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Thread: Decoding Beethoven

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    Default Decoding Beethoven

    Here’s a nice YouTube series with the analysis of Beethoven’s Sonata Op.2 No.1 https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...1xxzOmIdIIwNC9

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    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
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    It's actually not primarily an analysis. It's an elaborate blurb for some harmony decoder device. The guy doing the pitch keeps calling Beethoven's Piano Sonata op. 2 #1 a "song." And his theoretical vocabulary seems geared toward teenage guitarists — at least they're the only people I know who'd describe a dominant chord with a 4-3 suspension as a "sus(s) chord." If one is interested in the theory of classical music, I would recommend finding other sources.
    Last edited by EdwardBast; Feb-21-2019 at 23:03.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardBast View Post
    It's actually not primarily an analysis. It's an elaborate blurb for some harmony decoder device. The guy doing the pitch keeps calling Beethoven's Piano Sonata op. 2 #1 a "song." And his theoretical vocabulary seems geared toward teenage guitarists — at least they're the only people I know who'd describe a dominant chord with a 4-3 suspension as a "sus(s) chord." If one is interested in the theory of classical music, I would recommend finding other sources.
    This is a ridiculous criticism. It's not a "harmony decoding device." It's a tonal mapping tool, to aid in analysis and composition. Take your "classical" academic negativity elsewhere and stop polluting the waters. Your style of academic theory is being replaced by more forward-looking thinkers and methods.

    And thank you, ajrdeliva, for providing us with this link to valuable information on music theory.
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Feb-24-2019 at 07:15.
    "The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?"
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardBast View Post
    It's actually not primarily an analysis. It's an elaborate blurb for some harmony decoder device. The guy doing the pitch keeps calling Beethoven's Piano Sonata op. 2 #1 a "song." And his theoretical vocabulary seems geared toward teenage guitarists — at least they're the only people I know who'd describe a dominant chord with a 4-3 suspension as a "sus(s) chord." If one is interested in the theory of classical music, I would recommend finding other sources.
    From what I can tell, the top of the screen does give the classical harmonic figurations (like V 6/5). The middle screen describes the chords in a way most people can relate to. I guess if you go to Curtis Institute, the professor won't use his words (he does call it a song but a couple times calls it a sonata), but both will give you the same harmonic progression analysis. I don't have a problem with analyzing a classical piece with terminology which will relate to music in the real world.

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    Calling the sonata mvt. a song betrays this guy's inexperience with classical music. Turned me off, so I turned him off.

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    Senior Member EdwardBast'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, to aid in analysis and composition. Take your "classical" academic negativity elsewhere and stop polluting the waters. Your style of academic theory is being replaced by more forward-looking thinkers and methods.
    Alas, your "forward looking thinkers" don't know or make the distinction between linear and harmonic events. Every composer of classical music did, which makes the "forward looking thinkers" hopelessly out of touch with what they seek to analyze. Chords with suspensions are not a new kind of harmony, they are a linear phenomenon, an element of counterpoint. You have had the same problem in your analyses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Manxfeeder View Post
    From what I can tell, the top of the screen does give the classical harmonic figurations (like V 6/5). The middle screen describes the chords in a way most people can relate to. I guess if you go to Curtis Institute, the professor won't use his words (he does call it a song but a couple times calls it a sonata), but both will give you the same harmonic progression analysis. I don't have a problem with analyzing a classical piece with terminology which will relate to music in the real world.
    It will relate to people used to reading the kind of chord notation used in lead sheets, fake books, and popular song collections. To understand why classical music is the way it is, it helps to understand the music as its composers did, which crucially requires being able to distinguish counterpoint from harmony.

    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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    You come across as a classical snob, Edwar. We know what counterpoint is. It's what was happening in the Gregorian chant days before they learned to think harmonically.
    "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

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    I looked at this thread a few days ago, sampled the first video, and immediately lost interest. I didn't understand the title of the series: "How To Write Music Using Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro." Upon returning to it and watching more videos I can be more specific about my discomfort - or, to be more specific, my skepticism.

    What is supposed to be the contribution of this "tonal mapping tool" to our musical understanding? What, in fact, is the tool? Is it just those little diagrams? Are those what's being called "Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro"? Why do we need them? Are they supposed to tell us something that listening to music and studying scores can't tell us about the way music is constructed? Do they tell us more about how music unfolds in time - how one thing follows another - than a verbal statement or demonstration at the keyboard? Does their spatial configuration tell us anything about the audible structure of music? Is looking at them actually supposed to help us write music"? Or are they, as they feel to me, just a sort of visual technobabble, a cute but pointless doodling in the margins of the mind?

    When I was learning about music I'm sure I would have found them an irrelevancy and a distraction.
    Last edited by Woodduck; Mar-03-2019 at 08:01.

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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    You come across as a classical snob, Edwar. We know what counterpoint is. It's what was happening in the Gregorian chant days before they learned to think harmonically.
    Ummm... There is no counterpoint in Gregorian chant. And we can think contrapuntally and harmonically at the same time.

    But you knew that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    You come across as a classical snob, Edwar. We know what counterpoint is. It's what was happening in the Gregorian chant days before they learned to think harmonically.
    Those who have devoted time and effort to mastering a subject are sometimes resented by those who haven't.
    Last edited by EdwardBast; Mar-03-2019 at 18:31.

    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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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardBast View Post
    Those who have devoted time and effort to mastering a subject are sometimes resented by those who haven't.
    No, there's no resentment; it's just that I have a bad reaction to all that dust.

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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.
    Well, to this reader at least, the comments by EdwardBast in this thread come across as those of a master and your comments come across as those of a resentful amateur, who, for no good apparent reason, chose to enter this discussion with a ridiculous criticism of EdwardBast's first comment.
    Last edited by TwoFlutesOneTrumpet; Mar-05-2019 at 04:18.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoFlutesOneTrumpet View Post
    Well, to this reader at least, the comments by EdwardBast in this thread come across as those of a master and your comments come across as those of a resentful amateur, who, for no good apparent reason, chose to enter this discussion with a ridiculous criticism of EdwardBast's first comment.

    Speaking of "for no good apparent reason, choosing to enter this discussion with a ridiculous criticism."
    They should put your picture next to that. And talk about hyperbole!

    Oh, they're just old buddy-duddys, and nobody needs TwoFlutes' input on the personal dimension. If you have some substance to add, please do. 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.

    Now, back to business, and away from grumpy old men:

    Here's a page out of Schoenberg's Structural Functions of Harmony. Notice the similarities. Many times linear scores cannot show as much as visual charts can, and the direction of modern music theory is headed in that direction, as more of a geometric approach.

    Structural Functions 200dpi.jpeg.jpg
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Mar-05-2019 at 17:26.
    "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

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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    Oh, they're just old buddy-duddys, and nobody needs your input on the personal dimension. If you have some substance to add, please do. 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.

    Now, back to business, and away from grumpy old men:

    Here's a page out of Schoenberg's Structural Functions of Harmony. Notice the similarities. Many times linear scores cannot show as much as visual charts can, and the direction of modern music theory is headed in that direction, as more of a geometric approach.

    Structural Functions 200dpi.jpeg.jpg
    Only a modern rationalist could imagine that all this silly diagramming adds anything to the understanding of a Beethoven sonata. Such doodles are a waste of time to a real musician.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Only a modern rationalist could imagine that all this silly diagramming adds anything to the understanding of a Beethoven sonata. Such doodles are a waste of time to a real musician.
    No, that's incorrect. Look over my shoulder here; perhaps you'd like to join me, to read further?

    Wagner Geometry 1 200dpi.jpeg.jpg

    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.
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Mar-05-2019 at 18:36.
    "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

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