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Thread: How can I make sense of all of these arbitrary voice-leading rules?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    Yes, trust your own perceptions, and don't let anyone's comments, such as above, affect that.
    Musical sense can take you a long way, that is for sure. But you can save a lot of time by learning established music theory rules since often your musical sense is instinctively yearning towards those rules anyway. So instead of trial and error or composing in the dark, you already know what musical effect you want to produce and how to produce it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by level82rat View Post
    Musical sense can take you a long way, that is for sure. But you can save a lot of time by learning established music theory rules since often your musical sense is instinctively yearning towards those rules anyway. So instead of trial and error or composing in the dark, you already know what musical effect you want to produce and how to produce it.
    I don't like the implications of what you're saying, but if you want to follow rules, go right ahead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    I don't like the implications of what you're saying, but if you want to follow rules, go right ahead.
    What specific implications? And an important distinction isnt that you should ALWAYS follow the rules, but that you should be aware of why the rules exist and what happens if you don't follow them. Then it is up to your discretion whether following or breaking the rules will work better.

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    Senior Member mikeh375's Avatar
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    Remember that in the learning of rules and especially practicing the techniques (as one would scales etc. on an instrument), you also find out about your own artistry and creativity. This is a point so often missed in discussion over compositional technique and yet it is so important to recognise this key benefit which aids in the development of an individual approach, if one is autodidactic enough to recognise, assimilate and then develop what they learn.
    Last edited by mikeh375; Nov-07-2019 at 16:28.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeh375 View Post
    Remember that in the learning of rules and especially practicing the techniques (as one would scales etc. on an instrument), you also find out about your own artistry and creativity. This is a point so often missed in discussion over compositional technique and yet it is so important to recognise this key benefit which aids in the development of an individual approach, if one is autodidactic enough to recognise, assimilate and then develop what they learn.
    I also resent that implication. I know all my scales, and could probably play rings around both of you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    I also resent that implication. I know all my scales, and could probably play rings around both of you.
    I doubt that very very much, but quite funny, thanks.
    I wasn't just talking about scales and there was no pejorative implication, no put down of you or anyone, simply a factual statement - you either get it or you don't.
    Last edited by mikeh375; Nov-07-2019 at 17:01.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeh375 View Post
    I doubt that very very much, but quite funny, thanks.
    I wasn't just talking about scales and there was no pejorative implication, no put down of you or anyone, simply a factual statement - you either get it or you don't.
    Yes, I agree. But remember, these "rules" should reflect a self-evident truth, a truth which would just as well exist without being a rule.

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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    Yes, I agree. But remember, these "rules" should reflect a self-evident truth, a truth which would just as well exist without being a rule.
    Perhaps and a 'truth' can also be found by learning and practicing the rules, for in doing so, one can get to understand one's creative proclivities. That kind of truth also exists without the rules, but its efficacy can be enhanced with them too.

    (truth=music within)

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    Quote Originally Posted by level82rat View Post
    I'm reading a book on harmony and I got to the section on raised sixths and sevenths in minor keys. Here are some of the seemingly arbitrary rules it gives:

    1. If V-VI, raise the 7th
    2. If V6-VI, don't raise the 7th
    3. If V6-IV, then whether the 7th is raised or not depends on whether the bass rises or falls
    4. If V6-IV6, 7th always unaltered
    5. If V6-II6, only raise if bass rises
    6. If IV6 moves to V6 or VII, then always raise 6th and seventh
    7. If IV6 moves to III, III6, V, or VI, then don't raise the third of IV6

    It's a lot easier to digest and remember rules when there is some kind of logic or principle behind them. But I fail to see the logic in these rules? Can anybody help?
    You won't get far composing with rules, the ideas have to come clear in your head already with the right structure. Composition is one of the hardest, if not the hardest art form. It's up there with the most abstract forms of philosophy, metaphysics, and mathematics. If you haven't the flair for it you probably shouldn't do it.

    I'll tell you, composing is spiritual and you must let the creativity flow through you. Adjustments to the feel of the music can be done later but you can't think like that while in the act.

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    Senior Member Bwv 1080's Avatar
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    Just try a different book. The raised 6th is not used that much in minor harmony.


    Try Tchaikovsky instead

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeh375 View Post
    Perhaps and a 'truth' can also be found by learning and practicing the rules, for in doing so, one can get to understand one's creative proclivities. That kind of truth also exists without the rules, but its efficacy can be enhanced with them too. (truth=music within)
    That sounds like Confucius, who imparted wisdom, but always with the aim of keeping things calm and controlled. After all, China is a big nation with lots of people; Mao knew this, too.

    "Truth can also be found by learning and practicing the rules; that kind of truth also exists without the rules."

    Wow, that's super-flexible!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bwv 1080 View Post
    Just try a different book. The raised 6th is not used that much in minor harmony.
    ...not less you want your IV chord to be major, as in "Black Magic Woman," "Greensleeves," and countless other songs. You need to put down that dusty old book and listen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    That sounds like Confucius, who imparted wisdom, but always with the aim of keeping things calm and controlled. After all, China is a big nation with lots of people; Mao knew this, too.

    "Truth can also be found by learning and practicing the rules; that kind of truth also exists without the rules."

    Wow, that's super-flexible!
    That doesn't apply to art, good taste is the enemy of creativity, and rules are even worse for it. There's a reason we don't have good composers, in the past all the learning was done by the time composers were in their early teen years and they were then free to let go creatively, then with experience, continued to improve organically.

    I don't know how old OP is but 'rules' shouldn't be in your mind unless you're a child.
    Last edited by 1996D; Nov-07-2019 at 23:16.

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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    ...not less you want your IV chord to be major, as in "Black Magic Woman," "Greensleeves," and countless other songs. You need to put down that dusty old book and listen.
    Neither is CP harmony and both lean on the Dorian mode

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    It's actually strange that I find myself singing this tune because good counterpoint, overall structure, and craftsmanship are lacking in contemporary music just as much as anything, but lately the anemic creativity has been blatant. To the point where it should be stressed and encouraged more than order; it's essential to revive a dying art.

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