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Music Theory Q and A Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Tab & Music Forum' started by davidKOS, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. heltershelton

    heltershelton ROCKIN FOREVER Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 5, 2013
    Not Florida
    if i saw Am-Bm-D-Am as a progression i would think of it as a ii-iii-V-ii in the key of G major, or a iv-v-VII-iv in the key of E minor.
    and the other thing sounds like an F hungarian minor scale to me....i consider that a flavor, not a key.
    im not saying your wrong, im just telling you how i would think of something like that.
     
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  2. Duotone

    Duotone Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 12, 2016
    Norway
    If your in a key, you relate to the chords in that key don't you?

    So stacking up the Hungarian minor chords shapes are: (in C for simplicity)

    i - Cm

    II(b5) - D(b5)

    iii - Em

    #iv(sus2b5) -F#sus2b5

    V - G

    vi° - Ab°

    vii - Bm


    Does Am-Bm-D-Am progression really fit into this pattern, if so which scale?
    The closest we get is the B Hungarian minor. But here the third degree is a minor.

    Bm - C(b5) - Dm - E#sus2b5 * - F# - G° - Am


    * enharmonic with F, but we are in B here, so E#.


    I think @heltershelton is right in his analysis, the given progression is in G/Em.
    So E-minor pentatonic all the way, and whatever flavour you want to add.

    @suncrush

    I haven't really seen staffs with uncommon singature markings as you describe. I haven't played much Hungarian folk music though. I'd guess one generally would trascribe those by apply the extra flats and sharps in the measures as you go along. Just simpler to read...
     
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  3. suncrush

    suncrush Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 25, 2014
    Pittsburgh
    It's not easier to read if you're used to reading Byzantine/Hungarian minor (they're modes of each other). So, for music written for western musicians who don't play the scales, then, yes, it's usually scored with accidentals. For music intended for musicians who are used to the scale, you're more likely to just see a non-classical key signature. I prefer the latter, but I know the scale pretty well.

    EDIT--Though, mind you professionally produced music in those keys is almost always intended for classically-trained musicians, so when I say "non-classical key signature" 99% of the time, I mean "Stuff someone hand-wrote."
     

  4. davidKOS

    davidKOS Retired Performer Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 28, 2012
    California

    Although I did learn counterpoint in college, you can study on your own.

    fezz is referring to Fux,

    http://imslp.org/wiki/Gradus_ad_Parnassum_(Fux,_Johann_Joseph)

    Which was a standard for quite some time.

    We learned from this book, though:

    http://eisel.us/theory/Counterpoint.pdf

    Kent Kennan's book was (and still is) very common in music schools.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counterpoint

    wiki has a good introduction too.

    Writing good counterpoint in the 18th century style is hard, but not as hard as you think. It does take a good bit of serious study, though.
     
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  5. davidKOS

    davidKOS Retired Performer Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 28, 2012
    California
    I'm going to stay out of the "Hungarian minor" discussion for technical reasons.

    LATER NOTE"

    I had to read more, see later post
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
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  6. Duotone

    Duotone Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 12, 2016
    Norway
    Yes, it would be easier, and given that you know the scale, you have worked into your system.

    It would be harder to put that infront of a pro string quartet, when the recording taxometer is put on.
    But if you play within the same group of people, using that way of notation its a great solution.
     

  7. davidKOS

    davidKOS Retired Performer Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 28, 2012
    California
    I know I was going to stay out, but I did some research:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungarian_minor_scale

    I read this and am not sure I agree about details.

    For instance, i do not hear the Pink Panther theme as being in this scale, I hear it as minor with some chromatic alterations more based on American blues!

    For what it's worth, I've played much Eastern European music and this is just NOT a common scale.

    Much more common is this scale:

    C D Eb F# G A Bb C

    Many Hungarian, Romanian, Greek, Yiddish, Turkish etc. music uses this scale

    I relate more to thinking of the Hungarian minor in Indian music terms, lower tetrachord is C D Eb F#, upper tetrachord G Ab B C.

    I want to think more about this one!
     
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  8. suncrush

    suncrush Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 25, 2014
    Pittsburgh
    @davidKOS I don't know much Eastern European music outside of church music. I'm much more familiar with the scale from Levantine music. I don't know why it's "Hungarian minor" rather than "Arabic minor" or "Romani minor."
     
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  9. fezz parka

    fezz parka The Wiggler of Sticks Strat-Talk Supporter

    Hank would say the same.
     
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  10. davidKOS

    davidKOS Retired Performer Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 28, 2012
    California
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukrainian_Dorian_scale

    This is the version I referred to earlier.

    I have seen it as a modulation in Arabic maqamat.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algerian_scale

    This may use a more westernized tuning playable on normal fretted instrument.

    When I tried to find a maqam in the larger tuning system that uses microtones and needs specialized fretting (or fretless necks like oud and violin) I'm more at a loss.

    Wiki says:

    "This scale is obtainable from the Arabic scale"

    First, Arabic music can use hundreds of scales, and there is no ONE Arabic scale.

    Now if they mean DOuble Harmonic Minor

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_harmonic_scale

    I still am at a loss since this is a tempered tuned version of hicazkar:

    [​IMG]

    If you "round off" the makam into something close and playable on mandolin or bouzouki, then it becomes, in ascending order,

    G Ab B C D Eb F# G

    beginning at the 4th scale degree, it becomes

    C D Eb F# G Ab B C.

    Originally the Eb is slightly higher than tempered as is the Ab; the F# and B are slightly lower in pitch than tempered tuning.

    Frankly I have trouble when music theorists do not really research where these scales come from. Plus, some of the names for many complex and synthetic scales are very confusing if to my sense outright wrong.
     
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  11. davidKOS

    davidKOS Retired Performer Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 28, 2012
    California
    [​IMG]

    This excerpt does not have the chromatic intro licks - which also are not in the Hungarian minor mode.

    So let's see what is going on here:

    A key to Mancini's thinking is the chromatic names for the pitch D#/Eb.

    First time we hear it it's a lower neighbor to the tonic note E. I don't here it as a leading tone - why?

    It's echoes by the F#-G, so it's half step lower neighbor tones going on here.

    Mancini, a great writer, reverses this and then you hear half step upper neighbor tones with the C-B and then the E to Eb.

    Now here's where I find this interesting. The first time you hear the D#/Eb pitch class, Mancini writes it as D#.

    When it is used in the F7 chord it is spelled Eb, clearly letting us know this is not a scaler tone but a chromatic alteration to fit a "cool" chord.

    So what about the Bb's?

    First, Mancini did not write this as A# - because it comes between a B natural and an A natural - it's simply a bluesy chromatic alteration.

    And he does it again, on the "no chord" break lick:

    descending:

    E D B A G E, and again uses the Bb-A bluesy lick.

    So instead of being in Hungarian minor, it's in a basic blues pentatonic minor - with a couple chromatic pitches for color.

    QED, not in Hungarian minor.
     
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  12. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    @davidKOS

    That kind of analysis is SO interesting and valuable. Seeing the chart and you analyzing a tune that I can easily hear in my head makes an impression that a discussion of concepts does not make for me. Thanks very much.
     
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  13. davidKOS

    davidKOS Retired Performer Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 28, 2012
    California
    I'm happy to help - when I know what I'm talking about! In this case, it was OK.
     
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  14. Omar

    Omar Most Inquisitive Junior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    744
    Aug 9, 2017
    Marbella, Spain
    I'm ashamed that I don't know much about our music. It is complicated :rolleyes:
    http://www.maqamworld.com/maqamindex.html
     
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  15. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    61
    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    Thanks David. This should keep me away from heated arguments about pickup design for a bit!
     
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  16. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    The other funny thing is that I did all the school band stuff and solo and ensemble competition and I was not a great sight reader but I could read pretty well. Looking at that chart, I was shocked that I could still read a bit. :D
     
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  17. davidKOS

    davidKOS Retired Performer Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 28, 2012
    California
    When you deal with scales based on pitches that can be much smaller than 12 tone ET, it really gets complex.

    When I was studying Arabic music, one difference in the writing system used in Turkey for music the same music, the Turks notate all the slight pitch differences by using a number of sharp and flat signs:

    [​IMG]

    Arabic music, apart from using C as "rast" rather than G as the Turks do (so you have to transpose to compare the same piece of music ) does not use as many symbols.

    For instance, when learning makam hijaz and makam kurdi, the 1st and 2nd scale degrees are D and written Eb.

    However, the Eb in hijaz is pitched higher than the Eb in Kurdi - not notated in Arabic system, notated as such in the Turkish one.

    Plus certain pitches are slightly lower in the same makam, as Arabs tend to play the E half-flat above C slightly lower than Turks.

    Yeah, it gets complicated!
     
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  18. heltershelton

    heltershelton ROCKIN FOREVER Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 5, 2013
    Not Florida
    I have never felt the need to use any of these kinds of scales.....12 notes is enough for me, lol.
    sometimes I will bend a note to somewhere between two pitches when im playing blues though. but its blues, and I dont try to explain it, lol.
     
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  19. davidKOS

    davidKOS Retired Performer Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 28, 2012
    California
    Shelton, they are enough for most cultures! But it happens co coincide with my interest in tuning systems, Pythagorean tuning, etc.

    So when I had the chance to play music with Arabs, Turks, Persians and such, I took it happily.

    [​IMG]

    my Arabic music teacher
     

  20. Omar

    Omar Most Inquisitive Junior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    744
    Aug 9, 2017
    Marbella, Spain
    Unfortunately, there aren’t many online resources that explain Arabic music in a simple way. Besides, it’s somehow useless to learn maqams without a fretless instrument.

    One day, I want to play the intro (6:45) of this song using western scales. It was composed using 4 scales.




    Here is the complete music sheet: http://www.strat-talk.com/media/albums/the-fortune-teller.4069/
     
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