to sum up the big things yesterday, in advanced analysis, we were working on doing some set theory analysis of Schoenberg Op. 23 No. 2. the wonderfully stimulating assignment for the day had been to find all the [0 1 3], [0 1 4], and [0 3 6] trichords. well, for how much i use some ideas with set theory in my own composition, going through and labeling trichords may be the most mind-numbing exercise i know. I got through about 1 page...maybe...it was painful.
someone, with about 10 minutes remaining, asked the question that so many others had asked before; "What exactly is the point of this?" cause, seriously, what is the point?
Allen Forte would argue, one of the big reasons is to bring an objective approach to musical analysis. Also, it provides the theorist with a huge amount of indisputable evidence. here are 47 different instances of [0 1 3]. the next copious amount is of [0 1 4] and there are 34. therefore, [0 1 3] is the most important trichord.
There are lots of other parts of this, of course. I am being glib. however, the biggest part of it is doing all the analysis, starting with trichords, then tetrachords, then on and on, till you've analyzed every chord.
Now, again, there are portions i am skipping, but, to me, i don't feel like you have to do all that mind-numbing labor to reach the point of a piece. finding out how man [0 1 3]'s there are, doesn't particularly bring more meaning to the piece...to me.
As i've been working in this analysis class, the professor (i have attempted to keep names out of this blog unless its a specific book or article or something. mainly, cause i haven't asked anyone's permission. lol) makes a big deal out of relationships. Honestly, i wasn't sold on it at first, as we went through some early Schoenberg atonality (or pantonality, as he would have liked to call it). now, after stepping back into straight set theory, and wanting to tear my eyes out after an evening, i see the point. It's about finding meaning in pieces, right?
So, as we were discussing some set theory in class, the question of "what goes to what trichord" came up, when looking at a set of 4 notes. of course, the answer is "all trichords that happen during that moment are viable and, in fact, should be recorded." however, it's almost like a koan. for some, they saw "well, there is a three note chord in the LH and a single note in the RH, therefore it's melody and harmony, so the trichord is the LH and the RH is its own thing." i heard "well, but they are all in the same range (Eb Gb Bb in the LH with an A between the Gb an Bb in the RH), so all four notes should be considered a collection and analyzed as such."
so...the koan said to me "John, you care about texture a lot. and not about the written texture of melody/harmony, but the actual sonic landscape created." yeah, i kinda thought that before, but i answered the question off the cuff, at the spur of the moment, not much pre-thought outness (i had skipped the measure...cause it was all crazy and i couldn't find things, and i saw 4 notes and said "screw this." lol). And, i realized the moment i said it, that it was exactly how my perceptions lay.
i'm gonna do my final analysis paper all about texture mapping and finding relationships in a piece solely based on texture. Dunno how yet, but i'll do it.
Also, in forum, the best titles for pieces came out. I shall write "Taste the Rainbow" for Skittles, piano, and percussion. oh yes i will. there were many more, but i'm saving those for a special occasion.
as for today...well...
i didn't do much of anything. lol. i made an AWESOME dinner. Granola encrusted chicken stuffed with creamy swiss cheese, dried cherries, fresh rosemary, garlic, and Parmesan cheese served with angel hair pasta with homemade tomato sauce. AWESOME! and it only took about an hour to prepare. not bad
Other than that, i read an article on neo-Riemannian theory by Richard Cohn. a good friend of mine sent me this after i was discussing with him my framework for creating a cylinder based musical space containing. it was interesting, as i was only passingly familiar with the ideas. It also leads toward a nice way of looking at relationships between notes. starting to see a theme here? lol. it seems to be a big part of theory. :)
anyway, yeah, this cylinder containing a cloud based upon fixed lines from a fixed center point is intriguing. i need to work out the relationships part. how much of a change in pitch is point A to point B when point A and B are 22º apart on the circle, and both equally distant from the center point. yep yep...
Anyway, other than that, i figured out one reason the speakers in my TV were a bit noisy. cheap cable. I changed it with my personal cable (still cheap, but not AS cheap) and it was a lot less noisy. the noise floor is still too high for my taste, but they are 5 watt speakers in a monitor/tv. not exactly super high quality. lol. but good enough for my current movie watching taste.
Also, it's nice that i can still work through these problems. i may be doing it regularly again soon. probably. who knows...