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#2198946 - 12/17/13 03:41 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2300
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
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 646
Loc: Leicester, UK
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
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2300
Loc: Sydney
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
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 646
Loc: Leicester, UK
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
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2300
Loc: Sydney
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
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 646
Loc: Leicester, UK
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
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1706
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
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2300
Loc: Sydney
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
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 646
Loc: Leicester, UK
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
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2300
Loc: Sydney
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 Offline
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Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7573
Loc: New York City
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.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2201267 - 12/22/13 03:00 AM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 646
Loc: Leicester, UK
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
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 646
Loc: Leicester, UK
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
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2300
Loc: Sydney
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
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2300
Loc: Sydney
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
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 646
Loc: Leicester, UK
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
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 646
Loc: Leicester, UK
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 Offline
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Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7573
Loc: New York City
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.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2201573 - 12/22/13 07:36 PM Re: Chorales for CATS [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 646
Loc: Leicester, UK
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
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2300
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
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1706
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.
_________________________
La Fille aux cheveux de lin - Debussy
Ma Mere L'Oye - Ravel
Mozart Sonata K545

Estonia L190 #7284





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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: 2993
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 Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7573
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: 2993
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: 1706
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: 2300
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: 646
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
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1706
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: 646
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: 1706
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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