Jump to content


Photo

Learn Thirds, Sixths, And Tenths Urges Alf Edwards


  • Please log in to reply
38 replies to this topic

#19 Rod

Rod

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1051 posts

Posted 25 October 2017 - 06:43 AM

Being a slave to dots on paper and musical theory is no more creative than painting by numbers.

#20 MJGray

MJGray

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 26 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Homewood, AL

Posted 25 October 2017 - 06:44 AM

Most of the concertina tutors from the 1800's exclusively show the parallel harmony style (when they show anything other than just melodies), so it's a very old way of playing the instrument. Dan Worrall's books on the history of the Anglo also emphasize that playing in octaves was probably the most common way to play in many places around the world.

 

It's also easier than the um-pah style, which a dabbler like me appreciates. I can improvise a parallel accompaniment which harmonizes just fine, but I'm not good enough yet to knock out a more complex arrangement on the fly. If I had to pick one thing that the Anglo seems designed to make easy, it would be harmony.



#21 Don Taylor

Don Taylor

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1114 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 25 October 2017 - 08:26 AM

we need to encourage ourselves re the use of parallel fifths anyway I reckon, mixing counterpoint with a more "folky" approach to accompaniment


Perhaps this is what distinguishes a fiddler from a violinist?



#22 Wolf Molkentin

Wolf Molkentin

    Ineluctable Opinionmaker

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2651 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Baltic coast, Schleswig-Holstein

Posted 25 October 2017 - 08:30 AM

 

we need to encourage ourselves re the use of parallel fifths anyway I reckon, mixing counterpoint with a more "folky" approach to accompaniment


Perhaps this is what distinguishes a fiddler from a violinist?

 

Exactly!  B)

 

(guess I should have said "squeezer" then instead of "concertinist")



#23 Jody Kruskal

Jody Kruskal

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1604 posts
  • Location:New York City

Posted 25 October 2017 - 07:09 PM

With this topic in mind, I observed myself playing at a nice Old Time session here in Brooklyn last Monday. There were eight of us, me on Anglo, two fiddles, banjo, bass and three guitars.

 

This is the sort of session where we played very few standards but rather tunes that only one of us really knew. Everyone picked the tunes up on the fly. In doing that I found myself just listening the first time through with perhaps a note or two played quietly. Then the second and third times, I would play just one or two note chords to figure out the harmonic structure. No need to play Um Pa with the bass and guitars taking care of keeping the rhythm going. Then I would add in bits of melody as I learned them and only then could I start with the thirds and octave playing that became most of what I was doing for the remaining times through.



#24 Wolf Molkentin

Wolf Molkentin

    Ineluctable Opinionmaker

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2651 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Baltic coast, Schleswig-Holstein

Posted 26 October 2017 - 04:47 AM

Re playing in octaves - it's obviously not contributing to the harmony, at least when applied throughout a tune, or phrase - but it's an incredibly effective way of adding to the sound, emphasizing etc., be it the piano, the concertina or whatever.

 

As it not comes that easy on the EC, I should put much more effort in exercising octave playing (I keep saying this to myself in awhile, but am now furthermore aspiring to find some use for the extra high notes of the extended treble hereby... B) ).



#25 wayman

wayman

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 236 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:Sheffield, UK

Posted 26 October 2017 - 04:50 AM

Everyone picked the tunes up on the fly. In doing that I found myself just listening the first time through with perhaps a note or two played quietly. Then the second and third times, I would play just one or two note chords to figure out the harmonic structure. No need to play Um Pa with the bass and guitars taking care of keeping the rhythm going. Then I would add in bits of melody as I learned them and only then could I start with the thirds and octave playing that became most of what I was doing for the remaining times through.

 

This is why I don't get on well at all with Irish sessions - it tends to be twice or three times through the tune and never ever more, at the ones I've attended. That's barely enough for me to get beyond "bits of melody" before the tune is over; I haven't gotten the tune, gotten a chance to enjoy it, or learned anything at all that carries over to the next time the tune might come up in a future session.

 

English sessions or Manx sessions, by contrast, tunes go on for six or more times through, sometimes lots more. Actual learning happens! To the point that it's FUN!



#26 Jody Kruskal

Jody Kruskal

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1604 posts
  • Location:New York City

Posted 26 October 2017 - 06:23 AM

I'm with you there. It seems to me that most Irish sessions are primarily for the initiated and exclude those who aren't. If you don't already know the tune then there is no time to learn it on the spot. I know lots of Irish tunes so I get on fine at an Irish session, but they are not my preference.

 

The sessions I like, seem to spend considerable time with a tune, perhaps with 7 to 15 times through it, so that learning can occur and the music can develop. Medleys don't happen at Old Time sessions at all, it's always one tune at a time and we play it 'till we're done with it. Sometimes we even play around with dynamics and levels of intensity. Then afterward, there is often detailed discussion about where the tune is from and early recorded sources and variations identified that can be followed up later on you own. I like that.

 

I like Irish tunes just fine but not Irish sessions so much for these reasons. On the other hand, I rather like Irish whisky. Eh?


Edited by Jody Kruskal, 26 October 2017 - 06:36 AM.


#27 Don Taylor

Don Taylor

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1114 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 26 October 2017 - 07:53 AM

 On the other hand, I rather like Irish whisky. Eh?

As a Jameson drinker myself I have to correct your spelling.  If it is Irish then it is whiskey.



#28 wayman

wayman

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 236 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:Sheffield, UK

Posted 26 October 2017 - 08:44 AM

 

 On the other hand, I rather like Irish whisky. Eh?

As a Jameson drinker myself I have to correct your spelling.  If it is Irish then it is whiskey.

 

 

As a Scot, I have to observe that whisky is superior to whiskey!  :lol:



#29 RAc

RAc

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 407 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Southern Germany

Posted 26 October 2017 - 11:09 AM

 

 

 On the other hand, I rather like Irish whisky. Eh?

As a Jameson drinker myself I have to correct your spelling.  If it is Irish then it is whiskey.

 

 

As a Scot, I have to observe that whisky is superior to whiskey!  :lol:

 

 

very true so (speaking as a Kraut). I used to be a Whiskey afficion...affoci...affin... liker, but a visit to Scotland convinced, aer, conceived, uhm, converted me. Nothing like a Speyside Single Malt of which, needless to say, there are too many to choose from and too many different tongues to make universal recommendations (except the one to stay away from blends). I am particular to Cragganmore and Glenfarclas at this point, but can enumerate a number of respectable humans who prefer Isle drams.

 

Here https://www.youtube....h?v=zuqt2t7NSGk is a very fitting musical contribution to the issue; however, the topic at hand is musically so valuable that I kindly request to return to the topic's subject, no?

 

Thanks!



#30 Don Taylor

Don Taylor

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1114 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 26 October 2017 - 07:10 PM

Example 1: In the key of C, if the chord in the song is C and the melody goes CDEDC___   you might want to play the third above as your parallel harmony, so you would simultaneously play EFGFE____. That is playing two notes at a time starting with the interval of a major third.


So this example surprised me because I thought that the harmony should be below the melody line.  Is there not a danger that doing this will establish the harmony as the new melody line?

 

I did try this and it sounded nice but I wonder how long you can play a harmony line above a melody line without losing the original melody?

 

You are only recommending doing this with thirds above the melody line so maybe this is the reason it works, maybe anything bigger than a third would open the gap between the harmony and melody too much for the melody to survive.



#31 David Barnert

David Barnert

    Ineluctable Opinionmaker

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3065 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Albany, NY, USA

Posted 26 October 2017 - 08:17 PM

Being a slave to dots on paper and musical theory is no more creative than painting by numbers.

 

I agree completely, but the operative word here is “slave.” Don’t allow yourself to be fooled into denying that both notation and theory can make playing music immensely satisfying if you put in the effort to learn how to use them correctly. Once you have a firm grasp of them, then you can ignore them all you want.



#32 RAc

RAc

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 407 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Southern Germany

Posted 27 October 2017 - 03:32 AM

 

Example 1: In the key of C, if the chord in the song is C and the melody goes CDEDC___   you might want to play the third above as your parallel harmony, so you would simultaneously play EFGFE____. That is playing two notes at a time starting with the interval of a major third.


So this example surprised me because I thought that the harmony should be below the melody line.  Is there not a danger that doing this will establish the harmony as the new melody line?

 

I did try this and it sounded nice but I wonder how long you can play a harmony line above a melody line without losing the original melody?

 

You are only recommending doing this with thirds above the melody line so maybe this is the reason it works, maybe anything bigger than a third would open the gap between the harmony and melody too much for the melody to survive.

 

 

The way I read Jody's statement (though it's certainly biassed from the point of view of a duet player) is that the thirds above or below are relative to the octave below the melody. So your "off the shelf" parallel line would be the octave below the melody, thus the third above that reference would be a sixth below the melody, and the third below that reference would be the tenth below the melody.

 

For a duet player this is fairly straightforward, because the keyboard layouts on the left and right are identical, just an octave apart, so the "reference" (octave parallels) are simply the right hand melody repeated on the left with the identical fingering. Shifting this by a third up or down on one side is a great exersize (yielding sixth and tenth below the melody as described above), and it works musically too (hope to be able to crank out a recording for demo some time this weekend). As little as I understand about the anglo layout, it's probably more of a brain teaser even?

 

Thanks all for that valuable information, that's certainly a very good complement to Ooohm-Paa!

 


Edited by RAc, 27 October 2017 - 03:37 AM.


#33 Wolf Molkentin

Wolf Molkentin

    Ineluctable Opinionmaker

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2651 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Baltic coast, Schleswig-Holstein

Posted 27 October 2017 - 04:11 AM

The way I read Jody's statement (though it's certainly biassed from the point of view of a duet player) is that the thirds above or below are relative to the octave below the melody. So your "off the shelf" parallel line would be the octave below the melody, thus the third above that reference would be a sixth below the melody, and the third below that reference would be the tenth below the melody.


He'd be mentioning both IMO, and rightly so. Harmonizing with notes above the melody line is very common, esp. for vocal harmony. On a concertina it will be difficult not to drown out the melody then as basically all notes sound at the same volume. However, it can be done even by a soloist, as f.i. Jody's playing shows.

Another thing would be higher notes in the style of (fiddle) double stops - like a passing drone, but above the melody. I'm including these (mostly a fifth or octave above the keynote) in my own playing from time to time, and really like it.

#34 Don Taylor

Don Taylor

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1114 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 27 October 2017 - 07:53 AM

Another thing would be higher notes in the style of (fiddle) double stops - like a passing drone, but above the melody. I'm including these (mostly a fifth or octave above the keynote) in my own playing from time to time, and really like it.


Another harmonization option I did not know about. Thanks Wolf.

This has been a really informative thread. Great stuff, thanks all around.

 

Are there any more options to explore?



#35 Jim Ventola

Jim Ventola

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts

Posted 27 October 2017 - 02:02 PM

Being a slave to dots on paper and musical theory is no more creative than painting by numbers.

Surely that's true.

Luckily, it's not a binary choice. I doubt the "dots" have inhibited creativity any more than the printed word has, though the invention of writing did indeed lead to a decline in certain oratorical and poetic skills, apparently.



#36 Wolf Molkentin

Wolf Molkentin

    Ineluctable Opinionmaker

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2651 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Baltic coast, Schleswig-Holstein

Posted 01 November 2017 - 12:37 PM

 

Being a slave to dots on paper and musical theory is no more creative than painting by numbers.

Surely that's true.

Luckily, it's not a binary choice. I doubt the "dots" have inhibited creativity any more than the printed word has, though the invention of writing did indeed lead to a decline in certain oratorical and poetic skills, apparently.

 

As David has already pointed out: it's good and productive to have these skills and knowledge (which may come as rather practical and a matter of playing routine anyway) and then decide; it always strikes me as odd when during a workshop alternate chording is introdced (starting with the "iii" chord; f.i. e-minor for a tune in C-major, which in fact can sound like a revelation at some point) and is evoking spontaneous amazement by many - it can and should become part of one's playing as an option, and then there's of course no urge to apply a certain variant in each and every tune, which expectably would make the whole thing dull again.

 

Re the dots, I use to work with lead sheets which provide the melody as single main feature and then let you work on even complex chording without ending with fixed sheet music...






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users