Understanding electronic music composing.

Chords, scales, harmony, melody, etc.
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Gamma-UT
KVRAF
5270 posts since 8 Jun, 2009 from UK

Post Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:36 am

vurt wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:33 am
https://youtu.be/4xBQ8HmBR4o
Risky click of the day.

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Hink
Rad Grandad
30606 posts since 6 Sep, 2003 from Downeast Maine

Re: Understanding electronic music composing.

Post Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:52 am

ibtl
my neighbor has a hen that counts her own eggs, she a mathamachicken

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Gamma-UT
KVRAF
5270 posts since 8 Jun, 2009 from UK

Re: Understanding electronic music composing.

Post Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:56 am

If you have locking privileges are you allowed to say "IBTL"?

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vurt
addled muppet weed
59155 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Re: Understanding electronic music composing.

Post Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:57 am

Hink wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:52 am
ibtl
see mike.
you did this.


:hihi:

Stamped Records
KVRist
297 posts since 20 Sep, 2018 from UK

Re: Understanding electronic music composing.

Post Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:10 am

Forgotten wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:29 am
The same language does not describe both.
Ok, so a note in a melody has nothing in common with a chord and there is no way to relate the two to eachother and to the chosen scale using language like rhythm, interval, scale degree, accent, leading tone etc.

My sincerest apologies for the preposterous suggestion.
How does no harmony hold a melody together by working in the background? That makes no sense.
Man, it's obvious to me that it wouldn't matter what I say, you are going to pick on it, but I will continue with this ridiculous clarification anyway. A chord progression can be used even if you don't hear the chord progression. As part of the creative process a chord progression might be chosen before the fact, and music could be written to that chord progression covertly - as in, the chords are not overt but they are very much there.

Stamped Records
KVRist
297 posts since 20 Sep, 2018 from UK

Re: Understanding electronic music composing.

Post Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:23 am



I think you're also over-egging the idea that melody implies harmony by itself (if you take memory out of the equation and don't try to impose what your brain heard on the first playthrough of the completed piece). Reharmonisation is a thing and will change the perception of a melody on each change in harmony.

The problem you describe of people being put off by harmony is more a consequence of "music theory" being not music theory at all but the theory of common practice classical music. The 20th Century drove a coach and horses through that and, unfortunately, the theory books and courses still haven't caught up. It is, unfortunately, not that relevant to the kind of music a lot of people want to make but we currently force people across the chasm first rather than take into account the fact that not everything has to have a V-I cadence.
I'm not even talking about a cadence. I'm just speaking on the general mechanism, if you can call it that, of the notes. I don't think that theory is not what people want, it's just that you have to practise and listen to a lot of stereotype stuff to break through and find an original style. Nobody says you should use the V-I cadence but should you know it's possible, maybe.

I think a problematic factor in modern electronic music, is that people start knowing exactly what they want to do in terms of genre and style. Techno is minor, for the most part there is very little techno written in major, ergo, a techno producer is never going to spend enough time with the major cadence to break through to what music theory really is - what it is to me anyway.

At the end of the day, apart from rhythm and accent, there's only a few things a note can do. Up, down, step, skip. A chord progression gives you a handle on where you're up, down, stepping or skipping to/from.

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Forgotten
KVRAF
8698 posts since 15 Apr, 2019 from Nowhere

Re: Understanding electronic music composing.

Post Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:51 am

Stamped Records wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:10 am
Forgotten wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:29 am
The same language does not describe both.
Ok, so a note in a melody has nothing in common with a chord and there is no way to relate the two to eachother and to the chosen scale using language like rhythm, interval, scale degree, accent, leading tone etc.

My sincerest apologies for the preposterous suggestion.
Your sarcasm might have a place if you had defended your suggestion well, but you took one very specific example and applied language to it. That’s hardly a solid defense of a sweeping generality.

It’s pretty easy to find exceptions where terms are not common between melody and harmony. “Harmonic interval” for example.
Stamped Records wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:10 am
How does no harmony hold a melody together by working in the background? That makes no sense.
Man, it's obvious to me that it wouldn't matter what I say, you are going to pick on it
Not at all. The only times I (and others) make comments is when you post things that are patently wrong. You could take this as a learning opportunity, but you just continue to stick with the same misapprehensions and not improve your knowledge. There are people here willing to help if you would only accept it.
Stamped Records wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:10 am
A chord progression can be used even if you don't hear the chord progression. As part of the creative process a chord progression might be chosen before the fact, and music could be written to that chord progression covertly - as in, the chords are not overt but they are very much there.
How do you write music “covertly”? I have no clue what you’re trying to suggest by chords that can’t be heard yet are both “not overt” and “very much there”. The harmony is either there or not. There’s no Schrodinger’s harmony or whatever you are suggesting.

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Gamma-UT
KVRAF
5270 posts since 8 Jun, 2009 from UK

Re: Understanding electronic music composing.

Post Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:12 am

Stamped Records wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:23 am


I think you're also over-egging the idea that melody implies harmony by itself (if you take memory out of the equation and don't try to impose what your brain heard on the first playthrough of the completed piece). Reharmonisation is a thing and will change the perception of a melody on each change in harmony.

The problem you describe of people being put off by harmony is more a consequence of "music theory" being not music theory at all but the theory of common practice classical music. The 20th Century drove a coach and horses through that and, unfortunately, the theory books and courses still haven't caught up. It is, unfortunately, not that relevant to the kind of music a lot of people want to make but we currently force people across the chasm first rather than take into account the fact that not everything has to have a V-I cadence.
I'm not even talking about a cadence. I'm just speaking on the general mechanism, if you can call it that, of the notes. I don't think that theory is not what people want, it's just that you have to practise and listen to a lot of stereotype stuff to break through and find an original style. Nobody says you should use the V-I cadence but should you know it's possible, maybe.

I think a problematic factor in modern electronic music, is that people start knowing exactly what they want to do in terms of genre and style. Techno is minor, for the most part there is very little techno written in major, ergo, a techno producer is never going to spend enough time with the major cadence to break through to what music theory really is - what it is to me anyway.

At the end of the day, apart from rhythm and accent, there's only a few things a note can do. Up, down, step, skip. A chord progression gives you a handle on where you're up, down, stepping or skipping to/from.
I would point out there are many other scales used in electronic music than major and minor. For example, phrygian and phrygian dominant in goa/psy - a style influenced by an area of music where there is no such thing as a chord.

Your approach also has issues when dealing with the planing of sampled chords in Detroit techno: there is no key-based scale of reference, though producers may restrict themselves to a scale that intuitively sounds good.

Stephan Bodzin might be in minor. But there is plenty of stuff out there that doesn't touch the "normal" scales - even assuming there is a melody there at all (back to Surgeon, the Sandwell crew and the Berlin stuff that came after it).

Stamped Records
KVRist
297 posts since 20 Sep, 2018 from UK

Re: Understanding electronic music composing.

Post Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:41 am

Well, people might argue but the modes themselves are categorised loosely by their major or minor root chord, even though the root chord is not necessarily the only defining characteristic of them, so Dorian and Phryian would be very common in techno too. In fairness, I produce a lot of stab orientated techno myself and I know that theory is of absolutely no use to that style, it's of no absolute necessity to any kind of music, beyond basic scales and chords if you're a person who likes to understand. The trouble with theory is that it's a rabbit hole - with every bit one learns, one also realises that one doesn't know enough.

Schrodinger's harmony, that's a good way of putting it actually. A chord progression is something of a template, you don't need to hear the template explicitly, one can be creative with which notes to use from the template and obscure the use of a template completely - bands have made good careers out of 6 or 7 chords.

In specific reference to techno theory would still work quite well even with minimal melody. You can reveal so little of the progression with each pass that the fact that there is a progression in effect is totally oblivious to the listener, you could essentially have a hardcore dark techno fan listening to a cheesy IV, V7, I and they wouldn't know it. The use of a progression gives you a framework for some functional aspects of the melody. If you know which chord you are 'imitating' (for lack of a better word) at a given time, you know which notes are your strong and weak notes and you can obviously go against the grain with that a lot in terms of accent but I haven't explored a lot with dissonance just yet even though I get the concept a lot better now, I think.
Last edited by Stamped Records on Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Hink
Rad Grandad
30606 posts since 6 Sep, 2003 from Downeast Maine

Re: Understanding electronic music composing.

Post Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:42 am

are you saying a chord progression may be implied?
my neighbor has a hen that counts her own eggs, she a mathamachicken

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Forgotten
KVRAF
8698 posts since 15 Apr, 2019 from Nowhere

Re: Understanding electronic music composing.

Post Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:46 am

Stamped Records wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:41 am
Well, people might argue but the modes themselves are categorised loosely by their major or minor root chord
Sorry, but this is absolute nonsense.

As I said, people here are willing to help you. You’re stating things that I assume stem from an incomplete understanding of theory, then wonder why you get all these comments. Why not just ask for help with understanding rather than continually do this?

Stamped Records
KVRist
297 posts since 20 Sep, 2018 from UK

Re: Understanding electronic music composing.

Post Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:56 am

Forgotten wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:46 am
Stamped Records wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:41 am
Well, people might argue but the modes themselves are categorised loosely by their major or minor root chord
Sorry, but this is absolute nonsense.

As I said, people here are willing to help you. You’re stating things that I assume stem from an incomplete understanding of theory, then wonder why you get all these comments. Why not just ask for help with understanding rather than continually do this?
See, how can you be taken seriously when I use the term 'categorised loosely' and you respond with 'absolute nonsense'. I'll call the author of that book then so and tell him to take it out of print because some donkey-jockey on a forum disagreed with me.

Stamped Records
KVRist
297 posts since 20 Sep, 2018 from UK

Re: Understanding electronic music composing.

Post Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:58 am

Hink wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:42 am
are you saying a chord progression may be implied?
Yeah, a chord progression may be implied but it might also be deliberately obscured, left incomplete or used as the basis for determining dissonance and accent in the melody.

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Gamma-UT
KVRAF
5270 posts since 8 Jun, 2009 from UK

Re: Understanding electronic music composing.

Post Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:58 am

Stamped Records wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:41 am
Well, people might argue but the modes themselves are categorised loosely by their major or minor root chord, even though the root chord is not necessarily the only defining characteristic of them, so Dorian and Phryian would be very common in techno too.
Guitarists often think this. But there are uses of modes...and then there are other uses of modes. The approach you've mentioned is just one and not really one that applies well to techno or tech-trance.

I think the idea of "root chord" goes to the heart of the issue you have. You've got a bit more learning to do and that was the point I was making earlier: the trouble with conventional music theory is that it does force you through a series of hoops before you get to things that are useful for a wide range of genres or styles. When you get to the end of the process, it becomes much clearer. But up to that point, you run the risk of shoehorning everything into a framework for which it was not designed.

And microtonal, spectral or timbral music? Good luck if that even features on a university-level course. That's where you get into Curtis Roads territory - yet timbral/spectral music is the one closest to non-melodic techno.

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Gamma-UT
KVRAF
5270 posts since 8 Jun, 2009 from UK

Re: Understanding electronic music composing.

Post Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:00 pm

Stamped Records wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:56 am
I'll call the author of that book then so and tell him to take it out of print because some donkey-jockey on a forum disagreed with me.
Which book? It might well be bollocks. It's not uncommon in music theory.

Schenker got a long way on some quite dodgy ideas. He was a verrrry big fan of the V-I. And there wasn't a piece of music he didn't hit with that hammer.

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