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Thread: Four-Part Harmony Exercise

  1. #46
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    However, I still have no clue why you have an octave between Cs! I would make the Cin the bass an E...
    I thought about it but then I will be using a ii in 2nd inversion, which is not allowed... unless this is an exception in Bach's style.

  2. #47
    Registered User Color of Music's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarata View Post
    I thought about it but then I will be using a ii in 2nd inversion, which is not allowed... unless this is an exception in Bach's style.
    I believe you can go 6/4, 6/3, 5/3.

    Let me back up. I realize sevenths aren't applicable, but are subs? IOW, do you feel you'd be granted leeway if you went IV-V-I (IV being C and not Am = ii; they are related, you know?)

    Note: for every rule (and part-writing is strict as hell), there could be an exception. Now, if you had gone IV, I could understand the C octave doubling, but you didn't.

    E-G-C ---> F#-A-D ---> G-B-D (Soprano line is identical to Bass Line)

    Interval movement:

    Bass: M2-m2
    Tenor: M2-M2
    Alto: M2
    Soprano: M2-m2

  3. #48
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    Can't be a iv... in the exercise, the soprano is given and can't be changed.

  4. #49
    MMus, MA, PGCE JumpingJack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarata View Post
    Here's my problem:
    You can't leap an augmented fourth.
    However, as Color of Music said, you could turn it into a diminished fifth instead. In this case, move the F#-G in the bass down an octave. I wouldn't advise this as being particularly great, but the dim 5 interval is followed by stepwise movement in the reverse direction, making it acceptable.

    Incidentally; remember it's always best to cadence with root position chords where possible (with V-I for example, both should normally be in root position).

    Quote Originally Posted by Color of Music View Post
    I would make the Cin the bass an E
    That would make the chord a second inversion which is not generally allowed in this style.

    Quote Originally Posted by Color of Music View Post
    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)
    Actually, in this style, it's good advice to assume that there is a problem with such intervals.
    The melodic minor is used to avoid exactly this problem.

    There are always exceptions of course, but at this stage it is necessary to have a firm grounding in the basics before one can proceed further.

  5. #50
    Registered User Color of Music's Avatar
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    Thanks, JJ. I tried.

  6. #51
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    Thanks for the replies.

    Why a dim5th is preferable to a aug4th? Is it because the dim5th has an exception and aug4th doesn't have one?

    ...the d5 interval is not that difficult to sing since you are going down - not up!
    And if the aug 4th was going down, could it be used instead?

    Actually, in this style, it's good advice to assume that there is a problem with such intervals.
    In my example, what would be the problem? I'm thinking about the aug 4th as a consequence of a previous problem and not the problem de per si.

  7. #52
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    These "rules" apply melodically, harmonically, or both?


    Ok, I got myself the answer... melodically. Steps and leaps occurr in melodies.
    Last edited by rbarata; 08-15-2014 at 05:30 PM.

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarata View Post
    Why a dim5th is preferable to a aug4th? Is it because the dim5th has an exception and aug4th doesn't have one?
    And if the aug 4th was going down, could it be used instead?
    In my example, what would be the problem? I'm thinking about the aug 4th as a consequence of a previous problem and not the problem de per si.
    Augmented melodic intervals cannot ever be used. This is one of the basic rules of part writing. Augmented intervals are a problem in themselves, regardless of whatever else is going on, they should not be used melodically.

    Diminished intervals, like leaps of sixths and octaves, are allowed only when followed by movement in the reverse direction (preferably by step). The exception is the diminished fourth which shouldn't ever be used.

    Leaps of sevenths are likewise to be avoided.

    Remember, in this style, it is relatively rare to have any part leap more than a fifth (with the exception of the octave, which is a common leap in the bass). The majority of the time, parts move mostly by step, with the occasional small leap (third, perfect fourth or perfect fifth).

  9. #54
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    Doubling question...

    "Two voices on the same weak degree (II, III, VI), which is neither the fundamental nor the fifth of the chord (except for the second degree, in some cases), weaken the tonal sense of the chord. In most cases this kind of doubling is not acceptable."

    In a first inversion chord with the 3rd in the soprano, which note should I double? Probably the tonic and after the fifth, no?

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarata View Post
    "Two voices on the same weak degree (II, III, VI), which is neither the fundamental nor the fifth of the chord (except for the second degree, in some cases), weaken the tonal sense of the chord. In most cases this kind of doubling is not acceptable."


    Not sure this makes much sense, where's it from?

    Quote Originally Posted by rbarata View Post
    In a first inversion chord with the 3rd in the soprano, which note should I double? Probably the tonic and after the fifth, no?
    It depends on the chord, but generally in this case, you double either root or fifth, whichever gives you the smoothest part writing (specific exception: it's best to avoid doubling the fifth of ii6/3). If it's a diminished chord however, then you should aim to double the third regardless of voicing.

    Occasionally, if necessary, the third may be doubled in such a case providing the parts in question move in contrary motion, preferably by step. Bach for example often uses chord I6/3 with a doubled third in both soprano and bass on approach to an authentic cadence.

    Be careful with names. "Tonic" and "Dominant" refer to the scale degrees of the overall key (or chords built from them), so in C major they are always C and G respectively, regardless of chord.
    If you're talking about chord tones, then say "Root" and "Fifth" instead. The root of a C major chord is C, but the root of a G major chord is G, etc.

  11. #56
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    Not sure this makes much sense, where's it from?
    From the help menu in the harmony program I'm using.

    It depends on the chord, but generally in this case, you double either root or fifth, whichever gives you the smoothest part writing.
    There's a problem I haven't noticed...the third is already doubled (soprano and bass). Otherwise it won't be a first inversion.

    Be careful with names. "Tonic" and "Dominant" refer to the scale degrees of the overall key (or chords built from them), so in C major they are always C and G respectively, regardless of chord.
    If you're talking about chord tones, then say "Root" and "Fifth" instead. The root of a C major chord is C, but the root of a G major chord is G, etc.
    Opss... I was writing and thinking about some other issue. Thanks

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarata View Post
    There's a problem I haven't noticed...the third is already doubled (soprano and bass). Otherwise it won't be a first inversion.
    Then you may need to change the bass...
    But I'm not sure what chord you're talking about now so I don't know the context.

  13. #58
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    Then you may need to change the bass...
    So, basically, a first inversion can't be used.

    But I'm not sure what chord you're talking about now so I don't know the context.
    Second phrase, chord 3.

    One very basic question about intervals... ...melodic intervals. The melodic intervals are named like the harmonic ones, starting from the lowest note? Or is it starting from the first note?

    In the meanwhile I finished the exercise...I was not sure about which chord to use at the beginning of the second phrase so I used a V. But probably that's not a good idea when thinking in terms of establishing the key since this is a major chord (although the next chord, a I 6/3, defines it better due to the Bb and, finally, the next one, a iv 5/3 clears this doubt due to the Eb).

    Here it is:
    2ndexercise_complete_zpsc01f3431.jpg
    Last edited by rbarata; 08-15-2014 at 10:15 PM.

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarata View Post
    So, basically, a first inversion can't be used.
    Second phrase, chord 3.
    Remember chord ii is normally a diminished chord in minor keys (unless the melodic minor is used), so the third can (and should) be doubled (it would still be good to move by contrary motion if possible though).

    Quote Originally Posted by rbarata View Post
    One very basic question about intervals... ...melodic intervals. The melodic intervals are named like the harmonic ones, starting from the lowest note? Or is it starting from the first note?
    Always the lowest note.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbarata View Post
    I was not sure about which chord to use at the beginning of the second phrase so I used a V. But probably that's not a good idea when thinking in terms of establishing the key since this is a major chord (although the next chord, a I 6/3, defines it better due to the Bb and, finally, the next one, a iv 5/3 clears this doubt due to the Eb).
    Starting a phrase with V is perfectly acceptable, and tends to work well, especially if (as here) you follow it with chord i. That defines the key perfectly well, so no worries here.

    I'm sorry but I don't have time to go through your solution in detail right now, but I shall do so in the morning.
    Try to keep the layout though; the second phrase should start on a weak beat (and finish on a strong beat) of the bar; this is important to retain.

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarata View Post
    Here it is:
    Overall, this is quite good. No serious problems. Do bear in mind what I said about maintaining the strong and weak beats though.
    The final cadence would be more stylistic with the V in root position, but what you have done is not "wrong" per se.
    Have you thought about ending with a Tierce de Picardie (described earlier)?

    As I said earlier, you just get away with those two diminished fifth leaps in the bass, but I would advise against this sort of thing wherever possible. The bass, more so than any other part, should generally move by step with occasional small leaps. Leaps of perfect fourths, perfect fifths and octaves are fairly common, but they generally involve the tonic and dominant or subdominant of the key and/or occur between two chords in root position. A big leap from (or to) a first inversion chord not involving the tonic and dominant/subdominant is relatively rare and should preferably be avoided.

    All in all though, a good harmonisation.
    You have learned how to harmonise in the minor key, including how to handle the variable seventh degree. Well done.

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