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Thread: Post Tonal music question

  1. #1
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    Post Tonal music question

    From my understanding voice leading is a concept developed and used in tonal music.How that concept transformed along with the transformation of functional harmony in to the post tonal key concept.
    How todays 20th century music is written(pop/rock).
    People learned chords names and how to play them and trying to combine them relying on "ear"
    I was taught by you stevel if you are reading this that this writing music approach by creating chords out of scale degree and limiting myself to the chords build from the scale degrees is not a proper way of writing music.
    So how 20th century post tonal key based music is written (pop/rock,soul and so on)
    Without use of tonality concept like voice leading and without use of "scale guidance" (building chords from scale degree).I am asking about more "sophisticated" pop/rock music where musicians "know what they are doing" with music,not like kids playing around with chords in garage band.
    I've also learned that modal interchange is big part of "todays music".Can I borrow any chords from any mode any time ?,but they need to be in parallel key "relationship",is that it ,simple as that? Initially I thought I should use any one of the modes as a starting base like for example C Aeolian/minor and then use the rest of the modes as potential source of chords finding and all that is guided by my musical taste/"ear".
    But If scale and its degrees aren't the proper guidance what is?



    I hope its not too much for asking.
    Thank you Very much in advance.
    Last edited by ssyniu; 07-02-2016 at 09:16 AM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssyniu View Post
    From my understanding voice leading is a concept developed and used in tonal music.
    Not quite. It developed with the first harmonic music, which would be Polyphony in the Middle Ages. It evolved through the Renaissance and CPP, and continued to evolve into the present.


    I was taught by you stevel if you are reading this that this writing music approach by creating chords out of scale degree and limiting myself to the chords build from the scale degrees is not a proper way of writing music.
    It's ONE way of writing music. Not the only way. Music doesn't even have to use chords. It may though. It doesn't have to be in a key. It may though.
    So how 20th century post tonal key based music is written (pop/rock,soul and so on)
    We call the time period that includes the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods, the "Common Practice Period". We call it that because there was one, "primary" way of writing music that all composers used. It was a "common practice" common to all practitioners of the musical art.

    Unfortunately, no such "common practice" has evolved for modern popular music (and really, much post-tonal music at all). In some cases, each individual composer may have a very distinct style. This is partly why this period has not been studied as much - it's harder to observe, let alone define any kind of common practices.

    There are some.

    But, to be blunt, if you want to learn to write 20th century (and beyond) popular music, you need to learn to play that music.

    Do you think Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Bach, or even Bartok and Stravinsky didn't play music? They learned music and composition through playing the works of others.

    For them, they had access only to a limited catalog of music, so that's why such a "common practice" developed - they learned from their immediate predecessors.

    However, today that's much more difficult because the styles in popular music are vastly different from 1940, to 1950, to 1960.

    Since there's no "common practice", you sometimes have to pick one style to work in, as many people do. Some people, for example, learn to play Jazz and nothing else, and still write very typical Jazz style pieces not far removed from what they play. Many people who play classic rock write things that, though modern, still sound very much like classic rock.



    Without use of tonality concept like voice leading and without use of "scale guidance" (building chords from scale degree).I am asking about more "sophisticated" pop/rock music where musicians "know what they are doing" with music,not like kids playing around with chords in garage band.
    Well, are you talking about "composerly" bands like Yes, and ELP, or more Jazz-based groups like Steely Dan?

    "sophisticated" can mean a lot of things, and once pop becomes too sophisticated, it's not popular anymore because the general public doesn't get it!

    Give me an example of a band.



    I've also learned that modal interchange is big part of "todays music".Can I borrow any chords from any mode any time ?,
    "modal interchange" is a jazz word.

    But I suppose the principle can be applied to other music. Essentially, the answer is yes and then some.

    You can use any chord from any key at any time, whether it's from a "parallel mode" of any sort or not.
    Obviously, those chords that come from more closely related keys/modes will sound less jarring than chords from "out of the blue". But anything is possible.

    Pop music is still largely Tertian Harmony based, using Triads and 7th chords, and less commonly, 9ths or other extended chords. Modes are used equally with keys and mode mixture and modal interchange are quite common. Blues elements are quite common inclusions. Progressions based on root movement of triads, pentatonic scales, or blues scales are also quite common. Planing/parallelism is common, and "voice-leading" and "counterpoint" are exceptions rather than the norm - in fact, we can say as a general rule that if it was common practice, it was probably avoided.

    But again I have to ask, what instrument do you play, and what songs do you know how to play?

    Initially I thought I should use any one of the modes as a starting base like for example C Aeolian/minor and then use the rest of the modes as potential source of chords finding and all that is guided by my musical taste/"ear".
    But If scale and its degrees aren't the proper guidance what is?
    Sound.

    It's music. It's based on sound. That's it.

    If you have a Cm chord, it could proceed to any other possible chord if you like.

    Some chords will sound more traditional, others will not. Some will sound "good", some will sound "out of place" or unexpected.

    Cm could move to Fm, and just stay in the key of Cm.

    But it could go to F, making the mode (as far as we know at that point) C Dorian.

    Cm could go to Am for an interesting chromatic mediant sound.

    Your ear is your guide. But if your ear is not familiar with the sounds of a particular style, you're not going to know what sounds "stylistic" or not. That's why you need to listen to, and play, as much as you possibly can.

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    Hi Steven Thank You very much for your reply.
    Grate read.

    I like this artist sound:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baP4vtfwvzM

    Is his sound derived from blues?

    When I am trying to find key or notes i am using software piano.
    I never took any lesson to play but I am trying on my own.

    The tune I am trying to transcribe at the moment is:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dvmGxGtiBw

    I like first chords in this song.

    I was actually thinking to ask on this forum as well about that guitar (between 0:14-0:20)

    Is he playing some kind of C minor funky chord?

    I think the chords are Cm-Ebm-Cm,Gm-Bbm-Cm

    I see you are on forum now so I will post this quickly.
    Last edited by ssyniu; 07-03-2016 at 05:52 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssyniu View Post
    Hi Steven Thank You very much for your reply.
    Grate read.

    I like this artist sound:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baP4vtfwvzM

    Is his sound derived from blues?
    There are blues elements in it. I'd call it "soul". But soul, like many forms, has blues influence.



    When I am trying to find key or notes i am using software piano.
    Software piano? You mean something you click on screen, or do you have a piano-style keyboard controller you're using to play software sounds?
    I never took any lesson to play but I am trying on my own.
    If you want to get good at it, you probably need some guidance from someone you can interact with directly, such as a teacher, or another player, etc.

    The tune I am trying to transcribe at the moment is:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dvmGxGtiBw

    I like first chords in this song.

    I was actually thinking to ask on this forum as well about that guitar (between 0:14-0:20)

    Is he playing some kind of C minor funky chord?
    Well, the guitarist is playing what we might see from just that single instrument's perspective as an Eb chord, but in the context of the underlying C harmony, it makes a Cm7.

    It's common for guitarists in funk styles like this to play just triads that make the upper notes of a chord - especially on m7 chords like this. He could be playing a full Cm7 chord but because of the wah-wah, it's hard to hear exactly what the note content is. But it's *probably* G-Bb-Eb or even just Bb-Eb - those "top string funky" dyads and triads are very common.

    I think the chords are Cm-Ebm-Cm,Gm-Bbm-Cm
    You're close. I don't have a lot of time to spend on it but I think what you're hearing as Ebm does have an Eb and Gb in it, but it on first hearing sounds more like some kind of 7th chord. The Bb is probably just Bb, or maybe not even a whole chord, just passing notes along with the bass part.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevel View Post
    There are blues elements in it. I'd call it "soul". But soul, like many forms, has blues influence.
    What kind of elements if possible?





    Quote Originally Posted by stevel View Post
    Software piano? You mean something you click on screen, or do you have a piano-style keyboard controller you're using to play software sounds?
    Yes 61 keys piano style controller.


    Quote Originally Posted by stevel View Post
    If you want to get good at it, you probably need some guidance from someone you can interact with directly, such as a teacher, or another player, etc.
    Maby I should.I was looking for help initially with transcription and I found few numbers on the internet and I was calling but no one seem to waned to help and some didn't know what I was talking about one lady she said when I asked her if she could tech me transcriptions she asked "what transposition" :-).

    A lot of people seemed to be not very reliable to be able to answer my question.
    I found one good guy and I took few lessons with him but he was based far away from where I live and he was expensive.
    So long story short I end up searching for help on internet.




    Quote Originally Posted by stevel View Post
    Well, the guitarist is playing what we might see from just that single instrument's perspective as an Eb chord, but in the context of the underlying C harmony, it makes a Cm7.

    It's common for guitarists in funk styles like this to play just triads that make the upper notes of a chord - especially on m7 chords like this. He could be playing a full Cm7 chord but because of the wah-wah, it's hard to hear exactly what the note content is. But it's *probably* G-Bb-Eb or even just Bb-Eb - those "top string funky" dyads and triads are very common.
    Ok so dyad or triad I am not familiar how guitar chords sound.But I read about funk chords and Dominant7+9 so I was thinking that this is it but didn't came across any software plugin that imitates that sound when pressing keys on controller.
    Ill need to look for.



    Quote Originally Posted by stevel View Post
    You're close. I don't have a lot of time to spend on
    No worries I understand and appreciate any help,you helped me a lot already.

    Quote Originally Posted by stevel View Post
    but I think what you're hearing as Ebm does have an Eb and Gb in it, but it on first hearing sounds more like some kind of 7th chord. The Bb is probably just Bb, or maybe not even a whole chord, just passing notes along with the bass part.
    Yes I had problem with this two chords Eb and Bb the major triads sounded completely different,and minor not the same but closer so I assumed that they are minor.
    So probably your are right with those passing tones.

    All the best Steve
    Thank You
    Last edited by ssyniu; 07-03-2016 at 10:42 PM.

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