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Thread: Are there any practice methods/books for playing non-tonal music?

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    Senior Member Fredx2098's Avatar
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    Question Are there any practice methods/books for playing non-tonal music?

    I'm not interested in composing tonal music. I'm also not overly interested in composing atonal music. I'm interested in dissonant abstract chromaticism. I'd like to use the piano as a composition tool, but I'm not sure how to get the sounds I want to come out of the piano. Somehow I can get the sounds I want out of a real piano, but I feel totally lost on a digital piano. I'm trying to get my hands on a real piano.

    I can play and compose tonal music fairly efficiently, but that isn't what I want to do.

    Are there any techniques I can work on to be able to play chromatic music more efficiently, or any books that work on non-tonal techniques?

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    with atonal music, each piece is solving the problem of creating meaning without the convention of tonality in its own way. When I play atonal music, it is almost like each piece has its own hand mechanisms that only apply to that one piece. In tonal music, you can practice something like scales and that same scale will apply to a wide range of pieces. This isn't really how atonal music is.

    but what it sounds like you are describing might be more like 7th chord harmony pushed to the very limit

    If that is what you are after, look for modern jazz methods that deal in quartal harmony, symmetric scales, and superimposition

    Dave Liebmann (the sax player) wrote a really good set of books on superimposition, so that might give you a place to start

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    Senior Member Fredx2098's Avatar
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    I didn't think about jazz methods, but that might be a perfect place to start, thanks!

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    Sr. Moderator Taggart's Avatar
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    Try Bartók's Mikrokosmos which is intended as a primer in new music.
    Music begins where words leave off. Music expresses the inexpressible.

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    Senior Member Fredx2098's Avatar
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    Thank you, that seems like exactly what I need!

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