Progarchives.com Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > Progressive Music Lounges > Prog Music Lounge
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed: harmonic language in prog
  FAQ FAQ  Forum SearchSearch  Calendar   Register Register  Login Login

harmonic language in prog

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <123>
Author
Message Reverse Sort Order
Polymorphia View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: November 06 2012
Online Status: Online
Posts: 2251
Post Options Post Options   Quote Polymorphia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: harmonic language in prog
    Posted: February 01 2013 at 12:21
Originally posted by aldri7

Originally posted by Atavachron

 ^ Good points, music is relative to the other music around it, but still the question is begged;  why do certain melodies and chords, whatever the context, evoke a particular response?   Is it a vibrational relationship with our ears and brain; Is it learned or automatic; etc.


I have wondered that with respect to the Lydian mode and nostalgia, because nostalgia is not something that you can easily define. Its not an emotion really. But anyway, to find the answer, maybe in this case its subjective and based on the experiences of those that came of age at a certain time and place back in the 50's or so - and then went on to compose music for film. If at some point growing up they were exposed to that mode, then hearing it now might tend to elicit nostalgia. But for someone growing up in a different time and place, I don't see how they would tend to make that connection.

Probably the biggest mystery then is why a minor third is considered "sad" while a major third is "happy". This seems to be pretty universal, and so I wonder if it is a vibrational thing - I'm guessing a major third is more consonant  i.e. easier on the ears, and so when they hear a minor third, the ears wants to convert it or resolve it to a major third which it can't. Because it can't, the effect on you, the owner of those ears, is sadness :)   Its a little like unrequited love, maybe. With the minor third, there is a little bit of tension. So near but so far away....

aldri7
It all has to do with fittingness. You basically gave an example with the phrase like "unrequited love" though I don't necessarily feel the same way about the minor third (it really depends on its context for me). The brain makes connections based on similarities. Pitches can't actually be "high" or "low" in the same sense that an object can be. If we wanted to be technical, we could say "pitches that vibrate with a fast frequency" and "pitches that vibrate with a slow frequency." But everything we associated with pitch, like resonance in the human body while singing, designates a "high" and "low" that is almost universally understood.  This allows composers to create a kind of musical symbolism.
Back to Top
aldri7 View Drop Down
Forum Groupie
Forum Groupie


Joined: January 09 2013
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 84
Post Options Post Options   Quote aldri7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2013 at 11:51
Originally posted by sleeper

 



Unfortunately my knowledge of music theory is non existent, but you couldnt have found a better band, I love White Willow. Which album have you heard, they're all quite different and worth checking out.

Spotify has Sacrament and Terminal Twilight. I think I faved tracks "Anamnesis", "nostalgia", and "Kansas Regrets". But I need to listen to more. Once again, scandinavian prog rules! (after the UK of course...)

aldri7
Back to Top
Angelo View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

Joined: May 07 2006
Location: The Netherlands
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 11507
Post Options Post Options   Quote Angelo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2013 at 11:17
Originally posted by Atavachron

Originally posted by aldri7

Keith Emerson built a lot of his work around stacked fourths. That opening left hand riff in Tarkus is all fourths...
I've tried playing this on guitar, it's a real bitch as the closest fourth on guitar is vertical which makes the fingering quite a task.. and sweeping the riff doesn't sound right.

Good thread, hope you get some more responses


That's why keyboards are almost always a good addition to a rock band. I like this topcic and the suggestions made, but I haven't analysed my own preferences along the same lines... I'll probably never get there, but I'll keep an eye on what goes on here ...
Even prog is rooted in the blues, at some point...
Back to Top
Einsetumadur View Drop Down
Prog Reviewer
Prog Reviewer
Avatar

Joined: September 24 2008
Location: Germany
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 262
Post Options Post Options   Quote Einsetumadur Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2013 at 10:30
Robert Wyatt's "Sea Song" is such a massive whole tone splendor in its instrumental parts. Robert Wyatt does magic stuff on the keyboards!

1:52 is where the whole-tone fun begins. The studio version - to those who don't know it - features a harmonically similar piano solo. And the elegic vocal part are such a perfect frame for the free-jazzy improvisations. Genius!

Dave Stewart built up on that stuff with his 1974 Drury Lane organ solo on the same track. He stays on the whole tone scale for quite a long time, and only moves to chromatic half-tone realms for some spectacular melodies.




Edited by Einsetumadur - February 01 2013 at 10:32
All in all each man in all men
Back to Top
warrplayer View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member


Joined: June 18 2010
Location: Charlotte, NC
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 109
Post Options Post Options   Quote warrplayer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2013 at 10:05
What about late Crimson? who else enjoys their use of whole tone and diminished tonalities? No other band gets as much milage out of modulating a half step!
Back to Top
wreckfan1 View Drop Down
Forum Groupie
Forum Groupie
Avatar

Joined: May 04 2009
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 45
Post Options Post Options   Quote wreckfan1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2013 at 08:43
Just wondering what is your opinion of long tracks that comprise mostly of one pedal root?

Pink Floyd's UmmaGumma era does this a lot (Careful With That Axe Eugene for example), and this has been employed more recently by bands like Tool..
Back to Top
Icarium View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar
VIP Member

Joined: March 21 2008
Location: Flåklypa
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 22051
Post Options Post Options   Quote Icarium Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2013 at 06:42
Originally posted by M27Barney

Well I like suspenders...definately.....Dorian/Lydian sound like characters out of a costume drama to me.....Wink
i wont even mention Phrygian and Mixolydian, or Aolian Tongue


Edited by aginor - February 01 2013 at 06:45
Yonder Yonder Yonder Yonder Yonder Yonder
Back to Top
M27Barney View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: November 09 2006
Location: Swinton M27
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1366
Post Options Post Options   Quote M27Barney Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2013 at 06:26
Well I like suspenders...definately.....Dorian/Lydian sound like characters out of a costume drama to me.....Wink
Play me my song.....Here it comes again.......
Back to Top
sleeper View Drop Down
Prog Reviewer
Prog Reviewer
Avatar

Joined: October 09 2005
Location: Entropia
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 15081
Post Options Post Options   Quote sleeper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2013 at 05:32
Originally posted by aldri7

and........since this is the third time now I've started threads in the hopes of finding new bands, I just got a hit that satisfied two of my "needs"...:)

Those two needs are for a female vocalist and harmonies like above :) the band - White Willow..

those scandinavians are at it again.....:)



aldri7



Unfortunately my knowledge of music theory is non existent, but you couldnt have found a better band, I love White Willow. Which album have you heard, they're all quite different and worth checking out.
Spending more than I should on Prog since 2005

Back to Top
Icarium View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar
VIP Member

Joined: March 21 2008
Location: Flåklypa
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 22051
Post Options Post Options   Quote Icarium Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2013 at 03:38
Originally posted by aginor




yes, I hear you, but this song is filled with minor scales, and major scales,ethnic sounding scales, Lydian, complex interweeving of counter melodies, and harmonies,

a lots of Roger Hodgson penned songs have lots of chord shifts as well, Give A Little Bit have over 7 chord changes only in the intro,
Yonder Yonder Yonder Yonder Yonder Yonder
Back to Top
Quirky Turkey View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: August 17 2011
Location: Australia
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 140
Post Options Post Options   Quote Quirky Turkey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2013 at 01:50
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gpv_WfDcLJs

Someone say Lydian? Go to 1:50 on the video.

I agree with how awesome Lydian is, but my personal favourite mode is the Dorian. Not quite sad or happy, just chill.

And since we're discussing music theory, I think suspended chords work well with spacey music. If you play using mainly suspended chords, you can't be sure whether they want to resolve into happy or sad. It gives a sense of mystery and uncertainty which is fitting for space music.



Back to Top
aldri7 View Drop Down
Forum Groupie
Forum Groupie


Joined: January 09 2013
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 84
Post Options Post Options   Quote aldri7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2013 at 01:17
Got another hit - a new band I like (Female vocalist and interesting harmonies).  Its Elfonia. On the album Elfonia, the first track is really nice with some shifting harmonies that keep you guessing.  The third track "aura" introduces some even more exotic harmonic shifts. Its kind of brooding and metal oriented. But what's intriguing me here though the most is that compared to most bands, these guys mix it up harmonically from one song to the next where you don't know what to expect. In other words, they're not just using one language harmonically. Good stuff and singing in Spanish too.  Far from Norway and Sweden where I've come to expect more adventurous harmonies.
aldri7
Back to Top
Atavachron View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Honorary Collaborator

Joined: September 30 2006
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 46690
Post Options Post Options   Quote Atavachron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 31 2013 at 23:09
^ I'll look into that as well
Back to Top
Ambient Hurricanes View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: December 25 2011
Location: DruryUniversity
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 2504
Post Options Post Options   Quote Ambient Hurricanes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 31 2013 at 22:35
^I would recommend Daniel J. Levitin's book This Is Your Brain On Music, to you, it won't answer all your questions but it goes into the question of how music affects the human mind.
Back to Top
aldri7 View Drop Down
Forum Groupie
Forum Groupie


Joined: January 09 2013
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 84
Post Options Post Options   Quote aldri7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 31 2013 at 22:05
Originally posted by Atavachron

Originally posted by aldri7

Originally posted by Atavachron

 ^ Good points, music is relative to the other music around it, but still the question is begged;  why do certain melodies and chords, whatever the context, evoke a particular response?   Is it a vibrational relationship with our ears and brain; Is it learned or automatic; etc.

I have wondered that with respect to the Lydian mode and nostalgia, because nostalgia is not something that you can easily define. Its not an emotion really. But anyway, to find the answer, maybe in this case its subjective and based on the experiences of those that came of age at a certain time and place back in the 50's or so - and then went on to compose music for film. If at some point growing up they were exposed to that mode, then hearing it now might tend to elicit nostalgia. But for someone growing up in a different time and place, I don't see how they would tend to make that connection.

  -  Yeah, no, I think it must be deeper, and not necessarily connected to any memories, even longterm race-mems.   It is an immediate, visceral response one seems to get regardless of culture, age, or musical exposure.


Probably the biggest mystery then is why a minor third is considered "sad" while a major third is "happy". This seems to be pretty universal, and so I wonder if it is a vibrational thing - I'm guessing a major third is more consonant  i.e. easier on the ears, and so when they hear a minor third, the ears wants to convert it or resolve it to a major third which it can't. Because it can't, the effect on you, the owner of those ears, is sadness :)   

  -  That's a reasonable theory.   But what of the many other, more complex feelings stirred by the music of Delius, Prokofiev, Brahms, and Gershwin?   And of course into later scoring masters as Bernard Herrmann, David Shire, and John Williams.



Regarding the Lydian mode and nostalgia, I feel the nostalgia too but at the same time I consider the possibility that I might be biased given my age, etc. So I would really need to ask another person - someone in their 30's or something. I really don't know how they perceive it. Or someone from another culture. Because nostalgia is a complex phenomenon and its triggered by one's prior history with similar sights, sounds, scents, etc. In other words, if one has no prior history hearing the Lydian mode, I guess it doesn't make sense to me that it would trigger nostalgia when they hear it today. But I could be wrong. If I am, I'd sure like to know what the mechanism is thats going on in the brain. But I will say this - again, there is that sharped fourth in the Lydian mode that begs for resolution to the fifth. Its like a yearning. The ear yearns for resolution like maybe it yearns to resolve a minor third into a major third. Is that "yearning" similar to a yearning for ones childhood? Oh God - see what complex creatures we are!  Anyway, I think that you can find this discussed with reference to other modes as well, and I do know that each one is associated with a unique set of emotional qualities. Its also true for different keys.  

As for your other point, I flashed back to Bartok and the French composers. I can't describe the way that that music makes me feel. We are all connected to each other in ways we can't even imagine. But that music opens up channels and memories that are mostly buried now. So all I can say is our brain connects music with all of our other sensory experiences meaning that it can trigger sights, smells, emotions, etc. I mean, I am not French nor have I ever lived in France, but French classical music throughout the 20th century influenced so many and affected them so much that hearing it triggers stuff in me that I can't even describe. Its like triggering other's experiences which maybe I absorbed vicariously through TV and film?

aldri7
Back to Top
Atavachron View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Honorary Collaborator

Joined: September 30 2006
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 46690
Post Options Post Options   Quote Atavachron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 31 2013 at 21:23
Originally posted by aldri7

Originally posted by Atavachron

 ^ Good points, music is relative to the other music around it, but still the question is begged;  why do certain melodies and chords, whatever the context, evoke a particular response?   Is it a vibrational relationship with our ears and brain; Is it learned or automatic; etc.

I have wondered that with respect to the Lydian mode and nostalgia, because nostalgia is not something that you can easily define. Its not an emotion really. But anyway, to find the answer, maybe in this case its subjective and based on the experiences of those that came of age at a certain time and place back in the 50's or so - and then went on to compose music for film. If at some point growing up they were exposed to that mode, then hearing it now might tend to elicit nostalgia. But for someone growing up in a different time and place, I don't see how they would tend to make that connection.

  -  Yeah, no, I think it must be deeper, and not necessarily connected to any memories, even longterm race-mems.   It is an immediate, visceral response one seems to get regardless of culture, age, or musical exposure.


Probably the biggest mystery then is why a minor third is considered "sad" while a major third is "happy". This seems to be pretty universal, and so I wonder if it is a vibrational thing - I'm guessing a major third is more consonant  i.e. easier on the ears, and so when they hear a minor third, the ears wants to convert it or resolve it to a major third which it can't. Because it can't, the effect on you, the owner of those ears, is sadness :)   

  -  That's a reasonable theory.   But what of the many other, more complex feelings stirred by the music of, say, Delius, Prokofiev, Brahms, and Gershwin?   And of course into later scoring masters as Bernard Herrmann, David Shire, and John Williams.



Edited by Atavachron - January 31 2013 at 21:25
Back to Top
aldri7 View Drop Down
Forum Groupie
Forum Groupie


Joined: January 09 2013
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 84
Post Options Post Options   Quote aldri7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 31 2013 at 21:13
Originally posted by Atavachron

 ^ Good points, music is relative to the other music around it, but still the question is begged;  why do certain melodies and chords, whatever the context, evoke a particular response?   Is it a vibrational relationship with our ears and brain; Is it learned or automatic; etc.


I have wondered that with respect to the Lydian mode and nostalgia, because nostalgia is not something that you can easily define. Its not an emotion really. But anyway, to find the answer, maybe in this case its subjective and based on the experiences of those that came of age at a certain time and place back in the 50's or so - and then went on to compose music for film. If at some point growing up they were exposed to that mode, then hearing it now might tend to elicit nostalgia. But for someone growing up in a different time and place, I don't see how they would tend to make that connection.

Probably the biggest mystery then is why a minor third is considered "sad" while a major third is "happy". This seems to be pretty universal, and so I wonder if it is a vibrational thing - I'm guessing a major third is more consonant  i.e. easier on the ears, and so when they hear a minor third, the ears wants to convert it or resolve it to a major third which it can't. Because it can't, the effect on you, the owner of those ears, is sadness :)   Its a little like unrequited love, maybe. With the minor third, there is a little bit of tension. So near but so far away....

aldri7








Edited by aldri7 - January 31 2013 at 21:16
Back to Top
Atavachron View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Honorary Collaborator

Joined: September 30 2006
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 46690
Post Options Post Options   Quote Atavachron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 31 2013 at 21:00
 ^ Good points, music is relative to the other music around it, but still the question is begged;  why do certain melodies and chords, whatever the context, evoke a particular response?   Is it a vibrational relationship with our ears and brain; Is it learned or automatic; etc.

Back to Top
aldri7 View Drop Down
Forum Groupie
Forum Groupie


Joined: January 09 2013
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 84
Post Options Post Options   Quote aldri7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 31 2013 at 20:56
Originally posted by Atavachron

Originally posted by aldri7


Question - how is it that over the past 40 years or so the Lydian mode came to be used by Hollywood film composers every time they wanted to convey nostalgia? What is it about that mode that elicits feelings of nostalgia? 
the real question is how and why does music - tones arranged into patterns, rhythms and harmonies - affect human emotion?   We know it does, as per your question, but why a particular combination of notes evokes a feeling is still a mystery to me.   E.g., a tritone was called the "Devil's interval" because it sounds malevolent.  But why does that combination make a person feel malevolence?




How the tritone is perceive can depend on the context. When used in the Lydian mode (sharped F over a C major), its emotionally very powerful but not in a way that evokes malevolence. Leonard Bernstein loved that mode and the tritone
that occurs in "Maria" on the syllable "ree" as its sung in the beginning. He loved the way it resolved to the G a half step above. So did a lot of other people. 

On the other hand, using it in other contexts like Jimi Hendrix used it in Purple Haze I can see where the effect that it might have on you is different. If you use it just by itself without resolving it, its sort of anarchistic or angry sounding, like someone is jabbing you with a pitchfork. Was it the tritone that they used in the "Wizard of Oz" while the palace guards are singing while they march (o ree o, yo.....oh)? Ominous......the notes might have been A, C, E and G flat.
The tritone notes would be C and G flat. But the way its scored (without resolving it) - yeah, I think the intent was to project that evil was lurking..

aldri7


Edited by aldri7 - January 31 2013 at 21:17
Back to Top
aldri7 View Drop Down
Forum Groupie
Forum Groupie


Joined: January 09 2013
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 84
Post Options Post Options   Quote aldri7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 31 2013 at 20:42
Originally posted by Polymorphia


Hoelderlin's "Rare Bird" is the first example of a prog song in Lydian that comes to (my) mind, though, doubtless, I'll think of others.


Hey, I really like this band!  thanks for the recommendation. BTW - is that a major/minor shift in the song  "Fata Morgana"? good stuff :)

aldri7


Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <123>

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Bulletin Board Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 9.69
Copyright ©2001-2010 Web Wiz

This page was generated in 0.125 seconds.