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Question about intervals

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Re: Question about intervals

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sat Apr 09, 2016 2:20 pm

Sam Inglis wrote:
Exalted Wombat wrote:

So the ninth chord built on the dominant would be called "G9", one built on the tonic would be called "Cmaj9". All styles of music agree on that!

That's probably a sensible convention, but in the dim and distant days when I used to hang around with classically trained people, they would use the term 'seventh' to refer to whichever seventh note was diatonic (maybe because they were trained to use figured bass?). So I'm not sure it's quite as universal as all that.

Anyway, it's kind of irrelevant!

Chord symbols, the "C7", "Cmaj9" etc. system of naming chords, are not really a "classical" thing. And yes, "7" in figured bass notation is diatonic (though there are different conventions for whether accidentals against a number are literal or relative).

But when we trained musicians venture into the world of popular music and chord symbols, there's never any question about "C7" including a Bb, whatever key the song may be in. There's no "convention" in pop, jazz or anwhere else where "C7" can be confused with "Cmaj7".
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Re: Question about intervals

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Apr 09, 2016 2:51 pm

damoore wrote:You mean the third I am sure, not the root.

Not everybody would agree that the sus replaces the third, but generally if the third is kept, it is treated as a tenth rather than a third. i.e. it's on top. It's usual not to play the third when comping though, of course, the tonic (sus) 2 and third, and even the minor 7 on the bottom can work as a cluster on an EP patch when everyone is wailing.

You had me thinking there, I always think of a sus to be higher than the note it replaces so I did a (very) little research and WikiPedia has this to say :-

A suspension (SUS) occurs when the harmony shifts from one chord to another, but one or more notes of the first chord (the "Preparation") are either temporarily held over into or are played again against the second chord (against which they are nonchord tones called the "Suspension") before resolving to a chord tone stepwise (the "Resolution"). Note that the whole process is called a suspension as well as the specific non-chord tone(s):

Suspensions may be further described using the number of the interval forming the suspension and its resolution; e.g. 4-3 suspension, 7-6 suspension, or 9-8 suspension. Suspensions resolve downwards; otherwise it is a retardation. A suspension must be prepared with the same note (in the same voice) using a chord tone in the preceding chord; otherwise it is an appoggiatura.

So yet again I've learned something new and interesting as a result of partaking in these discussions...... Thanks :)
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Re: Question about intervals

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Apr 09, 2016 3:01 pm

Exalted Wombat wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:and C sus 2 suggests the D replaces the C rather than is in addition to it (similarly a 'sus 4' replaces the 3rd with a 4th).....

There's a lot of resistence to "C2" from theorists who want everything to be explainable as a "pile of thirds". Though they don't seem to mind "C6" or even "C6/9". And then, like I said, there's "Guitarists' chord theory". They have some VERY strange ideas :-)

The thing that most helped me to understand chord theory was learning to play the electronic organ back in the '70s (to a very basic standard, I was selling them for my living) and visualising chords is so much easier on a keyboard. Around about the same time I was playing guitar in a restaurant band, playing standards for 5 hours every Saturday night for 7 years gave me a pretty good chord vocabulary (and, incidentally, paid my mortgage). Happy days :)
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Re: Question about intervals

Postby Guest » Sun Apr 10, 2016 12:20 pm

Er, 'as jellyjim's question actually been answered yet? If so wot is it?
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Re: Question about intervals

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sun Apr 10, 2016 12:44 pm

LdashD wrote:Er, 'as jellyjim's question actually been answered yet? If so wot is it?

The answer is: Yes and no. As so many answers are.
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Re: Question about intervals

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Apr 10, 2016 2:17 pm

Wombat means, "Yes, it has been answered" and "No it's a 9th not a major 2nd"
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Re: Question about intervals

Postby damoore » Sun Apr 10, 2016 3:02 pm

Sam Inglis wrote:
Exalted Wombat wrote:

So the ninth chord built on the dominant would be called "G9", one built on the tonic would be called "Cmaj9". All styles of music agree on that!

That's probably a sensible convention, but in the dim and distant days when I used to hang around with classically trained people, they would use the term 'seventh' to refer to whichever seventh note was diatonic (maybe because they were trained to use figured bass?). So I'm not sure it's quite as universal as all that.


Surely that's really only your half dim past?

Classical notation is different - you would write Cmaj9 as (in key of C) I^9, where the ^ is intended to convey superscript.

Personally I find the triangle notation easier to read, especially reading CmMaj7 rather than Cm(triangle) makes my eyes water, and my mind boggle. I lose at least half a beat when I see the former.
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Re: Question about intervals

Postby Sam Inglis » Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:00 pm

damoore wrote:

Surely that's really only your half dim past?


Almost certainly! It is pretty dim.
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Re: Question about intervals

Postby Guest » Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:33 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Wombat means, "Yes, it has been answered" and "No it's a 9th not a major 2nd"

If'n that's just a convenient/necessary label, is it sensible that i look on it/label it, as an octave 2nd, wiv regards to voice leading only? Horizontal not vertical.
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Re: Question about intervals

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sun Apr 10, 2016 6:27 pm

LdashD wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:Wombat means, "Yes, it has been answered" and "No it's a 9th not a major 2nd"

If'n that's just a convenient/necessary label, is it sensible that i look on it/label it, as an octave 2nd, wiv regards to voice leading only? Horizontal not vertical.

That's confused, even for you! If there's some meaning in it, want to try again?
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Re: Question about intervals

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Apr 10, 2016 6:31 pm

It is an 'octave 2nd' and I would understand what you were saying ('cos it's logical) but it's a bit like saying 'that's a pound and another 20 pence' instead of 'that's one pound 20'. OTOH, saying that when referring to a chord voicing would not really be logical or correct so it makes some sense to use the common terms.
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Re: Question about intervals

Postby Guest » Mon Apr 11, 2016 8:17 am

Sam Spoons wrote:It is an 'octave 2nd' and I would understand what you were saying ('cos it's logical) but it's a bit like saying 'that's a pound and another 20 pence' instead of 'that's one pound 20'. OTOH, saying that when referring to a chord voicing would not really be logical or correct so it makes some sense to use the common terms.

That's me, logical to a fault, 'tis a tad like them #'s & or flats innit, one and the same and ne'er the twain shall meet...

Function/meaning not label was my only concern.
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Re: Question about intervals

Postby tacitus » Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:09 am

Oddly enough, if you notate the stuff on a stave, none of this is an issue ...

I'm not against chord names - in many or most circumstances they're a splendid shorthand that saves a lot of time and give you scope to voice chords how it suits you, the band and the music. Full notation stifles that. But then again, once you get into long chord names and these 'ere jazz chords, it becomes rather unwieldy, and not necessary definitive. A bit like having a oven that's only got a 'hot' and a 'cold' setting and having to do complicated timing adjustments on the fly to accommodate a range of temperatures in a cookbook.

Obviously, once you get beyond a certain number of players, only having chord names can lead to all sorts of harmonic and textural problems, especially if you can't agree what the chord names actually mean! It's not just a 'pop' problem: figured bass died out for exactly this reason as music became too complicated for it to work reliably and predictably. If I had the slightest notion of what to suggest instead, I'd predict a new system evolving. But it seems to me there's not a lot more you can do with chord names without getting into a new staff-type system. Unless that's me being old and myopic ... .
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Re: Question about intervals

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sun Apr 24, 2016 1:29 pm

tacitus wrote:Oddly enough, if you notate the stuff on a stave, none of this is an issue ...

I'm not against chord names - in many or most circumstances they're a splendid shorthand that saves a lot of time and give you scope to voice chords how it suits you, the band and the music. Full notation stifles that. But then again, once you get into long chord names and these 'ere jazz chords, it becomes rather unwieldy, and not necessary definitive. A bit like having a oven that's only got a 'hot' and a 'cold' setting and having to do complicated timing adjustments on the fly to accommodate a range of temperatures in a cookbook.

Obviously, once you get beyond a certain number of players, only having chord names can lead to all sorts of harmonic and textural problems, especially if you can't agree what the chord names actually mean! It's not just a 'pop' problem: figured bass died out for exactly this reason as music became too complicated for it to work reliably and predictably. If I had the slightest notion of what to suggest instead, I'd predict a new system evolving. But it seems to me there's not a lot more you can do with chord names without getting into a new staff-type system. Unless that's me being old and myopic ... .

Indeed. Some music can usefully be compressed into chord names. Some can't. Just like computer data. ZIP may reduce filesize appreciably, it may reduce it hardly at all. The information loss in a MP3 compression may be trivial, it may be vital. When discussion of chord names becomes heated the only real answer is "We're obviously beyond the scope of chord symbols. Write it out."
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Re: Question about intervals

Postby InactiveX » Sun May 22, 2016 11:23 am

jellyjim wrote:If I play a C and then the D a whole tone up, that's obviously a major 2nd. If I play the same C then a D an octave above the original D, is that still a major 2nd? The interval is obviously an example. The point is, going above the octave.

The answer you are looking for is a compound major 2nd.

All you lot talking about 9ths etc. are talking about chords, not intervals.
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Re: Question about intervals

Postby francisdw » Thu May 26, 2016 2:26 pm

American music theorist here. This interval would be most commonly referred to as a compound Major 2nd. The principal that allows this has been alluded to without recognition, we call it "octave equivalence." Octave equivalence is result of our perceptual recognition of the close relationship between a note and its 1st harmonic, an octave higher. In harmonic contexts, this obviously allows to reduce a passage to essential chordal elements.

Yet, within melodic context, that M2 label could change as the interval's function could be fundamentally different. In principal, for example, if we are in the key of C and move from tonic note C to supertonic note D, the psychological anticipation is for resolution back down to to tonic note C. If instead the movement is from tonic C to supertonic D' (an octave higher), the anticipated resolution is to C'. The two situations are considered equivalent through octave equivalence, but another key assumption and perceptual mechanic of music comes into play here. We also have an assumption called "original octave." This assumption dictates that the melody will resolve in its original octave. The 2nd melody violates that assumption, and shows the C to D' movement is significant to the melody and probably should be referred to as a functional Major 9th. This is not a chordal 9th and makes no assumptions to harmonic mechanics, although it is certainly probably that the following melody would define some chord, with 9th harmonized or otherwise.

Recent research into the properties of musical contours have shown the contour of any set of musical elements to be one of the most significant characteristics for musical perception. Interestingly, "Contour Theory" points out that it is also not the specific elements that make up a contour that make it recognizable; it's the ranking of steps between smallest to largest and the sequencing of those steps. What this suggests, is that in melodic contexts, octave equivalence is much less present and that compound intervals such as the M9 should be functionally labeled as a M9 because it has a much larger force than the M2!

-Ward
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