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Well that went horribly wrong plus counter poink - Printable Version

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Well that went horribly wrong plus counter poink - bigcat1969 - 08-31-2017

Since I've let you guys off easy recently and its pretty dead around here...

I listened to a lecture about passacaglias and thought that sounds interesting to have the same bassline and put things on top of it. I tried it an it isn't as easy as it looks if you have no idea what you are doing. I think I sprained an ear drum. Tongue

Have any of you guys tried anything like that? How do you do it?

RE: Well that went horribly wrong... - Paul Battersby - 08-31-2017

Here's something that might help:

Cheater's guide to counterpoint

If you want to go beyond that:

Counterpoint p1, p2

RE: Well that went horribly wrong... - bigcat1969 - 08-31-2017

Thanks Paul.

RE: Well that went horribly wrong... - Paul Battersby - 08-31-2017

I should add, "counterpoint" might sound like scary and advanced music theory, and it can be, but the video at the other end of that first link, makes some basic counterpoint very easy and very useful.

RE: Well that went horribly wrong... - Michael Willis - 09-01-2017

Honestly, I don't think that this went horribly wrong. At least the two parts are in fairly good harmony. I really think that you are doing the right thing; you're working on fundamentals, and most importantly you're regularly writing music.

If ever you get discouraged, consider this story (from the book Art and Fear):

Quote:The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the "quantity" group: fifty pound of pots rated an "A", forty pounds a "B", and so on. Those being graded on "quality", however, needed to produce only one pot - albeit a perfect one - to get an "A".

Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the "quantity" group was busily churning out piles of work - and learning from their mistakes - the "quality" group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.
Just keep making music!

P.S. For what it's worth, the Ode for Falling Down the Stairs is still easily my favorite of your works.

RE: Well that went horribly wrong... - bigcat1969 - 09-01-2017

Thanks Michael.

I've been taking a video music course and the teacher is talking about this Johann Sebastian fellow and playing his work. I keep thinking that sounds easy and giving it a whirl and it turns out Johann is making it sound easier than it is. But I'll keep on trying...

RE: Well that went horribly wrong... - bigcat1969 - 09-01-2017

Is it impolite to counter point?
Did I get any of this write? I tried to follow along and create some counter point...

RE: Well that went horribly wrong... - Paul Battersby - 09-01-2017

(09-01-2017, 03:05 PM)bigcat1969 Wrote: Did I get any of this write?

You got "write" wrong.  It should be "Did I get any of this right?" Big Grin

But seriously, as for the music some suggestions. What you have seems to fit together but
- it would be better to use something other than 2 pianos.
- it would help to vary the note duration more. Part of counter point is one melody plays while another holds a note. Sounds like most of the melody is all eighth notes.

Perhaps try this, spread the notes across the strings section instead of using 2 pianos, change the main melody to use more quarter and half notes among the eighth notes, then have the counter melody play while the main melody is holding notes and have the counter melody hold notes while the main melody is playing notes. I think that will make a huge difference.

RE: Well that went horribly wrong plus counter poink - Samulis - 09-01-2017

Start with a simple bassline for the Passacaglia. This is your "Cantus Firmus", or central idea. The cantus firmus provides an unelaborated basis on which counterpoint may be constructed. It's easiest to think of it as the bassline, but it often appears in a middle voice in traditional pieces of the period. This may be as simple as whole notes C, Bb, Ab, Bb... or this stunning example of a descending chromatic line (the first 57 seconds are an intro that "foreshadows" the motion of the piece, then you hear the solo bass play the line and the voice works over it).

Here's another example, this time with two voices in counterpoint. Notice where the voices move and where they float/stop.

Keep in mind Monteverdi was actually a rather contested composer at his time- accused of pushing the boundaries of dissonance and consonance too far! (just listen to that lovely floating major 2nd at 1:07)

More Monteverdi fun around 0:42 in this-

Basically never feel that what you're doing is too far "out"... because it ain't!

Go back a bit in time and check out this polyphony-

Notice that each and every voice enters with the same basic idea- whole note, then half note down a fifth, then back up. That makes the polyphony really work well with several voices.

Where's the homophony (when everyone moves rhythmically together but in harmony)? If you guessed 1:02 or 3:20, you'd be correct! It's always useful to mix in a bit of each writing to keep things from getting too wishy-washsy.

RE: Well that went horribly wrong plus counter poink - bigcat1969 - 09-02-2017

Thanks guys I shall heed this advice closely, but right now football...