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Thread: Melody vs Arpeggio

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssyniu View Post
    .Can I use parallel key to make the countermelody or I should stay in one key signature.what Bach or Beethoven or Paul McCartney where doing key wise where they writing contrapuntal elements and staying in the same key or key signature(what are the tricks to write good countermelodies apart from avoiding parallel motion).
    Most music is in a single key for one section of the music. ALL of the instruments playing will play in the same key. That's how probably, I don't know, 99% of most music that the world is familiar with is written. It's probably 80% of most music in general.

    If two keys are played simultaneously, we call that "Bi-Tonality" (or Tri-Tonality for 3, or sometimes just "Poly-Tonality" for anything more than 1). This is something that didn't really happen until the 20th Century with composers like Stravinsky.

    There are a few exceptions - I believe Mozart wrote a piece that was supposed to be like some main music with another orchestra playing in a different room or outdoors or something so it was like you were in one room listening to the opera but you could hear an annoying car radio outside - but that's a seriously rare example. Though Mozart also wrote something called "A Musical Joke" where there are all kinds of "errors" and some of them are instruments not transposed correctly which puts them in the wrong key.

    There also were arguments way back in the Renaissance as to whether some pieces were "Bi-Modal" or not because the Soprano and Alto might sing in Dorian and the Tenor and Bass might be in Aeolian - but the defining of modes back then was also based on other stuff like the ambitus and reciting tones in the mode and stuff like that.

    So those are example most people listening to most music aren't going to be as familiar with.

    Regular old Classical music - Baroque, Classical, and Romantic period music, and Popular Music - Salon Music, Dance Music (Waltzes), Barbershop, Ragtime, Jazz, Rock, etc. are all "Uni-Tonal" - all of the music sounding at one time is in ONE and only ONE Key.

    This doesn't mean the piece won't change to other keys, it just means that during the entire song, or sections of the song, everyone is in the same key - all the instruments are in the same key.

    Now, the only exception in popular music outside of experimental pop (I'm talking "Art Jazz", "Art Rock" and things like that - things inspired by Stravinksy and 20th century composers) is probably "blues" influenced music.

    In blues influenced music, people intentionally play "the wrong mode" so they automatically select "blue notes". Essentially this means they play Minor Pentatonic over an otherwise Major chord progression.

    And, in Jazz, it's common for people to use different modes over an otherwise "in key" set of chords or section of a song so again, they can get "blue notes" or other modal flavors. This is "chord-scale" playing and despite how prevalent it seems online, it really only applies to a very small segment of Jazz (and a comparatively recent one that that.


    Simply put, if you're writing in C Major, every note you're writing should come from C Major, unless it's a chromatic note. And you shouldn't throw in chromatic notes without a darn good reason to do so.

    Now, this doesn't mean you can't be in C Major for 3 measures and then add some notes from C Minor for a measure - but you'd be in C Minor for ALL of the parts playing for that measure (though it's possible some of the players may not have any of the notes that are different between the two modes).

    This fascination people seem to have with playing "scales over chords" is totally alien to the way almost all music has been written traditionally.

    And even IF you DO play "scales over chords", if your chords are in C Major, then your scales should be in C Major!

    Though you still shouldn't even think that way. The notes of C Major are your alphabet. THat's what you have to use. Your melodies, countermelodies, chords, licks, counterpoint, etc. all come from C Major.

    Your example is a good example of "counter melody". It is "countrapuntal" and the two lines are "in counterpoint" but this is not usually what we mean by "counterpoint" in the stricter sense - what we'd call "polyphony".

    The fact that these are two different melodies and on two different instruments makes them sound almost like they're not "working together" to produce harmony - instead it sounds a little like they're missing the harmony part. They "sound good at the same time" for the most part, but because they're "mostly independent" of each other, they tend to sound more like two distinct melodies - and of course since you presented them one at time it's pretty obvious too.

    There is one odd chromatic note in the piano part that "sounds wrong" (or unexpected) and when the two are combined to my ears it sounds even worse then - put them both in the same key.

    But otherwise it's a pretty typical example of the way a melody and countermelody are written.

    The only negative is that it's a little hard to hear *which* of the two melodies is primary - you may have been trying to write "counterpoint" and thus had two melodies that were "more equal" and if so, you got that. But again because the way they're presented here they have a more independent nature as "melodies proper" and less as "melodies that were meant to go together, maintain their "line" but combine for harmony" which is really what counterpoint is.

    Check this out:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEVQ7yHgaSM

    This is a little more intricate because it's "imitative counterpoint" and it also is partly "fugal" in nature (written like a 2 part fugue in some ways) but if you can't figure out what's going on from the music, look for some analyses of these and some of the graphic versions where you can follow along with the parts.

    You also may want to simply watch videos on how to write counterpoint. There's a lot of information out there!
    Last edited by stevel; 07-26-2016 at 03:28 AM.

  2. #17
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    Hi Steven
    Sorry for my late reply but forum was down for few days when I was checking, and I wasn't checking just lately.
    This sentence gave me a lot to think about but I am still not sure what do you mean.

    Quote Originally Posted by stevel View Post
    This fascination people seem to have with playing "scales over chords" is totally alien to the way almost all music has been written traditionally.
    What does it mean?How different was traditional writting can you give me some examples if possible.I am not sure what do you mean by saying "scales over..." do you mean lack of chromatic notes in melody???

    Thank you for taking your time to listen to my "counter melody"and your insights.
    Quote Originally Posted by stevel View Post
    The only negative is that it's a little hard to hear *which* of the two melodies is primary - you may have been trying to write "counterpoint" and thus had two melodies that were "more equal" and if so, you got that.
    Yes I was trying to make them as equal as possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by stevel View Post
    The fact that these are two different melodies and on two different instruments makes them sound almost like they're not "working together" to produce harmony - instead it sounds a little like they're missing the harmony part
    Not sure how to achieve that harmony.Thats not counterpoint(video below) at 07:03????It doesn't sound like the melodies are independent, I am asking just because I don't understand how to make two melodies to sound independent and "in harmony" to me harmony equals chords,and I am asking based on this example just because the way he is describing it(after the music stops at 07:20)as they "went crazy with melodies"and "different instrument play different melody"(without listening to the music it sounds like he is talking about counterpoint that produces harmony) but it still sound like one chord is that what you mean when you said "they're missing the harmony part"(maby i am wrong but I don't think so)but I've just used this example to confirm.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLbGrfnRGK4


    I was using this book to learn about counterpoint.:
    http://www.artisiou.com/bibliotheque...unterpoint.pdf






    "Your example is a good example of "counter melody". It is "countrapuntal" and the two lines are "in counterpoint" but this is not usually what we mean by "counterpoint" in the stricter sense - what we'd call "polyphony"."

    Maybe my reference source wasn't the proper one to create "polyphonic"counter melodies(did you mean Baroque-style counterpoint?).
    Last edited by ssyniu; 07-31-2016 at 09:50 AM.

  3. #18
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    Traditionally, a melody is conceived of first, then harmony is written to that melody.

    Modern people do it backwards in a lot of cases - they write chord progressions first, then come up with a melody.

    Usually the latter often results in a melody that is "forced to fit the chords".

    Classical composers who wrote music within a tonal framework understood the harmonic progressions of their time so they sort of wrote the melody "with an understanding of what harmony was likely to accompany it". But melody is what the pieces are "about".

    As for counterpoint, can you show me a first species exercise you've done?

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevel View Post

    As for counterpoint, can you show me a first species exercise you've done?
    https://soundcloud.com/ssyniuy/first...t-counterpoint
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by ssyniu; 07-31-2016 at 11:58 PM.

  5. #20
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    Not bad. But not "traditional". Nothing wrong with that. Voices are pretty far apart.

    What about 2 against 1?

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevel View Post
    Not bad. But not "traditional". Nothing wrong with that. Voices are pretty far apart.

    What about 2 against 1?
    Should the voices be one octave apart??

    I will send 2 against 1 but I can't do it now because its after 1AM here.I will do It tomorrow.

    All the best Steve.
    Thanks
    Last edited by ssyniu; 08-01-2016 at 12:15 AM.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevel View Post
    Not bad. But not "traditional". Nothing wrong with that. Voices are pretty far apart.

    What about 2 against 1?
    Second Species.

    https://soundcloud.com/ssyniuy/secon...t-counterpoint

  8. #23
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    Sounds OK too. Seems like you understand what counterpoint is.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevel View Post
    Sounds OK too. Seems like you understand what counterpoint is.
    Nice one.
    Much appreciate your effort in teaching me music.
    Thank You.

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