All The Things You Are

All The Things You Are

Key – Ab Major (Fminor)

Form – A A B A

This piece conists of flavoured chords (my favourites) such as major 7ths, 9ths dominant 7ths,9ths minor 7ths,9ths so it already givces off the impression that it’s not your conventional piece. These are the chords supplied with the notes attached:
F-7 – F Ab C Eb
Eb7 – Eb G Bb Db
Abmaj7 – Ab C Eb G
A-7b5 – Ab B D Gb
C+7 – C E G# Bb (Augmented)
Bo7 – B D F Ab
C7#9 – C E G Bb D#

Bars 1 – 8
The first 5 bars are in Ab major and follow the chord progression of 6, 2, 5, 1, 4….going into a 2-5-1 (ii V I) in the key of C major. Due to C minor 7 being closer to the key of Ab major it has the transition over the C major 7 which in conventional terms the listener would be more inclined to expect. The ii-V-I in bars 6&7 resolves to the parallel major as Cm is the expected key.

Bars 9 – 16
Similar to section 1 the first 5 bars follow the same chord progression of 6, 2, 5, 1, 4, but in the key of Eb major. This change of key was created at bars 8 and 9 where a ‘parallel minor’ was used, going from a Cmaj7 to a C-7….a parallel minor is the minor key based on the same root note as the origin, here we have C major to C minor where C is the root note. So the modulation on bars 6 to 7 using the 2, 5, 1 to change into the Cmaj7 then into the C minor 7 with a parallel minor, leading to Eb major, similar to section 1 the last 3 bars become a ii V I in the key of Gmaj7.  Bars 14&15, Gmaj7 is the parallel major. Bars 9-16 is the same as 1-8 but modulated a perfect 5th higher.  The C+7 is an enharmonic pivot chord, on one level it is the altered dominant 7th chord of the Fm7 in bar 25, but the basic triad of C+ is exactly the same as E+ (E, G#, B#), and just one note different from the Emajor triad (E, G#, B), so it links the 2 keys of Emajor and Fm.

Bars 17 – 24
The first 4 bars of this section follows on the ii-V-I from section 2, in the same key using the A-7-D7-Gmaj7. Then it leads into another ii-V-I in the key of E major. Then the last 2 bars with the Emaj7 and C+7, the C+7 shares some notes to the Emaj7, these notes being E and G#, which almost makes sense but it still sounds non-diatonic, the B section is apparent due to it’s unfamiliarity with the rest of the status quo

Bars 25 – 36.
25 – 30 to start with are very similar to bars 1-8 , a 6, 2, 5, 1, 4 in the key of Ab Major (vi, ii, V, I, IV). Following on the chord progression goes down in semi-tones creating a chromatic movement from the Db-7 to the Bb-7. Leading into the same 3 chords in section 1 and the first part to section 4, Bb-7, Eb7 and Abmaj7. Then for the last 2 chords it creates a minor ii-V-I back into the start of the chords again…..also known as a minor turnaround.

Fifteen Two Part Inventions

Fifteen Two Part Inventions

The ten bar piece applies several contrapuntal conventions. The start of the extract is also C major, which has neither any sharps or flats but then are examples of modulation such as bar 4 (G – F#) then on bar 9 returns to it’s former key of C major

The first bar gives a great example of exact imitation (Exact imitation is when a melody is repeated with the same notes and same rhythmic structure) where the treble clef plays the 1st idea and the bass clef repeats this but at a later time, 2 beats into the first bar. The first motif is the first seven 16th notes ending on the G 8th note and indicated by the phrase line.

Contrary motion and melodic inversion are shown in bar 3 & 4 (Bars 3 & 4 is an augmentation of only the first 4 notes of the motif.) , the contrary motion is show between the bass and treble clef as the melody is going down on the treble clef, its going up on the bass clef. Contrary motion is a movement of opposite directions so one would be going up in pitch while the other is going down in pitch. The melodic inversion is the two movements using the same intervals to travel, the treble clef is travelling down in seconds where the bass clef is travelling up in seconds. Melodic inversion is a form of imitation.

Augmentation is when notes are doubled in value I.E 16th notes made into 8th notes. (Also a type of imitation – the same melody played again)
The bass clef on bars 3 and 4 is an augmentation of the motif, its a diatonic augmentation to a point but when it reaches the F# it modulates into the key of G major making the whole augmentation non-diatonic. Bars 5 and 6 repeat the last 4 notes of the motif going up in thirds rather than going down in thirds, this pattern is repeated 3 times going up in thirds from E to C ending on the third of C giving an octave of E. On bar 5 the bass clef plays the motif but a tone up from the origin, therefore giving us the F# as a tone up from E is F#, this will make the modulation from C to G sound almost natural as it’s repeating a pattern previously heard.

There’s similarity between bars 7 & 8 to bars 1 & 2 but this time the bass clef is starting the idea and the treble clef is making an exact imitation, coming in after 2 beats of the bar. At the end of bar 8 the bass clef becomes a treble clef, melodic Inversion is also then shown on bars 9 & 10 in which the bass clef plays by starting the idea whilst the treble clef plays the melodic inversion by harmonizing the idea by playing a perfect 5th harmony over the top. Bars 9 & 10, the tune goes up a tone (major 2nd) modulating into D minor.

My Notation… The Need To Get Better

I recently jotted down a few ideas in lesson for a short composition as the lecturer explained what we would need to hit our curriculum. During this he mentioned about us writing parts for each other and performing each other’s work like we have been doing recently, my piece was designed for Carl & Alex Nash. Here are the points James posted for me :-

– Improvement from last week, much neater

– Flags are still too small

– Good use of repeats

– There’s an accidental on the fourth bar on section B (treble clef) which is wrong, should’ve been a C flat.

– I don’t think Alex & Carl we’re taken into consideration when writing this piece, on the plus side it has some good ideas

Now this was the most forgiving bit of feedback I’d received, I now realise that I’m struggling with theory a lot so I’ll be posting of my attempt to get extra work from Murphy (Lecturer) and posting my progress as I attempt to catch up to everyone else on my course.

I feel embarrassed to show my transcriptions as they always have something wrong, I’ll be fine tuning this and as I’ve now identified the problem I’ll fix this so I get more confident with my transcriptions and continue to challenge my self.

I photo-linked this to a piece by Yann Tierson who I will be studying soon, french music & Amelie!

My Transcription/ Songwriting Attempt

My Transcription/ Songwriting Attempt

Well firstly I was given the task today in lecture to write a new piece of music giving a bizarre choice of what to start with, my lecturer had both a 12 and 8 sided dice in which governed what time signature and key to work in, also what name to give our track unfortunately I got Ab major (4 flats) in 7/8 with the name of “Pristine Odin.”

With the A section I had a few ideas bouncing round of fast guitar picking of 16th notes using minor 9th and major 7th chords, then the same with bass notes then using the same array of chords in the B section but just the chords changing to 4/4. The last section of the B parts is my version of an explosive conclusion going from F minor 7 shooting up an octave twice then smashing the Ab major 7, the drums would be quite funky/ jazzy as well as keeping to modern phrasing. Well….. this was what I had in mind, until I found out what went wrong with my piece once it was exposed to the rest of the class.

My ideas I was told were very creative and would’ve been good if I had laid them out right but here’s whats wrong with my transcription:

– some drum bars were hard to distinguish where snare hits were.

– the flags are very small.

– there’s a bass bar with too many notes on it.

– some wrong note values, making counting very hard on the treble clef.

– the layout is a bit squashed.

Once the guys attempted it, I got feedback from the bass player and this is what he had to say ” ledger lines are hard to read, as they vary in size and are quite a lot of them. The ledger line in the first bar on the bass clef really threw me off, I was confused whether or not it was an E or F#.”

” I attempted to learn it, I got the first 3 bars correct but it was a difficult thing to play as in was sweeping up and down the neck to reach the notes notated.”

” the whole track was really nice and the ideas Michael had were very good and this track could easily be turned into a great track.”

So on the whole I should learn from this when writing notation, especially drum notation which I’m terrible at. On a lighter note I was complimented again on my creativeness but I’m going to have to step it up notation wise to keep up with the rest of the course.

Sheet Music & My Practice

Sheet Music & My Practice

So in lecture today I was given an interesting piece to play called “Spooky Funk At A Distance,” this is a medium funk track 104 BPM comprised of minor major chords and complex time signatures (6/4 4/4 change).

The errors I encountered whilst learning this weren’t the actual note identification because I have a knowledge of chords but was the rhythm of the A section and the ending, also choosing what to play on the “Post Tacet,” bit. To overcome the 1st problem my class saw how frustrated I had gotten due to me messing the rhythms up on a couple of occasions and then gave me tip to play, the rhythm is the same as the “Terminator,” theme so that really helped me overcome.
The second problem was choosing what to play in the break where I get to show off a bit, so in the break we can play a riff/ solo/ chords and I chosen to solo in F melodic minor giving a jazzy type feel to the track, the ending was overcome by extensive playing of that specific section over and over again.

I wanted a short section of how my practice has really come into fruition, most musicians gain skill and technique through extensive playing of routines and scales which in my opinion is great and it’s each to their own. My practice comes through composing in which has made me a better player through the years of guitar, my creative process draws ideas from art/ music/ dreams and general conversation, even when I’m walking down the street I am constantly composing in my head of what a riff or song should sound like, then it’s just converting that to a physical product on my instrument. I don’t really know if this is the right way, I do try to mix routines in with my playing but to exercise both creativeness and playing ability (technical facility) this is how I practice.

The Pollen Collectors!!!

The Pollen Collectors!!!

This nifty piece of music was given to me last Tuesday (04/04/14) as part of my theory/ sight reading lecture, it’s a tricky piece that involves changes of time signature and the class struggled to come to grips with at for the 1st half an hour.

So the tempo being 98 BPM the tune is quite slow and the notes weren’t hard to identify, I did it with quite ease but the problem is turning whats written into a physical form for all musicians, all the drummer has to do is hold the beat as there is nothing written to suggest otherwise. The problems that arose were the fact we had two bass players ont he track of whom were out of tune with each other making a minor 2nd interval (not the nicest of sounds) and so we had to keep stopping and starting, the second problem was that the slow tempo was proving a challenge so my lecturer changed it from 98 to 124 BPM. Me and the other musicians were well in our comfort zone and we started to make progress, these are the points I need to improve on:

– Read more notation

– Understand my fellow musicians and offer to help more

– Always bring a tuner to class

Thanks to for the picture.

3 Part Harmony Piece

3 Part Harmony Piece

Hey there, I’ve recently indulged myself on writing more difficult parts on Sibelius 7 for practicing purposes (composing & playing) this is the piece and is designed for a guitarists to pick from 3 lines which they can practice to their leisure, hopefully this can exercise the choosing of harmony an latter piece of music if the artist desires this.

The piece itself is in the key of F# Major (6 Sharps) and is comprised of 16th notes, the 3 lines are separated by a major third and perfect 5th harmony. I designed it because the sound of all three combined make a bright and very upbeat sound, also testing the guitarists picking and rhythm knowledge.

The discussion of this piece was in two minds, James Chatfield (Bassist on level 5) suggested that the piece is too messy and too difficult, the solution he suggested was to separate the stave into two treble clefs and strip the third harmony. I felt that this was a good idea but I explained how this is for practice purposes and not a piece to perform as well as playing the lower harmony for him on my guitar to prove that the piece is not too difficult resulting in the problem being resolved.