Hello everybody.

This is a piece that I just composed:

https://soundcloud.com/ramon-capsada-blanch/walking-by-four-note-chords

Thanks for listening !

Ramon

 

If you want, you can also read the following introductory note to the work:

 

Walking by four-note chords.

This work can be considered a continuation (or a second track of the same album) of one of my previous works "Parsimonious Trichords" ( https://soundcloud.com/ramon-capsada-blanch/parsimonious-trichords).
This is the case since in the elaboration of its harmonies I have followed the same line of work but taking one more step in the current work. In the harmony of the two works I have used the Tonnetz. This comes from the German term "Tonnetzwerk" which means network of tones. The prototypical case is the one that is formed by the major and minor chords (of three notes) organized in such a way that those that are contiguous only differ by a single note (with only a semitone or tone of difference) and on this network we can go chaining the chords following different itineraries or paths thus defining the harmonic progression. In the work "Parsimonious Trichords" I used this Tonnetz with three-note chords. The present work tries to go a step further and use four-note chords to define the Tonnetz. To achieve this I have applied the ideas developed by Dmitri Tymoczko in his excellent article "The Generalized Tonnetz" (http://dmitri.mycpanel.princeton.edu/tonnetzes.pdf). The objective will be the same: to get a network that organizes the chords (in this case of four notes) in such a way that those that are contiguous continue to be differentiated by a single note. In this case, to achieve this, it is necessary to use 12 chords of dominant seventh, 12 chords of half-diminished seventh, 12 chords of minor seventh and 6 chords of French sixth. To achieve To achieve the harmonic progression, on this network of chords I have defined 7 itineraries (one for each part of the work) of the so-called Hamiltonians, which means that they go through all 42 Tonnetz chords once and only once. As can be assumed, the chord succession that is achieved is also very parsimonious in the sense that there is very little variation between a chord and the one that follows it.

The work of creating the Tonnetz of four-note chords and as well as the elaboration of the itineraries I have done it by programming a series of algorithms in Python language.

Regarding the rhythmic aspect of the work, I have used an archetype: the rhythmic "motif of the walker" (half, quarter, quarter) for two reasons: one, which is quite evident, to reinforce the concept of itinerary or path and the other as a small tribute to the recently published book "Paisajes del Romanticismo musical" by the composer and theorist Benet Casablancas since it is one of the many characteristics that he analyzes about the music of the Romantic period.

For all these reasons, the exhaustive title of this work could have been "Walking through the Hamiltonian itineraries of the graph (of minimal variation) of four-note chords." which I have not dared to use for obvious reasons.

Regarding the interpretation, it should be said that it is done through NotePerformer playback engine.

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Replies

  • Hi, Ramon,

    I liked the work; read your technical note while listening but made no attempt to relate the music to the underlying technical.

    It had (impressionistically) a surreal cast with which I'm comfortable and happier to interpret that way - moving in and out of a mist, sometimes a hint of tonal centre, then disappearing behind questionable tonality. At some points it came over as veiled 'lounge' piano.  The fade-out, gradually deepening. quietening, let it disappear as if gone finally behind that mist leaving me surronded by a luminous dark.

    Well done, and an exceptional piece of rendering.

    Cheers.

     

    • Thank you very much Dane for your kind comment.

      Certainly it is not necessary to use the technical note, that I have written about the work, to listen to it, understand it and enjoy it.  I consider these technical notes as a summary of the little research that I have done in order to compose the work, in case it may be of interest for itself.

      I have loved the personal description you have made of my work and that it has caused you these feelings that you describe so well.

      I have also listened (several times in recent days) to your work "Music for Orchestra 7" and I have found it charming and very pleasant to listen to. I will detail it more in a comment that I will write in your "Discussion".

  • Would you mind if I share your link of your melody to my friends from musescore community (https://musescore.com/community)?

    Musicians online community | Musical articles and discussions | Musescore.com
    Musicians online community: Discussions and articles about music, composers, arrangements, instruments, and playing techniques.
    • Hi Patrick,
      Of course I would like for you to share it, so you help spread my work.

  • Ramon this is a satisfying and enjoyable piece.  I'm always a little suspicious of programmed music (maybe this piece doesn't fit that definition) but I would not have thought in those terms if I hadn't read your explanation of your method.  The harmony is fascinating, always moving and leading us forward but never resolving which should be frustrating to traditional ears but that certainly didn't happen to me.  I think the reason for that is your skillful phrasing which is what makes this piece musical.  I wondered how you could possibly end this but the descending fade out worked perfectly. Thank you for posting.

    • Hi Ingo.

      Thank you very much for listening to my music and reflecting on it.

      I find your comments very pertinent and insightful.  In a sense, it can be considered programmed music insofar as it strictly follows the chain of chords that are created in the Tonnetz, but only as far as harmony is concerned.  And it is true that this succession of chords does not follow the scheme of functional harmony with its cadences of resolution.  It achieves its coherence from the large amount of information in common that consecutive chords have.  That at the same time, this repeated common information could cause an excessive monotony and to overcome it is where the varied and changing phrasing comes into play, as you have correctly observed. The downward fading ending (along with the walker's rhythm as well) is meant to signify the infinite length of these chord paths as they are placed on a "Mobius strip" which is one of the structures on which these Tonnetz are based.

      Un Saludo.

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