#2
You have two notes a fifth apart. The next two notes are also a fifth apart.

Example:

E and B are played together, then G and D are played together.
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#4
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#6
play two power chords.

you just played parallel fifths.
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#7
Take an interval. Let's say a third such as C-E.
Let's say they both move up a second, so it becomes D-F
Or let's say they both move down a second, so it becomes B-D

Those are parallel thirds.

Now let's say you did this:
You start with a third: C-E
But then you only move the C up a second, and you move the E up a third, so you get D-G

Those are not parallel. One moved a 2nd, the other moved a third.
Last edited by tmcdaniels at Jun 21, 2011,
#8
I think the idea of parallel fifths that you're referring to is their use in classical music and four-part voice-leading, where generally parallel fifths are avoided, due to their 'empty' sound. I'm not particularly well-versed in this type of writing so maybe Wolf or Griff can correct me. I may not be right in thinking this is what you're talking about, but in my experience usually when someone asks about a concept like this it's because they've heard they should avoid it. In four-part writing smooth voice-leading is very important and having two notes moving in a fifth together creates a more harmonically vacant sound that many classical composers tried to avoid. However, virtually every song to feature power chords has parallel fifths all over the place, so that's not to suggest that they should be avoided altogether. It's all about context, and obviously a Green Day song is not the same thing as a Bach chorale.
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#10
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play two power chords.

you just played parallel fifths.


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#12
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I think the idea of parallel fifths that you're referring to is their use in classical music and four-part voice-leading, where generally parallel fifths are avoided, due to their 'empty' sound. I'm not particularly well-versed in this type of writing so maybe Wolf or Griff can correct me. I may not be right in thinking this is what you're talking about, but in my experience usually when someone asks about a concept like this it's because they've heard they should avoid it. In four-part writing smooth voice-leading is very important and having two notes moving in a fifth together creates a more harmonically vacant sound that many classical composers tried to avoid. However, virtually every song to feature power chords has parallel fifths all over the place, so that's not to suggest that they should be avoided altogether. It's all about context, and obviously a Green Day song is not the same thing as a Bach chorale.


you don't need correction -- that's basically why parallel fifths (and octaves/unisons, for that matter) are discouraged. it's also because of the fact that parallel perfect intervals destroy the part independence, just like any avenged sevenfold solo. even the use of more than three parallel thirds or sixths in a row is discouraged, because the independence is destroyed - one melody is completely dependent on the other.

even though it can yield some good results, i'm not too into keeping these systems strictly for composing music of more modern styles. however, contrary motion is overlooked far too often; it's a shame because it's so pleasant to the ear.
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