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JackLuis
06-29-2016, 08:44 AM
I was playing a series of chord sequences and thought it might have been a fugue, so I looked up what it was,a and the Wiki got me confused.

I don't have the music lingo down yet and wondered if playing a rhythmic E-A-B7 Dbm, shifting to D-G-A7, Em then to G-C-D7 Am and then resolving back to E-A-B7 Dbm could be a three part fugue? I'm playing in a dance rhythm and increasing the tempo in each segment but using the same 1-IV-V7 vi pattern but varying the strum pattern a bit to mix up the 'steps' of the dance.

Could this be a chord fugue?

ubulele
06-29-2016, 12:19 PM
I wouldn't consider it one. A fugue has a number of independent voices that do variations on core motifs. The variations are often transposed (relative to the tonic) or inverted, vary in timing and extent, and are seldom faithful reproductions of the original motifs. The art of the fugue is in how the voices overlay and link their versions of the motifs, weaving together to create a unified whole. Only sometimes do the voices run in parallel. Just replicating the same chord pattern in different keys isn't really in the spirit of a fugue. Listen to several fugues and you'll have a better idea of what fugal writing is like. Particularly, listen to Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, where every second piece is a fugue (the others being free-form preludes to the fugues); he cycled through all twelve major and twelve minor keys--twice!
Book 1 (of 2): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ks9Q8AF4Do
Bach: Toccata and Fugue in D minor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ho9rZjlsyYY (fugue starts ~2:40)
Bach: "Little" Fugue in G minor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhRa3REdozw
Bach: Toccata, Adagio, and Fugue in C Major: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Klh9GiWMc9U (fugue starts ~!0:00)

Shostakovich also wrote a set of preludes and fugues in every key, after the model of Bach:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLzC9WY9KNk

JackLuis
06-29-2016, 01:22 PM
I wouldn't consider it one. A fugue has a number of independent voices that do variations on core motifs. The variations are often transposed (relative to the tonic) or inverted, vary in timing and extent, and are seldom faithful reproductions of the original motifs. The art of the fugue is in how the voices overlay and link their versions of the motifs, weaving together to create a unified whole.


Thanks, for the lesson. I'm still not really educated, but thanks. I guess I'll just call it a dance and not try to get too fancy with my 16 months of musical knowledge. It is hard for me to equate a pipe organ to a Uke and make any sense of the lingo. It's hard enough to tap my foot, strum my Uke and shape the chord forms. :p

JessicaM
06-29-2016, 02:53 PM
I read your headline and thought you'd been playing so much uke that you'd made yourself psychotic! Ha.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fugue_state
Glad to hear it's just a question about lingo! :)

JackLuis
06-30-2016, 02:28 AM
I read your headline and thought you'd been playing so much uke that you'd made yourself psychotic! Ha.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fugue_state
Glad to hear it's just a question about lingo! :)

Well I am kind'a wandering around lost in music theory. I thought I had a classic Fugue figured out but after Ubulele set me straight, realize I had better just play my tunes and be happy.

I was trying to figure out how to shift Keys and thought that at least one of the chords had to be shared with the two keys to make the change,but E to A (up a fourth) seems to work, but A to D (up another fourth) doesn't seem to work as well? I'm trying to teach my 'ear' to identify notes and chords. Intervals are easier but specific notes are harder. Of course it didn't help that I was playing both G and C tuned ukes to get different 'voices', until Ubulele made me realize I didn't know what 'a voice' was in terms of a Fugue?

On the good news side, I have developed my dum- dum- diddley- dum-diddley dum strum down pretty good and may be able to play "An Agricultural Irish Girl" now. :D

Griffis
06-30-2016, 04:17 AM
I read your headline and thought you'd been playing so much uke that you'd made yourself psychotic! Ha.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fugue_state
Glad to hear it's just a question about lingo! :)

Ha--I had the same thought when I first saw the thread title. I do rather feel as tough I enter a fugue state when playing the ukulele. It beings me such happiness and washes away all the stresses and worries and little aches and pains of the day. Music is the best medicine I've ever found.

ubulele
06-30-2016, 04:56 AM
In terms of harmony, going up a fourth is the same as going down a fifth, the core of the oft-mentioned "fifths progressions", which are frequently chained together.

If the progression you're describing is in the key of E, then going E - A - D (I - IV - bVII) should sound just fine. The bVII is a very common chord in (Mixolydian-ish) tunes and songs, from rock to country to jazz. bVII often functions as a rootless Vm7, so the I - IV -bVII progression is analogous to I - IV - Vm7, and from it, you should be able to go anywhere a V chord would typically go. (The V chord in Mixolydian mode is naturally minor instead of major, though you'll find both bVII and major V used in the same piece.) In fact, a lot of songs just switch between I and bVII instead of I and V. For instance, most of the instrumental "Tequila" does this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfggi6j0V0Y
The guitar is mostly switching between these two chords, while the bass usually plays the "missing" V root behind the bVII chords.

If you actually are trying to change keys (from E to D), using A as an intermediate chord, that should sound fine, too, though the intervening chord is more frequently a seventh (E - A7 - D) to make the leading clearer. Come to that, you might use a seventh in a I - IV - bVII progression for the same reason.

Griffis
06-30-2016, 06:30 AM
@ubulele --

I would like to personally thank you for your edifying posts. I have learned so much from you. Much of it I may never consciously use, but it is great of you to take the time to share your deep knowledge of music and musical theory with us. On behalf of us all, it is appreciated!

JackLuis
06-30-2016, 07:52 AM
@ubulele --

I would like to personally thank you for your edifying posts. I have learned so much from you. Much of it I may never consciously use, but it is great of you to take the time to share your deep knowledge of music and musical theory with us. On behalf of us all, it is appreciated!

:agree:

I've been doing what you suggest by shifting Keys using a IV as a pivot (?) between them. I'll have to play it over and over to 'feel' the change. I'm trying to play more chords in a key to add some stretch to my doodling. Today I was going to try the same keys in minors to hear how that changes things. Music is fun once you get past all the lingo.:D

ubulele
06-30-2016, 06:47 PM
Music is fun once you get past all the lingo.:D

Embrace the lingo! It's how you can think of and communicate what you're hearing more clearly. You can say "motif" instead of "that repeat-y bit that comes in a little differently a lot of the time." Then there's "fugue," which sums up a hell of a lot with one word.

Fugal playing is hard to do on uke because you can't get much separation between the voices--they mush together, making them less discernible--and it's a challenge to play more than one quickly moving line of a melodic nature. That's why I have to use examples of other instruments instead.

Fugal writing may be easier to hear in Bach's three-part inventions: they're not quite as busy as the organ fugues (which may have up to five voices going on simultaneously!) and you can hear the high, middle and low voices taking turns in prominence.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uURgFiliOE0&list=PL1ymZmSe8N3cvDqqaGO6pC7zP5ECV6wGD&index=1

To contrast that with the more prevalent chordal writing, listen to madrigals, which mix the two styles: much of the writing is in chordal style, with all singers singing pretty much in lock step and one voice (usually the top) carrying the melody line while the others sing harmony; but then the voices will start staggering, either individually or in pairs, so that you'll have what sounds like two or more melodies playing against each other (the "counter" bit in "counterpoint"). For instance, in the following madrigal, the "up and down" bits are written in counterpoint, with each voice literally running up and down and trading off the musical focus/prominence like a hot potato:
Fair Phyllis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cE_7aqtgquo

Don't sell yourself short: you've progressed a long way in just 16 months. If you're beginning to think in terms of I - IV - V7 - vi, you're already ahead of many folks in musical understanding. After all, our brains don't hear music as being in specific, absolute keys: they hear it relative to tonal bases--change key and you'd still be playing the same piece. All the absolute chord names and pitches would change, but the relative structure would remain exactly the same, regardless of whether you're playing in C, A, F# or Rbb* with a codicil (this is a temperamental microtone between A and Bb with a concentrated mass that warps space-time, but pairs well with sturgeon).
The Key of R: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymAEvowPjyk

When changing keys, you don't necessarily need a pivot chord. Just as often a key change will be abrupt, with no preamble, or there will just be a jump to the V7 of the new key (leading to it's tonic chord). Suppose you were playing in D and you wanted to shift into Bb, a largely unrelated key. You could just play D - F7 - Bb. Neither of the latter chords--or even their roots--are native to the key of D. The change is a little surprising, but it doesn't sound rough because the seventh chord helps us anticipate that we're moving into a different key, and foreshadows what that key is. Smoother still is to lead in with iim - V7 - I of the new key (D - Cm - F7 - Bb). Of course, for nearby keys you could also just shift the tonic chord up or down by half-steps (D - D# - E, or analogously D - Eb7 - E7 - F7 - Bb).

Also note that in your first I-IV-V7-vi example (starting with E), the last chord should be named C#m instead of Dbm--played exactly the same way, of course, but the sixth note of the E scale (four sharps, no flats) is C#, right after B. That's the persnickety part of lingo and notation that isn't fun.

JackLuis
06-30-2016, 07:41 PM
AH, that's maybe why in my Key Chord chart all the fiddley chords are listed as #'s and not b's? I was wondering about that, my chord list has no #'s just flats and I had a confuse? But now it makes a bit of sense. I'm beginning to understand why there are #'S and b's, because of the intervals in scales, which I haven't really internalized yet. Scales have been low on my priority list because I'm stubborn that way, and have been chording rather than picking notes.

It is interesting that V7's do make the key transitions smoother, I had noticed that but thought I was probably wrong again. Probably I need to adjust my pivots to be V7's and not IV's or maybe use a IV7 as a pivot? Or, maybe pivot on V7 to the new root to shift down a fifth instead of up a fourth, it still is an abrupt change that throws the ear off a bit until you get through the root and then new IV, then the key has really changed, ear wise.

Music is interesting, a bit complicated, (he said in general understatement), but Fun when you get it right.

ubulele
06-30-2016, 10:13 PM
The reason V7's do that is because there are two half-step intervals in the scale pattern: between the 3rd and 4th notes, and between the 7th and the tonic. The tonic chord, the chord that has the most consonance and least tension (relative to the key), has both the tonic and the 3rd, and so these exert a "pull" on the 4th and 7th notes. In a V chord, its 3rd is the 7th note of the scale, and so that "voice" wants to pull up to the tonic. (This sometimes happens early, as in the progression V - Vsus4 - I.) In V7, the added 7th is the 4th note of the scale, which wants to pull downward to the 3rd, so the V7 chord has even stronger pull to the tonic. It also contains a dissonant tritone interval (diminished 5th) between the 3rd and the 7th--in fact, those two notes alone are sometimes sufficient to suggest the whole chord. That dissonant interval created tension, increasing the draw to the tonic chord for resolution and a release of tension. Tension and its release (resolution) are behind a lot of what goes on in music.

As you surmised earlier, in a key change progression like E - A(7) - D, the pivot chord assumes two interpretations at the same time. From the perspective of the original key (E), the progression E - A looks like a standard I - IV progression. From the perspective of the new key, A is a V chord leading to I. When you add the 7, however, you narrow the expectations: a IV chord is most often followed by a move back to I or a move to V, or less often a move to ii or vi (chords it shares two notes with) or to bVII (fifths progression). But outside of blues, you don't see IV7s much, and A7 has that strong pull to D, which would be bVII from the perspective of the old key. If bVII (or vm) hasn't appeared much in the old key, then when you hit this chord, there's a good expectation you're shifting tonality, specifically to D.

This discussion indicates one of the pitfalls of the relational I-IV-V type of notation: it's relative to the tonality (key) and mode, so how do you refer to things when the tonality is shifting?? If the shift is brief, you largely pretend it hasn't happened (hence notation like bVII or #I). But if the key change is more protracted or you're trying to shine the light on a cascading pattern, you may have to indicate the tonality shift more explicitly, like saying on the A7 chord "IV7=V7" (i.e. "this is a pivot chord in a tonality change") or "D:V7".

Similarly, in relative notation, major and minor scales have different third, sixth and seventh notes, so when you say VII in a minor key, you mean the equivalent of bVII in a major key, i.e. the major chord rooted a whole step rather than a half step below the tonic. This means that you don't have to write extra flats before the Roman numerals in minor keys, and much of the theory doesn't have to be specially qualified by mode, but it can be confusing.

JackLuis
07-01-2016, 06:52 AM
The reason V7's do that is because there are two half-step intervals in the scale pattern: between the 3rd and 4th notes, and between the 7th and the tonic. The tonic chord, the chord that has the most consonance and least tension (relative to the key), has both the tonic and the 3rd, and so these exert a "pull" on the 4th and 7th notes. In a V chord, its 3rd is the 7th note of the scale, and so that "voice" wants to pull up to the tonic. (This sometimes happens early, as in the progression V - Vsus4 - I.) In V7, the added 7th is the 4th note of the scale, which wants to pull downward to the 3rd, so the V7 chord has even stronger pull to the tonic. It also contains a dissonant tritone interval (diminished 5th) between the 3rd and the 7th--in fact, those two notes alone are sometimes sufficient to suggest the whole chord. That dissonant interval created tension, increasing the draw to the tonic chord for resolution and a release of tension. Tension and its release (resolution) are behind a lot of what goes on in music.

As you surmised earlier, in a key change progression like E - A(7) - D, the pivot chord assumes two interpretations at the same time. From the perspective of the original key (E), the progression E - A looks like a standard I - IV progression. From the perspective of the new key, A is a V chord leading to I. When you add the 7, however, you narrow the expectations: a IV chord is most often followed by a move back to I or a move to V, or less often a move to ii or vi (chords it shares two notes with) or to bVII (fifths progression). But outside of blues, you don't see IV7s much, and A7 has that strong pull to D, which would be bVII from the perspective of the old key. If bVII (or vm) hasn't appeared much in the old key, then when you hit this chord, there's a good expectation you're shifting tonality, specifically to D.

This discussion indicates one of the pitfalls of the relational I-IV-V type of notation: it's relative to the tonality (key) and mode, so how do you refer to things when the tonality is shifting?? If the shift is brief, you largely pretend it hasn't happened (hence notation like bVII or #I). But if the key change is more protracted or you're trying to shine the light on a cascading pattern, you may have to indicate the tonality shift more explicitly, like saying on the A7 chord "IV7=V7" (i.e. "this is a pivot chord in a tonality change") or "D:V7".

Similarly, in relative notation, major and minor scales have different third, sixth and seventh notes, so when you say VII in a minor key, you mean the equivalent of bVII in a major key, i.e. the major chord rooted a whole step rather than a half step below the tonic. This means that you don't have to write extra flats before the Roman numerals in minor keys, and much of the theory doesn't have to be specially qualified by mode, but it can be confusing.:rolleyes:

It will take me a few more months before I understand that. I probably need to play that to really understand it. One of the problems I have is that the descriptions/terminology of music is still alien to me. As a neophyte learning the terminology and hearing the notes/chords/progressions of the concepts is needed to understand from a tonality point of view (hearing).

I started this idea/thread/line of questioning because I was experimenting with strum variations. Not regular d-u-d-u but dum-diddly dum-dum diddly dee or rhythmic variation through a chord sequence and that lead me to Key changes and now I'm hip deep in Mode tonality! "What a long strange trip it been!" may have come from the study of music.

Thanks, I think:confused: But I had better get back to playing:music::cheers:

ubulele
07-01-2016, 12:06 PM
Yeah, reading back over what I wrote, it's denser and more technical than I intended it to be.

JackLuis
07-01-2016, 12:59 PM
Yeah, reading back over what I wrote, it's denser and more technical than I intended it to be.

I came back and reread that and it makes more sense than the first time I read it. I suppose it's because I played a few key changes trying different pivot chords and took a nap. This time it didn't hurt as much!:smileybounce:

JackLuis
07-02-2016, 07:34 AM
I didn't make any Key changes in my dance number (https://youtu.be/_yjZO37WFKg)but here is what I came up with for SOTU #228. It is just a E-A-B7, C#m arrangement. It is more an example of rhythm than tone. I didn't have too may oopies either, which was hard in the faster bits.