Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#1954240 - 09/05/12 12:53 PM Binary Form: Study and Analysis
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2230
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
The structures used for much of today's music have been around since pre-tonal times. They are architectural structures such as AAA, ABA (ternary), ABACAB and the old verse/chorus.

The forms that developed during the tonal era were not architectural but were based on tonality and modulation. They weren't forms as much as an approach to composition. Sonata form is not a form. It is a principle that dominated the classical era in works from symphonies, to overtures, to symphonic poems to operatic arias.

It gained this dominance because of its flexibility and freedom from form.

The most popular forms in the Baroque period are binary, ritornello and the da capo ternary forms. In the classical period they combined to form the sonata. The sonata principle grew out of binary form but ritornello form, which underlies concertos, developed into the sonata rondo and the da capo ternary form was also frequently used for some sonata movements.

This thread is about binary form, which, at its core is two parts, each repeated. There are several types of binary form but the one that interests us is the one that led to the sonata and which follows the key scheme where the first part begins in the tonic key and modulates to the dominant (or the relative major for a minor key piece) and the second part moves from there and finishes in tonic (or tonic major).

Hoping to learn lessons from our previous excursions into daunting challenges I want to start with something not too difficult - Bach's Six Little Preludes, BWV 933-938.

Here's a link to the score: 6 Little Preludes

And to some performances: Landowska(Harpsichord), Koopman(Harpsichord) or Seeman(Piano)

There are other performances of the individual preludes that might be worth checking out.
_____________________________________________

Starting with the first piece in C major, and looking only at the accidentals and the last chord of each half I get a diagram of the piece as follows:

||: C major : G major :|||: G major : A minor : F major : C major :||

The G major is indicated by the F#'s appearing in M5-8.
In the second half the G# (M10) suggests A minor (the Bb in M11 is chromatic and is natural again in M12). M12 could be E minor. M13 is briefly F major and then we're in C again to the end.

Make a diagram of the other 5 pieces, or if you're new to this, just No. 4 in D major, and look only at the persistent accidentals.
_________________________
Richard

Top
(ads P/S)
Sauter Pianos

piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#1954286 - 09/05/12 02:09 PM Re: Binary Form: Study and Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1073
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: zrtf90

Make a diagram of the other 5 pieces, or if you're new to this, just No. 4 in D major, and look only at the persistent accidentals.


Yes, new to this so starting with no. 4 and only to first repeat to make sure I'm getting.

D Major | A Major | D Major | A Major

See a G# in m5-m7 to indicate switch to A major. See a G natural in M9 to indicate back to D major. See a C natural in m11 but sharp again in m12, so I am not putting too much weight in this just yet. Then we start seeing G# again in m14 to suggest back in A major.

Needed to go back to older Bach thread and look up minor scales, but don't think needed just yet.

Is this on track ?
_________________________
“Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy.”
--Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

            

Top
#1954291 - 09/05/12 02:17 PM Re: Binary Form: Study and Analysis [Re: Greener]
HeirborneGroupie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/09
Posts: 223
Loc: Florida
I get:-

D major : A major : G major : B minor : A major.

I think I may be reading too many of the accidentals though.
_________________________
Carol
Kawai RX 2


Top
#1954295 - 09/05/12 02:25 PM Re: Binary Form: Study and Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2230
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
That's pretty much it. I'd have overlooked the early foray into A major because there's no cadence to establish the key but there's no doubt he modulates through it.

For now, that's all we need. Raw data.
_________________________
Richard

Top
#1954298 - 09/05/12 02:30 PM Re: Binary Form: Study and Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1073
Loc: Toronto
I totally missed the A # in m13. So will say we switched back to A Major in m12 or m13.

My confidence though is extremely shaky ...

Scratch that ... how could we be in A with an A# ... checking out the B minor now ...


Edited by Greener (09/05/12 02:34 PM)
_________________________
“Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy.”
--Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

            

Top
#1954299 - 09/05/12 02:31 PM Re: Binary Form: Study and Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2230
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
The G# in M5-7 is persistent enough. It's cancelled in 9. The C natural in M11 is restored to C# in M12. The A# in the bass in M13 is cleared by the A natural in treble clef in the next bar. These are chromatic changes not persistent. Every G from M14 is sharped. That's persistence.

I would say the G# introduced in M5-7 is cleared by the natural in M9 without an intervening cadence. That's experience! smile
_________________________
Richard

Top
#1954303 - 09/05/12 02:40 PM Re: Binary Form: Study and Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1073
Loc: Toronto
So just D major and then A major starting in M14 and ending at repeat ?
_________________________
“Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy.”
--Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

            

Top
#1954309 - 09/05/12 02:49 PM Re: Binary Form: Study and Analysis [Re: Greener]
HeirborneGroupie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/09
Posts: 223
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By: Greener
I totally missed the A # in m13. So will say we switched back to A Major in m12 or m13.

My confidence though is extremely shaky ...

Scratch that ... how could we be in A with an A# ... checking out the B minor now ...


Jeff, I think Richard was saying you were correct in your original analysis. I just made mine way more complicated than it needs to be (story of my life grin ).
_________________________
Carol
Kawai RX 2


Top
#1954318 - 09/05/12 03:06 PM Re: Binary Form: Study and Analysis [Re: Greener]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2230
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Originally Posted By: Greener
I totally missed the A # in m13. So will say we switched back to A Major in m12 or m13.

My confidence though is extremely shaky ...

The addition of A# suggests the relative minor, B minor. Again, it isn't established by cadence. Bach is wandering around that area but he hasn't sat down yet. If he were trying to establish B minor I would expect to see all the A's sharped for a few bars. They flip from bar to bar.

I see M1-10 as the antecedent or question phase. The G# is natural by the end of bar 10. I wouldn't count it. M10-20 is the consequent or answer phase. I don't see it as groups of phrases. Just M1-10 and M10-20. Listen to it if you can't play it. See what you think.
_________________________
Richard

Top
#1954359 - 09/05/12 04:17 PM Re: Binary Form: Study and Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1073
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: zrtf90

I see M1-10 as the antecedent or question phase. The G# is natural by the end of bar 10. I wouldn't count it. M10-20 is the consequent or answer phase. I don't see it as groups of phrases. Just M1-10 and M10-20. Listen to it if you can't play it. See what you think.


I hear the distinction of m10-m20 as being answer / consequent, as you say. Would though, suggest M10-M16 as answer and M17-20 as the agreed conclusion? There seems to be another, shorter go around at m17-20.

As I listen I am focusing primarily on the bass line and these are the separations I notice.
_________________________
“Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy.”
--Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

            

Top
#1954368 - 09/05/12 04:33 PM Re: Binary Form: Study and Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11190
Loc: Canada
I have written about the form of the Em Prelude - in a practical sense - in that thread because I think it is important for anyone coming to that thread wanting to work with the prelude. Ideally it would have been at the START of the thread, because if you see that there are two, almost identical, halves where the middle is different, it will make it much easier to understand.

link to Em thread with comment about its form

Top
#1954372 - 09/05/12 04:37 PM Re: Binary Form: Study and Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2230
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
If you were playing this, Jeff, would you stop on the first beat of M17 the way you would on the first beat of M10? Either way the key of A major is 'established' by the cadence at M20.

(This should not be carved in stone or applied with all the force the legal system can muster but) Forget the bass line. That's a continuo part to the duet of voices in RH.

Have you started the second half? smile
_________________________
Richard

Top
#1954380 - 09/05/12 04:48 PM Re: Binary Form: Study and Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1073
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: zrtf90

Have you started the second half? smile


Nope. I was still trying to learn this far. But don't think I'll be able to keep up with learning as we go. So will come back to learning later.

Will get cracking on second half ...
_________________________
“Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy.”
--Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

            

Top
#1954385 - 09/05/12 05:04 PM Re: Binary Form: Study and Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2230
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
No, Jeff, let's learn as we go and get the first half sorted.

If M17-20 is read as another part in addition to the consequent, would it change the question of what key we were in?
_________________________
Richard

Top
#1954388 - 09/05/12 05:12 PM Re: Binary Form: Study and Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11190
Loc: Canada
A number of people in the ABF have expressed confusion about the other analysis threads. They have the impression that music and analysis are confusing. My hope is for THIS thread to start with more clarity and simplicity. Since we're looking at a specific form, maybe that will do the trick.

Binary form means that the music has two parts the repeat, which we can call A and B. There is an A part and a B part, and each feels relatively distinct and in its simplest from will end in a cadence. Depending in the music, there may be a I-V kind of cadence that tells you "we're pausing here, but we're not finished", or a V-I cadence that has a sense of completion since it ends on the tonic. Often the 2nd part will modulate into a related key such as the dominant key or the relative minor. In other words, a piece in C major can move to G major, or to A minor.

In the way it's taught, they give some simple prototypes or patterns. The simplest goes:
A A // B B
The first section is played twice, usually with a repeat sign, then the second section is played twice.

Getting fancier, you can have the same thing as above, but the composer gets creative, and adds variety to the second half so that it is longer.
A A // longer B, longer B

The third type changes the order, but we still have A and B. The first part (A) is played twice. Then in the second half, you have B and then it goes back to A.

A A // B A, B A.

------------------
These three kinds are called "symmetrical binary" (the A's & B's are the same length & similar), "asymmetrical binary" (because B is longer so the symmetry has gone), and "rounded binary" (dunno why, but it's the third kind.

Later on when we look at sonata form, we'll see that the idea of "rounded binary" has taken off in the sense of repeating things and going back to things. So if you get a feel for the last kind, it might help later for sonata form which is a tad fancier.

In my course they gave us some 40 small pieces to identify. The identifying part wasn't that useful, because what's the point of names. But starting to be able to ** identify ** sections, and noticing where they repeat, or their variations, has been helpful in all kinds of music since.


Edited by keystring (09/05/12 05:32 PM)

Top
#1954397 - 09/05/12 05:33 PM Re: Binary Form: Study and Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
HeirborneGroupie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/09
Posts: 223
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By: zrtf90


I see M1-10 as the antecedent or question phase. The G# is natural by the end of bar 10. I wouldn't count it. M10-20 is the consequent or answer phase. I don't see it as groups of phrases. Just M1-10 and M10-20. Listen to it if you can't play it. See what you think.



I'm not hearing this. It looks to me like the end of measure 10 falls during a run of 16th notes which seems a very odd place to change key. It all sounds like one cohesive thought to me. Any suggestions on how I can hear this more clearly?
_________________________
Carol
Kawai RX 2


Top
#1954405 - 09/05/12 05:37 PM Re: Binary Form: Study and Analysis [Re: keystring]
HeirborneGroupie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/09
Posts: 223
Loc: Florida
Thanks for your post Keystring. Some useful information there.
_________________________
Carol
Kawai RX 2


Top
#1954412 - 09/05/12 05:59 PM Re: Binary Form: Study and Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2230
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Hi Carol, I see one phrase finishing on the first RH note, low F#, of M10 and the next one starting on the upper F#.
________________________

If someone says "It's a fine day today. Don't you think so?" Are they a) asking a question, b) making a statement and then asking a question or c) just making a statement about the weather?

For me they're asking if I agree that the weather is fine even though they state first that it is. It's all part of the one question for me.

I read M10-20 as one 'statement' all in the key of A. It doesn't start in A but it ends in A so it's in A.

If you read M10-16 as consequent and M17-20 as extra then it's two statements for you.

The consequent M10-M16 finishes in A so, for me, all of M10-16 is in A even though it doesn't actually start in A.

If M10-12 were one phrase and M10 were in D, M11 in B-flat and M12 in E, then that whole phrase, for me, is E.
If you think it modulates through Dand B-flat then it does.
_________________________
Richard

Top
#1954421 - 09/05/12 06:21 PM Re: Binary Form: Study and Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1073
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: zrtf90
No, Jeff, let's learn as we go and get the first half sorted.

If M17-20 is read as another part in addition to the consequent, would it change the question of what key we were in?


I meant I was learning how to play it. If that's what I need to do, I've got an all nighter tonight to just get the first A.

I can't read this quick, but can keep up with the study, I think.

Originally Posted By: zrtf90

If M17-20 is read as another part in addition to the consequent, would it change the question of what key we were in?


No ... I'm cool with A major in consequent m10 - m20.

Next section has my head spinning already. I see us starting out in G major, but then getting all messed up when I see the D# and C natural over and over. More analysis pending ...
_________________________
“Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy.”
--Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

            

Top
#1954444 - 09/05/12 07:29 PM Re: Binary Form: Study and Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2230
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Originally Posted By: Greener
I meant I was learning how to play it. If that's what I need to do, I've got an all nighter tonight to just get the first A.

Ah, yes, I see now.

Jeff, this is Bach. This is not an all nighter.

This is not an all weeker either.

It may not even be an all monther.

But it shouldn't be an all yearer!

This is how I learn Bach.
_________________________

Learn just the RH up to the first beat of bar X. Just as many notes as you can remember in about a minute.
Learn just the LH up to the same point.

Put the two hands together as slowly as it takes to get them right. Not close. Right. You might keep the hands separate a little longer if you're trying to solve a technical difficulty, e.g. M27-28, RH.

1) place the right fingers over the right keys
2) position the other fingers over the keys you'll be playing next
3) as you press each key with the right stroke at the right dynamic force, simultaneously prepare the next fingers over the next keys if they're not already there and look ahead to see what's happening after that. Keep the keys pressed, if they're not staccato until you're ready to play the next notes. Repeat.

The first few times may take two to four seconds per eighth note. Work it every day until you can play it without hesitation or stumble at about half speed or just fluently.

Work only as much as you can practise each day getting it right every time, a minimum of 7-10 times. If you play a wrong note do another 7-10 times right after that. Always finish with 7-10 correct plays. The time it takes to get it right, however long that is, is about 7 times faster than trying to fix it later.

I would start this at two bars at a time. Three may be possible, four might be pushing it.

When you get that unit right first time at the start of your practise, play it three or four times, instead of 7-10, then start work on the next unit. When you've got the second unit done, join them together as one chunk and start on the next unit.

Each day you play through as many measures as you 've joined up to about 10 at a time for this piece. 6 - 8 would be my norm for an invention/sinfonia and about 4 - 6 for a fugue.

Keep the chunks small until you can play the whole section without stumble or hesitation.

While you're working on 21-23, say, play 1-10 a couple of times, then 10-17, then 17-20 each day. This will prevent errors from creeping in.
_________________________
Richard

Top
#1954447 - 09/05/12 07:35 PM Re: Binary Form: Study and Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2230
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Originally Posted By: Greener
Next section has my head spinning already. I see us starting out in G major, but then getting all messed up when I see the D# and C natural over and over. More analysis pending ...

C natural means key sig has reverted to one sharp (G major or E minor). The D# means E minor.

D# would only mean E major if G were also sharped.

Don't let your head spin, ask questions or skip over it.
_________________________
Richard

Top
#1954449 - 09/05/12 07:41 PM Re: Binary Form: Study and Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11190
Loc: Canada
I understand that what's being analyzed is number 4, in D major. I just went through it. This is much more complicated than anything I touched when learning about binary form. It is also not that easy to sight read, esp. the tenth in m. 22.

This is how I looked at it and what I saw:

- The first part up to the repeat is shorter than the second part. It's 19 measures long, while the second part is 27 measures, so more is going on.
- The start of the 2nd part does not seem like a modulated version of the first part when I play the first few measures.
- If I go to the very end, which is the next place I want to look, the last measure "looks like" the last measure of part 1. I mean that you have the same half note, same 16th to slurred 8th-quarter etc., and the intervals are the same. I expected to hear the same thing in a modulation, and I did.
- Working backward from the end of both parts, they have the same pattern for 7 measures. If you play m. 12 - 19, and play m. 40 - 47, you have exactly the same music, but in a different key.
- The first half ends in A major: modulating to the dominant key is common for this form. The second half ends in D major, which is the tonic. This is also common. We will also see this kind of thing in sonata form, where a certain part is modulated, and then revisited the second time in the original key.
- I don't seem to see the whole of the first part being repeated at the end; only the second half.

So at this point my impression is that Part I has its two halves, ending in the dominant key. Part II seems to go off and do its own thing, modulating through various keys. Then there is a break in the music in m. 35 via the rest in the RH, then 4 measures that bring the music back to the home key: 38 & 39 have a strong A7-D, and then we're repeating the last part of Part I, in D major.

This reminds me of a primitive version of sonata form. In sonata form the composer first sets out a couple of themes. Then there is a "development" where he plays with parts of the themes, going hog wild. The he "recapitulates" or goes back to how it started, ending in the same way as his beginning, but in the home key. I see a simple version of that here.

He also obscures his chords, making them subtle by extending notes, overlapping them (I am deliberately not using official terms), which makes it harder to follow for analysis. He also does counterpoint, where you hear a type of "melody" in one hand, and then it is taken up by the other hand, and maybe varied or put upside down. All of this makes the piece more difficult to analyze.

Notice that I am NOT starting at the beginning and working my way to the end. I am also not limiting myself to the first half. It seems handier to first get a general impression. It's like if you are from another planet and want to understand "human being" you don't start at the eyelashes, pupil, nostrils. You get an overview of the human form: head, torso, limbs, and then look at details which will have a sense as part of the whole. At least that is how I function.

Top
#1954459 - 09/05/12 08:12 PM Re: Binary Form: Study and Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1073
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: zrtf90

C natural means key sig has reverted to one sharp (G major or E minor). The D# means E minor.

D# would only mean E major if G were also sharped.

Don't let your head spin, ask questions or skip over it.


Oddly enough I was considering e minor. It almost met all of my criteria. Now that I am calculating the E minor scale correctly (harmonic,) it is indeed meeting ALL criteria.

Could it be G Major | E Minor | G Major | D Major ?

We are only in second G Major occurrence for brief few bars and also the G# cancels itself. So perhaps just

G Major | E Minor | D Major ?

If this is generally in right direction, I will need to listen now to try and identify where shift takes place.
_________________________
“Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy.”
--Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

            

Top
#1954482 - 09/05/12 09:03 PM Re: Binary Form: Study and Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1073
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: zrtf90

Jeff, this is Bach. This is not an all nighter.

This is not an all weeker either.

It may not even be an all monther.

But it shouldn't be an all yearer!


That's a relief. I will target an all monther. Trouble is, we still have 5 more to go. So that has me covered till the new year. Quite liking this one though. So will give it priority if I happen to need to squeeze in some Christmas shopping.

Originally Posted By: keystring
I understand that what's being analyzed is number 4, in D major.

The first half ends in A major:

Part II seems to go off and do its own thing, modulating through various keys. Then there is a break in the music in m. 35 via the rest in the RH, then 4 measures that bring the music back to the home key: 38 & 39 have a strong A7-D, and then we're repeating the last part of Part I, in D major.



Thanks Keystring, this is just a brief excerpt of your thorough analysis and good to know I am on track with ending back on D Major. Thanks for this overview summary. I'm still digesting as I learn more of this piece.
_________________________
“Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy.”
--Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

            

Top
#1954489 - 09/05/12 09:10 PM Re: Binary Form: Study and Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
PianoStudent88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 2978
Loc: Maine
Richard, I am baffled by your instructions about learning these preludes. They presuppose that the only useful learning or playing is by memorization. That's not helpful advice if someone wants to be able to play through the prelude to listen to how it sounds, sooner than a full-blown memorization effort can yield results.
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

Top
#1954522 - 09/05/12 10:54 PM Re: Binary Form: Study and Analysis [Re: Greener]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11190
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Greener

Next section has my head spinning already. I see us starting out in G major, but then getting all messed up when I see the D# and C natural over and over. More analysis pending ...

It would be good if you wrote in measure numbers in your score. I see Cnat and D# occurring in measure 25.

There are various decorative things that can be done to the notes of a melody. in m. 25 the melody note is E, but there is a graceful dip to D# and back to E. It also allows the composer to create a rhythm. This is known as a "lower neighbour" but names are not important. That D# is not part of the harmony.

You can also have notes that extend past the harmony from the previous chord so that you have this feeling of resolving tension. Often the "appoggiatura" which means "leaning" works this way. Or you can have a note belonging to the next chord coming in prematurely, called "anticipation".

All of these devices are used here, so you will have notes in a beat that don't belong to the chord for a number of reasons.

Top
#1954639 - 09/06/12 07:51 AM Re: Binary Form: Study and Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2230
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
I apologise for my inability to keep up with everybody. All the posts are coming too fast for me and I'm not able to keep track.

There are more people trying to follow these threads than there are people participating. There have been fifteen thousand views of the Moonlight thread since we finished it two weeks ago. The Bach Prelude thread has attracted over six thousand views since we last posted in it. Other threads have shown that these analyses are hard to follow. Let's acknowledge what we've started and try to keep it simple.

For participants and followers alike, please stop and ask if there's something you don't understand. We all have varied backgrounds and knowledge sets. It's really easy to assume knowledge or even to mis-type a post and cause confusion (in these threads there hasn't always been sufficient time to proof-read anything). If you stop us and ask questions we can clarify everything for everyone's benefit - often our own as well!
In music theory, there's never any harm in repeating the basics.

I posted this towards the end of the E minor Prelude thread:
Originally Posted By: zrtf90
I'm plannning starting on Bach's 6 Little Preludes, not to analyse them as such but just to see the form at an elementary level, before looking at some of the pieces in his French suites and some Scarlatti sonatas and maybe analyse one or two of them.

I should have repeated that at the start of this thread.

I did not suggest an analysis of these pieces; group analysis is hard enough, as I'm learning, without starting with Bach, but if you wish to analyse them in detail, please fire away.

I suggested in the OP that you make a diagram of the key scheme. If finding keys is something you can do, make a diagram of the other five preludes.

You may prefer to just do one of them. The one I want to look at the most is the number 4. I think a major key prelude (1,4,5) would be easier than a minor key prelude (2,3,6).

If you've not made a key scheme diagram before, start with the first prelude and see if it agrees with mine. If it does, try the number four. If it doesn't, tell us where you disagree and we'll have a closer look.

All I want to do right now is look at key schemes.

What I hope to carry away at the end of this thread is the knowledge that a piece in binary form starts in tonic and moves to dominant at the first repeat bar (or relative major for a minor key piece) and that it finishes in tonic (or tonic major) at the end of the second half. We can discuss later in the thread how it came about that we move to the sharped keys and the dominant first and move to the flattened keys and subdominant later.

Of these six preludes only one, the number 4 in D major, repeats in tonic at the end of the second half a significant portion (8 bars) heard in the first half in the dominant key. We will see this more frequently in Scarlatti's sonatas. It was Scarlatti's works, more than Bach's, that foreshadowed sonata form. Sonata form is a key scheme rather than an architectural form. It's the keys that I want to look at. I personally don't want to start analysing pieces in detail until we get back to music we can play more readily (e.g. Clementi's Sonatina Op. 36 No. 1). But I don't want to stand in your way if that's your aim.
_________________________

Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
Richard, I am baffled by your instructions about learning these preludes. They presuppose that the only useful learning or playing is by memorization.

As far as learning these pieces is concerned my "instructions" were targeted specifically at Jeff who is new to reading. He comes from a play by ear background. I should have prefixed my post more clearly. They were not intended as instructions but as an example to show that learning Bach is typically difficult and slow. What I posted, by way of an example, is my approach to Bach.

The ABRSM classifies this piece as grade 5 (harder than many of the inventions). I'd expect to be grade 6 or 7 before being able to render this prelude at sight.

I know many of you will be chomping at the bit to analyse the chords, rhythms and lyric without delay, and you're welcome to go ahead with this, but it isn't where I'm looking just yet (though I did learn the words first smile ).
__________________________

Looking at the D major prelude and thinking out loud:-

The first thing I look at is the repeat bars. One at the end and one in the "middle". That tells me it's binary form and that I can expect the first "half" to end in the dominant key, A, and the second half to end in the tonic, D.

D major is two sharps, F# and C#. A major is three sharps, F#, C# and G#, so I expect to see some accidental G#'s in the last few measures of the first half. A quick look confirms that this is the case.

Now I look at the last few bars in the second half to check that there are no accidentals and we're back in tonic. There's a D# in M41 and a 'courtesy' C# in M42 in line with the key signature. There are no more accidentals to M48 so I'm sure we're in tonic.

Next I look to see how many measures repeat at the end what I first heard in dominant in the first half. I count eight measures that 'rhyme'.

Finally I run my eye over the accidentals in the piece and get an idea of how many keys I'm likely to be running through and, when I've recovered from the number, I'll look more closely and see which keys they are. I'm expecting more at the start of the second half than anywhere else and I expect to pass through the subdominant, G major, before the final return to tonic.

I notice some G#'s in M5-7 but they're cancelled in M9 (i.e. by the end of the phrase) so I ignore them.

The first half is ||: D major : A major :||

There are some courtesy G naturals in M21-22 so we're back in tonic then.

C naturals start appearing in M23-24, are we in G major (key sig F#)? The D's are natural so it IS G major.

There are D#'s introduced in M26 but it's not confirmed in LH until M29 that we've moved to E minor.

In M31 the top voice (soprano?) hold the E while the second voice (alto?) starts. Here the C and D are both natural so we're back to one sharp (G major or E minor) but there are also G#'s. We can't be in E major (F#, C#, D#, G#) so we must be in A minor. If it is A minor the F's need also to be natural. I see no F's until M34 so I guess we're passing through A minor.

In M34 the D#'s are back and the C's are natural so we're back in E minor and the A minor phrase in the alto was just a colouration to echo the soprano E minor phrase.

In M37 the D is natural again and M38 restores C# and adds G#. The LH suggests A major moving to the tonic D major in M40.

There's a passing colour D# in M41 but we're clear to the finish in tonic.

Then I prepare my key scheme diagram and mark off at what measures the key changes occur.

The second half is ||: G major : E minor : D major :|| with some colourful toe-dipping in A minor and A major.

Done.
_________________________
Richard

Top
#1954666 - 09/06/12 08:49 AM Re: Binary Form: Study and Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1073
Loc: Toronto
Terrific, I wasn't far off as it turns out. Was also eying out the A Minor but lost confidence again and opted for G Major instead for some reason.

Question: Part of my problem of course, is scales and recognizing the correct one. I came across this cheater to help me identify the #'s in a scale more readily.

http://www.pianoworld.com/fun/vpc/piano_chords.htm

The trouble is (if we look at just A scales for example)

A Major is correct (TTSTTTS,) but, A Minor has C# D#, A Harmonic Minor has just D#, and Melodic Minor C# D# again.

None of them are TSTTSTT. Is the chart incorrect?

Currently by this above method thus, I am destined for failure.
_________________________
“Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy.”
--Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

            

Top
#1954675 - 09/06/12 09:12 AM Re: Binary Form: Study and Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2230
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Here's the deal with the scales, Jeff.

Major is indeed TTSTTTS.

On the minor front the natural minor is TSTTSTT (based on the old Aeolian mode) and the key signature matches it but we don't use it!!

What we do is sharpen the seventh note so that the dominant chord becomes major and leads back to tonic using that 7-8 leading note effect we've been discussing. This creates the Harmonic minor scale (key sig should really be one sharp, G#). This allows the chords (harmony) to work correctly.

If you try to sing a piece in the harmonic minor scale you'll find the augmented second interval between the sixth and seventh step very difficult to get right. So when the melody is rising to tonic we sharpen the sixth as well as the seventh but when descending to tonic there's no need for the leading note effect and we leave both notes in their natural minor state. This is the melodic minor scale (major scale with flattened third rising, natural minor descending).

So in a minor key, the key signature tells us what the key is - not what notes are sharp or flat. We have to KNOW what notes are sharp and flat.

This is difficult to grasp and it does take a while to get into the head - we all go through it. That's why so many people drop out and take up rocket science and brain surgery. smile

So, key sig shows natural minor but we never use it because the cadences don't work.
Harmonic minor (#7th) works but the singer doesn't.
Melodic minor (#6 & #7 rising, natural falling) lets the singer work but confuses the dickens out of everyone else!
_________________________
Richard

Top
#1954705 - 09/06/12 09:52 AM Re: Binary Form: Study and Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1073
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: zrtf90

This is difficult to grasp and it does take a while to get into the head - we all go through it. That's why so many people drop out and take up rocket science and brain surgery. smile


I haven't dropped out yet, but have been seriously considering taking up under water basket weaving.

So, what is next exercise for today? Shall we continue with other little prelude key maps? If so, should we tackle in any particular order so as not have questions and answers jumping around so much?

I've got some business fires to fight today (a site hosting has been hacked, and hosting provider seems to think I should pay to troubleshoot) but will try to keep up with everything nonetheless.
_________________________
“Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy.”
--Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

            

Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >

Moderator:  BB Player, casinitaly 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Download & Print Sheet Music Instantly
sheet music search
sheet music search

sheet music search
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
79 registered (ando, Alux, AtomicBond, 22 invisible), 1395 Guests and 41 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
74264 Members
42 Forums
153620 Topics
2251552 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Tunelab alternative partial settings?
by Beemer
04/21/14 04:52 AM
Noodling board
by Maarkr
04/20/14 10:20 PM
New Movement Composed "To Rule" 4/20/2014
by hsheck
04/20/14 10:17 PM
Understanding Sharps
by imustlearn
04/20/14 08:18 PM
When a beginner is not a beginner anymore?
by Eight Octaves
04/20/14 08:09 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission