"Solarstone - Release": how would you analyze the harmony?

Chords, scales, harmony, melody, etc.
KVRist

Topic Starter

95 posts since 26 Mar, 2017

Post Sun Sep 26, 2021 10:38 pm

TribeOfHǫfuð wrote:
Sun Sep 26, 2021 10:26 pm
This forum contains everything from vague self invented theory like your own to the disciplines we are trained in.
Sounds promising.


TribeOfHǫfuð wrote:
Sun Sep 26, 2021 10:26 pm
That does not mean we are obligied to embrace the former.
Nor, necessarily, the other way around. Or at least, for my part, embracing the disciplines of your expertise is likely to happen only to the limits of my capability and in contexts of my own interest.

Thanks for your positive input in any case, and have a fine day. Seriously :)

KVRist
108 posts since 14 Jan, 2020

Post Mon Sep 27, 2021 6:05 am

it's good to ask "why would you analyze the harmony?", especially with electronic music. how important really are the pitches and their relations in delineating phrases, or in organising the form of the music? what if they're not important at all?

20th century music forced theorists to start (and I mean start, they have a bit of catching up to do) figuring out that form has a lot to do with other stuff. composers have known it all along, of course, but theory has spent a lot of time preoccupied with notes. you might get a kick out of reading James Tenney's 'Meta+Hodos' for a look at that sort of thing. these ideas about form have a lot to say about electronic and loop-based music.
N__K wrote:
Sun Sep 26, 2021 9:44 pm
Besides, I'm fairly sure that on some level both of you actually enjoy the appearance of an irritating new-ish member with unorthodox concepts (and a mouth to match) more than silence at the Astral Diner.
I appreciate it. this subforum is a bit depressing with those two bringing down the vibe of every thread. jan is knowledgeable but likes to take swings at strawmen and act absurdly hostile for no good reason, as you've seen. don't be fooled by Tribe, though, he's not an expert on anything lol. you can find him in another thread talking about memorising modes by their whole/half step patterns so he can 'transpose on the fly'. not bothering to learn your scales is some real hardcore classically trained expert stuff, I guess. I'll give him credit for the epic copypasta though: "I have really seen no other members around here whose theoretical knowledge is as well documented in our music as ours" is just amazing

KVRAF
23332 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from not here

Post Mon Sep 27, 2021 6:11 am

anyway, the answer one will have to "how would you analyze the harmony" must be "I with a sus4 as opposed to 3. Full stop." :idiot:
The thing is, from the outset you don't seem to grasp what a harmonic analysis even is. Nothing happens, there's nothing to talk about. One has to clarify what sus2 and sus4 are; they have to be inverted from those names to be a quartal construct. 'C D G' eg., is not necessarily D G C (also, too, if you try pitch class analysis here you already have a fail); 'D G A' eg., is not necessarily A D G; in too many if not the vast majority of cases we'll see it they're sus chords and the root is at the bottom. It's a drag to have to clarify basic stuff like this and it's a circus when someone just can't be wrong.

I'm on you because if you can't recognize a mistake your growth will flat stop. We could just enable that, I couldn't.

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KVRian
806 posts since 4 Feb, 2021

Post Mon Sep 27, 2021 7:17 am

NERF_PROTOSS wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 6:05 am
I appreciate it. this subforum is a bit depressing with those two bringing down the vibe of every thread. jan is knowledgeable but likes to take swings at strawmen and act absurdly hostile for no good reason, as you've seen. don't be fooled by Tribe, though, he's not an expert on anything lol. you can find him in another thread talking about memorising modes by their whole/half step patterns so he can 'transpose on the fly'. not bothering to learn your scales is some real hardcore classically trained expert stuff, I guess. I'll give him credit for the epic copypasta though: "I have really seen no other members around here whose theoretical knowledge is as well documented in our music as ours" is just amazing
Say you, who have posted incompetent comments in the mode thread, countered by Jan, and recently countered by both of us in the Chord thread where you showed no sense of the relevance of set theory to the subject despite being arrogant in both threads. How wonderfully projective…and delusive. :hihi:
Tribe Of Hǫfuð https://soundcloud.com/user-228690154 "First rule: From one perfect consonance to another perfect consonance one must proceed in contrary or obligue motion." Johann Joseph Fux 1725.

KVRist

Topic Starter

95 posts since 26 Mar, 2017

Post Mon Sep 27, 2021 10:42 am

NERF_PROTOSS wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 6:05 am
it's good to ask "why would you analyze the harmony?", especially with electronic music. how important really are the pitches and their relations in delineating phrases, or in organising the form of the music? what if they're not important at all?
Indeed, as far as my experience goes, for some genres - and some passages in many genres - pitch relations and harmony may not be the keys to reveal their character.

Clearest recent example that I can think of are timbral/spectral changes in dubstep basses. As far as I know, there is no formal theoretical language to describe them except in terms of physics - that is, amplitudes of partials. I cannot imagine how one would describe such things on a staff, and even "sine waves on the 12-pitch piano roll" method is entirely inadequate for representing dense partials in upper octaves (and sliding frequency changes of individual partials when such things happen).

For that, a "spectral piano roll" which can go to 500+ pitches with adjustable positions, ratios etc. would be needed. Photosounder and Metasynth come to mind, as well as image-controllable additive synths like Image-Line Harmor - which, incidentally, is 10 years old this month, and no entity has yet made a feature-matching competitor to it...



That said, in case of pieces like "Release", harmonic analysis does tell a lot about how they might have been made, and how similar spectra can be achieved.

I could have probably just asked Solarstone whether "Release" was initially imagined as a tonal piece, or whether it was actually conceived via quartal ideas of some kind, and then placed into tonal-like form to better fit into general character of 2000s trance. But, for various reasons, I rarely dare to approach artists who defined the experiences of my younger days.

Also, I find it interesting to read how different people perceive and interpret same heard pieces in terms of theories.


NERF_PROTOSS wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 6:05 am
you might get a kick out of reading James Tenney's 'Meta+Hodos' for a look at that sort of thing. these ideas about form have a lot to say about electronic and loop-based music.
Thanks! The quotes on page 3 definitely got my attention. Added to reading list :)


NERF_PROTOSS wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 6:05 am
I appreciate it.
Thanks :)


NERF_PROTOSS wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 6:05 am
Tribe [...] in another thread talking about memorising modes by their whole/half step patterns so he can 'transpose on the fly'.
In my opinion, if that works for them, all good - to each their own.
In a way, I utilize a similar idea visually, as semitone patterns on 12-pitch evenly-spaced piano rolls.

For what it's worth, back when I was studying the basics of diatonic scales and modes, I made a bunch of 12-pitch-gridded lookup charts of them (and some others), which I still sometimes refer to when memory fails.

Attached an example:
Degrees and modes of Ionian scale - lowres.png
scales - diatonic - modes of major - lowres.png
Disclaimer: these are examples of my personal learning materials from many years ago; a learner's coursework. I'm sharing for sake of conversation, without intention to compel anyone to use them or even look at them.

Made a number of those back in the day, for every scale pattern I could imagine using in the future. Covered a wall with them for some months, to help in visual memorization. But I have to confess, my active memory nowadays holds less than ten :D
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KVRist

Topic Starter

95 posts since 26 Mar, 2017

Post Fri Oct 01, 2021 12:30 am

I've done the transcription to the point at which I'm willing to let it be. As far as harmony goes, it corresponds to most significant peaks in the spectrum and should be accurate enough for basic analysis.

Apologies for potential typos and mislabelings - I'm very error-prone in things like this, despite double-checking. Feel free to correct if something seems clearly unintentional.


Overview:
solarstone - release overview.png


I'll be considering the composition in context of C Phrygian, and treating bass notes as roots (it makes sense especially in this genre). I'll omit some short-lasting bass pitches for sake of clarity; they're visible in piano rolls for anyone interested in more accuracy.

I've picked three sections to concentrate on:


1) Bars 67-74 (2:00 - 2:14)
Solarstone - Release - bars 067-074.PNG

Code: Select all

C sus4     -  Db  sus2   -  Bb   sus2        (bass as root)

i sus4     -  bII sus2   -  bvii sus2        (chromatic romans with chord qualities)

0°(0,5,7)  -  1°(0,2,7)  -  10°(0,2,7)       (12-degree integers)




2) Bars 131-138 (3:56 - 4:10)
Solarstone - Release - bars 131-138.PNG

Code: Select all

Cm add2    -  Db  sus2   -  Bb   m7sus2

i add2     -  bII sus2   -  bvii m7sus2 

0°(0,2,3,7)-  1°(0,2,7)  -  10°(0,2,7,10)




3) Bars 147-154 (4:25 - 4:40)
Solarstone - Release - bars 147-154.PNG

Code: Select all

Cm add4    -  Db  sus2   -  Bb   m7sus2

i add4     -  bII sus2   -  bvii m7sus2 

0°(0,3,5,7)-  1°(0,2,7)  -  10°(0,2,7,10)


***


Another way to think about this would be in F Natural Minor, with the final and longest chord of the repeating progression being the tonic. In 147-154, there is Bb in bass, and F, Ab, Bb and C above it, which could be considered as "Fm add4/Bb" or, as I might write in my own notes, "F(0,3,5,7)_5".

Thus, in F Natural Minor, region 3 would be:

Code: Select all

Cm add4    -  Db  sus2   -  Fm  add4

v add4     -  bVI sus2   -  i   add4                 

7°(0,5,7)  -  8°(0,2,7)  -  0°(0,3,5,7) 

...which would also mean that the track starts and ends on degree v (or 7°).
My own harmonic sense might prefer for the outro to be in F - either a F5, or Fsus4.


A point in favor of "C as tonic" interpretation would be that tracks in these genres usually* begin and end on same chord or bass note, to facilitate harmonic mixing by DJs. That chord or note tends to become "tonicised" in perception of the listeners. In this track, it is clearly C sus4.

*There exist some examples which start and end on different note, such as Gabriel & Dresden - Arcadia. It starts with bass in G# and ends with it in D#, coinciding curiously with initials of the artist name.

Overall, for purposes of studying trance of 2000s, I think "Solarstone - Release" is a good example of keeping things relatively simple while concentrating on a specific mood.


***

Regarding my controversial use of the word "quartal": if chords in this track were actually voiced in fourths instead of sus and m7 forms, would you consider that to be a different composition?
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KVRAF
23332 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from not here

Post Fri Oct 01, 2021 1:41 pm

the arrogance of some people here is actually quite astonishing. Where does one get the idea to posture like they know stuff they demonstrably do not. That's hostile to all of us because you mislead people giving flatly wrong answers to things. Also hilarious is the use of 'strawman', in the context of a guy calling people "intolerent of diversity". No, I do not need to fabricate someone that's simply wrong in order to state the direct observation.

There was a diversion sheesh, divergence from reality, but calling things which have to be reordered before they're 'quartal' that word per se is not diverse in the sociological sense you used to impugn people's integrity, it's just a mistake.

So I took the time to sort it and gave examples to what a quartal approach to harmony is, and a pretty good hint as to what "sus2" or "sus4" may indicate that isn't that. I'm not the asshole in this case.
Last edited by jancivil on Sun Oct 03, 2021 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

KVRist

Topic Starter

95 posts since 26 Mar, 2017

Post Fri Oct 01, 2021 5:38 pm

jancivil wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 1:41 pm
So I took the time to sort it and gave examples to what a quartal approach to harmony is, and a pretty good hint as to what "sus2" or "sus4" may indicate that isn't that.
I thank you for positive parts of your input. I also appreciate and enjoy some of the links.

The rest of absurdity is not my problem. If I was more of an arse, I could go on with rhetorics, but it's not worth the time.

Again, thanks for sharing your knowledge and music. I receive it in the spirit with which it was given.

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KVRian
806 posts since 4 Feb, 2021

Post Fri Oct 01, 2021 11:23 pm

jancivil wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 1:41 pm
the arrogance of some people here is actually quite astonishing.
He was the guy from the modes thread who came on a high horse to diss all comments and save the day, and then mixed modes all up with plain chord theory, ending up not speaking of modes at all as you pointed out. Hilarious that he should pass judgement on us. Then he tries to invalidate my sayings by referring to my way of memorizing modes as if there were any standards to this from which you could make such sweeping generalization. Unbelievable. That seems like the magical thinking of a child to me.
Tribe Of Hǫfuð https://soundcloud.com/user-228690154 "First rule: From one perfect consonance to another perfect consonance one must proceed in contrary or obligue motion." Johann Joseph Fux 1725.

KVRist

Topic Starter

95 posts since 26 Mar, 2017

Post Sat Oct 02, 2021 1:37 am

I wasn't part of modes discussion, so not taking sides there.
But, this is an interesting phrase:
TribeOfHǫfuð wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 11:23 pm
[...] magical thinking of a child [...]
Again, not to seed discord - I think we've been through enough. I'm just reacting to an interesting expression, aside from immediate context and meaning you wrote it in. That's changing the subject - sorry about that - but it's my thread ;)

Anyway.

As a not-so-young-anymore fellow, capability of childlike creative thinking is something I am becoming increasingly afraid of losing.

Not that I was a master of very much more than disaster in younger incarnations, but just the other day I was reminiscing on FL Studio forum about how exploring the app like a game had led to making some stuff I still go back to and analyze.

Case in point, one of my FLS sessions of that time resulted in ambient-breakbeat-whatever-ish piece which started from obliviously strumming a guitar, recording that, and arpeggiating the sample as a 7sus4 chord (I was just trying different arpeggiator settings and going by ear).

The result - with delay effects etc. - became a texture made of entire minor scale, specifically: A(0,2,3,5,7,8,10) or "Am11 add b6". Another texture later on added major third and sixth to that, so "Am11 add 3, b6, 6" or A(0,2,3,4,5,7,8,9,10). The actual voicing was not so clear; loud A pitch in bass from another instrument defined it and made it seem less dissonant than one might expect.

What bothers me is that while I now have some ability to understand it, the circumstances of making that piece are unlikely to happen in my current, much less "magical" reality and its workflows. I can likely make a similar piece nowadays if I put enough work into it - but not via mere accident and childlike wonder towards sound itself, like then.

So what I'm trying to say... magical thinking of a child has its sides, I guess?

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KVRian
806 posts since 4 Feb, 2021

Post Sat Oct 02, 2021 2:02 am

N__K wrote:
Sat Oct 02, 2021 1:37 am
I wasn't part of modes discussion, so not taking sides there.
But, this is an interesting phrase:
TribeOfHǫfuð wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 11:23 pm
[...] magical thinking of a child [...]
I am not talking about you, neither is Jan as far as I read her. I refer to the guy you quoted yourself. I have no more to say to the topic or you. I gave a sugestion as how to achieve a quartal tone by moving actual stacks of fourth and that is that.
Last edited by TribeOfHǫfuð on Sat Oct 02, 2021 2:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
Tribe Of Hǫfuð https://soundcloud.com/user-228690154 "First rule: From one perfect consonance to another perfect consonance one must proceed in contrary or obligue motion." Johann Joseph Fux 1725.

KVRist

Topic Starter

95 posts since 26 Mar, 2017

Post Sat Oct 02, 2021 2:21 am

TribeOfHǫfuð wrote:
Sat Oct 02, 2021 2:02 am
N__K wrote:
Sat Oct 02, 2021 1:37 am
I wasn't part of modes discussion, so not taking sides there.
But, this is an interesting phrase:
TribeOfHǫfuð wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 11:23 pm
[...] magical thinking of a child [...]
I am not talking about you, neither is Jan as far as I read him. I refer to the guy you quoted yourself. I have no more to say to the topic or you. I gave a sugestion as how to achieve a quartal tone by moving actual stacks of fourth and that is that.
Yeah, I got that. And thanks. I was just writing stuff that came to mind from the phrase. I mean, if we're into tasty offtopics in my thread, I'll certainly do my part :)

On meta level, I'd say it's one of factors which contribute to conflicts of perspectives on music theory forums. One side is more of a Pan and the other is more of a Hook. Even though one tends to become the other with age.

KVRAF
23332 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from not here

Post Sat Oct 02, 2021 7:22 pm

"I wasn't part of modes discussion, so not taking sides there."
how is it about 'sides'? When one has solid knowledge, it matters not at all who's saying what.

proTOSS said I like to strawman people, in the context of the OP doing 'intolerant of diversity' because they can't be corrected. Where does this occur? My assessment of "nerf protoss" is of incompetence. It's an observation of instance after instance of unforced error, which is one thing, but the overconfidence and now the consistency of both problems at once got old a long time ago. I doubt I could make some of this shit up, 'strawman'. Why would I have to? Do you even know what the term means?

I only see this crap because of the quote function of the BBB here.

what a shitshow. I *gave* you people knowledge in spades but you somehow are deluded to think you're competing for something, and I have to suppose every person your whole life has treated you like a baby. I mean both of you btfw.

<absurdly hostile> f**king grow up. "For no good reason": gaslight much? I'm feeling a bit hostile right now, but that may be located in seeing this shittalking with no point in the remote vicinity.
I read my posts more than once, ok? Thin-skinned like djt, man.

KVRAF
23332 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from not here

Post Sat Oct 02, 2021 7:43 pm

"don't be fooled by Tribe, though, he's not an expert on anything lol."
How the f**k would you know? Dunning-Kruger Effect poster child. One does not become anything on the order of expertise in this field until they learn to check themselves.

KVRist

Topic Starter

95 posts since 26 Mar, 2017

Post Sat Oct 02, 2021 7:50 pm

jancivil wrote:
Sat Oct 02, 2021 7:22 pm
When one has solid knowledge, it matters not at all who's saying what.
What are the objective foundations of music theories, in your perspective?

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