The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Posts 1 to 25 of 79
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    Did anyone here get into partimento on the guitar? Improvising solo pieces using rule of the octave, sequences, cadences and so on.

    For those of you who don’t know what it is, Dr. John Mortensen gives a good summary in his 2020 book The Pianist’s Guide to Historic Improvisation: “A partimento is a bass line, a puzzle, a potential composition, a homework assignment, and possibly one of the secret weapons behind the astonishing fluency of eighteenth-century musicianship. Scholars suggest that partimenti were foundational in the pedagogical system of Baroque music, first in Italy and eventually across Europe.” (p.161)

    I’ve had great fun with it and have been able to improvise things I never thought my mind would be able to handle. There’s some sort of de-abstraction going on in the move of perspective from a root-centered outlook on harmony to a bass-centered one that is very interesting and liberating.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    Yes, both Christian and I have the Mortensen book although I haven't practised any of it since last Autumn as I have been busy with other things such as learning tunes for a duo etc.

    I'll start back on it although maybe only once or twice a week. I did find it great for revisiting triads.

    I'd love to hear some of your improvisations if you wouldn't mind posting some.
    Last edited by Liarspoker; 03-06-2022 at 05:16 PM. Reason: Spelling

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    Something like this?


  5. #4
    @Liarspoker
    So nice to hear, hope you’ll get around to practicing it again.

    The only recordings I have at the moment is this one from 1,5 years ago:

    A semi-improvised unmeasured fantasia, most of it was patterns I was practicing a lot at the time.

    Most recently I was practicing improvising variations on a lamento ground bass, trying to incorporate patterns from some pieces I’ve been playing:


    @setemupjoe
    Yes, kind of! There would be a different voice leading pattern for that kind of bass though, at least conventionally. This guy explains the approach one would use using Fenaroli IV/2 as an example:


    There is also a whole set of conventions to voice-leading, introduction and resolution of dissonances and so on that was important back in the 18th century. You can find the instructions in the so called “Regole”, or rules, of the old teachers.

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Yes, some oldish videos




    More stuff on my channel

    Mostly working on this atm

    I'm about to drop a video tutorial on realising your first partimento if its of interest, sounds like you are beyond this already…

    EDIT: nice improvisations Chimechord! I'm looking forward to hearing what you've been up to with partimento in the mean time; would be great to have another guitarist to compare notes with on this stuff.

    I totally hear you on how liberating the bass/counterpoint oriented approach to harmony is. It has direct relevance to composers like Jobim.
    Last edited by Christian Miller; 03-08-2022 at 06:39 PM.

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    Bought this e-book on the WTC preludes
    Remeš, Derek – The Art of Preluding, Deconstructing and Reconstructing the Preludes in J. S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier Volume I - The Leupold Foundation

    it has the figured bass transposed to C/A minor for all the preludes of the WTC books 1 and 2

    and been playing around with improvising on the figured bass to the Cm prelude from book 1

    So easier than partimento as the bass changes less - one chord per bar, but the changes are Bach's so they are really interesting - chains of 4/2 to 6 chords for example. the piece also has a flat 9 chord

    The real challenge is not the more complex figuration - its the long simple cadential figures, the last third of the Cm prelude is a dominant pedal that resolves to major. The challenge is making them even a tiny bit as convincing as Bach could
    Last edited by BWV; 03-09-2022 at 08:11 AM.

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by setemupjoe
    i like what he’s doing there; I would say that it would be a next step for me to involve the eight note Barry scales from the basic diatonic moti de basso and regole. This type of harmony often sounds quite Brahmsian to me.

    It all depends what you want out the process really. I have chosen to go at it quite straight, using the specific stylistic and harmonic constraints of the era. Not sure why exactly; I think I just like the way it sounds.

    Partimenti are a natural next step from simple ground basses like Dido’s lament and so on, which are well suited for jazz improv. Partimenti have more elaborate form to them. So for instance Fenaroli BkIV, no 2 mentioned above features several lamento bass line episodes along with cadences, modulatary passages and contrasting material such as a rising Monte and descending Fonte schema and so on. By that point you are off the figures so can use whatever harmonies you like (within the limits of the style) as Ewald shows in his various brilliant realisations.

    Because Fenaroli is such a pro he gives you a similar but not identical Parti in book one with the figures though, which is great preparation- the books are interlinked in this very clever way.

    This is my rather basic take on that partimento; I’ve developed a bit since then.

    Reflecting on this, I would also be more comfortable now taking liberties with the bass; those repeated notes kind of constrain what the melodic voice can do on guitar (at least for me) in a way that they wouldn’t on keys - so simplifying is not a bad idea.


    The thing I’m struggling with a bit is how we go from there to composing your own forms; but Fenaroli seems to be requiring my brain subtly to look at things in a more compositional way. I think it’s good!
    Last edited by Christian Miller; 03-08-2022 at 03:53 PM.

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    The best known guy for partimento realisation on guitar appears to be Nicola Pignatiello, who is coming at it stylistically from early 19th century Italian guitar music (Guiliani, Carcassi etc.) Nicola often transposes and octave displaces bass lines to work better on classical/19th century guitar.



    Most of the Classical guys go for a very historically grounded approach unsurprisingly; extracting ideas from the repertoire. Ewald seems this way to me as well.

    One of the most creative classical improvisers for me is this guy - I would describe as much less historically bound and heavily influenced by later music such as Chopin and Scriabin while remaining true to the spirit

    again lamento bass going on here

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Great to see this thread revived again. Excellent posts and excellent playing by all. There's a lot there for me to dig into.

    As mentioned I haven't used the book in a while so I have no videos relating to the book to show. However there's a Tim Lerch study group for which I recorded VA ii V I improv and people tell me it sounds a bit like Bach (I'm not complaining).

    That diatonic bass run where I add an extra three beats () makes it sounds classical alright. Some dominants are plain, others are altered. Bass typically on 1 & 3 or on the up of 2.

    Looking forward to getting stuck in the book again


  11. #10
    @Christian Miller
    Really nice videos! You have really dug deep into the subject. Yes, a guitar tutorial on realising your first partimento would be great imo. Would be fantastic to have a living community of this tradition on guitar in our day and age.

    What I’ve been up to is mostly focusing on specific bass motions, working on diminutions and so on. Currently working my way through the first 10 partimenti of Furno. I’m also trying to combine the bass motions with harp harmonics. Last year I made this little thing using Rule of the octave and some guitar pedals: Login • Instagram
    I made it into a full song, adding an additional RO one octave up and two circle of fifths progressions but haven’t recorded it yet.

    What are you working on at the moment?

    Yes, Nicola Pignatiello is great. I hope he will publish some material for guitar eventually! Michael Koch is also great, really creative and musical. If you listen to episode 106 of The Learn Partimento Podcast there is an interview with Philipp Terierte where they talk about Chopin and his music education and how he used figured bass/partimento.

    @BWV
    Those books are awesome, I also have them. What a great idea to improvise on the C minor prelude in book 1. Yes, the cadences are really something you have to study in depth. Haven’t done so myself yet, but when I do I’ll look into the Compendium of voice-leading patterns Derek has for free on his website. The first 14 pages are dedicated to cadences only.

    @Liarspoker
    Beautiful improvisation! Can really hear the baroque touch they mentioned in the group. Hope you’ll find your way back to the book!

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Chimechord
    @Christian Miller
    Really nice videos! You have really dug deep into the subject. Yes, a guitar tutorial on realising your first partimento would be great imo. Would be fantastic to have a living community of this tradition on guitar in our day and age.

    What I’ve been up to is mostly focusing on specific bass motions, working on diminutions and so on. Currently working my way through the first 10 partimenti of Furno. I’m also trying to combine the bass motions with harp harmonics. Last year I made this little thing using Rule of the octave and some guitar pedals: Login • Instagram
    I made it into a full song, adding an additional RO one octave up and two circle of fifths progressions but haven’t recorded it yet.

    What are you working on at the moment?

    Yes, Nicola Pignatiello is great. I hope he will publish some material for guitar eventually! Michael Koch is also great, really creative and musical. If you listen to episode 106 of The Learn Partimento Podcast there is an interview with Philipp Terierte where they talk about Chopin and his music education and how he used figured bass/partimento.
    I'm currently on the first ten partimenti from Fenaroli Book IV. I kind of find Furno weirdly difficult, because it's much simpler.

    And here's the video - very basic stuff and I wouldn't necessarily recommend doing it this way once you are fluent in figured bass, but I am trying to make it accessible to guitarists in general:


    I'll see how it does - it's a bit off the track of my general jazz guitar videos, but tbh I've not really much that's fresh (to me) to say about jazz guitar at the moment.
    Last edited by Christian Miller; 03-09-2022 at 02:28 PM.

  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    I'm currently on the first ten partimenti from Fenaroli Book IV. I kind of find Furno weirdly difficult, because it's much simpler.

    And here's the video - very basic stuff and I wouldn't necessarily recommend doing it this way once you are fluent in figured bass, but I am trying to make it accessible to guitarists in general:


    I'll see how it does - it's a bit of the track of my general jazz guitar videos, but tbh I've not really much that's fresh (to me) to say about jazz guitar at the moment.
    Wow, that was a quickly produced video! I haven’t played that one myself but it looks like it’s solvable with just using rule of the octave and cadences. Makes it a bit confusing with all the chord symbols, but I get that it might be one way to get a taste of partimento without learning a completely new harmonic system. Maybe another approach would be to translate RO and cadences into chord symbols and then use bass lines written in G clef to try to figure out what chord goes with what bass note? Like a puzzle. I don’t know though. Well done with the video!

    One thing I don’t understand though is at 15:10 where you said that you have to avoid parallel fifths on 6/3 chords. You can play 6/3 chords indefinitely (fauxbourdon) precisely because they don’t contain any fifth.

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Chimechord
    Wow, that was a quickly produced video! I haven’t played that one myself but it looks like it’s solvable with just using rule of the octave and cadences. Makes it a bit confusing with all the chord symbols, but I get that it might be one way to get a taste of partimento without learning a completely new harmonic system. Maybe another approach would be to translate RO and cadences into chord symbols and then use bass lines written in G clef to try to figure out what chord goes with what bass note? Like a puzzle. I don’t know though. Well done with the video!

    One thing I don’t understand though is at 15:10 where you said that you have to avoid parallel fifths on 6/3 chords. You can play 6/3 chords indefinitely (fauxbourdon) precisely because they don’t contain any fifth.
    Well I had this one ready to go when I read the thread / not that fast lol.

    Open voiced 6 3 chords (e.g. xx2x13) contain a fifth between the top two voices. You may like them in parallel anyway, so it's up to you haha. Nicola plays them there if you check out his realisation of this exact partimento. I would prefer 6 3 - 6 5 there for this reason. Or you can play one open voiced 6 3 and one close voiced one

    As far as fauxbourdon goes as understand it that’s a specific texture; two chords isn’t it. On the other hand apparently even Bach has no qualms writing consecutive fifths and octaves in that situation. I suppose the rules of counterpoint only apply when it is actually counterpoint.

    Guitar is .... a bit more relaxed anyway when it comes that type of stuff (that's what the estimable mr Rob MacKillop said anyway)

    Fenaroli's book I spells everything out, so he's effectively introducing the RO at the same time as the basic partimenti. If you already know the RO and moti de basso etc (which are summarised in book III) it's probably fine to go to book IV? At least I got a bit impatient with book I. But I may go back when I get stuck on some of the harder ones on book IV.
    Last edited by Christian Miller; 03-09-2022 at 02:35 PM.

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Chimechord
    One thing I don’t understand though is at 15:10 where you said that you have to avoid parallel fifths on 6/3 chords. You can play 6/3 chords indefinitely (fauxbourdon) precisely because they don’t contain any fifth.
    on a keyboard or choral writing sure, as you can use close voicings, but the drop guitar voicings you have to often revert to have a fifth, as Christian said

    Hard to get a realization of rule of the octave with a 6 chord on the 6th scale degree that is easy to finger, the guitar ones I have seen have a 5/3 on the 6th degree

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    Open voiced 6 3 chords (e.g. xx2x13) contain a fifth between the top two voices. You may like them in parallel anyway, so it's up to you haha. Nicola plays them there if you check out his realisation of this exact partimento. I would prefer 6 3 - 6 5 there for this reason. Or you can play one open voiced 6 3 and one close voiced one

    As far as fauxbourdon goes as understand it that’s a specific texture; two chords isn’t it. On the other hand apparently even Bach has no qualms writing consecutive fifths and octaves in that situation. I suppose the rules of counterpoint only apply when it is actually counterpoint.

    Guitar is .... a bit more relaxed anyway when it comes that type of stuff (that's what the estimable mr Rob MacKillop said anyway)

    Fenaroli's book I spells everything out, so he's effectively introducing the RO at the same time as the basic partimenti. If you already know the RO and moti de basso etc (which are summarised in book III) it's probably fine to go to book IV? At least I got a bit impatient with book I. But I may go back when I get stuck on some of the harder ones on book IV.
    It is true that you have parallel fifths in the upper voices, but as far as I’m concerned you only have to bother with parallels when it’s between the bass and the highest voice when it comes to partimento/keyboard improv (guitar included). If you want to rearrange the realisation to for example a string quartet or choir you have to make sure to avoid it though.

    When it comes to fauxbourdon I also read that you have to make sure that it consists of a sixth and a perfect fourth below, so no fifths between the upper voices.

    Yeah, you’re probably right about Fenaroli. Might be fun to get deep into different stylisations on the simple ones though! Could be handy as material to use in between modulations.

    Quote Originally Posted by BWV
    on a keyboard or choral writing sure, as you can use close voicings, but the drop guitar voicings you have to often revert to have a fifth, as Christian said

    Hard to get a realization of rule of the octave with a 6 chord on the 6th scale degree that is easy to finger, the guitar ones I have seen have a 5/3 on the 6th degree
    Not sure I get what you’re talking about. As you say, it’s possible to have a 5/3 on scale degree six, as long as it does not move to scale degree seven.

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Chimechord
    It is true that you have parallel fifths in the upper voices, but as far as I’m concerned you only have to bother with parallels when it’s between the bass and the highest voice when it comes to partimento/keyboard improv (guitar included). If you want to rearrange the realisation to for example a string quartet or choir you have to make sure to avoid it though.
    Sure, yes that can be a stylistic feature of the guitar, it’s always been a grips instrument. Also the guitar lends itself to parallel movement much more than contrary (lots of parallel chords in with a tenth in the outer voices) so I think that’s a natural by product of that too for idiomatic guitar music be it Carcassi or Wes Montgomery.

    However part of the reason why I am doing this is to get away from grips and start thinking more contrapuntally. I’ve been a bit frustrated by how parallel things get (see my realisations above) and that’s kind of got me to change approach a little to something more oriented around two/three voices than grips.

    As an improviser the parallel fifths and octaves thing reminds me a bit of avoid notes in that it’s kind of bad psychology to tell someone to avoid doing something. As a parent I note this doesn’t work lol.

    In fact, I would say the way to look at it is you want to aim to play strong counterpoint rather than not to play weak counterpoint. So the variety of sonorities in the RO, the counterpoint baked into the moti and the Schemata, liberal use of suspensions and from a grips point of view simply making sure that I don’t play the same grip twice in a row all helps. As Brahms said parallels are a symptom not a cause…

    OTOH I doubt sometimes how good the counterpoint police are at hearing when there’s a consecutive in improvised music haha
    Last edited by Christian Miller; 03-10-2022 at 08:42 AM.

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by BWV
    on a keyboard or choral writing sure, as you can use close voicings, but the drop guitar voicings you have to often revert to have a fifth, as Christian said

    Hard to get a realization of rule of the octave with a 6 chord on the 6th scale degree that is easy to finger, the guitar ones I have seen have a 5/3 on the 6th degree
    Im not sure exactly what you mean - is this more for four voices?

    if you are playing first position RO in three voices a (b)5 3 on the seventh degree fixes the problem. so:

    x x 2 x 1 3
    x x 4 5 x 5
    x x 5 4 x 3

    (for a first position RO)

    You’d also need a fifth less chord on the 1 degree but that’s necessary anyway. Cantizans on top, altizans on the bottom. Counterpoint will inform which voices to omit.

    In four voices, that’s above my pay grade guv. Leave that to the keys players haha.

    I may add in voices when I want a big chord or drop them when I want a smaller texture - so I’m a style brise kind of guy, but I should probably dig into the chorales at some point.

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    To be honest

    X x 2 x 1 3
    X x 4 5 3 5

    doesn't sound too bad even though it kind of has a fifth

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Chimechord


    Not sure I get what you’re talking about. As you say, it’s possible to have a 5/3 on scale degree six, as long as it does not move to scale degree seven.
    Actually the example I was thinking about, from a 19th century guitar method, has a 7 chord on the 6th degree in both major and minor


    host pictures

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    To be honest
    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    X x 2 x 1 3
    X x 4 5 3 5

    doesn't sound too bad even though it kind of has a fifth
    this example, which purports to be from Campion himself, does have those same parallel 5ths going from 6 to 7

    http://www.singanewsong.org/byu/theo...e%20Octave.pdf

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    More examples with a parallel 5th going from 6 to 7

    Rule of the octave - Wikipedia



    also supposedly from Fenaroli http://musictheory.sites.gettysburg.edu/unit-4-1/the-rule-of-the-octave/
    Partimento-image-39-png

  23. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by BWV
    Actually the example I was thinking about, from a 19th century guitar method, has a 7 chord on the 6th degree in both major and minor


    host pictures
    That’s a really nice way to add a seventh!

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by BWV
    [FONT=&amp]

    this example, which purports to be from Campion himself, does have those same parallel 5ths going from 6 to 7

    http://www.singanewsong.org/byu/theo...e%20Octave.pdf
    thanks for this. I first learned about RO as a lute thing, but didn’t know the source.

    EDIT: different Campion! Well, I’d be interested for the source for ‘16th and 17th centuries’ then. I distinctly recall Tallis’ Spem in Alium (1570) having a thorough bass and figures only appear around 1600…. So…. Plus jamming on ground basses like Romanesca and Passamezzo Antiche, they presumably had some practical working model.
    Last edited by Christian Miller; 03-10-2022 at 04:40 PM.

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    @BWV This you on Facebook bro?

    Partimento-df8e0a81-9499-4980-8e58-0e771197c6ed-jpeg
    Partimento-fc6f03fe-f835-41c3-a37a-f33520f00a33-jpeg

    So I guess that sorts that then :-)

  26. #25

    User Info Menu

    yep, I posted that

    he said later that it only mattered in vocal music - so maybe would not see these parallel 5ths in a Bach Chorale, but keyboard music was OK?