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Re: Theory Study #1 - Schumann Chorale #542426
11/29/06 10:20 AM
11/29/06 10:20 AM
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Iowa City, IA
Kreisler Offline OP
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Okay...question #2, the numbers:

The numbers are figured bass notation for chord inversions.

If we take a C triad, CEG, the E is a 3rd above the C and the G is a 5th above. So the figured bass is 53. If we're in first inversion, EGC, then the G is a 3rd above the bottom note and the C is a 6th above, so the figured bass is 63. For second inversion, GCE, the figured bass is 64.

So, for simple triads:
53 = root position
63 = first inversion
64 = second inversion

But we often simplify the notation and use the following shorthand:

(nothing) = root position
6 = first inversion
64 = second inversion

Now...seventh chords are done similarly. A C7 chord (CEGBb) has the intervals 753. (C to E is a 3rd, C to G is a 5th, and C to Bb is a 7th.) When we move this to first inversion (EGBbC), the intervals above the bottom note are 6, 5, and 3.

So for seventh chords:

root position = 753
first inversion = 653
second inversion = 643
third inversion = 642

These are also often simplified as:

root position = 7
first inversion = 65
second inversion = 43
third inversion = 42 (or just "2" in some books)

These figured bass indications are the numbers used to indicate chord inversions in roman numeral analysis. They were also used by baroque and classical composers to indicate chord changes over which a performer would improvise or "realize" the part. What I've given you here is the most basic version, but figured bass is a very rich and interesting system that constitutes the baroque and classical version of a lead sheet. The difference being that a jazz lead sheet consists of a melody line and chord symbols while a baroque "lead sheet" would use a bass line and figures. (The bass line is necessary since the figures denote intervals above the bass.)


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: Theory Study #1 - Schumann Chorale #542427
11/30/06 05:46 AM
11/30/06 05:46 AM
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Norway
Ragnhild Offline
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Just a question about notation :

Is it right to mame the chords of the scale I, II, II, IV, V, VI, VII or is it correct to write the small numbers for minor chords like:

I, ii, iii, IV, V, vi, vii(dim)..... ?

(Then II would be the right name for a major second chord - even if V/V is the function ...?)

I find this quite difficult confused

BTW, I saw the "chord maps" in the ABF forum :
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/32/3297.html

Can this be used for analyzing or are the theory for song-writing different from the one for analyzing ?

Ragnhild


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Re: Theory Study #1 - Schumann Chorale #542428
11/30/06 09:40 AM
11/30/06 09:40 AM
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Iowa City, IA
Kreisler Offline OP
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In the United States, we use I, ii, iii, IV, V, etc...

In Europe, they use all upper case - I, II, III, IV, etc...

Also, the V/V notation is relatively new. Prior to about 1960, they just used II.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: Theory Study #1 - Schumann Chorale #542429
11/30/06 09:44 AM
11/30/06 09:44 AM
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pianojerome Offline
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I guess it's starting to mix a little. My teacher here in the United States uses all upper-case, even for the minors -- his justification is that it gets tedious to always write the little dots on lower case i's, and we should simply know which chords are going to be major and which will be minor.


Sam
Re: Theory Study #1 - Schumann Chorale #542430
11/30/06 11:28 AM
11/30/06 11:28 AM
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Iowa City, IA
Kreisler Offline OP
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What textbook does he use? I didn't know there were any upper case texts in use in the US.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: Theory Study #1 - Schumann Chorale #542431
12/01/06 09:04 AM
12/01/06 09:04 AM
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Alexandria, Egypt
Bassio Offline
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I did my homework too! laugh

But there are some chords which i did not recognize and i did not write the inversions like PJ .. maybe this will be the next step!

Here is my HW .. there are question marks i wrote on the chords i did not recognize

[Linked Image]

btw i wrote V7 referring to dominant seventh chords .. is this correct?

Re: Theory Study #1 - Schumann Chorale #542432
12/01/06 10:46 AM
12/01/06 10:46 AM
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pianojerome Offline
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The first two question mark chords are E minor: E G B. (VI)

The second one is A7: A C E G (II7)


On a related note...

Not every note in the chord will be printed. Consider the chord G B D. G is the 'root'. B is the 'third' (3rd above root). D is the 'fifth' (5th above root -- notice that when referrng to intervals, we use numerals (1-7) but when referring to particular parts of the chord we use words (third, fifth, seventh, etc)).

You will rarely see a chord that is missing the root -- because the root is the foundation which identifies the chord.

You will rarely see a chrod that is missing the third -- because that is what determines if it is major or minor.

You will rarely find a 7th chord that is missing the seventh -- because then it is not a 7th chord.


You will very often find a chord that is missing the fifth -- the fifth is just there for support, but it can be easily left out.

Look for example at the very last chord in this piece. It is a G Major chord: G B D. But where is the D? It's okay; he left out the D, but put three of the voices on the most important root (G) and one voice on the also important third (B). The root (G) tells us it is a G-something chord, and the B tells us it is a G major chord; the D, if it were there, would just add extra support.


Sam
Re: Theory Study #1 - Schumann Chorale #542433
12/01/06 12:35 PM
12/01/06 12:35 PM
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Iowa City, IA
Kreisler Offline OP
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Yep...the first two are vi chords.

The chord in m. 19 is a ii chord. It would be written ii65 because of the inversion.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: Theory Study #1 - Schumann Chorale #542434
12/01/06 10:30 PM
12/01/06 10:30 PM
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pianojerome Offline
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The inversions are important because they tell you what notes are going to be in the bass line.

Suppose you have the following chords in root position (in the key of G Major):

I - V - VII - IV - V - I - V - I

The notes in the bass line go: G - D - F - C - D - G - D - G.

But suppose you have some of them in inversion:

I - V42 - VII6 - IV - V6 - I - V43 - I

Then the bass line goes: G - C - A - C - F - G - A - G

See, the bass lines are different.

Now, what if you have them in different inversions:

I6 - V7 - VII6 - IV6 - V43 - I6 - V65 - I

Now the bass line goes: B - D - A - E - A - B - F - G

See, the bass line is again very different.


Sam
Re: Theory Study #1 - Schumann Chorale #542435
12/02/06 02:13 AM
12/02/06 02:13 AM
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Pretoria South Africa
btb Offline
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It is pointed out that the RH shapes created by Schumann in his 68.4 Un choral are totally independent of the LH .

The RH part can be played on it’s own ... it isn’t founded on the LH outline ... the triad inter-dependence between the hand roles should have no place in the analysis. Ragnhild’s hymn is an example of a similar treble theme with a different LH outline.

The analysis has overlooked the fact that keyboard music is played by two independent hands ... Schumann’s genius keeps the duet
apart ... the lower harmonizing a contrapuntal balancing ‘fullness’ with the other ... as the RH chord intervals grow bigger the LH decreases ... and vice-versa.

Please chaps ... don’t confuse the eager young hopefuls with unproductive mumbo-jumbo ... talk about the unique structure of the music.

Re: Theory Study #1 - Schumann Chorale #542436
12/02/06 02:29 AM
12/02/06 02:29 AM
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pianojerome Offline
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You are ignoring the two inner voices, btb. This is a 4-part chorale, not a 2-part invention.

And what are the 2 inner voices doing? Nothing particularly interesting; look at just the 2nd line from the top (alto voice): D D DD C# D C# D... Wow, that's awfully boring. Look at the 3rd line from the top (tenor voice): B A G A A A A F. So boring if you were to just play it by itself.

But why does he write those inner voices like that if they are so boring? He is using them to fill in the chords; each beat has a high note in the top voice (soprano) and a low note in the bottom voice (bass) and so Schumann has added these independently boring inner voices between the soprano and bass to make the progression of chords.

Remember what a chorale is, btb -- it is something to be sung. Sure, you can play this on the piano, and sure, Schumann included it in his piano opus. But the form originated for voice -- that's why there are four voices, because origininally chorales were sung by four groups of singers. It is fallacy to talk about right hand vs. left hand in a discussion of a chorale.


Sam
Re: Theory Study #1 - Schumann Chorale #542437
12/02/06 02:29 AM
12/02/06 02:29 AM
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Iowa City, IA
Kreisler Offline OP
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I don't see how the soprano and bass are independent. Together, they make an almost textbook-perfect example of species counterpoint.

Granted, the shapes of the lines are different, but that's hardly unique. In fact, differences in the shape of the lines are a feature of good counterpoint, whether it's Palestrina, Bach, Schumann, or Bartok.

That is, of course, the genius of this kind of counterpoint - that two very different lines are in fact not independent. They depend very much on each other while retaining distinct identities.

This is exactly why we avoid parallel fifths and octaves, for example. When you write parallel fifths or octaves, the voices become too similar and lose their unique identities.

So the analysis does not overlook the fact that keyboard music is played with two different hands. If anything, it reveals to us that this is not so much "keyboard" music as it is beautiful music that just so happens to be scored for piano. In a way, it is more vocal than instrumental, an attribute that reminds us that we are to sing through our hands, not type.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: Theory Study #1 - Schumann Chorale #542438
12/02/06 03:05 AM
12/02/06 03:05 AM
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Pretoria South Africa
btb Offline
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Sheer ‘pretty words’ equivocation Kreisler.
Why go off at a tangent with wild patronizing but totally irrelevant assertions about past Masters.

Anybody could write a LH part to the Schumann RH to undo your bland inter-dependence assertion.

You lose your audience when you fly lead kites.

Re: Theory Study #1 - Schumann Chorale #542439
12/02/06 04:36 AM
12/02/06 04:36 AM
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pianojerome Offline
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When you say RH, do you mean the top two voices? And when you say LH, do you mean the bottom two voices?

Yes, of course; all music students are required to do this on exams. The teacher provides a melody, and the students have to write three voices underneath (or the teacher provides a bass line, and the students have to write three voices above). It seems like an impossible task at the beginning of the semester; then we learn how chords fit together, and by the end of the semester it is a snap to figure out which notes can be used in the other three voices to fit a chordal structure that sounds good.

Ultimately, btb, let's just say what is so obvious: there are 4 notes in each beat -- and 4 notes playing at the same time are going to form a chord. So, the question is, does it sound good when these chords follow in the order in which they follow? That is where theory comes in -- it describes which chords sound good in what order, and it explains why they sound good in that order. So you can write the notes by trial and error, and hope that eventually it will sound good when you put them all together; or, you can learn the theory behind chord progressions, and it will take you 30 seconds to write the 4 voices for this entire chorale.


Sam
Re: Theory Study #1 - Schumann Chorale #542440
12/02/06 05:53 AM
12/02/06 05:53 AM
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pj,
Over the past ten years of researching notation for a university paper ... I’m now at a stage of throwing out the mindless garbage which is
suffocating our attempts to promote classical music ... and theory, as it’s taught today, falls into this category ... and is getting the heave .

The Piano Forum provides endless examples of rot for the pickings.

Here’s a juicy bit of coded double-talk which takes the cake ... what the man should have said to describe the first measure of a piece of
3-time music in terms of the degrees of the major scale is

the single-note treble outline follows the beat in falling
1..7..6
and is underscored by chords
3/1..3/7 and 3/6

Instead ...

‘But Beethoven sticks a D in as well. It's kind of like a pedal tone, except it also implies a harmony, namely: i6-V43-i The i6 is because the first beat is, from the bottom up, Bb-D-G. The D is a 3rd above the Bb and the G is a 6th above the Bb. In longhand, we might write "i63" but the 3 is commonly omitted so we simply write "i6" for the first inversion chord.
Then we have our V43. You're going to think I'm nuts, because that means the 3rd of the chord is missing - there is no F#! And yet, if a note WERE to be added to create a triadic harmony, it would be D-F#-A-C. Since here it's, again from the
bottom up, "A-C-D-(F#)", it would be V643 in long hand, commonly written simply as V43 in shorthand. ’

Please don't try to prove the validity of the
mumbo-jumbo ... we've heard it all before.

Re: Theory Study #1 - Schumann Chorale #542441
12/02/06 09:19 AM
12/02/06 09:19 AM
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Alexandria, Egypt
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Thank you very much guys! smile

Hey Kreisler, don't forget the rest of my questions. laugh wink

Another question: what is counterpoint that you are talking about? Isn't this concerned with fugues? How do you explain counterpoint in here? I know if we separate the voices in this chorale, we will get separate melody lines, is this counterpoint?

Please explain this point before i can move on to the bagatelle study. smile

And btw btb, i can not understand what you are aiming at, but it seems that you have this basic knowledge i don't have, and you are attacking Kreisler because he is explaining it to absolute beginners like me.

Please add to the discussion. Construct and do not destruct.
I even can't understand the part you are trying to explain here. How do you assume that it is very easy to build chords on a melody? I never knew how to do that, as i asked above. So if you can at least answer my question, i will be very grateful.

Re: Theory Study #1 - Schumann Chorale #542442
12/02/06 10:27 AM
12/02/06 10:27 AM
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Iowa City, IA
Kreisler Offline OP
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Quote
Originally posted by btb:
Anybody could write a LH part to the Schumann RH to undo your bland inter-dependence assertion.
Then do it.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: Theory Study #1 - Schumann Chorale #542443
12/02/06 10:35 AM
12/02/06 10:35 AM
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Kreisler Offline OP
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Quote
Originally posted by Bassio:
Question3:
It appears that the choral is split into sentences as you said, and when i look at it i look at the uppermost notes as the melody, while the rest of the note is sort of the accompanying chord that defines the harmony, is this correct? can i look at this composition with this view?
Almost. Basically, it's a two-voice counterpoint between the uppermost and lowest notes of each chord. The notes in between complete the harmony. It's a four-voice chorale: soprano, alto, tenor, bass. The soprano and bass are of chief importance. In fact, Brahms always began by sketching the soprano/bass counterpoint, adding everything else in later.

Quote

Question4:
If my assumption in the above question is right, then how, from a composer's perspective, did he write the accompanying chords? Is there certain rules? Is it the expanding and neighbouring chords that PJ is trying to explain here?
Again, sort of, the soprano/bass counterpoint comes first, then the harmony.

Quote

Question5:
Does he depart from Gmajor here? How do you know that the other chords are just "away from home" as Kreisler said? How do you know that he has not for example "changed his address" in the middle of the piece? And if this happened how will this affect his Roman numeral notation?
I don't think we depart from G Major, mostly because of the length of the piece and because the musical sentences are very clear. If the piece were longer and/or the sentences started ending on different chords, I'd think otherwise. Of course, it's not always easy to tell. Remember that theory is basically an inadequate description of what's going on, not an exact explication. It's like a writer trying to describe a sunset. They'll never capture the true essense of a sunset - it will never be the same as seeing it for yourself - but a good writer might help you notice something about it you didn't notice before.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: Theory Study #1 - Schumann Chorale #542444
12/02/06 11:35 AM
12/02/06 11:35 AM
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Pretoria South Africa
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Kreisler comes clean.

'Remember that theory is basically an inadequate description of what's going on, not an exact explication.'

Re: Theory Study #1 - Schumann Chorale #542445
12/02/06 12:04 PM
12/02/06 12:04 PM
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Kreisler Offline OP
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I came clean several days ago in another post.

Don't worry, I'm one of the good guys! laugh


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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