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Topic: Free to score Contermelodies?

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  1. #1

    Free to score Contermelodies?

    Hi all,

    I certainly appreciate all of the orchestral feedback you have been offering so graceously.

    I\'ve been experimenting a little bit with a well known tune from \"The Godfather\" This is the tune in D-minor.

    I took the Bardstown\'s Archtop Guitar and gave it to the melody and noticed that when I chose not to include any drums or groove except for the Boresendorfer playing straight 8th notes beginning on the upbeat of one, I was able to create two counter melodies using the QLEWSO Trumpet and the 50 piece String ensemble.

    Question: Does it seem feasible to any of you that when your extract or chooses to eliminate the so called \"Pop\" drum and supporting Acousstic Bass groove, you open up so much more space for additional counter melodies happening at about the same time?

    Maybe this could be a small doorway into orchestral scoring. Of course I need to sift thru SO many other instruments in this 4 volume collection but it may be a beginning for me even though I have selected a well known tune (Probably considerd Pop in genre) played in a legato fashion.

    Sorry I don\'t have the MP3 yet..still working on it as an example of what I\'m learning here..

    TIA all

    Alan Russell

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Free to score Contermelodies?

    I\'d definitely agree with that, Alan. When you subtract one instrument\'s responsibility for \"groove,\" you start getting groove melodically from the counterpoint. Bach grooves like mad, and it\'s all counterpoint!!

  3. #3

    Re: Free to score Contermelodies?

    Bruce,

    thanks for the follow up comment. What I learned last night is that certain voices occupy a certain amount of space (to be measured by the orchestrator)which can certainly impinged upon the voices one chooses in the orchestral score. If one has a good sense of balance and space in their arrangement, the inner line movements can be heard rather than just fillers to darken the conductors score.

    On a footote, I remember hearing Bob Berg play Michelle (Beatles) His Piano and Bass players gave him so much space in the arrangement that he was able to venture out so far in his articulations and lines that made his improv and melody sound so unique and imaginative..

    Thanks again Bruce,

    Alan Russell

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Re: Free to score Contermelodies?

    Originally posted by Bruce A. Richardson:
    Bach grooves like mad, and it\'s all counterpoint!!
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">One of my all-time favorit albums is Jeff Porcaro\'s collection of SATB chorals! [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]
    -Jamey

  5. #5

    Re: Free to score Contermelodies?

    Hi Alan,

    Less is more. I can certainly identify with your observations. To hear all that wonderful dead wide space but still get a full sense of the melody and harmony the composer is trying to communicate. It\'s such a simple goal - but so allusive.

    I hope we\'ll get to hear something? A few bars maybe? [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  6. #6

    Re: Free to score Contermelodies?

    Sometimes more is better :-) Last week I was jamming with friends. I was on bass, and we had an acoustic rhythm guitar, a noodly electric lead, keyboards and vocals. About 2/3rds of the way through the evening the keyboard player got tired of trying to follow songs he didn\'t really know, so he switched to playing the drums on keys. Ahh. What a relief.

    I hadn\'t realized how tethered I had been trying to keep the rhythm solid. Once the drums entered I could play more sparsely, add accents and play some high melodies. The fun factor increased greatly.

    I was going to tie this story to a thought about how, with so many players in an orchestra, no one instrument has to carry a piece from beginning to end on his rhytmic back. But I decided not to. Or maybe I just did. Nevermind...

  7. #7

    Re: Free to score Contermelodies?

    hi Alan

    i hope i am not of topic but arnt sloow balads the hardest to improvise in and a true gauge of the improvisational skills (inner ear)of a player where as when the tempo is fast like Colranes \"Giant Steps\" or Parkers \"Cherokee\" a whole set of physical practises take over, learned patterns etc which in so many ways is easier,

    to me its fidelty to your true inner ear, thats the key and capturing the true context and vibe of the music, because even complex 4-part fugues by Bach dont sound cluttered and a badly conceived out of context 2 part line can sound busy,
    so my experience is that if the ear is insecure it will fill the vacuum inappropriately !! and thats why the ballad is the test becuase you need to be secure inside your minds ear

    I suppose what i am trying to say is when you took away your drums and bass you opened up space for your inner ear to place counter melodies and that struck me as the same process as improvising on a slow balad where aural space is lengthened but i think what makes something busy is lack of fidelty to the muscical context so i would disagree with you that taking away the drums and bass was the reason the counter melodies worked because in another context counter melodies might have worked with drums etc

    for example what about all the great Count Basie arrangments !!

  8. #8

    Re: Free to score Contermelodies?

    double

  9. #9

    Re: Free to score Contermelodies?

    Originally posted by Bruce A. Richardson:
    I\'d definitely agree with that, Alan. When you subtract one instrument\'s responsibility for \"groove,\" you start getting groove melodically from the counterpoint. Bach grooves like mad, and it\'s all counterpoint!!
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">hi bruce

    i see or hear it differently
    because what makes time sound busy? the parameters effecting musical space are much more complex and intricate than what your alluding to

    Bach\'s Counterpoint grooves as you say because he was a master with one hell of an ear
    the same principles in another person will sound a total mess so it cant be space or amount of notes to fill that space alone that determines the effectiveness of a piece of music

  10. #10

    Re: Free to score Contermelodies?

    To me Bach and Mozart tend to groove, whereas much of the later romantic, modern and much film music does not.

    Twelve bar blues grooves for two reasons: the steady rhythm (you can dance to it), and the predictable chord progression (you can jam to it - it\'s that vertical thing that charles wrote about before).

    The thing is that much of Bach and Mozart\'s music is danceable - it has predictable rhythms. Waltxes certainly goove (and can even swing!). Counterpoint doesn\'t leave much space for jamming though.

    But much of what people do here is for film. Generally we want to avoid getting people to tap their feet. Instead we want to tap their hearts. And for this the rhythm and dynamics will swell, pause, scream and whisper. You can\'t dance to it. You can\'t jam to it. But it can make you cry.

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