Friday, March 25, 2016

6/4, Good Buddy

This week we covered the 6/4 chord, or some ways to use second inversion rooted in classical composition. Let's dive in!

1) First let's see if you can identify the different types. Below are 6 examples of auxiliary, passing, and cadential 6/4s. But which are which? Some have chord symbols to help, others don't.

2) Let's try some voicings. Below are some set-ups for various types of 6/4 chords. For each, I want you to tell me what each voice should be doing on the 6/4 chord itself. The first should be an auxiliary 6/4, the second passing, and the third cadential.

3) Finally... let's go for broke. The 6/4 chord is a classic figured bass technique, so let's try a figured bass exercise. below is a figured bass example that contains all three types of 6/4 chord. Try realizing it in four parts. Remember our four-part writing rules!

Good luck! Post your answers in the comments below or on the main video, and we'll see you next week!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Diminished 7th Modulations and the Swiss Army Pivot Chord

Not gonna lie, I've been waiting to make this video for about over a year now, and we finally got the chance to! Let's do some exercises to make sure you got it.

1) First we'll make sure you got the concept. Let's take a look at E diminished 7. For each of the 12 keys, what means do you have of pivoting through E diminished 7? Hint: Start by figuring out what the enharmonic chords are.

2) Now let's have a discussion question. Listening to the resolutions, were there any that didn't sound right? Any you think didn't really work? Or did they all sound good? Structurally speaking, does this make sense to you? Does it seem interesting? Surprising? How would you describe this phenomenon?

3) Finally, let's do a writing exercise. Taking what you've learned (including from previous episodes) try to write a progression that uses these to modulate. If you're feeling adventurous, maybe even modulate more than once. I'm not gonna tell you where to modulate to and from because part of the point is that you can go anywhere, so use whichever device feels right to you. I'd aim for 16 chords minimum, to let you establish both keys, but whatever works. If you can't play your progression, send it to me and I'll try to make you a demo.

And that's it! Put your answers in the comments below or on the main video, and we'll see you next week!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Counterpoint: Round The World

Hey guys! Today we finally started talking counterpoint! Not the most advanced counterpoint, certainly, but that's ok, we've gotta start somewhere. Let's talk rounds!

1) Let's start by talking about counterpoint. Had you heard of it before? If so, in what context? If not, what do you think of the idea? Either way, can you think of some examples you've encountered before?

2) Let's look at other rounds. Pick another round you remember and look up the melody. Analyze it like we did with Frere Jacques and see if you can figure out what the underlying chord progression is. Some of them only have one chord, others have way more. See what you can find!

3) Finally, let's try writing your own! It's not as hard as it sounds. We actually made a video demonstrating this, which you can watch here if you haven't already:

Just pick a chord progression you like and see what you can do with it. If you can't come up with one on your own, try this one:

Or use one of your own. Up to you! Good luck! As always, you can put your answers in the comments below or on the main video. See you next week!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Diminished 7ths: Tritones Taped To Tritones

Hi! This week we talked about one of my favorite chord types, the diminished 7th. Let's dive in!

1) Let's start by looking at symmetry. This is one of the most important aspects of diminished 7ths. So for each of the chords below, give me three other enharmonic diminished 7th chords, chords that would sound exactly the same.

  1. D diminished 7
  2. G diminished 7
  3. A diminished 7
  4. E diminished 7
2) Now let's look at common tone resolutions. Each of the resolutions below is either a dominant or common tone resolution. All you have to do is tell me which one each is. Be careful! I used some enharmonic chords so it's not always obvious what the true root is.

3) Finally, let's talk about sound. It's easy to get lost in its structure, but the diminished 7th chord also just has a pretty unique sound. Go back and listen to it. How does it make you feel? How would you describe the sound? What emotions would you use it to convey?

Put your answers in the comments below or leave them on the video, and we'll see you next time!