Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.7 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
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
What's Hot!!
Mr. PianoWorld - the full interview
-------------------
European Tour for Piano Lovers
JOIN US FOR THE TOUR!
--------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

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

Advertise on Piano World

(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Spring 2018
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


Who's Online Now
49 registered members (barbaram, Agent88, Beemer, EssBrace, EVC2017, Angelos58, CharlesXX, ALEXANDER DYKER, ahinton, 9 invisible), 1,270 guests, and 7 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
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
Page 1 of 2 1 2
scrambled chords #1860516
03/12/12 02:10 PM
03/12/12 02:10 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,321
South Florida
G
Gary D. Offline OP
6000 Post Club Member
Gary D.  Offline OP
6000 Post Club Member
G

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,321
South Florida
I'm just throwing this out...

The word "inversion" is useless about 99% of the time for me, as a teacher, except in elementary examples such this:

CEG, EGC, GCE

The problem is that the word "inversion" is really only about what the bass note is doing. For older students I used the term "open voicings" and teach this concept almost from the beginning.

But for younger students I simply call them "scrambled" chords.

Last edited by Gary D.; 03/12/12 02:16 PM.

Piano Teacher
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Re: scrambled chords [Re: Gary D.] #1860520
03/12/12 02:18 PM
03/12/12 02:18 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 4,038
rocket88 Offline
4000 Post Club Member
rocket88  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 4,038
They are often called "slash" chords, such as C/G, which, although not necessarily 100% specific as to the arrangement of the notes, is somewhat accurate and thus helpful because it identifies the bass note, so you don't have to remember it.

My students (and I) do prefer that as compared to an "inversion", which I agree is very non-specific, but I still want them to know both terms, as both are used in the music world. Scrambled, on the other hand, is not.

Last edited by rocket88; 03/12/12 02:25 PM.

Piano teacher.
Re: scrambled chords [Re: rocket88] #1860525
03/12/12 02:27 PM
03/12/12 02:27 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,321
South Florida
G
Gary D. Offline OP
6000 Post Club Member
Gary D.  Offline OP
6000 Post Club Member
G

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,321
South Florida
Originally Posted by rocket88
They are often called "slash" chords, such as C/G, which, although not necessarily 100% specific as to the arrangement of the notes, is somewhat accurate and thus helpful because it identifies the the bass note, so you don't have to remember it.

My students and I do prefer that as compared to an "inversion", but I still want them to know both terms, as both are used in the music world. Scrambled, on the other hand, is not.

Slash chords are not going to explain this to little kids:

CEG, CGEC

But slash chords are what I teach. smile

I teach slash chords first, Roman Numerals later, so C/E, later I6 (and so forth).


Piano Teacher
Re: scrambled chords [Re: Gary D.] #1860530
03/12/12 02:46 PM
03/12/12 02:46 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 16,200
Canada
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
keystring  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 16,200
Canada
This reminds me of when I taught theory via the RCM book. The lower level began with closed chords in root position i.e. CEbG, and the next one had closed chords with inversions which were named root, 1st & 2nd inversion, i.e. Cm, Cm/Eb, Cm/G. The first assumption that we take for granted (until someone asks) is that CEbG is the "real" chord, and that the inversions are less real since they are inversions of the "real" thing.

There was a big lurch at open voicing when we went past RCM (and where we stopped), because suddenly the neat little package of a closed chord with one of each note was gone. The fact is that a C minor chord is what it is regardless of how many of each note is there, or in what order, or how they are spaced. I like the idea of "scrambled" because that's what the chord actually is. Though the term invariably makes me hungry. wink

Re: scrambled chords [Re: Gary D.] #1860533
03/12/12 02:55 PM
03/12/12 02:55 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,239
Maine
P
PianoStudent88 Offline
4000 Post Club Member
PianoStudent88  Offline
4000 Post Club Member
P

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,239
Maine
Does the term "triad" cover an exactly three-note chord, and "chord" include the chords with more notes, even if it's only three pitch classes? (And triads are also chords.) If I'm right in the terminology, then C4 E4 G4 is a chord and a triad, while C4 E4 G4 C5 is a chord but not a triad. So, am I wrong or right?

Gary D, interesting you bring this up. I've been doing a lot of chord analysis recently and hadn't quite brought it into consciousness that the only feature of the arrangement of a chord that my analysis language gives me, is what the bottom note is, and not how many other notes it has or what order they are in.


Piano Career Academy - Ilinca Vartic teaches the Russian school of piano playing
Musical-U - guidance for increasing musicality
Theta Music Trainer - fun ear training games
Re: scrambled chords [Re: PianoStudent88] #1860539
03/12/12 03:08 PM
03/12/12 03:08 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,321
South Florida
G
Gary D. Offline OP
6000 Post Club Member
Gary D.  Offline OP
6000 Post Club Member
G

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,321
South Florida
Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
Does the term "triad" cover an exactly three-note chord, and "chord" include the chords with more notes, even if it's only three pitch classes? (And triads are also chords.) If I'm right in the terminology, then C4 E4 G4 is a chord and a triad, while C4 E4 G4 C5 is a chord but not a triad. So, am I wrong or right?

Strictly speaking, a triad is three spaces or three lines in a row, so C4 E4 G4 is a triad, but C4 G4 E5 is not.

This is why I teach small kids this way. I say you get to "clone" as many Cs, Es, and Gs as you want, and you can move them around, like building blocks. You can have every C, E and G on the whole piano (which acually happens in an arpeggiated chord, both hands). So the idea that any note in the triad can be moved to the top, but it remains "root" so long as the bass note remains C.

That is not an easy concept for a six year-old, in words, but the idea is something they can grasp immediately.

That's why I teach "scrambled" first, since the concept takes in triads AND open voiced chords with any bass note in the chord. Also, what do we call it if the voicing is not open, just blocked but six or seven notes?

CEG CEGC (two hands), contains the C major triad twice, but with an extra note. Since there are a bazillion ways to build a simple C chord, the terminology gets very confusing for people who are not super advanced in theory. smile

Last edited by Gary D.; 03/12/12 03:09 PM.

Piano Teacher
Re: scrambled chords [Re: Gary D.] #1860550
03/12/12 03:26 PM
03/12/12 03:26 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,239
Maine
P
PianoStudent88 Offline
4000 Post Club Member
PianoStudent88  Offline
4000 Post Club Member
P

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,239
Maine
To me, the concept of triads explains why the chord has the name it does, and why certain combinations of notes have simple names and others have messy names. C vs. Cmin vs. Csus vs. C7, etc. This may just reflect the order in which I learned these things.

Do you teach triads first, or start with scrambled chords? If you start with the scrambleds, how do you explain the names?


Piano Career Academy - Ilinca Vartic teaches the Russian school of piano playing
Musical-U - guidance for increasing musicality
Theta Music Trainer - fun ear training games
Re: scrambled chords [Re: Gary D.] #1860559
03/12/12 03:54 PM
03/12/12 03:54 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 578
Boston, MA
O
OldFingers Offline
500 Post Club Member
OldFingers  Offline
500 Post Club Member
O

Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 578
Boston, MA
This question might be inappropriate for this forum, but the discussion regarding scrambled chords is of considerable interest to me as a student, as I need some guidance on how to unscramble chords. In particular I'm trying to play Al Lerner's arrangement of Moon River, which looked straightforward enough, but as I got into it I am having a lot of trouble identifying the scrambled chords. He uses 9, 11, 13, which would be OK if the root were on the bottom, but they are not and they seem to fold back on themselves. Is there a methodology for identifying scrambled extended chords?


Aspiring Retirement Home Lounge Pianist
Re: scrambled chords [Re: Gary D.] #1860580
03/12/12 04:35 PM
03/12/12 04:35 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,651
O
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Overexposed  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
O

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,651
Lucy Chu presents chords in root position, then uses the expression "turned up" and "turned down". For example, she shows the root moving up an octave as "turned up". From root position, she moves the top note down an octave and calls the chord "turned down".

Her website is www.e-znotes.com if you want to see a video demo of her explanation for young kids.






Re: scrambled chords [Re: PianoStudent88] #1860593
03/12/12 04:51 PM
03/12/12 04:51 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,321
South Florida
G
Gary D. Offline OP
6000 Post Club Member
Gary D.  Offline OP
6000 Post Club Member
G

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,321
South Florida
Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
To me, the concept of triads explains why the chord has the name it does, and why certain combinations of notes have simple names and others have messy names. C vs. Cmin vs. Csus vs. C7, etc. This may just reflect the order in which I learned these things.

If you think about it, a major triad is a good place to form "home base", with any root. Then you can think of keeping the outer notes (the 5th), then moving the middle note. The brings you to minor, but also things like CDG (C sus2) or CFG (Csus). (CDbG and CF#G will eventually end up MAYBE being PART of much more complicated chords.)
Quote

Do you teach triads first, or start with scrambled chords? If you start with the scrambleds, how do you explain the names?

I drill relentlessly on all the major triads, both hands as ASAP, with pedal, for rote/ear, but when we run into those same chords in open voicings, then it literally becomes a matter of unscrambling.

If we come to a new chord, we analyze it by talking about it's "dictionary form", meaning closed, no duplicated notes, in root position.

Last edited by Gary D.; 03/12/12 04:52 PM.

Piano Teacher
Re: scrambled chords [Re: Overexposed] #1860595
03/12/12 04:54 PM
03/12/12 04:54 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,321
South Florida
G
Gary D. Offline OP
6000 Post Club Member
Gary D.  Offline OP
6000 Post Club Member
G

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,321
South Florida
Originally Posted by Ann in Kentucky
Lucy Chu presents chords in root position, then uses the expression "turned up" and "turned down". For example, she shows the root moving up an octave as "turned up". From root position, she moves the top note down an octave and calls the chord "turned down".

Her website is www.e-znotes.com if you want to see a video demo of her explanation for young kids.

But that only works for closed positions, no doublings. My young students are past that. smile

Last edited by Gary D.; 03/12/12 04:54 PM.

Piano Teacher
Re: scrambled chords [Re: Gary D.] #1860611
03/12/12 05:25 PM
03/12/12 05:25 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,239
Maine
P
PianoStudent88 Offline
4000 Post Club Member
PianoStudent88  Offline
4000 Post Club Member
P

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,239
Maine
Gary D., thank you for explaining.

When you say "CDbG and CF#G will eventually end up MAYBE being PART of much more complicated chords," I am reminded of something I have been told about Paul Hindemith, which is that he felt that the usual chords used up until his time left out vast swathes of possible combinations of notes, and he wanted to explore those other combinations.

Hmmmm, I wonder if Hindemith wrote piano music. I remember a wonderful, and very hard, sonata for flute by him which I played for All-State auditions in high school.

Last edited by PianoStudent88; 03/12/12 05:26 PM.

Piano Career Academy - Ilinca Vartic teaches the Russian school of piano playing
Musical-U - guidance for increasing musicality
Theta Music Trainer - fun ear training games
Re: scrambled chords [Re: OldFingers] #1860612
03/12/12 05:27 PM
03/12/12 05:27 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,304
New York
L
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member
LoPresti  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
L

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,304
New York
Originally Posted by OldFingers
This question might be inappropriate for this forum, but the discussion regarding scrambled chords is of considerable interest to me as a student, as I need some guidance on how to unscramble chords. . . . . Is there a methodology for identifying scrambled extended chords?

Since no one else is volunteering, I'll take a stab at this.

If we take Gary’s original premise that chords that are not in “close” root position are scrambled, then, to “unscramble” the harmonic voicings in Moon River, one needs to place the notes of the chords back into close position.

Since a typical piano arrangement has chords arpeggiated, our first task involves getting a sense of the harmonic rhythm of the piece, as in how often do the basic chords change? It is a generalization, but one can safely assert that (in Moon River) the basic harmony changes at the beginning of each measure. So, for each measure, if one isolates the arpeggiated notes of the harmonic accompaniment, and “stacks” them up in thirds as much as possible, one ends up with a very “tall” dotted-half-note chord for each measure of the piece. Typically, but not always, the lowest note of the accompaniment in that measure will be on the bottom (will be the root) of these chords. We would like to have these harmonic notes stacked in thirds, so if we have, say E, C, D, B, and G. we would stack them into C+E+G+B+D.

Our next step is to determine how many notes from our stacked up chord in each measure are actually important to the basic harmony, and how many of the notes are extraneous. While this is more subjective than scientific, if one simply plays the melody in the right hand, while sustaining these dotted-half-note block chords in the left hand, it will be fairly simple to eliminate notes, usually from the top of the stack downward, that are not critical. In our example above, we may discover that the D is simply a passing or connecting tone, and adds nothing to the basic harmony.

While working on this process (and it is an analysis process), pay particular attention to any accidentals. While these may not be absolutely essential to the harmonic structure, they frequently add important colorations (extensions) to the basic chords.

Lastly, and as KeyString is already pointing out below with her loaded question, this is not necessarily a trivial process. Fortunately, here Henry gave us a very simple, and elegantly beautiful song with which to work. And if this is a difficult subject for many, take heart: many a graduate thesis has been devoted to this type of harmonic analysis.

Ed

Last edited by LoPresti; 03/12/12 06:37 PM. Reason: Added info

In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.
Re: scrambled chords [Re: LoPresti] #1860652
03/12/12 06:19 PM
03/12/12 06:19 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 16,200
Canada
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
keystring  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 16,200
Canada
Originally Posted by LoPresti

Our next step is to determine how many notes from our stacked up chord in each measure are actually important to the basic harmony, and how many of the notes are extraneous. While this is more subjective than scientific, if one simply plays the melody in the right hand, while sustaining these dotted-half-note block chords in the left hand, it will be fairly simple to eliminate notes, usually from the top of the stack downward, that are not critical.

... using the ear(s)?

Re: scrambled chords [Re: PianoStudent88] #1860653
03/12/12 06:21 PM
03/12/12 06:21 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,321
South Florida
G
Gary D. Offline OP
6000 Post Club Member
Gary D.  Offline OP
6000 Post Club Member
G

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,321
South Florida
Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
Gary D., thank you for explaining.

When you say "CDbG and CF#G will eventually end up MAYBE being PART of much more complicated chords," I am reminded of something I have been told about Paul Hindemith, which is that he felt that the usual chords used up until his time left out vast swathes of possible combinations of notes, and he wanted to explore those other combinations.

In a way, once you get to Hindemith or Bartok (and so on), or even Debussy, you in the world of someone like Thelonius Monk. Eventually ANY combination of notes is "right", if you like it and convince the world it works. It's just that eventually you run out of names. smile
Quote

Hmmmm, I wonder if Hindemith wrote piano music. I remember a wonderful, and very hard, sonata for flute by him which I played for All-State auditions in high school.

That is a sonata for flute and piano. Both instrument parts are equally important. Hindemith wrote a whole bunch of sonatas for piano and other instruments. He is not for everyone, but he is one of *my* favorite composers!


Piano Teacher
Re: scrambled chords [Re: keystring] #1860670
03/12/12 06:41 PM
03/12/12 06:41 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,304
New York
L
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member
LoPresti  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
L

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,304
New York
Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by LoPresti

Our next step is to determine how many notes from our stacked up chord in each measure are actually important to the basic harmony, and how many of the notes are extraneous. While this is more subjective than scientific, if one simply plays the melody in the right hand, while sustaining these dotted-half-note block chords in the left hand, it will be fairly simple to eliminate notes, usually from the top of the stack downward, that are not critical.

... using the ear(s)?

I try to use just my good ear.


In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.
Re: scrambled chords [Re: LoPresti] #1860675
03/12/12 06:45 PM
03/12/12 06:45 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 115
New Zealand
R
RonO Offline
Full Member
RonO  Offline
Full Member
R

Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 115
New Zealand
Incidentally, Moon River has an interesting chord progression. In bars 14 to 17 the chords move around the circle of 5ths from an F# chord to a C chord. This progression uses 7 chords and I think it is something of a record.

Re: scrambled chords [Re: LoPresti] #1860679
03/12/12 06:49 PM
03/12/12 06:49 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 16,200
Canada
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
keystring  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 16,200
Canada
Originally Posted by LoPresti

I try to use just my good ear.

grin

I did have a reason for mentioning, it however. Almost none of my theory books mention hearing at all. It is all done according to rules, and an intellectual identification of major, minor, augmented which can be done by counting semitones or even piano keys.

Re: scrambled chords [Re: Gary D.] #1860687
03/12/12 07:00 PM
03/12/12 07:00 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,304
New York
L
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member
LoPresti  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
L

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,304
New York
Originally Posted by Gary D.
That is a sonata for flute and piano. Both instrument parts are equally important. Hindemith wrote a whole bunch of sonatas for piano and other instruments. He is not for everyone, but he is one of *my* favorite composers!

Completely off-topic (apologies begged!): Hindemith wrote a sort of Requiem, a musical setting of Walt Whitman's civil war poetry, entitled "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed". I found a nearly-worn-out set of LPs at the local library, but wanted a nice copy of my own. After extensive searching, I uncovered a Deutsche Grammophon set, played by the Berlin Phil (I think), that had to be imported from Germany. Immagine my, well, SURPRISE, when, true to European tradition of translating operas into the country-of-performance's language, Walt Whitman's poignant poetry had been translated into, and sung in, German!

Now, back to chords>>>
Ed


In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.
Re: scrambled chords [Re: Gary D.] #1860698
03/12/12 07:14 PM
03/12/12 07:14 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,651
O
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Overexposed  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
O

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,651
Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by Ann in Kentucky
Lucy Chu presents chords in root position, then uses the expression "turned up" and "turned down". For example, she shows the root moving up an octave as "turned up". From root position, she moves the top note down an octave and calls the chord "turned down".

Her website is www.e-znotes.com if you want to see a video demo of her explanation for young kids.

But that only works for closed positions, no doublings. My young students are past that. smile


Once you have doublings, then would chords technically be called inversions anymore? I would think it's beyond 1st inversion, 2nd inversion.

I guess that's what you're saying. With doublings they are not inversions (much less "turned up" or down). Now I see why "scrambled chords" is how you're describing them.

Last edited by Ann in Kentucky; 03/12/12 07:14 PM.
Re: scrambled chords [Re: keystring] #1860700
03/12/12 07:22 PM
03/12/12 07:22 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,304
New York
L
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member
LoPresti  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
L

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,304
New York
Originally Posted by keystring
I did have a reason for mentioning, it however. Almost none of my theory books mention hearing at all. It is all done according to rules, and an intellectual identification of major, minor, augmented which can be done by counting semitones or even piano keys.

Hi KeyString,

I think of this process as almost "reverse theory", where one is making the music sort of fit the rules of harmony, instead of visa-versa. Unlike theory, this retro-fitting is far from exact.


In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.
Re: scrambled chords [Re: Gary D.] #1860709
03/12/12 07:48 PM
03/12/12 07:48 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,239
Maine
P
PianoStudent88 Offline
4000 Post Club Member
PianoStudent88  Offline
4000 Post Club Member
P

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,239
Maine
LoPresti, Whitman translated -- how disappointing. Reminds me of going to see one of the Raiders of the Lost Ark movies in France, and carefully searching out a movie theater showing it in English (with French subtitles). Imagine my dismay when after a long week I settled into a crowded theater, ready to soothe my homesick ears with Harrison Ford's familiar voice, and lo and behold what came out of the loudspeakers... French! Turns out that this theater was original language on weekdays only. On weekends it was dubbed.

Gary D., you're right, flute and piano. I couldn't find a pianist and had to persuade the judge to let me play the flute part alone when I showed up solo. Come to think of it, I've never heard both parts. Will track down a recording and rectify that.


Piano Career Academy - Ilinca Vartic teaches the Russian school of piano playing
Musical-U - guidance for increasing musicality
Theta Music Trainer - fun ear training games
Re: scrambled chords [Re: LoPresti] #1860718
03/12/12 08:07 PM
03/12/12 08:07 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 16,200
Canada
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
keystring  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 16,200
Canada
Originally Posted by LoPresti
Originally Posted by keystring
I did have a reason for mentioning, it however. Almost none of my theory books mention hearing at all. It is all done according to rules, and an intellectual identification of major, minor, augmented which can be done by counting semitones or even piano keys.

Hi KeyString,

I think of this process as almost "reverse theory", where one is making the music sort of fit the rules of harmony, instead of visa-versa. Unlike theory, this retro-fitting is far from exact.

There is a bit of a discussion off in the composer's lounge on that. Where first off real music was examined to extrapolate from it patterns which become the rules of harmony, which then get taught, and then there is the danger of thinking that this is how music must be written. An absurd side note involves the chapter which shows what Bach did, and then warns students not to "break the rules that Bach broke" in the subsequent exercise. grin The book is great for passing exam material. How is it for writing music, I wonder?

My real emphasis however was the aspect of the ear. Because in what you wrote before, an analysis of "which notes fit" can be done rather theoretically/intellectually, OR by using the ears or combination of both ear and theory.

Re: scrambled chords [Re: LoPresti] #1860729
03/12/12 08:51 PM
03/12/12 08:51 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 578
Boston, MA
O
OldFingers Offline
500 Post Club Member
OldFingers  Offline
500 Post Club Member
O

Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 578
Boston, MA
Originally Posted by LoPresti
Since no one else is volunteering, I'll take a stab at this.

Thanks for your comments. I'm not sure I've got it, but I'll try working on your suggestion.

For me, having the chords notated is a great aid in reading the music. Also, for the American Songbook, the chord motion vi, ii, V7, I, also helps in figuring out the music, and, of course, the chord progressions are essential for jazz. Given that it's somewhat "illegal" for classical pianists to have the chords notated, why is chord study so important?

Bob





Aspiring Retirement Home Lounge Pianist
Scrambled chords [Re: OldFingers] #1860780
03/12/12 10:44 PM
03/12/12 10:44 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,304
New York
L
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member
LoPresti  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
L

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,304
New York
Originally Posted by OldFingers
Originally Posted by LoPresti
Since no one else is volunteering, I'll take a stab at this.

Thanks for your comments. I'm not sure I've got it, but I'll try working on your suggestion.

Bob,

I undoubtedly should have first asked, "Are you already familiar with the theory of keys and chord construction?" If I write, "Stack the notes in thirds", do you already know what that entails? In your reference to jazz chord notation, can you build, say, an E minor 9th in root position.

If YES, then you can tackle this. If you would like to start another thread with this topic, I'll be happy to contribute., as we are detracting from Gary's actual topic.
Ed



In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.
Re: scrambled chords [Re: keystring] #1860792
03/12/12 11:19 PM
03/12/12 11:19 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,304
New York
L
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member
LoPresti  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
L

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,304
New York
Originally Posted by keystring
My real emphasis however was the aspect of the ear. Because in what you wrote before, an analysis of "which notes fit" can be done rather theoretically/intellectually, OR by using the ears or combination of both ear and theory.

Well, as you already know, the distinction between [1] classical theory (say the construction of chords), and [2] the actual music itself, including harmonization, and [3] then making the actual music "fit back into" classical theory; is very, VERY STICKY!

As Bob will see, when he arrives at measure #3, there will be a very traditional F major sonority in the harmony, with a strong and sustained B played against it in the melody. Most traditional theory systems (even jazz theory) would treat this as Fmaj7#11. BUT, my ear (the good one!) hears this as a simple F major with a suspended raised 4th, especially since it resolves to the 3rd.

I suppose my first inclination is to try stacking the thirds, and see if it looks like a reasonable (traditional) chord. Then I try playing just that chord along with the melody. Here (HEAR) the ear takes over, and if the melody sounds "correct" against this chord, I call it "good", and go onto the next. If we have a significant dissonance, as measure #3 above, then we need a little more analysis.

Knowledge of theory + use of musical ear = Spelling of Harmonic Structure (but still STICKY!)
Ed


In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.
Re: scrambled chords [Re: Overexposed] #1860826
03/13/12 12:54 AM
03/13/12 12:54 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,321
South Florida
G
Gary D. Offline OP
6000 Post Club Member
Gary D.  Offline OP
6000 Post Club Member
G

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,321
South Florida
Originally Posted by Ann in Kentucky

Once you have doublings, then would chords technically be called inversions anymore? I would think it's beyond 1st inversion, 2nd inversion.

C E G is a "C chord". You must have at least one of each (although C and E OR E and G, alone, will suggest the whole chord, in context of other chords. This is something rather hard to explain.)

But for the moment stick with that rule. You must have one of each, anywhere, and you can have as many doubled as you wish. Think of a complete orchestra playing, with many instruments.

The inversion is determined **solely by the bass note**.

This means that if you are playing, for instancce E G C in the right hand, E4 G4 C5 but you are playing in a jazz group, the bass player determines the inversion. If he (or she) is playing C, it is root. If E, first inversion. If G, second inversion. That's it.

Very imprecise, right? That's why the only way to get exact voicings is to either read them in standard notation or to have such a killer ear that you can just listen and reproduce anything you hear, perfectly.

I'm not that good. I'm not even CLOSE to that good. I once heard that Argerich learned at least part of a Prokoview concerto just by hearing it. (That may be just a story, but it may be true.)

Derek Paravicini is the best at it of anyone I've ever seen.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derek_Paravicini

Quote

I guess that's what you're saying. With doublings they are not inversions (much less "turned up" or down). Now I see why "scrambled chords" is how you're describing them.


Well, they are still called inversions, but the term inversion no longer is a very good description. wink

Last edited by Gary D.; 03/13/12 01:11 AM.

Piano Teacher
Re: scrambled chords [Re: OldFingers] #1860827
03/13/12 12:59 AM
03/13/12 12:59 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,321
South Florida
G
Gary D. Offline OP
6000 Post Club Member
Gary D.  Offline OP
6000 Post Club Member
G

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,321
South Florida
Originally Posted by OldFingers
Given that it's somewhat "illegal" for classical pianists to have the chords notated, why is chord study so important?

Bob

There is nothing a bit "illegal" about notating chords, in any manner. However, I think you will find that most people usually keep a sort of diagram of what is going on in the head. But I break down chords for all my students, in any kind of music. smile

Last edited by Gary D.; 03/13/12 01:01 AM.

Piano Teacher
Re: scrambled chords [Re: LoPresti] #1860860
03/13/12 04:18 AM
03/13/12 04:18 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,321
South Florida
G
Gary D. Offline OP
6000 Post Club Member
Gary D.  Offline OP
6000 Post Club Member
G

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,321
South Florida
Originally Posted by LoPresti
Originally Posted by OldFingers
This question might be inappropriate for this forum, but the discussion regarding scrambled chords is of considerable interest to me as a student, as I need some guidance on how to unscramble chords. . . . . Is there a methodology for identifying scrambled extended chords?

Since no one else is volunteering, I'll take a stab at this.

Ed, you are a brave man!

I think essentially that we never know for sure what chord we are playing without context the moment things become complicated or sophisticated. I think the most important point you made was that at any moment it is a matter of practicality whether or not we include the melody in chords we are analyzing. The whole idea of non-harmonic tones is drilled relentlessly into the minds of students learning traditional music, but it gets a whole lot more complicated from Debusssy on, moving into jazz.

Chords using only the notes within an octave usually have a tendency to "retain their quality" regardless of voicing or inversion, when they CAN be stacked in 3rds. A dominant seven chord always sounds like a dominant seven chord.

But the moment you throw in a "color" tone, all bets are off. Consider for a moment this:

CDEG, a very common sound today. Is the D a second or a nine? In that form, I would call it C (add2), but move that D and throw in the 7th - C E G Bb D - and I will only hear it as a C9 chord. And then is it C9 or Em7-5/C? I'd write C9, but at some point complicated jazz chords start to sound like poly-chords. What is C G E // A D E F# A, with // showing a split between hands.

C 13 #11 chord? Or a "dirty D major chord, with 2 added" played over top a C chord? At some point notation is needed to show exactly what we have in mind, if we want other people to use the voicings we come up with. Any chord system is going to be woefully inadequate, which is why all the jazz players I know say, "Just listen and play!"

Obviously studying chords and scales gets you close, in the beginning, but at some point you get to the point where the only difference between right and wrong is "our own pleasure", and that takes us right back to Debussy. wink

Last edited by Gary D.; 03/13/12 04:19 AM.

Piano Teacher
Re: scrambled chords [Re: Gary D.] #1860881
03/13/12 06:30 AM
03/13/12 06:30 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,651
O
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Overexposed  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
O

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,651
Originally Posted by Gary D.



The inversion is determined **solely by the bass note**.



Gary, thank you for this explanation. Very helpful! I had not thought about it this way. smile


Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  Ken Knapp 

(ad)
Sweetwater - Keyboards
Sweetwater
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Is Kawai CN37 Worth The Extra Money?
by yarinch. 11/15/18 04:05 AM
Brodmann PE 121 vs. Kawai K300
by Timpskie. 11/15/18 12:20 AM
Recital 52 --- General Discussion Room
by AB Forum Recital. 11/14/18 10:44 PM
Recital 52 --- November 15, 2018
by AB Forum Recital. 11/14/18 09:06 PM
DIGITAL PIANO "SECONDS WAITED"
by ericco. 11/14/18 06:15 PM
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Petrof
Forum Statistics
Forums40
Topics188,338
Posts2,761,224
Members91,490
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Please Support Our Advertisers
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

Sweetwater

PianoTeq Petrof
Piano Buyer Spring 2018
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 - 2018 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.2