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Re: Question on Chord Progressions [Re: PianoGamer] #2263269
04/17/14 11:05 PM
04/17/14 11:05 PM
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Brian, to the best of my memory the posts of yours that I have read have always been clear. I guess what I wrote was a reminder to all of us including myself. Meanwhile on the learner side, asking questions and more questions is the way to go.
Originally Posted by Brian Lucas
Add to that the fact that, though there are agreed upon practices and naming conventions, there are many ways to write music and tons of ways to describe it.

That is actually a very important point. I know that when I started out years ago, I assumed that whatever I was learning was how it was everywhere. I guess that it's important for everyone out there to know that there is more than one system (as this thread has shown) because we will encounter it.
Quote
If I'm ever unclear, please feel free to call me out on it.

April 16 I expanded on a post of yours and checked with you, because it had the potential of being unclear. smile

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Re: Question on Chord Progressions [Re: Brian Lucas] #2263316
04/18/14 02:08 AM
04/18/14 02:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Brian Lucas
So you feel my pain.


Yup. If 6m is tonic, I'll have a double gin straight up. ;-)



-- J.S.

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Re: Question on Chord Progressions [Re: PianoGamer] #2263323
04/18/14 02:30 AM
04/18/14 02:30 AM
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We've got umpteen systems going on here, and then a piece where the tonal center shifts (Gm in the chorus, Bb major in the verse) and is modal as well.

In the system that is probably "classical mainstream", you might consider the Gm to be a temporary key of G minor. Bb would be considered the third degree note in the key of G minor, and the chord designated as III, because it is major, and the root is part of the key of G minor (diatonic).

In the system Brian uses, everything is set out from major keys, and a minor key is simply a variation of a major key (Brian, pls correct me if that isn't worded right). So again we have G as the tonic, but B is the third degree note of our default note, so the Bb chord becomes bIII.

Michael wants Bb to be I - but since he hasn't listened to the music, I don't know whether he is considering a temporary G minor key, or whether he things of Gm as being the vi.

I think that we can accept any of the three interpretations, BUT we have to be within the framework of the entire system being used. That is, will you be thinking of minor keys as being a variation of major, and working along parallel minor and majors? If so, it's bIII? Or are you thinking of a minor key as having its own diatonic notes from notes 1 - 5? In which case it is III?

If you are a student studying this for the first time, then maybe you should study along one system and stick to that system. Then later when you are solid, branch out and understand the others.

Re: 6m --- When Brian first presented his material quite some time back, I looked up Berklee and other things, and ran across the Nashville number system. I don't know if this is a good site (Brian?):

http://www.music-theory-for-musicians.com/nashville-number-system.html

It's handy for instant transposing. Actually it reminded me a lot of the solfege that I grew up with. Now - the solfege I learned was before Kodaly's system became known. In the modern m.D. solfege, the Tonic is called Do even for minor keys. In the one I learned the Tonic for minor keys was La. In other words, it was a modal system. The 6m idea goes along with our old La. So I "get it" at a gut level.

The debate of whether to call the Tonic of a minor key 1 or 6 is the same as whether to call it Do or La. And there is a discussion of that over in the Nashville world:
http://music.stackexchange.com/questions/14390/nashville-numbers-in-major-vs-minor-keys

In fact, their example resembles our piece somewhat, since it talks about pieces that fluctuate between major and minor, which this one does.

Re: Question on Chord Progressions [Re: PianoGamer] #2263510
04/18/14 12:30 PM
04/18/14 12:30 PM
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I looked over that numbers site, and it looks to be accurate. Yes, the main idea is to be able to transpose to any key on the fly, without rewriting chords.

To be clear, I would call the song we're talking about in Bb major and use 6m for the verse. I pointed out that the verse isn't clearly in major or minor and it isn't until the chorus that the major key is strongly established. If the song eventually goes to the major, I'd use 6m. If it stays in minor, I'd use 1m. Again, that's me. There are many folks here who write out their charts using 6m regardless of whether it stays minor or not.

Solfeg is an interesting addition to the discussion. When I learned solfeg in college, we learned of course the major scale that everyone knows (if not, pick up the Sound of Music smile ). But if you are to start a minor scale on DO, it would go:
DO RE ME FA SOL LE TE DO
So basically, the solfeg names are also saying flat 3, flat 6 and flat 7. If you start on LA you get the same scale note-wise, but personally I think saying LA when you're on the tonic feels a little strange. DO should be tonic. RE-DO describes a melodic cadence (2 to 1). TI-LA doesn't to me.

That's getting a little technical. I hope that makes sense.


-Brian
BM in Performance, Berklee College of Music, 23+ year teacher and touring musician
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Re: Question on Chord Progressions [Re: PianoGamer] #2263534
04/18/14 01:38 PM
04/18/14 01:38 PM
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I think you get a much different feel if you learn solfege, esp. as it is taught now, in college after years of pitch-based music - as opposed to starting with solfege first in the manner that I did. Again we're within contexts of systems, and we "live" these contexts as experience.

I would NOT learn music along solfege in the way that I did because it put me into a modal world, almost Renaissance. I can tell you the internal musical experience of it because I have explored it over the past few years:

If music is in a minor key, then (back then) I would hear E7 going to A minor as Mi Si Ti Re, and the Si rises up to the Tonic, La. That's our leading note (Si - G#) rising to the Tonic (La - A). At the same time I was hearing that Ti (B) that could go to Do (C) so that even when I was in a minor key, I was acutely aware of the relative major. And that is why I say it was a modal kind of thinking, better suited to the Renaissance.

I wasn't consciously aware of this until I was in the middle of formal harmony theory. I heard the notes in my head in relative pitch, and decades of this solfege where there. When I did my four part harmony in major keys it was instantaneous. In minor keys there was a major lag because "hearing" the relative major took over. Mi Si Ti Re going to La Do Mi didn't work very well. I can't switch over to hearing "Do" as the Tonic of a minor key, because the association of La and minor is so engrained, so I chucked the whole movable Do solfege.

For modal music like the one in this thread, it's still handy. But in the long run it messes me up because how I heard music was so tied in with those syllables. I've abandoned it. If anything I would go for numbers like 1, 2, 3 very simply because my ear doesn't associate numbers with anything. But that's due to my personal background.

What I need to stress is that m.d. solfege was not intellectual: it was part of me, and instant, since I was about 8 years old. It was the only thing I knew. When I saw it taught in the modern way, it's a different thing, like a hybrid and second foreign language.

Re: Question on Chord Progressions [Re: PianoGamer] #2263538
04/18/14 01:43 PM
04/18/14 01:43 PM
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Michael Martinez Offline
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by Michael Martinez

Sorry, I tend to skim quickly people's posts ... I haven't listened to any recordings for this thread, I'm just going on what people are writing...

Isn't it a bit arrogant to comment on what's going on when you do not have the time to listen to it?


The context in what was written seemed sufficient. He gave four chords Gm Cm Bb Dm, this is sufficient to know which key it's in and normally a tune like this will have either Gm or Bb as tonal center.



Music Educator, Computer Engineer, avid reader of literature, enjoyer of the outdoors
http://www.michael--martinez.com/music/
Re: Question on Chord Progressions [Re: Michael Martinez] #2263566
04/18/14 02:33 PM
04/18/14 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael Martinez


The context in what was written seemed sufficient. He gave four chords Gm Cm Bb Dm, this is sufficient to know which key it's in and normally a tune like this will have either Gm or Bb as tonal center.


I don't think you read what I wrote yesterday, or possibly didn't understand it, so I'll try to express myself more clearly.

You are in a forum of learners called "adult beginner". The information any student gives may be incomplete or even incorrect. Unless you actually listen to the music yourself, or look at a score if one is available, you can't know if the information that was posted is correct or complete. Your answer can mess up a person's learning if you're not careful, especially since you use the signature of "musical educator". If you use the title of teacher, then you also have to bear the responsibility of a teacher, because people see teachers as being the authority of a subject. They'll trust what you say - so please look thoroughly into something that you answer while having that tag line - and read thoroughly.

The other thing you commented on was my post, where you told me I was "overthinking" without having actually read what was being discussed. That was, in fact, disrespectful but I let it slide.

Re: Question on Chord Progressions [Re: keystring] #2263585
04/18/14 02:57 PM
04/18/14 02:57 PM
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New York City
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Originally Posted by keystring
If you use the title of teacher, then you also have to bear the responsibility of a teacher, because people see teachers as being the authority of a subject. They'll trust what you say.

The people with the most expertise are usually not the ones who advertise it.


Regards,

Polyphonist
Re: Question on Chord Progressions [Re: PianoGamer] #2263594
04/18/14 03:13 PM
04/18/14 03:13 PM
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That does seem to be true.

Re: Question on Chord Progressions [Re: keystring] #2263889
04/19/14 01:03 AM
04/19/14 01:03 AM
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Brian Lucas Offline
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Originally Posted by keystring
For modal music like the one in this thread, it's still handy.

I understand where you're coming from. There's also a big part of the world that uses a fixed do, where DO is always C. I've always viewed solfeg as describing a tonality, a function of the pitch. So to me, calling LA the tonic and SI-LA the harmonic minor resolution seems a bit strange.

I just wanted to point out that I don't necessarily believe that system is good for modal music either. I know that many people use relative scales to teach the modes, and I do that as well to first introduce the concept. But, to truly hear and understand the modes and more importantly use them, I think it's important to view them in parallel to each other. So taking out the solfeg and going with numbers, Dorian for example would be 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7 8.

In real world music there's also chord borrowing from parallel modes. In a major song you might have a 4m or a b7 chord.

Actually, now that I think about it, in the world where III means 3 minor, what would you call a 3 major chord?


-Brian
BM in Performance, Berklee College of Music, 23+ year teacher and touring musician
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Re: Question on Chord Progressions [Re: PianoGamer] #2263931
04/19/14 03:12 AM
04/19/14 03:12 AM
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Brian, I'm trying to understand the word "parallel". I know that for scales, where we say "relative major" (A minor, C major) and "tonic major" (A minor, C major), in the US you say "parallel major" instead of "tonic major". So is that what you mean by "parallel mode"?

Well modern modes are not like Renaissance modes - it's a different musical system. The solfege (movable do) itself is kind of a bastardization too that doesn't quite fit the old system of music, nor the new one, so I tend to agree with you. In the RCM theory when it came to modes, they actually taught two systems for writing them out - I didn't know what to think about that.

Quote
Actually, now that I think about it, in the world where III means 3 minor, what would you call a 3 major chord?

I don't think we had that. If you mean the Bb chord in the key of G minor, that is a major chord (Bb D F). That's the one you called bIII and I would have called III in the system I first learned.

The only system I know where a minor chord would be called III is a system where you don't distinguish quality and III simply means "3rd degree chord, whatever the quality may be". You're just supposed to know that the 3rd degree of a major key is minor so why write it out? My old Horwood book works that way (written in the 1940's).

Re: Question on Chord Progressions [Re: keystring] #2263935
04/19/14 03:21 AM
04/19/14 03:21 AM
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Brian Lucas Offline
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Originally Posted by keystring
Brian, I'm trying to understand the word "parallel".

It's the opposite of relative. C major is parallel to C minor or C Dorian. Basically, the tonic stays the same and the rest of the scale degrees change with the new scale.

Originally Posted by keystring
If you mean the Bb chord in the key of G minor, that is a major chord (Bb D F). That's the one you called bIII and I would have called III in the system I first learned.

No, sorry, I meant a B chord in G minor. I meant to say "in a world where III means a flatted third, what would you call the unflatted third chord?". See the system you are mentioning doesn't take into consideration that there may be chord roots that aren't native to the natural scale.

I'm starting to think we might be boring the rest of the board with this discussion. smile


-Brian
BM in Performance, Berklee College of Music, 23+ year teacher and touring musician
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Re: Question on Chord Progressions [Re: Brian Lucas] #2263945
04/19/14 04:53 AM
04/19/14 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Brian Lucas
Originally Posted by keystring
Brian, I'm trying to understand the word "parallel".

It's the opposite of relative. C major is parallel to C minor or C Dorian. Basically, the tonic stays the same and the rest of the scale degrees change with the new scale.

In Canada we call that the "tonic minor" or "tonic major". "Parallel" is an American term. I didn't know it was also used for modes.

Quote
No, sorry, I meant a B chord in G minor. I meant to say "in a world where III means a flatted third, what would you call the unflatted third chord?". See the system you are mentioning doesn't take into consideration that there may be chord roots that aren't native to the natural scale.


What do you mean by "natural scale"? Do you mean as in "natural minor"? Or are you deciding to consider the major scale as being the "natural" scale, and all other scales to be offshoots of that scale?

This is what I meant previously when I wrote of contexts and systems. There are many ways of seeing music, and we create systems around that. But other people may not be sharing those systems, so it has to be defined.

Re: Question on Chord Progressions [Re: keystring] #2264056
04/19/14 12:07 PM
04/19/14 12:07 PM
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Brian Lucas Offline
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Originally Posted by keystring
In Canada we call that the "tonic minor" or "tonic major". "Parallel" is an American term. I didn't know it was also used for modes.

That's interesting. I didn't know that.

Originally Posted by keystring
What do you mean by "natural scale"?

Ok, so in the key of G minor, Bb major is the III in the system you've mentioned, correct? Bb is the natural scale tone in that key. So, in that system, what would you call a B major chord? As we discussed before, I have 2 names for both those chords, III and bIII. It's been a while since I've done roman numeral analysis, so I'm not sure there is a method for chords that don't start on scale tones. I'm guessing this system may not account for really complex chord changes.

Anyone from other parts of the world like to jump in and tell us how you notate chords?


-Brian
BM in Performance, Berklee College of Music, 23+ year teacher and touring musician
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