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  • Clashing Chords

    I have found out in a lot of my compositions, I clash some chords for more of a feeling. Is this a no no. Or not. Need some good opinions, and examples.

  • What sorts of "clashing" are you referring to? What you're saying could encompass many different concepts, so I'd like to know more specifics about your tasty clashing chords.

    To keep things broad for the moment - from a "traditional" way of thinking, frequent, unresolved chordal dissonance is generally a no-no, but modern schools have wholly embraced it. The theory gets much deeper from that point onwards, and is well beyond what can be covered here in all but the most superficial terms.

    Ultimately, the question must be asked: Does it sound good? If so, then do the theoretical implications even matter?

    Duncan

  • Google the "Petrushka chord" for some info on one, very famous, pair of clashing chords! [;)]

    J.

  • jbm, thanks that was interesting. Duncan, most of the time I do on the melody lines, in a suspens piece to bring out more feeling, of the music. It works for me.

  • I find that this clashing chord thing works best with simple triads and very clean orchestration. The Petrushka is a great example, and could be extended to include all chords a minor third away.

    This is from me on another thread (on harmony and rules, etc.) on page three at the bottom:


    "Take a C7 chord, for example. In the L.H., play a chord C-Bb-E covering a tenth. Play the L.H. chord for all permutations.

    Then in the R.H. first play middle C-G-E (regular dominant) then Eb-G-Bb (C7 with a sharp nine) then F#-A#-C# (C7 with a sharp eleven and flat nine) then A-C#-E (C7 with a flat nine and an added thirteenth).

    Now keep the R.H. stagnant and move the L.H. around by minor thirds.

    On top of all this one can create melodic material using a C# (or E or G or Bb) diminished scale, cadencing at any time down a fifth or half step or up a half step from the L.H. root to a major or minor (or another dominant! --then the process can repeat itself)."


    That was an example in a jazz idiom. The same information can be used in a symphonic context to provide these harmonic tensions in a predictable way.

    By superimposing triads together you can create interesting harmonies that have relationships that are far more sophisticated than just getting that "chromatic crunch" SO BE CAREFUL.

    Just piling chords on top of each other can get good results but knowing what harmonies you can generate from a vertical perspective while maintaining linear movement can enable you to control this stuff easily.

    Clark

  • Clark, that was very interesting, On my last post, for me it works good. Just like to hear from other composers, you can sure learn a lot. I know I do.. Thanks..Joseph

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    Good to hear from you again clark,

    You must have been out playing.

    To talk to a pianist , is like the maytag repair man.

    I'm enjoying the discussion on Overtones and the Petrushka report.

    they go hand in hand

    He He

    Good thing we can hear what we learn, I can't emagine what kind of a world we...
    never mind.

    @Another User said:


    Just piling chords on top of each other can get good results but knowing what harmonies you can generate from a vertical perspective while maintaining linear movement can enable you to control this stuff easily.


    what an educated way to put it.

    After we were introduced to beautiful sounding pianos, The Architecture left.
    And the overtones kept coming. Beutiful stuff , but what if one didin't own a good sounding instrument. Then, and only then.

    I love to make beautiful sounds also. Harpish elements. Playing by feel.
    intuition, telepathy, play with eyes closed, brill. Its only in special parts. Soft.

    Until I'm there for the petrushka for me to poop on !!

    He He

    I better get of here, i've been hogging the forum to much lately.
    My father went blind, and had an operation, and I've been taking care of him, so I'm at the computer instead of working. I need to go back to work again. For everyone's benefit.


    Best Regard

  • And now I'm back to haunt you again! MWOO-HA-HA-HAAAA!!!

    Here's an easy one that sounds very film-score:

    Instead of using triads, use just two notes per hand.

    1. Play a perfect fifth (let's say F-C an octave below middle C) with the L.H.

    2. Over this sustained pedal, play slow-moving major thirds in the octave in between your L.H. and middle C with the R.H., say E-G# that goes to G-B then up to A-C#.

    Orchestrate with strings and there you go.

    With triads things can get pretty complicated so if I'm using them lots of times I'll just use a triad over a single bass note part and shift around like I described above. This way it is much easier to control the chromaticism. I'm leaving out the nuts and bolts mode/harmony theory stuff, of course, but the point is this:

    The simpler the density, the easier it is for the ear to lead the way.

    Happy mind-melting!

    Clark


    P.S. I'm terribly sorry to hear about your father. You and your family have my sympathies.

  • You and william have had me placed in a witness protection program under the supervision of officer dangle.

    I've got one for you I call the clarck control progression.

    Take any diminished 7th. Flatten the 7th 1/2 step.
    lock position.
    move inside fingers (3rd. & 5th.) down 1/2 step.
    move outside fingers (1st. & 7th.)down 1/2 step.
    scale target note to use is Harmonic minor. always 1 whole step down fron the (3rd.) or the second finger.

    Clark that means no melodic minor. Even though i know you will anyway.

    officer dangle is on duty, be carefull !!

  • I want whatever your drinking. And make it a double.

    Clark

  • This is going to sound like a silly question, but forgive me as I have no academic knowledge/formal training in music...

    When notes or chords "clash" as it were, is this what we refer to as dissonance? Or is that used to describe something else?

  • Mr Mantle

    Its not at all a silly question. Infact

    Your guess is as good as mine.

    From the original questionair. we just assumed he was talking about dissonance, although I think he was questioning the proposition also, which led to a flury of educated thoughts, as well as exposing orchestrated inversions. As well as marketing the PC computer corporate base in washington state. ect.........

    So you see, its not a silly question but thats the issues one has to deal with if one desires a real education in spite of corporate marketing greed , ego and self recognition.

    In plain english : one has to sort out the bunk to get to the real truth.

    I feel for the young today, because I know what I went through.

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    @R.K. said:



    I feel for the young today, because I know what I went through.


    I tihnk it's going to take more determination for my generation (well, I'm 29 so still consider myslef young!) to learn music properly. These days, with the progress of technology, it's easy for people like me with no training to buy a computer, get software and some sample libraries and try and pass themselves off as a compser (hehe).

    Whilst it opens things up to a whole new (and potentially experimental) world of music, and allows people with creativity but no musical academia to get involved or try and express themselves through music, there is a danger that we could actually halt the progression of music more than we actually take it forward. And it's exactly because a lot of us simply don't understand music the same way the traditionalsts do. And how can we progress music without understanding it? I really don't want to see a world of drum loops and samples (I don't mean VSL type samples mind!) because no one took the time to study music anymore!

    The only use I see of ignorance of musical academia is that you don't restrict yourself because of musical rules. But then surely not knowing the rules in the first place is more restrictive, because you never really know what you're doing! And without knowing the rules, you're more likely to be ticking the boxes of everything obvious and 'done before', because had you spent the time with your head in a theory book rather than a software manual, you'd have realised everyone else has already done what you have - only they did it years ago. you just didn't know [:)].

    So I'm reading books and trying to learn, though I am doing it with an element of trepidation, because I kind of like the freedom of just having ideas and doing it and not wondering what the right or wrong method or approach should be. And because I don't know anything about key signatures or scales, sometimes I'll hit a couple of bum notes which I possibly wouldn't have done had I been more disciplined. And I'll keep them because actually, it works sometimes.

  • Jonny,

    You will not lose your musical instincts as you familiarize yourself with musical rules. Instead, you will enhance your instincts, because knowledge is power when it comes to fleshing out your compositions.

    And don't be worried about losing the ability to make "happy accidents" in your music. This, too, is a false assumption.

    Clashing chords, as I understand it, is meant to imply a controlling of dissonance in varying degrees by using simple chords together to create complex harmonic relationships.

    Clark

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    @clarkcontrol said:

    Jonny,

    You will not lose your musical instincts as you familiarize yourself with musical rules. Instead, you will enhance your instincts, because knowledge is power when it comes to fleshing out your compositions.

    And don't be worried about losing the ability to make "happy accidents" in your music. This, too, is a false assumption.

    Clark


    For some reason I still find it incredibly difficult to learn/remember something that I don't derive a complete 'hands-on' example, as in someting I can physically use. I know all musical theory is something you will 'use' in some way, but, well, let me try and give you an example of what I mean:

    If someone told me that a particular instrument works best in a certain register and for a cartain style and why that was, or how certain instruments are grouped together and why etc, I can listen to it (or load up my VSL samples!), play around with it and go "oh yeah, I see that working" and will remember it and can apply it.

    But the number of times I've learned the way of how to look at a group of notes and fill in the key signature, knowing which order to put in any sharps or flats, or be given a key signature and know all the notes that would appear in it and forgotten again is... well, I've lost count.

    In other words, things that are purely academic in nature can tend to get lost on me after a period, if I can get my head around it in the first place (and theory is something that for some reason I've never had much success with), but things that are more physical or can be shown by physical example I tend to remember.

  • R.K. You are correct, I just should have stated my post a little bit more clearly.Thanks...........

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    @Another User said:

    I'll just use a triad



    Excuse me... [*-)] But what is a triad? I have seen it numerous times, but still am unsure what to make of it.
    I'm often a bit confused about terminology. Some things I only know in my own language (Dutch)... and for others I only know the English term!

  • Triad = three note chord

    In this case, we are talking about common major and minor triads superimposed upon each other, thus creating complex harmony.

    Clark

  • Triad = three note chord

    In this case, we are talking about common major and minor triads superimposed upon each other, thus creating complex harmony.

    Clark

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    @Another User said:


    Triad = three note chord

    In this case, we are talking about common major and minor triads superimposed upon each other, thus creating complex harmony.


    Not good enough ! Mr Wellsdecker is trying to possibly take time off to write somthing for Fox... Orchestra . So he deserves a little more in depth explanation perhaps.

    Mr Wellsdecker

    A Triad is an abreviated word, an add used for advertisment for a tri-aria. You are mostlikely familiar with your line of T.V. editing work.

    On the other hand, if you are in an aria of the globe, where your water pours clockwise or counter-clockwise, Then a triad (played backwards) < He He could mean ;

    Any three notes when used in majors or minors (diatonic)
    will have only three inversions, thus bypassing the seventh and avoiding abstarctism. Therefore the structure of music will retain an architectual harmoney in which to build on. Without abstract derailment. Also enabling any form or style of music. Forwards , backwards, Center , That is a Triad.

    Sincerely
    Clairvoyant Jackass Munshkin with way too much time on his hand.