Minor cadences?

Comments and questions about Interval Loader.
abminor
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Postby abminor » Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:05 am


TS
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Postby TS » Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:44 am


abminor
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Postby abminor » Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:13 pm


Space
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Postby Space » Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:59 pm

Whoa! This is gettin' outta hand...and confusing. The moveable Do solfege I use is very much like a kind of tonal based AP. The pitches are heard as independent scale degrees without the need to internally 'reference' them to the tonic pitch. I suppose some kind of reference is happening but it seems to occur at an unconscious level (and seemingly instantaneously, though I know it takes time for neurotransmitters to do their transmitting :P). Consciously I just hear a note and it sounds like a particular degree and that's that. I don't have to consciously compare it to the tonic note or any other note. As long as my mind is 'in key', the notes all take on scale degree qualities based on that key.

As far as this 'keyality' vs 'tonality', I get the description but I'm lost as the validity of it. To me, the relationship between Eb major and C minor is purely theoretical. Technically, the two keys have the same notes. Aurally, they're worlds apart. They have two totally different tonal centers and two different scale degree sequences. It assumes somehow that Eb major 'makes' C minor - like Eb major is a kind of 'root' of C minor. But *C* is the root of C minor. If your ear is truly hearing in C minor, the note Eb will always sound like a m3rd - nothing like a root; nothing like 'Do' or a tonal center.

The presence of the same pitches makes it easier to modulate between a major key and its so-called relative minor, but once in the relative minor, that's the key you're in - you're no longer in the major key.

If you're saying 'keyality' is just a way of saying that C major has the same notes as D dorian, E phrygian, etc. I get that. But to say that, if you had a piece of music entirely in E phrygian (like a lot of heavy metal music), you're somehow hearing that as being 'born' out of C major, no way. I don't buy it.

To put it a simpler way (I hope), the tonal center of D dorian is D, not C. You wouldn't be waiting for D dorian to 'resolve' to C major in a piece of music in D dorian.

I get everything. It makes sense on paper but it doesn't make sense to my ear...the way I actually hear music.

Rob

petew83
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Postby petew83 » Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:11 pm

la-based minor solfege is interesting because of the way it 'connects' to the do-based scale, and the 2 are so often battling for dominance in a song, even co-existing sometimes. It would give each note 2 functions with the same name, emphasizing the duality.

One problem with the 'do'-based minor...every note feels different relatively when in the minor scale (vs major), so it seems wrong to have the same name, for example 'fa', while not possessing the same quality. Play 'a minor' scale, then hit 'd'. Then play the 'a-major' scale, then hit 'd'. Both notes could be called 'fa' but they certainly don't feel the same. In the former the 'd' naturally goes up, while in the latter the 'd' naturally goes down, generally speaking.

Using 'do' for both is certainlty a much simpler, straight-forward method, but of course it hides certain nuances.

Space
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Postby Space » Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:11 pm

I can't completely disagree. The degrees have subtle differences based on the intervallic relationships between the pitches in different scales. Earlier I was describing the difference between the 6th degree in major and dorian, and your description of the 4th degree is another good example.

However, there's a ridiculous number of possible scales beyond the major scale and its modes, the harmonic minor and its modes, etc. There're scales like harmonic major, whole tone, diminished, natural minor and their modes. How would you define those? I just think it's simpler to remain with one basic system.

TS
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Postby TS » Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:40 am


Wade
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Postby Wade » Tue Apr 14, 2009 4:14 pm


Space
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Postby Space » Thu Apr 16, 2009 3:58 pm

Actually, if you get into the harmonic overtone series and search for the basis of our western scale to begin with a lot of things don't add up. The minor key itself doesn't seem to have (in my opinion) a natural basis in the order of things.

The natural minor 3rd is a 6/5 ratio which is the relationship between the 6th and 5th overtones in the series. There is a kind of minor 3rd that's a 19/16 ratio occuring in the 5th octave of the overtone series but most people can't hear that octave. Even throat singers draw there melody notes from the 4th octave.

The discrepancies between how our ears respond to the western chromatic scale and the natural harmonic overtone series is odd. I want to believe that somehow our western tonal system is related to the overtone series (the notes are of course, but the way we experience melodic and harmonic movement is only very slightly), but if you think about it, there isn't such a thing as a V7-I cadence in the overtone series. The overtone series actually contains a dom7 chord in the 3rd octave (overtones 4, 5, 6 and 7), yet sounds totally stable. It doesn't want to 'resolve'.

Rob

TS
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Postby TS » Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:39 am

The harmonic series is just a big misunderstanding. Two tones on a piano are not consonant or dissonant because of the order in which they appear in some arbitrary series, they are consonant or dissonant because of how their overtones fit together to avoid or create beats or roughness.

Here is a good explanation:
http://eceserv0.ece.wisc.edu/~sethares/consemi.html

Sleeper
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Postby Sleeper » Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:05 pm

That's kind of profound. I've only ever heard of the laws of harmony explained as axioms: That the human brain likes hearing frequencies of simple rational number ratios together. (and equal temperament works as an approximation to that)

It just so happens, I guess, that most natural musical instruments produce notes with harmonics of integer multiples of the fundamental.

I guess I'm still a little skeptical of the two sine waves dissonance curve. It's really that featureless? I'd like to be able to do that experiment myself to see if I'd agree. There's a link to a java program that maybe is supposed to do that, among other things, but I can't get it to work.

If so, the implication seems to be that with pure sine waves, you could have just about any two notes (at least once you get over that one dissonant hump at about a minor second) whatsoever in harmony together.

That might explain another bit of AP lore: That some people with AP don't hear a tritone as a tritone but just as two notes. If there really is no dissonance between the fundamentals themselves, and if the subjects have AP because they are perceiving things at a low level, they might only be hearing the two fundamentals and ignoring everything else. That sounds a little odd at first, but I think people (meaning, just about everyone, including non-musicians) who have grown up with equal temperament have learned to ignore a certain level of out of tune harmonics.


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