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Passing Notes and Cantus Firmus
#3027485 09/21/20 11:39 AM
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I got a little stuck learning some basics. I'm wondering if a Cantus Firmus can have a second. I've seen people say they can't have them, and I've seen plenty of examples with steps being a 2nd. The other issue I'm having is with passing notes. The following link will go to an image of a staff. Is that A a passing note, or does the G get in the way of that? Also is the D a vaild anticipation note?

[img]https://ibb.co/YR1MWBt[/img]

Last edited by JeremyBenson11; 09/21/20 11:39 AM.
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Re: Passing Notes and Cantus Firmus
JeremyBenson11 #3027535 09/21/20 02:10 PM
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When you say a second, do you mean an interval ? Or something else ?

Re: Passing Notes and Cantus Firmus
JeremyBenson11 #3027642 09/21/20 07:49 PM
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The cantus firmus can have 2nds. If you're talking about the intervals with the upper voices, it's up to the other voices to take care of these.

Re: Passing Notes and Cantus Firmus
JeremyBenson11 #3027698 09/22/20 02:53 AM
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Maybe you're confusing several different things. If you're talking about harmonic intervals then seconds are dissonant and you shouldn't have them, but as pointed out, it's the other voices that should adjust to avoid the harmonic seconds. If you're talking about the Cantus Firmus itself melodic seconds are definitely allowed. You can't have augmented melodic seconds but major and minor seconds are OK.

Originally Posted by JeremyBenson11
The other issue I'm having is with passing notes. The following link will go to an image of a staff. Is that A a passing note, or does the G get in the way of that? Also is the D a vaild anticipation note?

[img]https://ibb.co/YR1MWBt[/img]

A passing note is just a non-chord note, usually on a weak part of the beat or a weak beat, that is part of the melody or another inner line. It's hard to really say anything about this A as you only have two chords. The A isn't really linking anything and isn't part of a melody. I don't see any D so I assume you meant C. You could call that an anticipation of the C chord but it could equally be considered an A minor or F major chord. It's not really clear what you want to do.

Re: Passing Notes and Cantus Firmus
JeremyBenson11 #3027728 09/22/20 04:46 AM
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I think the example is not very good anyway as it is not really written in polyphonic style. There is a mix of 4 voices, 2 and 3. The A is not really a passing tone, since it forms a perfectly valid harmony with the C. If the G in the Bass was sustained, then the A would be a passing tone. One could see A as an appogiatura to G. And G is not teally an anticipation either since it forms already the CG harmony which is repeated in the 4th beat. The writing is rather clumsy. But since the OP has not responded, i assume it is one of those questions where the author does not care to read the answers. It is just waisting our time.

Re: Passing Notes and Cantus Firmus
JeremyBenson11 #3027759 09/22/20 07:11 AM
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Sidokar, I don't live on the internet, it's been 8 hours. Please give people time to respond. I didn't mean 'D' I meant, G. I missed that in my edit. As for the quality of he music, it's not meant to be high qaulity, it's my second time composing in my software for learning. Qazsedcft, I did mean Major 2nd intervals. So, that clears that up. I think you guys are getting confused because the music example was not the Cantus Firmus, or anything to do with it. I should have clarified better. The image is to a stand alone measure for learning passing notes. Hence, wondering if 'A' was a passing note in the way it lied between G chord and C chord. Or does the G note get in the way of that.

Thanks for replying all that info Sidokar, I'll try to soak it in, but it seems a little advanced for what I'm messing with right now, which is just passing notes.

"The A is not really a passing tone, since it forms a perfectly valid harmony with the C."

The videos always say a passing note is any tone outside the chord.

Last edited by JeremyBenson11; 09/22/20 07:14 AM.
Re: Passing Notes and Cantus Firmus
JeremyBenson11 #3027796 09/22/20 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by JeremyBenson11
Sidokar, I don't live on the internet, it's been 8 hours. Please give people time to respond. As for the quality of he music, it's not meant to be high qaulity, it's my second time composing in my software for learning. Qazsedcft, I did mean Major 2nd intervals. So, that clears that up. I think you guys are getting confused because the music example was not the Cantus Firmus, or anything to do with it. I should have clarified better. The image is to a stand alone measure for learning passing notes. Hence, wondering if 'A' was a passing note in the way it lied between G chord and C chord. Or does the G note get in the way of that.

Thanks for replying all that info Sidokar, I'll try to soak it in, but it seems a little advanced for what I'm messing with right now, which is just passing notes.

"The A is not really a passing tone, since it forms a perfectly valid harmony with the C."

The videos always say a passing note is any tone outside the chord.

There are sometimes people who post questions, there are many answers and the OP never comes back. That can be frustrating at times, but obviously not the case here. Of course 8 hours or 24 hours is perfectly fine.

The seconds are valid, but not necessarily major second. It has to be diatonic second, ie in the scale. In strict counterpoint, intervals for the chant that are forbidden are all chromatic, augmented, diminished, major sixth, seventh and ninth. There are rules for octaves, like never do an octave on a leading tone. There are other rules, for example for sequences of 3 notes, like you should avoid the triton in an isolated group of 3 notes, and there are accepted workarounds that minimize the effect. If you have a teacher, and a good course, he will give you all that you need to know in a gradual way.

There is no issue with trying to compose, one is necessarily clumsy the first times. You just need someone to tell you what is correct and what should be avoided. If you are composing in counterpoint, you should start first with 2 voices, note against note or 2 notes against the chant. If you are composing homophonic, you need to know how to sequence chords and manage the bass.

Your statement about the passing tone definition in the vid is correct. But that is not what you composed. The passing tone implies that you maintain the previous harmony while playing against it the passing tone. In your example, you stopped the G chord and introduced a new harmony with the C in the bass, a 6th chord CA. A would have been a passing tone had you maintained the G harmony while playing A. In general passing tones are often used on weak beats. Now you can see A as an appogiatura of the subsequent G note, since the C triad seems to be your final harmony. The best way to compose is to start with 2 voices, the melody and put the the bass line against it, and then work out the harmonies and various ornamental, passing notes.

Re: Passing Notes and Cantus Firmus
JeremyBenson11 #3028145 09/23/20 08:07 AM
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You say seconds must be diatonic, so in the case of C scale, D would be fine in counterpoint? But In other scales the second might be chromatic. When you say to avoid the tritone in a three note run, do you mean a tritone outline (6 intervals from the first not to the last?) I see, so harmony has to be maintained for passing tone. When you say maintained, that can be a single note too? Say a C chord, and an E note, with a D inbetween. That's a vaid passing tone? Thanks again for the reply. I'm learning.

Re: Passing Notes and Cantus Firmus
JeremyBenson11 #3028200 09/23/20 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by JeremyBenson11
You say seconds must be diatonic, so in the case of C scale, D would be fine in counterpoint? But In other scales the second might be chromatic. When you say to avoid the tritone in a three note run, do you mean a tritone outline (6 intervals from the first not to the last?) I see, so harmony has to be maintained for passing tone. When you say maintained, that can be a single note too? Say a C chord, and an E note, with a D inbetween. That's a vaid passing tone? Thanks again for the reply. I'm learning.

I meant that the interval for a second has to be between notes of the key you are in. If you are in C major, going C to D is fine, so is A to B or E to F (minor second), but not E to F sharp, F sharp being a chromatic note in C major. If you were in G major, you could go E to F sharp since both belong to the key of G major, and F sharp is not a chromatic note in the key of G major.

Triton in 3 notes would be for example F, G, B. But I meant to give one example. There are other rules. For that you need to ask your teacher and it is a gradual learning, as there are many things to learn.

When writing harmony, you can use 2 or more voices. So it all depends what are in the various voices before and after. But theoretically assuming there are 2 voices and you have C - E, the C stays in place and you play D and then E - C for example, then D would be a passing tone.


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