We Thank Thee (2.. min a cappella choir song)

This is the third number of the first act of my musical drama 'SO LONG MY MOTHER LAND' 

that I have finished complete sketching and still working on.

The lyrics belong to Ralph Waldo Emmerson.

The We thank thee repetition is developed at the end and the opera ends with it.

Cheers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTK0jnYyHEY

Ali

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Replies

  • Hello Ali,

    What an enjoyable piece.

    What's so remarkable is the beautiful harmony you give to a simple melody - rich, engaging, with some interesting turns in places like bar 46 giving it an unexpected turn (the phrase when you place the alto higher than the soprano); and some interesting appoggiaturas like the one in bars 67/68. Through the harmony the piece never gets boring.

    There are moments when I could have bluffed myself thinking I was listening to Palestrina and yet I am soon put right by the "modern" twists in the harmony. And it couldn't be missed - the final chord in its second inversion - nice one!

    All the best with filling out the rest of this work. You mentioned it runs for an hour. 

    Bests,

    Dane.

  • Hi Dane,

    It is a precious experience to read your comments either affirmative or critical.

    I am trying to explore what I can do with the vertical pitch groups.  I still yearn to be able to write

    something like Verklaerte...  Please find attached a thesis about Schoenberg harmony.  Very

    interesting indeed.  I took the second inversion ending from Schoenberg of course.  Nothing mine.

    It is always a pleasure to read how you express yourself in the English language.

    With my admiration.

    Ali


    Dane Aubrun said:

    Hello Ali,

    What an enjoyable piece.

    What's so remarkable is the beautiful harmony you give to a simple melody - rich, engaging, with some interesting turns in places like bar 46 giving it an unexpected turn (the phrase when you place the alto higher than the soprano); and some interesting appoggiaturas like the one in bars 67/68. Through the harmony the piece never gets boring.

    There are moments when I could have bluffed myself thinking I was listening to Palestrina and yet I am soon put right by the "modern" twists in the harmony. And it couldn't be missed - the final chord in its second inversion - nice one!

    All the best with filling out the rest of this work. You mentioned it runs for an hour. 

    Bests,

    Dane.

    1 Early Works of Arnold Schoenberg.pdf

    1 sch1.jpg

    We Thank Thee (2.. min a cappella choir song)
    This is the third number of the first act of my musical drama 'SO LONG MY MOTHER LAND'  that I have finished complete sketching and still working on.…
  • Hi Ali,

    Thank you for the Schönberg document. I'm wading my way through (but being a poor reader it'll take a little while). Interesting about his early work - and I will never deny the intense beauty of Verklärte Nacht. As I recall it took him quite some time to complete it because of his insistence it had to sound right and work technically although he had trouble with the Academy over some of his harmony. (My favourite recording of the String Orchestra version is Zubin Mehta's)

    I'm in agreement about an introductory statement - Schönberg being a Romantic in that I've regarded Verklärte as being basically tonal with a huge amount of chromatic appoggiaturas and I've avoided analysis it in case (for want of better words) it breaks the spell, the magic that makes it what it is. That happened to me a couple of times from which I learned a lesson. 

    I've learned an amount of theory but I' no theorist. "the tools employed for their extraction are less easily chosen as the structure governing the composition of Opus 4, for example, appears to be significantly more dissimilar to that
    governing Opus 20...." (page 1) "Tools for extraction?" And I wonder why people want to take a piece of music apart. To find out why it sounds like it does? How the composer did it? Does it fit a formula from which one can predict what his/her next work will be like? To replicate the composer's style? Could be any reason I suppose.

    As for pitch-class sets??? Whatever it is it's arrived after I learned what I needed from theory. Is it there for analysis or to aid a composer when writing? Perhaps both.

    Anyway, I shall read on. This is going to be fun!

    All the best,

    Dane

  • Hi Ali -

    I admire your ability to use simple rhythms, themes and orchestrations to make subtly interesting and appealing music. Your harmonies are a big part of this I feel, as Dane has pointed out, they are adventurous and creative without being extreme. Can you speak about your approach here, do you plan a harmonic approach in advance or allow your ear to guide you as you compose the music?

    Thank you for posting the Schoenberg materials. I understand basic theory fairly well and jazz harmonies somewhat but I have never progressed any further.  Dane raises some interesting questions about the use of theory by composers.  Theory is important to educators and students certainly as a means of learning. I hope to read the text you have given us here.

  • Hi Ingo,

    I do plan a harmonic approach roughly.  I have a sense of what I am up to.  Sometimes this is done instinctively based on the subject/lyrics I intend to.  Generally, I finally woke up to the idea that pitches are not coincidentally/ roughly put over each other.  A rough sense of dissonance vs consonance is not enough.

    >Can you speak about your approach here, do you plan a harmonic approach in advance or allow your ear to guide you as you compose the music?

    A general approach, as the destination of the sentence may be necessary.  Than a bass line or an urline is necessary.

    An idea of approach...  This is done by the help of ear.  It has to sound OK.

    https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-psychology/chapter/type...

    In contrast to explicit (conscious) memory, implicit (also called “unconscious” or “procedural”) memory involves procedures for completing actions. These actions develop with practice over time. ... Rehearsing for a dance or musical performance is another example of implicit memory. Everyday examples include remembering how to tie your shoes, drive a car, or ride a bicycle.

     

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/foresee-and-forget-how-t...

     prospective memory

    We need this prospective memory (also called memory for intentions) so we can remember to do things in the future in a timely manner.

    I have written a number of blog articles on the use of design and intuition in creating.  My approach is effected by two types of our memories. implicit remembering and prospective remembering.  I use both types of remembering to condition myself to target tasks and use subconscious unintentionally.

    https://www.slideshare.net/arsaral/20160308-ars-writing-large-music...

    https://www.slideshare.net/arsaral/human-assisted-computer-creativity

    http://alirizasaral.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-role-of-design-in-crea...

    http://alirizasaral.blogspot.com/2014/12/notes-on-interaction-of-su...

    http://largesystems-atc.blogspot.com/2013/05/bilincsiz-muhakeme-uze...

     

     

    The Role of Design in Creativity

     

    Some artists create spontenously some think ahead and even make roadmaps to reach the end of a creative process: the work.

     

    Spontenous creativity may make recursive walk throughs of the incomplete work.  Sometimes a breakthrough happens and you enter a creative space which you just imagine at one step or

    it is relatively easy to proceed.  Intuition is triggered by the minute steps of the creative process even by coincidence.

     

    Sometimes the creative process gets very slow and difficult and come to a halt.  The waiting period for a new beginning may take a few days or years in some cases.

     

    Large scale work creation, even sonatas, chamber music, are difficult to manage without seeing forward.  Musical structure helps the composer to keep a sense of direction while proceeding the

    creative process.

     

    Design helps the creator to do size scaling.  For example, selecting  a variations form enables you to increase the size as you wish.

     

    Design helps the composer to divide the heavy load to small pieces and concentrate on every and each section.  Design also enables the  composer to correlate  the small pieces and build up music that is  impossible for an individual to keep in mind as a whole.

     

    It helps to define the entities that build up the work.  This gives the possibility to observe the relative affect that arises when they come together.  

     

    The composer interacts with instrument players and singers through the score.  The design of instrumentation and characters in an opera is simply the design of interface between them.

     

    Design also enables the composer to set explicit intention and task set for the work.  The composer must know what he wants to get at at the beginning.  This increases the coordination of many elements of a complex art work.

     

    The timing, duration, flow of events in an opera, flow of information in an abstract music form, the characters, moods all can be designed.

     

    I have to take care of my ailing mother(90) and work on my musical.  I hope these references may provide some ideas.

    Cheers.

    Ali

    Types of Memory
  • Thank you Ali for the extended discussion and extra materials for study. Your experience and scholarship are useful and appreciated!

  • You bring up some pretty interesting points there, Ali.  Shame we can't all meet at an al-fresco somewhere to discuss them. I bet we could spend a few afternoons at it.

    Cheers.

  • Maybe we could arrange a ZOOM meeting, drinking coffees and other.  It would be nice.

    Actually a Composersforum social ZOOM meeting could even be...

    Cheers.

    Dane Aubrun said:

    You bring up some pretty interesting points there, Ali.  Shame we can't all meet at an al-fresco somewhere to discuss them. I bet we could spend a few afternoons at it.

    Cheers.

    We Thank Thee (2.. min a cappella choir song)
    This is the third number of the first act of my musical drama 'SO LONG MY MOTHER LAND'  that I have finished complete sketching and still working on.…
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