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  1. #1

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    By chance I had a glance on something that someone calls "Negative harmony" or "mirror harmony"...
    basically using stacked descending intervals instead of ascending (as far as I understood).

    www.talkbass.com/forum/f22/negative-harmony-533862/#post7227335

    Steve Coleman talks about playing in "negative G"...
    ESSAYS Symmetrical Movement Concept (by Steve Coleman)

    Jazz Thinks: Steve Coleman, Roswell Rudd

    When people talks about "pitch collections" instead of "scales", it's time to worry! :-) :-)

    I admit my limits, and it's very likely I won't go through any of these topics, but anyway, it's an intriguing concept...

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  3. #2

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    This reminds me a lot of work I did using the Schillinger system of pitch axes. It presupposes a different foundation than the melodic diatonic improvisation many guitarists, and pre-Shorter musicians make their language.
    Composition in real time, creating vehicles of improvisation, the scale of one's solo (in both senses) are different in these systems than what most of us are used to. It's a big discussion. I think I once had a thread here about Schillinger's symmetrical scales...
    I hear this kind of intervallic construction in Dave Tronzo's playing, if that gives you some idea of how it can be used. It's a potent tool in music of the contemporary free improv format, where exploration of forms, creation of forms in real time is as important or more important than the form of a given "head" or tune. That's why I say it's a different language.
    Any one else work with pitch axis composition?
    David

  4. #3
    just mumblig with myself... hasn't this stuff anything related with what Bach did (inversion, reverse, etc...) with melodies?

  5. #4

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    Yes, very much so. A chromatic version of the concept? Bach and Schoenberg mash up?
    David

  6. #5
    if you're curious about how All the Things and Cherockee sound in the "anti world" , go to 2:21:21...
    (I have audio/video out of sync, but just listen)



    beyond my possibiliies, but makes sense to me...

  7. #6

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    Interesting how this topic is popping up again on the interwebs since Jacob Collier mentioned on FB that he and Herbie Hancock talked about it. Since then it's been mentioned by Rick Beato and Adam Neely, I doubt Aimee Nolte with touch it. I've been studying it a lot over the past six months and it's a big topic and it's a topic with multiple names negative harmony one of many name including mirror harmony, symmetric harmony, and the explanation can differ as much as the names. I find most don't even touch the physics of sound that I've been told are its roots. It goes back to Bach and probably further. Then trying to work it into your playing is another story.

    I would just say it's not a casual topic like "check out this scale over that chord" to get into it you have to go deep. I have way more questions than answers and answers are hard to come by, so just a heads up.

    Dealing with Negative Harmony is like the Matrix this time you might want to take the Blues pill....
    Negative harmony... ?-red-blue-jpg
    No, I'm not going to give you the answer to your question. I don't want to deny you the pleasure you'll receive when you figure it out yourself. -- Bill Evans talking to his brother.

  8. #7

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    I had a tiny play about with
    just the stuff Jacob was talking
    about in the vid ...

    Made no sense to my ears at all !
    Mark me down for the blues pill
    Last edited by pingu; 04-27-2017 at 07:26 PM.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by TruthHertz View Post
    This reminds me a lot of work I did using the Schillinger system of pitch axes. It presupposes a different foundation than the melodic diatonic improvisation many guitarists, and pre-Shorter musicians make their language.
    Composition in real time, creating vehicles of improvisation, the scale of one's solo (in both senses) are different in these systems than what most of us are used to. It's a big discussion. I think I once had a thread here about Schillinger's symmetrical scales...
    I hear this kind of intervallic construction in Dave Tronzo's playing, if that gives you some idea of how it can be used. It's a potent tool in music of the contemporary free improv format, where exploration of forms, creation of forms in real time is as important or more important than the form of a given "head" or tune. That's why I say it's a different language.
    Any one else work with pitch axis composition?
    David
    I am superficially aware of this and have tried when I am improvising freely to select one of the Pitches or Notes as a Temporary Tonic or Root and not create an arp or riff that causes it to be a Temporary Tonic but bounce it to other Notes and Back ..
    Like a Rhythmic Pedal Tone within the Solo -I mostly suck at it so far( so don't expect a Book soon - haha ) but it does break Habit Patterns -it's like greatly exagerrating the Value of a Note within a Solo without using Arps to do it...
    Like you could take a Major 6th in your Solo and sell it as a Root of the Relative Minor with Arps but this is different ...

    I think I once heard Rocker Joe Satriani mention it in an Interview once..( I never listened to him play much ) but it sounds interesting.

    Is it supposed to work for Solos ?
    Obviously what I am talking about above with Someone playing the I Chord won't work because the Major 6th will sound like a Major 6th no matter what....but with just a Bassist ...you can create Pivot Pitches in your Solos...but I find it easier to use Arps that fit but are not necessarily the Chord of the Moment ( the Piano Comping etc.) and creating temporary Polychords etc. or overlaying structures.

    So you take a Note within your Solo and cause it to become heard as the Root of a New Chord , for example ,
    This is also in Songwriting known as an Enharmonic Change in the Melody ...



    I think Pitch Axis is over my head TBH....unless I ' force it' with Arps flowing into the New 'Axis 'Pitch...which is thinking/playing Vertically again.

    I am trapped in the Vertical Matrix...
    Drug Free but one Blue Pill please.
    Last edited by Robertkoa; 05-02-2017 at 11:31 AM.

  10. #9

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    I think Pitch Axis is over my head
    We may not call it this, but how does pitch axis come into play in our positive sonic universe?
    Ongoing or short term awareness of a central pitch and it's relativity to our musical movements.

    Just something I'm pondering, thrown out here for our collective brainstorm.

  11. #10

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    The stuff I started with is based on the the over tone and under tones series and the strong and weak harmonics of each. This gets into stuff I don't understand how to explain, but a note and its harmonics have a root and generator notes. In positive world the root and generator are both the same note. In negative world the root and generator are two different notes. In negative what was the root in positive is the generator in negative, and the fifth is the root in negative. Then from there you build negative scales and chords. One last hint, remember were talking positive/negative, up/down, notes differ based on line direction. I'll just leave it at that it over my pay grade trying to explain more, it took me awhile to grasp these basics and I spend more time trying to apply than theorize. I haven't read the Levy book many refer to I need to get a copy.

    The negative stuff in one of those things that once you hear the sound, because hearing is everything. Once you hear then you start to recognize it in music from Bach to Coltrane and beyond.

    Here's a site with info that might help get you started if you take the Red pill.

    viperswami.com
    No, I'm not going to give you the answer to your question. I don't want to deny you the pleasure you'll receive when you figure it out yourself. -- Bill Evans talking to his brother.

  12. #11

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    Is this any thing like Dark Matter?
    "Ahhh - those Jazz guys are just makin' that stuff up!" - Homer Simpson

    "Anyone who understands Jazz knows that you can't understand it. It's too complicated. That's what's so simple about it." - Yogi Berra

  13. #12

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    The idea is curtesy of Ernst Levy who was a Swiss musicologist. I read Herbie Hancock referred to this concept. It implies that there is a 'subtone series' mirroring the overtone series. It's an abstract concept which is useful to find new re-harmonisation ideas. Basically you determine the tonality, use the center of the root - 5th relationship as axis to invert the intervals.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by janjakut View Post
    It's an abstract concept which is useful to find new re-harmonisation ideas. Basically you determine the tonality, use the center of the root - 5th relationship as axis to invert the intervals.
    Great description - thanks you!

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by janjakut View Post
    ... 'subtone series' mirroring the overtone series. It's an abstract concept ...[/FONT]
    Key word being abstract.

    I will restrain my self from posting a clip of Teenage Kicks.
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  16. #15

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    I liked the Modern 'Stella' piece above.

    There is another Youtube Video where they use the Circle of Fifths ( or Fourths if you are ex-rocker ) as a ' Encoder' to 'invert' the Melodic Intervals according to diagonals across the Circle-

    But it permutates a Common Melody into something
    ' abstract' and could definitely cause me to come up with 'Melodies' my Mind would not ordinarily conceive.

    Although Playing off of Minor 7b5 and Minor9b5 plucking melodies on top gave me similar results.

    I don't understand how the Overtone Series comes into play - but it ( the Technique )creates interesting Results - which is what counts.

    And it's actually simpler than what I was originally thinking in this Video at least.



    Use the Circle of Fifths as a secret decoder ring...


    When you play a 9th or 13th Chord with the Extensions in the Bass 9th 7th 6th- you are flipping the Overtone Series upside down to an extent...

    Negative Harmony does not seem to directly utilize this Principle...

    Also in the Video they are talking about Pitches in between E and Eb which is a microtone which will not sound good .

    However as I said the ' Stella ' song sounds cool to me as a dark modern Section etc.

    But if the Recording of Stella is the Negative Harmony/ Melody generated from
    'Stella By Starlight '- It is an EXTREMELY cool Technique / Tool !

    Thanks for Posting and explaining ...
    Last edited by Robertkoa; 05-04-2017 at 08:50 PM.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by janjakut View Post
    It's an abstract concept which is useful to find new re-harmonisation ideas. Basically you determine the tonality, use the center of the root - 5th relationship as axis to invert the intervals.

    Can also create negative version of melody which make for interesting counter lines and patterns. Another name for it is mirror harmony and very applicable name. Like looking at a mirror image is backward, but close enough to original our brain is thinking okay I know that. A lot of music our ear and subconscious understand and accept things our conscious mind still doesn't understand what's going on.
    No, I'm not going to give you the answer to your question. I don't want to deny you the pleasure you'll receive when you figure it out yourself. -- Bill Evans talking to his brother.

  18. #17

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    Normally when we Invert we invert (indirectly) based on the Octave.

    It seems to create Darker , Futuristic Melodies, it is Mind Expanding - I would never think of them unless 'forced' by the certain types of Chords and probably not even then .... it seems like an actual Resource....
    Last edited by Robertkoa; 05-08-2017 at 07:37 PM.

  19. #18

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    Here's a good YouTube discussing Negative Harmony uploaded yesterday. He's referencing Steve Coleman's material on the topic which is where I got into it.

    No, I'm not going to give you the answer to your question. I don't want to deny you the pleasure you'll receive when you figure it out yourself. -- Bill Evans talking to his brother.

  20. #19

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    Docbop- to your ears do the Negative Cadences sound kind of like a Backdoor Cadence but with a weaker Resolution ?

    More as a Compositional Tool than an actual substitution-( but not really outside - just another step away from Backdoor ) - do you hear it that way ?

    I only played with it a bit...
    Last edited by Robertkoa; 05-08-2017 at 07:42 PM.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by docbop View Post
    The stuff I started with is based on the the over tone and under tones series and the strong and weak harmonics of each. This gets into stuff I don't understand how to explain, but a note and its harmonics have a root and generator notes. In positive world the root and generator are both the same note.
    What's confusing me at the moment is that this is also associated with the major scale. But the root of the major scale doesn't generate its harmonics. The 2nd, 3rd and 5th are close to harmonics of the root, but the 4th, 6th and 7th are way out. Of course they're close to simple ratios with the root, but not to overtones of the root.

    I presume I'm misunderstanding something...

    My current guess is that "negative harmony" is simply a way of generating some patterned material from existing patterns (such as melodies), with no connection to tonal or modal concepts of harmony. IOW, we shouldn't expect this to "sound good" - in the way that positive harmony does - although it may sound interesting....

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robertkoa View Post
    Docbop- to your ears do the Negative Cadences sound kind of like a Backdoor Cadence but with a weaker Resolution ?

    More as a Compositional Tool than an actual substitution-( but not really outside - just another step away from Backdoor ) - do you hear it that way ?

    I only played with it a bit...

    Where at now is mainly Negative lines because my source is a sax player so a monophonic instrument. My experiment have been mainly using negative harmony in comping for adding tension. I just got the Levy book so will start reading that which is what others more focused on the chordal aspect of negative, mirror, symmetric harmony.

    For me right now I look at the notes added with negative scale and I start seeing where the Barry Harris diminished 6th, and other Bebop scales came from and start recognize it when I listen to the Parker and other recordings. A thing to keep in mind is negative is about the direction of the line ascending or descending. So ascending line is using the positive notes, and descending line is using the negative, and for me gets interesting switching directions in a line.

    This stuff is fun for me to think about, people wonder what I'm up to because there are scraps of paper all over my apartment and when go eat if there are those paper place mats I fill them up writing out scales what I think the negative is and comparing them.
    No, I'm not going to give you the answer to your question. I don't want to deny you the pleasure you'll receive when you figure it out yourself. -- Bill Evans talking to his brother.

  23. #22

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    just adding a couple cool vids





    Last edited by Melodic Dreamer; 05-10-2017 at 08:45 AM.

  24. #23

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    One way, or another, it's parallel minor.
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  25. #24

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    I think there is more to it than that. Trust me I see where your coming from though. Like in the third video I posted above. G7 becoming Fm6 in the key of C at a quick glance may seem parallel, but it doesn't seem like straight parallel minor to me. Maybe Parallel movement. Going down a fifth turns into going up a fifth starting on the tritone.
    Last edited by Melodic Dreamer; 05-10-2017 at 09:52 AM.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vladan View Post
    One way, or another, it's parallel minor.
    Pretty much... (I think I'm agreeing with you about it's value, or lack of, but it's worth examining in more detail.)

    IMO, it's based on a nonsensical principle: the idea that the note exactly in between C and G is between Eb and E. It is if you look at it (in an equal tempered scale), but music is sound, not visual patterns.
    There is a kind of appeal to that "middle 3rd" pitch in a tonal context, which is that it's the blue 3rd, essentially, the folk "neutral 3rd": the mid-point of a variable scale degree (we bend it this way or that for expressive purposes).

    But of course, that's irrelevant to the negative harmony concept, which is not about real interval relationships with a tonic, but about invented, inverted, synthetic ones. (The way we hear music is via the usual "positive" harmonic relationships, based on the harmonic series, pitch ratios and shared overtones.)

    Negative harmony still seems to want to operate within tonality, not as an alternative to it, which is where Schoenberg's 12-tone concepts make sense. You can't operate within tonality by breaking its rules. Stay with keys or modes (tonal centres) or abandon them. Either is OK, but keys and modes work in specific (well-understood) ways that need no new theory to explain them.

    So, the chord sequence arrived at in Kyle Gordon's video happens to sound OK because of old-fashioned "positive harmony" moves: minor plagal cadences (iv-i) in place of perfect (V-I)cadences. It's easy enough to hit on those without any understanding of negative harmony. We all know minor plagal cadences sound cool: old-fashioned jazz uses them all the time. It's about half-step voice-leading downwards, essentially: b6>5 as well as 4>3 (and in place of 7>8). One min6 chord moving to another min6 a 5th above (4th below) works because of old-fashioned "positive" voice-leading and shared tones.

    If we change a G7-C cadence to an Fm6-C cadence, that's in no way a "substitute" for G7. It won't harmonize any existing melody properly. It's just a different form of cadence. (OK, you can describe it using this "negative" jargon if you want, but it's just new words for old concepts. Where have we encountered that game before?? )

    Obviously introducing flattened intervals to a major key "darkens" it, but there's no need to concentrate purely on the specific flattening introduced but this method (adding 3 flats, or subtracting 3 sharps - parallel minor, as you say). At least not if you want to retain some freedom in making tonal music.

    IMO, this is just another "emperor's new clothes" theory, much as chord-scale theory was (when misapplied to functional harmony). Taking some old sounds and pretending they're new by giving them cool new names, so it's all more exciting to young musicians. It can be sold! They will pay! "Parallel minor" = old and boring! "Negative harmony" - new and cool!
    We all know young musicians want to believe they're discovering and creating fresh new concepts. I know I did when I was young.... I guess it's harmless... we don't have to pay attention after all.

    (No way am I saying Jacob Collier is a charlatan, btw. He's obviously genuine, and excited by the perspective he has on how the minor plagal cadence works, and can be developed (extended backwards). If he's overselling it a little, that's because he can't help himself.)
    Last edited by JonR; 05-10-2017 at 12:36 PM.

  27. #26

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    I will explain it the way I understand it.

    - Each chord, allegedly, functions the same as its negative chord; it has the same gravity in reference to the tonic (this is all alleged, of course).

    - So, if you are in a section of C major, for some reason you take the 5, then find the middle point between the 1 and 5. If you are smart, you realize there is no middle point. The middle is an imaginary point between Eb and E.

    - If, for example, you want to find the negative chord for G7 (G, B, D and F), you imagine a piano with your right index finger on the E, and left index finger on the Eb. To find the negative of the F you move your right finger right to the F. You then move your left finger the same tones to the left to find its negative, which is D. You do the same for the other notes.

    - Although it can sound unique to re-negative-harmonize a tune, I believe its just another way for people to sound smarter than everyone else.

    Last edited by eh6794-2.0; 05-10-2017 at 08:34 PM.

  28. #27

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    Negative Harmony is sweeping youtube.

    It's possible you may need to be as talented as Steve Coleman or Jacob Collier to extract viable music from it, but who knows? ;-)

    But basically I agree with JonR... :-)

    In any case I shall cast a skeptical but interested eye and ear over this stuff.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by edh View Post
    Is this any thing like Dark Matter?
    I didn't play anything at all today....
    I would like to think that was negative harmony


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  30. #29

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    Quotes from the opening of Ernst Levy book "A Theory Of Harmony" written in 1985:

    The raw material of theories are facts. The raw material of musical theory is music. Music is not, as some
    contemporary acousticians would like us to believe, "something that happens in the air."
    It is something that first and last, happens in the soul.
    ---------------------------------------------------
    However, if the method might thus be called scientific, as the term is in the natural sciences, the rating of the results
    (
    of music theory) differs radically from that used in science. In physics, the rating bears on quantities.
    Hence the findings are universally acknowledged. In music, the ratings bear on qualities. Hence we run
    the risk of being subjective.
    ----------------------------------------------------
    My words:
    As musicians, we have worked hard to develop skill navigating melody and harmony from the traditional
    positive perspective. It is reasonable to ask, what good can come of investing the time and effort to
    establish a similar level of ease navigating melody and harmony from a negative vantage point.
    After all, every musical event can be found within either realm.

    The answer is perhaps that a dual vantage point unmasks a relationship between structures that
    share tonal gravity and voice leading, alternate paths to a common destination that might not be
    as apparent viewed solely from the positive side. Does the reward warrant the requisite commitment???
    For now, I am just another tourist gawker although I just started to read the Ernst Levy book and I look
    forward to learning more about his "unscientific qualitative results".

  31. #30

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    ... people writing songs that voices never share ...
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  32. #31

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    There are lots of theories on any topic and music is no different. No one is better than another, and none is worse they are all just different observations and labeling systems. As Steve Coleman puts it there many paths to get to the same place. What matters is that if you find one of interest and explore making music with it. That is what is really all about creating music and then theoreticians after the fact hang labels on it.

    Negative, Symmetric, Mirror are all different names or could say paths to how musicians create music in an era. Today Progressive musicians like Muhal Richard Abrams and Henry Threadgill both have their own theory systems basic on chromatic scale I'm sure people will study in the future. John Coltrane studied many different paths more that most know about, because he tried to keep quiet the composers he studied and discussed music with.

    All I'm getting at is the there is no good or bad there are just different points of view. If you like a particular musician or type of musicians like the progressives then listen and find out what they studied and if possible what they may have written how they view(ed) music. Learn what do and they apply it and see if you like the result, if not their is a lot more viewpoints. Just don't limit yourself.
    No, I'm not going to give you the answer to your question. I don't want to deny you the pleasure you'll receive when you figure it out yourself. -- Bill Evans talking to his brother.

  33. #32

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    Not that I think it's bad, I just can't stand the hype, over anything.
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  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vladan View Post
    Not that I think it's bad, I just can't stand the hype, over anything.

    I've been into negative theory for around a year and didn't heard much about it, until the Jacob Collier video that he mention he and Herbie Hancock were talking about the Levy book. Since the Collier video it's gone nuts and I think it will die down just as fast.
    No, I'm not going to give you the answer to your question. I don't want to deny you the pleasure you'll receive when you figure it out yourself. -- Bill Evans talking to his brother.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by eh6794-2.0 View Post
    I will explain it the way I understand it.

    - Each chord, allegedly, functions the same as its negative chord; it has the same gravity in reference to the tonic.
    But it doesn't, of course. I can't believe anyone seriously proposing negative harmony actually believes that the negative chord has the same gravity relative to the tonic. This has to be a misunderstanding. (Or a bizarre use of the concept of tonal gravity.)
    Quote Originally Posted by eh6794-2.0 View Post
    - So, if you are in a section of C major, for some reason you take the 5, then find the middle point between the 1 and 5. If you are smart, you realize there is no middle point. The middle is an imaginary point between Eb and E.
    Yup...
    Quote Originally Posted by eh6794-2.0 View Post
    - If, for example, you want to find the negative chord for G7 (G, B, D and F), you imagine a piano with your right index finger on the E, and left index finger on the Eb. To find the negative of the F you move your right finger right to the F. You then move your left finger the same tones to the left to find its negative, which is D. You do the same for the other notes.
    Yup. This is all clear from Kyle's well-explained video - posted earlier.
    Quote Originally Posted by eh6794-2.0 View Post
    - Although it can sound unique to re-negative-harmonize a tune, I believe its just another way for people to sound smarter than everyone else.
    Well, you can sound smart if you're talking about it. Not sure how smart the music sounds.

    I.e, Kyle's video explains the concept, but doesn't demonstrate how it works, or explain why it's such a useful idea (and neither does Collier).

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by docbop View Post
    There are lots of theories on any topic and music is no different. No one is better than another, and none is worse they are all just different observations and labeling systems. As Steve Coleman puts it there many paths to get to the same place. What matters is that if you find one of interest and explore making music with it. That is what is really all about creating music and then theoreticians after the fact hang labels on it.
    Sure. But where is the music that requires this theory to help understand it?
    If Coleman's music makes sense musically (ie sounds good), then it's going to be explainable using standard conventions (even if his own perspective is different).
    Quote Originally Posted by eh6794-2.0 View Post
    Negative, Symmetric, Mirror are all different names or could say paths to how musicians create music in an era.
    Sure, and I understand the concept, and how it can offer a different path for composition. But what you end up with is going to fall into patterns accessible to the same old theoretical concepts. I.e., a different path, maybe, but ending up at the same place. (at least if we're still talking about tonality, 7-note scales, functional progressions, etc, which we seem to be.)
    Quote Originally Posted by eh6794-2.0 View Post
    Today Progressive musicians like Muhal Richard Abrams and Henry Threadgill both have their own theory systems basic on chromatic scale I'm sure people will study in the future.
    You mean different from Schoenberg and the other 12-tone thinkers?
    Quote Originally Posted by eh6794-2.0 View Post
    All I'm getting at is the there is no good or bad there are just different points of view. If you like a particular musician or type of musicians like the progressives then listen and find out what they studied and if possible what they may have written how they view(ed) music. Learn what do and they apply it and see if you like the result, if not their is a lot more viewpoints. Just don't limit yourself.
    All agreed.
    I'm just talking from a place where I can't see the point of this concept at the moment. I can't see what it offers, other than just reshuffling the same old deck. The ear will control the result in the end.

    Of course, it's definitely a good idea to try to shake one's ears out of their old habits - and I can see the value of an artificial system such as this in doing that.
    Looking in a mirror offers a similar alternative way of viewing the world. We still live in the non-mirror world in the end, but that doesn't mean some contemplation of the mirror image can't teach us something about vision.
    Last edited by JonR; 05-11-2017 at 10:30 AM.

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    But it doesn't, of course. I can't believe anyone seriously proposing negative harmony actually believes that the negative chord has the same gravity relative to the tonic. This has to be a misunderstanding. (Or a bizarre use of the concept of tonal gravity.)
    That is was I said "allegedly", as in "snark snark." Its just another way to harmonize music. This is music, not astro-physics. I'll admit, some of it does sound cool.

    By the way, you accidentally quoted me in your second post.
    Last edited by eh6794-2.0; 05-11-2017 at 10:45 AM.

  38. #37

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    reshuffling the same old deck
    Interesting image in this context. So, what happens when we reshuffle the deck.
    The 52 card content is unchanged but is reordered. Negative harmony, reshuffles
    the same content in an organized way bringing forward a companion set of relationships
    to the positive ones. We are free to engage with what is revealed or ignore, the idea
    is to play sounds that speak to you and not to fulfill a given theory. Concepts exist in
    the service of our music. If an idea can help you get at it, that is a beautiful thing.
    If an idea doesn't resonate with you but does for someone else, that is a beautiful
    thing too. No bonus points for being judgmental, especially about things we don't
    fully understand.

  39. #38

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    Looking in a mirror offers a similar alternative way of viewing the world. We still live in the non-mirror world in the end, but that doesn't mean some contemplation of the mirror image can't teach us something about vision.
    Liking your analogies today, Jon. In a non-mirrored world, I could eat breakfast and then walk out into the street
    with food all over my face. Give thanks for mirrors.

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    Sure. But where is the music that requires this theory to help understand it?
    If Coleman's music makes sense musically (ie sounds good), then it's going to be explainable using standard conventions (even if his own perspective is different).
    Just like there are multiple paths to a destination, there are multiple place to view people on the path. I don't view Negative quite the same as Steve Coleman his knowledge, composing, and playing are light years beyond me, but I like what he talked about and demonstrated so I decided I wanted to understand more about the negative world. Through my study and playing I have my viewpoint and approach, similar but not the same.

    Something that people new to this topic need to realize too if they don't already and that Negative is just one part of what people like Collier, Coleman, Parker, Gillespie, Bach, et, al. are using to approach and view music. From my observations listening to people talk music they tend to use the form of theory that fits the era of music being discussed or the theory tools people of an era used when creating that music.

    I learned Negative the old fashion way through people talking about it and using their instruments to play examples pretty much nothing written. This is how the old Jazz players learned and taught via talking and playing examples, then other would keep notes however they like. I would guess this is what went on with Bach and others of the time, because what we call traditional theory didn't exist yet. People forget be it music or other subjects the way we look at things didn't exist when others created it. I see that all the hearing people talk about history, they look at the past through current eyes, they forget to factor in what was the knowledge and world like when <fill in the blank> created something.

    Now back to our regularly scheduled broadcast.
    No, I'm not going to give you the answer to your question. I don't want to deny you the pleasure you'll receive when you figure it out yourself. -- Bill Evans talking to his brother.

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by bako View Post
    Liking your analogies today, Jon. In a non-mirrored world, I could eat breakfast and then walk out into the street with food all over my face. Give thanks for mirrors.
    Somehow I manage to eat breakfast without smearing food all over my face. Over the years I've managed to learn how to direct it reasonably efficiently into my mouth, without touching the sides. No mirror required.

    Of course, when it comes to putting my make-up on, straightening my tie, back-combing my quiff, and checking my coolness - yup, that full-length mirror in my hallway is essential...

  42. #41

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    damn!.....maybe will get some practical guitar solo's from those using this concept.....the more I read the less I know......these so called negative cords.....what quality are they assigned?......minor/major....or what?.....

  43. #42

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    Gm7 Fm6 Cmaj7 is a nice sub for Dm7 G7 Cmaj7 though

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Gm7 Fm6 Cmaj7 is a nice sub for Dm7 G7 Cmaj7 though
    Well, it depends what you mean by "sub"
    My understanding is that a "substitute" performs a similar function to the chord it's replacing. Such as the tritone sub or dim7 sub. Or IV substituting for ii.
    Fm6 doesn't "substitute" for G7 in that sense. It's a different kind of cadence, a minor plagal cadence in place of a perfect cadence. (Likewise Gm7 is no sub for Dm7 - in any case I think the negative harmony principle puts Bbm6 in place of Dm7 in that sequence.)

    Of course it sounds good. But does it make sense - is it the best use of jargon - to say it's a "sub"?

    I realise that a G7 can be altered and extended in all kinds of ways, but many of those (especially if they lose the G) tend to produce a differently functioning chord. (Db7 omits the G, of course, but retains the essential guide tones, the B in particular.)
    E.g., you could have Fm6/G, as Gsusb9, but that's a combination of dominant and minor subdominant - very juicy, but essentially blurred in terms of function. Take away the G and you remove the "dominant" element.

    In short, my beef with negative harmony is the same as the one I often have with theoretical arguments. It's
    not about the effects produced, and their musical value, but about the language we use to describe those effects (and whether we need the term negative harmony in the first place).
    Last edited by JonR; 05-15-2017 at 12:17 PM.

  45. #44

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    I think I'll stick to the "music for brothels" side of jazz. I don't like feeling stupid
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  46. #45

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    D#/E as axis

    F --- Ab --- C --- D --- D#/E --- F --- G --- B --- D

    Same intervallic distance in both directions

    m2 --- ma2 --- ma3 --- m3

    Fm6 is negative G7

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    Well, it depends what you mean by "sub"
    My understanding is that a "substitute" performs a similar function to the chord it's replacing. Such as the tritone sub or dim7 sub. Or IV substituting for ii.
    Fm6 doesn't "substitute" for G7 in that sense. It's a different kind of cadence, a minor plagal cadence in place of a perfect cadence. (Likewise Gm7 is no sub for Dm7 - in any case I think the negative harmony principle puts Bbm6 in place of Dm7 in that sequence.)

    Of course it sounds good. But does it make sense - is it the best use of jargon - to say it's a "sub"?

    I realise that a G7 can be altered and extended in all kinds of ways, but many of those (especially if they lose the G) tend to produce a differently functioning chord. (Db7 omits the G, of course, but retains the essential guide tones, the B in particular.)
    E.g., you could have Fm6/G, as Gsusb9, but that's a combination of dominant and minor subdominant - very juicy, but essentially blurred in terms of function. Take away the G and you remove the "dominant" element.

    In short, my beef with negative harmony is the same as the one I often have with theoretical arguments. It's
    not about the effects produced, and their musical value, but about the language we use to describe those effects (and whether we need the term negative harmony in the first place).
    I'd be less charitable. My beef with Negative Harmony is that it's ****ing nonsense :-) (Beyond a point.)

    You know, when I was 21, I too was a theory junkie. I traced the major and minor triads on a cycle of fifths when I was learning music and noticed they were mirrors. I had elaborate theories about pitch and so on. I was that kind of a dork.

    And then I learned that I'd have to actually knuckle down and just practice the boring stuff until it was all really good. (Indeed, I daresay Mr Collier won't be requiring to do this lol :-))

    You can't go into music with the mindset of a theorist unless you are already a MF.

    But! As with serial music and chord scale theory (sorry I just love to get that in there haha), talented musicians can make something of even the daftest and most contrived theory.

    And Jacob is certainly the musician that could make something out of well... anything.

    BTW the cellist in my group Balagan was Jacob's teacher at Junior Royal College when he was 14. Started off playing drums, but was just getting into piano and bass and basically learned them in the space of year. Also as there were already several pianists in the group, my friend gave Jacob a cello and said 'here have a go at this.'

    Needless to say he got the basics together in the space of a lesson.
    Last edited by christianm77; 05-15-2017 at 03:15 PM.

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I'd be less charitable. My beef with Negative Harmony is that it's ****ing nonsense :-)
    I tend to agree, but this is one of those cases where - due to a mix of ignorance and lack of interest in "deep" theory - I'm slightly nervous of pointing out that the emperor has no clothes. It certainly looks - from where I'm standing - like His Royal Highness is naked, but what do I know about fashion?

  49. #48

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    Ha.So you guys think my observation that it uses the Circle of Fifths like a 'Secret Decoder Ring' is more accurate ?

    Well I hear some interesting results anyway.

    But I don't think it is really based on the Overtone Series.

    I am always looking for voicings that are not dissonant with multiple resolutions and I think there are ways to use/ extend the Overtone Series to do that and create weaker but interesting useful Cadences - but for another Thread ...

    I am going to start a Modern Harmony Thread ..for these ideas and to get people's ideas.
    Last edited by Robertkoa; 05-16-2017 at 09:56 AM.

  50. #49

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    Well, the problem is we decided on 12 pitches in music. 12's a magic number, able to be subdivided a bunch of ways, you can draw cool little charts and shapes and such.

    If we had just decided on 11 or 13 pitches we wouldn't have to deal with any of this stuff.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  51. #50

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    True but the Overtone Series and harmonics and resonances/ consonance / dissonance and the way Sound waves interact through a Medium was here before Music or Man...

    Actually if you read the above in Rod Serling's voice
    it is more impressive...

    But we exploit this when we play...and voice chords etc.

    Now can learning more and exploiting the Overtone Series help create nice sounding chord sequences ?

    Not sure...but it would be more of a Composition thing than a way to reharmonize existing Songs at least what I am thinking of...

    Like resolving the Tritone in Dominant chords to the same expected " Notes" - leading tone to Tonic..but different Roots.

    So the E7 is going to resolve to A -
    3rd [G# ] as Leading Tone to A

    OR Invert Tritone and 7th [D]
    Resolves to Eb Tritone Substitution

    BUT' Root Substitution' might be still resolving to the same Notes but those notes are NOT the Root of the Destination Chord...

    So the Destination Chord goes higher in the Overtone Series and the instability or energy of the Tritone is 'released' differently from ' standard Practice ' Classical / Jazz / Pop but you still get Tension- Release etc.

    For those who think Vof V of V of V of V of V gets boring after awhile even though Jazz disguises this quite well or ornaments it ...

    So I want to learn more about how to exploit the Overtone Series to explore some Chord Sequences and Connections that I would not normally ' hear'.

    And I can tell there is something to explore but will transfer to a new thread.

    The idea is that the Tritone can Resolve not only to the Root of the Destination Chord but to the 5th 3rd 7th ...
    Last edited by Robertkoa; 07-25-2017 at 10:58 PM.