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#2191077 - 12/01/13 06:53 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 674
Loc: Leicester, UK
New stuff!

(1) a vii (diminished triad)
(2) a iii chord that goes to the final I chord.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/19895150/vii.png

The 5th is a dissonance in the vii chord (it's a tritone about the root). So it has to be part of a PREPARE-SUSPEND-RESOLVE (down) pattern.

The iii chord at the end - iii has a leading tone (the B). That's the important part - and not the fact that it's a iii chord.

Here's another version where the common tone isn't held between vii and iii.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/19895150/viiVER2.png

Coming up next: INVERSIONS!

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#2191733 - 12/03/13 04:06 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2301
Loc: Sydney
Thanks for this interesting lesson Mark.
Is the big picture that the V can be replaced by the dim of the 7th followed + passing chord ?

Here I have a go at Ab maj.
https://app.box.com/s/zi3somdbrviu7dymnhon

the sheet
https://app.box.com/s/34or7fdl5scbp5jcs4ko

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#2191754 - 12/03/13 06:47 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 674
Loc: Leicester, UK
Cus, The idea that the V can be replaced by the dim on the 7th scale degree is DEFINITELY on the big picture things. A slightly different way to say that is ANYTHING with a leading tone can fill in for V.

But just because it can fill in "in theory" doesn't mean it will sound good in practice. So it's gotta be ears first!

Your example in Ab maj is excellent. It has one tiny problem. But as problems go it's a good problem. smile ... Because it demonstrates something important about voice leading!

The Db in the G dmin triad. It's a dissonance which I know you know. Because it's dissonant the Db, for now, has to be part of the PREPARE SUSPEND RESOLVE (down) pattern. In your example the Db resolves up. That'll come eventually ... but for now it's good to hear how it works when it resolves down.

If you can, see if you can make that dim. 5th resolve down. Of course that'll mean some of the voices have to be re-arranged.

If what I"m suggesting isn't clear just say so ...

* * * * * * * * * * * *

-EXTRA INFO HERE THAT LOOKS AHEAD BUT CAN BE SKIPPED FOR NOW-

Some of the big picture will soon be how a dim. 7 triad turns into a fully diminished 7th chord.

That'll lead to using the fully dim. 7 chord to connect to 3 other keys. In other words, a fully dim 7 chord ( B D F Ab) in the key of C can connect just as well to Eb, Gb, and A.

Barry Harris' system plays upon that same relationship (a fully dim. 7 chord that can connect to 4 different keys). This is all stuff Arnold Schoenberg explains in very long-winded & didactic style in his Theory of Harmony book

http://monoskop.org/images/c/cd/Schoenberg_Arnold_Theory_of_Harmony.pdf

... A paper copy of the book is much easier to read and I don't know if the link raises copyright problems or not (but there it is ....)

* * * * * * * * * * * *

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#2192264 - 12/04/13 04:37 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2301
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: Mark Polishook
ANYTHING with a leading tone can fill in for V.


Hi Mark
I'm sure this will become very useful to me when I need a chord substitution or a passing chord.

Here is my revised progression where the dissonance resolves down.
https://app.box.com/s/rqhf0u6cvc5aaxybuycq

As a result, the subsequent passing chord strongly highlights the leading tone which is now in the melody (rather than being in the tenor).

the sheet
https://app.box.com/s/py3pbz78sw4xokin68rs

Thanks for the link to the Schoenberg book. I'm pretty sure he received a decent mark for his thesis wink
Some of the chapter titles sound really cool e.g. "At the frontiers of tonality".
In his chapter on Chorales, he says something like "The value of these exercises is not about the creation of something perfect, but is in the learning of principles" - my learning here suggests this is true.

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#2192522 - 12/04/13 04:56 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 674
Loc: Leicester, UK
Cus, your revision brings perfection to the phrase smile ... You can hear it, yes? ... When the voices all are doing what they're supposed to do they do their work with very little extraneous effort - meaning they flow from beginning to end.

A next step might be to write a few phrases in minor keys. For that you'd use the melodic minor scale. So 6 and 7 are sharp ascending and they're flat descending.

I agree totally with you about what he says about the learning of principles.

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#2192793 - 12/05/13 05:12 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2301
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: Mark Polishook
Cus, your revision brings perfection to the phrase smile ... You can hear it, yes? ... When the voices all are doing what they're supposed to do they do their work with very little extraneous effort - meaning they flow from beginning to end.



Hi Mark
I can hear that the voices all lead perfectly to each other. It's all about note choice, whether the note goes up or down, it's not about the chord.

For mel min desc, is it the same then as the natural minor ?

I have a go at F mel min basic progression.
https://app.box.com/s/5tawt36c9fs01dgvxx3s

the sheet
https://app.box.com/s/t6fe83jvhqwi3q5gpjqe

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#2192924 - 12/05/13 12:22 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 674
Loc: Leicester, UK
Originally Posted By: custard apple

I can hear that the voices all lead perfectly to each other. It's all about note choice, whether the note goes up or down, it's not about the chord.



Exactly!

The Fm phrase is good in concept and needs just a little bit of tuning.

1) Fm has 4 flats. If you write that as a key sig then Db and Eb are there as b6 and b7. If those two notes are to ascend they'll be written as D nat. and E nat.

2) The D in the Bb chord. IF it's a D natural (which is a perfectly fine choice) then it has an obligation to ascend to E nat. If it's Db (also a perfectly fine choice) it has an obligation to descend. ...

3) If the soprano line was revised so the G (2nd to last chord) descended to an F the phrase would sound more final. The C in the alto (in the last chord) would become an Ab.

I may have said given a choice between keeping a common tone and moving a voice that keeping the common tone was preferable. BUT ... reaching the root note in the soprano when the line is descending towards that note, takes precedence.

So there's a place where the rule has to be modified ... which is kind of the story of voice leading.

Here are a few examples. The 1st one is your phrase re-written with my suggestions. The other ones are variants but w/a few more chords.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/19895150/music/Fm.png

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#2193343 - 12/06/13 05:44 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2301
Loc: Sydney
Thanks so much for your corrections Mark and your further helpful examples.

I knew mel min would be difficult but I have to admit that today's exercise was almost beyond me.

Today I tried C mel minor.
https://app.box.com/s/ek3ofdb9k1eitorn4728

the sheet
https://app.box.com/s/m53fix9k0h6zsik52mvc

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#2193372 - 12/06/13 08:08 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 674
Loc: Leicester, UK
Cus, you're right. The minor stuff is much harder than the major. Because the possibilities that 6 and 7 bring when sharped or natural seriously up the game! If those two notes alone make things that more difficult well maybe that's a good way to understand how tangled but structured things can be when everything's freely chromatic. So that's all just a way to say rules are rules but when we HEAR the rules and internalise them we don't have to think about them and follow them!

.... There are many words that follow to describe very specific stuff. So ... to save time I've added, at the end, a file that shows more or less what all the coming words describe!!

* * * * *

About the phrase. There's some DEFINITE GOOD STUFF GOING ON. Which is

1) all the lines - each considered as an individual - are excellent.
2) The PREPARE SUSPEND RESOLVE pattern has been used 100% correctly and as it should be used!

But .... there are a few troubles to point out too. As you go through the list you'll see 2 good things vs 6 problem things! It may look like that means there's more wrong than right. BUT. That's actually not the case. The problem is that one voice leading mis-step early leads to other voice leading mishaps. In a way it's like a road way ... Take one wrong turn and the odds of following that w/more wrong turns become greater and greater.


1) C min has 3 flats in the key sig. So that should be written in.

2) You've perfectly prepared an resolved the 7ths in the second chord. BUT. The interesting thing of that chord resolving to next to a ii chord (as the phrase does) is the ii chord has a b6 scale degree. That b6 scale degree is a dissonance because it's a flatted 5th over the root D. So the "problem with having the seventh in the VI chord as you do is there's no Ab to tie over into the ii dim triad. One way around that is to use inversions. But we're still w/root position only! But that says why inversions are so necessary. Which is sometimes an inversion is the ONLY way to get to one harmony or another.

3) There's always a solution to the problem of (2). The solution is let the ii dim triad be a ii half-dim 7 chord. Which means the C in the soprano in the second chord is the beginning of a PREPARE SUSPEND RESOLVE pattern. In other words, it's ok to have a seventh chord that doesn't have a fifth or a third.

4) Another solution to (2) is to go to a iv chord in m.2 rather than a ii dim triad. Because the iv chord doesn't have notes that have to be prepared ...So voice leading is pretty easy in that case because there's less detail to attend to.

5) The triad at the beginning of the 2nd measure has 3 roots and 1 third. But 2 roots are all that can get used there. The only the place for a 3 root chord is the last chord of the phrase!

6) If there were 3 flats in the key sig then the B in the G chord could be written with a natural sign and it's function as a leading tone would be totally clear.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/19895150/Cmin.png

... Hope there's not too much detail and etc. in here!!

... After I posted this I saw a problem in the bass line in the last example. Do you see it?


Edited by Mark Polishook (12/06/13 10:16 AM)
Edit Reason: hmmm

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#2193822 - 12/07/13 05:44 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2301
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: Mark Polishook

The problem is that one voice leading mis-step early leads to other voice leading mishaps. In a way it's like a road way ... Take one wrong turn and the odds of following that w/more wrong turns become greater and greater.


That is so true Mark. When I saw the 3 roots at the beginning of the 2nd measure, I thought "Oh no ! I'm gonna post anyway because I don't know how to get out of this maze !"

Given that I'm falling into all these traps, I will wait a couple of months before I touch melodic minor again.

But I'm glad I spent 2 weeks working on these classical common practice progressions as it's taught me a lot about smooth lines and choosing notes which will achieve maximum impact.

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#2193823 - 12/07/13 05:45 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2301
Loc: Sydney
Today I decided to record my progress on the Chopin Prelude in E minor.
https://app.box.com/s/jpgm2grnzli89a9ch594

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#2193899 - 12/07/13 10:44 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 674
Loc: Leicester, UK
Cus,

That's coming along REALLY REALLY nicely. I can hear the LH technique is definitely taking hold. Interesting how the technique of this particular piece influences tempo? Would you say?

You've done an incredible amount with the voice leading stuff ... we can pull it out of the garage at some later point if you wish. This stuff is REALLY hard because it's so detailed and it's almost always taught in a class where a lot of eyes and ears can follow along and comment. So what you've done on your own with this is REALLY something ....



I went for listen to Alfred Cortot playing the Em prelude ..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkxKCW8nq0Y

and found this entirely bewitching version by Stanislav Richter

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdhwqjhx-Xc

I have to meditate on this one smile


Edited by Mark Polishook (12/07/13 10:46 AM)

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#2194115 - 12/07/13 05:29 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2301
Loc: Sydney
Hi Mark
Thanks for your kind words about my voice-leading exercises and my Chopin technique.

Yes I think a faster tempo makes phrasing easier. But it was very interesting that the captivating Richter version was at a slower tempo, yet the phrasing was so clear.
I thought Richter's touch, lyricism and dynamics were magical.
This is one for the Favorites.

The Cortot one was special too.

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#2194293 - 12/07/13 11:40 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2993
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Cus,
It is remarkable how you challenge yourself with this prelude, the way you play the left hand is so difficult. Very well done.

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#2194326 - 12/08/13 12:57 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2301
Loc: Sydney
Thanks for your nice comment Knotty.
I practise with one note, then 2 notes then 3 notes.

Once again, I'm inspired by your playing. That's why I always let you post first. Because when I hear your version, I feel that these difficult technique pieces such as Bach Chorales and Chopin can be played.

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#2194880 - 12/09/13 06:33 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2301
Loc: Sydney
Here I attempt to play BMW 244-63 the famous D major chorale.
It's called O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden and is #80 in my Kalmus edition, however I believe it's #98 in most editions.

http://youtu.be/13E3VnLbu_g

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#2194935 - 12/09/13 10:24 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2993
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Nicely done Cus. The voices are coming out nice and clear. I might try that one out next. I haven't been so serious with it lately.

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#2195058 - 12/09/13 02:31 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2301
Loc: Sydney
Thanks so much for listening Knotty.
I might try BMV 322 "Gott sei gelobet und gebenedeiet" next. It's #70 in my Kalmus edition.

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#2195482 - 12/10/13 10:02 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 674
Loc: Leicester, UK
wonderful playing! very expressive !! and nice chorale choice too!

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#2195689 - 12/10/13 05:53 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2301
Loc: Sydney
Thank you Mark for your kind feedback.
I thought it was an interesting one as the key was ambiguous between D maj and B min.

For the long one I plan to do next, maybe I will do a phrase every few days.

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#2195769 - 12/10/13 08:31 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 674
Loc: Leicester, UK
Cus, take your time as say. A phrase at a time no matter what the schedule is is fine. I'll post something shortly about the D major chorale

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#2196444 - 12/12/13 07:59 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 674
Loc: Leicester, UK
Cus! One way to get at the voice leading is to write phrases. Another way is to take them apart! All here is to that 2nd goal! So here are some comments about what I see. Keep in mind that I'm seeing the phrase through MY understanding of voice leading. Other opinions likely abound.

1. The first phrase. It's all about establishing D maj as the key. If you listen to the phrase you can hear that pretty easily. "What's the key" is a question best answered by listening and looking or looking and listening.

2. The pickup chord (D maj) that connects to the chord on the first beat of m1. IF we look at that connnection strictly according to Schoenberg's law of the shortest way you can see that Bach doesn't follow the law of the shortest way!

The only way to deal with that one is to ask "Why not?" !! Well, what Schoenberg would say about something like this is musical necessity takes precendence over rules. Which means, what are the necessities of that chord connection?

a. A law of the shortest way connection would be to go from the pickup chord to a G maj chord that would be (from bottom to top) G B D G. But the problem, the reasons that connection isn't made according to the law of the shortest way is the melody skips from F# in the pickup chord to B in the 1st chord of the 1st measure. So what Bach is doing is writing lines that harmonise the melody he has rather than lines that follow the most restrictive rules. If he followed restrictive rules he wouldn't allow that skip from F# to B.

b. The solution is: The melody skips up to B. Bach brings the bass to G. The inner voices at that point connect the pickup chord to the 1st beat chord through law of the shortest way style.

c. You could then conclude from that that in any style of music, jazz included, if a melody skips somewhere past a law of the shortest way connection, well, that's absolutely fine. And you'll hear/see this in Bill Evans all over the place

Which means the voices will just continue on their way with LSW (except for the melody note).Since the connection discussing is made of 2 root position chords then doublings here happen according to basic guidelines. Double the root! No parallel 5ths or octaves to be seen. Lesson being if 3 out of 4 voices stick to LSW and the voice that doesn't is the melody, well, that's fine. Do the best that can be done with the rule. And that's that.

3. The chord connection from beat 1 to beat 2 (first measure). Beat 1 is a root position IV chord. Beat 2 is a I chord in first inversion. That's usually notated as a Roman numeral (I) with a small subscript 6 following the Roman numeral. The 6 means the top voice is a 6th higher than the bass note.

The doubling for this chord. The FIFTH is doubled. Not the root? If you play/sing all the voices you can hear why. The doubled fifth simply makes for more efficient, economical, ergonomic voice leading. In other words, that doubled fifth makes the voice leading sound smooth. Could say more about this connection but ... the next connection (beat 2 to beat 3) is another rule breaker!

4. Beat 2 to beat 3. The standard practice is DO NOT DOUBLE THE THIRD IN A FIRST INVERSION CHORD. If that is an important rule, well, Bach just BROKE it! You gotta love this guy who breaks the rules in the theory books. But all is well even though he's a subversive rule breaker!

a. The thing is some theory books will say doubling the 3rd is ok IF the thirds are approached through contrary motion. Which is exactly how Bach approaches them. And it's how he leaves them. The big lesson is contrary motion often takes precedence over the other rules. Which means if we (or Bach) needs to break a rule or do something that's not commonly done, the mitigating circumstance, if one is needed, will often be contrary motion.

5. The pickup chord through to beat 4: Bach's gone from a I chord to a I chord! Go to the next measure and the big deal there you'll see is he's going from V to I. So that first phrase is basically about establish the heck out of D maj and that's it!

6. IF we put in "picky" Roman numerals underneath EVERY chord we'll get a bunch of chord progressions that show note to note what's going on. But those note-to-note chord progressions won't necessarily show us what's going on over the entire phrase. And, again, the entire phrase is simply about establishing D maj as the home key.

7. A great thing to do with something like this first phrase is rewrite it! Meaning keep the melody intact. Everything else is open to change as you wish. ... I'll try to rewrite that phrase letter today and post the solution. Pretty much no matter what solution any of us choose, Bach's will be better! That's why he's Bach! BUT ... if we take our solutions and compare them to Bach's solutions that's like getting a lesson. As in "I did it this way" but "Bach did it that way." Then the question is WHY did Bach do it that way?

8. There are millions of other ways to look at all I've just described. So all above is one path into the forest so to speak.

Will clarify anything that's not clear if needed ...!!

Again, you made a great recording of the chorale!

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#2196863 - 12/13/13 05:29 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2301
Loc: Sydney
Many thanks for your wonderful analysis Mark.

1. I love the big picture of establishing the key as D maj.

2. I checked out the Bill Evans Beautiful Love Take 2 transcription. I agree that Bill uses a lot of arps, and his lower voices continue to voice-lead when he leaps around.

Here you are treating the G of m2 beat 1 as a bass.

4. Here you are treating the G as a tenor.
Can both bass and tenor sing the same note ?

7. Voice-leading is so beautifully addictive. Here is my go at Phrase 1,
https://app.box.com/s/shmlyx4rei9aie8w97mc

the sheet
https://app.box.com/s/l6gttw30jz8bw61p38g4

Of course it's nowhere near the exquisite sound Bach achieves.
One main reason is that contrary motion which Bach uses in m2 is so appealing to the ear.

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#2197609 - 12/14/13 04:09 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 674
Loc: Leicester, UK
Cus,

Glad you saw that that voice leading stuff from Bach is in Bill Evans. THAT'S the PROOF!

About bass and tenor singing the same note. YES. They can both do that. In the old days music was only for voice. It's from that tradition that you've probably seen in the Inventions that sometimes two voices end up on one note.

A unison for voice leading is like an octave. Meaning NO parallel unisons! For root position chords where the root has to be doubled then having tenor and bass land on the same note is perfectly fine for that.

I just listened and looked at the reharm of Bach's melody. You've taken some liberties there are that are outside the scope of Bach-style voice leading. But at the same time some of what you've done are liberties you will find in jazz.

When you do find stuff in jazz that's not in Bach it doesn't mean that jazz "broke the rules" or doesn't care about the rules. It just means jazz extended common practice to be more inclusive.

There's a lot of detail following about the first chord connection (the pickup to the downbeat of measure 1). For anyone following along here's the Bach Chorale we're talking about.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/19895150/O%20Haupt%20voll%20Blut%20und%20Wunden.png

1) Your first chord connection. Of course the D maj triad is perfect. Then it goes to vii half-dim 7. When a perfect fifth goes directly to a diminished fifth, which is what your reharm does, that's a parallel fifth. Which we avoid in the style of Bach.

But, in jazz, well, yes, you'll find that and it's not wrong. So that's why the first chord connection doesn't actually sound, well wrong. Because it's not stylistically correct for Bach but it is for jazz.

2) The vii half-dim 7 that's built on C# (the chord on the downbeat of m1). Take a look at the soprano. You've LEAPT up to that note which is a B and it's heard with C# as the root. So it's a seventh - a dissonance. That 7th, if you want to use it, should be part of a PREPARE SUSPEND RESOLVE (down) pattern.

But, there are other ways to get to to dissonances. Another possible pattern would be CONSONANCE - leap up into a) DISSONANCE - RESOLVE (down by step). Which is what you've done. F# in the soprano in the pickup chord is a consonance. B in the soprano (over the C#) in the bass of that chord is a dissonance. So you've leapt up to it from the F# (to the B) and then resolved down by step.

In a traditional theory class FIRST you'd learn the PREPARE SUSPEND RESOLVE PATTERN. Then perhaps next would be the CONSONANCE leap to DISSONANCE and RESOLVE down by step pattern that you've used.

3) There another stylistic thing to point out. In jazz a doubled root is a doubled root. Pretty much it's fine wherever/whenever it happens. In Bach-style voice leading of course on a root position chord we know up to now - just double the root.

The problem with when a chord is built on the ascending 7th scale degree a doubled root is a doubled leading tone. (which is what the chord you've put in on the downbeat has). Leading tones like to ascend (resolve to the 1st scale step). So a doubled leading tone is a good way to introduce parallel octaves because the leading tone always looks to ascend.

But there's more! The D in the bass and the D in the alto (in the pickup chord) move in parallel motion to the 2 C#s on the downbeat of m1. Parallel octaves!

The par. octave here is easy to fix. Move the alto UP to E instead of DOWN to C#. And then you also have contrary motion which is good (D and D resolving to C# and E). The E also would be the third of the chord on the downbeat so you'd have a fuller chord and that would be nice too.

I'm going to stop here. Because in those two chords we've got a ton of detail. And what happens with voice leading is one wrong turn and all the voices in all the other chords start to turn to funny places. Like taking a wrong turn on the road. If you sat nav doesn't reset it'll think every single turn that follows is the wrong turn!

* * * * *

The way to find alternatives to what you've written on the downbeat of m1 is just to ask "What are all the chords in the key of D major that include a B natural? The answer is E minor, G maj, B min, and, sure C# half-dim 7.

A question could be "Why did Bach choose the G major triad that he did for the chord on the downbeat? Well, the first answer is probably he heard it that way! But "why" did he hear it that way? The answer is in the chorale.

If you want, see if you can re-do the pickup to the downbeat to see if there's a way to improve the solution you wrote. I'll hold off now on giving a solution. But on the other hand. This is detailed stuff. So just say so if you'd rather that I put up a solution.

Hope this helps! If you have questions or comments (or other solutions) let's discuss.

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#2197828 - 12/15/13 04:38 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2301
Loc: Sydney
Hi Mark
Thanks so much for reviewing my files and for your detailed feedback.
You're right, at this stage, I need to keep on resetting the sat nav.

I might have taken a wrong turn here again but I have another go at the reharm of Phrase 1.
https://app.box.com/s/6r4i2cy9nwa18zvjp6ib

the sheet
https://app.box.com/s/gksg3rr1jn0nht7kr50f

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#2198115 - 12/15/13 05:46 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 674
Loc: Leicester, UK
Cus,

First, here are 3 solutions to the first phrase of that chorale.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/19895150/3solutions.png

And, NONE OF THE THEM ARE ANY GOOD!

There are 3 things I take from this (and also what the the attempts you've made with it)

1. To see "how good" Bach was try to re-do what he did.

2. Your solutions and my solutions tried to change too much. If we had looked to make the smallest possible change or changes perhaps something else would have turned up that worked better. Or maybe not ... !

3. Compare what Bach did at any point to what we did. Of course his version is better. But the lesson is look and listen to see "why" the different parts of his version work better. Look and listen to see where stuff went wrong in the solutions we attempted.

If you look at the downbeat of the 1st measure in my third solution, you'll see I dropped the bass line an octave. So that's a starting point for this other way of going about it, which is, looking to re-write but doing it as little as possible. But as you can see that by the 4th beat in the measure the rewrite has gone astray.

* * * * *

In these beginning stages what you probably want to do with each and every chord connection you make is (1) scan through the voices and look specifically for parallel octaves and fifths and (2) check that all doublings are ok.

Do you see the parallel octaves in your phrase from the pickup to beat 1 of the first measure?

There's nothing easy about re-writing what Bach did. But sometimes the path has to go through the thicket if you know what I mean ... Luckily Bach's thicket sounds good .... smile

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#2198334 - 12/16/13 03:20 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2301
Loc: Sydney
Hi Mark
Thanks for posting your 3 reharms. I can hear that each reharm's changes become closer to Bach's originals.
And I can see the parallel octaves in Example 3: m2 beat 4.

Also I can see my error of parallel octaves linking the pickup to m2 beat 1.
I'm kinda glad I had two painful goes because it really opened my eyes & ears to Bach's genius.
One of the main things I learnt through my reharm is how Bach drops the octave to create enough room for the contrary motion when he wants the bass to ascend.

For doublings, is it OK to double the root for 1st & 2nd inversions ?

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#2198372 - 12/16/13 07:30 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 674
Loc: Leicester, UK
Hi Cus,

Here I will disagree with you. I'm not sure I got any closer at all to the original phrase!

The thing w/voice leading as you're finding is a lot of people find it to be really painful tedious going at first! Because there's a lot of repetition and a lot of detail that has to be observed. And pretty much only after those details are absorbed and second nature does the payoff begin to come.

So even though your rewrites didn't go to where you wanted them to go, it is true that your 2nd rewrite had fewer parallels than the first one (in connecting the first chord!) That may not seem like much progress. But it's huge. Over time you'll see the parallels on the page more clearly and you'll avoid them. And you'll become sensitive to how they sound. So in terms of jazz you'll decide whether you want to admit that sound. Or not.

That drop the octave trick that you mentioned. That's exactly what that's there for me. Dropping down or jumping up an octave is a get-out-of-jail-for-free card!

We haven't actually talked about what makes a smooth line other than to say use the law of the shortest way whenever possible. But there's some other stuff lurking about in Bach's chorales (and in the one we want to write) that goes to making smooth lines. So that other stuff is

1. Except for octave (leaps), avoid leaps larger than a major 6th in any voice. But the M6 is ok.

2. Avoid tritone leaps that DON'T resolve down by step. This is mostly in the bass.

3. Avoid lines, for the most part that outline a tritone or a 7th. Meaning you might have a line that fills in the notes (walking by step through them all) between a tritone or a 7th. But because the tritone or the 7th in this case "frames" the line it'll be prominent. So it's avoided because the smooth flow of line is preferred over whatever "special" effect might come from making a tritone or a 7th prominent in the flow of a line.

5. When lines "outline" something, like a tritone or a 7th, you might also call that a "boundary interval" - as in the 24 shapes! The basic idea is the low points and the high points in the line will stand out. When they do stand out it's a special effect that draws attention away from the overall smoothness of all the lines.

6. Most of what I've described above as "don't do it because it's not in the style" found it's way into jazz. Actually it found it's way into classical music at least 50 years and really more years before jazz.

So jazz didn't break rules so much as over time what was once strict in voice leading (do this, this, this, but not that) became permissive (do this, this, this, and ok, that thing over there is fine too). That happened because each set of ears in every succeeding generation evolve to accept new possibilities.

Although there are some who will say each succeeding generation cares less and less about the rules and tradition.

There's always push/pull!

Ok! I didn't mean to write quite so much but there is that much going on in the background when connecting just two chords.

To look to the future the sound gets into your ears. All the calculating and detailing we're doing now simply disappears. Or to couch this in mysticism of philosophy - Ludwig Wittegenstein, brother of Paul Wittgenstein, said "He must so to speak throw away the ladder, after he has climbed up on it." (Learn the rules and then forget them!)

Hope this helps!!

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#2198590 - 12/16/13 03:11 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
JimF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1722
Loc: south florida
Hi Chorale CATS

I've been following your thread on and off as best I could. Don't really have the time, nor am I at the level, to really participate. But I thought I might pick up a book of the Chorales and maybe try some as sight reading or just as a supplement to everything else I'm working on.

Is there a particular edition you all favor? I was thinking of This One
_________________________
La Fille aux cheveux de lin - Debussy
Ma Mere L'Oye - Ravel
Mozart Sonata K545

Estonia L190 #7284





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#2198695 - 12/16/13 05:12 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: JimF]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 674
Loc: Leicester, UK
Hi Jim,

The edition you linked to is generally considered the standard. But Dover has edition as well that's a little less expensive. More importantly, it's got larger print.

http://www.amazon.com/Harmonized-Chorales-Keyboard-Dover-Music/dp/0486445496

You can also download all of the chorales for free from imslp

http://imslp.org/wiki/Chorale_Harmonisations,_BWV_1-438_(Bach,_Johann_Sebastian)#Selections_.28Nos.1.E2.80.93371.29

but then you have to print everything.

Everything and everyone starts somewhere so if you have question about anything at all in the chorales we're happy to help you. No worries about levels!

The great thing about the chorales is there's stuff in them to be learned at every level - from total complete beginner through to accomplished professional musician/artist.

Hope this helps -


Edited by Mark Polishook (12/16/13 05:14 PM)

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