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Thread: Decoding Beethoven

  1. #16
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    No, that's incorrect. Look over my shoulder here; perhaps you'd like to join me, to read further?

    Attachment 113974

    There are things you can see using these methods that are normally not apparent. Trust me, Woodduck (sir), you should check this out. It might turn out to be job security for you, unless you've already retired.
    So where are the diagrams you consider so essential? I already understand the Tristan prelude without them, by the way, because I can hear what it's doing. Can't you?

    In addition to which, this thread proposes to "explain" Beethoven's compositional procedures by means of a visual system, and to teach us how to compose music with it as well. It's horsepuckey.
    Last edited by Woodduck; Mar-05-2019 at 23:05.

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  3. #17
    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    No, there's no resentment; it's just that I have a bad reaction to all that dust.
    You resent being corrected, which, unfortunately is bound to happen when you have trouble distinguishing contrapuntal from harmonic events. And if you didn't enjoy dust you'd be reading modern sources on "geometric" methods, parsimonious voice-leading, and various conceptions of the Tonnetz, like the work of the neo-Riemannians, rather than dredging around in the early stages of the field.
    Last edited by EdwardBast; Mar-06-2019 at 00:11.

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  4. #18
    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardBast View Post
    You resent being corrected, which, unfortunately is bound to happen when you have trouble distinguishing contrapuntal from harmonic events. And if you didn't enjoy dust you'd be reading modern sources on "geometric" methods, parsimonious voice-leading, and various conceptions of the Tonnetz, like the work of the neo-Riemannians, rather than dredging around in the early stages of the field.
    Oh, I know why Woodduck dislikes geometric ideas and charts; it is so obvious, I should have realized it earlier, since I already knew it.

    Schoenberg Matrix 200dpi.jpeg.jpg
    "The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?"
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    "In Spring! In the creation of art it must be as it is in Spring!" -Arnold Schoenberg

    "We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made us." -Jean-Paul Sartre

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  5. #19
    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    [FONT=Verdana]
    All that Edwardbast and Woodduck do is take pot-shots at other people's ideas; notice that they never start any threads. This is a martial-arts principle which they've adapted for internet use: let you enemy make the first move, then strike. I'm used to this sort of behavior.
    This is false and you know it — or should. The vast majority of my posting on the theory forum has been answering questions and giving assistance to members with practical theory problems to solve. The rest of my time here tends to be spent debunking misinformation and foggy unsupported assertions. One of these categories is largely coextensive with our collected colloquies.

    What greater comfort does time afford than the objects of terror re-encountered and their fraudulence exposed in the flash of reason?
    — William Gaddis, The Recognitions

    Originality is a device untalented people use to impress other untalented people and to protect themselves from talented people.
    Basil Valentine

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  7. #20
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    Oh, I know why Woodduck dislikes geometric ideas and charts; it is so obvious, I should have realized it earlier, since I already knew it.

    Schoenberg Matrix 200dpi.jpeg.jpg
    What is it you think you know (but don't)? Your favorite third-person "Woodduck" only dislikes "geometric ideas and charts" when they're stuck like barnacles onto things that don't require them. It's lucky for that guy in the video that Beethoven wasn't standing there with a plate of sauerkraut and bratwurst ready to launch at the appropriate target. That would've been much more entertaining than these video games, at least to those of us "spiritual" enough not to have to "rationalize" what we've understood about music - by listening to it - since grade school.

    Your first post on this thread is feeble foolishness and you know it. All you've done since is dig your intellectual grave deeper. Why bother? You're already underground.
    Last edited by Woodduck; Mar-06-2019 at 05:04.

  8. #21
    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    What is it you think you know? Your favorite third-person "Woodduck" only dislikes "geometric ideas and charts" when they're stuck like barnacles onto things that don't require them.
    You need this, Woodduck.

    Triads-chromaticism 200dpi.jpeg.jpg

    Where's the chart? This is to demonstrate that geometric charts facilitate chromatic thinking, and bring geometric ideas which would not rise to consciousness when impeded by outdated, inflexible conceptions of diatonicism. My advice to you is that you need to start thinking more chromatically, especially if you're going to expound on Wagner.

    All pedagogues: Note the references to the rise of pedagogy in the nineteenth century.






    Staying healthy, staying on-topic
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Mar-06-2019 at 14:28.

  9. #22
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    You need this, Woodduck.

    Triads-chromaticism 200dpi.jpeg.jpg

    Where's the chart? This is to demonstrate that geometric charts facilitate chromatic thinking, and bring geometric ideas which would not rise to consciousness when impeded by outdated, inflexible conceptions of diatonicism. My advice to you is that you need to start thinking more chromatically, especially if you're going to expound on Wagner.

    All pedagogues: Note the references to the rise of pedagogy in the nineteenth century.
    The above has nothing to do with the question of whether Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro is of any value either in understanding Beethoven or in composing music. It's one thing to digress slightly, and another to pretend that we're having a completely different conversation in order to distract from one's off-the-wall remarks.

    But, OK, let's digress more than slightly. Let me point out that Wagner and other composers influenced by him who pushed harmony to its chromatic outer limits did not need "geometric charts" in order to "start thinking more chromatically" or have their ideas "rise to consciousness," and they were not in the least "impeded by outdated, inflexible conceptions of diatonicism." Wagner, imbued with the dynamic principles of the Western tonal system, took its foundational and transcendent presence for granted and played with it and with his listeners' tonal expectations. It remains detectable and potent in his most far-flung and protracted ambiguities, dissonances, temporal distensions, and swift-moving shifts of tonal center both explicit and implied.

    There is a recent, in-depth study of Wagner's harmonic thinking which I would be reading right now if it didn't cost a gazillion dollars:

    https://www.amazon.com/Musical-Struc...ct_top?ie=UTF8

    From the book's conclusion: “The manipulation of unstated tonics in motivic sequence then becomes a direct manipulation of an unconscious psychological process of projecting order. It is not an invention or deviation from the theoretical structure of tonal practice, but a realization of possibilities inherent within the system. As such it represents a profound stylistic advance, and the possibilities which it opened may remain largely unexplored by later composers.”

    That states succinctly what I hear when I listen to Tristan or Parsifal, which I regard not as violations and rejections, but as fulfillments and celebrations, of the Western tonal tradition. Wagner didn't need "geometric charts" - playthings of academics - to create his music, and no one needs them to listen to it with comprehension.
    Last edited by Woodduck; Mar-07-2019 at 01:43.

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  11. #23
    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    “The manipulation of unstated tonics in motivic sequence then becomes a direct manipulation of an unconscious psychological process of projecting order. It is not an invention or deviation from the theoretical structure of tonal practice, but a realization of possibilities inherent within the system."

    Unstated tonics?

    An unconscious psychological process of projecting order?

    This sounds as "codswallopy" as some of the "irrational" ideas you accuse me of.

    If I demand that you "prove" this thesis of "unstated tonics" (like you demand of me), which by the author's own admission are "not an invention or deviation from the theoretical structure of tonal practice," then it follows that you can't do it by rational means of musical analysis.

    Your answer appears to be: "I dunno if there's a tonic or not. Ya just gotta feel it. You just gotta believe."

    Honestly, I think I could answer my own question better than that, but it's your assertion that's making claims for Wagner using ""unstated tonics" which are "not an invention or deviation from the theoretical structure of tonal practice."

    Is it "too rational" of me to expect you to try to support your thesis with something concretely and specifically musical?


    Apparently you just "believe" this. I'm interested in how Wagner's music works harmonically.

    You're just the sap who brought this notion of "unstated tonics which are the result of
    an unconscious psychological process of projecting order" up.
    "The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?"
    -Confucious

    "In Spring! In the creation of art it must be as it is in Spring!" -Arnold Schoenberg

    "We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made us." -Jean-Paul Sartre

    "I don't mind dying, as long as I can still breathe." ---Me

  12. #24
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    “The manipulation of unstated tonics in motivic sequence then becomes a direct manipulation of an unconscious psychological process of projecting order. It is not an invention or deviation from the theoretical structure of tonal practice, but a realization of possibilities inherent within the system."

    Unstated tonics?

    An unconscious psychological process of projecting order?

    This sounds as "codswallopy" as some of the "irrational" ideas you accuse me of.

    If I demand that you "prove" this thesis of "unstated tonics" (like you demand of me), which by the author's own admission are "not an invention or deviation from the theoretical structure of tonal practice," then it follows that you can't do it by rational means of musical analysis.

    Your answer appears to be: "I dunno if there's a tonic or not. Ya just gotta feel it. You just gotta believe."

    Honestly, I think I could answer my own question better than that, but it's your assertion that's making claims for Wagner using ""unstated tonics" which are "not an invention or deviation from the theoretical structure of tonal practice."

    Is it "too rational" of me to expect you to try to support your thesis with something concretely and specifically musical?


    Apparently you just "believe" this. I'm interested in how Wagner's music works harmonically.

    You're just the sap who brought this notion of "unstated tonics which are the result of
    an unconscious psychological process of projecting order" up.
    Real cute, million. Can't even use your own words now.

    If you can't grasp the simple concept of an unstated tonic, there's no hope for you at all and you may as well give up trying to talk about the structure of music. I will only say that music is full of passages in which a tonal center is implied but not stated, and I recommend that you go looking for such passages forthwith and report back with your findings. But don't start with Wagner; he may be too complicated for you at this stage. Try the opening of Schumann's C-Major Fantasy.

    I haven't the means here to lead you by the hand through a musical score to show you how Wagner does what he does. I wish I did; I'd love to be able to make these ideas concrete, and it would be fascinating and enlightening to us both.

  13. #25
    Senior Member TalkingHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Ummm... There is no counterpoint in Gregorian chant. And we can think contrapuntally and harmonically at the same time [...]
    Indeed. That said, I tend always to think harmonically when in contrapuntal mode. I just can't help it.

  14. #26
    Senior Member TalkingHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    This is a ridiculous criticism. It's not a "harmony decoding device." It's a tonal mapping tool [...]
    Dunno. Sounds like it could be Schenkerian analysis to me.

  15. #27
    Senior Member TalkingHead's Avatar
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    Not sure what an "unstated tonic" is but I do know one can "imply" a chord in 2-part counterpoint. Is that what you mean?
    Last edited by TalkingHead; Mar-08-2019 at 22:00.

  16. #28
    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TalkingHead View Post
    Not sure what an "unstated tonic" is but I do know one can "imply" a chord in 2-part counterpoint. Is that what you mean?
    No, he's talking about harmonic progression, and trying desperately to keep truly chromatic (modern) thinking in the straight-jacket confines of simple diatonicism, especially in light of the fact that Wagner's chromatic excursions defy Schenker, and other forms of harmonic analysis which require a tonic (a real tonic, that makes sounds) as part of the deal.

    Harmonic analysis, BTW, arose concurrently when musical education became institutionalized in conservatories, and classical tonality, with all its Roman numerals became canonized and began to congeal. As an academic, Woodduck is compelled to reject all else as heresy, for his own survival as a pedagogue.

    The very idea of Wagner simply "thinking chromatically" outside the bounds of academic diatonicism gives Woodduck the heebie-jeebies.

    The only justification of this $1600 textbook is to justify Wagner diatonically, to counter the growing perception that Wagner (God forbid) foreshadowed modernism and (eek!) Schoenberg's abandonment of Woodduck's precious diatonic system, and - oh, yes - that one can think chromatically.
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Mar-08-2019 at 22:39.

  17. #29
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    No, he's talking about harmonic progression, and trying desperately to keep truly chromatic (modern) thinking in the straight-jacket confines of simple diatonicism, especially in light of the fact that Wagner's chromatic excursions defy Schenker, and other forms of harmonic analysis which require a tonic (a real tonic, that makes sounds) as part of the deal.

    Harmonic analysis, BTW, arose concurrently when musical education became institutionalized in conservatories, and classical tonality, with all its Roman numerals became canonized and began to congeal. As an academic, Woodduck is compelled to reject all else as heresy, for his own survival as a pedagogue.

    The very idea of Wagner simply "thinking chromatically" outside the bounds of academic diatonicism gives Woodduck the heebie-jeebies.

    The only justification of this $1600 textbook is to justify Wagner diatonically, to counter the growing perception that Wagner (God forbid) foreshadowed modernism and (eek!) Schoenberg's abandonment of Woodduck's precious diatonic system, and - oh, yes - that one can think chromatically.
    Don't tell TalkingHead what I'm saying and doing. I can do that myself. You get into enough trouble speaking for yourself.

  18. #30
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TalkingHead View Post
    Not sure what an "unstated tonic" is but I do know one can "imply" a chord in 2-part counterpoint. Is that what you mean?
    It's really simple in principle. I could write an entire piece of music in, say, Bb major, and never sound a Bb major triad, yet the harmonic functions present would indicate the unstated tonic that gives meaning to the rest.

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