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#1946128 - 08/20/12 12:51 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata First Mvmnt study thread [Re: thurisaz]
Greener Offline

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014


Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1168
Loc: Toronto


ooops ... wrong thread



Edited by Greener (08/20/12 12:53 PM)
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#1946133 - 08/20/12 12:54 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata First Mvmnt study thread [Re: thurisaz]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3156
Loc: Maine
Thank you to everyone who participated on this thread. I learned from everyone, and I do mean everyone, about form, about the possibilities of what can be heard, about being oriented more to the keyboard than to the notation (pluses and minuses on both sides smile ), about alternate chord names and when you might choose one or another.
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#1946245 - 08/20/12 03:42 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata First Mvmnt study thread [Re: thurisaz]
JimF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1677
Loc: south florida
Richard,

It feels like everyone is deserting this thread for the startup on Bach. But IMO we really just started Moonlight. Now that we know what we are calling stuff and have listed it out we have to see what LvB was doing throughout the piece. If you will, the why's not the what's.

I thought that was what your post earlier today had begun. Call it phase 2 of Moolight thread, whatever.
Did I get your intention wrong?

Because I thought this was the key phrase of the day....

Quote:
The upshot is that since I stopped doing this stuff at university, and without an academic objective I really don't care what you call the chord. I know what it does and how it affects the music. I suppose, ideally, that is where we all need to get to.


++++1

That is certainly the destination I would like to reach some day.
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#1946286 - 08/20/12 04:49 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata First Mvmnt study thread [Re: thurisaz]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3156
Loc: Maine
I'm not there yet to have this all be pure ear stuff. I know facts about progressions on paper, which I use to try to train my ear and to help guide me in interpretation of a piece. Plus I just like seeing the patterns.

For example, I know that ii-V-I is supposed to sound like resolution. So when I can identify something as ii-V-I, I know I should listen to it and see if I can train my ear to hear it as resolution. I also know that when playing it I should phrase it in a way that sounds like resolution (e.g. with dynamics or articulation), even if I can't hear it well harmonically.

I don't know that resolution rule for other sets of numbers. For example, Dm-G7-C fits ii-V-I in the key of C. If I'm in the key of F major, and write this as VIm-II7-V, that set of numbers vi-II-V doesn't mean anything to me yet as far as automatically telling me there's a resolution feeling here. So I prefer to write it as IIm/V-V7/V-I/V. Or if I wrote it as Dm-Bdim6-C, that sequence of letters D-B-C doesn't mean anything to me as far as resolution feeling goes.

So for me, it's still important to identify things back to their conservative names, so that I can understand what's happening. Maybe in the future the letters Dm-Bdim6-C or the numbers VIm-II7-IV will scream "resolution" to me as loudly as Dm-G7-C or IIm-V7-I, but they don't yet. And I'd rather focus on a small number of combinations of letters and numbers, rather than having to learn that combination multiplied by who knows how many multiples for every key and note and chord name combination. (This connects to why I prefer moveable do to fixed do, but we don't need to open that can of worms here smile ).

JimF as far as your broader question: discussion can continue here as long as people want. Raise a point you want to delve into, and I at least will bite. I agree, I hope we can continue delving deeper into this piece.


Edited by PianoStudent88 (08/20/12 04:55 PM)
Edit Reason: correcting roman numerals
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#1946305 - 08/20/12 05:21 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata First Mvmnt study thread [Re: thurisaz]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2310
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Jim, yes, I fully intend to carry on here. What we have done with this piece is found how it's put together.

We've looked at its component pieces and given them names. We've broken the story down into chapters, paragraphs, words and letters. We havent actually read what it says yet.

On our journey we've found that not every one here understands the language it has been written in. Our next series of threads is going to try and resolve that dilemma. As more parts of the language enter our vocabulary and we start to see what the words mean we can keep coming back here and fill in more of the picture.

This thread isn't going away anywhere. If you have a question on it, raise it and when it goes back to the top of the list it'll get attention.

And anyone's welcome to keep asking and answering. It's a bit like a living document.

In my post earlier today I suggested you listen to the first phrase and get the i-V-i in C# minor and feel it or hear it changing to the I-V-I in E major at bar 9. In the Bach Prelude thread I've started explaining the V-I cadence.

When you can do that the next thing is continue doing that with all the sections. Understand why and how the chord progressions are moving and how they're building and releasing tension by hearing it and feeling it.

As we explain more of the features on subsequent threads we can keep coming back here until we finish.
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#1946310 - 08/20/12 05:26 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata First Mvmnt study thread [Re: thurisaz]
JimF Offline
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Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1677
Loc: south florida
got it.
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#1946572 - 08/21/12 08:26 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata First Mvmnt study thread [Re: thurisaz]
Greener Offline

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014


Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1168
Loc: Toronto
Quote:
63. G# 7b9 (dominant minor ninth.)


OK, I see this now. Not sure why I didn't see it the first time. I guess I was focusing rather on trying to beat Jim to the finish line ... laugh .

Generally then, if we can put all the notes in the chord name vs. needing to denote /x , (ie vs B#dim7/G# in this instance,) is it better to do so?

Is this why we call it this way, or is there a better reason I am not understanding?

I was taking a look at movement two. It does not look so bad. Just a lot of repeats. So, longer than it looks at first glance. It is in 5 flats so Db and is in 3/4 time. What? It is a waltz? I guess it is. I had not thought of it this way before.

I think I could handle now. I already know how it goes, which is 3/4 of the battle. Parallel to my reading the notes weakness, is also an elementary understanding of timing. If I just saw a score like this without knowing how it goes ... I would not go near it. Nor, even likely the Bach Prelude we are working on.

I do not think I need another side lesson in this one (timing,) thankfully. I have been shown it enough times that I know the concept. I have just not practiced it enough and instead have always relied on hearing it to get the timing.

As time allows, I believe I will have a go at movement 2 in attempt to strengthen my reading.

Anything to advise on and watch out for?

Thanks Kindly, Jeff


Edited by Greener (08/21/12 08:27 AM)
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#1946598 - 08/21/12 09:39 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata First Mvmnt study thread [Re: thurisaz]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3156
Loc: Maine
Greener, good for you for identifying the key signature, Db major. A few extra things to do with the key signature.

~~~~~~
Notice that another name for Db is C#, so Db major is the same sound as C# major. The first movement was in C# minor. This key has the same tonic note, but is in major. This is called the "parallel major" to C# minor.

One reason for choosing to write it in Db major instead of C# minor might be to have the possibly friendlier key signature of 5 flats (Db major) instead of 7 sharps (C# major).

~~~~~~
Something else: every key signature might be either a major or minor key signature. How do we know this piece is in Db major and not in the minor key that has the same key signature (called the "relative minor" key to Db major)? Answer: the first and last chords are Db major. (Your score may write this with a Da Capo, meaning that the actual last chord appears in the middle of the music.)

But just for fun, if this were in a minor key, what key would it be? To find the relative minor to Db major, count down a minor third from Db. That gives us Bb. So five flats is the key signature for Bb minor.

Notice that Bb minor has 5 flats and Bb major has 2 flats: a difference of 3 flats. This relation between parallel major and minor keys holds for all pairs: 3 more flats, or 3 fewer sharps, in the parallel minor key. We can notice the same thing using the key signature from the first movement: C# major has 7 sharps. C# minor has 4 sharps, which is 3 sharps less than C# major.

~~~~~~
You may not absorb all these things at once, so let them just slide over you if this is too much information for now. Eventually you will start to notice these patterns and they all add up to making it easier to find your way around music. At least they do for me.
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#1946605 - 08/21/12 10:00 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata First Mvmnt study thread [Re: thurisaz]
Greener Offline

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014


Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1168
Loc: Toronto
Quote:
But just for fun, if this were in a minor key, what key would it be? To find the relative minor to Db major, count down a minor third from Db. That gives us Bb. So five flats is the key signature for Bb minor.

Notice that Bb minor has 5 flats and Bb major has 2 flats: a difference of 3 flats. This relation between parallel major and minor keys holds for all pairs: 3 more flats, or 3 fewer sharps, in the parallel minor key. We can notice the same thing using the key signature from the first movement: C# major has 7 sharps. C# minor has 4 sharps, which is 3 sharps less than C# major.


How cool is that cool

It was a lucky guess then that I arrived at Db major as I never would have considered the other possibility of Bb minor. I know Richard explained the relative minor business on the Bach thread yesterday. But, I had not as yet fully absorbed this.

I think another clue I missed in determining which one (Db vs Bbmin,) is what Carol had mentioned yesterday, and you mention here. The opening and closing chords.

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#1946609 - 08/21/12 10:12 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata First Mvmnt study thread [Re: thurisaz]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3156
Loc: Maine
Greener, I'm glad you like the 3 more flats (or 3 less sharps) thing.

When I was in high school playing in marching band, I didn't know any of this but I did notice that the middle ("Trio") section of the marches we played seemed to always have three more flats than the beginning section. Thinking back on this, it leads me to wonder if the Trio section was always in the parallel minor key. Or else, I guess, in the major key up a minor third. (E.g. main section in F major, 1 flat. Trio section in 4 flats. Could be F minor or Ab major.)

Not everything will sink in at once. It takes time and repetition to really absorb all these little facts. Every time you work with this information, every piece you analyze, is building the connections a little stronger.

~~~~~~
I'm still thinking about your "do you include the bass in the chord or as a slash" question.
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#1946620 - 08/21/12 10:51 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata First Mvmnt study thread [Re: thurisaz]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2310
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
So, we're back here again, today!

Not everything in 3/4 time is a waltz. This certainly isn't.

The convention we're following here in the notation is that if the chord is in root position the bass is in the name. If the chord is inverted then the bass note is appended with a slash.

The bass is very important as we're about to discover in the Bach thread.
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#1946628 - 08/21/12 11:05 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata First Mvmnt study thread [Re: thurisaz]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3156
Loc: Maine
Richard, there's a third possibility which is, do you include the bass in the core chord name e.g G#7b9, or do you take it as a non-chordal note e.g. B#dim7/G# where G# is not a note that's part of B#dim7 at all? The slash notation can show inversion, and it can also show non-chordal notes, and I took Greener to be asking about when you settle for the bass being a non-chordal note, vs. when you find a way to see it as a chordal note.

Greener, I have some competing preferences.

On the one hand, I'm not very comfortable with extended chords (chords beyond seventh chords) so if the bass doesn't fit into a seventh chord or less, I'm more inclined to make it a non-chordal note indicated with a slash. This is not necessarily an example to follow -- I should get more comfortable with extended chords -- just reporting where I'm at.

On the other hand, I'm not real happy with non-chordal notes either, but if the same bass note is repeated for several surrounding measures, this becomes a specific compositional device (a pedal note) and makes me happier about having a non-chordal bass note.

On the third hand, I'm slowly becoming familiar with extended chords, and the 7b9 chord is one of them. For example I now like G#7b9 better than B#dim7/G#. G#7b9 feels comfortable because the G# is a third below the B#dim7, so fits into the nice "skip a letter" pattern that I like to see in my chords. (Incidentally, I have to get more comfortable with chords that don't skip a letter, like sus2 and sus4.) Also G#7b9 packages up in one chord name the combination of the notes of G#7 with B#dim7 , both of which are important chords leading to the tonic chord C# minor. These are V7 and VIIdim7 in the key of C# minor. (From the Bach Prelude thread, hopefully you're getting used to V7 being an important chord. We'll get to VIIdim7 soon in the Bach Prelude.) So calling it G#7b9 makes sense of the whole package, whereas B#dim7/G# leaves the G# feeling like it's totally unrelated to what's going on harmonically, which isn't true.

On the fourth hand (and this meshes with the second hand): I prefer the bass in particular to be part of the core chord name and not just a non-chordal slash.

So basically, I try to balance all four hands when I'm identifying chords.

If I were better aurally, I'd have an "on the fifth hand" which would be: what does it sound like to me?


Edited by PianoStudent88 (08/21/12 11:09 AM)
Edit Reason: add a few more hands
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#1946631 - 08/21/12 11:16 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata First Mvmnt study thread [Re: thurisaz]
Greener Offline

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014


Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1168
Loc: Toronto
Quote:
Not everything in 3/4 time is a waltz.


Oh, I thought it was. ZZZT

Question thus. How does one distinguish if something that is written in 3/4 time is a waltz or not?

We do not need to continue discussion here as may be confusing to people visiting for information on 1st movement and we are talking about 5b etc.

If necessary, I will start new thread for 2nd movement. May as well as we already have discussion happening with 1 and 3.


Edited by Greener (08/21/12 11:23 AM)
Edit Reason: needed to ask about waltz
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#1946651 - 08/21/12 12:23 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata First Mvmnt study thread [Re: thurisaz]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2310
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
A waltz is driven by a boom-cha-cha rhythm typified on the piano with a BASS-chord-chord pattern.

Beethoven's little Allegretto isn't. Can you waltz to a minuet?

If you can waltz to this I'm booking a flight to Toronto. This I gotta see!
smile

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#1946657 - 08/21/12 12:33 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata First Mvmnt study thread [Re: thurisaz]
Greener Offline

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014


Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1168
Loc: Toronto
Quote:
If you can waltz to this I'm booking a flight to Toronto. This I gotta see!
smile


laugh

perhaps you should hold off on booking your flight just yet
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#1946853 - 08/21/12 07:30 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata First Mvmnt study thread [Re: thurisaz]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2310
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
Richard, there's a third possibility which is, do you include the bass in the core chord name e.g G#7b9, or do you take it as a non-chordal note e.g. B#dim7/G# where G# is not a note that's part of B#dim7 at all?

Ooh, missed this earlier.

First of all we're doing this for our own purposes not publishing it for sale.

If you know about a G# 7b9 chord then go ahead and use it.

If you don't know the resulting chord then either append the /G# to whatever you come up with or put "over a bass G# pedal" somewhere near it.

If you've never heard of 7#9 chord then spell it "1-3-5-b7-#9". Don't get hung up over the names.
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#1948373 - 08/24/12 10:13 AM Re: Moonlight Sonata First Mvmnt study thread [Re: thurisaz]
Greener Offline

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014


Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1168
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: zrtf90
(this quote carried over from the Bach thread)
Every piece of music should have a climax. Always seek it out in your analysis. In the Moonlight it occurred at measure 27, just before the dominant preparation passage. Try and point to it in your interpretation.


I thought an important mention for this thread (if not already buried somewhere,) so a quick highlight here. I might have picked another one (climax) but see what you mean now.
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#1949504 - 08/26/12 06:21 PM Re: Moonlight Sonata First Mvmnt study thread [Re: zrtf90]
IreneAdler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 120
Loc: Washington
Zrtf90,

How I play the A-B interval in measure 8 is with the LH, is like Wayne33yrs mentioned. 1 and 5 for the interval and then I let my thumb slide to the B right next to the A and then 2 plays the D#. At first it was a little challenging to reach such a distance so I practiced reaching for one note and then the other in a kind a wave motion, so my hand grew accustomed to the distance, and after a few days I could comfortably play the A-B interval.

I am doing the same thing with the C#- D interval; only I find it a little more challenging as you have to reach around black notes in order to play the interval. I found that I can play it if my thumb is just on the C#, not too far back on the note, then my 5th finger can reach the D natural without hitting the C# next door. I hope this helps, I am still kind of new to this piece having only been studying this piece for a little over a month now.

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