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Piece functions help needed

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Re: Piece functions help needed

Postby GilesAnt » Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:50 pm

Here is my effort - not sure if I have got it right in inserting an image though.

Image

I have modelled it more on a late 19th century Romantic style, deliberately chromatic (in contrast to what merlyn has offered) to show how there is no 'general practice' when harmonising a melody.

A pat on the back for the first person to spot a consecutive 5th or 8ve!
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Re: Piece functions help needed

Postby zenguitar » Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:25 pm

The image wasn’t displayed so I had a quick edit. Looks like the BBcode is embedded in the link your host provides, so you don’t need to use the image tags when you make your post, just paste the link ‘as is’ into your post.

It’s now displayed properly :thumbup:

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Piece functions help needed

Postby rbarata » Thu Dec 05, 2019 6:05 pm

Like to see your works.
I've been trying to harmonize the melody but only in 3 parts (which I have never done before). In this particular melody it has been difficult as there are a lot repetitive functions so it's hard to find variety without breaking the "rules".
The melody itself already has some problems (a leap followed by another leap when it should be by step, for ex.)
I've already reached a lot of dead ends so I haven't post anything yet.

About the images...I use postimages.org then copy and paste the img direct link between the img codes.

I couldn't find any consesecutive 5th/8ve but isn't there a dim 5th between the bass and soprano (bar 4, last note of the bass - G#-D)?
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Re: Piece functions help needed

Postby GilesAnt » Thu Dec 05, 2019 7:33 pm

Why are you just working with that original melody - maybe you should use something more distinctive to Palestrina, or whoever is your inspiration. Palestrina is a tough one to start with, and I would advise trying some Bach chorales instead. At least you are more or less guaranteed a melody that will reward your efforts, a more natural phrasing and cadencing too, whether in 3 or 4 parts.

Thanks for checking my consecutives - not sure if there is a 'rule' covering the diminished 5th, but I will excuse myself on the grounds of taking my inspiration from the late Romantics such as Bruckner.

My main goal was to add to what merlyn had already shown as a diatonic harmonisation, adding some chromaticism by shifting into A minor as soon as possible before resolving (and modulating) via D to G. As you can see there is no 'right answer'.

PS - Thanks Andy for correcting my issue with inserting images
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Re: Piece functions help needed

Postby merlyn » Thu Dec 05, 2019 7:47 pm

@GilesAnt No, I don't see any parallel 5ths or 8ves. It's not just an abstract rule that music teachers made up -- it's a sound. It's most noticeable with parallel octaves in the bass and soprano where a piece goes from a melody supported by a cushion of harmony to pure melody. From a weave of sounds to one sound. So there's a place for it -- but not in Bach chorales :) So thanks for pointing them out.

You've really done a contrasting harmonisation. I see melodic minor ideas and a bluesy phrase at the end which could be analyzed as D7b9. Cool.

Thanks for posting.
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Re: Piece functions help needed

Postby merlyn » Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:35 pm

The other versions were more like exercises. This version I actually like, even though it's simpler.

Image
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Re: Piece functions help needed

Postby rbarata » Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:52 pm

GilesAnt wrote:Why are you just working with that original melody - maybe you should use something more distinctive to Palestrina, or whoever is your inspiration. Palestrina is a tough one to start with, and I would advise trying some Bach chorales instead. At least you are more or less guaranteed a melody that will reward your efforts, a more natural phrasing and cadencing too, whether in 3 or 4 parts.

Thanks for checking my consecutives - not sure if there is a 'rule' covering the diminished 5th, but I will excuse myself on the grounds of taking my inspiration from the late Romantics such as Bruckner.

My main goal was to add to what merlyn had already shown as a diatonic harmonisation, adding some chromaticism by shifting into A minor as soon as possible before resolving (and modulating) via D to G. As you can see there is no 'right answer'.

As I'm stubborn, I wanted to at least try to do something with this melody.
I wanted to study Palestrina because that's one of the first masters that gave genesis to todays music. Bach, I've studied him before for a brief moment but when there was something that was going out of what were the "rules", when I asked why, most of the time I couldn't get a satisfactory answer.
Anyway, now I'm studying how to create melodies in the Palestrina style. As we've seen, not quite there yet. :mrgreen:

I managed to have a version from the melody in three voices. There are a few 4ths that I'm not sure if are allowed (because they involve the bass.
Also, I'm not experienced in modulations so the ending for sure is something not special in particular (if it is a modulation at all).

Here it is:

Image
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Re: Piece functions help needed

Postby GilesAnt » Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:02 am

Whilst I agree that learning the techniques of Palestrina is great training, this particular melody will never really allow you to do that since it is totally inconsistent with his style. As I said before, it is much more like a hymn or chorale. Merlyn's harmonisations show that up well.

Talking about 'rules', I think merlyn made a great point: the rules aren't dogmatic, but there for a reason. In the case of parallel 5th and 8ves the reason is that they obscure the independent part movement that is characteristic of Palestrina, and indeed Bach. If you have two parts moving in parallel 8ves or 5ths then they become one part effectively, and one or other ceases to be independent. If you were writing in the style of Debussy on the other hand, this parallel movement is very much a feature of his music, e.g. La Cathedrale Engloutie.

In your latest working I can see you have tried to remove parallels. However you are left with one or two clunky moments still. The first note of bar 5 has the upper voices in unison on a strong beat - with only 3 voices you need to make them work hard to fill out the harmony so unisons like this should be avoided as far as possible. Also you have introduced syncopation, e.g. bar 3 middle voice with the tied Gs, or bar 5 in the lower voice with those dotted crotchets. This is uncharacteristic, at least in the way you have deployed it. Bar 4 is a problem too as you have recognised I think - the 2nd and 3rd beat have parallel 2nd inversion chords that sound very strange.

Finally you should normally finish a phrase with the root of the chord in the lower voice - however is this was seen as part of a larger work (i.e. the music was continuing past bar 6) it might be OK to finish on an inversion such as the one you have chosen.

A good example of Palestrina in a more homophonic style than normal is the motet Tu Es Petrus, for example here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YfpvzAYaxc

Listen and immerse yourself in the overall sound - your ear will become attuned to it so that you start to instinctively model the melodies, harmonies and rhythms.
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Re: Piece functions help needed

Postby GilesAnt » Fri Dec 06, 2019 1:40 pm

merlyn wrote:The other versions were more like exercises. This version I actually like, even though it's simpler.

I can see you are getting into your stride now. Lifting the opening few notes an octave really helps to open it up too. Approaching the final bass note from above is a little weak - better to go with a D-G ending (in this style/period). The treble/alto lines in bar 4 are suspiciously close to consecutive 8ves but you just about get away with it. To be fair that melody isn't the best so it is hard to harmonise this well in a diatonic framework.

You're going to kick yourself though:-
Bar 3/4 Alto and Tenor consecutive 5ths
Bar 5 Tenor and Bass consecutive 5ths

Maybe it would be helpful to try and treat this more in A minor than C major - the modulation at the end can be considered as Am (ii) D7 (V) G (I)
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Re: Piece functions help needed

Postby merlyn » Fri Dec 06, 2019 3:31 pm

@rbarata It looks like you're using MuseScore too. Those red notes are the soprano's lungs exploding. Are you sure you want to use that clef with the little '8' above it? It's extremely high.

You do want the melody above the accompaniment. By shuffling octaves around I came up with this:

Image

What could I do with the tenor? A G drone. It sounds pretty medieval now. :) With this version you're getting there e.g. in bar three where there's a pause in the melody the middle voice takes over. The only time you have to stick to the rules strictly is when you're sitting a harmony exam. You're developing your own style (that may be inspired by Palestrina) and the first rule is 'if it sounds good to you -- it is good'.

My music teacher said to me "Use your ears, and I'll tell you if your ears need cleaned out." :)
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Re: Piece functions help needed

Postby merlyn » Fri Dec 06, 2019 3:53 pm

@GilesAnt Yes Am works. I went for a classic chord progression :

|I / ii V |I / / / |IV / / / |viim7b5 / III7 / | vi / II7 / | V / - - |

using a ii V to get to Am and a ii V before G. Now the roots go in fourths : C F B E A D G.

Image

I've kept the bassline because I want to keep the pattern going.
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Re: Piece functions help needed

Postby GilesAnt » Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:30 pm

Nice work. Thinking outside the obvious key can open up new possibilities. You have nicely prepared the modulation with E7 Am D7 G at the end. Classic cycle of 5ths.

Did you intend the B in the tenor in bar 2? It works well - though probably in a different style than you meant.

I can almost see you jumping through hoops to avoid those dreaded consecutives, so well done for navigating that. Sometimes it is almost impossible to avoid, but if you have to have them make sure they aren't between the outer parts.

The only real problem I can see is bar 3, 3rd beat, where you have octave Ds in the top 2 parts and octave As in the bottom 2. That's a bit bare.
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Re: Piece functions help needed

Postby rbarata » Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:51 pm

Obviously I'm light years behind you both.
I appreciated your efforts but, as has been noted, this melody is not the best for my intentions. Anyway, I'll keep posting my works always looking for criticism and advise.
As I'm studying now melody contruction, I'll keep to it.

About my score editor...I'm using Muse Score. It's free and does the job and accepts VSTi's which is great.
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