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Thread: Four-Part Harmony Exercise

  1. #31
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    This is my take for the first phrase of the 2nd exercise... I did without using the program checker so there are a lot of issues there.
    I used the checker at the end and I have a aug4th, two dim5th, overlaping voices, a direct unison and a doubling issue on the VII chord.

    Anyway, I decided to post it here the same....

    2ndexercise_1stphrase_zpsd736489e.jpg

  2. #32
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    Ok, in the last chord, I can see I've incorrectly doubled the 5th of the chord (A) in root position. Doubling the root eliminates the direct unison (replaced by a 4th, A to D).
    Let's move on to the next.

  3. #33
    MMus, MA, PGCE JumpingJack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarata View Post
    This is my take for the first phrase of the 2nd exercise...
    Generally this is all fairly good. As you've already realised though, there are a few problems:

    Chords 2-3: Leap of augmented fourth in alto. You should never leap any augmented interval, as I said the leading tone is partially problematic in this regard, so always check.
    Also, the tenor overlaps the alto here (rising above where the alto was in the previous chord), this is to be avoided.

    Chord 8: As you already know, it's best to double the root in a root-position chord.

    Otherwise, it's good to see you getting to grips with the nuances of the minor key, which was the point of the exercise.


    Incidentally, I would avoid using the unsharpened seventh unless it is necessary.
    You've done it with your fifth chord, and you've done it exactly right, so this isn't a criticism by any means, but you could have done something like this instead:

    Soprano: Bb A G
    Alto: D C D
    Tenor: G F# G
    Bass: G A Bb
    Chords: i vii6/3 i6/3

    Here, the arrangement of parts makes it possible to use the sharpened seventh in the tenor which is good as it reaffirms the tonality (and you could have had a nicer bass rising by step).

  4. #34
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    You've done it with your fifth chord, and you've done it exactly right, so this isn't a criticism by any means, but you could have done something like this instead:

    Soprano: Bb A G
    Alto: D C D
    Tenor: G F# G
    Bass: G A Bb
    Chords: i vii6/3 i6/3


    I tried with your solution and, in fact, it gives the exercise a more baroque sound.
    However, in this progression there is a sucession of fifths between alto and tenor: just 5th => dim5th => just 5th.

    The program tells me this:

    FORBIDDEN
    In each couple of voices, writing parallel fifths (or consecutive fifths by contrary motion) must be avoided, as well as compound intervals of fifth (twelfth). The succession diminished fifth – just fifth is also forbidden, at the stage of rigorous studies. Sometimes it can be found in music literature, but never between bass and soprano.

    PERMITTED
    On the contrary, the succession just fifth – diminished fifth is not unusual, particularly in a descending motion, having the diminished fifth resolve to a third.


    As far as I understood, the just 5th => dim5th is admissible when in descending motion (but not in any other type of motion) but the second dim5th => just 5th, according this text, is not because the dim5th should resolve to a 3rd.

    Can you clarify?

    Thanks

  5. #35
    MMus, MA, PGCE JumpingJack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarata View Post
    FORBIDDEN
    In each couple of voices, writing parallel fifths (or consecutive fifths by contrary motion) must be avoided, as well as compound intervals of fifth (twelfth). The succession diminished fifth – just fifth is also forbidden, at the stage of rigorous studies. Sometimes it can be found in music literature, but never between bass and soprano.

    PERMITTED
    On the contrary, the succession just fifth – diminished fifth is not unusual, particularly in a descending motion, having the diminished fifth resolve to a third.
    They are being overly strict there.
    The "parallel fifths" rule applies only to two perfect fifths. Where a diminished fifth is involved, it is perfectly acceptable either moving to or from a perfect fifth in the upper parts, providing one of the parts moves a semitone (half-step).

    However, if the bass is involved, then this is not allowed. - Where the fifths are between the bass and any other part, a perfect fifth to a diminished fifth (or the other way around) is forbidden.

    In actual fact, the above progression (I - vii6/3 - I6/3, and backwards) is very characteristic of Bach; he uses it quite frequently and therefore using it in your harmonisation (where it fits) will make it more stylistic. Soprano and bass move either in contrary motion or in parallel compound thirds, or else the soprano moves from the tonic, down to the leading note (effectively a lower neighbour), and then back up to the tonic.

  6. #36
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    The "parallel fifths" rule applies only to two perfect fifths. Where a diminished fifth is involved, it is perfectly acceptable either moving to or from a perfect fifth in the upper parts, providing one of the parts moves a semitone (half-step).
    So, this is more or less like the consecutive fourths: are admissible since the parts move by step.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarata View Post
    So, this is more or less like the consecutive fourths: are admissible since the parts move by step.
    Similar principle I suppose, yes.

  8. #38
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    Hello, my friends

    Not much time for the exercise...but now I'm on holidays (finally) so I hope I'll find more time to dedicate to it.

    After a few trials I decided to use the I - vii6/3 - I6/3 progression in chords 4 to 6.

    I tried to repeat chords 1 and 2 with a I chord but I was not sure how to handle it since the soprano is different between chords.

    I'm not sure if what I did is correct...I think theres a large movement of the bass between chords 1 and 2 but I guess I could lower one octave the second G.
    Also, the program checker gives me an error of consecutive fifths in soprano and alto between chords 1 and 3. I'm not sure if I should accept this evaluation as correct.
    And there's also a direct octave between soprano and bass in chords 1 and 2, but since these are the first two chords and the first one is used to establish the key, I'm also not sure if I should accept it.

    Here's my take:

    2ndexercise_1stphrase_v2_zpsf0a50932.jpg

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarata View Post
    Hello, my friends
    Hello!
    Before we get into the nitty gritty, what you have done here is actually very good. The way your bass constantly rises by step throughout most of the phrase is excellent, and the part writing from the third chord onwards is likewise good. Though close, it's not quite what Bach did, though it's the sort of thing he might have done, and that's exactly what you should be striving for. This would score highly in an exam.

    The only slight let-down is the first couple of chords.
    The tenor is higher than the alto in the first chord (crossed parts); this is to be avoided.
    And as you already realised, you can't leap a seventh (bass, chords 2-3). Also that initial leap of an octave needs to be followed by notes within the leap.

    Just sort that out and it will be perfect.
    You should be proud of this, for someone who had only a limited knowledge of such things a few weeks back, this is very good indeed.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbarata View Post
    I tried to repeat chords 1 and 2 with a I chord but I was not sure how to handle it since the soprano is different between chords.
    Definitely a good idea to try it. It doesn't always work well though.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbarata View Post
    the program checker gives me an error of consecutive fifths in soprano and alto between chords 1 and 3. I'm not sure if I should accept this evaluation as correct.
    No. You can only have consecutive fifths (or octaves) between adjacent chords, so this doesn't count.
    I suspect the programme is treating chords 1 and 2 as the same chord (and it is, but it counts twice if that makes sense). So what you've done is fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbarata View Post
    And there's also a direct octave between soprano and bass in chords 1 and 2, but since these are the first two chords and the first one is used to establish the key, I'm also not sure if I should accept it.
    When you're moving between two positions of the same chord, this is fine (and the direct octaves are not a problem).

  10. #40
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    Thanks for your kind words, JJ.

    Before we get into the nitty gritty, what you have done here is actually very good. The way your bass constantly rises by step throughout most of the phrase is excellent, and the part writing from the third chord onwards is likewise good.
    Well... Don't forget chords 4, 5 and 6 are a solution you've posted. I just used it in lack of alternatives. But, yes, all the rest was my work.

    The only slight let-down is the first couple of chords.
    The tenor is higher than the alto in the first chord (crossed parts); this is to be avoided.
    And as you already realised, you can't leap a seventh (bass, chords 2-3). Also that initial leap of an octave needs to be followed by notes within the leap.
    I focused in these errors and revoice the chords in order to eliminate each error. In chord 2 I just lowered the G an octave so that huge leap didn't exist anymore for both sides (chord 1=> chord 2 and chord 2 => chord 3).

    In the first chord I just changed the alto by the tenor and vice-versa. In my view, correct me if I'm wrong, doubling the G in the bass and tenor helps to accentuate the G and establish it as the key. In practice, I think I was able to achieve the same effect that I would have got if using an anacrusis.

    So, here's my take:

    2ndexercise_1stphrase_v3_zps9d76f322.jpg

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarata View Post
    So, here's my take:
    Excellent! Well done.
    Now for the second phrase...?

    Quote Originally Posted by rbarata View Post
    I think I was able to achieve the same effect that I would have got if using an anacrusis.
    You still have the anacrusis - that just means the upbeat, so like here when it starts on the 4th beat of the bar.
    It's a shame you couldn't have the octave leap, but it wouldn't work with your progression because you'd have to cross parts or leap a seventh, neither of which would be advisable.

  12. #42
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    Is it possible to resolve a iiº 6/3 into a Vmaj 6/3? I'm having some difficulties to do it because of a aug4th leap and I'm almost concluding that it is not possible...unless there's something I don't know.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarata View Post
    Is it possible to resolve a iiº 6/3 into a Vmaj 6/3? I'm having some difficulties to do it because of a aug4th leap and I'm almost concluding that it is not possible...unless there's something I don't know.
    In C, a iio 6/3 = F-Ab-D* ---> B-D-G

    One can leap down a diminished fifth (in fact, that recommended being easier to sing)

    However, it seems to me, that it'd make things "less stressful" if both chords were sevenths. I say this because of the troublesome B-F tritone!

    Therefore, iio7 ---> V7 ---> I

    D-F-Ab-Cb ---> D-F-G-B (iio7 ---> V7 (4/3)
    B-D-F-Ab ---> B-D-F-G (viio7 ---> V7 (6/5) [Rootless G7b9 ---> G7; V ---> V)

    I'm probably wrong, but if you do run into that Augmented 4th no-no, you can make it into a diminished 5th.

  14. #44
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    Thanks for the reply but I'm working with triads only. The solution with sevenths is not applicable in this case...I think.

    Here's my problem:

    2ndexercise_2ndphrase_end_zps1ae94d4c.jpg

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarata View Post
    Thanks for the reply but I'm working with triads only. The solution with sevenths is not applicable in this case...I think.

    Here's my problem:

    2ndexercise_2ndphrase_end_zps1ae94d4c.jpg
    Okay. The thing that immediately jumps at me is the C being doubled and also the octave between both Cs in the bass and tenor. Remember, I said that you can invert intervals to evoke smoother movement.

    The bass is leaping an augmented fourth; however, if you displace it an octave higher, you will get the diminished fifth interval. I will repeat, too, that the d5 interval is not that difficult to sing since you are going down - not up! And two parts can sing the same note!

    However, I still have no clue why you have an octave between Cs! I would make the Cin the bass an E, evoking this movement:

    E-F#-G. The interval between bass and tenor will then be a m6! Now, there will be an octave between bass & alto - I don't know if that'll be a problem, but I don't think so.

    The idea is to have as little movement as possible, but don't assume A4s/d5s won't occur or think when they do, there's a problem.

    (There's the A2 interval in HM, but the amount of minor key songs that evoke the A2 interval)

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