12 Tones To Get Attention III

author: Martin Messner date: 08/06/2010 category: scales

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Hello and welcome to the 3rd - and probably last- part of the dodecaphony lesson series. The knowledge you gained from the first both parts is just the basic. You are allowed to say that you actually know what dodecaphony is and how to play it. And you even combined the theory with one or two useful exercises. What we're going to do now is thinking about ways to make this basic, random sound another time a bit better and precise. Just one more time our new pattern:
       2   3   4   5   6
I will enumerate the 12 notes for the sake of order.
C = 1    F#= 7
C#= 2    G = 8
D = 3    G#= 9
D#= 4    A = 10
E = 5    A#= 11
F = 6    B = 12
Schoenberg had two rules which helped him, too: - Never use the first note of a row right again as the first note of the following row and - never use the last note of a row again as the last note of the next row We can use 3 measures of 4/4, or 4 measures of 3/4 (and others but they are less practical for our ears) Both options stress the first notes. That means, that the first note of a row is 90% of all time stressed. In Schoenberg's opinion this stress brings imbalance between the "12 equal notes". There is no reason to stress one note over and over again and make other notes less important. Same with the last note. We all know, that the note right before a repetition can be very dissonant. Honestly it can almost be every note as long as the following one (the first note) is the one that we expected. For the same reason, Schoenberg wants the "unimportant" last note to change. --> By killing the regular stresses, Schoenberg kills the measures --> No measures --> no stress rules --> more creativity / more emotion ... We literally take a look at the new generation of dodecaphony: let's look at Schoenberg's student Herbert Eimert. He had his own theory based on the known Schoenberg theory. He made up some "rules" for composing better. And yes, I know: In the first lessons I said music isn't about rules. But the following ones aren't strict, they are guidelines in my opinion. a) alternate between big and small intervals An example: 1,2,5,6,3,4,7,8,11,12,10,9 The smallest interval is 1, the biggest is 3. The difference isn't quite large --> not good 1,6,7,2,4,12,10,3,9,5,11,8 The smallest interval is 1, the biggest is 5 (which is the biggest possible because higher than 5 means that your just skipping octaves, but the interval gets smaller e.g. 1 to 12 is an interval of 1) The difference is the largest to get --> way better b) two neighbor intervals musn't be the same This rule is an advanced version of the first one. The easiest example is: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12 The interval is always 1 --> bad But of course you can use an interval more than one time. Actually you need to repeat them, because you just have interval sizes of 1 to 5! c) "avoid harmonizing elements" or else: don't use note progressions which are arpeggios from common chords like major, minor of major7 or minor7 etc. I instinctively mentioned this information the lessons before because it's the gist of the matter! Dodecaphony actually does only work if you avoid interval progressions which represent "easy" chord! ... Ok, I guess that's all a receptive guitarist needs to know. There are some other aspects of it and you are welcome to ask me, your prof or any serious website, but always keep in mind: --- Every musician needs to develop his own style & theory --- Post your ideas, your own rules or questions in the comment section below and have a wonderful day. your :) Martin Messner
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