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  1. #1

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    A relatively recent Phd thesis on the subject. Especially the review of CST in jazz and its history is very informative for those who are interested in knowing more about CST:

    https://scholarsbank.uoregon.edu/xml...171A_11064.pdf

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Interesting, will read when I get a chance.

  4. #3

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    One has to prattle on about something when they want a PhD I guess.

    A more concise take would be:

    1. Most instrumental musicians are not prolific composers, if composers at all.
    2. Most jazz musicians play tunes written by others.
    3. Nearly 100% of classical music is composed.
    4. Most classical music modulates infrequently, relative to jazz.
    5. Jazz music is not composed as much as it is sketched (a lead sheet with a melody and chord symbols). Everything else is left to the players, even the chord voicings. Further, jazz musicians frequently reharmonize the chords and "play around" the melody.
    6. There are frequent direct modulations in jazz.
    7. After a song's melody is played multiple solo choruses are played. The song form and chords anchor the solos.
    8. Jazz musicians are tasked with playing solos consisting of improvised melodies (not merely "elaborating chords").
    9. Jazz musicians may not have access to the composer, or the composer's intentions for the tune.
    10. Therefore jazz musicians need to determine what notes will enable consonant melody making, as well as intentionally dissonant melody making. As a matter of practicality, efficiency, and consistency they need a harmony/melody map, or "decoder ring".

    Classical composers/arrangers need similar knowledge, but the people who play their music don't. It can help, but their success doesn't depend on it - by a long shot.

    May I have my PhD now?
    Last edited by GTRMan; 10-19-2020 at 05:21 PM.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by GTRMan
    3. Classical music is 100% composed.
    Cadenza - Wikipedia

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    ... is now verboten.

    And according to that definition may also be composed - by the composer, another composer, or by the performer - as their personal stamp. In any case, an improvised cadenza became rare in classical music. Agreed or no?

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by GTRMan
    Is now verboten.

    And according to that definition may also be composed - by the performer - as their personal stamp.
    May also be improvised, also according to the definition.

  8. #7

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    99.9999% is close enough to 100% for this discussion.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by GTRMan

    May I have my PhD now?
    The point is your Phd committee are chasing you up and down the corridors right now.

  10. #9

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    Meh, I'm comfortable with my note - and the 99.9999% figure, to boot.

  11. #10

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    Think CST is worthless for tonal music, certainly no 18th or 19th century composer thought this way. Chords came from counterpoint, they really did not have the separate existence that they assumed in later theory.

    4. Classical music modulates relatively infrequently.
    Some does, some does not

  12. #11

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    Well we can't have a theory thread without picking nits, so thanks for that boys. Post edited.



    Still waiting for that PhD. Daylight's a burnin'.

  13. #12

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    Speaking of cadenzas, improvisation and composition and how the masters may actually have learned how to compose these two interviews maybe of interest.





    Robert Levin is leading authority on Mozart and is famous for improvising in his style.

    This podcast is pretty mega actually... really interesting broad range of interviewees. Thanks BWV.

    Anyway, back to the OP topic. I think the idea of analysing classical music form the perspective of CST is no more anachronistic than using any other modern analytical tool, be it Schenkerian analysis, post-Reimannian functional harmony (or Barry's 8 note scales for that matter.) As to what value there is in analysis divorced from the original compositional or improvisational process which was used to compose these works, I have no idea (Gjerdingen calls it 'useless', although he is charitable about Schenker). And yet music departments do it anyway, so hey.

    According to Gjerdingen, 'Music Theory' as a subject is all about making wealthy students feel they had some idea of what was going on in music, rather than have to subject themselves to the rigorous and hard training required to become a competent composer. (See Nadia Boulanger etc, both interviews discuss her in depth.)

    Bottom line; classical music then (18th century) was very different to what it is today. Which should hardly be surprising.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Speaking of cadenzas, improvisation and composition and how the masters may actually have learned how to compose these two interviews maybe of interest.





    Robert Levin is leading authority on Mozart and is famous for improvising in his style.

    This podcast is pretty mega actually... really interesting broad range of interviewees. Thanks BWV.

    Anyway, back to the OP topic. I think the idea of analysing classical music form the perspective of CST is no more anachronistic than using any other modern analytical tool, be it Schenkerian analysis, post-Reimannian functional harmony (or Barry's 8 note scales for that matter.) As to what value there is in analysis divorced from the original compositional or improvisational process which was used to compose these works, I have no idea (Gjerdingen calls it 'useless', although he is charitable about Schenker). And yet music departments do it anyway, so hey.

    According to Gjerdingen, 'Music Theory' as a subject is all about making wealthy students feel they had some idea of what was going on in music, rather than have to subject themselves to the rigorous and hard training required to become a competent composer. (See Nadia Boulanger etc, both interviews discuss her in depth.)

    Bottom line; classical music then (18th century) was very different to what it is today. Which should hardly be surprising.

    wealthy students? why wealthy? how does wealth come into it?

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRMan
    wealthy students? why wealthy? how does wealth come into it?
    hehe listen to the interviews.

    very interesting actually.

    No wealthy person would have wanted the career of musician back then. Musicians were artisans. Back in Naples in the baroque era the students at the first conservatories were literally waifs and strays off the streets.... children learning music as a first language as a trade. It was a hard life but it was better than the alternative.

    Later, Ivy League institutions etc offering music courses had to find a way of teaching them to students who had no intention of entering professional music. Can you train a young adult seeking to enter the professions or destined to be some captain of industry etc to be a musician in that way? Of course not. But neither did they want to. But they wanted the feeling that they understood music to some extent. Hence Music Theory; a theory of aesthetics not actual music practice, to flatter them.

    According to Gjerdingen, anyway.

  16. #15

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    On the lack of, or very limited use of improvisation in classical music...

    I went back to flute at the end of last year after a very long layoff.
    So now besides continuing the upkeep and additions to my guitar abilities, I work on my flute chops, ear and technique.

    I also got out some etudes and sonatas from back in the 90's when I was studying with an excellent classical flute teacher.
    At that time I was a saxophone player that had a weak flute double, mostly aligned with jazz and other musics that were vehicles for improvisation.
    Being self taught on the flute, I had some bad habits and I needed to actually learn to play properly, but also to interpret the flute music and studies with some attention to the stylistic practices of the time and space that the composer lived in.
    (or what contemporary players then believed them to be)

    So here I am in Covid solitude revisiting and discovering that 18th, 19th and 20th flute music.
    But I'm also spending a good portion of my time with jazz....playing the heads or trying to shadow the solos, or improvise on a tune on some hard bop disc I have playing.
    Or anything else for that matter.

    So as it happens it just comes natural to improvise on some of the etudes and sonatas too.
    Everything from Telemann's 12 Fantasias, to Karg-Elert Etudes, or Hindemith's 12 studies all present opportunities to explore.
    With all due respect of course to what the music is saying. The composition becomes the framework and the "head".
    So the improv is an attempt at a spontaneous "theme and variations".

    I actually learn more about the piece and challenge my ears and abilities that way.

  17. #16

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    Thanks Christian, but I disagree with the characterization.

    The music students back then may or may not have been dirt poor but that doesn't make everyone else "wealthy". That sounds like the typical class envy/class conflict nonsense.

    All the music schools that I have attended had entrance requirements, and my fellow students intended to make a living in music, if they could. (The only question I have is - why the heck did they let me in?). Anyway, the students weren't poor but most weren't wealthy either.

    The music schools that I pay attention to today are tough. They are in the business of preparing people to become professional players and/or teachers, just as business schools are in the business of preparing people to make a living in accounting, finance, marketing, management, etc.

  18. #17

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    I would say this thing about classical instrumentalists not being improvisers is a bit misaimed. No one points out that they are not composers. If you can do one, you stand a better chance with the other.

    The other thing. Let’s forget the big names familiar from popular histories etc, Mozart, Bach etc. You would not be able to copy music out as fast as a working pro composer of the 1700s could write it. A mass for you private chapel by Sunday, and a trio to play with your aristocratic friends by Tuesday? (Make sure it’s not too hard and makes him sound amazing, but I’ll do something fun in the organ part for the mass because I’ll end up playing that*.) Yes of course my Lord.

    So in that light, the difference between composition and improvisation is pretty academic.

    Even Boulez who took decades to write pieces took gigs improvising cinema music in the early days.

    *or more likely I’ll just improvise the organ part off the bass to save time. Maybe I’ll write it down later if i can remember it.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRMan
    Thanks Christian, but I disagree with the characterization.

    The music students back then may or may not have been dirt poor but that doesn't make everyone else "wealthy". That sounds like the typical class envy/class conflict nonsense.

    All the music schools that I have attended had entrance requirements, and my fellow students intended to make a living in music, if they could. (The only question I have is - why the heck did they let me in?). Anyway, the students weren't poor but most weren't wealthy either.

    The music schools that I pay attention to today are tough. They are in the business of preparing people to become professional players and/or teachers, just as business schools are in the business of preparing people to make a living in accounting, finance, marketing, management, etc.
    i was unaware you were a music student in the 19th century

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    No one points out that they are not composers.
    Well, I did.

  21. #20

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    Note to new readers: the OP excepted, none of the participants in this argument appear to have read the thesis, or even the abstract. Join at your risk.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    Note to new readers: the OP excepted, none of the participants in this argument appear to have read the thesis, or even the abstract. Join at your risk.
    I did, it's just that I found it to be a stretch.

    But - I learned a new word "arpeggiative". (Uh-oh, fake word alert. Never mind.)


    PhD theses are often a stretch, but what can you do in a world where just about everything has been covered academically, unless it's related to leading edge technology in some form or fashion.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    i was unaware you were a music student in the 19th century

    I see - what you meant to say was "According to Gjerdingen, 'Music Theory' as a subject WAS (not is) all about making wealthy students feel they had some idea of what was going on in music"

    Well what does that have to do with anything? Who cares what music theory lessons were like 120 - 180 years ago?

    The OP is about a potentially useful method of analysis (CST) in the year 2020 for music of the past that was NOT jazz.

  24. #23

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    If you look at the paper, what is interesting is that it does not apply the naïve CST that gets bandied about, like labeling the diatonic notes over a ii chord in Mozart as 'the Dorian mode'.

  25. #24
    My favorite part of Phd theses is the overview of the literature. You generally get a very high quality synthesis of a possibly very scattered domain. A qualified individual is paid to work 5-6 years full time under the supervision of experts to produce the document.

    Considering the lack of standardized understanding of what CST is really about on the internet, I think it's a useful resource.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRMan
    I see - what you meant to say was "According to Gjerdingen, 'Music Theory' as a subject WAS (not is) all about making wealthy students feel they had some idea of what was going on in music"

    Well what does that have to do with anything? Who cares what music theory lessons were like 120 - 180 years ago?

    The OP is about a potentially useful method of analysis (CST) in the year 2020 for music of the past that was NOT jazz.
    It would probably make more sense if you listened the podcasts I was referring to.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    My favorite part of Phd theses is the overview of the literature. You generally get a very high quality synthesis of a possibly very scattered domain. A qualified individual is paid to work 5-6 years full time under the supervision of experts to produce the document.

    Considering the lack of standardized understanding of what CST is really about on the internet, I think it's a useful resource.
    Just checking - there's no trapezoids in this one? He mentions that Dmitri bloke, so I'm a bit worried there may be trapezoids.

    Yes, but reading a PhD thesis is good because they have to provide a survey of the literature... which is actually as you say really useful.

  28. #27

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    So, here's the most interesting (to me) question raised by this thesis.

    Mozart obviously didn't use CST when writing his works (he didn't use functional harmony or Schenkerian analysis either, but let's set that aside.)

    - So - the question is, what would one hope to gain from such an analysis?
    - Is there a value to analysis beyond simply replicating the process and artist used to come up with their works?
    - Is there on the other hand a value to trying to recreate their process (given the failure rate of Necromancy)?

    He says:
    The analytical and interpretive choices I make are attempts to figure out what classical musicians tend to imagine and attempts to figure out which imaginations tend to be more rewarding to those musicians.

    Hmmm.

    But here's an interesting thing... we think of
    C F# A D
    today as a third inversion D7 (this interpretation began with Rameau.)
    Jazzers might think of it as a Lydian chord
    In figured bass its written 6 #4 2 - so maybe he's onto something.


    Anyway I'll read some of the rest of it and see what I think.

    EDIT: I think I have lost the will to press on with this one. I just don't care enough. Sorry.
    Last edited by christianm77; 10-19-2020 at 05:38 PM.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    So, here's the most interesting (to me) question raised by this thesis.

    Mozart obviously didn't use CST when writing his works (he didn't use functional harmony or Schenkerian analysis either, but let's set that aside.)

    - So - the question is, what would one hope to gain from such an analysis?
    - Is there a value to analysis beyond simply replicating the process and artist used to come up with their works?
    - Is there on the other hand a value to trying to recreate their process (given the failure rate of Necromancy)?
    Probably not, but it doesn't matter - the dude earned his PhD and doesn't ever have to worry about this again.

    The PhD should help him secure/keep teaching gigs, plus he can now insist that his students refer to him as "doctor".

  30. #29

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    Robert Levin is a bad motherfcuker

  31. #30

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  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRMan
    PhD theses are often a stretch, but what can you do in a world where just about everything has been covered academically, unless it's related to leading edge technology in some form or fashion.
    I tried to make my own readable and entertaining, if nothing else. Now I am stuck here editing other theses for money. Most are very dull and, as you say, a stretch.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    I tried to make my own readable and entertaining, if nothing else. Now I am stuck here editing other theses for money. Most are very dull and, as you say, a stretch.
    True as it is, they're still much better prepared than Masters degree papers, which is as far as I went. Then we have "white papers" that people throw out there on the internet which are frequently self-serving and amatuerish.

    So it's all good.