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#592822 - 01/24/08 04:26 PM Contrary Motion Chromatic Scales...help!
sinead Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 10
Loc: Kildare, Ireland
Hi, I've just been going through my required scales for my next exam and the following is from my syllabus:

"Contrary Motion Chromatic Scales: Beginning and ending on the D and A flat, compass one octave. "

is this two different scales?? one starting on d and other on Ab or any advise on how to play them?? thanks!

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#592823 - 01/24/08 04:48 PM Re: Contrary Motion Chromatic Scales...help!
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5899
Loc: Down Under
If you have to do contrary motion chromatic scales, these are the two to do! Starting on either of these notes you'll see that the black/white patterns are symmetrical, so when you've got black in one hand you've got black in the other. So the fingering is the same in both hands. Nice.
To actually answer your question, yes, they're two scales, but they're not really different because the fingering pattern is the same - finger 3 on black notes, 1 on white, 12 or 21 on two whites.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#592824 - 01/24/08 05:10 PM Re: Contrary Motion Chromatic Scales...help!
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
These two chromatic scales when played in contrary motion produced "mirrored keys" on the piano keyboard.

D Chromatic Scale

Ab Chromatic Scale

Rules:
3's are black notes
1's are white notes
2's are used where two white notes appear together (BC) (EF)

In ascending scale, think of the note names as #'s. In descending scale, think of the note names as b's.

Start carefully and accurately saying (half notes), then when ready to go faster say (TA's), when ready to really go, say (ti,ti's). Don't up tempo until you are progressing well.

My student's love to do these two!

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#592825 - 01/24/08 05:55 PM Re: Contrary Motion Chromatic Scales...help!
BillySynth Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/13/06
Posts: 8
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
When you've mastered that simple exercise - try contrary motion for two octaves using octaves start on the C and F

BillySynth

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#592826 - 01/25/08 09:02 AM Re: Contrary Motion Chromatic Scales...help!
sinead Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 10
Loc: Kildare, Ireland
Thanks for the help!

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#592827 - 01/25/08 10:51 AM Re: Contrary Motion Chromatic Scales...help!
cjsm Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/06
Posts: 134
Loc: Washington, MO
Just an aside, having to practice chromatic scales drives me nuts. I guess I can bear them in small doses, but chromatic scales really sound irritating to me if I play a lot of them. I just don't like chromaticism. Playing them makes me realize why they invented all the other scales. I tend to avoid pieces with chromatic scales. If piece is really good otherwise and the chromatic scales are brief interludes I'll play it, but extensive chromaticism, I avoid like the plague. But I've never played Bach's chromatic fugue, which is supposed to be quite good. I'll probably give that a try some day.

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#592828 - 01/25/08 12:56 PM Re: Contrary Motion Chromatic Scales...help!
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
With chromatic scales (contrary motion) you get a great control of the fingering in half steps (contracted fingers in a tighter hand shape)which is useful for those times you will need it in music. Great training ground.

But...oh, the sound of it! Also, great training ground for things dissonant, like 2nds and 7ths. Being able to accept dissonance when it happens without a reaction is a progress step, I think.

Making the keyboard symetrical by starting on the D and Ab allows a treat of developing rapidity and evenness on the piano...kind of like running hurdles or doing foot exercises in tight rings - "boot camp"?

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#592829 - 01/25/08 01:00 PM Re: Contrary Motion Chromatic Scales...help!
Gabe Racz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/03/07
Posts: 119
Loc: Denver, Colorado, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by cjsm:
Just an aside, having to practice chromatic scales drives me nuts. I guess I can bear them in small doses, but chromatic scales really sound irritating to me if I play a lot of them. I just don't like chromaticism. Playing them makes me realize why they invented all the other scales. I tend to avoid pieces with chromatic scales. If piece is really good otherwise and the chromatic scales are brief interludes I'll play it, but extensive chromaticism, I avoid like the plague. But I've never played Bach's chromatic fugue, which is supposed to be quite good. I'll probably give that a try some day. [/b]
Actually the other scales came first, for quite a while chromatic scales didn't sound the way we think of them because of the temperament systems we have.

I find dissonances to be beautiful. Especially major 7ths and minor 9ths!
_________________________
Schimmel 190E EP 103330

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#592830 - 01/26/08 06:49 PM Re: Contrary Motion Chromatic Scales...help!
Disciple Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/07
Posts: 288
Loc: NYC
Chromatic scales should be practiced from ANY position. I suggest not only mastering them in contrary and similar motion, either hand at any starting point, any finger, but also mastering them with random direction changes at any time. Why limit yourself. Once the feel is in your hands, try to adapy yourself to change the directive chromatic flow of either hand at any individual point. You can then try to accomplish playing different metric groups with each hand, for instance, the left hand ascending and descending in groups of 4 against the right ascending and descending randomly in groups of 5, or 6, or 7, etc., etc.

This not only builds freedom in hand independence but independent thinking of your musical mind.
_________________________
My expansion of Lennie Tristano's Scene & Variation:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=5C5gnAqgttY&feature=user

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#592831 - 01/28/08 12:43 AM Re: Contrary Motion Chromatic Scales...help!
cjsm Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/06
Posts: 134
Loc: Washington, MO
 Quote:
Originally posted by Gabe Racz:
Actually the other scales came first, for quite a while chromatic scales didn't sound the way we think of them because of the temperament systems we have.

I find dissonances to be beautiful. Especially major 7ths and minor 9ths!
Hmm...I never thought of that. Guess your right. Chromatic scales didn't sound 'right' until they came up with equal temperament.

I like things like major 7ths and minor 9ths. And chromaticism, when limited to a few or several note range, can sound fine to my ear. Its just the sound of full blown chromatic scales that I find grating, sort of like fingernails on a chalkboard.

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