Since I equally enjoy baroque, classical, romantic, and jazz, it was always an aspiration of mine to fuse these genres, to create a new genre that takes what I value from all of them and leaves out what I do not.
I would like to summarize a few features of this new genre I consider my works to be the first representatives of:
It is not atonal but it is certainly beyond tonality as conventionally understood in that definite harmonic relationships are based on Lydian-chromatic symmetry, which I noted a few posts back, instead of tonic resolutions as in functional harmony, modes as in the music of the impressionists mainly, or something like interval classes for the theoretician like Hindemith, though it is from him that I gained inspiration for this feature.
The melodies and themes have a characteristic: they are formulated with much greater periodicity than normal, that is, the underlying phrases are extremely long, and not only that, but melodies are conceived in two directions, simultaneously backward and forward across the temporal continuum. This is one of the Jazz elements of my writing, specifically borrowed from the M-base doctrines. Simply finding a way to increase the scope of the temporal field upon which melodies are constructed, allows an entirely new universe of possible melodies to be discovered. This requires that the composer/listener becomes well practiced in thinking in two directions at once, at least 2-3 tones backward and forward in time; the simple retention of tones in short-term memory is not sufficient to intuit the definite structures through the musical sense, and without this skill, it is difficult to do more than capture the form at the level of purely cognitive apprehension.
The third feature is the existence of a new harmonic entity I use.
To elaborate on what I said here:
" Hindemith wanted to go beyond tonality but, like me, he had strong philosophic contention with the atonal serial composers and the manner in which they "went beyond" tonality, for they did so seemingly illegitimately. Hindemith wished to establish a new theory of music that legitimately transcended the limitations of the diatonic functions, that is, a theory of music that didn't analyze chords and harmony in terms of key centers and their relationships. Hindemith's solution was to use a mathematical procedure to break all the chords and scales down to their fundamental intervals, pure intervals which he then classified in terms of their apparent harmony and discord. Because he classified all the possible intervals based on their consonance and dissonance, he could then inter-relate chords into progressions that generated tension and release (musicality) purely on the basis of which intervals they were constructed from, without any reliance on the conventional diatonic system of keys. But his classification of harmony and discord for the intervals is very arbitrary, as is the choice to perform a mathematical reduction down to the level of the interval itself in order to arrive at an analytic basis. I wish to do the same, that is, arrive at an alternative theory to both serial composition and conventional tonality, but I have used this idea of symmetry instead of something along the lines of Hindemith's interval classes, for symmetry represents an objective non-arbitrary basis of comparison and analysis, and is consequently far more robust. Instead of basing the theory of harmony on either interval classes or on the key centers and resolution to their central tonics, the relationship between chords is defined in my system in terms of a grand-scale idea of musical symmetry. The most important symmetrical relationship is found in the Overtone-Undertone series, but the most important symmetry for the practical application to composition and musical analysis is found in the Lydian scale, for, when it is combined with its own symmetrical mirror, the twelve notes of the total chromatic is produced- it is this curious phenomenon which initially clued me in to the idea of a grand musical symmetry invisibly organizing the various scales, a kind of super-scale. Then each possible chord (or scale, or mode, etc.) can similarly be mirrored in terms of tonal gravity and combined with its symmetrical counterpart in the same manner that the Lydian scale was combined with its mirror in order to create the chromatic scale, etc. Essentially, the harmonic relationships are defined in terms of these symmetrical patterns created by combining things with their own mirrors, taking all the resulting notes together and correcting for duplications in each case- these note collections are my replacement for "scales". A corollary of the new theory is: in a normal scale the tone that generates the structure of the scale is itself the tonic or central note that the others resolve to in order to release tension, that is the whole idea of returning to the root, but, within the framework of this symmetrical idea, scales no longer function this way; the note that generates one of these symmetrical relationships (Like Lydian combined with its own mirror to produce the chromatic scale) of notes (the new version of a "scale") is different than the note that they resolve to, the "tonic." Now chords can be related not in terms of diatonic functions, keys, tonics and key centers, but purely in terms of this objective musical symmetry... "
Romanticism ended with the incorporation of the thirteenth chord. It has six unique tones and functions as an extended or poly-chord made out of stacked triads. Because it has six tones, it has incredible versatility, and there are innumerable shapes that can be made with it. But from this we go straight into atonal music. The thirteenth chord is the maximal diatonic extension and the remaining six notes that would create the total chromatic are adopted in atonal music through a mathematical system that guarantees no one pitch gets tonal priority, ie. serialism, and just sort of added to the thirteenth randomly.
A step was missed, or more properly, a wrong direction was taken. The fifteenth chord was missed. This is that new harmonic entity.
Simply adding the other remaining notes of the total chromatic to a thirteenth chord randomly like serial atonal music does, creates chords that just sound like banging on a piano, like the "mother-chord", which have no impressionistic quality. A fifteenth chord is not produced this way- what I am calling a fifteenth chord because it is a new structure that has no name in any theory now.
Combining the seven notes of the Lydian mode with its own negative harmonization (its tonal mirror) yields a 12 tone chromatic scale, a full circle of fifths progression. 5 extra notes are incorporated into the Lydian's seven note scale, creating the new Lydian-chromatic superscale. I went over this in the note I am elaborating on now.
You can compress the Lydian notes to form a thirteenth chord. Then you can use the other five chromatic notes left over in the Lydian-chromatic scale to produce a major third interval, and then superimpose that major third over the compressed thirteenth chord. The resulting chord will have 8 unique tones (two more than Romanticism's thirteenth) that can be divided into two stacked tetrads as a polychord. You can remove the fifth degree from one or both of those tetrads to reduce the chord to seven or six unique tones. The chromatic notes are effectively augmenting one of the tetrads, a similar feat to the impressionists first discovering how to freely move by parallel ninths. The two tetrads embody a new harmonic alliance between dominant and major seventh chords that reflects the underlying symmetry of the tonal mirroring itself, and the directional bent of the circle of fifths which lends tonal gravity to a progression causing it to sound major or takes it away to make it sound minor.
This creates a completely new harmonic entity. A fifteenth chord, with even more potential than the thirteenth. In fact, unlimited potential, as it grants use of the total chromatic; it Just depends which major third you superimpose over the Lydian thirteenth that you produce out of the leftover 5 chromatic notes in the Lydian-chromatic scale.
Large scale structures are developed through the exploration of a relationship between the individual musical cell and the piece as a whole. The development sections are almost entirely done away with and musical development takes place as a kind of conversation between individual cell and the macroscopic array of multiple cells defining a melody or theme. (Hence the apparent stream of endless information and constant variation flowing from one melody to the next.)
Eddy, don't be distracted by this post, which has brought this thread to page two: I would like to hear what you thought of those specific sequences I pointed out in my last post! Sorry about falling asleep last night, I would have followed up with you sooner.