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Harmonic Experience
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Swain



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 211
Location: Arkansas

PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sweet!


So, it's pretty much a work-filled endeavour, isn't it? Laughing


I'm excited to hear what you get from cracking it open.
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huw



Joined: 20 Jul 2010
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Location: Cheshire UK

PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Swain wrote:
...I'm excited to hear what you get from cracking it open.


Hi Swain

Well, I've had a chance to look this thing over now, so I'll give you some first impressions. Watch, and smile while preconception after preconception crumples into dust...

So: (in no particualr order of importance Wink )

First thing that struck me - damn, this is a big book! I was expecting maybe 200 > 300 pages, not closer to 500. But that's a good thing.

Second, that picture on the cover - I'd only ever seen it as a thumbnail & I kind of thought it was of an old black guy with a diddy-bow. Nope, impressionist pic of girl with violin. Funny how what I'd heard about the book informed my take on what I thought the picture was, and how seeing the real picture changed my impression of what I'd be getting in to. Not very profound, but there you go.

Next, looking at the contents pages to get some kind of overview: I'd been led to expect (and mostly by people who haven't read it, I now realise) that the theme would be "Just Intonation good, Equal Temperament bad". Sort of how to use JI as an alternative to 12TET. I now see that his position is more like how an understanding of JI can help me to utilise 12TET more effectively and avoid the pitfalls of the temperament. That's really exciting, more along the lines of what I hoped to use the book for, and better than what I was expecting.

Then there's the lattice. I thought I was pretty familiar with the 5 limit lattice from here: http://x31eq.com/lattice.htm
But it turns out that I'd only ever looked at the extended latice, never just 12 notes. Sure I'd done some maths with it & discovered the commas, and some other useful stuff, but I'd found more questions that answers (which is sometimes a good thing Smile ) So now I'm looking just at the 12 note lattice, and some of those questions have pretty obvious answers - turns out I've done things backwards as usual! Laughing

And the notes themselves have given me pause for thought: the basic 12 note lattice from C (as presented by WAM) contains 4 flats & 1 sharp. I'm more familiar (from history of temperament & piano tuning) with the notion that the tonality of C contains 3 sharps & 2 flats. Confused Not sure what that means yet, or if indeed it means anything at all... Laughing

The writing style is, to me at least, very clear & straight-forward. I've heard the book talked about as if it was full of hippy-dippy mumbo-jumbo BS. I just don't get that - he's very down to earth, very "try this, listen to it, what do you think about it?". Having read harmony text books by Schoenberg this reads very nicely, thanks!

I've been following his invitation to skim through the book and dig in where it grabs, so in practice I'm going through it in two ways at once. First I'm slowly doing the singing, from the begining, and taking my time to get to hear the pitches. Second, I'm reading ahead, again from the begining, and so far up to chapter 16 on the extended lattice. It's kind of like looking at the map (reading ahead) before doing the journey for real (singing through).

So that's my first book report, and I can tell already that this is going to become one of my favourite books, and reading way ahead by looking at the chapter titles & contents to see what there is to look forward to in the long term, I'm really excited by this thing.

Very Happy
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Swain



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 211
Location: Arkansas

PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, it doesn't crap all over 12 TET like many seem to think. It tries to reslove the problems with using both systems as your working base, I think.

And it truly is this problem I see now. Most players USE both "systems", but only refer to one of them while the other one is considered some type of mystical "soul" or "inspirational vibe", that floats out of the ether and just happens to be available to those who are tuned in to the akashic records, or something! LOL

Now, bring this up to many musicians, and they'll immediately get defensive about the sanctity of the CW (conventional wisdom/theory).

But, I see it as an expansion. Even if it is also an updating of many older concepts.


Glad you're digging it!
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Swain



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 3:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing I have recently found really exciting, is the idea of "Minor over Major".

It all kinda ties in (for me.........so far) with my delving into the differences and similarities between Major Triads, Relative Minor Triads and Parallel Minor Triads.

Learning to "hear" Minor Chords as having the m3rd. actually being generated as a Reciprocal M3rd. DOWN from the 5th., really hit me hard.

All of the sudden, I am starting to hear the Minor as a type of extension of the Major. Kind of an "expansion" of the sound. Added depth and definately more complexity to the harmony.

Here's an example;

Our band covers a Reba song called "Consider Me Gone". We do it in G, although I don't recall the original's Key, or if it's G or not.

In one part, it modulates from a C Chord to a Cm Chord. Kind of floats there for a second or two. And when this happens, I can now "Hear" this expansion happening. It's a wonderful effect to be tuned in to. Really "makes" the tune more special for me.

Anyway, just wanted to update this Thread with where the Book and it's studies have been taking me.

Ciao For Now.
Idea
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huw



Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 29
Location: Cheshire UK

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I'm still enjoying this book a lot Smile

I've read into Part II, on equal temperament, and I'm sort of at a "pause" in my reading while I digest what he's covered to this point.

One thing that's been in my thoughts a lot recently has been comparing relative & parallel derivations of modes, using the 12 note latice.

For example, in a 12 note latice built on C: comparing mixolydian built on the V chord, ie on G (as in the conventional way we're taught to derive mixolydian) with mixolydian built on C itself.

The "C" mixolydian has exactly the same ratios between the scale degrees as Ionian (apart from having a b7 instead of a 7) . ie from 1 to 2 (Cto D) is a 9:8 in both C ionian & mixolydian.

But in "G" mixolydian 1 to 2 (G to A) is a 10:9 instead.

That stuff interests me. I guess it shows why a G7 V chord in C really is still in C, and not at all the same as a 7 chord as a tonic in a mixolydian tune. Totally different thing.

Also I really dug the example he gave of the Mozart piece with the b3 to 3 move - bluesy Wolfgang!
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flavaham



Joined: 02 Nov 2011
Posts: 13
Location: Aurora, Co

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, new guy over here. So, I've been skimming through this thread and I gotta say, there's a lot of "Greek" going on! Haha, I feel like I have a reasonable grasp on theory, (at least to the point that I don't let it get in the way of my feel for music when playing - not a cop-out). I usually don't like to go crazy deep into it but I'm very intrigued by this whole conversation. I've never seen these "lattice" shapes before and I'm very much interested in how they are applied. Is there a spot somewhere on the internet where I can read up and find out if this is something I need to explore further? I don't really have the cash right now to order this book and frankly, I'm not sure I'd understand it given the conversation going on here! haha. Anyhow, I'm always looking for something to learn. Maybe this is that current something!
Thanks!
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flavaham



Joined: 02 Nov 2011
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Location: Aurora, Co

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, so I just read a bit about ET online and I'm finding it a little "Brainy" to be honest! haha. It's a good explanation of why we use a 12 tone chromatic scale and why some Arabic, middle eastern and other eastern music use a 24 note scale (semi-tones to some).

Are you guys retuning your guitars to use other variations? I'm seeing that "5TET and 7TET" are fairly common. Wouldn't you need a fretless instrument to actually play this stuff though? (and an amazing ear!)

Anyhow, at first I was thinking that this was a way to find other harmonies but it looks to be going considerably deeper than that! I obviously haven't read the text so the idea of G-A being 10:9 and C-D = 9:8 means nothing to me at this point.

Either way, Very interesting discussion!
Also, if my lack of knowledge on the subject detracts from the discussion, please tell me to go away! haha.
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kimock



Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 441
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="huw"]
Swain wrote:

And the notes themselves have given me pause for thought: the basic 12 note lattice from C (as presented by WAM) contains 4 flats & 1 sharp. I'm more familiar (from history of temperament & piano tuning) with the notion that the tonality of C contains 3 sharps & 2 flats. :? Not sure what that means yet, or if indeed it means anything at all... :lol:


:D


Oooh nice! 4 flats & 1 sharp vs. 3 sharps and 2 flats!

Jeez what a bunch of geeks we turned out to be, huh?

The temperament and tuning C#, Eb, F#, G#, and Bb version of "The Acoustical Tonality of C Major" is a tonality issue, specific to having to choose whether to tune a raised key as either a flat or a sharp on a keyboard with the standard key arrangement.
I'm just saying that for everybody else's benefit, I'm assuming you got it because you brought it up.

What I'm guessing you're getting from H.E. is the North Indian Classical concept of 12 scale steps with the root and fifth fixed, and flattened and natural versions of steps 2, 3, 6, and 7, and natural and raised versions of scale step 4.

Make sense?
The 3#'s, 2b's is a very specific western keyboard tuning, temperament, and tonality issue, and the 4 and 1 is a very general eastern modal organization concept independent of specific tuning and instrument. Very general.

They're not at all mutually exclusive.

Hope that helps!!
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kimock



Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 441
Location: Lehigh Valley

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

flavaham wrote:

Are you guys retuning your guitars to use other variations? I'm seeing that "5TET and 7TET" are fairly common. Wouldn't you need a fretless instrument to actually play this stuff though? (and an amazing ear!)


Hey Flav, nice hanging out with you the other day. .
Anyway, yeah, I tune to whatever I feel like, sometimes straight up to the tuner, sometimes "fudged" to get the tonic chord or some technique to sound happier. You don't need a fretless.
We're doing a lot of nit-picking here for sure, but it's all hopefully in service of understanding what it means to play and conceptualize theoretically on a variable pitched instrument.
The regular "music theory stuff" is very fixed pitch oriented, and not pitch specific.
THAT AIN'T THE GUITAR!!!

The modern electric guitar stuff we grew up with is a whole different bag, bending notes, tunings, slide, whammy bar, vibrato etc. All that vocabulary has its own specific study requirements to consider, and all of that is left off the table by the piano-centric curriculum, so we're trying to address that here in an objective way. It sucks. . .

Quote:

Either way, Very interesting discussion!
Also, if my lack of knowledge on the subject detracts from the discussion, please tell me to go away! haha.



Ok, SECURITY!!!!

Just kidding!!!
Please send my kind regards to your gal as well, it was nice hanging with you guys. Fun! We'll do it again. . .
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flavaham



Joined: 02 Nov 2011
Posts: 13
Location: Aurora, Co

PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I've got to see what this whole "lattice" idea is all about.

The thing that I'm confused on is that if you "fudge" the tuning to get better harmonies (I'm assuming that's the goal with this) then you must rely heavily on your ear and probably throw a lot of theory out the window. That being said, you couldn't possibly make this sound good without knowing theory so it seems somewhat paradoxical to me.

Also, as you go up the neck, intonation could be a big factor, no?

In what I have read on this (however brief) it seems that there are better tunings to help achieve a "better" perfect fifth or major third. I could see this being beneficial, but honestly, can the average audience member really hear that? For that matter, I don't know a lot of musicians who would, after a jam, stop and say, "Hey man, your 3rds are sounding amazing today!" haha, perhaps I'm missing the point a bit.

Anyhow, likewise, it was a blast hanging at Quioxote's last week! Melissa also had a great time! I grabbed a copy of the show from "livedownloads.com" the other day. Do you see any money from that? Is that site legit??
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HaasSauce



Joined: 03 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

flavaham wrote:
Yeah, I've got to see what this whole "lattice" idea is all about.

The thing that I'm confused on is that if you "fudge" the tuning to get better harmonies (I'm assuming that's the goal with this) then you must rely heavily on your ear and probably throw a lot of theory out the window. That being said, you couldn't possibly make this sound good without knowing theory so it seems somewhat paradoxical to me.

Also, as you go up the neck, intonation could be a big factor, no?

In what I have read on this (however brief) it seems that there are better tunings to help achieve a "better" perfect fifth or major third. I could see this being beneficial, but honestly, can the average audience member really hear that? For that matter, I don't know a lot of musicians who would, after a jam, stop and say, "Hey man, your 3rds are sounding amazing today!" haha, perhaps I'm missing the point a bit.

Anyhow, likewise, it was a blast hanging at Quioxote's last week! Melissa also had a great time! I grabbed a copy of the show from "livedownloads.com" the other day. Do you see any money from that? Is that site legit??


As a way of maybe bridging your post here with your slide thread, you might find it interesting to flip through the videos on the Kimock's Korner page and play around with some just tones with your slide. IMO feeling a pure 3rd and pure flatted 7th is kind of the entryway into the just tuning world, and it's much easier to hit those with a slide than to push the fretted note flat.
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huw



Joined: 20 Jul 2010
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Location: Cheshire UK

PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kimock wrote:
Oooh nice! 4 flats & 1 sharp vs. 3 sharps and 2 flats!

Jeez what a bunch of geeks we turned out to be, huh?


Guilty as charged... Very Happy

Quote:
...What I'm guessing you're getting from H.E. is the North Indian Classical concept of 12 scale steps with the root and fifth fixed, and flattened and natural versions of steps 2, 3, 6, and 7, and natural and raised versions of scale step 4.

Make sense?
The 3#'s, 2b's is a very specific western keyboard tuning, temperament, and tonality issue, and the 4 and 1 is a very general eastern modal organization concept independent of specific tuning and instrument. Very general.

They're not at all mutually exclusive.

Hope that helps!!


Thanks Steve - that's pretty much how I was thinking it through. I had remembered something you posted in a thread on TGP sometime:

Quote:
...When the raised keys are tuned as C# Eb F# G# and Bb, the acoustic tonality of C major and A minor is created.
When the raised keys are as C# Eb F# Ab and Bb, the acoustic tonality of F major and D minor is created; when the raised keys are tuned C# D# F# G# and Bb, the acoustic tonality of G major and E minor is created, etc.


...and I just thought it was an interesting comparison.

This is a great book - I'm getting stuff out of it every day. As my background is very based in traditional western classical music theory I'm loving the new perspectives. I was trying to find a book like this when I was in music college, but heck, that was pre - internet, so I was stuck with what was in the library.
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flavaham



Joined: 02 Nov 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HaasSauce wrote:


As a way of maybe bridging your post here with your slide thread, you might find it interesting to flip through the videos on the Kimock's Korner page and play around with some just tones with your slide. IMO feeling a pure 3rd and pure flatted 7th is kind of the entryway into the just tuning world, and it's much easier to hit those with a slide than to push the fretted note flat.


Wow, that's crazy! Watching it didn't quite do it for me, so I had to grab the guitar and check it out. The note "between" the minor and major third sounds so friggin' sour at first but kind of grows on you.

Then, I start screwing around from the fourth to the fifth and there are five notes there! (as pointed out in the video) WTF??? Where the hell did these come from and WHY didn't I at least hear these internally before now? As I play it, and maybe the frets on my cheap ass acoustic are slightly off, but it seems like I don't really play a true fourth (as I know it) but actually hover around it so to speak on the way up to the fifth. If I just play those five notes up to the fifth I feel like it starts just flat of what the fretted fourth would be and then just past.

The real dicsipline then, I guess, is going to be finding the exact spot of all of these notes and not just gradually moving up or down hoping to hit the right one, because if you're off AT ALL, it can be a disaster! Ear and intonation are obviously more important here than your standard playing.

Good stuff!! I feel like this is in the wrong thread now though.
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flavaham



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I lied a little there. Those five notes start on the major third and go up. But really that should just be 3, 4, #4, 5 and there's another note just sitting in there hiding! So at this point I'm looking at seven notes between b3 and 5! This just blew my mind! haha!
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HaasSauce



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, to tie it back to Harmonic Experience, try working with these notes over a drone. Set up a synth or some other stripped down tone in the background, then practice hitting the root, the octave, a 5th (all pretty close to the fretted notes), then work with a pure 3rd (major and minor) - getting a bit away from the fretted notes, and a b7, way off the fretted note. Try striking the notes spot on as well as sliding right up/down to them. It's a good workout for your ear and slide. Smile
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