Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
What's Hot!!
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(ad)
Piano Tuning
How to Tune Pianos
(125ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Spring 2017
(ad)
4th Finger Enigma Resolved!
Schumann's 4th Finger Enigma Resolved!
Who's Online Now
64 registered members (Agent88, ascc, augustm, andyhuang, AprilE, 14 invisible), 1,786 guests, and 2 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#1148911 - 07/19/07 04:25 PM Greetings....Writing SATB?  
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 5
GlennC Offline
Junior Member
GlennC  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 5
Upstate NY
Greetings all,

This is my first post on this forum, I've been reading and posting a bit on the Teacher's and the Tuner/Technician's Forums. As chance would have it, I pursue both of those areas professionally. I won't bore you with my c.v., suffice it to say I'm a lifelong musician (call it 45 years), a tuner/tech since 1983, and have "composed" in several genres off and on for years.

Today I did my first writing for SATB. A short piece for my church group (A Kyrie, since you ask). It was kinda fun. Some of the parts came right out of my head ready to go (S,B)others took a bit more work. My theory background isn't very strong, so I pretty much just trusted my ear to avoid anything too horrid. (The "T" in my group will hate my guts, but the part works and that's what he gets for being a tenor.)

I'm sure there are probably "rules" for writing four-part, but I'm (blissfully?) ignorant. I did call my dad (an Eastman alum)for a bit of advice. He said to avoid parallel fourths. OK, what else should I know? Any good books or online resources?

Again, my greetings to all. Any advice is sincerely appreciated.

Regards,

Glenn

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#1148912 - 07/19/07 04:43 PM Re: Greetings....Writing SATB?  
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 8,483
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member
signa  Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 8,483
Ohio, USA
4-part writing rules can be found in any books teaching composition techniques. but you can find it on internet as well. look at what i found:

http://www.listeningarts.com/music/general_theory/4-part%20writing%20rules.htm

http://library.thinkquest.org/16020/data/eng/text/education/theory/connection.html

http://davesmey.com/theory/partwritingrules.pdf

etc.

#1148913 - 07/19/07 05:56 PM Re: Greetings....Writing SATB?  
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 69
superlocrian Offline
Full Member
superlocrian  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 69
Dallas, TX
Hey Glenn C. The resources listed above seem pretty good. Just remember that the rules are to get the music to a certain style. For example, if you are wanting to do a Barbershop arrangement, it's all about the parallelisms. If you are doing a Kyrie and other music of that sort, yes your music will probably sound harmonically stronger to follow the "rules." Remember also that the rules for parallelisms are there to keep each voice independent. For example, two voices moving in parallel 5ths or octaves lose their independence and begin to meld into one, but of course as a long time Piano tuner/composer you know that all too well.

In general, if you move the bass primarily contrary to the sop, create smooth part-writing in the top three parts and keep everyone in their range it will be fine. Also, don't use 6/4 chords without a reason, and don't write a bass line that skips in to one. For inverted chords, the bass in general needs to be approached and left by step. If you are writing contrary motion between the bass and sop, you will not have to worry about parallelisms.

Good luck!

#1148914 - 07/20/07 04:53 AM Re: Greetings....Writing SATB?  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 103
James McFadyen Offline
Full Member
James McFadyen  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 103
Manchester UK
May I suggest a listen to 'Desert Music' by Steve Reich and it blow those silly 'rules' right out of the water!

My advice is take those rules and rip them up. Think more about createing a new sound but combining complex harmonies along with indifferent voice leadings.

Things like avoiding parallel fifths, fourths and octaves are so old fashioned that its unreal.

Seriously, 'Desert Music' by Steve Reich - it will change what you think you know is correct about vocal writing!


James McFadyen
Black & White Editions (c/o Devilish Publishing)
NEW PIANO MUSIC DEALS - http://www.blackandwhiteeditions.com/
#1148915 - 07/20/07 05:42 AM Re: Greetings....Writing SATB?  
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 790
Ted2 Offline
500 Post Club Member
Ted2  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2002
Posts: 790
Auckland, New Zealand
I don't know anything about vocal writing, James, but as far as piano music goes you're obviously a man after my own heart !


"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley
#1148916 - 07/20/07 11:02 AM Re: Greetings....Writing SATB?  
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 308
Harmosis Offline
Full Member
Harmosis  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 308
California
I agree with the suggestion to listen to Steve Reich's The Desert Music, as well as Lassus' motets, and Bach's chorales, Bulgarian State Radio & Television Female Vocal Choir, and anything else you can think of, to hear the contrast between the styles. Steve Reich certainly does not "blow those silly 'rules' right out of the water," but he does show his particular style.

Whether something is considered "old-fashioned" or not, is completely irrelevant. When composing music, you need to compose in a style that is appropriate to the purpose of the music. You should learn the common practice rules. Then you can decide how and when to use them. These "silly" rules are a good jump-off base even if you decide to do something more avant-garde.

#1148917 - 07/20/07 02:58 PM Re: Greetings....Writing SATB?  
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 69
superlocrian Offline
Full Member
superlocrian  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 69
Dallas, TX
Ah, the old "rules or no rules" debate. I will add my two cents here (and that's about what it's worth). If the thread goes on I will discuss my personal reasoning for the "why" re: learning the rules. For now I will simply say that I agree with Harmosis. No one has blown any rules right out of the water IMO, and although I honestly do not know much about Steve Reich's music (sorry guys), I would wager that he knows the "rules" of four part writing and would be able to expertly write a piece in that style. The man studied at Julliard after all. He knows what he is doing (and not doing). I would guarantee you that in his early composition training he was taught these things.

I would be interested if he or any modern composers of his stature have stated in a book/article/interview that they feel that beginning compositional students should NOT learn the traditional way (i.e. four part writing rules, counterpoint, etc.)

#1148918 - 07/23/07 11:04 AM Re: Greetings....Writing SATB?  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,290
Steve Chandler Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Steve Chandler  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,290
Urbandale, Iowa
Regarding the "rules" about parallel 5th and octaves. They are an effect. They have a sound that can be an interesting contrast to what our ears are used to. This is especially so about parallel 5ths as octaves simply sound like you've just doubled the part. However, that doesn't mean the taboo has gone away, it hasn't. Therefore if you're going to use the sound of parallel 5ths, use it a lot! In a sense, thumb your nose at the rules. It makes it obvious that your breaking the rules was intentional and not a careless mistake. This might be what Mr. McFadyen meant when he mentioned Steve Reich blowing the rule away. I haven't heard the piece so can't comment on it.

We hear so much parallel harmony (3rds and 6ths) in pop music that if you used a lot of such harmony your piece might sound like a pop song. It might make a nice effect for a small segment of a piece, but to my mind is something to avoid. There is nothing like quality voice leading sung by human voices. So to compose for SATB you should be very confident of your voice leading skill. Listen to the music of Randall Stroope to hear awesome voice leading. I agree with those who suggest that a strong background in theory is essential. Also be cognizant of what parts are foreground and what parts are accompaniment.

To hear really strong choral music let me suggest the link below. This is the organization I work for and these recordings are posted with the permission of the publishers. Now a quick note about the composers.

Eric Whitacre is an up and coming darling of choral music. His music is challenging because he loves divisi. This particular piece divides up to 8 parts, but his music can divide to more than 12 parts. He has many other techniques and for further listening I'd suggest finding his 3 Songs of Faith. They are amazing.
Guido Lopez Gavilan is a Cuban composer. The Afro-Latin rhythms in El Guayaboso are quite challenging.
Caldwell and Ivory are masters of gospel arrangements that ROCK! This one doesn't disappoint.

Here's the link, enjoy!:

http://www.iowayouthchorus.org/announcements.htm

#1148919 - 07/23/07 03:59 PM Re: Greetings....Writing SATB?  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 103
James McFadyen Offline
Full Member
James McFadyen  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 103
Manchester UK
Quote
Originally posted by Steve Chandler:
Regarding the "rules" about parallel 5th and octaves. They are an effect. They have a sound that can be an interesting contrast to what our ears are used to. This is especially so about parallel 5ths as octaves simply sound like you've just doubled the part. However, that doesn't mean the taboo has gone away, it hasn't. Therefore if you're going to use the sound of parallel 5ths, use it a lot! In a sense, thumb your nose at the rules. It makes it obvious that your breaking the rules was intentional and not a careless mistake. This might be what Mr. McFadyen meant when he mentioned Steve Reich blowing the rule away. I haven't heard the piece so can't comment on it.
At least one person knew what I meant wink


James McFadyen
Black & White Editions (c/o Devilish Publishing)
NEW PIANO MUSIC DEALS - http://www.blackandwhiteeditions.com/

Moderated by  Piano World 

Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World)
our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, Digital Piano Dolly, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.


Free Shipping* on Jansen Artist Piano Benches, Cocoweb Piano Lamps, Hidrau Hydraulic Piano Benches
(*free shipping within contiguous U.S. only)
(ad)
Pearl River & Ritmuller
Ritmuller Pianos
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq 6 Out now
(ad)
Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restorations and sales
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


New Topics - Multiple Forums
Delete Account
by Cobrun Sells. 10/17/17 02:13 AM
Two Masters!
by DavidWB. 10/17/17 01:10 AM
LA area tech for digital Kawai?
by Joe Garfield. 10/17/17 12:19 AM
New Baldwin Pianos
by Mickey24. 10/16/17 07:24 PM
Time signature Question
by NuggetSC. 10/16/17 06:58 PM
Forum Statistics
Forums44
Topics182,334
Posts2,665,099
Members88,982
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Check It Out!
There's a lot more to Piano World than just the forums.
Click Here to
Explore The Rest of Piano World!!
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2017 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0