Music Composers Unite!
I found this the other day and thought I'd post it for those who haven't seen it.
It's an archive of theory books that can be downloaded for free.
Here's the site...https://archive.org
There is an excellent filter and search engine in the music category. I found a few of my favourite text books easily enough including this for all you fugue geeks.....
It makes sense to me too. But then I have never successfully completed an atonal piece. :-D (Even though I do have some pretty wild ideas in sketch, including sketches of a theme that's completely made of glissandos - the whole piece is made of glissandos, in fact, with nary a steady tone. A "true atonal"! :-D (Yes I know that's not what "atonal" means, but it's an irresistable label.) And now that I think of it... perhaps fugal treatment might just be the ticket? :-D)
Another way to generalize the tonal answer might be to completely dispense with manipulating individual pitches altogether, and think of it from a "mood" perspective, with some chosen definition of "mood" specific to the piece. Perhaps the subject can be some kind of general melodic contour, and "tonal answer" (mood answer?) might be the same contour suitably distorted to represent a different mood?
Recently I was playing around with writing a quartertone piece, and now I'm wondering if quartertone distortion of a fugue subject might be yet another way of generalising the idea of a tonal answer.
This is the kind of analysis / exploration I enjoy -- strip away the externalities and superficial guises of fixed formulas like I-V subject/answer schemes, or specific rules about altering this pitch or that, and look at the essence of things from a motivational / underlying principle POV. I find that often, once you look past the letter of fussy rules and prescribed procedures you're left with general principles that can be applied in brand new ways you wouldn't have thought of before. It's a kind of like seeing the forest rather than individual trees, to use a tired analogy.
Oh, an as a kind of tangent, has anybody else noticed that in Schoenberg's strict serialism, one can see a generalized form of fugue in action? Your tone row is your "fugue subject", and its various transformations are your "fugue devices", and each time you use a tone row that's an "entry". Well, OK, perhaps strict serialism is more like a canon (no "counterpoint" outside of the "subject"), whereas freer forms of serialism could be considered as fugue-like (tone row "entries" interspersed with "free counterpoint" and "episodes").
Of course, serialism is much more than just a generalized version of fugue. I just thought it was interesting to see how it subsumes fugal ideas, among other things.
I was dabbling in a quartertone composition that is sortof like a distorted extension of traditional harmony, i.e., where the "out-of-tune" sound is deliberate. Unrelated to serial techniques, though. I haven't really delved deep enough to be able to come up with some underpinning system of organization just yet -- just "playing it by ear" right now.
I haven't experimented with atonal music at all, so I don't have much to say there.
Oh No...not more books!