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musicality degree zero


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9 hours ago, brian trageskin said:

what do you mean exactly? 

Well if you take  C major scale for example you have D dorian E phrygian etc which are all related modes of C ionian/ major w/e. I always just called the first mode the home mode or master mode idk if that makes sense.

So i was wondering what the master mode here which all the other modes are related to. Or are they not related at all ? key signature wise.

10 hours ago, brian trageskin said:

what do you mean by repeats? 

If there is a pattern that repeats or if its really just 1 min long without any pattern repeats.

But the mid really helps visualize this at least, thanks.

 

 I always wonder which theory books squarepusher has read.

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14 minutes ago, Wunderbar said:

Well if you take  C major scale for example you have D dorian E phrygian etc which are all related modes of C ionian/ major w/e. I always just called the first mode the home mode or master mode idk if that makes sense.

So i was wondering what the master mode here which all the other modes are related to. Or are they not related at all ? key signature wise.

I guess the master mode would be C# aeolian? Something as aggressively chromatic as this is not going to stay in the mode at all though. It would make more sense to just say it's in the key of C# minor. Although I guess thinking in terms of a master mode helps to spot the unaltered scale degrees. The original C#m is then the I chord, the F#m (third chord) is the IV, the second chord is a C#7b9 in disguise (Dmin/maj7), resolving to that F#m. The first four chords could be understood as

C#m - C#7b9/D - F#m - Ab7+/C

(The last chords doesn't actually have a Ab in it - we could also just agree that Cmaj b5 resolves to C#m.)

Or even more simplified it looks like C#m - C#7 - F#m - Ab7, which looks like pretty standard functional harmony. Interestingly enough, he uses these four by themselves, repeatedly, right after the intro, so they form a sort of an A section - So you do get to hear that tricky deceptive cadence resolve naturally.

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All right, I gave it a whirl:

I took a couple of liberties, especially in the Ab11/Eb chord which doesn't have an Ab in it but I felt it had to be conveyed that it is a cadence with proper resolution. Also, just by listening to it, it's obvious that he's breaking some rule of regular old (jazz) harmony, so we might as well try to highlight that he's adding an 11 to a major (dominant) chord. Or at least it has the sound of what happens when you do that.

I don't know if the musical notation helps... it helps me.

plotinus.png

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hahaha, brilliant! 

btw, one thing i didn't mention is that i changed the voicings of the phrygian cadence a little bit so that it's easier to play on the keyboard. i simplified the chords, as the original ones were a bit of a pain to play. too many notes iirc. 

we should get in touch with tom j and show this to him, see what he has to say. which is probably something along the lines of "i came up with this progression completely randomly while tripping on shrooms, you guys are nuts lmao".

Edited by brian trageskin
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1 hour ago, brian trageskin said:

hahaha, brilliant! 

btw, one thing i didn't mention is that i changed the voicings of the phrygian cadence a little bit so that it's easier to play on the keyboard. i simplified the chords, as the original ones were a bit of a pain to play. too many notes iirc. 

we should get in touch with tom j and show this to him, see what he has to say. which is probably something along the lines of "i came up with this progression completely randomly while tripping on shrooms, you guys are nuts lmao".

LOL! Yeah probably!

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7 hours ago, Wunderbar said:

Well if you take  C major scale for example you have D dorian E phrygian etc which are all related modes of C ionian/ major w/e. I always just called the first mode the home mode or master mode idk if that makes sense.

So i was wondering what the master mode here which all the other modes are related to. Or are they not related at all ? key signature wise.

well, the progression modulates quite a bit, more or less depending on how you analyze it. i'd love to give it another go but i'd need silence to concentrate and i don't have that right now. maybe you could ask artificialdisco. i'd be curious to see what he comes up with. 

in the meantime, all i can say is the progression pretty much goes from place to place by connecting stable chords that function as temporary tonics, with unstable ones, that function as dominants. if that makes sense. so there's this constant tension/resolution thing going on. one way to analyze it is to say that the stable chords are target chords, the ones that squarepusher wanted to reach, and the unstable ones serve to reach them, creating fluid movement with good voice leading in the process, while adding tension. unstable chords are directional, meaning they point towards certain directions. they're great to create movement. the focus here being on voice leading. 

jacob collier talks about this in interviews. basically, the idea is this: take a chord, any chord. that chord is where you're at. take a different chord. that's your destination. all you have to do now is decide how you wanna go from a to b. there's literally an infinite number of options. one could argue that the language of jazz (and improvised music in general) is entirely based on this simple principle. you wanna get from one place to the next. 

as a side note, you can add more than one chord between a and b. hell, you can make a whole trip to get there. i can't remember who it was but i saw a video where the guy explains how chopin's prelude in e minor is basically a long trip to get from a to b. point a to point b, not the key of a and the key of b. lol.

7 hours ago, Wunderbar said:

If there is a pattern that repeats or if its really just 1 min long without any pattern repeats.

the phrygian dominant cadence repeats the tonic chord, only inverted. other than that, no repetition.

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41 minutes ago, brian trageskin said:

one way to analyze it is to say that the stable chords are target chords, the ones that squarepusher wanted to reach

i just realized i have a problem with this claim, lol.

i mean there's no way for me to know how he came up with this progression, maybe he just played C# minor and improvised chord changes from there, simply focusing on good voice leading. but at the end of the day, it's not that important. my goal was to introduce wunderbar to a concept i assume he hasn't heard about, even if this has nothing to do with the progression. knowing the destination will get you far! that's basically how cadences work btw.

 

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1 hour ago, brian trageskin said:

i saw a video where the guy explains how chopin's prelude in e minor is basically a long trip to get from a to b.

i just remembered the guy used this piece as an example of deceptive cadence, claiming it's one long deceptive cadence. no one gives a shit but i thought it was worth mentioning, as artificialdisco talked about that earlier. 

i'll fuck off now. 

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1 hour ago, brian trageskin said:

i just remembered the guy used this piece as an example of deceptive cadence, claiming it's one long deceptive cadence. no one gives a shit but i thought it was worth mentioning, as artificialdisco talked about that earlier. 

the video is a ted talk by benjamin zander, who's a conductor. it's quite a cringy video tbh, and he sucks at piano, which is quite hilarious considering he was trying to make a point. actually he doesn't say it's one long deceptive cadence, he says it ends with one. 

this is completely off topic but i noticed that every time i'm making one of these monologues on watmm, i get tunnel vision, i get lost in my thoughts and end up posting stuff i didn't necessarily mean to. partly because i'm not very good at english so i need to check translations every 2 minutes, partly because my mind is a mess, partly because i'm an idiot who thinks that being more knowledgeable than someone else about a specific topic equals "whatever theory i come up with, i'm right". lol. every time i do this, i reread my posts and think "well, that's a load of shit". lol. 

imma print this post and use it as a tissue to dry my tears of cringe. lol.

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1 hour ago, ArtificialDisco said:

Not cringey at all, and most of it is on point. I think most people just have a hard time following along, myself included sometimes. Besides, I don't think I have much to add.

if you, yourself, have a hard time following me at times, that probably means i'm being too vague and what i said is wrong or doesn't make much sense. imo. i tend to forget that my understanding of theory is actually very limited. 

anyway, target chords are cool. target notes are even cooler imo. that's my message to wunderbar hehe. don't pay too much attention to what i say, i don't know what i'm talking about most of the time. 

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2 hours ago, brian trageskin said:

if you, yourself, have a hard time following me at times, that probably means i'm being too vague and what i said is wrong or doesn't make much sense. imo. 

No, it's more like the sheer volume of it. Sometimes I read something by you and by the time I've finished mulling it over you've written three more posts, haha. I also think you are generally being way too hard on yourself. I don't remember reading anything by you that was blatantly wrong or misguided.

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well, my description of target chords was accurate, i guess. the problem is i introduced the idea that maybe squarepusher used them to write this progression, and well, i pulled that out of my ass. besides, it's highly unlikely that's how he came up with this progression. and more importantly, i don't care how he came up with it, my focus here is to understand how the chords behave and make sense of them. 

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50 minutes ago, brian trageskin said:

well, my description of target chords was accurate, i guess. the problem is i introduced the idea that maybe squarepusher used them to write this progression, and well, i pulled that out of my ass. besides, it's highly unlikely that's how he came up with this progression. and more importantly, i don't care how he came up with it, my focus here is to understand how the chords behave and make sense of them. 

Yes and it's an apt description. One way or another he is thinking in terms of tension / resolution and going from one place to another, and the ever-present cadence is all over the place, although it's hidden in chords that don't look like it. Whether the composer is doing this deliberately or is just kind of "feeling himself" through it doesn't matter that much, he's still operating off of nerve endings that are sensitive to harmonic tendencies,

Besides, Squarepusher is definitely a theory geek. I've heard him namedrop everyone from Messiaen to Frank Zappa as being influences (and he pronounces it mess-eye-an, lol).

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8 hours ago, Wunderbar said:

https://musictheory.pugetsound.edu/mt21c/Retardation.html

 

 i feel like he he used a lot of this.

@ArtificialDisco

U have any formal training in this stuff ?

 

I really like 12tones youtube channnel on brushing up on musictheory. U guys recommend anything else?

i had never heard the term retardation. apparently, it's a suspension that resolves upwards, instead of downwards: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonchord_tone#Suspension - which isn't what happens in plotinus.

12tone's channel is nice! other youtube channels i like are adam neely's, 8-bit music theory (video game music theory), david bruce composer, aimee nolte (jazz). rick beato's channel sucks nowadays but his old videos on modes and film music were nice.

not that anyone here gives a shit about barry harris but there are 3 channels solely dedicated to exploring 6th diminished scales and barry harris' concepts: isaac raz, things i've learned from barry harris (that's the actual name of the channel lol) and the labyrinth of limitations (who made an app based on barry's concepts). all fascinating stuff, although i've only scratched the surface. 

 

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21 hours ago, Wunderbar said:

https://musictheory.pugetsound.edu/mt21c/Retardation.html

 

 i feel like he he used a lot of this.

@ArtificialDisco

U have any formal training in this stuff ?

 

I really like 12tones youtube channnel on brushing up on musictheory. U guys recommend anything else?

I did go to what passes for a conservatory in Reykjavík to learn to play jazz trumpet. I went through about two years' worth of jazz harmonic theory.

I don't know which channels are best to explore this. I can just vouch for the ones Brian recommended. I used to find Adam Neely really annoying, but I've been warming up to him. He did a very nice analysis of a Jimi Hendrix song which was both on point and sort of sensitive to the actual music, which I liked a lot.

I also watched this recently: 

Very accurate and immediately practical. And deals with repetition as an important musical thing, which I don't see that often.

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