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Topic: Cold - Quartal Harmony

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Tom_Davis's Avatar
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    Cold - Quartal Harmony

    This little experiment was motivated by a web site I'm involved with that presents stories about the myths and superstitions of American coastal towns.

    It is also an adventure into quartal harmony (perhaps the best way to harmonize Gregorian Chant) which for me, at least, is difficult to manipulate. In other words, I am learning as I go. For that reason I used a minimal score of four instruments and percussion - Oboe, Clarinet, Horn and Basson, with tam-tam and cymbol.

    All input is appreciated.

    www.mediatyrosean.com/cold.mp3

    Tom
    Seattle, Washington
    August 3, 2006
    Last edited by Tom_Davis; 08-03-2006 at 07:00 PM. Reason: url correction

  2. #2

    Re: Cold - Quartal Harmony

    Tom,

    I am not familiar with the term quartal harmony. As a guitarist, I work a lot in modes... which I thought were the basis for gregorian chant. Mind you, I am self taught, so my grasp of terminology in shaky at best. Anyway, as long as you stick with the mode you are in... you can still do all the normal harmonies in 3rds or 6ths... Perhaps not in 6th's, as for that time 6th's were a bit weird to the ear. Anyway, for us they sound fine.

    Your peice, while not having that chant-esque sound, was really sweet. I liked it quite a bit!! If you could explain quartal harmony to me, then that would be great!!

    Thanks for sharing,
    Paul

    Prowland the posting Ninja

  3. #3
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    Re: Cold - Quartal Harmony

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_Davis
    This little experiment was motivated by a web site I'm involved with that presents stories about the myths and superstitions of
    .............snip................
    www.mediatyrosean.com/cold.mp3

    Tom
    Seattle, Washington
    August 3, 2006
    Tom,

    That is some pretty heavy sound you have there. It certainly does reflect the notion of myths and superstition. Nice rendering with minimal instrumentation.

    Gary

    www.garybricault.com

  4. #4
    Senior Member Tom_Davis's Avatar
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    Re: Cold - Quartal Harmony

    Quote Originally Posted by Prowland
    Tom,

    I am not familiar with the term quartal harmony. As a guitarist, I work a lot in modes... which I thought were the basis for gregorian chant. Mind you, I am self taught, so my grasp of terminology in shaky at best. Anyway, as long as you stick with the mode you are in... you can still do all the normal harmonies in 3rds or 6ths... Perhaps not in 6th's, as for that time 6th's were a bit weird to the ear. Anyway, for us they sound fine.

    Your peice, while not having that chant-esque sound, was really sweet. I liked it quite a bit!! If you could explain quartal harmony to me, then that would be great!!

    Thanks for sharing,
    Thank you for the kind words. For this particular need, I was going more for the open spacing that allows for dissonance via escape tones more than the effect of the chant or plain song; something that would fit well under the opening credits without being too morbid or ghostly. Most of the music I sell aside from a few marching band pieces and choral works are for commercials, corporate films and web sites. This was a great opportunity to do a little experimenting.

    Quartal harmony is more of a harmonic structure than a mode. In its simplest form, quartal harmony is simply a harmonic system based on the interval of a fourth instead of the more common tertian harmony based, naturally, on the interval of a third. It is an old concept. You may find "Midieval Quartal Harmony" of some interest in its relation the the plainsong.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Tom_Davis's Avatar
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    Re: Cold - Quartal Harmony

    Quote Originally Posted by GaryBric
    Tom,

    That is some pretty heavy sound you have there. It certainly does reflect the notion of myths and superstition. Nice rendering with minimal instrumentation.

    Gary

    www.garybricault.com
    Thank you, Gary.

    Mostly it is the result of dissonace of escape tones that pull the ear into unexplored territory and the inherent vague feeling of the unusual harmonies. I found it fun to play with. I'm not sure if a longer piece would fare well with the listener, but one learns by trying.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Leaf's Avatar
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    Re: Cold - Quartal Harmony

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_Davis
    Thank you, Gary.

    Mostly it is the result of dissonace of escape tones that pull the ear into unexplored territory and the inherent vague feeling of the unusual harmonies. I found it fun to play with. I'm not sure if a longer piece would fare well with the listener, but one learns by trying.
    I think it would fare well, Tom, because i was really getting into it then it suddenly ended. Excellent! Thanks for posting.

    David

  7. #7

    Re: Cold - Quartal Harmony

    It sounds very cool. Quite intriguing music, I was getting into it as well. Great job writing it with only four instruments, it does sound larger than it really does.

    ~Cata
    ♪♪♪♪ CâTå ♪♪♪♪

  8. #8
    Senior Member Tom_Davis's Avatar
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    Re: Cold - Quartal Harmony

    Quote Originally Posted by Leaf
    I think it would fare well, Tom, because i was really getting into it then it suddenly ended. Excellent! Thanks for posting.

    David
    Thank you, David. I have yet another day off. Perhaps I can extend it a little more. The sampling you have heard was done in about 40 minutes. I quickly realized that structure was essential, hence the repeating elements throughout to hold it together.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Tom_Davis's Avatar
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    Re: Cold - Quartal Harmony

    Quote Originally Posted by Cataclysm
    It sounds very cool. Quite intriguing music, I was getting into it as well. Great job writing it with only four instruments, it does sound larger than it really does.

    ~Cata
    And thanks to you, Cata. The sampling you heard is for the intro credits. I'll see if I can come up with something as background for the stories themselves.

  10. #10

    Re: Cold - Quartal Harmony

    Tom, I've been unable to connect to http://www.mediatyrosean.com/
    or the .mp3 file.

    Will give it another try later.

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

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