#1
I'm not even sure how to exactly phrase this question so it makes sense... so all apologies in advance!

I came accross a peice of music in another thread,
Chord Changing "Science"?
www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1638077

Question?:
As with Jazz having the ii-V-I typical progression/sound and the Blues utilising the I-IV-V,
which is what seems to give them their distinctive sound charateristics...
(I know, I warned you it would be badly worded - but please read on....)


[font="Verdana"][color="Yellow"]www.youtube.com/watch?v=veUJxETj7-c[/COLOR]  ...  [color="Lime"][B]Schoenberg's:[/B] "Pierrot Lunaire, w/ score"[/COLOR]
(Thanks to [b]jazz_rock_feel[/b] for the original link)...[/FONT]
Is there a typical progression??? that defines the sort of sound for the above Youtube clip...
admittedly I don't even know what the style of music is correctly called either...

I have had a quick listen to the other Schoenberg: clips in the youtube side bar, and there seems to be a definate similarity of sound/style amongst the various you-tunes.
Most seem to have that (well to me anyway), creepy Edgar Allan Poe, haunted house, type atmosphere about them... (Cannibal Corpse's Tomb Of The Mutilated *R18* Explicit Lyrics)
Ich spreche kein German so I don't know... maybe they're love songs...albeit grandma's going insane love songs..

1: Is there even a typical progression, and if so what is it???
2: Whart are the chord arrangements being used... quartal harmony, minor/major 2nd harmony (if there is such a thing)???
3: What key is it in?
4: What are some of the scales used to get this sound?

How do I achieve this sound???...

Thanks a bunch!
#3
It's atonal, there is no key and I'm pretty sure it uses the entire chromatic scale, but I don't really know. This is the kind of stuff that's still way over my head (and I'm pretty good with theory) so hopefully someone else will explain some of the things going on here. All I know is that atonal music pretty crazy stuff. I've experimented with improving atonal stuff, but I wouldn't know how to begin to write something like that.
#4
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
I'm busy right now and I'll respond with a better post either later today or tomorrow. I'm just posting now to say you'll get a lot of bad, uninformative/misinformative responses to this.
Thanks Jazz, yeah I know mate, that's okay i'm sure i'll get some really helpful repies also. Look forward to any help you may offer later too, that'd be nice of ya mate, thanks!
#5
@The4thHorsemen
yeah I know, ain't it the sh*t!! ...I'd looove to know what's going on there... thanks!

P.S: What's atonal???

edit: it's cool I just googled atonal... got it!
Last edited by tonibet72 at Mar 23, 2014,
#6
I love how bad it sounds. lol.

But yeah, the whole point of it is that it is not in any key. That was the composer's intention and goal. It's basically a big f--k you to tonality.

Atonality is used in some older horror movies for example. If I remember correctly, The Shining had some atonal music in it.
Last edited by Elintasokas at Mar 23, 2014,
#7
Okay, so I don't want to discourage you at all because I think it's awesome that you're interested in this music. That said, I think there are too many gaps in your knowledge to really understand anything about it. There is no scale you can use or chord progression you can employ to imitate this sound. There's a lot of elements that contribute to Schoenberg sounding like Schoenberg and Pierrot sounding like Pierrot. Here's a little historical context for you:

Schoenberg was around in the early part of the 20th century. He's tied with Stravinsky for being the most influential and important composer of the entire 20th century. His two really important contributions to music were atonality, which is the idea that there is no tonal center being created, and twelve tone serialism, which I'm not going to explain.

He had three major periods of composition:

1) Late Romantic - Here he's still tonal and writing music like the German giants Wagner, Mahler, Wolf, Bruckner and so on. At this point German tonality is highly chromaticized, tonal centers are extremely obscured by dissonance and resolutions are delayed to high holy hell, but music is still fundamentally governed by tonic-dominant relationships and dissonance resolving to consonance.

2) Free atonality - Around 1908ish there's a break with tonality. Dissonances no longer are ruled by consonance and can exist on their own. There's no system for how he approaches his pitch material at this point, he creates a new way of conceiving pitches for each piece. Music from this time period is often analyzed using pitch class sets because small cells of notes are used as germinal ideas for the entire piece.

3) Serialism - Around 1921 he devises a system for approaching atonality that he and his students would use extensively (again, too complicated to get into).

Pierrot Lunaire falls into the freely atonal camp which incidentally makes it the most difficult to explain. The good news is there is a TON of analyses of Pierrot. The bad news is I don't think you have the tools you need to really grasp them (that's not meant as an insult, I'm just levelling with you).

The only advice I really have for you right now is listen. Immerse yourself in this stuff. Listen to Schoenberg, but also listen to Wagner, Wolf and Mahler to see the generation he was coming out of and why what he wrote made perfect sense and is in no way a big fuck you to tonality. Then listen to Webern, Berg who were two of his students using similar techniques to him, but with radically different results. Then listen to some contemporaries that weren't writing anything like him like Stravinsky, Varese, Hindemith, Busoni, Debussy, Bartok and Messiaen. Then listen to guys that came after him writing in a style that in some way evolved out of his work like Stockhausen, Boulez, Berio, Lachenmann and Nono and other guys that don't have anything to do with him like Xenakis, Ligeti, Reich, Cage, Crumb. I'm just listing 20th century composers at this point so I'll stop, but you get the idea. Immersing yourself in this music is the only way you'll be able to learn about it.
#8
@ Jazz_Rock_Feel:
Okay, so I don't want to discourage you at all because I think it's awesome that you're interested in this music.
that's cool not discouraged... it's only music...
That said, I think there are too many gaps in your knowledge to really understand anything about it.
try me!... meaning please keep reading...
There is no scale you can use or chord progression you can employ to imitate this sound.
okay but there certainly "sounds" (seems) to be a formula, I can just hear it...
There's a lot of elements that contribute to Schoenberg sounding like Schoenberg and Pierrot sounding like Pierrot.
okay, fair enough...

Here's a little historical context for you:
Schoenberg was around in the early part of the 20th century.
He's tied with Stravinsky for being the most influential and important composer of the entire 20th century.

His two really important contributions to music were atonality, which is the idea that there is no tonal center being created, okay cool! and twelve tone serialism, which I'm not going to explain. hmmmm...

...do you mean:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5tmK6xcDws
just to be certain, is this vid actually 12 tone or atonality?

He had three major periods of composition:
1) Late Romantic - Here he's still tonal and writing music like the German giants Wagner, Mahler, Wolf, Bruckner and so on.
I'm sure each of these guys covered a vast range, you even mentioned above that even Schoenberg started out as tonal...
Can you provide just one youtube link for each of these guys, so I can get a general overview...
otherwise I might be sifting through an array of material that doesn't serve my immediate interest... (ie: the 12 tone, atonality concepts)


(a) At this point German tonality is highly chromaticized,
(b) tonal centers are extremely obscured by dissonance
(c) and resolutions are delayed to high holy hell,
(d) but music is still fundamentally governed by tonic-dominant relationships and dissonance resolving to consonance.
Okay I kind of understand but could you provide a weblink for a, b, c & d that may help explain these ideas further, (preferably a youtube upload for each so I can actually "hear" the concepts)

2) Free atonality - Around 1908ish there's a break with tonality.
Dissonances no longer are ruled by consonance and can exist on their own.
do you mean like with the "Tristan Chord" when Tristan und Isolde was first heard in 1865?
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tristan_chord (could be totally unrelated - don't laugh everyone, I was trying to show some nouse
)

There's no system for how he approaches his pitch material at this point, he creates a new way of conceiving pitches for each piece.
Music from this time period is often analyzed using pitch class sets because small cells of notes are used as germinal ideas for the entire piece.
okay I will certainly have to google that (pitch class) to get a better idea...
right now I am thinking you mean building/expanding on an ostinato/motif but keeping with the "rules" of atonality???
(again I could be waay off track - please let me know - again was trying to show some nouse)


3) Serialism - Around 1921 he devises a system for approaching atonality that he and his students would use extensively (again, too complicated to get into).
Ironically this seems to be the very crux and heart of what I was asking...
could you provide a wikipedia page or something, so I could research this concept further?


Pierrot Lunaire falls into the freely atonal camp which incidentally makes it the most difficult to explain.
WOW! that's cool...
The good news is there is a TON of analyses of Pierrot.
...would you please provide a coupla weblinks...?
The bad news is I don't think you have the tools you need to really grasp them (that's not meant as an insult, I'm just levelling with you).
definately not insulted, and if again would you provide a couple of weblinks to get me started (even if you think they are over my head) would be well appreiciated.

The only advice I really have for you right now is listen. Immerse yourself in this stuff.
Listen to Schoenberg, but also listen to Wagner, Wolf and Mahler to see the generation he was coming out of and why what he wrote made perfect sense and is in no way a big **** you to tonality.
Then listen to
Webern, Berg who were two of his students using similar techniques to him, but with radically different results.
Then listen to some contemporaries that weren't writing anything like him like
Stravinsky, Varese, Hindemith, Busoni, Debussy, Bartok and Messiaen.
Then listen to guys that came after him writing in a style that in some way evolved out of his work like
Stockhausen, Boulez, Berio, Lachenmann and Nono and other guys that don't have anything to do with him like Xenakis, Ligeti, Reich, Cage, Crumb.
I'm just listing 20th century composers at this point so I'll stop, but you get the idea.

Wow that's definately an extensive list, you really seem to know your stuff...

and that is precisely why I have asked if you wouldn't mind provoding any wikipedia, weblink (youtube where possible to "hear" the concepts) examples and/or pages for further study, as it seems that wouldn't be too hard for you due to your knowledge/familiarity of the atonal/12 tone genre(s).


Immersing yourself in this music is the only way you'll be able to learn about it.
POINT TAKEN... but

If some aspiring kid came up to me and said "Wow I just heard this old ballard type rock song and the lead guitarist really blew me away.. and my one of my friends said the band was called ACDC and I didn't believe him, they seem to heavy for that?",

I believe I would find it no trouble to provide her with a few youtubes, wiki's and related web pages to definately get her started in that particular direction, (ie: ACDC ballards as opposed to they're faster heavier tracks), only because I am well familiar with their music... I love AC/DC!

So although emersion would be the ultimate/entire route, like my flimsy AC/DC example it would be nice to be provided with a few tid-bits to keep the enthusiasm going, otherwise I might drown in a malaise of discordant ambiguosity, because lets face it ACDC and Schoenberg are of course worlds apart... well to me they are, so yes please a little more help would be awesome (again: even if you think it's over my head).

Sorry to burden you with my request(s) but as you said in your earlier post, you did say that others may provide bogus/misguided interpretations so that really kinda narrows my trusted options down... lols

if you don't ask you don't get - mate i'm askin, but anyway, I just need to stop typing now... whoa!


Thaaaanks!!!
Last edited by tonibet72 at Mar 24, 2014,
#10
Quote by tonibet72

...do you mean:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5tmK6xcDws
just to be certain, is this vid actually 12 tone or atonality?

That video is okay. He's really talking about serialism, but calling it atonality in general
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve-note_technique
There's an article on it.

Quote by tonibet72
I'm sure each of these guys covered a vast range, you even mentioned above that even Schoenberg started out as tonal...
Can you provide just one youtube link for each of these guys, so I can get a general overview...
otherwise I might be sifting through an array of material that doesn't serve my immediate interest... (ie: the 12 tone, atonality concepts)

They all feed into what you're interested in because they were all working in the same language, which is the same language that Schoenberg started with.
Since you mentioned this here's Wagner whose harmonic language is the epitome of what I'm talking about with highly chromatcized German Romanticism:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-qoaioG2UA

Here's one of Schoenberg's early tonal pieces:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqODySSxYpc

Quote by tonibet72
(a) At this point German tonality is highly chromaticized,
(b) tonal centers are extremely obscured by dissonance
(c) and resolutions are delayed to high holy hell,
(d) but music is still fundamentally governed by tonic-dominant relationships and dissonance resolving to consonance.
Okay I kind of understand but could you provide a weblink for a, b, c & d that may help explain these ideas further, (preferably a youtube upload for each so I can actually "hear" the concepts)

All of these things are present in both the Schoenberg and the Wagner I posted.

Quote by tonibet72
do you mean like with the "Tristan Chord" when Tristan und Isolde was first heard in 1865?
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tristan_chord (could be totally unrelated - don't laugh everyone, I was trying to show some nouse
)

That's what I'm talking about when I say chromatic Romantic music. Tristan is still very much tonal it just has a lot of dissonances and chromaticism. Freely atonal music is like Pierrot, which hopefully you can hear has a very different language from Tristan.

Quote by tonibet72

okay I will certainly have to google that (pitch class) to get a better idea...
right now I am thinking you mean building/expanding on an ostinato/motif but keeping with the "rules" of atonality???
(again I could be waay off track - please let me know - again was trying to show some nouse)

Set theory is one of those tools that is really useful to have to analyze this sort of music and is also difficult to wrap your mind around. Basically there's a group of pitches (often small, like 3 or 4 notes) that are freely transposed anywhere (in atonal music absolute pitches don't matter anymore, the collection C-C#-D is exactly the same as the collection F-F#-G, they're just transpositions of each other). That group is called a set and a composer will often use one or more sets to generate the pitch material for an entire piece. Pierrot has the classic example of a (0 1 4) pitch set. Because notes don't matter anymore, pitches are usually referred to as numbers, C = 0, C# = 1, D = 2 ... Bb = 10 B = 11. But it gets more complicated than that because (0 1 4) doesn't just refer to C C# E it also refers to every transposition of that set and every transposed inversion of that set (you invert a set by reversing the intervals, (0 1 3) or C-C#-E inverted is (0 3 4) or C-Eb-E.

Again I don't know how useful it is to tell you this stuff because it's such a quick overview of a really complicated topic. If you're reeaaaallly interested: http://composertools.com/Theory/PCSets/

And that's just the tool of sets. It doesn't speak at all as to how to apply this concept to analyzing music.

Quote by tonibet72
WOW! that's cool...
...would you please provide a coupla weblinks...?
definately not insulted, and if again would you provide a couple of weblinks to get me started (even if you think they are over my head) would be well appreiciated.

http://www.jstor.org/stable/40213940

Quote by tonibet72
POINT TAKEN... but

If some aspiring kid came up to me and said "Wow I just heard this old ballard type rock song and the lead guitarist really blew me away.. and my one of my friends said the band was called ACDC and I didn't believe him, they seem to heavy for that?",

I believe I would find it no trouble to provide her with a few youtubes, wiki's and related web pages to definately get her started in that particular direction, (ie: ACDC ballards as opposed to they're faster heavier tracks), only because I am well familiar with their music... I love AC/DC!

So although emersion would be the ultimate/entire route, like my flimsy AC/DC example it would be nice to be provided with a few tid-bits to keep the enthusiasm going, otherwise I might drown in a malaise of discordant ambiguosity, because lets face it ACDC and Schoenberg are of course worlds apart... well to me they are, so yes please a little more help would be awesome (again: even if you think it's over my head).

Sorry to burden you with my request(s) but as you said in your earlier post, you did say that others may provide bogus/misguided interpretations so that really kinda narrows my trusted options down... lols

if you don't ask you don't get - mate i'm askin, but anyway, I just need to stop typing now... whoa!


Like Duane said, explaining Schoenberg is about a million times more difficult to explaining AC/DC But if want a little starting point, keep listening as much as you can and look into set theory. You may not find set theory ultimately all that useful, but it will get you in the mindset of atonal music a little bit by exploring it.

PS Yellow text is super hard to read
#11
Yellow text man? I had to highlight it to read.
I like you got really interested in this stuff a few years back through people like Frank Zappa.
It is very involved stuff to get a grip on like advanced theoretical maths. Often though I could grasp concepts of it to apply to writing process but to be able to analyse the pieces of music and the thought processes and applied theory behind it is very difficult (yet very interesting).
It's all very cool stuff though and I enjoy listening to it, kind of turns your brain inside out sometimes.
#12
First off, thanks to everyone for the replies.

@ both jazz_rock_feel and matt

and to anyone else it may concern...

Sorry for the Yellow Text.

I find UG Classic Style too much a strain on the eyeballs after a while (maybe it's my cheap LCD screen)
so I prefer the UG Black Style (heaps easier on the eyes IMO), and in the off chance that you don't know what i'm talking about,
you can change UG Styles at the bottom left of this page. Have a quick switch to UG Black and hopefully this page will be a whole lot easier to for ya's to view. (I personally think it makes the Lime Green Text show up awesome!)




@ both Duane and Jazz:
I know, I know... I should have used The Sex Pistols in my example instead of AC/DC...kidding,
yeah from jazz's first reply post it became pretty clear just how much more complex Schoenberg might be to explain than AC/DC to a kid... (and speaking of kids... kids can be pretty smart though - but a little more on that a bit later).

@ jazz_rock_feel: Thanks a M-i-l-l-i-o-n for all your extensive replies, that was really good of you mate,
I literally did not know that sort of music had it's own set of rules (so to speak), talk about learn something new!! Kinda reminds me of the music behind classic Warner Bros Cartoons (y'know, how the music in the cartoons constantly changes, and to the uninitiated like me - sounds like incredibly well orchestrated mumbo jumbo). I love cartoon music!

Sorry for pressing you for answers, but there's nothing more frustrating than finding out about something new, being told it's rocket science... and left dangling over the deep end of the pool, with not really knowing where to begin. It's definately something I will be looking into and i'm sure it's gonna be a mind bender, so I will not be ignoring your advice when it comes to LISTEN and become familiar etc...
I have a pretty good ear and can also read music (but not sight read) so maybe with a couple of text books and your recommended listening, I might have a fighting chance at a few ah-ha moments...
I'm laughing because I am sure somewhere you have had the thought "I'd love to see this guy try explain all this to a kid right now"... you're right! Not gonna happen.

Oh yeah, as I mentioned about kids being pretty smart though...
Based on your thread post info, It looks as if you are from Canada, and altho unrelated to music if you're from Canada and you haven't already heard of Victoria Grant... Well ya have now!
youtube.com/watch?v=JHQOX8EVNmE
Just how cool and smart is this girl? Perhaps you disagree, but that is a whole other topic altogether, and what I hear and what someone else might hear depends on so many factors, but I myself, couldn't agree more, just like I believe Stocks (Dow Jones, NasDaq etc...) are gonna collapse massively to new lows if not this year, by 2016, but this is not the forum for such matters! Go Victoria Grant!!!

Thanks again everyone, and hopefully I won't go insane like ol'e grandma (from my first post).

Peace
Last edited by tonibet72 at Mar 25, 2014,