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aldri7 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aldri7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 31 2013 at 22:05
Originally posted by Atavachron Atavachron wrote:

Originally posted by aldri7 aldri7 wrote:

Originally posted by Atavachron Atavachron wrote:

 ^ 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?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   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.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Atavachron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 31 2013 at 23:09
^ I'll look into that as well
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   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.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   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.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Icarium Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2013 at 03:38
Originally posted by aginor aginor wrote:




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,
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sleeper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2013 at 05:32
Originally posted by aldri7 aldri7 wrote:

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.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   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.......
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Icarium Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2013 at 06:42
Originally posted by M27Barney M27Barney wrote:

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
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   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..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   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!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   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
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Angelo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2013 at 11:17
Originally posted by Atavachron Atavachron wrote:

Originally posted by aldri7 aldri7 wrote:

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...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aldri7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2013 at 11:51
Originally posted by sleeper sleeper wrote:

 



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...)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Polymorphia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2013 at 12:21
Originally posted by aldri7 aldri7 wrote:

Originally posted by Atavachron Atavachron wrote:

 ^ 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.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aldri7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2013 at 12:28
my very first introduction to jazz fusion was "The Inner Mounting Flame" by Mahavishnu Orhcestra, specifically the opening track, "Meeting of the Spirits". I mentioned the first chord that sounds on that album (and that song) - I'm trying to hunt up the name of that chord, but like I said its the one that Jimi Hendrix introduced into rock with the Purple Haze album. Its a very familiar chord and it has a tritone in it (BTW - I can take this in as technical a direction as you want. On a scale of 1 to 10, my music theory is probably at about a 4 or 5, but I can handle more 'cause I have the internet to help me! If you post a word I don't know, I will look it up!!)

Anyway, the "Hendrix" chord is "C, E, B flat, E flat". Same famous chord that Blood Sweat and Tears opens up "Spinning Wheel" with two years after Hendrix recorded Purple Haze. The horns repeat it ten times.

But back to "Meeting of the Spirits" - I bring this up again because its also a Phygrian mode song. In that mode, the scale starts with a half step interval, the only major/minor scale that does that. McLaughlin plays a riff on the notes "F, F sharp, C, and E flat" and its off we go. Classical composer Anton Bruckner also uses this scale. Maybe its my second or third favorite after the Lydian mode scale.

But I need more prog using these modes!

Mclaughlin also liked the diminished scale, especially in "Birds of Fire". The notes in that scale are C, C sharp, D sharp, E, F sharp, G, A, and A sharp. It has eight notes, not the usual seven. You can play major triads using these notes and then add a base note that superimposes a contrasting key giving it a dissonant sound. On "resolution", John opens the song playing a B flat in the base and an A major triad in the mid register. Thats a dissonant combination but all those notes are in the diminished scale. Also, on the track "Sanctuary", that brooding, exotic sounding base line is from the diminished scale. I recall when I first heard that track I was so captivated by how exotic it sounded that I had to pick it out on the piano. And then I spent several months jamming to that scale, sometimes with a friend on guitar who was like "man, this is really out there!...:)" The opening notes in Sanctuary are E (base) then G, A flat and B flat (alternating), and F (top note).

aldri7




Edited by aldri7 - February 01 2013 at 12:54
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gerinski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2013 at 12:30
The Simpsons theme uses exactly the same triad as West Side Story's Maria.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aldri7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2013 at 12:43
Originally posted by Polymorphia Polymorphia wrote:

 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. 

I'm basing what I'm saying a little on what I know about the overtone series (the pitches that sound along with the fundamental whenever you pluck a string, sing, etc). Anyway, the overtones closest to the fundamental create the most consonant chords when you play  them together. Like C and G, for example. And then you continue to add notes. The fourth overtone with C as the fundamental is E. Put C and E together and you have a major triad. The minor triad in comparison is not so consonant to the ears/brain, and so that is why I suggested we associate sadness with the minor triad when it is not resolved to the major triad (like maybe the ear wants it to be). Anyway, I'm not disagreeing with anything you wrote, I just thought I'd add that to what I wrote earlier. Thats because you're talking I think about single notes when I'm talking about chords and how they sound together. But its all relative with chords too. I mean we were talking about the emotional impact of music, and single notes played by themselves don't have much impact as far as I know (other than to relax you or annoy you (sine wave. Arrrg!!)) depending on the quality of the sound :)). Its when you put them together using scales and chords that things start to happen in the brain. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Progosopher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2013 at 12:45
Originally posted by Atavachron Atavachron wrote:

Originally posted by aldri7 aldri7 wrote:

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

This problem of fourths on guitar is a good place to bring in finger picking as opposed to flat picking.  So many great guitarists have used it - Howe, Hackett, Ackerman have used it acoustically, but Jeff Beck has developed a devastating mastery of it on the electric guitar (he also continously controls his whammy bar and volume knob for what I call his triple attack).  It is not just for Country, Bluegrass, and Classical.  BTW, I am a flat picker.
 
The topic is a good one - when we get technical around here it is usually more in terms of time signature.
 
Even though I have been playing guitar for over 35 years, I have not learned much of the technical aspects of it, which is why I usually just jam in G.  However, if you are looking for an interesting harmonic palette, try The Residents who seem to operate within a set of musical rules all their own.  Or another one of John McLaughlin's projects, Shakti.  Indian classical musical utilizes unique sets of scales for individual pieces.  Given the existence of microtones in its theory, there is a lot of harmonic variance albeit in terms different from what we are used to in the West.  Also, I have heard that Deep Purple often plays in difficult keys such as F minor sharp and what-not.  And if you like key changes and classical music, try the symphonies of Charles Ives. 
The world of sound is certainly capable of infinite variety and, were our sense developed, of infinite extensions. -- George Santayana, "The Sense of Beauty"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aldri7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2013 at 12:47
Originally posted by Gerinski Gerinski wrote:

The Simpsons theme uses exactly the same triad as West Side Story's Maria.

thats funny :) (I'm singing "Maria" to myself substituting "the Simpsons" every time one sings the word "Maria". :)

"The Simpson's. I'll never stop saying The Simpsons........."

aldri7





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