3 in the soprano when 1 is in the bass, and 1 when 3 is in the bass. I have used that as a hint as to which triad to choose, and was not sure if that was sound.

The role of VII is not described.
"Pre-cadential" is mentioned but I could only get it by extrapolating from the exercises in that chapter - these, in fact: you'll see the notes in my book as I worked through them.



Chapter 7 harmonizes the melodic line for the first time and warns that because of limitations, it won't be "interesting" yet. It suggests:
1. write bass of cadence at the end of each phrase
2. write bass of pre-cadential chord, preferably using IIa or IIb; if not possible, IVa, VIa or Ib.
3. complete bass using a "reasonable no. of 1st inversions" (no role given)
4. Try to use idiom Ia-VIIb-Ib if possible at beginning of phrase.
5. Don't repeat a chord over bar-line except at beginning of phrase. (I might have restricted myself, by not noticing the "except" part).
6. Try to write root of chord in bass when 3rd is in melody, and vice versa. (I may have over-applied this). Aim for contrary motion to soprano, but "If bass and treble move by similar motion, a series of first inversions is good".

I'm not sure that I applied everything to the melodic minor: maybe it scared me because it was melodic minor.



Do I have enough to work with? I am wondering whether I should also get "Harmony, a revised approach" (RCM's choice) and work with both books.

I had the uneasy feeling when I reached this chapter that I was missing something. Maybe it's not much.


Edited by keystring (03/10/09 03:05 PM)
Edit Reason: The sentence "It seemed that I had the beginning and end, but didn't know what to do with the middle." didn't make sense so I deleted it.

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#1160734 - 03/10/09 03:07 PM Re: Is it right? (harmony theory) [Re: keystring]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Keystring,

Can I ask the key signature of the posted music in the first posting, please? I'm questioning how you identified it.

Did you set up your scale with note first according to the degrees of the scale(1-8) on a piece of manuscript paper as the model? I would suggest treble clef only as it can then be interpreted and transposed to the bass clef easily. But, do give a model of each chord (not more than one clef - too much information!)

Then, did you draw the root positions (triad)as they appear above the note?

This gives you a base of information before you start the work.

From the questions you have asked I think this basic form might be missing from your analysis. Having an extrinsic model will help you move more accurately through the work. It is obvious that the intrinsic understanding of what you are doing is still wobbly.

I'm not sure all of your questions to Harmosis are relevant to doing the work in the first example.

Why clutter to the big picture when it is it's essence you want. Just because something can be explained as such does not mean it applies to your thinking while you are doing it. Too many tracks going on at once. Unnecessarily complicated, I think.

Of course, I'm not having your experiences personally, and I don't understand why all the questions either. If one knows the task and has learned the process the doing is a matter of doing. But, that is not the perspective you are working from it seems.

To do this work, you should already have a very clear idea of the first step to the last. Otherwise, how can you process through this.

It's like attacking algebra and geometry when you are not finished with your times tables and fractions to percentages, etc. back in 3rd grade of elementary school.

I wonder if this is producing a shaky or faulty result for you?
Or, a long and tediously slow thinking process?
Working from understood fact is where you should be, I think, and I am cautioning that here.

Betty Patnude

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#1160859 - 03/10/09 06:49 PM Re: Is it right? (harmony theory) [Re: Betty Patnude]
keystring Offline
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Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11166
Loc: Canada
Betty, I just have time to answer one question for now.
Quote:
Can I ask the key signature of the posted music in the first posting, please? I'm questioning how you identified it.


I have been given the soprano line only to work with. There are two sharps, it is in B minor and the model I am working with has been written in melodic minor form. We know it is melodic minor (as opposed to harmonic) because of the descending A natural in bar 3, and again the ascending G# A# in bar 7 leading to the tonic B. The sixth and seventh degree note have been raised by a semitone as is done for melodic minor.

Addition: I assessed it to be minor than major for the following reasons when examining the soprano line:

Bar 4 (F#) is one of the notes of the dominant triad of B minor, but it does not occur in the dominant triad of D major. That suggests B minor as the key. Bar 8 features B as the final note in the soprano, which is where it would be for an authentic perfect cadence completing a sentence, if it is B minor. If it were D major, we would be seeing a D as the final soprano note. Bar 7 also suggests a cadence leading to B minor and not D major.

Is this also your assessment?

more later & thx

KS


Edited by keystring (03/10/09 07:48 PM)

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#1160927 - 03/10/09 09:10 PM Re: Is it right? (harmony theory) [Re: keystring]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Yes, I concur with a lot of your decisions about the piece.

I wonder if that was easy for you to see almost immediately or if it has been painful labor and conflicting thoughts? I have reason to ask these questions, and appreciate you taking my questions with a good attitude, Keystring.

Can you answer the questions I had about did you prepare the "crib sheets" - "models" of the triads in the Bminor key.

My next comment may hurt a little, but I am wondering why there is so much dialog about what you are working on - is this your thinking through it voice?

In your thinking and analyzing voice, your decisions should be quite clear to you if not at a glance. To do the work fairly easily and accurately, having had all the scales run competently through your fingers would give you a head start. I am assuming you know about scales and are very curious about the minors, but perhaps it is not a triple based learning with the reading of the grand staff, the fingering, the keyboard locations, the precision of the moving scales. In other words, "acing" the scale process before going into the analysis and the transposing, and the voicings, and figured bass.

Such a tast you are willing to take on. My big question is what kind of time does this take, and is it really helping you to add "building blocks" to your music making.

Theory and the piano workout need to go together in my opinion, and then when that is well versed, the notations coming from your own head and hand (such as you are doing) will fall into place better. Saving time, saving effort, and showing you that all the preparatory work was worth doing for such a grand outcome as to be able to take on challenges like this.

It really helps to have played pieces in the keys you are writing in, too. Classical pieces combine best with these kinds of classical standards of theory - they also create special sounds and effects in the playing of them.

The posting in this thread was very interesting, but it was not a formula or system for getting to the outcome you were working toward, it was more of a checking afterwards to verify. But it was full of questions, and in my opinion, the way you really could approach the "mental exercises".

I don't admit to doing these kinds of detailed works all the time, but I have earlier in my life and I felt there must be a better way then, too.

I look at teaching as a why do we need to know, when do we need to know, and is the student going to profit or loss from this experience at this time? The purpose and practice of what you are doing is highly regarded but I wonder about the check points surrounding your project.

Betty

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#1160940 - 03/10/09 09:32 PM Re: Is it right? (harmony theory) [Re: Betty Patnude]
currawong Offline
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Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5834
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude
Such a tast you are willing to take on. My big question is what kind of time does this take, and is it really helping you to add "building blocks" to your music making.

I'm not sure why you seem to be questioning the idea of studying harmony. In my experience the study of harmony and the playing of the piano assist each other, but advanced playing skills are not essential. When I did my degrees there were a number of students for whom piano was not their first instrument, and they managed harmony perfectly well. The ear's the thing.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#1160957 - 03/10/09 10:10 PM Re: Is it right? (harmony theory) [Re: currawong]
Betty Patnude Offline
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Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Currawong,

The study of harmony is a great undertaking, but it works best if a person has piano in their background to be able to get their hands on the keyboard because it is the best of visual tools and aural tools and tactile tools for understanding harmony.

I was taught theory/harmony by an instrumental teacher, and it was never put on the piano in that whole years class. It came from book learning with no practical approach other than to hear sound in scale like progression, half steps, whole steps. I was missing the tactile part which in my learning style was the most important to me, and the fact that I would apply anything learned in theory/harmony to the piano.

It wasn't until I was 27 that all the facts came into being in my body and mind. I could recite this and that and explain it via the book without being able to demonstrate it with confidence. This breakthrough came with the understanding of the Major-minor-diminished-augmented and 6th 7th 8th degrees of the scale. Mainly because I could finally finger them and reach for them and play them with good piano technique. Finally.

The grand staff, the entire keyboard, and myself as the physical instrument came together.

So, you can know a lot of things, I passed a lot of tests satisfactorily, and then still didn't know it in all ways it can be expressed simultaneously.

The pianist is constantly measuring the distance between intervals with their fingers - automatically.

I think the pianist is the one who has to "reign" at his instrument otherwise it doesn't come across as a "sound" performance.

I agree ears are very important! That is all the voice student has to rely on.

It is better, in my opinion, that these abilities stay at a unilateral level (as much as possible) while the student is in development levels. I would also say that someone playing with advanced skill is the only way that you can say about a learning musician, that he has "learned" and "can use" the building blocks he needs to be competent at his instrument.

The piano is simply an extension of our thought processes.

It's doable as long as you don't leave any important links out, and as long as you don't go terribly far over your ability to read and shape the musical output.

You know I can say and even sing: "The square of the hypoteneuse of the right triangle is equal to the sum of the square of the two adjacent sides." I doesn't get me any where.

I really thing theory, harmony, technique are great unto themselves, but when they are combined in one person, there will be no doubt you are in the presence of a "mastered" musician.

I admire your musical degrees, Currawong, that has not been my good fortune in life to have achieved, but I'm still in the game here until the day I die, I think I learn each and every day. It's that quote by John Dewey, "Education is more than preparation for life, it is life itself."

Anyway, I wanted to say that I don't question the idea of studying harmony, it's the why and when of it that needs to be taken into consideration. It needs a mind that's truly ready for it, I think. I said a whole lot more, sorry.

Betty

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#1160973 - 03/10/09 10:50 PM Re: Is it right? (harmony theory) [Re: Betty Patnude]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5834
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude
Anyway, I wanted to say that I don't question the idea of studying harmony, it's the why and when of it that needs to be taken into consideration. It needs a mind that's truly ready for it, I think. I said a whole lot more, sorry.


Yes, I basically agree that the "why and when" need to be taken into consideration. But the mind which is ready for it is (IMO) any mind with a desire to learn, and the ability to turn what they're writing on paper into sound, and what they hear as sounds onto paper - or even the ability to begin to do that. And I maintain that advanced piano skills are certainly useful - just not essential.

I totally agree with you about the teaching of harmony by rules and "book learning" alone without reference to sound. Luckily I wasn't taught harmony like that, neither do I teach it like that myself. Maybe your experience has made you unduly wary of the sort of exercises keystring is doing here. But Harmosis has already suggested playing the figured bass exercises to ensure a connect between the notation and the sound. Anyone who's ever asked a harmony question around here would know that Harmosis always gives clear and sound (haha) advice on harmony, and I always wait for his responses with interest. In fact I don't usually answer harmony queries - I just wait for Harmosis smile

Now, sorry keystring, I'll stop derailing your thread smile
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#1160976 - 03/10/09 10:55 PM Re: Is it right? (harmony theory) [Re: currawong]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Currawong said: "Now, sorry keystring, I'll stop derailing your thread"

Me, too. I guess I didn't realize it was derailing. Duh!

Betty

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#1160995 - 03/10/09 11:34 PM Re: Is it right? (harmony theory) [Re: Betty Patnude]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11166
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Harmosis has already suggested playing the figured bass exercises to ensure a connect between the notation and the sound

Oops, I missed that part. Is that what "figured bass realization" means?

I play what I've written to check, and I've played a fair number of the Bach chorales. Does this mean music where the figures alone have been written out instead of the notes? Does that exist?

KS

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#1161300 - 03/11/09 02:06 PM Re: Is it right? (harmony theory) [Re: keystring]
Harmosis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/15/07
Posts: 308
Loc: California
Hi keystring,
A figured bass is a bass line plus the figures. "Realizing" a figured bass means to supply the correct harmony to the bass line based on the figures given. In the Baroque period, keyboardists did this in real time, in the performance. As an academic study, we write in the harmony in SATB format.

At this point, I would advise you to look at the figured bass exercises that you've already done, and take note of the harmonic progresisons - you should be coming up with similar progressions when when you harmonize a melody. I also think it would be very beneficial to analyze some Bach chorales for the same reason. Go back to that B minor melody and re-harmonize it. Don't worry about the mistakes you've made, or the mistakes you will make - that's a part of the learning process.

Just to clear up what I was saying about the chord on the 7th: Your book uses upper-case Roman numerals to label all chords, regardless of the quality. A lot of books do this, but it can make things a bit confusing. When I use "viiº," that means A# C# E (in our key of Bm). The book simply uses "VII." I use "VII" to mean the subtonic chord, A C# E. So when the book suggests using "VIIb," for the 2nd chord, thats "viiº6" (A#dim in 1st inversion). I agree that there should be a dominant-function chord there, so make sure the A is sharped.

Again, just clean up the issues we've already addressed and take another crack at it:)

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#1161330 - 03/11/09 02:57 PM Re: Is it right? (harmony theory) [Re: Harmosis]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11166
Loc: Canada
Thanks Harmosis. I caught on late last night that you meant specifically the quality of VII, and *then* I realized that since the first part is ascending, an A# should have been there = viiº. And FROM there: I would get a dim5 in the middle rather than actual parallel fifths, and that particular sequence is allowed in that case. My ear also accepts it.

Quote:
I agree that there should be a dominant-function chord there, so make sure the A is sharped.

I've reasoned that the 7th should be raised because it is ascending melodic minor, and you state that it should be raised because it is dominant-function. Do the two perspectives mesh? I would think so since we raise the 7th to pull to the tonic which matters for ascending, and then the 6th for mel. min. to smooth out the melodic line (6th doesn't matter for this question).

I realized that I understand less about melodic minor than I thought. The whole passage would be in that one kind of minor constantly, I imagine, but it would be governed by the melody line. For example, if a lower voice is descending, but the melody is ascending, we are raising the 6th & 7th degrees governed by the top voice, never the bottom. This should be obvious but I'd like to double check.

I will indeed go back to it. Your musical explanations have put a needed perspective and I've turned my ear back on esp. horizontally. I still don't have much of a vertical ear. I expect three tries in all at minimum.

Quote:
"Realizing" a figured bass means to supply the correct harmony to the bass line based on the figures given. In the Baroque period, keyboardists did this in real time, in the performance.

This would mean an existing melodic line and figures beneath? The figures would not mean Roman numerals - I am limited to the number 6 and accidentals currently.

I have toyed with the thought, if it existed, of working with such a score at the piano in (slow) real time. It seemed it might be something nice to be developed. I'm not limiting myself to paper exercises.
Quote:
I also think it would be very beneficial to analyze some Bach chorales for the same reason.

I've considered this, but since Horwood feeds things in progressively and I only have first inversions, no modulations yet, I was wondering whether it might be too early for that.

There is also a lot that I have not absorbed in those two chapters which would have helped me. I will indeed go back to the B minor. And mistakes rock - I like mistakes = growth. wink

In regards to naming: I've made myself familiar with the various forms. I think if we stay with the old music then IIb etc. is good enough since it is so structured and predictable - the second degree of a major scale will be minor in most cases, why write it out? But in later music it gets complicated.

I'm familiar with upper/lower case to designate quality. I know theoretically that 64 designates a second inversion though I'm not there yet. I also know what Barbara Wharram calls 'popular' i.e. for ""viiº6" (A#dim in 1st inversion)" you can feel free to write "A#dim/C" --- It's still new but I have the gist.

An extra question:
How did you create the raised "o" in viiº6?

Many thanks! smile

KS

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#1162447 - 03/13/09 06:20 PM Re: Is it right? (harmony theory) [Re: keystring]
keystring Offline
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A correction to the above post which I can no longer edit. A#dim/C should say A#dim/C#

KS

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#1168716 - 03/25/09 04:33 PM Re: Is it right? (harmony theory) [Re: keystring]
keystring Offline
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This is my second try. Am I any closer this time?


KS


Edited by keystring (03/25/09 04:59 PM)
Edit Reason: added question

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#1169066 - 03/26/09 08:36 AM Re: Is it right? (harmony theory) [Re: keystring]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13706
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Much better! Only problem I see are parallel octaves in bass and alto from measure 2-3.
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#1169115 - 03/26/09 10:23 AM Re: Is it right? (harmony theory) [Re: Kreisler]
keystring Offline
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Thanks, Kreisler - I'll go tackle that part then.

A side question I've been curious about in regards to this kind of choral music when it has melodic minor. It "sounds odd" to me - sort of ancient-music-ish. I can't quite tell if it's what I'm doing or the nature of the resulting harmonies. I've had a thought that since a descending melodic minor is essentially a natural minor scale, if that makes it sound like it belongs to the Renaissance period. I've played it over and over, and I cannot tell whether it sounds good to me because of this "oddness" impression.

KS

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#1169189 - 03/26/09 11:51 AM Re: Is it right? (harmony theory) [Re: Kreisler]
keystring Offline
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To my chagrin, I just noticed that the parallel octaves you pointed out, Kreisler, are the same notes and error as the first time around. blush

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#1169253 - 03/26/09 01:24 PM Re: Is it right? (harmony theory) [Re: keystring]
keystring Offline
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Third try - changes to measures 2 & 3.


Keystring

(attempt to sharpen image - edit)


Edited by keystring (03/26/09 01:28 PM)
Edit Reason: corrected measure no.

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#1170546 - 03/28/09 09:56 PM Re: Is it right? (harmony theory) [Re: keystring]
Harmosis Offline
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Registered: 02/15/07
Posts: 308
Loc: California
Hi keystring,
It is better, but you've still got a few issues:

1] Tritone leaps in the bass (G to C#) - m2 beat 2 to m3 beat 1; m6 beat 1 to beat 2 to m7 beat 1. These really stand out - get rid of them.

2] Doubling - m2 beat 2, you've got an Em in the 1st inversion but with the 5th doubled. The root should be doubled. In 2nd inversion chords, you double the 5th. There are times to double the 3rd (usually to avoid doubling dissonant tones, or parallel 5ths in some resolutions) but as a general rule, double the root. Also, the chords on m3 beats 1 & 2, m5 beat 2, and m6 beat 2 need correct doubling. In m7 beat 1, you've got a G natural in the tenor but a G# in the soprano creating an augmented octave - if you want this chord to be a C#m, then you need to double the C#.

3] Tendency tones in your vii to i resolution (m1 beat 2 to m2 beat 1) - the E in the alto should resolve to D (fa-me), leaving DDBB (SATB) - this is a case where doubling the 3rd is entirely appropriate (in both the tension chord and resolution chord). Also, sharp the A in m5 beat 1 (because it's the leading tone).

Furthermore, keep an eye on the functional aspect of this - mm5-6 are a little strange. Correcting the above problems will actually help you with this.

All these issues are why your realization sounds "odd." Again, you've successfully addressed some of the problems, but take another pass at it - you're getting closer. smile

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#1170578 - 03/28/09 11:09 PM Re: Is it right? (harmony theory) [Re: Harmosis]
keystring Offline
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Thank you, Harmosis - I'll get on to it. This is *very* much appreciated.

A few questions:
Quote:
In m7 beat 1, you've got a G natural in the tenor but a G# in the soprano...

Q1: Convention re: accidentals. I understand there are two conventions. (?) When I sharped the G# in soprano, this was to affect all G's in that bar, so the tenor would be read as G# as well. The other convention states only the note on the same line or space is affected = the one you applied? Is the first obsolete or I have it wrong?
- I will use a C# as you suggest, but want to clear up the convention.

Q2: I'd like to check (improve) what I learned about doubling: I memorized that in 1st inversion, it is "recommended" to double roots for I, IV, V (primary triads), but thirds for the secondary triads (II, III, VI, VII). I followed it blindly, as you can see. (The doubled fifth being the exception - that's pure error)
- So I think I understand that the recommendation actually leads to avoidance of dissonance. I should be watching for dissonance rather than thinking of these degree numbers, correct? Apparently my following this rule blindly led to three errors and funny sounding music.

For the rest, you've given me something to work with. Applying "fa-mi" to harmony is new to me, but I'm familiar with the idea from adjusting pitches on the violin.

I appreciate this immensely. smile smile

KS

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#1170641 - 03/29/09 02:44 AM Re: Is it right? (harmony theory) [Re: keystring]
Harmosis Offline
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Registered: 02/15/07
Posts: 308
Loc: California
Re Q1: In the context of SATB, we have 4 voices so each voice needs its own accidentals. So, the G# in the soprano only affects the rest of the measure in the soprano voice. The thing to remember is that the goal of notation is clarity. So if anything seems ambiguous, try to make it very clear.

Re Q2: It's difficult to make a solid rule for doubling in 1st inversion, and not all theory books agree. Some books say double the bass, some say double as you described above, some say it's at your discretion. The bottom line is that voice-leading should really dictate the doubling. Above, I said to double the root, but that is really a "beginner" rule to simplify the issue. I recommend doubling the root where possible, but let voice-leading be the primary deciding factor.

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#1170754 - 03/29/09 11:56 AM Re: Is it right? (harmony theory) [Re: Harmosis]
keystring Offline
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Registered: 12/11/07
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Thank you, Harmosis. Everything is clear now and I'll post the results when I've worked it through.

KS

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#1170788 - 03/29/09 01:18 PM Re: Is it right? (harmony theory) [Re: keystring]
keystring Offline
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Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11166
Loc: Canada
Sorry, I discovered I have another question that I need to straighten out:
Quote:
the E in the alto should resolve to D (fa-me),


Do you, by any chance, call the tonic of the minor "do" instead of "la"?

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#1170830 - 03/29/09 02:28 PM Re: Is it right? (harmony theory) [Re: keystring]
Harmosis Offline
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Registered: 02/15/07
Posts: 308
Loc: California
Yes, I use the movable-Do system, so the tonic is always "Do."

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#1170851 - 03/29/09 02:54 PM Re: Is it right? (harmony theory) [Re: Harmosis]
keystring Offline
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Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11166
Loc: Canada
I can function with this, but I'd like to fill you in. I was taught movable do in the early 1960's and it was my only reference for decades. Two years ago this was tweaked in ear training in a violin context.

In this movable do, you acquire a sense of the "flavours" or colours of the degree-relationships within the two modes we call major or minor. That's quite developed in me because it's the only thing I had. In "mi-fa" (major scales) the "fa" is pulled heavily toward the "mi", the distance between the two notes is smaller than a semitone and is part of that pull. I know that this is also explained in the various temperament systems (equal, just, etc.) It is also a reality of how I hear and produce music: these "flavours" exist within the syllables for me.

In the movable do I learned, the minor scale's tonic begins with the syllable "la". The IV-III of a melodic minor scale are a whole tone apart, so the tight semitone + pull do not exist as a flavour. To me, they are "re do" - and I feel this as a flavour. If I read "mi fa" also expect the semitone relationship and that flavour - does this make sense? I audiate. AS LONG AS I KNOW the system you are using I'm fine. I'll just translate what you are saying and enter a system where the minor scale tonic is do, and the flavours don't apply.

I tested this out, now that I know officially that IV resolves into III melodically in minor scales. When I hear "re - do" in my mind, I still want it to pull to the III (do, for me in my old system) because it's like a secondary tonic. So this feeling for the music works for me and I can use it. Otherwise I'd go strictly theoretical and not use my inner ear.

I know that there are two systems for naming movable do: the one where "la" is the tonic for the minor, and the one where "do" is the tonic for the minor. When discussing music with others I have to go by their conventions. I don't know when or where it changed historically.

My ability to audiate, btw, used to be only within solfege - I guess I perceived like people a few centuries ago. I must be "semi-modal" or something and am trying hard to catch up with the rest of the world. wink But I have since trained in pitch and pure intervals. I do, however, hear and sing the notes in solfege for certain situations and it's a tool I use. I was 49 years old before I learned to read notes, and even then it took another few years to realize I was not really reading them.

This is ultimately unimportant since I have to adjust to how things are named here and now. I do still encounter funny hiccups though, as with the "mi fa" yesterday, and that's when I have to ask strange questions.

KS


Edited by keystring (03/29/09 03:10 PM)
Edit Reason: last par. added

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