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#2154769 - 09/20/13 10:15 PM Chorales for CATS
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Welcome to the study group “Chorales for CATS” !
To whom do jazzists go to learn voice-leading ? Johann Sebastian Bach’s 371 Four-Part Chorales is described by Fred Hersch as “virtually a Bible of four-part voice leading”.

Members of this group will be analysing Bach chorales in depth and applying learnings to jazz.

This is a sub-thread to Jazz Study Group 2: Advanced Players

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#2154776 - 09/20/13 10:31 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
First up for study as suggested by Knotty will be #1.

Here is a gorgeous rendition
Aus meines Herzens Grunde - string quartet

Mark Polishook has provided a great start in his blog
http://www.polishookstudio.com/2013/09/jazz-piano-voice-leading-fred-hersch.html

I propose that we initially study the first mini phrase which is:
pick-up (m1);
m2; and
m3 1st chord.

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#2154926 - 09/21/13 09:12 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2991
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Love the thread title cus.

What might be fun would be to try and apply some of the concepts to small parts of tunes. Maybe the first 4 or 8 or all the things you are.

Also might be useful to get some feedback on executing these chorales, they seem so hard at least for me.

I have been playing as suggested by Fred H, one phrase at a time (to the first fermata), but adding voices incrementally.
Bass + sop, bass + tn, bass + alto, then top 2 voices, bottom 2, and bass+sop+alto.
Adding the tenor and alto is the most difficult part for me.

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#2155198 - 09/21/13 07:13 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Thanks Knotty !

I'm also using the incremental voices method to learn Chorale #1 Mini-phrase 1.

To get used to the alto sound, my teacher said I could play the soprano only and then sing the alto. When I first started this a few months ago, I could only do 2 notes a day. Now it's easier but still very challenging for me.

For the next level of challenge, FH suggests playing soprano, tenor, bass and singing the alto.

I love your suggestion of applying to ATTYA.
From Mark Polishook's article, Principle 1 could be "Insert IV and V before the target chord".

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#2156019 - 09/23/13 08:23 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
After three attempts I came up with this version.
So for the Eb7 measure, I insert the preceding Db7.

https://app.box.com/s/ua8vo7xdzhlnm13x24lt

You can see from the sheet that my tenor voice descends down the scale.
My alto doesn't sing the IV and the V.

https://app.box.com/s/xdy0rw5yzdb1xkh8q3nn

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#2156180 - 09/23/13 01:18 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2991
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)


Quick attempt. Nothing super fancy. Comments welcome.

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#2156245 - 09/23/13 03:46 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: knotty]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 628
Loc: Leicester, UK
knotty, forgetting about the alto for right now ... in the bass you have

F to Eb (first measure) ... you could take that down to Db for the Bb-7 chord. then leave the Db there for the Eb7 chord (it's the 7th of the chord). then bring the Db down to C for the Ab maj7 chord.

OR ... the Db, if in 2nd measure could come up to Eb for the third measure. except the third measure could be Eb (2 beats) and Db (2 beats) which lands you back down on the C underneath the Ab major 7

in general, anytime you can get a stepwise line in one direction ... take it!

sometimes getting just the bass line with the melody line is the easiest way. because then the two middle voices just get filled in ...

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#2156247 - 09/23/13 03:47 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 628
Loc: Leicester, UK
Originally Posted By: custard apple


You can see from the sheet that my tenor voice descends down the scale.




ca, well done! nice tenor!

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#2156685 - 09/24/13 07:37 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Hey Knots
That's so impressive that you could quickly come up with 4 voices just like that.
I take so long that from tomorrow, I think I will do just 2 voices.

Hi Mark
Thank you for reviewing my work on ATTYA mm 3-4.
Today I take the last part of ATTYA A1 sec. I apply the concept from your Lesson 2 Voice leading: the beauty of not having to stick to strict C maj 7 sounds is that I can prolong the "tension" of the G7, delaying the resolution to the C maj 7 of m8.

I don't play this very well. Amongst other things, my alto is far too loud.
https://app.box.com/s/v833n4nwqq6rbfwzcp36

the sheet
https://app.box.com/s/9wh0jl52cctjv1ipre2s

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#2156712 - 09/24/13 08:59 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 628
Loc: Leicester, UK
ca! that's an impressive G7 in that mix!

here's more (sounds of) free voice leading and counterpoint

Paul Hindemith Sonata played by Glenn Gould

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#2157294 - 09/25/13 07:53 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: Mark Polishook
ca! that's an impressive G7 in that mix!

here's more (sounds of) free voice leading and counterpoint

Paul Hindemith Sonata played by Glenn Gould


Hi Mark
Thank you for reviewing my work for the C maj target chord.

I loved hearing the Paul Hindemith application of the Bach chorales concept. It beautifully illustrates the timelessness of Bach's voice-leading approach.
It was interesting that Glenn Gould showed much more emotion and range of dynamics than his typically restrained style. What a difficult piece to play.

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#2157296 - 09/25/13 07:58 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Today I try to make my inner voices move more diatonically. I target the F min 7 chord of the A2 section.
I substitute the C maj chord of A1 sec, using a Bb7 instead.

https://app.box.com/s/89z3nf6a2tn3ykfrj88w

the sheet
https://app.box.com/s/76qz87kkynfq7kwrnhuz

Knotty
Please let me know when you're ready to learn the remainder of Phrase 1 up to the first fermata, so that we can work out together what Principle 2 is.
BTW I can't play Mini-phrase 1 well at all.

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#2157307 - 09/25/13 08:23 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2991
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Cus,

you are unstoppable with these.

I am noticing that everyone (including sensei) is ignoring the rule of no double voice (in FH article). Even FH seems to be loose with it.
That's all good with me.

I'll try to add a few measures to Attya, maybe the first 4 of the bridge.

I'm all set with the first phrase.

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#2157335 - 09/25/13 09:21 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: knotty]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1332
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Originally Posted By: knotty
. . . is ignoring the rule of no double voice . . .
Rules, gotta know them to break them, I was taught.
These chorales are a main-stay in classic music theory classes in this country, (we use them for ear-training too . . ), for counterpoint class, as well as voice-leading . . . the basic rules (which are great to apply to big-band writing as an example.
No parallel octaves, no parallel fifths, if the melody is the root use the third or the fifth as a bass note, if the third is in the root do not double it. Try to get the bass and soprano voice to move in opposite directions and no doubling (well, sometimes one just has to, try to avoid to double the third . . . etc etc. On the other hand, if the sound of parallel harmonies tickle your fancy by all means use them; its a cool sound. But know that you are breaking The Rule. smile
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

https://soundcloud.com/chrisb/sets
https://www.youtube.com/user/djboing/videos

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#2157428 - 09/25/13 12:24 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 628
Loc: Leicester, UK
Chris is 101% right. There is a school of thought, for sure, that you gotta know rules before you break'em! The "rules" are out there - they're taught and observed as Chris has correctly pointed out. They're consistently applied and they're easily enough found. They're described in a million textbooks. Although not all the textbooks agree on all particular! But that'a different story entirely.

In my former life as director of a university music theory program I did indeed drop the red pen on many unsuspecting rule breakers! Parallel fifths! Doubled thirds? No third in a triad? Two leading tones? Inappropriate dissonance? .... Alto voice too low for the alto to sing? BANG! As it was written by law givers so shall it be! Through the gates of theory shall go no unrepentant rule breakers!

BUt. Damn! There's fuzzy, gray reality to contend with. The truth, as "Sempai" Knotty has observed: "FH plays loose with the rules!"

In a world where rules rule everything, what's a discerning critically thinking jazz pianist to do? (If you can, read that sentence as if it was the opening line of a trailer for a huge Hollywood movie .... "In a world where rules rule everything ......"

I mean: Does Fred get to break rules? But not the rest of us? Do we have to just put up with FH's dang rule breaking and say "well he does it but we can't?" Or do we get to break them gleefully and unrepentently (along with FH)? Can we ONLY break them if we know, first, that we're going to break them? Do we have to learn all the rules first and then only later make all the music? Does music really depend on knowing all the rules?

Yikes! But what is someone breaks a rule and it sounds good? Does that every happen?

* * * * *

The rules are there. No doubt about it. But just as counterpoint is taught through several different styles (16th and 18th and 20th century counterpoint) so it is with voice leading - and really, with anything. There are 'styles' of voice leading that evolve across music history. One example is the line that goes more or less from Scott Joplin to Fats Waller to Art Tatum to Teddy Wilson to Bud Powell to Red Garland/Wynton Kelly to Bill Evans to Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea and ... Richie Bierach and .... How does Mr. Tyner figure into this? How does Cecil Taylor figure into this? What about Paul Bley?

Fred Hersch, early on in the master class says: "Voice leading, in addition to harmonically opening up the tune, also serves a rhythmic function."

There's a difference between voice leading in general and rule following in particular. Voice leading is the idea that voices "lead" - they go smoothly from one voice to another so transitions from chord to the next chord happen "smoothly."

But how anyone defines "smoothly" depends on style. So it is the case that a very strict set of rules for 4-part voice leading, a style, exists in most university music departments (across national borders ...) One of the reasons those styles and rules are taught as standard is they're a reference to a common practice. The thing is "which" common practice?" Common practice in Beethoven's time? Common practice in Bud Powell's time? Did Bud take liberties that Beethoven didn't? Why don't they teach the common practice of Bud rather than the common practice of Ludwig?

Most jazz pianists and most of the stock voicings in jazz break most of the rules of strict 4-part voice leading - as that subject is taught in a standarized why out of a textbook. Are the "old" theorists wrong? Are the "new" jazzers right?

We COULD write out all ATTYA in a very strict 4-part style according to classical rules of voice leading. That'll get us one sound. It's worth doing.

We can just as well write in a much freer, looser kind of way to a different sound. That free looser way may contradict some of the old laws .....

If "rules" are going to rule, well "which set of rules?" The rules of which style?" Bartok and Hindemith and vs. Beethoven and Mozart vs Debussy and Ravel vs. atonal Schoenberg and Webern? McCoy Tyner and J.S. Bach?

Ummm .... things get complicated fast with rules! I'm NOT saying "no rules" - but just pointing out that with rules also come the huge pink elephant that sits in the room. That pink elephant is STYLE.

FH, in the masterclass has gone for a freer, looser style where he's going back and forth among more than one set of rules ....

Yikes! Hope this helps!

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#2157824 - 09/26/13 05:42 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: chrisbell]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: chrisbell
Originally Posted By: knotty
. . . is ignoring the rule of no double voice . . .
Rules, gotta know them to break them, I was taught.
These chorales are a main-stay in classic music theory classes in this country, (we use them for ear-training too . . ), for counterpoint class, as well as voice-leading . . . the basic rules (which are great to apply to big-band writing as an example.
No parallel octaves, no parallel fifths, if the melody is the root use the third or the fifth as a bass note, if the third is in the root do not double it. Try to get the bass and soprano voice to move in opposite directions and no doubling (well, sometimes one just has to, try to avoid to double the third . . . etc etc. On the other hand, if the sound of parallel harmonies tickle your fancy by all means use them; its a cool sound. But know that you are breaking The Rule. smile


I always thought Sweden was a cool country !
I'm using them for ear training as well.

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#2157826 - 09/26/13 05:50 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: Mark Polishook


FH, in the masterclass has gone for a freer, looser style where he's going back and forth among more than one set of rules ....

Yikes! Hope this helps!



Hi Mark
Thank you for the interesting and helpful history.
For me, I've enjoyed studying Andy Laverne's modern harmonization - I guess this is similar to the Richie Beirach school.
I am now very privileged to study Bach's set of rules.
In a sense, I've ended up, by accident, studying it "backwards".
It's my long-term aim to switch between styles.

Hi Knotty
You're just great to be diving into FH's masterclass.

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#2157852 - 09/26/13 07:02 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Hey Knots
I found the remainder of the first phrase very difficult to play. Beautiful though.
I'm interested in hearing what principles you derived from it.

From the approach to the G maj chord (which is the chord preceding the fermata), I've got 2 more principles to be working on.
Principle 2: Alto and bass move in contrary motion.
Principle 3: Bass walks from 1st inversion to Root.

Here I apply these 2 principles to ATTYA.
https://app.box.com/s/a0vvrp07amv1gu8vmti6

the sheet
https://app.box.com/s/ha9j1nx9slaze81cq1j9

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#2157950 - 09/26/13 10:35 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2991
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Cus,
That one sounded really great. Bach in the days, they'd probably burn you to the stake for that parallel 5th, but I thought that short segment sounded great.
Maybe i need to do more of what you're doing. Very short and specific.
I tried wrapping up 4 bars of the bridge last night and got so close but gave up. It's like 1-2 minutes per note ...

I've never had a great interest for theory but maybe I should.

Meanwhile, these chorales are doing 2 things:
Intense sight reading.
Fingers moving in odd ways.

I am playing the 2nd phrase to the 2nd fermata and you have to be a bit creative. Specifically with the 10ths and then where the alto stays but sop and tenor move. That's tricky stuff, esp. if you are trying to read it.

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#2158144 - 09/26/13 04:54 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: knotty]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Hey Knots
Thanks for picking me up on the parallel 5ths.
My brain is already tired out from the short snippets I do.

I agree with one of your earlier comments that the chorales help you pass notes around from hand to hand. Specifically the tenor and alto notes.

This thread is great for pushing each other along. I will try the 2nd phrase today.

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#2158150 - 09/26/13 05:12 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2991
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
that second phrase is a bit more challenging.

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#2158450 - 09/27/13 07:38 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: knotty]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Knots, that was definitely the hardest Bach chorale phrase I've played.
From the D maj 1st inversion chord (i.e. the 2nd chord) onwards, I end up moving the bass up an octave.

This weekend I'm doing nothing new, I'm just going to consolidate the 1st 2 phrases.

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#2158632 - 09/27/13 02:52 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2991
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Cus.
There is a single problematic now and that's the A a 10 th above the F#.
I just roll it as best I can.
The next chord I also roll but it is a smaller 10 so it's easier. The next measure is very tricky because of holding the voices.
But that's what is all about isn't it.

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#2158944 - 09/28/13 07:23 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: knotty]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: knotty
The next measure is very tricky because of holding the voices.


Hey Knots
You're very exact with your voice duration.
You've made me realize that I don't concentrate enough on this precision. I tend to obscure the voice duration with the pedal. Although the pedal does produce a nice pianistic sound.

I anticipate I'm going to spend a while on Phrase 2.

Sorry to hold you up. Feel free to press ahead.

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#2159757 - 09/29/13 05:14 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2991
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Check this out.


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#2159944 - 09/30/13 06:17 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: knotty]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
I loved how he seamlessly blended in his solo at 0:27 in Bach's style of repeated motifs.
I also loved how he returned to the Invention to reintroduce the point of reference.

Looking forward to your burnin' version Knotty.

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#2160088 - 09/30/13 01:36 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2991
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
see you in 12 years

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#2160313 - 10/01/13 04:48 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 628
Loc: Leicester, UK
CATS ...

I'm not sure but it looks to me and I think sounds to me that that vid has been sped up. What do you think?

Sped up or not redoing that invention as boogie woogie as he does is more than way way WAY cool and clever and he plays the absolute daylights out of it.

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#2160352 - 10/01/13 07:26 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
mmm that's an interesting interpretation of yours, Mark.
Yes I agree it was very cool how he did the boogie woogie LH while he threw his RH all over the place.
The big take out for me is how suitable Bach's patterns are for jazz.

I've read your blog no.3 on voice-leading. Thank you for the lesson, it was very clearly illustrated. However, could I please clarify this point with you: do you mean "if a doubled 3rd is part of a contrary motion series, it's OK ?"
So in your example, the F is part of the desc alto line, which is fine, since the F in the bass is on its way up ?

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#2160418 - 10/01/13 10:42 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 628
Loc: Leicester, UK
... here's another guy (lennie tristano) who played things back faster than he recorded them. and caught all kinds of trouble for it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EmjgRnTZJU

it may be, for sure, that that bach invention IS real ... it's great either way!

and thanks for going to the blog ..... about that doubled third. yes, exactly. it's totally fine as long as it comes about through contrary motion. contrary motion ... is a very good thing to have in the toolbox!

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#2160735 - 10/02/13 05:16 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Hi Mark
Thanks for the clip of Lennie, I didn't know that ! It would have been difficult to play the arps at such speed with so much precision.

Thanks also for confirming about the role of contrary motion for "legitimising" doubled 3rds.

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#2160853 - 10/02/13 01:25 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 628
Loc: Leicester, UK
Cus... A google search on something like "arnold schoenberg contrary motion" will turn up a lot of wordy stuff that really isn't fun to read. But it'll also give a sense of how important contrary motion is, just in an overall way.

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#2161088 - 10/03/13 07:24 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Hi Mark
I've glanced at a couple of articles.
1. Contrary motion between the outer parts
2. Inversion (by definition, the mirror image in contour of the original form)
seem to be idiomatic of Schoenberg's compositions.

What was cool is the role voice-leading can play in freeing you from the limitations of a changes approach.

As you mentioned in your lesson, voice-leading is about lines rather than chords.

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#2161115 - 10/03/13 09:27 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 628
Loc: Leicester, UK
Originally Posted By: custard apple


What was cool is the role voice-leading can play in freeing you from the limitations of a changes approach.



Cus, that is exactly the central idea! Very nicely stated!

So a way to look at the FH 4-part style is bass line paired to a melody but with as much contrary motion as possible. Then fill in the inner two voices.

CM isn't always possible. But *usually* if it is it's the best choice.

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#2161621 - 10/04/13 07:43 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: Mark Polishook


So a way to look at the FH 4-part style is bass line paired to a melody but with as much contrary motion as possible. Then fill in the inner two voices.



Here I attempt contrary motion in the bridge of ATTYA.
https://app.box.com/s/km4fqifx9r0bokz5yvp5

the sheet
https://app.box.com/s/tk1uwdjp0fg5n5vhau6c


As for learning Chorale #1, I will spend a few more days on Phrase 2.

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#2161656 - 10/04/13 09:13 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 628
Loc: Leicester, UK
Cus, for me thats a really interesting example that you've posted. What's interesting about them is the experiment with contrary motion

Your connections (chord-to-chord) are fairly free. In a theory class focused on "common practice" they'd most likely get covered in red ink! But, having said that, this isn't a theory class! More importantly, the focus for the moment is on the larger idea of contrary motion.

You might try, for fun, playing the Barry Harris scale in contrary motion ( C D E F G G# A B). The G# makes that motion much better than it would be with CM applied to a major scale.

Also, as an experiment, you might try (at the piano) playing clusters of notes (2, 3, or 4 notes) and then slowly spreading the clusters apart with contrary motion. You may find that contrary motion is enough on it's own to bring a little order to the chaos.

And just to point out the principle again, we're not talking about following specific common practice rules about which note to double or which chord goes here or there. Of course those things can be added in. But for right now, it's to the larger principle of contrary motion .

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#2161773 - 10/04/13 03:01 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
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Cus,

How far along are you on chorale #1. Are you going to try and play the whole thing through?

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#2162016 - 10/05/13 07:13 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
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Hey Knots
I'm still on Phrase 2. I don't want to move onto Phrase 3 until I can master:
a) singing a voice, playing another voice; and
b) singing a voice, playing the 3 other voices.

(I sound really bad singing tenor. I don't sing bass !)

I work on the chorales every few days.
So I think I will take 2 months for a chorale.

Yes my aim is to play the whole thing through. I will be happy to play it very unfluently with huge stops and starts while I get used to passing the middle voices around.

How are you going ?

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#2162017 - 10/05/13 07:20 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark Polishook

You might try, for fun, playing the Barry Harris scale in contrary motion ( C D E F G G# A B). The G# makes that motion much better than it would be with CM applied to a major scale.



That was fun indeed Mark.
CM applied to a major scale doesn't sound symmetrical to me, as the voices don't prepare or lead my ears to the two dissonances, namely
1. G(LH) F(RH)
2. F(LH) G(RH)

The BH scale to my ears had much stronger voice-leading properties. CM applied to it sounds symmetrical.
1. Ab(LH) F(RH)
2. G(LH) G(RH) - this 5th is a very strong sound
3. F(LH) G#(RH)

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#2165445 - 10/12/13 10:13 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
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Cats,

Here's the 1st Chorale:
https://app.box.com/s/aykelzfspsvh3vfjyw19

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#2165508 - 10/13/13 02:52 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
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wow .. there is some *gorgeous* playing in that recording. ESPECIALLY the very, very, very last phrase. to my ears.

bestowed is the royal order of cats:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Skrr-UgHeHg

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#2165545 - 10/13/13 06:20 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: knotty]
custard apple Offline
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Originally Posted By: knotty
Cats,

Here's the 1st Chorale:
https://app.box.com/s/aykelzfspsvh3vfjyw19



Hi Knotty
This is like SUPER SUPER SUPER beautiful. You must be really really proud.
I especially liked your dynamics and your fun ending.
You have mastered some very difficult phrases in such a short learning period.
Well done !
I am yet to start Phrase 3.

Which chorale is up next for you ? I'm sorry I've fallen so far behind you.
Every few days I'm doing a 2 bar composition in 4 voices.

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#2165595 - 10/13/13 09:58 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
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Thanks Cats!

Cus, we're both taking slightly different approaches which is probably fine.
I am actually not sure which to do next. Either I find another in G or E-, for ex. the 3rd, or I just proceed to #2.

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#2169526 - 10/21/13 02:04 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
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How are the Cats doing?
2nd Chorale started really easy and packs up a punch on the last 2 measures. Funny what an extra measure can do. Lots of interesting chord movement.

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#2169597 - 10/21/13 03:57 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
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Hi Knots
Still on Chorale 1. I've started Phrase 3 woohoo ! I'm finding this phrase much easier than Phrase 2.
Every few days, I'm still doing a 2 bar composition in 4 voices to revise the principles of Chorale 1.

I'm looking forward to your Chorale 2.

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#2169885 - 10/22/13 05:48 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
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Hey again you CATS

From Chorale 1, Phrase 3, I derive Principle 4 "soprano and tenor move in contrary motion".

Here I apply it to ATTYA.
https://app.box.com/s/i4d4jflmw88yifhpkegn

the sheet
https://app.box.com/s/7e6rsykgbps69npk6a8a

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#2170302 - 10/22/13 09:38 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
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cusCAT!

That's very nice! It's sounding like and starting to look like chorale-style. What's great is the overall sound will soon begin to transfer into your playing. It probably has already!

About rules and the right and wrong of it all: Yes, there are bits in your phrase that wouldn't fly in a "classical common practice" theory class working from a "classical common practice" theory textbook. These would be textbooks such as those used in the first few years of uni theory courses.

But because this rule stuff is very loose in jazz and because composers in general took liberties as well, it's may often be better to think of "guidelines" rather than "rules."

So the common guideline is there's usually no more than an octave between tenor and alto or between alto and soprano. But in jazz there's liberty (often extreme liberty) with spacing and for a lot of composers there is too.


My opinion is do exactly as you're doing - look at Bach as the example, take what you want and what you can and go from there. Over time all guidelines and rules will all emerge - and then you can decide what to do with them. .... In the meantime, I'll try to put together a few simple (very, very short) examples to show some of the common guidelines ...

But, really, the example you've posted is great!

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#2170457 - 10/23/13 05:32 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
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Thank you very much for listening Mark and for your helpful comments.

Yes when I am "in the moment" during an improv session, I surprise myself with a couple of Bach-like voice-leading bars. Even if it sometimes turns out that I heard 3 voices and not all 4.

Thanks for your guideline on the octave spread.

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#2170471 - 10/23/13 06:42 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
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cus(CAT!),

and it's perfectly fine for textures to lose and add voices.sometimes 3 voices are more than enough. sometimes 2 voices are fine, sometimes just 1 ... and ...

About "0" voices ... Michael Carvin (the drummer) has said one of his goals is to "will" the drums to play themselves. He's said he's seen Pharoah Sanders "will" the saxophone to play itself and that's where the idea comes from ...

this may or may not be a true story but it's true that it's a story ... smile

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#2170516 - 10/23/13 08:45 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
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Very nice Cus. Very Choralesque.

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#2171043 - 10/24/13 06:33 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark Polishook
cus(CAT!),

and it's perfectly fine for textures to lose and add voices.sometimes 3 voices are more than enough. sometimes 2 voices are fine, sometimes just 1 ... and ...



Hi Mark
I find it incredibly kool that the master of 4 voices Fred Hersch chose to play Softly as in a Morning Sunrise with 1 voice, it sounded very refreshing, cheeky and insouciant.

Hi Knotty
Thanks for listening to my work.

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#2171065 - 10/24/13 07:45 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
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Cus, I guess FH's Softly as In a Morning Sunrise is the example. Nice pick! Very nice!

Bach has a famous piece from a violin partita (#5 i think). the piece from that is the Chaconne in Dm as it usually referred to.

Brahms transcribed it for piano but left hand ONLY!

I've played through it a bunch of times with two hands. Much easier that way .... ! ... But for our discussion it's pretty much a piece with 1 line. Except Bach has ways to make one line into more than one line.

His cello suites and the violin partitas are all great examples ...

// piano score
http://imslp.org/wiki/Violin_Partita_No.2_in_D_minor,_BWV_1004_(Bach,_Johann_Sebastian)

// piano performance
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91KBiPlit-Y

// violin performance
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bVRTtcWmXI

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#2171683 - 10/25/13 07:29 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
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Hey Mark
Thanks for telling me about this amazingly awesome 15 min of improvisation by Bach. It sounds surprisingly modern and is so well played by Zimerman.
No wonder the great Brahms was inspired to transcribe it.

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#2174465 - 10/30/13 05:32 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
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I recorded #2 really slow and kind of sloppy. been trying to record much faster but I always make a couple of small mistakes. post now or try one more night?

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#2174487 - 10/30/13 06:36 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
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recordings of chorales are kinda like new software (release early, release often!) and you know cus and i are looking forward to hearin' it!

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#2174544 - 10/30/13 09:38 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: knotty]
custard apple Offline
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Hey Knots
Your "sloppy" equals my "good" smile

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#2174558 - 10/30/13 10:14 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
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Good one Mark!

Cus , are you working on it still. What section are you on?
I think the 3 Rd one might be easier.

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#2174656 - 10/31/13 03:06 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
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Hi Knotty
Still on Chorale #1 Phrase 3.
I've been watching the Barry Harris video on applying diminished chords to ATTYA.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCsw0NjXY1U

Barry uses Bach's voice-leading principles.
So I've been composing a couple of measures using Barry's concept of borrowing the dim below the chord.

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#2176601 - 11/03/13 06:29 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
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Alright then, here's #2 from earlier this week. I'm not very happy with it but here it is anyway. Software style.

https://app.box.com/s/n49m0zlehqzf63lvh1vs

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#2176754 - 11/04/13 03:25 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
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Hey Knots
Thanks so much for posting this beautiful chorale. I can't believe how quickly you learnt it.
What are your plans now ? Stick with it for longer or move on to another one ?

I am up to Chorale #1 Phrase 5.

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#2176781 - 11/04/13 05:52 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
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Hi Cus
Thanks for listening. I'm moving on to #3.

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#2177105 - 11/04/13 06:19 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
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Just put up a blog post about chromatic voice leading in Bach, Chopin, and Wagner. And how it can be used in jazz.

http://www.polishookstudio.com/2013/11/chromatic-voice-leading.html

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#2177111 - 11/04/13 06:27 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: knotty]
Mark Polishook Offline
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Knotty! What's not to like in that chorale! It's software style AND you're playing in it is gorgeous.

Ok. So there's a glitch here and there. But that's tiny stuff. Major stuff going on is you're getting a beautiful singing tone from the piano. You're playing the chorale so it's clearly phrased. You're playing it such that voices are popping out - meaning YOU are hearing voices. (I mean that in a good way, of course). You're playing expressively. And you're playing in time.

Little glitches? That's just a little more practice! All other good stuff - well, it's there to be heard - and it is good!

Ummm, just sayin' smile

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#2177830 - 11/06/13 03:55 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark Polishook
Just put up a blog post about chromatic voice leading in Bach, Chopin, and Wagner. And how it can be used in jazz.

http://www.polishookstudio.com/2013/11/chromatic-voice-leading.html


Hi Mark
Very nice Bach example of the bass ascending chromatically in m2. This interesting non-diatonic sound is emphasized by the other voices descending.
So the bass moves in contrary motion to the other voices.

I think Bird is a great example of using chromatics in his improvised lines.

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#2178371 - 11/07/13 08:30 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
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Cus, I hear it that way too - Bach AND Bird ..

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#2178916 - 11/08/13 08:25 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
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Number 3
https://app.box.com/s/98ukcpd4eqpau6ivn30o

With a few mistakes and hesitations zoomed right through. This time I decide polishing isn't worth the extra week. N3 is the easiest so far. #1 being the hardest.

#4 will be a fun key.

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#2178925 - 11/08/13 08:45 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
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What key is this whacky piece in by the way?
It's a A melodic minor scale with a tonic on E, so I guess that makes it 5th mode of melodic minor. I don't even know what to call that.
Levine puts it under "loose ends" and dedicates it one funny page about a king cutting your head off (p 242)

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#2178948 - 11/08/13 09:27 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
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knotty! really nice playing (once again!) ... you're getting a nice tone out of the piano! you can always go back sometime in the future (near or far ... or never) for polishing ...

the question of key in #3 ... hypothetically speaking, what IF it was in the key of A minor?

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#2179052 - 11/08/13 12:43 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
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It would be unfinished ending on the dominant.
Overall, the piece sounds unfinished, pretty whacky this way. Not your typical chord progression.

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#2179137 - 11/08/13 03:21 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
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Hi Knotty
You're amazing to learn these so quickly. Thanks for recording.
I'm thinking #3 is in E minor.

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#2179249 - 11/08/13 05:17 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
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https://app.box.com/s/36yq0mclldcv2yu357jc

E-?
But it has E major has 1st and last chord. Also we'll see the G# everywhere instead when scale is running down, which for some reason is the melodic minor in the classical sense.

No, I think Bach was gambling with his life at the time and perhaps decided to challenge the king.

Thanks for the nice words, and have a super day.

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#2179317 - 11/08/13 07:12 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
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.... Here are some detail about the 1st and 2nd phrase. All in the form of questions. Hopefully they're "leading" questions!

BIG IDEA #1 (let's look at the 1st two phrases as a series of chords)

hypothetically, what IF the E maj triad that begins the chorale is a pickup? and the 1st chord of the 1st measure is an A min triad?

What if the last chord of the 2nd phrase (right before the double bar line) is an A minor triad?

Hypothetically, what if the 1st chord of the 2nd measure is an E maj triad (1st inversion)? And what if the 1st chord of the 3rd measure is an A min triad (first inversion)?

So just taking the 1st chord of each measure for the 1st 2 phrases (measures 1 - 4) ....

m1 -> A min
m2 -> E maj (1st inversion)
m3 -> A min (1st inversion)
m4 -> E major (C in the sop. is an upper neighbor to B, the note of resolution)
last chord of m4 -> A min

Let's put it all together (and simplify):

A min -> E maj -> A min -> E maj -> A min (What key does this look like?)

The pickup chord to m1 is an E maj triad. Let's add that to the front of the progression.

E maj -> A min -> E maj -> A min -> E maj -> A min (What key does this look and sound like?)

Let's turn those chords into Roman numerals (the V chord at the beginning is the pickup that precedes m1).

V -> i -> V - i -> V -> i

What key does this look like if the i chord is A min and V is E maj?

If we're looking only at the the chords described above we're leaving out most of the other chords in each measure (on purpose). If we didn't leave them out could we hear those chords as passing chords?

Can we take the 1st and 3rd beat of every measure. Could the chords that fall in between (chords on beat 2 and beat 4) - could they be passing chords? So, could a chord on beat 1 and a chord on beat 3 have a passing chord that falls in between on beat 2?

To put this to work in jazz (hypothetically), let's say we're playing ATTYA. 1st measure is F min7. 2nd measure is Bb min 7. Could we play an F min7 on beat 1? A C7 on beat 2? An Fm7 for beat 3 and 4? And then on to the Bb min7.



BIG IDEA #2 (let's look at the 1st 2 phrases as 4 independent lines).

Look and listen to the bass line for the 1st two phrases.
Look and listen to the tenor line for the 1st two phrases.
Look and listen to the alto line for the 1st two phrases.
Look and listen to the soprano line for the 1st two phrases.

What do you hear and see as the key for each of the lines (bass, tenor, alto, soprano).

If we were to answer all questions above would that tell us anything about the key of the first 2 phrases?

BIG IDEA #3

The very last chord of the chorale is an E maj triad. Does the chorale end on a i chord? Or a V chord?

... Hoping these questions have all been leading!

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#2179633 - 11/09/13 02:50 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
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ok cowboy, you win this round.

However, I don't think anybody noticed my hidden link above, special for Cus.

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#2179704 - 11/09/13 05:49 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
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brother cowboy in the grand scheme we're all voices on team bach smile

your link is way past MAGNIFICENT. MAGNIFICENTLY well done as they say on this side of the pond. but i didn't want to say anything cause it's cus' link!

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#2179816 - 11/09/13 09:48 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: knotty]
custard apple Offline
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Originally Posted By: knotty


Dear Knotty
Thanks so much for the wonderful link. That was very nice of you. And extremely clever too.
Gorgeous tone as always.

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#2180796 - 11/11/13 10:16 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
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Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)

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#2180834 - 11/12/13 01:18 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
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Hey Knotty
You are one big CAT. I loved everything in it.

Happy Birthday MarkCAT


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#2181234 - 11/12/13 06:55 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
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You guys are too much. Knotty, I am HONORED to hear something like that. It's a privilege! Cus! That's a gorgeous cake.

Well, you two DEFINITELY have the great posts of the day! Here's another blog entry on voice leading.

http://www.polishookstudio.com/2013/11/More-On-Voice-Leading.html

But I much prefer song and cake!

Thank you both. You're GREAT!

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#2181273 - 11/12/13 08:40 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
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You're welcome. It's just an old Readers Digest arrangement I found in my basement ;-)

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#2181295 - 11/12/13 09:43 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: knotty]
custard apple Offline
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Originally Posted By: knotty
You're welcome. It's just an old Readers Digest arrangement I found in my basement ;-)


"cracks up laughing"

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#2183451 - 11/16/13 03:43 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
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My new favorite for when you have guests and you want to be sure they leave fast:

warning: loud.

https://app.box.com/s/hljbyy6l9degu1s6abe4

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#2183497 - 11/16/13 05:49 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
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And since it's Saturday, here's
"Es ist das Heil uns kommer her"
(a remix of Miley Cyrus latest hit)

https://app.box.com/s/8c434qbuq56cezx6w3jf

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#2183561 - 11/16/13 07:44 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: knotty]
Mark Polishook Offline
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knotty! please stop leaving all this fabulously played examples on the web! i can't take it!

... the pace at which you're playing the chorale sounds perfect to my ears. also the voices are sounding very much like voices ... (instead of notes stacked up on each other ...!) ... really, really nice ... !

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#2183680 - 11/16/13 11:05 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
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Hey KnotCAT
I really liked your dynamics in Chopin C min. It was incredible how softly you could play it but still sound the note.
As for your Chorale #4, it's very pretty indeed.
Please stop learning everything so fast wink

I'm still on Chorale #1, working on voicing the soprano, and connecting the chords smoothly without relying on the pedal.

For Chopin E min prelude, I'm finding m17 very difficult. I'm also working on my LH tone to make every voice sound when I play softly.

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#2183912 - 11/17/13 12:43 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
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Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Thanks Cus. I see what you mean about meas. 17. It's tricky.

For the chorale, maybe remove one voice, probably the tenor or the alto. I suppose you can do as much with them as you want, but reading the 4 voices is hard.

#5 is 8 phrases instead of 4. I haven't started it yet.

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#2185558 - 11/20/13 09:03 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
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Registered: 11/29/12
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If you've ever wanted to know exactly how I, IV, and V chords connect to each other with smooth voice leading, well, here it is.

http://www.polishookstudio.com/2013/11/jazz-piano-online-voice-leading-i-v-iv.html

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#2186102 - 11/21/13 04:00 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Offline
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Registered: 12/11/09
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Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: Mark Polishook
If you've ever wanted to know exactly how I, IV, and V chords connect to each other with smooth voice leading, well, here it is.

http://www.polishookstudio.com/2013/11/jazz-piano-online-voice-leading-i-v-iv.html


Thanks Mark. Could I please confirm I understand your last paragraph correctly ?
1. 7ths, that is, minor 7ths or dominant 7ths, usually resolve down ?
2. 1st inversion is preferable to 2nd inversion ?

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#2186110 - 11/21/13 04:48 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
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Here I play Chorale #1 in G maj.
https://app.box.com/s/hsnzisofacbvnmy33uwz

A big thank you to Viktor Dick for supplying me with his beautiful string quartet mp3 which I used for my play-along practice.

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#2186136 - 11/21/13 07:16 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
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Cus, first of all - really nice playing! Gorgeous! You and Knotty are setting the bar prettttttttty pretttttttty high!

Originally Posted By: custard apple



Thanks Mark. Could I please confirm I understand your last paragraph correctly ?
1. 7ths, that is, minor 7ths or dominant 7ths, usually resolve down ?
2. 1st inversion is preferable to 2nd inversion ?




I think you're asking about these?

1. Sevenths usually resolve down.

In "classical voice leading and theory" the 7th (in a chord) usually resolves down because it's considered to be dissonant. Of course that's changed in jazz where the 7th is more or less treated as a consonance.

In common practice classical theory the 7th actually gets prepared and then resolved. "Prepared" means the note that will become the 7th is first heard as a consonance. That note is tied over into the 7th (which is where it's dissonant. And then it's resolved down.

Here's a link that describes how that works with some examples.

http://www.dangutwein.net/courses/theorytxt/text/sevenths.htm

Here's are some more seventh examples

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/19895150/music/prep-diss-res.png

One of the examples gets explained here (announcing a new blog post smile

http://www.polishookstudio.com/2013/11/voice-leading-and-7ths.html

I'm not sure about the question?

2. 1st inversion is preferable to 2nd inversion ?

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#2186184 - 11/21/13 08:51 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
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Super nice Cus. The voices come out really nice and clear, and that's a neat tempo. I think it gets easier after the 1st one.

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#2186473 - 11/21/13 04:57 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Offline
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Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
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Originally Posted By: Mark Polishook



I think you're asking about these?

1. Sevenths usually resolve down.

In "classical voice leading and theory" the 7th (in a chord) usually resolves down because it's considered to be dissonant. Of course that's changed in jazz where the 7th is more or less treated as a consonance.

In common practice classical theory the 7th actually gets prepared and then resolved. "Prepared" means the note that will become the 7th is first heard as a consonance. That note is tied over into the 7th (which is where it's dissonant. And then it's resolved down.

Here's a link that describes how that works with some examples.

http://www.dangutwein.net/courses/theorytxt/text/sevenths.htm

Here's are some more seventh examples

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/19895150/music/prep-diss-res.png

One of the examples gets explained here (announcing a new blog post smile

http://www.polishookstudio.com/2013/11/voice-leading-and-7ths.html



Hi Mark

Thanks for the Dan Gutwein link showing the C7 resolving diatonically down.

Thank you also for your great blog examples of creating dissonance prior to resolving diatonically down. Had you not mentioned the dissonance, my ears wouldn't have picked it up; as you said, jazz ears are so accustomed to hearing 7ths as consonances.

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#2186475 - 11/21/13 05:01 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
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Hi Mark and Knotty
Thank you very much for listening to Bach Chorale 1.
It's a relief to know the first one is the most difficult.

I "know" Chorale 70 in C maj and Chorale 80 in D maj in terms of singing and harmonisation principles. I don't know how to play them though.

Should I go back to learn how to play them or should I start a brand new one ?

Knots, before you posted yours, I had assumed these were not playable except by Fred Hersch and CAT CATS. Now I realise these are a minimum technical standard if I'm to incorporate 4 voices in my improv.

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#2186482 - 11/21/13 05:31 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
chrisbell Offline
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Very interesting following your work guys! I thought I'd share a little what I've been up to lately; arranging and orchestrating some tunes, etc for symphonic wind orchestra and piano trio (alas, not me on the piano) smile
It's a professional orchestra, so I'm very lucky in getting some really heavy players.

Here's two excerpts from a Legrand medley (love his tunes, chords):
Excerpt one: https://app.box.com/s/b4of1t3j9t1e77rirrjd
Excerpt two: https://app.box.com/s/5czxts5rg487vs47lcuu

You can check out the trombone parts for some voice leading.
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

https://soundcloud.com/chrisb/sets
https://www.youtube.com/user/djboing/videos

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#2186487 - 11/21/13 05:51 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
chrisbell Offline
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Another example. It's from a middle section of an original tune (its for the same concert as above; tomorrow evening actually . . . ).
The wood-winds play softly and the piano trio blows over these changes. C#m9 | DMaj7 | G#m11

https://app.box.com/s/qnru73oz35t19390f0a8
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

https://soundcloud.com/chrisb/sets
https://www.youtube.com/user/djboing/videos

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#2186546 - 11/21/13 08:14 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
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Chris B ... Nice stuff!

Cus & Knotty - You guys are doing GREAT to be playing this stuff at the level you are ... where the voices are coming out and everything's crisp and in tempo. There's NOTHING easy about playing this stuff well ..

Cus ... my opinion about the one to do next is the one that has your interest ...

And once you can play one you can play them all. It's just a matter of time ...! But it should be said again ... the level you guys are playing these at is really great and inspiring ....

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#2186724 - 11/22/13 05:59 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
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Hi Chris
Thanks for sharing your work. I've downloaded them but can't play them tonight (just got home and it's too late for the neighbours).
The middle section looks particularly great.

Will the concert feature your vocals ? smile

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#2186725 - 11/22/13 06:00 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark Polishook


And once you can play one you can play them all. It's just a matter of time ...! But it should be said again ... the level you guys are playing these at is really great and inspiring ....


Thanks for your encouragement Mark.

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#2186728 - 11/22/13 06:27 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
chrisbell Offline
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Originally Posted By: custard apple
Thanks for sharing your work. I've downloaded them but can't play them tonight (just got home and it's too late for the neighbours).
The middle section looks particularly great. Will the concert feature your vocals ? smile

Thankfully, no. smile
The concert is a homage to one of Scandinavia's foremost jazz composers and pianists. She's the featured pianist (with her trio; Palle Danielsson on bass) as well as the featured composer (all except Legrand which is her one of her favourite composers) and Mozart which she'll play the second movement of the C major concerto. This is a major gig, at one the finest concert halls with one of the best symphonic wind orchestras. So I'm really looking forward to the gig tonight!
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

https://soundcloud.com/chrisb/sets
https://www.youtube.com/user/djboing/videos

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#2187023 - 11/22/13 06:42 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: chrisbell]
chrisbell Offline
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Originally Posted By: chrisbell
Another example. It's from a middle section of an original tune (its for the same concert as above; tomorrow evening actually . . . ).
The wood-winds play softly and the piano trio blows over these changes. C#m9 | DMaj7 | G#m11 https://app.box.com/s/qnru73oz35t19390f0a8
And here's the actual tune from tonights concert:
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

https://soundcloud.com/chrisb/sets
https://www.youtube.com/user/djboing/videos

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#2187064 - 11/22/13 08:20 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
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Amazing orchestration Chris. Beautiful hall, piano and piano solo.

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#2187204 - 11/23/13 08:07 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
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That's really great Chris!

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#2187239 - 11/23/13 09:34 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
chrisbell Offline
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Thanks guys. Lot of hard work and elbow grease (moving the mouse) but having an inspiring tune/chords helps.
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

https://soundcloud.com/chrisb/sets
https://www.youtube.com/user/djboing/videos

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#2187937 - 11/25/13 07:51 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
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Chopin Prelude in E-
Very beautiful.
Will keep playing it a while longer, a couple times a week maybe.

https://app.box.com/s/874tetpekwzs4va7a2rb

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#2188174 - 11/25/13 04:46 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: knotty]
custard apple Offline
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That IS beautiful Knotty.
Great tempo for phrasing, I also liked your couple of instances of rubato.

For this one, I'm still working on making my tone beautiful for the non-soprano voices.

Which technique one are you going to do next ?

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#2188245 - 11/25/13 06:58 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
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Hi Cus,
Thank you!
I will work on A major next.

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#2188455 - 11/26/13 04:39 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: knotty]
custard apple Offline
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Originally Posted By: knotty

I will work on A major next.


Looking forward to your version.

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#2188457 - 11/26/13 04:45 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Offline
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Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: Mark Polishook
If you've ever wanted to know exactly how I, IV, and V chords connect to each other with smooth voice leading, well, here it is.

http://www.polishookstudio.com/2013/11/jazz-piano-online-voice-leading-i-v-iv.html


Here I apply the I IV V classical/chorale progression to Ab maj.
a) "at home" ending on I
b) slightly more unresolved ending on vi

https://app.box.com/s/p6cws3d5yrxjp5etii65

the sheet
https://app.box.com/s/c7uev6i8nxdr9mhmk5aq

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#2188731 - 11/26/13 03:23 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
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Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 628
Loc: Leicester, UK
Cus,

Here's a slightly different way to voice the I IV V I progressions.


https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/19895150/ab1451.png


The root position chords have doubled roots. The seventh in the V chord is part of a pattern called PREPARE - SUSPEND - RESOLVE.

The 7th on the V chord is considered to be a dissonance (in this older style it's dissonant). So it's first "prepared," meaning you hear the Db while it's a consonance in the IV chord. Its gets "suspended" as a dissonance in the V chord (the Db is the 7th of the Eb chord). And then the Db resolves down in the I chord that follows.

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#2189042 - 11/27/13 04:12 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
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Posts: 2295
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Many thanks Mark for reviewing my work and for writing out your super clear Ab maj example.
I didn't know the Common Practice rules were so strict about
1. Doubling octaves
2. Preparing a dissonance for subsequent resolution

I have another attempt, this time in G maj.
https://app.box.com/s/47814ruzti5oqkigq1ki

the sheet
https://app.box.com/s/045j7xaqwdsvzqlkcmx8

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#2189076 - 11/27/13 07:11 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
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Cus, the "old masters" are very, very, very, very strict about what can and can't be done. And in the cases where they weren't strict the teachers who teach their principles are strict!

Your G major example is perfect. You could, if you wanted, hold the C in the soprano on the C major triad into the next chord (the D major triad). So then you'd have the PREPARE SUSPEND RESOLVE pattern because the C over the D major triad resolves down to B.

Here are 2 more examples in G major.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/19895150/G%20maj.png

The chords are labeled with Roman numerals. BUT. That labeling is deceptive. It's easy to see the labels and see chord progressions. But the chord progressions really aren't the important bit. What's important with the chords are (a) what's the start and end chord (the target) and (b) what are the intervening chords (the passing chords) that make it possible to get start to end.

The passing chords are like local roads. There are usually a bunch of local roads you can take to get from point A to point B.

The voice leading in both examples strictly follows

Quote:

1. Doubling octaves
2. Preparing a dissonance for subsequent resolution


Except in two places. Do you see where the exceptions are? ....

"Exception" isn't the best word to use. Because it can make it seem like there's arbitrary rule breaking and arbitrary rule "excepting" ...

If you don't see the exceptions - or if you don't want to find them! - no worries!

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#2189503 - 11/28/13 04:49 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Offline
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Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: Mark Polishook

Except in two places. Do you see where the exceptions are? ....

"Exception" isn't the best word to use. Because it can make it seem like there's arbitrary rule breaking and arbitrary rule "excepting" ...



Hi Mark
Thank you for your two new progressions in G maj. The second one is particularly pretty to my ears.
In the first one, the two exceptions are in the B min and the D7 passing chords where the root is not doubled.

I'm composing these quicker each time. Here I use the 2nd progression to apply to Eb maj.
https://app.box.com/s/iz7g8si7y93soxlzau23

the sheet
https://app.box.com/s/66wjsja3d5cl41qoiiih

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#2189683 - 11/28/13 02:11 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
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Registered: 11/29/12
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Loc: Leicester, UK
Cus! Excellent! The next question is why isn't the root doubled in those two chords? Does either or both of those chords have a seventh? Are either of them part of a PREPARE SUSPEND RESOLVE pattern?

Your phrase == much improved! And getting faster is good. A question about the 3rd chord to the 4th chord ... the Gm triad to the Ab maj triad.

The rule is IF the bass between two root position triads moves by step then all of the upper voices have to move in contrary motion.

The reason is it's easy to get parallel octaves and fifths otherwise. Also if the upper voices don't move in contrary motion to the bass it's possible the 2nd chord will have 3 roots and one other chord tone (like a 3rd).

Three roots and a 3rd is fine for the LAST chord of a phrase. But only the last chord.

So, looking at that 3rd chord to the 4th chord .. is there anything maybe to do differently?

Looking at the 4th chord to the 5th chord. Does the bass move by step between those two chords? Do the upper voices move in contrary motion to the bass?

Hope this helps!!

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#2189717 - 11/28/13 04:08 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
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Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Hi Mark
Thanks so much for your prompt feedback on yesterday's work.
1. Both the B min and the D7 have the leading tone (the 7th)
2. B min is "prepare" and D7 is "suspend".

Today I've corrected the upper voice movement so that they descend diatonically.
https://app.box.com/s/x8n5valutcvmbn848k9c

the sheet
https://app.box.com/s/r7bxlk85a6zmfqkobcxr

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#2189775 - 11/28/13 07:01 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
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Loc: Leicester, UK
Cus! That's gorgeous! Can you hear how simply and beautifully those voices move? I'm sure you noticed the great contrary motion you introduced into the phrase.

In the Ab triad (2nd chord from the end) there's an Ab in the tenor. You _could_ hold that Ab in the tenor. You could actually just hold that Ab into the Bb triad that follows. And then resolve it down to the G.

If you did that you'd have an instance of the PREPARE SUSPEND RESOLVE pattern. And the tenor line would move with just a little more certainty to its ends point.

One of the things voice leading teaches is economy. How to get the biggest bang out of the smallest possible motion. But that's not to say that the most economical path that a voice can follow is the best path. Economy's relative. Being able to weight two possibilities - and figure out which one is preferable - is exactly the skill this stuff will develop. And the more you do it the more the skill will become automatic and ingrained rather than as it is now, the stuff of rules.

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#2189942 - 11/29/13 03:50 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Offline
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Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: Mark Polishook
Can you hear how simply and beautifully those voices move?



Definitely I could hear this !
Made me think that common practice did exist for a reason.

I tried your Ab suggestion, yes it was interesting what an impact this little decision to hold the prepare/suspend note could make.

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#2189995 - 11/29/13 08:54 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
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Loc: Leicester, UK
Cus, what you describe - the "impact" of the little decision - is exactly what voice leading and counterpoint are about. The idea is simply that notes take on a life of their own. We want to be attentive to what their trying to tell us .. Maybe that's why some people say music isn't composed. It already exists and it just gets "plucked" out of the air!

That Ab is perfectly happy being tied over into the V chord. Then in the V chord the Ab literally screams: "I resolve down!" This is a really common pattern with sevenths in chords. Pre-jazz the 7th was a dissonance. If you've only played jazz or pop music it can come as a shock!

So going back to the Bm7 and the D7 chord. The most common way 7ths show up in chords is through the PREPARE SUSPEND RESOLVE pattern. A question could be: Does the PREPARE SUSPEND RESOLVE pattern describe those two chords?

One more small detail ... The leading tone is the 7th scale step (in the key). But that's different than the intervals of 7ths that show up in chords.

So in a C major scale

C D E F G A B C

B is the leading tone.

If B becomes a 7th on a C maj triad (Cma7) then that's an interesting situation. Because the leading tone - B in the key of C - prefers to resolve upwards. But B as a 7th on top of C prefers to resolve down by step to A

So that's what the "study" of voice leading is about - which is hearing those tendencies and understanding the "how" and the "why" of them. And then internalising that for musical/practical rather than intellectual/academic use!

In other words theory describes practice. Practice doesn't have to conform to theory! (Except in the study of voice leading ... smile

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#2190348 - 11/30/13 01:02 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Offline
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Registered: 12/11/09
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Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: Mark Polishook
The idea is simply that notes take on a life of their own. We want to be attentive to what their trying to tell us .. Maybe that's why some people say music isn't composed. It already exists and it just gets "plucked" out of the air!



Very cool Mark. The notes are floating in the air and are governed by implicit "rules"; it's up to us to grab these notes in an orderly/musical way.

Here I apply the "prepare-suspend-resolve the 7th" principle to E maj; gradually have been working my way through the keys in ATTYA.

https://app.box.com/s/24netddjsgi57gay771g

the sheet
https://app.box.com/s/1wt1sgzby9lksfriq9jb

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#2190421 - 11/30/13 06:22 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
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Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 628
Loc: Leicester, UK
Cus,

You have CAUGHT THE WAVE!

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

The phrase is PERFECT. There's nothing to improve in how it sounds. You can hear how those voices just do their work.

The only thing to point out is the the phrase is in E maj. So all accidentals should be written as sharps (4 sharps in E maj). If you do that you'll see a few more common tones, etc.

Really - simple as that phrase is it's totally and completely perfect. Totally and completely smile

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#2190740 - 11/30/13 09:50 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
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Loc: Sydney
hahaha thanks Mark, I ended up closing my eyes for part of the video.

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#2190910 - 12/01/13 10:44 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
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Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 628
Loc: Leicester, UK
... i hear you about that video. not only did the surfer catch the wave but so did the videographer! ... more coming soon about dim. triads and also the iii triad!

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#2191077 - 12/01/13 06:53 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
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Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 628
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
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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
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Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 628
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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Registered: 12/11/09
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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
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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
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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
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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 Offline
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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
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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
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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 Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Posts: 2295
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
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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
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Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
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
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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
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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
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#2198695 - 12/16/13 05:12 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: JimF]
Mark Polishook Offline
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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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#2198946 - 12/17/13 03:41 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Offline
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Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Hi Jim
Welcome to CATS and thanks for popping in to say hello.
I'm a beginner too; when I started on the chorales in May, I had negligible piano technique, and no classical theory background.

With sight-reading, a breakthrough for me was Fred Hersch suggesting you can pass your thumbs around, so it's OK for your RH to play the tenor, and it's OK for your LH to play the alto.

Also feel free to start where-ever. Chorale 1 in G maj is not the easiest, and the C maj ones can be difficult.


Hi Mark

Thanks for your encouragement.
One of the key learnings for me when you corrected my reharms was to check all voice combos (incl bass-alto), not just the obvious combos which are soprano-alto, bass-tenor.

The jump-the-octave trick is going to be useful for me when I reharm ATTYA A2 sec where the soprano drops really low.

Today I worked on BMV 322 Gott sei gelobet Phrase 4 and found a tenor example which illustrates your points below. Except for point 2. where his tritone appears to resolve UP.
https://app.box.com/s/iuqf8k4oro3ylzj1od2r

Originally Posted By: Mark Polishook


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.



Edited by custard apple (12/17/13 03:02 PM)
Edit Reason: JUMP the octave

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#2199302 - 12/17/13 05:30 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
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Cus, just calling it the "jump-the-octave" trick as you've done is great! Because now you know EXACTLY what the possibility of that jump allows.

Well, my point #2 was too ambiguously stated. In fact, to be honest as I look at that I'm not sure what I was saying (mea culpa!)

What I SHOULD have said was

Avoid tritone leaps in general. Because they're not so easy to sing (relative to other stuff in a chorale). AND because the tritone is so distinctive it's going to stand out. IF it stands out, then it's talking away from the smoothness of the line. Because all things considered, smoothness of line is the PRIME OBJECTIVE.

But none of that explains the fact that you found a tritone leap!

The C leaps down a tritone to F# and then it resolves up by step. And notice how after that Bach just keeps coming up by step. So he fills in the tritone. That "fill in the spaces in the leap is a very common device. Everyone uses it - classical composers, jazz musicians etc. The basic idea is leap in one direction and then step back (as many times as needed) in the other direction. Sometimes smaller leaps go in the bigger leap. Sometimes it's not quite as clean as I'm describing. But you sure you see the principle ...

So Bach LEAPS down a tritone and then walks back up for step. In so doing he fills in the tritone. If you follow the tenor line from that C over to the end of the phrase the tenor line ends on B. Which is to say EVERYTHING in between that C and B is just basically filler. Sing the line and see if feels like that to you. In other words does the larger sense of the line go from that C (the high point of the phrase) to B (the last note of the phrase).

Assuming it does that's the law of the shortest way at work. In a STRUCTURAL sense. ... structural meaning some notes are more important and essential than other notes. The STRUCTURAL notes are the framework on which the phrase hangs.

Another observation about that tritone leap. Notice how the first note of the leap and the second note of the leap - they're both consonances as they're heard against the other voices. Now play or sing the tenor line by itself. And you'll probably hear the tenor line there sounds like Bach leapt down from the 4th scale degree to the leading tone. And the leading resolved to .......... (fill in the blank of where it resolved.

And the last observation is notice that Bach more or less buried this stuff that we're talking about in the tenor line. Had the leap been in an outer voice it would be much more noticeable. That's not to say Bach wouldn't do it. It's just that when it happens in tenor or alto voices it's not as noticeable as it might be if it was in a bass or soprano voice.

If you have questions about this just ask. Or if you hear it differently than the way I've explained it we can discuss more too ...

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#2199523 - 12/18/13 04:18 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Offline
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Hi Mark
I tried to sing the tritone leap today and had NO idea, I agree the interval is very difficult to sing indeed !

Yes I could hear the motif as C,B which is established in the preceding pitches, and I could hear that the tritone filler/embellishment as an example of motivic development.


Originally Posted By: Mark Polishook

Another observation about that tritone leap. Notice how the first note of the leap and the second note of the leap - they're both consonances as they're heard against the other voices. Now play or sing the tenor line by itself. And you'll probably hear the tenor line there sounds like Bach leapt down from the 4th scale degree to the leading tone. And the leading resolved to .......... (fill in the blank of where it resolved.

And I heard the tenor line as a C7alt resolving to the consonant B which is a chord tone of G maj.

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#2199845 - 12/18/13 07:18 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
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Cus, I'm not quite following you with the C7alt. But hearing C resolve to B is a good step! And hearing the tritone as not easy to sing is an excellent step as well!

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#2199994 - 12/19/13 04:26 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
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Hi Mark
I do like your interpretation of F# as a leading tone. Because that is in the spirit of voice-leading, which is all about the choice of note.

I guess I was thinking of the progression IV7 leading to I. The F# suggested C7alt to me.

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#2200256 - 12/19/13 03:22 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
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Hi Cus,

Ah, I see what you're saying!

Something else to point out about the Chorales is at any given time there is a chord going on. But most of the time Bach's going to going to and from I chords or V chords. Most of the time. There are tons of exceptions. So a good way to look at any of the phrases is figure where does it start. Look at the pickup chord if there is one and the following chord that comes on the downbeat of the next measure.

Next step is where does it end? Look at the chord under the fermata. Then kind of look to everything else in the middle to get a sense of how the opening of the phrase is getting to the end.

One of the things about the chorales is the chord progressions will break down into simple Roman numeral analysis - which would be "functional" harmony. "Functional" meaning the chords have functions. V has a function. I has a function. Etc. The functioin of I is to establish key.

But. Having explained that. Looking at functional harmony in the chorales is really best when looking very limited segments. Like first chord vs last chord. Or a chord or two before the last chord going into the last chord.

The reason is is that if the phrase is say 3 measures long in 4/4, There are 12 chords,probably. But those 12 chords are there because of the voice leading. Those 12 chords aren't there because Bach was thinking about chord progressions. So looking at those 12 chords in a row doesn't actually show a whole lot. Except that Bach was using chords! Or maybe a different way of saying it is harmony in classical music makes structure. Composers new that I was resolution and V was the opposite. So they composed to exploit that.

That's very different than jazz where the chords are there because they're chords and it's specific chord progressions that define a tune. So in jazz having the chords lined up one after another is exactly what you want.

... maybe a next step with the Chorales is to look at a phrase and identify ONLY the large outline. Where does the phrase start. Where does the phrase end. Once we have that we can see how everything else in the phrase is working to and from those start and end points.

Actually, IF for some reason we HAVE to break a chorale down into a chord progression. For whatever reason, one way to do it would be to take the first chord of each phrase. So this would be looking at the structure of the chorale and not the details.

I'll find a good phrase or two and post them with some observations about phrase start and end points. Feel free to do the same too! (But only if you want to, of course!)

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#2200285 - 12/19/13 04:24 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
JimF Offline
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Loc: south florida
Mark and Cus,

Thanks for the welcome and the advice.

Looks like I bought myself an early Christmas present. Due to the holidays I have an extra week between lessons, so I should be able to find some time to start fiddling with the Chorales a bit. I'm looking forward to it.

(I could have sworn I posted a message similar to this a few days ago, but dang if I can find it anywhere. Old age must be catching up with me grin)
_________________________
La Fille aux cheveux de lin - Debussy
Ma Mere L'Oye - Ravel
Mozart Sonata K545

Estonia L190 #7284





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#2200540 - 12/20/13 04:16 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
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Hey Jim
That's great your book has arrived.

Hey Mark
Thanks so much for the very helpful note of big picture chords.
Yes you are right, it's so different to the functional harmony in jazz tunes.

I'd love to analyze my current Chorale which is BMV 322 as I'm not even sure what key it's in: C maj, G7 or G maj ?

Here I take Phrase 1
https://app.box.com/s/1fprrlyjehdqadcak5cw
and identify the pick-up as G7, m1 beat 1 as G7 and the target chord as E min.

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#2200854 - 12/21/13 06:09 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
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Jim,

I with you. I thought I posted this message a while ago!

Glad you have the Chorales. We're here if you have questions or comments. All questions are good and encouraged!

Cus, good work on that excellent chorale you've chosen. Could you as next step play and sing the bass voice of the 1st phrase. And then if you could tell Jim & I what key it sounds like?

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#2201209 - 12/21/13 10:10 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark Polishook

Could you as next step play and sing the bass voice of the 1st phrase. And then if you could tell Jim & I what key it sounds like?


mmmm, very interesting exercise.
I primarily hear it as G7.
When I kept on playing it over and over, I also hear it as C maj.

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#2201220 - 12/21/13 10:48 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Polyphonist Online   content
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But the soprano of the first phrase sounds like G major, the alto like C major, and the tenor like G. However, looking at the phrase as a whole, out of context, it is in C major.
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#2201267 - 12/22/13 03:00 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
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Cus,

Good observations. The thing about figuring out the key is it's not always explicitly stated but the clues are always going to be there.

So for example, with the two things you mention, G7 and C maj. C maj is a key. And G7 is the V7 in that key. But G7 isn't a key.

To review stuff about a major key - the chords: there's a I chord (tonic), a IV chord (sub-dominant), and a V chord (dominant). A 7th added to the dominant would make it a V7 chord (a dominant 7th).

If you see what looks like a dom 7th chord on a pickup note that's a clue. But it's not conclusive! And that's part of the wonder of the chorales. Is to understand them you often have to put a few clues together. Which can be art too.

Because as POLYPHONIST very correctly and astutely points out - and it's a GREAT point - not all of the lines in this phrase define the key quite as clearly as the bass line does. Oops! I'm giving away too much information!

The bass and soprano voices, because they're the outer voices will generally have the most information. They're the most prominent of the 4 voices. But "generally" in that sentence means "not always." Which is precisely what Polyphonist is pointing to because the soprano by itself doesn't have enough information to define a key - the range of the soprano in the first phrase is a third.

The range of the alto and tenor is a 4th (for both). So they contain slightly more information in that way. But, again, as Polyphonist points out they're not conclusive.

So let's sum up what's going on so far. We've got a G7 on a pickup. Hmmm. The dominant 7th chord in the key of C that is. We have a bass line if we play it over and over again strongly, very strongly suggests C major as a key. And we can actually HEAR that.

We have NO accidentals in the phrase - which is over a span of a couple of measures. Only the key of C has no accidentals.

At this point, I'd feel pretty safe to say "Looking" at the phrase it seems to be in C major. But I'd still want to find more proof than that if I could.

Returning to the bass and soprano lines. Play and sing them separately. Now play one and sing the other. And vice versa. Try the same with bass and tenor. And bass and alto. Try it with alto and tenor. Try it, really with any combination of voices.

You'll probably hear that some combinations suggest more than others. The one s that suggest MORE are the clues to pick up on. The ones that suggest less usually do so (suggest less) because they just don't contain as much information.

If we were together in the same room. And if we had a piano in that room (but even if we didn't our voices would suffice). And assuming we have time to play and sing and sing and play and listen and listen. As you've noticed from the bass when you listen to it over time you start to get a very strong feeling that the phrase is in the key of __________. (Fill in the blank).

If all of this sounds like you have to be Sherlock Holmes, well, the answer is kind of YES! You do. But the consolation is with experience you'll hear and see all the clues all at once.

Let me know if any of this makes sense. And thanks very, very, very much to Polyphonist for pitching in with that really important and "key" observation, which I've interpreted as "Not all lines contain the same amount of information about key."

I'll leave off here. Hopefully what I've said shows how to remove some of the ambiguity. But if not we can discuss further.

And of course there's still a ton of stuff to hear in and say about that phrase ... !!

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#2201271 - 12/22/13 03:25 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
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Just wondering Cus ... Polyphonist maybe you have an opinion on this too ....

What if in looking at the phrase to figure out the key the first step wasn't to write in a few chords? What if, instead, we had gone straight to the lines? Playing and singing and observing them?

Would that change anything? (I'm not suggesting that we don't write in chords!).

Anyone else have an opinion?

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#2201286 - 12/22/13 05:22 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Offline
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Hey Polyphonist and Mark
Thanks for your great posts on key.
Yes I agree that the soprano strongly suggests G maj.

Originally Posted By: Mark Polishook

As you've noticed from the bass when you listen to it over time you start to get a very strong feeling that the phrase is in the key of __________. (Fill in the blank).

C maj !!




Edited by custard apple (12/22/13 12:32 PM)
Edit Reason: I meant C maj

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#2201287 - 12/22/13 05:23 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark Polishook
Just wondering Cus ... Polyphonist maybe you have an opinion on this too ....

What if in looking at the phrase to figure out the key the first step wasn't to write in a few chords? What if, instead, we had gone straight to the lines? Playing and singing and observing them?

Would that change anything? (I'm not suggesting that we don't write in chords!).

Anyone else have an opinion?


Yes it would Mark because even though the target chord is E min, I was surprised that each line, except for the alto, didn't suggest E min.

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#2201292 - 12/22/13 05:41 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
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Ok Cus, I hear you. Try it this way. Play/sing the bass line. Then play sing the soprano. What's your looking for is a sense of what's what. Meaning, YES, by itself the soprano line suggests the description you've given.

But does pairing it w/the bass line change your perception?

It's all in the interpretation- as in w/clue gets more weight? Or how do the clues work together?

If someone says MONKEY but you only somehow hear MONK then the meaning changes. It might be an awful example!

The phrase is in w/doubt C maj. The question is which clues get more weight when identifying it as such.

IF you hear g a g by itself your ear probably would g is the tonic. By itself that makes perfect sense. But depending on the line underneath your ear might hear that as fifth and sixth scale steps.

Maybe a different way to ask the question is 'the phrase w/doubt is in c maj. So what are we hearing or seeing that makes us think otherwise?'

Hope this helps!!

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#2201339 - 12/22/13 09:57 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
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Cus, I missed what you said about Em when I wrote the previous post. Do you hear the Em chord as the chord that should be there? Or is there some surprise in ending there on Em?

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#2201379 - 12/22/13 12:27 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Polyphonist Online   content
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What people are not realizing about the Em chord is that although this is the end of the phrase, it's not the end of the musical idea. It is an intermediate step on the way to the G major cadence two bars on. As such, the first two phrases should be examined as one, and overall they are definitely in G major. So the perception of key changes depending on how big the chunks are that you're looking at.
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Polyphonist

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#2201573 - 12/22/13 07:36 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
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Polyphonist,

Sorry, this be a long reply to your great observation!

You've got an extremely valid point about the Em being an intermediate step. But the original view of things in terms of the discussion was of the first phrase.

So I wouldn't say "people aren't realizing" the idea of the intermediate step. Looks rather that people have been simply looking at the first phrase! We haven't gotten to the 2nd phrase because there's still more stuff to say about the first phrase!

So we might think, for example, that Cus was saying in that last message that, yes, the 1st phrase appears to be in C major. If anyone following along to this point wants to discuss that more that would make perfect sense. Because why even go to the 2nd phrase if the 1st one isn't totally clear?

So IF we do go down that road of acknowledging the first phrase as being in Cmajor, then there's some interesting stuff yet to be said about how that phrase ends up on a non-tonic chord. And, yes of course, the point you've made about the intermediate step is a great point there.

Which goes to the idea of the discussion being about music "theory." In the sense that what's been discussed so far is a "theory" about the first phrase. Add in discussion of the 2nd phrase and the point you made about the phrases being connected has real significance on the analysis. Meaning the "theory" of what's going on in the chorale will grow a little. It'll have to grow to take in what we hear with the 2nd phrase - stuff you've pointed out.

But let's apply the idea you raised about looking at larger spans of time. Meaning we might as well look ahead at the third phrase' which ends on a C major triad at the repeat sign.

That repeat sign is a pretty big clue. Because those 1st three phrases are going to be heard twice - as a unit. So the "theory" as it's being called has got to grow a little to encompass that. Meaning the analysis started with one phrase. It may have grown as per your comments to take in the 2nd phrase. And now there's a third phrase. That 3rd phrase is going to bear on how we hear the first two. And those 3 phrases are definitely a unit that could stand being looked at as a unit.

Meaning "does that 2nd phrase actually modulate to G major?" Or is there another way to hear and describe how that G major triad (end of 2nd phrase got reached)?

There's very clearly stuff going on that indicated NO modulation. If we go down the road of a 'no modulation' explanation there's some terminology that has to be introduced to cover that.

That extra terminology always precedes discussion of modulation in theory textbooks and theory classes. In fact even we go down the road of saying yes that's a modulation to G major, well, there's more to discuss than just calling it a modulation. Meaning more terminology. More detail. Because "modulation" has a specific and well-defined meaning.

I'm not now naming that extra terminology that precedes modulation- and I have a feeling that you know what it is - because I think it's preferable - preferable in terms of the overall group that is - to be sure that everyone reading and following along and contributing to the discussion is clear about everything that's being said.

And although only a few are contributing to this thread there sure are a lot of people reading it! And of course everyone's invited to contribute!

Returning to Bach, there's another thing to point out about that 3 phrase unit marked off as it is by the repeat sign. Whether or not there's agreement about modulation to G major or not, ARRIVAL at the G major triad is significant. Because modulation or no modulation, those first three phrases outline I moving to V and returning to I.

That's a significant (structural) pattern that happens over and over again in the classical tradition. Being able to see that pattern in a few chords or over a few phrases or across the span of an entire composition is a good skill to have. And that this concept is right here in a short chorale by Bach shows why the chorales are little mini-lessons in just about anything and everything.

Ok. So that group of three phrases that span from I to V to I, as I've mentioned doesn't actually depend on the idea of modulation - there is other intermediate terminology that can be applied which'll take in the idea that that g major triad is an important happening.

Zooming way out on this (to see forest rather than trees) it looks like a few theories are growing and evolving. My suggestion - and it's a suggestion only - is let's as a group make sure we're all following each other's arguments and points of view. Because if we all see what everyone's saying some extraordinary insights from the group will emerge.

Which is the point of music theory. So we can say "Today I hear it this way. Tomorrow I might hear it differently. Next week I might hear it your way. The week after I might have a different perspective."

Understanding how theories grow and change - THAT's what music theory is about! But to fully appreciate different points of view probably means slowing down so we can all see what everyone's saying. And understand why they're saying it.

So there's stuff about secondary dominants that could discussed as an alternative to modulation. Understanding the difference (and the similarities) between secondary dominants and modulation is essential. Understanding why "here" it might be this but "there" it might be that is essential. Getting some understanding of why a phrase in C major might end (inconclusively) on a iii chord (E minor triad) is essential.

IF you're following along and IF you play jazz you definitely want to know about secondary dominants and various kinds of resolutions and conclusive and inconclusive cadences. Because that's stuff w/immediate application in jazz.

And yes of course a lot of great players do all of this stuff by ear w/talking about it. That's a whole 'nother discussion. And the chorales are of course music set to text. Bringing the meaning of the text into the discussion of the music would show a lot too!

I've totally violated my own advice about everything a step at a time! But only because Polyphonist had that great observation about the importance of context and spans of time.

Hope this helps!

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#2201697 - 12/23/13 03:13 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
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Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Hi Mark
Thanks for your patience on Phrase 1. I actually meant I heard C maj in the bass, I had one of those weird moments when I typed G maj.
But I'm glad I typed the wrong thing because I love your observation that an emphasised note in the melody is often the 5th. Just another instance why Bach was one of the first great jazz improvisers !

In terms of individual notes, the voices lead to E min.
As a chord, I heard the target chord as an ambiguous C maj, like a rootless C maj.

And I'm pleased you've brought up the subject of secondary dominants, because I don't know what they are.

Hi Polyphonist
It's really cool you've joined in the discussion. I can see your point about the E min being like a comma at the fermata, rather than a full-stop.

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#2201737 - 12/23/13 07:42 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: Mark Polishook]
JimF Offline
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Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1673
Loc: south florida
Originally Posted By: MarkP
So there's stuff about secondary dominants that could discussed as an alternative to modulation. Understanding the difference (and the similarities) between secondary dominants and modulation is essential. Understanding why "here" it might be this but "there" it might be that is essential. Getting some understanding of why a phrase in C major might end (inconclusively) on a iii chord (E minor triad) is essential.


This really sums up why I'm here and following along, Mark. Appreciate your approach to leading the discussion and discovery/learning process. Thanks.
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#2201795 - 12/23/13 09:58 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
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Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2991
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Cats,

You guys are so deep, it's unbelievable. I hope you all are enjoying the beautiful weather, summers, winters, shrimps, whatever it is you get in your neck of the woods. Crazy how diverse this community is.

Me, I went caroling last night. The weather in DC is very warm, like in the 70s.
This morning it started raining real hard so I opened the sliding door and had to do a quick recording. I thought the sound of the rain would come out more clearly but ...

https://soundcloud.com/christophe-ludet/rainy-outside

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#2201800 - 12/23/13 10:04 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: knotty]
Polyphonist Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7508
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: knotty
Cats,

You guys are so deep, it's unbelievable. I hope you all are enjoying the beautiful weather, summers, winters, shrimps, whatever it is you get in your neck of the woods. Crazy how diverse this community is.

Me, I went caroling last night. The weather in DC is very warm, like in the 70s.
This morning it started raining real hard so I opened the sliding door and had to do a quick recording.


I'm leaving in half an hour to go to North Carolina. It's going to be an unpleasant 25 degrees there, and that's without wind chill. laugh But yesterday, for some reason, we had insanely warm weather in NYC - about 65 the whole day. It's very rare to get a day like that in December here.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2201814 - 12/23/13 10:41 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2991
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
You'll be driving right by me then. Though you'll probably stay east on i495. Last night was so beautiful, the kids were singing in short sleeves. The week before we had 15F in the morning...

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#2201978 - 12/23/13 05:18 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
JimF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1673
Loc: south florida
Over 80 degrees and not a cloud in the sky today. Amost never "feels" like Christmas in South Florida, but I don't miss the Northern winters at all. My buddy from North Dakota texted me a screenshot of his weather forecast for today minus-28 F. Yuk, no thanks.
_________________________
La Fille aux cheveux de lin - Debussy
Ma Mere L'Oye - Ravel
Mozart Sonata K545

Estonia L190 #7284





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#2202034 - 12/23/13 08:20 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Hey Cats
I have read about the crazily warm weather around New York.
Here it's been around 40 degrees celsius (I converted to 104 degrees for you Americans) but luckily today is half as hot.
Knotty, I loved your Here's that Rainy Day. Please send some rain here. I love how you can just improvise like that.
My church had carols on Sunday, there was one to a Mendelssohn tune, but I can't remember the name. It was very gorgeous.

Enjoy your Christmas and see you all afterwards.

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#2202207 - 12/24/13 06:36 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 628
Loc: Leicester, UK
knotty --- you made a rainy day sound sunny!

jim, thanx for your comments. cus! 104! that's insane! insanely wonderful!

a little on 2ndary doms to come ... the very short version is every key has a leading tone. but every scale degree in a key can have it's own temporary leading tone.

which means if you're in the key of c and you hear an f sharp it might be a temporary leading tone taking you to a g triad but not necessarily the key of g major. in c maj if you hear a c sharp it might be a temporary leading tone taking you to a d min triad but not the key of d minor.

if you're in the key of c and if you hear the f sharp and f the f sharp is part of a D7 chord it might be a 'secondary' dominant that intensifies (temporarily) the G maj triad to which it resolves. or it might be a modulation to g major!

distinguishing between 2ndary dominants and modulations is a gray area. composers play in that gray area. sometimes the one (sec doms) becomes the other (modulation) and vice versa!

the giveaway in the 2nd phrase in the chorale we've been discussing is the F natural (and not f sharp) that pretty much immediately follows at the beginning of the 3rd phrase.

IF bach meant to modulate to G he's sure making a quick escape via the F natural. if he meant to just give the G maj triad a little emphasis with the F sharps, well he did that. which is why those F sharps are confined to one measure with the F nat. following along fairly quickly soon thereafter.

whatever it is, modulation or 2ndary dominant, it's a question of if you hear it one way can you stretch your ears to hear it the other way?

so if you're playing jazz it's nice to know that you can dress up any chord in a key with its secondary dominant.

about resolution. phrases can resolve conclusively or inconclusively. if inconclusively it's usually because of a deceptive cadence. the classic example in C maj is resolving to an A min triad instead of a C maj traid. that's a deceptive cadence. but E min can just as well be a deceptive cadence.

so if you're playing jazz you can see what happens if you substitute a vi7 chord for a I maj 7 chord or a iii7 chord for a I maj7 chord. sound and tastes are the guides!

happy happy holidays everyone!

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#2202266 - 12/24/13 09:34 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
JimF Offline
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Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1673
Loc: south florida
So, if I'm playing in the key of F major, and there is a B that is part of a G7, this may be the beginning of a modulation to a new key (C Maj) or a device (called a secondary dominant chord) that uses the feel of the B to highlight an upcoming C major chord. Have I got this right?
_________________________
La Fille aux cheveux de lin - Debussy
Ma Mere L'Oye - Ravel
Mozart Sonata K545

Estonia L190 #7284





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#2202398 - 12/24/13 02:13 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 628
Loc: Leicester, UK
Jim,

That's the perfect example. So after that just a question of is it 'this' or 'that'?

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#2202427 - 12/24/13 03:33 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
JimF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1673
Loc: south florida
Quote:
So after that just a question of is it 'this' or 'that'?


....which sounds to me like it depends on where it is eventually going, and the route it takes to get there. In the case of these Chorales, Bach already had a melody line (and text?) to work with and was composing the harmony to go with them, right? So, he would already have somewhat of a target and structure (although with lots of leeway I guess).

Sorry, don't mean to hold back your discussion. Just making sure I'm following. For three years I've heard the term secondary dominant and never quite gotten a good grasp on it.
_________________________
La Fille aux cheveux de lin - Debussy
Ma Mere L'Oye - Ravel
Mozart Sonata K545

Estonia L190 #7284





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#2202612 - 12/25/13 12:11 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 628
Loc: Leicester, UK
Jim,

All questions are good questions - and over time they all add up to good things.

Yes, you've completely captured it about Bach w/targets & structures & text. He had the leeway you mention & melody & text. So the chorales are what come from that. And USUALLY the text doesn't get discussed. But for Bach as composer that was HIS starting point w/the chorales.

We might say anything we do to understand Bach's music or anyone's music really is a kind of forensics. So a few competing ideas and explanations often captures the nuances more than any one idea or explanation. With something like Bach's music it's so rich to begin w/that there's always some larger idea the details add up to. ... Lines create chords. Chords and lines create key and structure. Structure expresses text. And etc!

Don't hesitate to post examples of stuff you're looking at. The way anyone gets skill in this is just to dive in! And Bach's music is SO good because it's all good!

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#2202988 - 12/26/13 04:06 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Hi Mark
Thanks for explaining secondary dominants so well.

Originally Posted By: Mark Polishook

so if you're playing jazz it's nice to know that you can dress up any chord in a key with its secondary dominant.

I tried this today. This is one reason why F# sounds nice in a line over a C maj chord.

Thanks also for explaining to me the mystery of the E min as a deceptive cadence. Bach is very clever to keep Phrase 1 open, it invites the listener to ask for more.

Hi Jim
Thanks for your secondary dominant example.

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#2203122 - 12/26/13 01:10 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 628
Loc: Leicester, UK
Cus and Jim,

You guys are getting it totally.

Among the magics in this is that F# you've mentioned. It's actually even sufficient for it to resolve to G (the note). If it doesn't get to all the notes in a G major triad that's ok!

Try this: play (as 1/8 notes):

c a f d d# f# b a g

In jazz that's a line that fits perfectly well across | D-7 G7 | C maj 7 |

Or play (as triads) d-f-c to d#-f#-c to e-g-c

Or in 4-parts:

d-a-f-c to d#-a-f#-c to e-g-g-c

Cus - yes what you've said about F# over a C maj chord is spot on. The F# might be heard as a dissonance resolving up a 1/2 step to G. It might shoot up to A and then resolve to G. Jazz theory will tell you that's an 'enclosure.'

But. A voice leading perspective says that's just a dissonance - F# - leaping to another dissonance - A - and then resolving down (by step).

But having said all above - Jim & Cus - your examples are concise, correct, and PERFECTLY stated.

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#2203429 - 12/27/13 03:36 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Hi Mark
Thanks for your examples of inserting dissonances before a consonance.
In particular the dissonances D# F# sounded cool in the 8th note line over the G7 chord.

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#2203435 - 12/27/13 04:12 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 628
Loc: Leicester, UK
Cus, that one never ceases to amaze me! Because the F# is SO blatant. But that's why it work. Because it's resolving up tonG!


Edited by Mark Polishook (12/27/13 04:14 AM)

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#2203445 - 12/27/13 05:18 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Hey Mark
I found a Sonny Stitt example tonight when I was playing through his Fine and Dandy solo.
In m2, the dissonances especially F#, work really well as they're on their way to the G.

https://app.box.com/s/lyvk5uewrku4dlmbnr6f

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#2204195 - 12/28/13 07:19 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 628
Loc: Leicester, UK
Hi Cus,

Sonny Stitt is probably one of the masters of this stuff. Bud Powell too!

Just to describe where this stuff can be useful ... In the key of G:

G maj7. Precede it with D7 (that an obvious one)
A min7. Precede with E7. W/Roman numerals it would be V7/ii7.
B min7. Precede with F# 7. W/Roman numerals it would be V7/iii7
C maj7. Precede with G7. W/Roman numerals it would be V7/IV maj7
D7. Precede with A7. W/Roman numerals it would be V7/V7.
E min7. Precede with B7. W/Roman numerals it would be V7/vi7.
F# min7b5 ... am going to leave this one alone for right now. But we can come back to it smile

Jim, if you're looking in Bach Chorales or Mozart these kinds of things will be all over the place except mostly w/triads instead of 7ths chords (mostly).

Here's a (didactic) example (w/a few extra chromatic alterations).


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#2204331 - 12/29/13 03:50 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Hi Mark
Thanks for your cool example. I understand the concept of cycling up a 4th to reach the target chord, but I don't understand the Roman numerals.
From your example, C#7 is the chord preceding F# min7 b5. I tried C#7 as a sub for the G maj 7 in ATTYA bridge and it sounded good; often the G maj 7 has sounded too strident.

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#2204466 - 12/29/13 12:08 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2991
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Catsrapuntalers,

I will not ask you to listen to #5 in my book, An Wasserflussen ..., but I will put here for posterity.
https://app.box.com/s/0yhr7a77iql9yaf142r3

In case, you decide to listen, ignore the background noise. It is Christmas week after all and everybody's excited.

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#2204508 - 12/29/13 01:17 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: knotty]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 628
Loc: Leicester, UK
knotty!

very nice! i hear voices loud and clear! i mean i hear voices in the chorale! very nicely played! gorgeous!

cus - roman numbers ... i'm not sure if this is what you're asking, but every scale degree can be assigned a roman numeral.

so in c

c I
d ii
e iii
f IV
g V
a vi
b vii

uppercase and lowercase denote major and minor when the roman numerals refer to chords.

V/ii means the 2ndary dominant of ii. so in the key of c V/ii would be an A maj triad

is that what you were asking?

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#2204639 - 12/29/13 05:52 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Hey Knots
What a gorgeous chorale you've chosen. You bring out the soprano voice nicely. And once again I can't believe how you've learnt such a long chorale so quickly.

Hi Mark
Originally Posted By: Mark Polishook


V/ii means the 2ndary dominant of ii. so in the key of c V/ii would be an A maj triad

is that what you were asking?

Yes that's exactly what I was asking thanks.
I only relate to words at the moment, I'm afraid it's gonna take me a while to relate to roman numerals presented as slashes.
When I see slash chords, I think G maj on D min.

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#2204657 - 12/29/13 06:16 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 628
Loc: Leicester, UK
Cus, I agree with you - the soprano line is really well done and brought out very nicely!

No worries about Roman numerals. What they give you is a way to think FUNCTIONALLY about harmony. So for analysing something to see how and why it works and relates to other chords his is good. It'll be helpful later when we talk about modulation. But for now they can be "parked" and the ticket can stay in a desk somewhere!

"Slash" notation - G / D - only tells you what the specific chord (or sonority) is. But this is perfect for a lead sheet where all you need to know is which chord goes where.

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#2205339 - 12/30/13 10:10 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
lean to tail Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/20/10
Posts: 36
Loc: Triop
Hey guys...I'm studying the Bach chorales with my teacher right now and wont see him for a couple more weeks due to the holidays. He's been having me identify the chord changes in these pieces for awhile and I have a question for you guys since I wont see him for awhile. In chorale no 11, second measure, third beat(on the fermata) Bach is using a b major chord. I supposed this makes it a major 7th chord correct? And I would analyze the chords from the fermata back to the 4th beat of the previous measure, where the I7 chord is, in the key of B major, correct? I too wonder about the 6th measure where the fermata is over an f major chord but it seems like the 5th and 6th measures are mostly G major. I'm thinking the best bet would be to analyze the 5th measure in Cmajor up until the first b flat, then analyze in F major?



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#2205359 - 12/30/13 10:36 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2991
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Originally Posted By: custard apple
Hey Knots
What a gorgeous chorale you've chosen. You bring out the soprano voice nicely. And once again I can't believe how you've learnt such a long chorale so quickly.


Thanks Cus for listening. You point out the single most difficult part of this piece which is its length. It was truly the most challenging part. The next is only 4 short phrases long and in F, so it should be a lot easier. Though a few chords are really whacky. I believe that's the proper technical description now.

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#2205361 - 12/30/13 10:47 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: lean to tail]
Polyphonist Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7508
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: lean to tail
In chorale no 11, second measure, third beat(on the fermata) Bach is using a b major chord.

B flat major. Unless we're using the German spellings...

Originally Posted By: lean to tail
I supposed this makes it a major 7th chord correct?

I don't see any 7th.

Originally Posted By: lean to tail
And I would analyze the chords from the fermata back to the 4th beat of the previous measure, where the I7 chord is, in the key of B major, correct?

I can't see why you would.

Originally Posted By: lean to tail
I too wonder about the 6th measure where the fermata is over an f major chord but it seems like the 5th and 6th measures are mostly G major.

The first three beats of the 5th measure, out of context, are in G major, and then the rest is F up to the fermata.

Originally Posted By: lean to tail
I'm thinking the best bet would be to analyze the 5th measure in Cmajor up until the first b flat, then analyze in F major?

Why not just leave it in C?
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2205443 - 12/31/13 12:58 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Hi Leans
Welcome to Cats !
I agree with Polyphonist that it's Bb maj not B maj.
As it's travelling on its way to C maj, the first fermata is a 7th. For classical to end on a 7th seems kinda weird to me ?
Although it's quite normal for jazz to approach a target chord from a whole tone below.

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#2205447 - 12/31/13 01:04 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Polyphonist Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7508
Loc: New York City
It's not approaching the target chord from a whole tone below; the B flat major is simply a stop on the way to C through typical progressions. The real harmonic event in the passage is the substitution of B natural for B flat in the tenor voice at the beginning of the third bar.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2205463 - 12/31/13 01:26 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: Polyphonist]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist

The real harmonic event in the passage is the substitution of B natural for B flat in the tenor voice at the beginning of the third bar.


Very nice, thanks for pointing that out.
To me, that's like treating the leading tone not just as a passing note, but as a strong beat.

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#2205464 - 12/31/13 01:28 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Polyphonist Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7508
Loc: New York City
That's not the reason it's a strong event, though. What I'm getting at is the tonal mixture resulting from the resolution of the D major chord to G.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2205496 - 12/31/13 02:23 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: Polyphonist]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
That's not the reason it's a strong event, though. What I'm getting at is the tonal mixture resulting from the resolution of the D major chord to G.


That's a kool explanation Polyphonist.
Perhaps it's not a full blown D maj chord, in the sense that it might be a secondary dominant, depending on how one hears it.

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