Phrygian different in two lessons


jimmynitcher
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jimmynitcher
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04/08/2008 10:46 am
Thanks so much for your help cShlegel

Hooray I am getting this, I'm so happy after all the puzzledness, the penny has finally, well and truly..... dropped!

j :p

now for inversions...
# 1
ryan
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ryan
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04/08/2008 5:12 pm
Slimato,

You are obviously a very knowledgeable guy and I agree with a lot of what you say. However, please allow me to take issue with a few of your statements since I am one of the "classical" guys.

Originally Posted by: Silimtao
When I said it depends, this goes back to what I learned (or didn't) at Berklee and lively, often heated discussions we Berklee students had with students from The Boston Conservatory (snobs, who'd sniff at us with their noses in the air and tell us everything that was "wrong" with be-bop/jazz/blues/rock- everything except classical- the only "real" music.)
[/QUOTE]

First off, any classical musician who would try to tell you that there is something wrong with jazz is an idiot. Although I would never begin to play jazz, because of my lack of training in the field, I enjoy it and respect it as much as anyone. I think jazz and classical are both great art forms that are on opposite sides of a mountain. Likewise, jazz should not be analyzed in a classical manner and classical should not be analyzed in a jazz manner.


Originally Posted by: Silimtao
However, I think music theory has evolved and expanded from the "original" classical music theory. [/QUOTE]

Here is where I start to take issue. You are referring to four centuries of music by the term "classical". Basically you are grouping the rules of Renaissance counterpoint, Baroque harmonies, Classical and Romantic trends, and 20th century music all into one. I agree with your original statement but also in the sense that classical music has evolved so much too. What is more evolved than this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nryKMIvS7SU ?



Originally Posted by: Silimtao
For example, in in my improv class, and we were talking about passing tones, the instructor would say that the passing tone really doesn't fit classical theory, but it does if you play the passing tone off the beat, but would be wrong if played on the beat. This, along with "blue" notes being played can be reconciled with classical theory as long as we resolved the note to say the tonic or some other note within the mode/scale/key we were in. It was the "it's wrong but, if..." that would get me and the other players all the time.


I don't agree with your instructor at all here.

[QUOTE=Silimtao]
You said something really important, that kind of underscores what I'm trying to get at: And that's kind of my point about absolutes, or lack of them- to a hard-core classical theorist, there's no room for not "conforming"- because it doesn't follow the "rules" of what they rigidly adhere to.


I don't agree with that at all. Every great classical composer (namely Bach, Mozart and Beethoven) broke the rules like crazy. You learn the "rules" (and I use that term loosely) to learn about the trends of the epoch. There is plenty of room for flexibility and the hardcore theorists I have studied with have enjoyed talking about breaking the rules (it makes their job less boring).


[QUOTE=Silimtao]
Hey, I think I've just had a breakthrough! I keep looking at "classical" vs. "modern" theory, but they are really one and the same!. Theory is just theory, and I've been looking at the old and the new as somehow diametrically opposed, when, in fact, the "new" is really just an extrapolation of the "old"! The two really fit together like pieces of a puzzle! I've been looking at theory with two minds; when studying classical theory, I'm in the mindset only from that given standpoint. Then when I look at modern theory, I'm looking at it from that given standpoint. But the two really fit together and is truly "one".


BINGO!!!!! Gaining knowledge and insight can only help you. Look at Christopher. He combines jazz and classical theory all the time and has achieved amazing results with it.

I just hope I can change your view of classical musicians and theory a bit. Most classical musicians and hardcore theorists LOVE jazz. That probably was not the case 50 years ago or so but it is certainly the case now.
# 2
ryan
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ryan
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04/08/2008 5:19 pm
I just looked at Christopher's comments a few posts back and realized I said almost the same things he did. Lol... sorry for the repeats.

Cheers
# 3
Silimtao
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Silimtao
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04/09/2008 2:30 am
Hello ryan,

This post is directed to both you and Christopher mostly. Again, I'm not going to quote very much if at all, as this prevents me from posting anything.

First and foremost, my apologies to you and any other "classical theorist". Any references I've made in that regard were really directed to many of my former instructors, and yes, some of those "Boston Conservatory snobs", as they were my main points of reference when discussing "classical theory vs. "modern/jazz" theory. Of course also, not all Boston conservatory musicians are snobs either.

I agree much more with both Christopher and you than disagree (and where I disagree, is extremely minute, and as far as Christopher is concerned, it may be more a matter of perception, my inability to articulate exactly what I mean, possibly a combination of both, or even "simply" a difference of philosophy in how one views things.)

Again, I can't emphasize enough when referring to "hard-core classical theorists/musicians" I was talking about those I personally interacted with. It was those people, many my instructors, that were "rigid", and railed about how "wrong" this and that was about jazz and "modern" music.

It was particularly frustrating being in a "jazz" school when I was told I couldn't play this note or that. In improv class of all places, I was told I couldn't play this note or that. HUH? When I challenged their reasoning, the simple answer was, "because it's not right". Again, WTF! HUH? It could have come from a classically trained musician or a Berklee trained instructor. A non-answer, that certainly wasn't helpful by any means. So, yes, I vigorously disagreed with them also (and confused, to say the least.)

ryan
I agree with your original statement but also in the sense that classical music has evolved so much too. What is more evolved than this

Actually, that was what I intended to say. Just came out wrong. :eek:

So as far changing my views on classical musicians, there really is no need to. I was dealing with my own (mis)understanding/conflicts of "classical" vs. "modern"- and also take into consideration my admittedly limited knowledge of (Western) music theory and its application. Christopher clarified his position that he was only interested in discussing Western theory. Fair enough- much gets lost in online discussions. I wasn't initially coming coming from that standpoint.

That's why I parenthesized Western above, as I wasn't necessarily coming from the standpoint of strictly Western music theory (but for the most part, I was.) And that's why I stated I don't feel there are absolutes. Western theory or not. Yes, there are certain absolutes within the context of what Christopher was talking about (of course I'm definitely not blaming him in any way for speaking from that context, as Arabic or any other type of ethnic music isn't on the table here in this forum)- A, A#, B, doesn't = a G major chord. A major scale is constructed a certain way. But this is predicated on rules that were agreed upon as correct. However, in other areas, I would say there aren't absolutes. Is there an "absolute" A tone or any other? I say yes and no. Yes if if we tune to 440 A- no, if not. Of course, it's been agreed upon that certain rules be followed, otherwise there would be total chaos. So rules have been accepted for the sake of uniformity.

Where I was coming from- and here's where things probably will go off in a really insane direction- are there any absolutes in music that are absolute from an empirical sense? An A tone isn't an A if we disagree on what concert pitch is, and that it should vibrate at a certain frequency. Modes, etc, aren't what we accept them to be if we don't agree the major scale is the source from which everything springs forth. Is dissonance inherently inharmonious, unresolved, or a learned response? Again, I say yes and no. Yes dissonance is unresolved when following...let's call it conventional Western music theory. I say no, because I was coming from...I'll call it a "global take on music" for lack of a better description. But Chris narrowed it down to Western music theory, so of course I can't disagree.

My involvement in this post was in response to light's explanation of phrygian, and I was simply attempting to point him in a different direction. Of course, I could only point him in a direction from the standpoint of how I perceive things, and from the onset, I stated, and continue to state, I come from a limited understanding of music theory. Christopher's, and some others here know from my prior posts that I've returned to music from a very long layoff, and I'm literally all over the place; playing, learning different tunes, technique, and my love/hate relationship with music theory. And when it comes to music theory, I've been reading books that go back a hundred or more years ago, to Frank Gambale, to atonal theory. So I'm not, and don't necessarily look at music theory from the same standpoint of probably anyone that has posted here. Hopefully, I clarified where I'm coming from to give my posts a better context.

To sum up, I don't disagree with you or Christopher (99.99 %). Still, I don'taccept that there are "absolutes" in music theory, because I believe theory is a set of accepted principles as opposed to the actual application of those principles. That's why it's called theory. I don't necessarily accept the ideas of "musical fact".

The irony of all this is, I'm a basic 70's rock and roll/blues guy. Just give me a pentatonic scale and crank up the volume! ;)

But seriously speaking- this discourse is good; hopefully not just for myself, but for anyone reading it. I normally stay away from the theory forum, but for whatever reason, here I am, and the discussion has been very enlightening. And Christopher, your explanations are mini-lessons all by themselves. In whatever areas we may disagree, I say simply- it's all rock and roll to me :D
Silimtao-The Way of the Little Idea

I want to die peacefully like my grandfather. Unlike the other passengers in the car, screaming and crying. (unknown)
# 4
Silimtao
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Silimtao
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04/09/2008 4:03 am
I just found a post stating exactly what I had wanted to relay to light in my first post here:http://www.guitartricks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21727&page=1&pp=10

It's stated more clearly and concisely than what I said. And it also happens to be what I'm trying to accomplish. Hopefully, if you read it, you'll know what I mean.
Silimtao-The Way of the Little Idea

I want to die peacefully like my grandfather. Unlike the other passengers in the car, screaming and crying. (unknown)
# 5
jimmynitcher
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jimmynitcher
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04/09/2008 8:54 am
oops I shouldn't have spoken so fast !

Originally Posted by: CSchlegelConsider this group of notes:

c, d, e, f, g, a, b, c

If I played those notes while at the same time a bass player was playing a pattern of 1/8 note c's, then it would sound like I was playing ionian.

But if I played those notes while at the same time a bass player was playing a pattern of 1/8 note e's, then it would sound like I was playing phrygian.


I could understand you saying Phrygian if the bass player was playing c's and I played the E Ionian notes as that is the third degree of the key we are in, but if he plays E's and I played with c scale wouldn't that be the sixth degree or Aeolian?

Kind of weird to have two threads going on here, but whatever

thanks CS

j
# 6
ChristopherSchlegel
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ChristopherSchlegel
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04/09/2008 1:43 pm
Originally Posted by: jimmynitcherI could understand you saying Phrygian if the bass player was playing c's and I played the E Ionian notes as that is the third degree of the key we are in, but if he plays E's and I played with c scale wouldn't that be the sixth degree or Aeolian?

E ionian notes would be E major scale: e, f#, g#, a, b, c#, d#.

I think you may have misunderstood.

If was playing these notes and only these notes all the time all over the guitar:

c, d, e, f, g, a, b, c

Then it would sound like I am playing the C major scale, because that is what I would be playing. But which mode am I playing?

It could be C ionian, it could also be D dorian, it could be E phrygian, it could be F lydian, it could be G mixolydian, it could be A aeolian, it could be B locrian. (I checked that four times. :) )

But if the bass player starts playing low notes along with me (while I am playing these notes - c, d, e, f, g, a, b, c), he is basically going to provide an auditory frame of reference.

If the bass player starts playing low C's it will have the effect of making it sound like I am playing in C ionian - regardless of which of these notes I start and end on: c, d, e, f, g, a, b, c. If I start on the e and play: e, f, g, a, b, c, d, e, it will still sound like C ionian, just with me starting on the third note of that mode; which is a neat effect actually, because it will sound like I am suggesting a harmony of a third.

If the bass player starts playing low E's it will have the effect of making it sound like I am playing in E phrygian - regardless of which of these notes I start and end on: c, d, e, f, g, a, b, c. If I start on the c, it will sound like I am starting on the sixth degree of the E phrygian mode.

Now as soon as the bass player changes notes, or plays a line that is more complex than pumping one note over and again, the frame of reference changes. It would sound like we are still in one key (C major) but changing modes.

You could still look at it like only one mode, but now it would depend upon all the notes and in which order the bass player was playing them.

If the bass player played this: CCCC-DDDD-EEEE-DDDD-C. Then it would sound as if he is suggesting ionian degrees 1-2-maj3-2-1. It doesn't necessarily matter what order you play the notes of C major in, it is going to sound like you are soloing in C ionian.

If the bass player played this: EEEE-FFFF-EEEE-DDDD-E. Then it would sound as if he is suggesting phrygian degrees 1-flat2-1-min7-1. It doesn't necessarily matter what order you play the notes of C major in, it is going to sound like you are soloing in E phrygian.

Try it! There is no substitute for doing and hearing it for yourself.

The point is that the auditorily strong note is going to sound like the primary note and therefore the root of the music at that point. This can be accomplished by which note the bass player (or the primary melody) starts and ends on. Or just which note it ends on (sounds like that is the "goal" of the line). Or just which note happens the most and will therefore be the most often sounding.

If you need more help, PM me. :) Sorry if the other discussions are distracting. Perhaps a forum mod could preen posts to a more appropriately related thread or a new thread.
Christopher Schlegel
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# 7
jimmynitcher
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jimmynitcher
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04/09/2008 7:13 pm
OK great thanks for the reply - I shall look at this...and get back if I need that's very kind of you.

J :)
# 8
ryan
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ryan
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04/10/2008 12:43 am
Silimtao,

Thanks for your response. I agree that these are vital issues to ponder and I am glad you brought them up. I am, however, sorry to anyone who has gotten distracted by our interaction.

Your statements are well put and I actually do agree with you that there are not any true absolutes in music. Like you said, "Why is concert pitch A-440?" Surprisingly, the global standardization of pitch did not occur until well into the 20th Century. For centuries, concert pitch varied from style to style and country to country which sort of proves your point -- all musical knowledge is relative to your acceptance of musical laws that human beings have created.

I really hope you enjoy your return guitar playing. Although you may think your mind is a bit rusty, the knowledge still exists. Please drop me a PM or email if you make any recordings or videos. I would love to check out your stuff.

Take care!
RH
# 9
Silimtao
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Silimtao
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04/10/2008 1:51 am
Hello ryan,

Thanks for your input and response. I hope our interaction was somewhat food for thought to any reader as opposed to any distraction.

Theory is a very heady subject- I'm sure I don't need to tell you, as I've seen your profile- good luck in your endeavors, and I have to say I envy you and anyone who can make a living doing what they love. I could have been a studio musician, or taken the route of many Berklee students by becoming an instructor, but it wasn't my aim. I was a performance major, and I just wanted to get out there and play!.

But just to get a bit back on topic- I was reading some Schoenberg, stuff on atonal theory, Asian music theory, Grogorian music, and discovered the definition of what's call the "Hendrix chord" (E7#9)- played it a million times, but never knew it was called the Hendrix chord- it was described as "harmonically ambiguous"; learn something new every day, lol.

It may be a cold day in hell before I ever post a recording of any kind anywhere, but you never know. I'm just enjoying myself in a different way than before. Theory is just a part of it, maddening as it may be for me, but I feel it is a must.

Lastly, I took a peak at some of your lessons, and may try to tackle them, as I enjoy playing some classical music. Christopher has a really nice, simple arrangement of Fur Elise for the guitar- a piece I absolutely love.

Thanks for the interesting exchange, and take care yourself! :)

Slim
Silimtao-The Way of the Little Idea

I want to die peacefully like my grandfather. Unlike the other passengers in the car, screaming and crying. (unknown)
# 10

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