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Here is my latest composition, Duntames. This is my sixth composition according to Polydiatonism. It was a kind of "pressure test" for me and my composing method. Now I know that it works, and I can continue with it.

You can see the score of Duntames on my site

I hope you like it:

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Hi Heikki,

Despite your polydiatonism, this came across to me as a traditional neo-romantic piece. I didn't hear anything in it which would keep my interest going. On the plus side, it is well put together and has an effective silky sound to it. Thanks for posting!


Thanks for your reply, I appreciate it.

The idea of Polydiatonism is in its structure. In Polydiatonism is used heptatonic scales as generic scales. From one generic scale is formed a scale for every melody line in the same way than church modes are formed. The length of every melody line is the length of composition. Larger architectural structures are made by exchanging scales between melody lines. Then the shape of the melody lines is preserved, but they sound on a different scale. That changes the character of the melody. The structure is perceived by comparing what is currently heard with what has been heard before. For that reason melodies must be recognizable and memorable.

In Duntames I used heptatonia tertia scale as a generic scale and three melody lines.

I listened up to 4'30" and have to agree with Gav. You can put all the technical/theoretical stuff you like into the explanation of a piece but is the listener really interested in that? It sounded modern romantic but with hints of the East.

For me, the "performance" was blurred. There were times (around 2'30" for instance) when things seemed to be going on in the violins but were occluded by the bass end and horns or trombones. The modality didn't seem to vary until around 4'0" and the shift then still seemed to present the same basic thematic material.

So bravo for putting an extended piece together and with less cloudy sound it may grab me more. Surely something can be done about that? It's a huge score. On my small screen it would have taken too long to assimilate entirely but in your daw some tweaking may be possible. 



Thanks for your reply and analyse, I appreciate it.

This is the way that I hear the world.



It sounds like romantic music but with some chord tones missing. Maybe that's because of your scales, but it makes an impression of fairly standard music where you forgot to put the 3rd in the chord.

Another thing: I've looked at 3 scores and you are consistently using a massive orchestra, but you're not using it terribly well. Woodwinds, brass, &c are all moving in blocks with lots of duplication. Could you maybe try writing a string quartet or a woodwind quintet and make it sound interesting?

Something in me bristles at this misuse of resources. Yes, I know, you have an orchestral library and so a big symphony orchestra is just as easy as a horn quartet or whatever, but taht doesn't mean you should.

Thanks for the reply and analysis. I greatly appreciate your advice.

You are right in your music analysis. My music is completely polyphonic and has no theory related to chords and chord progression. A long time ago, I realized that chord-based vertical-thinking music that mostly uses only Ionian and Aeolian church modes is not my way of composing. Polyphony that based on horizontal melody lines is better for me. Instead of chords, the structure of my music is based on a comparison in which what hears currently is compared to what has heard before. Therefore, melodies must be recognizable and memorable. On top of that, because my music is based on a Western musical tradition, it sounds familiar and it is OK.

In the early stages of the development of polydiatonism, I used church modes only. I chose my own church mode for each melody line. Along the duration of the composition, these melodies exchange the church modes with each other. In this way, they form larger architectural structures. Because the church modes or Diatonic Scales, use the Heptatonia Prima scale as their generic scale, I extended my composing method to the Heptatonia Secunda and Heptatonia Tertia scales, which are built according to the same principle (5 whole tones and 2 semitones).

Absolute music describes itself without outside influences. Polydiatonism includes the idea of autonomous music, with which is used to aim for absolute music. It is not possible to achieve perfect absolute music, but as close as possible one can get by forming rules that are based on the premise of music and take into account human cognitive limitations. This gives rise to the rules which are guiding composing and based on the idea of autonomous music. Strict adherence to the rules automatically results in absolute music.

I am grateful to receive your instructions for orchestration.
In Polydiatonism, the composer makes a "Binding" that is the composition itself. It shows the content and architectural structure of the composition. It is not made to be performed, but must be arranged as a score which can be performed. The arranger can be the composer himself or someone else. When arranging is done according to the rules of Polydiatonism, the arranger can be anyone. Thus, an unlimited number of arrangements can be made for different orchestra ensenbles or a computer from a single "Binding".
Thus, for example, Duntames is an arrangement which has done from the "Binding" Diunum T91.
As I develop as a arranger, I can make new arrangements from it.

There are several different methods of composing music. Their ideas and rules are different, so they cannot be compared to each other. The same problem has been with all composing styles in their early days. I think the biggest problem of understanding right now is probably with the composers who make graphic scores. I don’t compare myself to well-known composers. Nor do I compare Polydiatonism to Minimalism or Serialism, nor to any other style of composition. For me composing is a hobby.

Thank you very much for your advice.




It reminds me of Sibelius' famous Lemminkäinen Suite, there are some motivic similarities and even style between these two works. 

I don't know if it provided some inspiration for you after all he is your primary national composer. But I have to agree that after 4 to 5 minutes interest fades, perhaps because there are missing contrasting themes to keep the listener interested.

Hi Heikki.

Interesting work.

I'm not much into concepts and analysis. Let me say that it certainly conveys some emotional intricacy, but can't figure why polydiatonism should not include the idea of rest and differentiation in timbre and rhythm…

A pressure test, yes. For the listener it certainly is.


Hi Saul,

Thank you very much for your comment with the picture and music. They made me happy.

I haven’t consciously sought inspiration from Sibelius, but you’re probably right about the effect.
Sibelius is an important composer to us. As a child, we only had a radio, about which we only heard
two channels from the Finnish Broadcasting Corporation. There was quite a lot of Sibelius music
played there. It must have affected me.

I understand your comment about the loss of interest. In Polydiatonism, the structure of a
composition is made up of comparable parts, which I call Phases. The Phases are made up of musical
units that I call Fragments. They help me control the structure of the Phase.

The composition uses the heptatonic scale chosen for it as the generic scale. By using it are formed
the scale for each melody line of the composition in the same way the church modes are formed. At
scale rotation, these melody lines exchange their scales with each other, so the character of all
melodies changes.

The composition begins with an Index phase in which all the Fractions are presented in their basic
forms. Next come Comparison phases and the composition end in the Final phase. There are small
Transition phases between periods during which scale rotations and transpositions take place. Thus,
the character of the melody of each Comparison phase changes compared to what it was before. The
Comparison phases may be different in shape and size, but the basic difference between them
according to the Comparison principle comes from the scale rotations. The Final phase repeats the
Fractions of the Index phase in their original form. The number and order of Fractions may differ
from that in the Index phase.

Hope this somewhat explains the architectural form of the compositions of polydiatonism.

Arvostan sinun kommenttia. Kiitos.

Hi Fabio,

Thanks for your comment and good question.

When I compose I use in parallel top-down and bottom-up thecniques.

When composing, I use top-down and bottom-up techniques in parallel at the same time. It compress
the information. I may have gone too far, and I'm trying to improve my way.

Your comment was good, and I will keep that in mind from now on. Thank you.

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