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WARNING : Ear Classification Rating - contains mild to strong dissonance and no tune you can hum. Not useable in a trailer context. Recommended ear strength - seasoned 20thC+ (and curious, adventurous ears).

Just joking, but you have been warned. A response to Bach from my point of view, here are 3 of a planned 12 (8 done so far). The Preludes generally obsess over a technical pianism and limited material whilst the fugues get their subject from something in their accompanying Prelude. The piano writing is virtuosic but not in a showy way and as the warning said, the harmony hovers between mild and strong dissonance with excursions into both territories.

Each pair is around 5mins long, so I hope some will find the time to listen and comment....(oh hell)

BTW, if you don't like them, have a go at HS and Gregorio for making me post them...it's all their fault... :-)

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@HS,

Thanks for listening HS and I'm so pleased you picked up on a lot of detail, that means I'm doing my job ok. I nearly didn't post the D p+f because it is quite dissonant, but now I'm glad I did. I said I'd ease you all in with milder pieces, hence no5 on F.  As you have heard, it is completely tonal in places and yes, the jazzy (ish) syncopation in the fugue. Very funny about the Fmajor troll.

You might be interested to know that the fugue onC is a double fugue, with the second subject appearing at b138 and a combining of both subjects at b165 cf. (although the 2 subjects play with each other prior to that....err, that doesn't sound right!)

The form of the preludes are not really pre-planned and what you've discerned is very interesting, I shall keep aware of that as it could be a weakness.

@Gregorio

Yeah, I knew it was do-able even if, as you say, it is challenging-thanks for giving it a detailed look and confirming this for me, most appreciated.  As I was playing through the 3 stave pieces (slowly I might add) , I got used to reading them over 3 staves. If a pianist ever took them on, a few brackets here and there would be useful and I may incorporate them, but am happy with 3 staves for the more complex fugues (3 so far are in this format).

Mike,

Listened to all last night and will again. Already familiar with your style, I did not come into the experience expecting strong tonal centers, so no disappointments on my part, although I'm sure you fully anticipate that frequent complaint from many, for whom "fugue" in the title will automatically trigger an expectation of the signature kaleidoscopic, rapid key references which evolve naturally from the more traditional tonal approach.

Smartly written, as usual, and entertaining, though you'll still have to claw my tonality out of my cold, dead hand.

I played a D# over an A earlier. It was one of the most thrilling moments of my life.

Kristofer Emerig said:


Smartly written, as usual, and entertaining, though you'll still have to claw my tonality out of my cold, dead hand.

.. ooh ..edgy! A year from now, I'll check in, and you'll be writing in the manner of Lachenmann. The evolution is almost inescapable, once you've toyed with witchcraft like aug 4th/dim 5th.

Dave Dexter said:

I played a D# over an A earlier. It was one of the most thrilling moments of my life.

Kristofer Emerig said:


Smartly written, as usual, and entertaining, though you'll still have to claw my tonality out of my cold, dead hand.

@Dave: you'll laugh at me, but the first time I heard Sibelius' 4th symphony, I thought it was atonal.

@Mike: I'm not sure the recurring prelude structure is necessarily a weakness.  If done carefully, it could serve as a unifying factor across the entire set of 12 p/f pairs, perhaps?

I'm not entirely sure if the whole "augmented 4th was banned by the Church" thing is strictly true, but it's a fun interval. I'm scoring a camp 50s horror game - that is to say, exaggerated and self-aware as opposed to taking place in a camp - at the moment and it's like Elfman's dying moments with added theremin.

Kristofer Emerig said:

.. ooh ..edgy! A year from now, I'll check in, and you'll be writing in the manner of Lachenmann. The evolution is almost inescapable, once you've toyed with witchcraft like aug 4th/dim 5th.

Why would I laugh? Listening now. I like it, unsurprisingly, and also am reminded of the "long note" theory elaborated on below.



H. S. Teoh said:

@Dave: you'll laugh at me, but the first time I heard Sibelius' 4th symphony, I thought it was atonal.

The laugh is not in the music, but in the fact that I thought it was atonal.

I know what you meant - I still wouldn't laugh, my ear for tonality and composition has likewise changed or grown over the years. The reactions I had years ago aren't the same as my reactions now.



H. S. Teoh said:

The laugh is not in the music, but in the fact that I thought it was atonal.

@Kris
Thanks for listening and even more thanks for the kind words....I'll take that with a great deal of pleasure from someone who can write damn fine mirrors. The 'modulations' in episodes and entries are there in my head at least, but yeah, obscured by the lack of an obvious gravitational tether...like I said earlier somewhere, I don' t think I'm in Kansas anymore.

@Hs,
Good point, it could well be a handy unifying device. I have written them in sequence so far and have become aware of the idea of a cycle, so it could be useful.

@Dave,

The tritone eh, you know you are halfway to a diminished7th chord now....
Interesting how ears can tolerate more dissonance with more experience.

Mike Hewer said:

[...] Interesting how ears can tolerate more dissonance with more experience.

Maybe it's like an acquired taste. Like how over time, I've built up an appreciation for spicy peppers such that what most people consider unpalatably hot, I consider rather mild, and what I consider hot they would consider to be explosively volcanic.

Or perhaps it's just a matter of me losing my taste buds from over-exposure to spicy food, and now I hardly taste spiciness at all. :-D  Hmm, what does that say about tolerance to dissonance? :-D

(Interesting aside: birds do not have the taste receptors for spicy peppers, so they can eat flaming hot spicy peppers with impunity.  One of the best ways to make sure your bird food doesn't end up feeding the rodents is to sprinkle it liberally with spicy hot peppers, then nothing but the birds will be able to eat it.  So if you're a dissonant bird and want to keep the tonal rodents away... aah, what am I saying?! I better shut up now before the stones come flying. :-P)

**scuttles away like a rodent with a burning tongue**

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