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8 hours ago, vkxwz said:

If we are on the topic of harmony, why do different intervals sound the way they do in terms of dissonance / consonance? Seems like the more simple the ratio of 2 tones the less dissonant they sound together, except not exactly because it still sounds consonant if its slightly off a simple ratio, despite the actual ratio being not simple at all (for example in 12tet, a fifth isnt a perfect 3/2, but is very close) so whats up here? Could be closeness to simple ratios, or something else like the frequency of the interference pattern, which is definitely audible imo. Maybe someone here will have a much better understanding and will be able to explain it

If I remember correctly: intervals sound more dissonant if they excite the ear's basilar membrane in regions that are too close to each other. The closer the vibrations are, the more dissonant the perception of the interval.

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1 hour ago, IOS said:

If I remember correctly: intervals sound more dissonant if they excite the ear's basilar membrane in regions that are too close to each other. The closer the vibrations are, the more dissonant the perception of the interval.

That doesn't make sense to me, since you can come up with 2 2 note chords, the interval in the second set bigger than the interval in the first, but still have the second chord be more dissonant

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1 hour ago, vkxwz said:

That doesn't make sense to me, since you can come up with 2 2 note chords, the interval in the second set bigger than the interval in the first, but still have the second chord be more dissonant

because the dissonance isn’t just in the fundamental frequency but in all of the harmonics in each note. obviously the lower harmonics are going to be louder

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1 hour ago, vkxwz said:

That doesn't make sense to me, since you can come up with 2 2 note chords, the interval in the second set bigger than the interval in the first, but still have the second chord be more dissonant

What is the context here, i.e., what are the intervals you refer to? Are the sounds pure tones or are they more complex sounds with lots of partials e.g synth, piano etc? (if they are complex, there will be some clashing of partials; @nikisoko beat me to it)

 

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1 hour ago, nikisoko said:

this video explains it as clearly as possible-

 

Great video. "Notes that share a large number of overtones sound consonant..." I think that was kind of the missing link for me personally. I was trying to figure out why a minor ninth sounds dissonant even if using sine waves, which have no overtones. Those sine waves might "fall into" each others overtones series, and be consonant, or they might not, and be dissonant.

Actually this might also explain something that's been a mystery to me for years: Why does the augmented chord sound dissonant, while not having any dissonant intervals in it? It only has major third intervals (or inversions). I guess there just aren't enough overtones that all three notes have in common.

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18 hours ago, brian trageskin said:

that final chord sounds very unresolved for several reasons: the specific voicing is ambiguous, sounds more like G minor (its relative minor) than Bb major. also the previous phrase with the chromatically descending bassline builds up tension, which is then released by the Gsus chord, which then points towards its relative major (or resolves to G minor, depending on how you analyze it). super weak move, especially after the dramatic chords. the phrase sounds unfinished and ends on a bittersweet note, which is an unusual way to end a tune. 

 

all of your analysis is good and it’s impressive that you’re able to break things down like you do. 

however, I think some of the conclusion is unnecessary and subjective. how things build/resolve happens artistically, not necessarily according to the expectations of the rules. for instance, it’s not “unusual” to end something on a bittersweet note - why would this be unusual? why is is “super weak” to bring drama down like this? imo this has to do with the expectations of the listener, in your case someone desiring the music to proceed according to a progression that fits your interest in harmony. 
 

to me some of the “music theory” pedagogues could work on broadening the scope of their subjective insights. adam neely is decent at this, but not great. you can tell that he has a feel for things and is able to separate his feelings and describe them without identifying with them, which is a strength. 

Edited by Alcofribas
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Interesting topic.. When I think about harmony in music I think about the main singer mostly and not the music itself.. 

This I think is a great example of epic duo doing harmony
 


Harmony on top:
 

 

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What are the ethics of just stealing some chord progression if you like it?  :whistling:

I know some chord progressions are super common but what if you find something new and then just slap it on your own track? I guess it's at least legal because otherwise copyright claims would be flying left and right.

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6 minutes ago, zkom said:

What are the ethics of just stealing some chord progression if you like it?  :whistling:

I know some chord progressions are super common but what if you find something new and then just slap it on your own track? I guess it's at least legal because otherwise copyright claims would be flying left and right.

As far as I know this is totally legal and legit. Happens in jazz all the time (part of the tradition, even). Take the chord progression of a standard and write a new melody over it, or whatever. 

Beside that, 98% of all pop music nowadays seems to have the same chord progression (vi - IV - I - V) ugh lol 

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2 hours ago, Alcofribas said:

all of your analysis is good and it’s impressive that you’re able to break things down like you do. 

thanks but my analysis might be completely wrong or at least partially wrong, and there's nothing impressive about what i did. anyone with minimal knowledge of theory can do the same. plus it took me ages to figure out, so even less impressive, lol.

2 hours ago, Alcofribas said:

however, I think some of the conclusion is unnecessary and subjective. how things build/resolve happens artistically, not necessarily according to the expectations of the rules. for instance, it’s not “unusual” to end something on a bittersweet note - why would this be unusual? why is is “super weak” to bring drama down like this? imo this has to do with the expectations of the listener, in your case someone desiring the music to proceed according to a progression that fits your interest in harmony. 

good points. i didn't mean "weak" or "unusual" as a personal opinion but as an objective fact. 

the final Bb chord is the relative major of the previous chord, Gsus (jesus). a move from a major chord to its relative minor (and vice versa) sounds "weak" to the ear because they both share the same notes (apart from one note), which means there's no movement of the notes from one chord to the next. a C major triad in root position is just a rootless Am7, which is just a rootless Fmaj9, which is just a rootless Dm11, etc. - as a result, one chord simply restates the previous one, it's just more of the same. which doesn't sound very dramatic. hence why it's a "weak" move. used all the time in pop music because it has its benefits in 4-chord loops. 

and the ending is unusual not because it's bittersweet, but because it's both unresolved and bittersweet. many tunes end on a bittersweet note, many other tunes end on an unresolved chord, but not that many tunes end with a progression that sounds both unresolved and bittersweet, as far as i know. nothing to do with rules or expectations.

Edited by brian trageskin
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sure but I’m just pointing out that conceptually, “weakness” is not self-evident and does have to do with expectations imo. I do see what you’re saying but something is inherently weak just bc it doesn’t contribute something new to a progression. this could be a language issue though, perhaps you’re using the word very specifically. 
 

likewise, I think bittersweet and unresolved go together quite well - things in life are often bittersweet precisely bc they are left hanging or don’t develop. 
 

I think I see a lot of music analysis that makes judgements about a piece of music specifically in so far as the piece can be reduced to statements about the correspondence of the notes and chords. this is a valuable tool but imo does not adequately describe what a piece of music is, at least not music that takes place outside of the context of that particular way of understanding it. 

this is sort of along the lines of what toaaad mentioned earlier about how autechre uses western scales and harmony and thus can be evaluated by those standards. this is only partly true. autechre also employ a lot of techniques from hip hop for instance,  but it would not be entirely meaningful to judge their work from a hip hop perspective. Like, many people who love and are extremely knowledgeable about hip hop would dismiss autechre from even being considered hip hop, just as IME academic music snobs claim autechre isn’t even music. 

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1 hour ago, Alcofribas said:

toaaad mentioned earlier about how autechre uses western scales and harmony and thus can be evaluated by those standards.

Well... yes and no.

I evaluate certain tunes a certain way sometimes and other times not so much. Which actually is in line with your point I think. It's based on my own subjective experience and relationship to those sounds. I'm not sorting through every Ae track picking out the ones which are "correct" and which are not lol.  But rather when I hear a certain sound, it makes me feel a certain way, and sometimes I can break down why that is and sometimes it's not as easy or straightforward. Sometimes sounds and progressions that go against theory/tradition/even logic can sound wonderful and exciting. Sometimes not. And that part is all subjective - music is, at the end of the day, a subjective experience. So yeah I mean yes that series of posts started with me stating rather flippantly that they were doing something "wrong" or whatever, but that was more about them making statements that they "don't understand music" or whatever the quote was, fans placing them on a pedestal, and then the bare objective facts about what's happening in the music. I threw in a value judgment of my own because we all have those. I shouldn't have backed down on my point just because people felt threatened by that lol. Because I understand that everyone is going to interpret these sounds their own way: to me it sounds a certain way because of how my ear has developed over time, and in some cases I adjust to that sound and enjoy it, and other times I don't.

Certain notes/chords/progressions, resolutions or unresolved sounds, there are well established principles behind these that always relate back to the human ear and, going deeper, the harmonic series and all that. But I agree with your point that we can still interpret those in a myriad of unique ways, based on our own experiences and our own relationship to different sounds, built up over a lifetime (but which can also continue to change).

Edited by toaoaoad
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3 hours ago, cern said:

This I think is a great example of epic duo doing harmony

Yeah, S&G made some of the most powerful music ever, those vocal harmonies are just godly.

A nerdy detail in this Fleet Foxes song at 2:25-ish. All the vocals in the middle part of the track is in harmony, except for in the line "Why should I wait for anyone else" where the word "for" is sung in unison. It really fucking jumps out at you for that half second, great contrast in the arrangement.

 

Edited by psn
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@toaoaoad yeah man, I think our views are pretty similar, although I tend to be more contrarian I guess lol. 
 

it’s kinda like the notion that one must know the rules to break the rules. this has always functioned for me on the level of like a zen koan bc it’s obviously untrue. ofc, one can knowingly break the rules and make a piece with understanding of how the rules work and addressing them in a creative way, e.g. Glass’ “Music in Fifths.” but when I see how things don’t match up with the rules, or how traditional organization of the knowledge of sound is subverted I generally just try to accept it as a part of the experience of that piece. Like, I still struggle sometimes to even comprehend gamelan but I also really enjoy the way it sounds weird to me. 
 

idk, I’m really tired today. Prolly not making sense at this time. 

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Yeah! Speaking of tight vocal harmonies. The cluster chords and  frequent pitch perfect minor/major second intervals on display here is simply mindblowing. 

 

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7 minutes ago, psn said:

Yeah! Speaking of tight vocal harmonies. The cluster chords and  frequent pitch perfect minor/major second intervals on display here is simply mindblowing. 

 

fuckin a

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40 minutes ago, psn said:

Yeah! Speaking of tight vocal harmonies. The cluster chords and  frequent pitch perfect minor/major second intervals on display here is simply mindblowing. 

 

yeah that's fucking amazing.

waiting to hear the 'smoke that'-sounding part at the end of the song the two guys sing in some rap song in a few years

what in the fuck is happening at 14:00ish, that shit is scary

but to cool all the gushing, the piano player sucks :duckhunt:

49 minutes ago, Enthusiast said:

Can't beat a tight vocal harmony

i've got that record and it's been a while since i heard it but i believe the whole album is good.

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3 hours ago, Alcofribas said:

sure but I’m just pointing out that conceptually, “weakness” is not self-evident and does have to do with expectations imo. I do see what you’re saying but something is inherently weak just bc it doesn’t contribute something new to a progression. this could be a language issue though, perhaps you’re using the word very specifically. 
 

likewise, I think bittersweet and unresolved go together quite well - things in life are often bittersweet precisely bc they are left hanging or don’t develop. 

yeah i was refering to a specific concept when i said "weak". for example, rhythms alternate strong and weak beats. in functional harmony, some chords are considered strong, others weak, depending on the degree of movement and tension they introduce in relation to the tonic. turns out that the iii and vi chords are considered weak, because they have the same function as the tonic, since they share the same notes. they don't introduce much movement in relation to the tonic, hence the "weak" label. btw i forgot to mention this concept which is that chords with similar functions (because they're a major or minor 3rd apart, which means they share the same notes) can be used as substitutes for one another. so that Bb at the end of the tune is a substitute for G and vice versa, you can play one chord instead of the other and it doesn't change a thing.

functional-quality-functions.png

here's a pretty cool video about functional harmony if you're ever interested (not really for beginners though):

Spoiler

 

and the fact that the final vibe is bittersweet is unrelated to the unresolvedness of the progression. it just so happens that it's bittersweet on top of being unresolved. and yeah, i don't mean this is a bad way to end a tune, au contraire, it perfectly fits the vibe they were going for. i'm just saying it's not the most common way to end a tune.

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9 hours ago, nikisoko said:

because the dissonance isn’t just in the fundamental frequency but in all of the harmonics in each note. obviously the lower harmonics are going to be louder

yeah well my point still stands with sin waves

9 hours ago, IOS said:

What is the context here, i.e., what are the intervals you refer to? Are the sounds pure tones or are they more complex sounds with lots of partials e.g synth, piano etc? (if they are complex, there will be some clashing of partials; @nikisoko beat me to it)

 

C4 and G4, and then C4 and G#4

with sin waves only

the first part is less dissonant despite having a smaller gap in the freq between the 2 notes

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1 hour ago, vkxwz said:

yeah well my point still stands with sin waves

C4 and G4, and then C4 and G#4

with sin waves only

the first part is less dissonant despite having a smaller gap in the freq between the 2 notes

 So earlier I was referring to the sensation you get when two tones are so close to each other that you end up hearing 'beating'.

Agreed that an augmented fifth/minor sixth (C-G#) will sound more tense than a perfect fifth (C-G), but it also depends on the context. Of course, by the same token, a C-F# would be far more dissonant than a C-G.

Have a look at this article:

https://mutor-2.github.io/MUTOR/units/04.html

..which says amongst others that historically some intervals were perceived dissonant at first, but were gradually accepted as consonant.

Edited by IOS
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