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The following program is produced at WG U.S. in cooperation with the national educational radio network. The downed staff. Were conversations on music composer Scott Houston and Carolyn watts of the University of Cincinnati. Carolyn our last topic concluded by introducing a fact of musical life. But the progression just heard proves that. Dean is the tonic or center of the major that all the cards after leaving the tonic gravitate to that one most important chord in the key.
Remember I'm using just triads no seventh or ninth chords. Now let's hear the same progression played in the Parallel minor D minor. And you did it by prayer. Mind you mind you on the same scale same scale degree what do you suppose he's doing right. That sounded to something really simple but it isn't. It can be very simple. One listens to popular music today it's extremely simple but you realize that there are triads and each one of the scale degrees of this.
That's what I just ask you. Would you demonstrate that it is a triad on each scale degree like a key of D major. You see I do that in D major and I was good in the minor. One can stop anywhere and make it to now any of it because the root of each triad proceeds up or down by seconds. Again. Something like a
second a second second never stop there and come to know it if you want to stop. But I do get saying a second or second less just makes you second. What do you mean by second. We were talking about that in one of our first shots of the interval of a second interval of a second interval is the difference in pitch between two tongs this is a major second act. OK now also one of the things I like to clarify. That's what I might call home base and this is what they say and they come back to base. I think you called it some other time as if you're really a blanket but in my first progression you see. Do you read if you know that again or don't you. Yes if we move the triads then by root movement of a fifth or second we can produce the key feeling or
tonality very easily. Let's try another key and I'll come back that person later this is the key. Maybe you're trying now and I want to show that this is the tonic or key center of the major. Watch and exaggerate the roots is not musical. Let me exaggerate the tonic anywhere. Right now up a second. Listen the downside of a proof of that is timing. It once again. Never the time to go anywhere so we go to the four now and the second. And down there. We can even slip in now and then the route number of a third without destroying the canal and in this he Major again won your third.
But remember one didn't go anywhere. It was down five of. Us into the third. And you can go up a second. And then down by the. Way. I want to fly recording for you from Handel's Messiah. The chorus surely has borne our griefs and I want you to listen and see what a master composer does to make the key not quite so obvious right. The worry with. A lot.
Of that was they are Was there one. Of my favorite compositions of course. We begin in F Minor and we used this card to go to this key which then appeared to be and became a part of this. Why didn't you tell me different. It's related to course but it's still different but now I'm in no pain and going from one to the other not a top and then the next talk will talk about that how to modulating. Then we can. The chorus that. You just heard going from FIA was this little thing here. And we might do it in the street.
And that's where the chorus came in again. It is difficult to find even in the Baroque period supposedly the tonal period a passage in a very strict root movement that always produces key that's the kind of music that is without changing. We heard in just that well as you were when you're going up the scale of first time the triad in every key that that was really dull and unpleasant to hear and I was going to ask you about that. Welcome back to it. And very soon to our deduction is then quite simple key feeling or tonality is produced when the roots of the chords move down a fifth or up a fourth story of platinum and most of the time it is up a fifth or down a fourth most of the time up a second to last off and up or down a third least often. Remember this.
Where is the key there. You don't prove it told me if you know something but there is no center. Oh yeah I just got out of sight out of sight I think I want to once the tonic chord is reached. The composer could go anywhere and here's the example I played at the beginning of this chat in the room. This time I couldn't go anywhere. I was in the room with Down 5 improve the D major. Tonic is there going to vary from the time I emphasize that because OK. Here is the root of the genome. How does that go up a second. And then down a step. That's an action I played member again. Connick is not involved in the root movement so much because you can go anywhere in the tonic.
So your time again still be major. Go up a third down flat. And once again there is. No answer me. If you're in the center you know whether Gord it's because of that it's because the fifth the root movement and then again just like and less often the third there is a very comfortable and light about that. It matters a great deal of the do the harmonic series which goes back to Pythagoras 500 B.C. something I was just studying in class this morning. This relationship between the final the final and. How it works out in the Bach few admittedly the progression
just heard might be judged a little duck. Let's live in one of them with just a few inversions versions here have you again. Let's hear it when I was trying on the key I'm tired of that when I play like Jimi. It is with the room the. First inversion of the burden of the bass. It's. Moving. I want to do and. That's I think the base of the root of the base rather moved it up so the third became the base like the one in the base of what is out of it instead to put the word. That means to you and you've turned your lives here and it really turned upside down the whole car but just the Route 30. Now here is the gift of the day. You agreed a long time ago almost everybody as well as I'm here. That's got to go home. Oh it's got to go.
Right. Those are just a few of the inversions would do the later of course again I want to talk about the different game and use that same kind of a chord progression in E major. Remember that's a tonic and it can go anywhere. Right. I will repeat that and repeat that and repeat dented finally you agree by rote the time I can go anywhere. Did you notice that I maneuvered one seventh chord and there is an inversion. The other inversion. It's not a left down the new cut coming out of that succession of triad is going up and I want you to notice I snuck in a seventh chord and I did notice it. Good. Just for curiosity. Let's see how the style changes when we
add segments to Arlo's tried anything like what I've been playing is basically baroque. Listen I had a seventh just each chord. Now that that last is the tonic but with the seventh major seventh it's right it's very nice but can you leave it in a certain style we can which is my next point. Like the sounds are quite different in the progression from Palestrina or bought by Beethoven or brown in fact the addition of sevens to each triad brings us very close to the 20th century. Brahms died in 1997 who was the first one to you is that
sad. Well there were a number of firsts and I do you know the old daddy tell us you have no seventh chords just sounded like this. Or in passing. But it wasn't considered part of the calling. No in fact you recognize that the general rule about distance in the whole of the Renaissance is it must be either prepared like a suspension or in passing. You can't come to a chord and go. And let it hang together and do it you don't want a varity. Died in 1897 as I said a not even brown did use all the seven chords and every note in the key and that was just two generations ago. Let's listen to some short samples of music written by each of the giants I mentioned a minute ago. First from Palestrina as pope.
MARCH OF US mass. With the OS the point. Heavy wet it. Oh all. The all
you noticed Karen of course it was entirely vocal over no instruments involved. There were six vocal parts which made it sound rather dense and you probably had trouble distinguishing each word. This is intentional on the part of the composer when he wants it. He knows that most of his listeners know of the text of the masses ie the Newsday Lamb of God. Every Nobody said cetera so. So what was he doing is the purpose was it. Need to include anything but to be noble about it and this is a renaissance ideal. You didn't care about Tex so much delineation of text in the Baroque period of course they insisted on the text so that you just one single line. This is for Palestinians to as you say to evoke something out of feeling that you were you were and what you are than the individual words in the modern I mean you're like oh cool
very cool because a later generation when you get the words a right nobody's have mercy on us they were said in a much more dramatic sense and Ballister just said. So it's remote viewing it on the net later because that's really not the point I want to make which is there was no function in that piece. Now let's hear a short excerpt from the Mass in B minor of J.S. Bach. Are God.
Going Nevers in the Gars that is a few good vocal few in the mass and the mind of the first section carrying. I will not attempt to destroy it by playing it on the piano of course but I simply point out that as a complete example of a perfect example of function which is what we're talking about the relationship of chords to a key which is mostly by Fifth and up a second. I think getting that music and if you forget that's looking for nobody I want nobody to listen to the Curia be my upper second you understand at first and then you just simply enjoy it not in a hedonistic sense and not my theoretical sense at all but your music your musical journey will be enhanced because you know what an interval is because you know how hard to
move. Well this is what I found so interesting about that. There's this great feeling but how was it as you said you were the first if you ever wanted to do a do it yourself. I'd like to know how it's done and that's laugh and play good. Now let's hear a taste from Beethoven's Opus 95 string quartet second movement. Now he started with the U.S..
Which is one of the reasons why I told the progression and beginning the talk because there's a key but he goes. Off and there he goes. You might expect them back to the state he was just in the middle of your six more visit he. Wrote. Never. Mind. You know I want to hear and really think I had no realization. But he did by much but made the piece beautiful. The chord progressions I'm playing really I distinctly extracted from other pieces because I'm not at him and I would tear apart the Brahms Something number one and I'm having it. You listen to it just for one think how quickly one note can change the entire spectrum of key first team of course you
know in the dominant C minor. And eventually modulation you hear. You hear the orchestra which direction. Lick. Lick. Lick. Lick. Just to take over the whole thing. Well back to the attic piano again to
demonstrate progress. That's one seventh chord I snuck in out of the seven chords again. But the. Sadness called you just ended on is a little different from the first one you entered. Really it isn't the same. I know I know I know. The richest seventh chord harmony is bad when you hear it function like that. So the seventh chords on each note call for new textures new rhythms new melodic lines. Let's hear the beginning of Frederic dealy is a fine little work on hearing the first cuckoo in spring. It begins with. A magazine that eliminates the 19th century. The whole 19th century and the second quarter.
Let's hear it now. I am. I am I am I am. You see what I mean now. You said using the tonic center like it's impossible isn't like so what I said is prude now would you go I did you said about the 19th century the 19th. Thank you you know this card that is as a first card as the identical robot in other ways as the opening and then eliminate. It.
I will say come out flatly and say eliminates the time I did centuries I'd have to be 20 years into this from. This point to back that first card. I mean as a first card was new in eighteen hundred. They don't begin with the way that I want to sit down and step. And right now let's review for a second major third minor minors the dominant So let's return for a moment. They want to vibrate drab progressions we played earlier and enliven it by using judiciously. A few tones that are not in the key or scale of the tonic center. Here is an F major. Almost corridor and row position and I think a B dollars although it does show the rhythm. All right let's listen to this. If you want variations.
The progression you just heard our functional That is they were moved by a group movement of second or dumped me down a fifth or up a second and that was essentially the same as theirs first and they were exactly the same except the second one used inversions and it had more forward motion a more unsettled feeling than the first. Now I make the chords move even better. We go up. Again. You assume you knew I guess the reason I made it my interesting let me go
running out of time and I hate that but then the last chord progression began and ended in F Major but was propelled forward by the use of first and second inversions and by three tones not in the key and here we go. Here is F major. And G and I used the job by. The natural rights for an. Flat seventh all these towns make the harmony want to go somewhere and one can draw a clear distinction between a first class composer and an also ran at least in the Baroque period 16:50 to 1750. By the way in which he uses or does not use the altered cards you've been listening to up the down staff conversations on music with
composer Scott Houston and Carolyn Watts. Our technical director is Bob Stevens and. This program was produced in cooperation with the national educational radio network in the studios of WG U.S. on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. This is the national educational radio network.
Up the down staff
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We Progress So Do Chords - The Motivators
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Chicago: “Up the down staff; 6; We Progress So Do Chords - The Motivators,” 1971-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 29, 2024,
MLA: “Up the down staff; 6; We Progress So Do Chords - The Motivators.” 1971-00-00. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 29, 2024. <>.
APA: Up the down staff; 6; We Progress So Do Chords - The Motivators. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from