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Old 12-12-2012, 10:50 PM   #21
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Yeah. I think it's accessible enough for anyone if they know basic music concepts and what they sound like. The upcoming in-depth harmonic analysis might not be.
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:55 AM   #22
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This is cool. Reminds me a lot of the analysis papers I wrote in my theory classes.

I remember doing a few Beethoven Piano sonatas - those were a lot of fun. It's fun to see a thread here that isn't about splitting hairs on trivial, novice bs (like modes), but a good discussion about the most integral part of music (form) is a much more enjoyable read.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:06 AM   #23
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Where are the Wagnerians?
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:09 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by chronowarp
It's fun to see a thread here that isn't about splitting hairs on trivial, novice bs (like modes), but a good discussion about the most integral part of music (form) is a much more enjoyable read.

Not quite sure what you mean by this.

You are more than welcome to comment/discuss form and anything else here. I welcome discussion and this thread isn't meant to be a one way street. But I disagree that form is the most integral part of music. It is certainly important, but as I stressed in the OP, I believe coherent flow is the most important. Good form by itself is not compelling or difficult to achieve.
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:16 PM   #25
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In all the content ever posted on this forum...what do you think is an integral part of analysis that is almost never discussed?

...Form

So props to you, friend. Keep it up. What I meant by my post is: It's nice to see an actual discussion and dissertation of MUSIC, rather than someone splitting hairs over how you define a collection of 7 notes.
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:21 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by chronowarp
In all the content ever posted on this forum...what do you think is an integral part of analysis that is almost never discussed?

...Form

So props to you, friend.

Well, sure, but that is a culturally specific concern. Prog rock/metal, for example, has no consideration for coherent form. I guess I still don't understand if your initial statement was a criticism or pointing out that it's good I talked about form.

But what is universal is the need to have good flow and issue of "creative blockage". That's what this is really intended to address. Yes, lots of aspects of music go unmentioned here, but that's mostly because there is such an overhwelming concern about scales. In other words, we can't even get pass the concept of basic alphabet, let alone discuss the literature.

But here we are, going beyond the alphabet for anyone who cares enough to.
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:59 PM   #27
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Form and flow go hand in hand. Without flow any form will fail. To me flow serves to support form, as does a number of other elements, but flow is just a part of an overall formal concept. I have to agree with chronowarp that form is the most integral element of music, and I disagree with Xiaoxi that good form is easy to achieve. Clear, coherent form is the most difficult thing in writing music and the biggest thing that novice composers are missing. Form is so much more than just ABA or T1-T2-Devel-Recap.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:02 PM   #28
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When I think about form...I think about this one Leonard Bernstein quote. It was about how he viewed Beethoven as the MASTER of form & motif, and for that mastery of form his music was an incredible. It wasn't that he had an incredible sense of melody or harmony (though obviously he was great at both), but it was his mastery of form that really made him something else.

I think it might be in this series of videos, which is great, but be careful, I think he says the word mode a few times.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:16 PM   #29
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Amazing stuff! Things like this are exactly why I keep lurking this forum.

I find it interesting how Brahms, despite being a "romantic" era composer, is so far away from this stereotypical image of romantic composition that is often associated with guys like Chopin; this cheesy, discouraging idea of a composer just improvising away at the piano alone in the moonlight when he suddenly gets struck by a rush of inspiration and completes a whole piece before dawn.

Brahms has an amazing sense of balance between emotionality and organisation, I really love the idea of depending more on craft instead of just hoping for inspiration.

Looking forward to the harmonic analysis.


Also, when do we get to hear your quartet?

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Old 12-13-2012, 06:47 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by jazz_rock_feel
Form and flow go hand in hand. Without flow any form will fail. To me flow serves to support form, as does a number of other elements, but flow is just a part of an overall formal concept. I have to agree with chronowarp that form is the most integral element of music, and I disagree with Xiaoxi that good form is easy to achieve. Clear, coherent form is the most difficult thing in writing music and the biggest thing that novice composers are missing. Form is so much more than just ABA or T1-T2-Devel-Recap.

Well, this is getting too subjective. We can all agree that form, at its most basic definition, is about the structure and order in which musical material is laid out. Following that definition, it really is just about rounded binary, or sonata, or theme and variation, song, etc. In that sense, any monkey can follow a form.

With that in mind, you can see how flow and form can be separated. For example, this perfectly satisfies what constitutes the textbook definition of sonata: 8 bars of theme A, 8 bars of bridge, 8 bars of theme B, 8 bars of coda, 16 bars of development, recap, 4 bars of final coda.

That tells us nothing about the flow (the squareness tells us it's probably terrible), but it's hard to deny that this is the sonata form.

I think you might be squeezing in the concept of motivic development into form, which IS much harder than simply following an established layout. I think this concept can be separated as well, but it no doubt goes hand in hand with form.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chronowarp
When I think about form...I think about this one Leonard Bernstein quote. It was about how he viewed Beethoven as the MASTER of form & motif, and for that mastery of form his music was an incredible. It wasn't that he had an incredible sense of melody or harmony (though obviously he was great at both), but it was his mastery of form that really made him something else.
I think Bernstein here also squeezes flow into form. Beethoven excelled in both separately.

He was a master of form (isolated) because he was able to stretch it and configure it in ways that no one else had before him.

He was a master of flow because the pacing of the music was almost always flawless. He knew exactly when to shift the rhythmic perception, to add power, to stay meditative, etc.

I am adamant about individualizing the concept of flow from personal experience. I had started writing a piano sonata, which perfectly constituted the sonata form and had tight motivic integration even throughout the exposition. Yet as I was close to finishing said exposition, my teacher said it's still not as good as it could be because the pacing was very forced. I also sensed that something was missing, and when he identified that, a lightbulb went up in my head.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:07 PM   #31
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Yeah, I think of form in a much broader sense than that, which is why I see it as the most fundamental element in music. Form, to me, encompasses structure, it's created by motivic development, recollection or restatement and contrast of materials and necessitates flow and pacing. To me form is a grander concept than just structure, but at this point we're just talking about semantics and I don't think it matters. Whatever you call it, we're on the same page I think. I totally agree that flow and pacing are key, but to me they're elements of form. Structure without pacing is worthless.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:08 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by 505088K
I find it interesting how Brahms, despite being a "romantic" era composer, is so far away from this stereotypical image of romantic composition that is often associated with guys like Chopin
I'm very glad you noticed this. Brahms was at once incredibly conservative and traditional, and fiercely progressive in the most subtle ways. This is in huge contrast to his contemporaries who sought to be very obviously progressive, championed by Listz and Wagner.

Brahms highly valued the importance of the coherent, integrated forms as developed by Haydn to Beethoven. Yet he was also doing things within these forms that were very innovative, including advanced manipulation of harmony and rhythm, as well as cellular motivic development that pervades an entire movement or suite. The latter of which prompted Schoenberg to write a treatise entitled "Brahms The Progressive"


Quote:
Brahms has an amazing sense of balance between emotionality and organisation, I really love the idea of depending more on craft instead of just hoping for inspiration.
That is why he is such a master, like all masters. He had such great control over emotion/inspiration, which is held so tightly and coherently by the discipline of technical craft.

Frankly, I just don't see how any composer can last without both. We often hear of many rock/pop musicians slowly getting worse as the years go on. I believe this is because their inspirational well runs dry over time, especially as they use so much of it so fast. But they don't have the technical capability to sustain that kind of approach. Contrast this with the great composers who were masters of craft, and their music almost always get better as they age, not worse.


Quote:
Also, when do we get to hear your quartet?
A full sonata suite quartet? I don't feel ready yet. But here's a standalone piece that is a perfect example of what not to do

http://soundcloud.com/xwanhosting/m...e-dead-of-space
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:28 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by jazz_rock_feel
Yeah, I think of form in a much broader sense than that, which is why I see it as the most fundamental element in music. Form, to me, encompasses structure, it's created by motivic development, recollection or restatement and contrast of materials and necessitates flow and pacing. To me form is a grander concept than just structure, but at this point we're just talking about semantics and I don't think it matters. Whatever you call it, we're on the same page I think. I totally agree that flow and pacing are key, but to me they're elements of form. Structure without pacing is worthless.
Yea we're on the same page. But I think my emphasis on flow/pacing stems from the shortcomings of academia. In my experience (I suspect a very common one), there was no raising awareness and consideration for pacing when it came to analyzing the music. It was always about harmony, and when things change from section to section and the label of those sections in relations to academic layout of form. In the course of this discussion, there was rarely anything like what I talk about in this analysis. I was very fortunate to have a great mentor who got me thinking beyond such mechanical, trivial crap.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:38 PM   #34
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Yea we're on the same page. But I think my emphasis on flow/pacing stems from the shortcomings of academia. In my experience (I suspect a very common one), there was no raising awareness and consideration for pacing when it came to analyzing the music. It was always about harmony, and when things change from section to section and the label of those sections in relations to academic layout of form. In the course of this discussion, there was rarely anything like what I talk about in this analysis. I was very fortunate to have a great mentor who got me thinking beyond such mechanical, trivial crap.

That's a great point. I consider myself lucky to have a teacher that consistently questions the pacing and flow of my pieces, although it's not something I think about a lot (him pointing it out, not the flow) because he's just always done it. It's virtually constant, and a tiny bit annoying But I know it's good for me. And to me, it's natural to analyze music in the terms you have above, because that's how he analyzes music and how he's shown me to look at music.

This analysis is really well done, by the way, now that I've had a little while to look through it. I kind of want to do one now...
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Old 12-14-2012, 04:14 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Xiaoxi


Sure, here it is:

On the Subject of Chopin


Damn right you're right chopin is terrible. i'm a classical pianist and i still hate his work! its all just frills and jingles
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:30 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by jazz_rock_feel
This analysis is really well done, by the way, now that I've had a little while to look through it. I kind of want to do one now...


I read this one and liked it (mad props and a thank you to Xiaoxi ), but since I'm too ADD and still a theory noob, I will revisit it (maybe a couple of times... I've had to revisit some of the things I had already read explaining rhythm, even the basics, and it's becoming clear, and nothing beats the feeling you get when you finally get it). I would read yours too! You have a piece/composer in mind?
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:59 PM   #37
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I read this one and liked it (mad props and a thank you to Xiaoxi ), but since I'm too ADD and still a theory noob, I will revisit it (maybe a couple of times... I've had to revisit some of the things I had already read explaining rhythm, even the basics, and it's becoming clear, and nothing beats the feeling you get when you finally get it). I would read yours too! You have a piece/composer in mind?

I've thought about a couple of different options. I want to do something from the 20th century, but something accessible that I can talk about without set theory or twelve tone techniques. I thought I might do Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra (the first movement is a sonata form that might complement this analysis nicely) or Stravinsky's Octet for Winds, just because it's awesome.
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:30 AM   #38
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Thanks for posting Xiaoxi! My theory knowledge is quite basic but I found the first couple sections I read to be easy enough to navigate. I will probably do a more in-depth reading and finish it tomorrow. I really am glad you posted this, I see very little actual analysis like this ever being posted. I find things like this quite interesting, and VERY helpful for my own compositions.
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:55 AM   #39
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Thanks for posting Xiaoxi! My theory knowledge is quite basic but I found the first couple sections I read to be easy enough to navigate. I will probably do a more in-depth reading and finish it tomorrow. I really am glad you posted this, I see very little actual analysis like this ever being posted. I find things like this quite interesting, and VERY helpful for my own compositions.

Thanks for reading. This is exactly the kind of help I wanted to bring.

And I really tried to put this in layman's terms as much as possible. There are a few technical jargons but I try to describe everything in a very general way, so I hope you don't get too overwhelmed with the concepts. If you do have any questions, of course feel free to ask.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazz_rock_feel
I've thought about a couple of different options. I want to do something from the 20th century, but something accessible that I can talk about without set theory or twelve tone techniques. I thought I might do Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra (the first movement is a sonata form that might complement this analysis nicely) or Stravinsky's Octet for Winds, just because it's awesome.

Those are good, although you should do a non-sonata one for variety. I could definitely use this. Been too focused on tonal music.
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:57 AM   #40
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Damn right you're right chopin is terrible. i'm a classical pianist and i still hate his work! its all just frills and jingles

Frills and jingles. Goddamn right.
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