• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 23

Topic: Solution to Musical Problems

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1

    Solution to Musical Problems

    I'm sure other people have thought of this (and perhaps even posted it), but so many people have posted 'musical problem' issues, that I thought I'd post a rather simple (perhaps too simple) general solution:

    Listen to Beethoven (or a composer of your choosing) and copy a general solution Beethoven used. That is, Beethoven uses a lot of 'Call and Response'...have an oboe call a theme and have the symphony respond in kind.

    Or have an instrument call a theme and have a different instrument call the same theme in a minor key.

    Or...I could (and Beethoven does) go on.

    I think a lot of people get caught up in musical particulars so that they can easily miss the musical forest for the trees.

    Of course, any solution that actually works (yours, mine or ours) is a good solution...happy composing!!

  2. #2

    Re: Solution to Musical Problems

    Now, it must be said that what Beethoven was doing was quite a bit more complex than that. Through lot's of hard work, specific rules of counterpoint (that he followed or not), knowledge of harmony and modulation, thematic development techniques, and years of training with the likes of Haydn and Salieri, he makes it sound effortless. It is even harder now with modern music not being restricted to the major and minor mode, newer harmonies, less restriction. That is why composers since Beethoven actually write much less music. Can't just write a melody and plug in a little counterpoint anymore!
    Jess Hendricks
    DMA Student and Teaching Asst in Music Theory/ Composition at the University of Miami
    Personal Website

  3. #3

    Re: Solution to Musical Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by jesshmusic
    Can't just write a melody and plug in a little counterpoint anymore!
    Well, you can if you want . . .

    I think that's good advice when you're stuck and you want to some how develop an idea. It won't make you an instant Beethoven, but it might at least get your piece moving in a direction you want.
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  4. #4

    Re: Solution to Musical Problems

    Without claiming either complete understanding of the model or exact use of all aspects of the craft invovled in its construction I'd like to provide an example of making very humble use of sublime music to solve musical problems at a modest level of compositional skill.

    For the first exercise in Jess's seminar I faced among other things the challenge of having a piece that wanted to be in three chuncks but didn't want to be (just) ABA. The solution I used was to model one aspect of Bach's Goldberg Variations which climaxes with a relatively simple variation (based on a folk song called--if my memory serves me well--cabbages and beets) before repeating the introductory variation and which is preceeded by various elaborations and transformations of the folk song. So I took a (to me anyway) relatively complete and coherent chunk of my piece, put it at the end, and constructed two elaborations/transformations that I placed before it. The result, if not at the level of the Goldbergs, is better than it would have been otherwise.

    So a mouse can look at a king.

    Chet

    PS: I should probably note that this interpretation of one aspect of the Goldbergs as anticipatory elaborations of a simple theme is my own and might not be shared by professional analysts.

  5. #5

    Re: Solution to Musical Problems

    "Can't" is not a musical word.

    Richard N.

    Finale 2003 to 2007 ~ Garritan GPO, JABB & Strad ~ Sonar 6PE ~ Kontakt 2 ~ WinXP Home SP2

    Athlon XP 2200 ~ 1.5 Gb RAM ~ M-Audio Sound Card ~ M-Audio 88ES MIDI keyboard ~ Evolution MK-461C

    Bach Strad LT16MG, LT36G, 42B + B&H Sovereign Studio Tenor Trombones ~ Holton 181 Bass Trombone ~ Getzen Bass Trumpet ~ Yamaha TR4335G Trumpet ~ B&H Euphonium

  6. #6

    Re: Solution to Musical Problems

    A few random thoughts on the topic that came to me this afternoon:

    I forget where (probably an AI lecture somewhere) someone said that you can only see into a generalization as deeply as your own knowledge permits. That got me thinking about what Jess said about the sophistication of the craft in the models and that lead me to speculate that as a persons knowledge and experience grow their ability to make use of models will also grow.

    Chet

  7. #7

    Re: Solution to Musical Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by chet reinhardt
    A few random thoughts on the topic that came to me this afternoon:

    I forget where (probably an AI lecture somewhere) someone said that you can only see into a generalization as deeply as your own knowledge permits. That got me thinking about what Jess said about the sophistication of the craft in the models and that lead me to speculate that as a persons knowledge and experience grow their ability to make use of models will also grow.

    Chet
    I like this thought a lot. Maybe more than a lot. Feel free to expand on it. I thinks generalizations and one's ability to plumb their depths is very much a function of knowledge and experience. But I think they offer (at least some) assistance to individuals with all possible abilities.

    I'm glad this has touch a chord (no pun intended).

  8. #8

    Re: Solution to Musical Problems

    I guess that this growth over time fits my ability to learn from Bach:

    back in my college days I listened to Bach, Django, and Ravi Shankar among others. I was studying math, not music, but I was playing in a band (modal jazz improvisations were my focus). At that point I (unconsciously) picked up a sense of melodic phrasing. Lately I've been doing semi-qualitative analysis of how Bach structures stuff (particularly the Goldbergs). I've used various aspects of what I understand of what he's done in three or four pieces (a series of pieces sharing a cantus firmus for example). In the future I intend to study various things more closely, probably starting with 2-part inventions and working my way to more complex works. As my understanding increases I expect that my ability to profit from his (and other composers/musicians) example will improve.

    I make only the most modest claims for the quality of my results. My own knowledge is advanced in some areas and very rudimentary in others. Since finding this forum my knowledge and abilities has really increased alot and I'm grateful to all the people who have helped me, either by replying to my questions or by having conversations that I've profited by listening to.

    Thanks for your interest in my ideas.

    Chet

  9. #9

    Re: Solution to Musical Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by chet reinhardt
    I forget where (probably an AI lecture somewhere) someone said that you can only see into a generalization as deeply as your own knowledge permits. That got me thinking about what Jess said about the sophistication of the craft in the models and that lead me to speculate that as a persons knowledge and experience grow their ability to make use of models will also grow.

    Chet
    Please forgive me, but I'm not quite sure what you are saying? This is kind of embarrassing, but is there a way to rephrase your thoughts? My brain must be turning to mush again . . .
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  10. #10

    Re: Solution to Musical Problems

    Hi guys,

    Here's my humble opinion on the matter. I think that we are all THINKING about the music way too much instead of letting it happen naturally - like believing that the perfect piece is like it's a math problem to be solved. I think that we're trying too hard. I may be wrong though...

    MM

Go Back to forum

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •