Composers' Forum

Music Composers Unite!

What is it's emotional function today? Also, can someone better explain me how harmonic series relate to progression interpretation?

Views: 329

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I'm not sure these are relevant questions, unless you are in school and are learning to do this stuff. Do you mean circle of fifths instead harmonic series? 

To me, a chord by itself doesn't have any real emotional value. It's the chords around it that give it meaning. It's the way voices lead into it and away from it that give it emotion. Sure, chords tend to have a certain 'flavor', but it depends more on how you use them. 

The problem with music theory is that it's a bunch of rules that tell you not to do certain thing because those things have always been done a certain way. You need to know those rules to survive in school. Out in the real world, it just depends on what you want to do with your music. 

Try it yourself. Write some progressions that use a 7dim. See if you can come up with any possible use for it. Describe what the progression does for you if you find a combination you like. Unless your teacher is looking for a textbook answer, your answer will have far more value to you than the book. 

I consider it basically a VDom7 chord, missing the root.  However, it is not a very strong progression without the root, so most typically/effectively(?) it is used as a passing voice harmony to transition between similar chords (I to I6, or a series of chords over a pedal bass, say)

Create music. Don't worry about rules. 

Lucas, on your original question, I would recommend taking a quick course in harmony since you are interested in this function.

I think if someone is serious about music, all those 'rules'  are at the least very interesting and at the most extremely helpful to a musician/composer. But it's always easy to ignore them too, it's a choice.

Did that put-down make you feel better?

John Driscoll said:

If your goal is amateurism, this is good advice.

michael diemer said:

Create music. Don't worry about rules. 

Learn the rules, then break them.

Lucas doesn't seem interested in clarifying his question.

Those of us who grew up steeped in Western culture music, already have a grasp of what it sounds like. Plenty of people who have no music training get a DAW and write really good stuff. They write what sounds good. Which is what composers have always done. Then someone comes along later and figures out how they did it. Baroque composers tended to do things the same way. Classical composers changed it up. And so forth. 

Amateurism has more to do with lack of talent than what rules you follow. We could all be better composers. But following the rules is no guaranty that our music will be better. I know people who can write in a particular style and follow all the rules to the max. Yet their music is uninspired. 

To clarify "Learn the rules, then break them:" by example:

In art, consider Picasso.  His early work showed not only a competence, but a mastery, of conventional drawing and painting.  It was from the basis of that mastery that he went on to make his radical innovations in art.

In music, consider John Coltrane. His early works showed not only a competence, but a mastery, of conventional mainstream cocktail-lounge type jazz. It was from the basis of that mastery that he went on to make his radical innovations in jazz.

Sure, learn the rules. They explain why our music sounds the way it does. There are those who learned the rules and combined them with incredible talent to create something better.

Looking at Picasso's early work, it's hard for me to determine that he had a firm grasp of the rules, before he threw them out pretty much altogether. But that's just my opinion. I don't care for his work in the least. Don't care for Coltrane, or jazz.

Michelangelo learned the rules. Before he was 30, he had created two of the most famous sculptures on the planet. 

None of the above are an argument for or against learning the rules. Rules without the spark of imagination and talent won't go far. 

But unbridled imagination leads to things like 4'33". 

Music and art are so subjective. So many paths to the goal. And so many goals.

Actually, he created both those sculptures by breaking the standard rules established by previous Italian Renaissance artists.  The rule was that you didn't make a statue of David alone without including the severed head of Goliath, but Michelangelo's David is without it -- that is, a David tense before the fight rather than victorious after it, which was against the iconographic rule.  And the rule was that in a pieta you showed Mary as middle aged; Michaelangelo's pieta portrays her as very youthful.

I was just being honest and accurate.  I assume you are not a professional composer?

michael diemer said:

Did that put-down make you feel better?

John Driscoll said:

If your goal is amateurism, this is good advice.

michael diemer said:

Create music. Don't worry about rules. 

Actually, there is no such thing as "rules" in music. There is "theory", which in large part is there to explain musical phenomena, not the other way around...

To answer the OP's question, yes! The VII is a dominant in both major and minor tonalities, but more appropriately called a supra-dominant. Similar to how the iii is supra-tonic and the II a supra-subdominant. I don't often like to recommend my own work, but if you want to learn all the basics you could do a Google search for the Octatonic System of Tonal Organization, it's widely available as a free download and it explains all the "tonal" stuff in a few short chapters. You don't (must not) read the whole thing, it's an academic thesis and it goes on for ever...! Just read the first part.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Sign up info

Read before you sign up to find out what the requirements are!

Store

© 2019   Created by Gav Brown.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service