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RamblinWreck
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48 posts since 20 Nov, 2016

Postby RamblinWreck; Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:25 pm How to approach voice leading for non-classical music?

I'm interested in learning harmony through the lens of voice leading, as the biggest revelation I've had so far came when someone described why a chord progression "felt" right in terms of the intervals between the notes and their changes.

However, every resource I've found on voice leading seems to be about the classical "chorale" kind of chords, meant for actual voices. Is there any modern resource that describes things like guitar chords or open-voiced chords in this manner? Or will I be able to apply what I learn from classical voice leading to my music as soon as I learn it?
Jafo
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1724 posts since 20 Dec, 2002, from The Armpit of the Mitten

Postby Jafo; Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:19 pm Re: How to approach voice leading for non-classical music?

Depends on the effect you want. Classical music likes to keep the voices clearly separated with easily singable parts (i.e., small steps and skips), giving a flowing, calm mood. Use bigger steps and skips and you'll have a more vigorous, athletic effect. Use tonal/functional/diatonic harmony and you'll please the Pope and the King (and write some nice elevator music); use atonal stuff and you'll please the 'shrooms crowd. Cross the voices and you'll have more flavor, possibly some pleasant chaos; cross the streams and you'll please Gozer and Zul.

Seriously, you don't have to please the Pope or the King, so please yourself. Or your label.

Cheers and best wishes.
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Michael L
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1647 posts since 25 Jan, 2014, from the End of the World as we Knowit

Postby Michael L; Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:27 pm Re: How to approach voice leading for non-classical music?

Junkie XL has a recent video on composing with strings and he often uses voice leading for the parts. He at times 'violates the rules' with parallel fifths, and you can hear the difference.
"As the artist goes deeper into his own thing, he learns what works and then needs fewer tools."
MadBrain
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941 posts since 1 Dec, 2004

Postby MadBrain; Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:59 pm Re: How to approach voice leading for non-classical music?

The other well known technique taught in schools is Jazz parallel harmonization (typically in 4-voices, not including the bass), and I think it's quite complementary with the classical choral technique. Unfortunately I can't find any good resources on the Internet so you'll probably have to buy a book.
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Michael L
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1647 posts since 25 Jan, 2014, from the End of the World as we Knowit

Postby Michael L; Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:03 pm Re: How to approach voice leading for non-classical music?

MadBrain wrote:I think it's quite complementary with the classical choral technique.
Yes, it breaks the 'classical rules!'
An anecdote: Debussy (who favoured parallel chords) was told by his teacher:
"I am not saying that what you are doing is not beautiful, but it is theoretically absurd!"
Debussy replied, "There is no theory. You have merely to listen. Pleasure is the law."
Here's some Wiki articles:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallel_harmony
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmonization (the section on Jazz planing) and then to:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coltrane_changes
-- and they also use parallel harmony in Melodic Metal (to add insult to injury :hihi: )
"As the artist goes deeper into his own thing, he learns what works and then needs fewer tools."
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jancivil
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12859 posts since 20 Oct, 2007, from No Location

Postby jancivil; Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:25 am Re: How to approach voice leading for non-classical music?

Yeah, and Satie went back to school to study counterpoint, the usual strict ways.

I strongly suggest the regular type of part-writing course to get your chops together.
You can ignore the strictures all you like later.
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jancivil
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12859 posts since 20 Oct, 2007, from No Location

Postby jancivil; Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:29 am Re: How to approach voice leading for non-classical music?

MadBrain wrote:The other well known technique taught in schools is Jazz parallel harmonization
[...] you'll have to buy a book.

What is there to teach except for the kinds of chords, ie., vocabularly. Parallel, yeah, that's a tough one. :hihi:
Or did I miss something here.

Yez don't need a book for classical part-writing, I had extensive practice, particularly chromatic very late romantic harmony and there was never a book to teach you what to do. In the beginning, in 1st yr diatonic harmony, the never do this list is given. Beyond that? You do the damn thing.

Then you find out that covered fifths out of the German 6th, a do_not_do, is known as "Mozart 5ths". :D
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jancivil
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12859 posts since 20 Oct, 2007, from No Location

Postby jancivil; Tue May 02, 2017 10:21 am Re: How to approach voice leading for non-classical music?

RamblinWreck wrote:I'm interested in learning harmony through the lens of voice leading, as the biggest revelation I've had so far came when someone described why a chord progression "felt" right in terms of the intervals between the notes and their changes.

However, every resource I've found on voice leading seems to be about the classical "chorale" kind of chords, meant for actual voices. Is there any modern resource that describes things like guitar chords or open-voiced chords in this manner? Or will I be able to apply what I learn from classical voice leading to my music as soon as I learn it?

Actually, the voice-leading isn't so much about a particular arrangement such as 'for voices', it's principles designed to facilitate transparency and fluidity based in a praxis where this was true, eg., JS Bach. More in the abstract, always applies, type of thing.

As to guitar, where a typical approach to chords involves a lot of parallelism, it likely looks more problematic than say for piano.
Maybe get a hold of transcriptions of JS Bach for guitar for a practice-oriented look at this.
jsaras
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52 posts since 3 Mar, 2004

Postby jsaras; Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:58 am Re: How to approach voice leading for non-classical music?

The answers that you seek are found in the Equal Interval System (EIS). It is a 12 volume music composition course of horizontal line writing based on equal intervals. It should be noted that this isn't a guitar or keyboard-oriented course. It is a composer's course in which one immediately begins writing music one line at a time. It is simpler than the traditional approaches, yet it confirms all previous theories. While most theorists concerned themselves looking "vertically", Lyle "Spud" Murphy looked at music "horizontally" and saw something that everyone else had missed.
jsaras
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52 posts since 3 Mar, 2004

Postby jsaras; Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:06 am Re: How to approach voice leading for non-classical music?

Just to whet your appetite a bit, here's a short sequence of b13 chords with voice leading. This sort of thing is covered in Book 2 of the course.

MP3 audio: http://www.audiorecordingandservices.com/flat13.mp3

SCORE: Image
Bojmir Raj Raj
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34 posts since 2 Jan, 2017

Postby Bojmir Raj Raj; Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:39 am Re: How to approach voice leading for non-classical music?

jsaras wrote:Just to whet your appetite a bit, here's a short sequence of b13 chords with voice leading. This sort of thing is covered in Book 2 of the course.

MP3 audio: http://www.audiorecordingandservices.com/flat13.mp3

SCORE: Image


I dunno, enharmonically spelling out a diminished chord with the bassline sounds like a recipe for goofiness to me!
Boone777
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489 posts since 8 Aug, 2011

Postby Boone777; Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:18 am Re: How to approach voice leading for non-classical music?

I think it sounds cool for tension/transition/modulation.
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Gamma-UT
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3770 posts since 8 Jun, 2009, from UK

Postby Gamma-UT; Sat Aug 19, 2017 7:01 am Re: How to approach voice leading for non-classical music?

jsaras wrote:The answers that you seek are found in the Equal Interval System (EIS).


How much does it cost to join Lilith Murphy's cult? Is it like the Scientology thing where you have to wait for the final volume to get the secret? Or does it need to be a whole chunk of books and lessons because it's "one simple rule" followed by a bucketload of exceptions?
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jancivil
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12859 posts since 20 Oct, 2007, from No Location

Postby jancivil; Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:03 am Re: How to approach voice leading for non-classical music?

jsaras wrote:The answers that you seek are found in the Equal Interval System (EIS).

I've been far too nice about this type of thing in the past.
That statement is bullshit. It might be some answer for you, it might even stand for your thought when you're stumped or if one just can't work without that kind of guide rule.

I compose music with my ear. Yes, I have some things I know and my decisions aren't naive. But I have ideas, I'm not stumped as to how to move. Whatever did we do without this system before?

The first harmony - what is that?
First of all, the spacing strongly suggests that G is its root
From there, we have an aug and a P 5th; a major 7th; and a 9th which moves to a #9. So, 'b13', then it's actually an Eb. Spell it right, first. D# from G is an augmented fifth. :?
Then, an E^7 9 with a flat 6 or b13. :?: What's the point? Maybe that's cool, maybe it isn't, it does the opposite of whet my appetite.

I'm def not telling you what to like or how to proceed at all, but as an overarching theory, well, we might want to do things just very differently than whatever produced that thinking.
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jancivil
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12859 posts since 20 Oct, 2007, from No Location

Postby jancivil; Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:12 am Re: How to approach voice leading for non-classical music?

jsaras wrote:While most theorists concerned themselves looking "vertically", Lyle "Spud" Murphy looked at music "horizontally" and saw something that everyone else had missed.

On Bullshit

I didn't miss it. That's my main modi operandi, writing lines.
The whet your appetite example was all about writing some type of b13, there's nothing to recommend it as linear writing I don't think.
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