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Please help me understand Beethoven (or counterpoint in general)

Hello Dear Forumers. :) Very happy to write my first post.

I'm an amateur and like to study works of classical masters to see how certain things are done and among other things I also try to grasp counterpoint theory and learn about species. Recently I listened and analysed the score of Beethoven's 9th symphony's 2nd movement molto vivace and was struck how the strings are written:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5favl2Qtx0

So when I looked at the score I could not grasp what is going on here because sometimes for example there are parallel thirds descending between two voices when another voice go opposite direction, sometimes the rhythm is hanging on one note, change of octavesetc. You can see the strings "bricks" in the video so you'll see what I mean. I can't understand how it is written, is it note against note counterpoint with rules broken? I have a hard time to figure out which voice is written against which voice if that makes sense. :)

I also have a side question for things like Bach:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Y_L0-aqLLs

I was taught by the materials that two voices should generally be in opposite direction or oblique motion for the best effect, but this uses parallel motions almost all the time from the beginning minus the leaps on every first note in the group. Bach's ear dictated this or are there other principles behind this?

Thank you.

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The subsidized part Ive read and am familiar with (IRCAM)  but I honestly really do find it hard to believe that the younger generation prefers to write tonal music.

They do and it's not my fault, because I couldn't care less :-)

I think this opinion is firstly heavily influenced by what kind of composing a person does...

Doesn't the same apply to you? And would it make any difference, if you're exercising a style that's going to disappear?

Again, I still think your take on this is from an outsider cursorily looking in, and not someone deeply entrenched in composing and performing 'modern music'..again, just my opinion. Please feel free to disagree.

I disagree. Still, the same goes for you. I'm getting a bit worried by now. Is it really that important that others except your style?

However when I ask to hear some of this when others have made such a claim, it usually never materializes or is sad to say not very well done, and in many ways lacking.

I wrote the modern stuff when I was young. And then I grew up and destroyed it :-)

I'm almost afraid to listen to your music now :-)

Daniel Zarb-Cousin said:

"It's very... interesting" is code for "I don't feel at all taken by it."  If the first thing people say about my music is that it is "interesting" or "different" to them, I will feel as though I have failed.



Mike Hewer said:

 The Morris is an excellent read and full of music from the literature rather than isolated footballs in 2 parts.

I already said that it also does affect me, but that I do spend hours each and every day to listening to newly composed music of all genres. So I am still hearing a broad spectrum of whats out there, of all kinds, and perhaps you might do the same just to get a fair opinion. Thanks.

I'm getting a bit worried by now. Is it really that important that others except your style?

No not at all, not in the least--accepting my style or music, or not is simply left to everyone to decide on their own--but if something you perceive such as this worries you, well maybe we'll end this discussion. It isnt worth worrying about Rowy.

I wrote the modern stuff when I was young. And then I grew up and destroyed it :-)

Grew up? Well thats a matter of opinion.LOL..however it usually ALWAYS goes this way, Rowy..many say, such as you that  they've done it, and then when pressed for examples, there's never anything to have a good listen to. Ah well, I expected it to be this. Thanks anyways.

Thanks for the discussion..lets leave it as this as you shouldnt worry about things, much less this. And its also off topic.

Thanks Bob https://soundcloud.com/bob-morabito



Rowy van Hest said:

The subsidized part Ive read and am familiar with (IRCAM)  but I honestly really do find it hard to believe that the younger generation prefers to write tonal music.

They do and it's not my fault, because I couldn't care less :-)

I think this opinion is firstly heavily influenced by what kind of composing a person does...

Doesn't the same apply to you? And would it make any difference, if you're exercising a style that's going to disappear?

Again, I still think your take on this is from an outsider cursorily looking in, and not someone deeply entrenched in composing and performing 'modern music'..again, just my opinion. Please feel free to disagree.

I disagree. Still, the same goes for you. I'm getting a bit worried by now. Is it really that important that others except your style?

However when I ask to hear some of this when others have made such a claim, it usually never materializes or is sad to say not very well done, and in many ways lacking.

I wrote the modern stuff when I was young. And then I grew up and destroyed it :-)

Hi Daniel-

I dont take it that way--simply that they find it interesting, or different. And I find it MUCH better to not think one has failed because of others opinions. Write what you feel, and stand by it.

Thanks Bob https://soundcloud.com/bob-morabito

PS hey Rowy..my God now youre afraid of THIS? You seem afraid of and worried by EVERYTHING!! LOL!!

Rowy van Hest said:

I'm almost afraid to listen to your music now :-)

Daniel Zarb-Cousin said:

"It's very... interesting" is code for "I don't feel at all taken by it."  If the first thing people say about my music is that it is "interesting" or "different" to them, I will feel as though I have failed.

Bob Morabito said:

[...] Write what you feel, and stand by it.

Hi Bob, just wanted say that despite all the things we disagree on, this is spot on. Composers should be sincere and write what they feel, rather than what they think others would like.  If they won't stand by it, then why write it in the first place?!  Life is far too short to be wasted on writing throwaway pieces.

+1

Thanks Bob https://soundcloud.com/bob-morabito

Mike Hewer said:

Great post Socrates and a priceless link.

I couldnt agree more H.S.-thanks :)

Thanks Bob https://soundcloud.com/bob-morabito

H. S. Teoh said:

Bob Morabito said:

[...] Write what you feel, and stand by it.

Hi Bob, just wanted say that despite all the things we disagree on, this is spot on. Composers should be sincere and write what they feel, rather than what they think others would like.  If they won't stand by it, then why write it in the first place?!  Life is far too short to be wasted on writing throwaway pieces.

And now you're being offensive. The more I was praised for my so called modern work, the more I wanted to destroy it and so I did. It was nothing more than "interesting" music and even as a young composer I knew that this kind of music is the Emperor's New Clothes. Back then people argued that in due time it would grow on the audience. That never happened. People got less interested, not more. That's why your style is not modern. So what?

If it is important to you, you should keep writing it. Perhaps it's therapeutic, or it just makes you feel good. I really don't care.

Bob Morabito said:

I wrote the modern stuff when I was young. And then I grew up and destroyed it :-)

Grew up? Well thats a matter of opinion.LOL..however it usually ALWAYS goes this way, Rowy..many say, such as you that  they've done it, and then when pressed for examples, there's never anything to have a good listen to. Ah well, I expected it to be this. Thanks anyways.

Rowy--no one is being offensive, at least not me..its a shame youre taking it that way, as it isnt intended.

I took your saying about "growing up and destroying the modern stuff"--as a joke--and joked back about it. But we really should end this discussion as I wrote before, as you seem to be getting upset over it.

And again if any of your serial or atonal work should surface Id very much appreciate hearing it.

Thanks Bob https://soundcloud.com/bob-morabito

And now you're being offensive. The more I was praised for my so called modern work, the more I wanted to destroy it and so I did. It was nothing more than "interesting" music and even as a young composer I knew that this kind of music is the Emperor's New Clothes. Back then people argued that in due time it would grow on the audience. That never happened. People got less interested, not more. That's why your style is not modern. So what?

If it is important to you, you should keep writing it. Perhaps it's therapeutic, or it just makes you feel good. I really don't care.

@ Mr. Zarb-Cousin

There are many things on this earth that are "ghastly and horrid" but I promise you none of them are sounds coming out of speakers or headphones.

When you do encounter things that are truly "ghastly and horrid", what words will you use?

@Ingo: why bother telling his ears what to think, if they truly find the sounds "ghastly and horrid"? It's not as though there is an objective measure of how "horrible" a sound is perceived by some random listener.

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