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8/11/11 4:27 AM
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How would you label this progression (I'm writing in order of bass upwards)?

1) G G Bb D G

2) G F#  C A Eb

3) G F D Ab B

it starts in G minor with the G minor chord, has F# from G harmonic minor, and the enharmonic B in the 3rd chord. The G in the bass seems it can be ignored as a pedal point.

Gmin -> F#dim7 -> Fdim7? ( i vii flat-vii)?

Gmin -> D7 -> Ddim7 (i V v-dim)? (no root in the D7, though)

Gmin -> Cdim -> Ddim7 (i iv-dim v-dim)? 

or some other way?

thanks ^-^  
8/11/11 5:46 PM
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Demitrius Barbito
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 What do you mean by LABEL???

Explain.
8/11/11 6:57 PM
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 sorry, by label i meant like:

"Gmin -> F#dim7 -> Fdim7" 

or 

"( i vii flat-vii)"

i had to write the thread 3 times due to the UG fuckin up yesterday :p


8/22/11 5:04 AM
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jman
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I think your first post is still fucked up because it dosn't make any sense to me.

Start again, because your first post is a clusterfuck. I'll talk your ear off if you want to talk about music theory, I just need to understand what it is you want to learn.
8/22/11 11:57 PM
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I'm trying to analyze the chord progression of Bach's BWV 542.

The first chord in the chord progression in this song has the following notes (the first note is bass, the last note is the highest note):

G G Bb D G

Second chord (again with the G in the bass):

G F# C A Eb

Third chord (again with the G in the bass):

G F D Ab B

The song is in G minor.

The first chord will be the i (Gmin).

What would the second and third chords be?

In my first post I gave a few of my ideas on what the three chords would be "called." Just wondering if anyone has alternate ideas.

My ideas:

Gmin -> F#dim7 -> Fdim7? ( i vii flat-vii)

Gmin -> D7 -> Ddim7 (i V v-dim)? (no root in the D7, though)

Gmin -> Cdim -> Ddim7 (i iv-dim v-dim)

Does that help?

Thanks
8/28/11 1:05 PM
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jman
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Edited: 08/28/11 8:23 PM
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Cool, now I understand what you're talking about. Here's the music. I have to leave in a bit, but I'll be back to finish the analysis.



There are some intersting things that go on with how things are defined in classical music. Passing tones (suspensions of root with a 2nd or third with a 4th), Pedal tones, etc kind of "don't apply" to the overall analysis. Those notes are there of course, but really the chord being analyzed doesn't take these notes so "seriously" they are just kind of there. Where as in jazz, they can be defined as actual chords (like this third chord being a G7b9 chord - same enharmonically as a F diminished 7th with a G root).

So I'll define the chord progression 2 ways: Classical/Traditional and Jazz/Contemporary versions.



These are the notes in the first four chords in the opening progression:

1) G, Bb, D
2) G, C, F#, A, Eb
3) G, D, F, Ab, B
4) G, C, F

(back later for more analysis)
8/28/11 8:12 PM
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jman
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Short basic answer would be:

i - vii°(V7 substitute) - I7 - iv

More in depth explanation would be.

1) G, Bb, D - Gm (i - minor tonic chord)

G minor tonic chord.

2) G, C, F#, A, Eb = F# dim°/G (F# vii° with G root is a substitution for the V7 or D7)

The G bass is more of a Pedal tone and not really considered part of the chord. It adds tension, but really this F# diminished 7th chord is functioning as a substitute for the D7 because it wants to go to the next chord G7 (to lead to Cm).

3) G, D, F, Ab, B - G7b9 (I7 with b9 = I7 to modulate to iv)

This is really just a G7 chord with the b9 (Ab) thrown in there for awesome tension. You could define it just as well as a C dim°/G (C diminished 7th with a G root). The coolness of this is the 2 diminished seventh chords being played successively over the G pedal giving a connected, but also tensioned voice leading sound. The whole point of this chord is to go to the next chord Cm, but Bach instead uses a substitution of a C sus 4 (playing the 4th F, instead of the minor 3rd E flat).

4) G, C, F - Csus4/G (iv sus4 )

With the G pedal, it sounds like it should be the second inversion of a C minor chord, but Bach uses a suspended 4th to delay and add some tension (jesus G pedal tension and F tension nice!).

This is just my interpretation, it can get a little hairy and ambigious when you try to "nail down" exactly what things are. I think either give the general idea of "i -vii° - I7 - iv" or give a very specific definition like with jazz chords "im - vii°/i - I7 - iv sus 4".

It's always funny to discuss these kinds of things because it sometimes opens your mind and ear to something because of the way someone else "interprets" the music.

The thing is theory tries to "define" music, not the other way around. They come up with new rules and names for some strange shit: neapolitan 6th chords, French-German-Italian 6th chords, etc...but really if it sounds right, it's right...then the musicologists need to come up with some way to define this new strange thing that breaks the rules but sounds right.
8/28/11 11:45 PM
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jman, hey thanks a lot for your analysis.

i will get back to write more here after i get a chance to put a piano in front of me.

i know what you mean about your mind/ear opening when you see what another person has analyzed in the music.

i'm analyzing this piece in-depth, i've done quite a lot with it, and i just got to the chord analysis.

interestingly, i found that the fantasia has both 5 and 7 parts at the same time, depending on the analysis. the 5 parts are the most easy to hear, but the 7 parts are there, perfectly, and there are two neat clues bach put in to show that he did it intentionally:

they happen every 7th bar (the first change is the G pedal becoming a D after the 7th bar), with the whole piece being 49 measures (7 parts of 7 bars).

and the final measure has 7 notes.

i am still looking for some other patterns that bach scholars have found (his name is hidden in it, and he supposedly runs through a number of scales over and over (seven again), hidden among the mass of notes).

8/29/11 8:23 AM
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jman
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Edited: 08/29/11 8:28 AM
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Yeah that's just my "personal" interpretation of how I see the music. It probably isn't the "right" way tecnically, but that's my take on it from what I know about music theory.

Wow that Fantaisia is some crazy stuff, sounds very, very interesting with all of the 7's. I would love to hear some more of your analysis.

I got to study a bit with a Romanian composer Mihnea Brumariu the past few months (the Bucharest Symphony is playing one of his pieces next month - he wrote his first opera at 21!!!) and it is AMAZING to actually sit with a composer and have them explaing why and how they did things in their music. Every fucking note has a very, very specific meaning with these godlike composers...EVERY single note, unreal. So I'm sure with Bach being one of the greatest composers of all time, that there is a certain method to the madness, it's just a matter of being able to figure out that puzzle. Good luck!

That chromatic bassline at 2:42 is pretty interesting after only using basicaly the G pedal and D pedal (D doesn't even seem a modulation, only uses as a V chord).

The canon section at 3:41 is incredible, just kind of comes out of this dark mass of tones and rises to this beautiful linear progression.

I can see 6 parts at 4:33 but the notes are so dense that I can't really hear anything besides just a massive wall of notes.

With some of this stuff it's like no harmony rules apply at all, just counterpoint and he's like "fuck it" with the rules, I'm just playing all of these idependent lines together. Almost like jazz, playing "outside" for a while before resolving to a consonant sound.

This piece is a BEAST how did you get involved analyzing it?

For fun or are you a music major?

Great stuff, thanks for sharing!!! Keep the feedback coming, I'd love to read your analysis on this monstrous work.
10/4/11 12:12 PM
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signaljammer
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I like this kind of stuff.
10/17/11 2:40 AM
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El Maquina
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I wish I understood this kind of stuff.
10/17/11 4:00 AM
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Edited: 10/19/11 11:48 PM
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Hey jman, thanks again for more responses! I'm still on this, but with the amount of projects i have, i've only been able to devote about 2 hours a week to it.

Bach is my favorite musician and as of the past few years this is my favorite piece (I absolutely love Anthony Newman's recording. I'll try to put it online), and as some of my more recent personal projects have included musicology, tuning systems, harmonics and the relation of god and music, it seemed a right move to get down into this thing! so i'm doing it for fun but with a bit of a higher mystical purpose.

There are so many modulations in this, it's almost as bad as BWV591 (his "little harmonic labyrinth" where the key seems to change 4 times per bar).

And as far as every note having meaning, yea definitely. With Bach it is usually more than one meaning, so the whole thing becomes a sort of quilt where if you remove one thread, it would disturb more in the piece than just the surrounding notes or sound at that moment. It is holographic. Or like what I've called James Joyce's work, fractally dense. Hofstadter (in Godel Escher Bach) mentions "the canons in the Musical Offering... [one canon] bears simply the cryptic label "Quaerendo  invenietis" ("By seeking, you will discover"). All of the canon puzzles have been solved. The canonical solutions were given by one of Bach's pupils, Johann Philipp Kirnberger. But one might still wonder whether there are more solutions to seek! " on all accounts, it is obvious that Bach has loaded his pieces with meaning, puzzles and clues in a wild web, amazing.

I haven't found where Kirnberger's solutions are available, unfortunately.

This week I looked at measure 28 (the fourth part when counting the parts as seven measures each) to measure 34 (then measure 35 should start the new part). Just a few things...

These 7 measures are a recapitulation of measures 7-13. This is another hint that viewing the piece as 7 parts of 7 measures each is just as valid as breaking up the themes and discovering it is made of 5 (many scholars say this piece is in 5 parts) parts of varying amounts of measures. The theme of seven has a lot to do with god but anyway... the number of course has a lot to do with music theory and musicology as well (as do 1, 5, and 12, right, but anyway).

The bass in measures 31-34 moves downward 7 (seven!) fifths. The bass descends in eighth notes going (not counting sharps/flats/enharmonics) D G C F B E A Db. It picks up flats along the way, which I'm reading is that it is modulating to Ab minor. This is a sort of plagal return (D  to D, flattened) that works with the coming modulation (as with the music of the period, it is rather a spiral of fifths than a circle, and the spiral of fifths returns to the original note in the span of seven octaves (rather than the 7 notes here) through what would actually take 12 turns to return to D). 

This movement starting on the D is also an important theme. As I mentioned before, the first hint to the 7-measure parts is the G bass pedal suddenly halting at the beginning of the piece after 7 measures - and where does the bass go? to a D. And what is the first key the piece modulates to from G minor? D major. 
  
If it is in fact 7 parts, then we should see some drastic change in measure 35, and we do. He does a ridiculous modulation here from Ab min to E min. I haven't looked into how he makes the modulation yet, but it seems in this piece he uses a lot of dim-7 and aug-6 chords for their quality of allowing to modulate to very far away keys.
  

10/19/11 10:48 PM
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jman
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wow awesome, I'm going to check this out over the weekend when I have more time to really dig into it...great stuff!!!

I just started reading "The Study of Counterpoint" translated by Alfred Mann. Then I'm onto "The Study of Fugue" by Alfred Mann after that.

This was the last exercise I did in composition working on the ideas of counterpoint.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4ezwoaV61M

Can't wait to dig into the stuff you posted above this weekend, thanks!
10/20/11 2:33 PM
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signaljammer
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I would love to learn more about counterpoint. It seems to be a key ingredient in the best music.

But, I have only had 1 semester of music theory. Do you think that book would be too hard for me?
10/20/11 4:38 PM
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jman
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No not at all it is very basic...I'm only 30 pages into it (it is only like 150 pages).

It is the same book that Bach and Mozart and Hyden etc used to teach and study with. It is really "the" book on counterpoint!!!

I still need to check out the post above this weekend, can't wait!
10/20/11 10:23 PM
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Edited: 10/20/11 10:36 PM
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just picked up Study of Counterpoint !

still trying to find a book that has Kirnberger's solutions to Bach's canon puzzles ;/

 or maybe i have already found it! 

http://schillerinstitut.dk/moweb/musical_offering.htm


  
10/20/11 11:28 PM
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Ali
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This thread is way too deep for me to have any meaningful input on the real issues. But... the mention of Anthony Newman playing Bach (or anything else) makes want to share a big smile. Some of the best Bach recordings in particular... I think a fairly under-recognized artist (though he did have some major label recordings that did well enough I assume). I've had the honor of meeting him several times -- my former guitar teacher was a student of his, as was my brother, at music conservatory. He's an amazing artist and mind, and a really funny dude. I also think he has strange magical powers. At least I THOUGHT that door he walked through was locked....
10/20/11 11:49 PM
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awesome. I lived near Anthony Newman. (a 40min drive) for almost 10 years and it wasnt until later that I discovered his genius. 

He is very under-recognized and pathetically dismissed as "technique only" in classical circles.

On organ, he is my favorite Bach performer, and I've listened to everyone, over and over, in sensitive and studied fashion over decades. 

His "Bach and the Baroque" is one of the definitive reads on Bach (including his understanding of how ancient organs worked which completely refutes the way in which most modern players interpret Bach's scores).

Unfortunately, I also have incredible trouble finding his recordings (mostly because I live in Japan).


10/22/11 8:34 PM
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 This is the Fantasia with the accompanying lighter Fugue, Anthony Newman on organ from the "Ultimate Organ Collection." My favorite recording of it. It's named incorrectly, sorry.

https://rapidshare.com/files/4011813348/02_Toccata___Fugue_in_G_minor.mp3

Let me know if it works!
10/23/11 2:03 AM
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jman
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That MP3 link didn't work.

WOW Measures 31-35 are incredible!!!



To me it looks like a canon:

31 - (Gm) -> Dm-> Gm -> G
32 - Cm-> C -> Fm
33 - Bbm-> Bb -> Ebm
34 - Abm-> Ab -> Dbm -> Db
35 - G dim7 (with Bb root G dim7 first inversion) -> C dim7 -> A# dim (with C# root)
36 - Em (B root)

Wowzers....so you're right a lot of 5th's so "basically":

Dm -> Gm -> Cm -> Fm -> Bbm -> Ebm -> Abm -> Dbm -> G dim7 -> C dim 7 -> A# dim7 -> Em

I don't really see the modulation to Ab minor you see, I think it is really just a temporary modulation/passing key/canon sequence

Ouch my brain hurts after that...GREAT STUFF THANKS!!!!
10/23/11 2:20 AM
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jman
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Since we were talking of Counterpoint, when I was studying with the Romanian composer he introduced me to the Reniassance master of Counterpoint...Palestrina.

Pure magic!!!

12/4/11 5:18 AM
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jman
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I've been studying counterpoint for about 5 months now and jumped the gun and "started" to write my first Fugue. Here's my Exposition:

- The SUBJECT (RED)
- SUBJECT (RED) & COUNTER SUBJECT 1 (BLUE) transposed up a 5th
- COUNTER SUBJECT 2 (BLACK) with SUBJECT & COUNTER SUBJECT 1 in the original key.

12/4/11 11:32 AM
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Ali
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Sounds pretty damn fugal to me. (Which I mean as a compliment).

You're learning like crazy JMan -- and from the beginning it seems to me you're entirely too humble about your talent. You're showing CRAZY range!
12/4/11 8:48 PM
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jman
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Edited: 12/04/11 8:54 PM
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thanks

It's just the first 38 seconds and the main ideas, but I'm hoping to make it around 3 minutes long or so. I'm studying this stuff for me, but also a guy I work with wants to do a computer animation thing about a gothic church, so I joked and said I would write him a fugue...opps. Well I have 4 more months time, so I might be able to pull off something. I've got a few more ideas to add to it that came to me today (canon idea, and taking the Subject idea and playing it in A minor instead of C major).

I am finishing up the 3 voice counterpoint section of Fux's "Counterpoint" book. What is left is 4 voice counterpoint, which isn't "that" much different, so it should hopefully go a bit quicker than the 2 and 3 voice counterpoint. Then I have the book "Study of Fugue" that I want to read (continues Fux's studies but on the fugue) and get finished by April.

After that I want to study orchestration...then try to write some film score music.

Fun to find some new stuff to learn and study after 28 years of playing music.
12/23/11 3:39 AM
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Hillbilly
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Jeebus Jimmy you are getting all academic on us...;)

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