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We are. The following program is produced at WG U.S. in cooperation with the national educational radio network. Up the Down staff. Conversations on music with composers Scott Houston and Carolyn wiles of the University of Cincinnati.
What is it stuck to is not Mrs. Watts is the climax from the first movie this a baby this Symphony Number two that tease you a little bit. It does indeed I want to know what's going on from there I'll be for it. We will get to that soon. Remember our last talk. Number three we had stacked two major thirds. One on top of the other and achieve what we call an augmented triad because you remember the not perfect it was our direct method. Today if we stack two minor thirds. Third. All those are minor thirds. If we stacked one upon the other. Later a third another minor third. The sound of the Fifth. Is smaller than that of a perfect fifth by a half
step. One notices how important hearing knowledge of intervals becomes one to distinguish between a diminished fifth perfect fifth and omitted fifth. And pretty soon I hear it will become used to such a listening endeavor. So rather naturally this size of Triad and since that is a minor third of my many gifts is called a diminished triad. We hear that in the Mendelssohn wedding march that everybody knows. This chord here. There's a Bach chorale break forth. Oh beauty is having the light in the middle section goes. Or diminished. There's rather a an awkward piece by the reason I'm
hesitating just because I don't like to malign a living composer. But here is a piece I guess I won't mention his name that he wrote a piece for children called heavily and it's out of this. Engineer is grimacing because well let's just wait suppose be played as Mark plays on. And of course it begins and ends with a diminished tried. Another to review we have four types of triad. Remember we said there are only four major minor diminished and augmented are only those four and I'm real. We're only using three tones of the time and I'm using 4 but let's hear these four types or sizes or kinds of triads
in normal juxtapositions very close. All right. Juxtaposition. Yes well you know I may be a professor's word and no more gets to position here is normal. Hello. Can I knit closer than I do. But you can go see the hole. That's not a normal juxtaposition. That's very open. That's where you have let's hear him spread out that way with a pretended orchestration wide spaced with the tones doubled tripled and made more color. Here is one of the audience guess. And of metta try a flat. B natural to major. Pretend harmonic some string an English horn or oboe and a contra bassoon string bass. Well we
need a triangle in there possibly one more. Now that lever thing we just heard with all those. But all those instruments then back the normal sound on the piano Let's hear it right. That's a very important feature of the Renaissance you just touched on which opens up a whole new avenue which will close off immediately because it would take us another hour and a half to discuss that possibly while there's an augmented. Let's try mine are yours and mine are what we call normal position e.g. B. You can spread it out a thousand every way. To this text or. Not. Two Gs in the middle they may get harsh. That's Devinsky symphony of song's opening chord. It's just an E minor chord that doubles it doubles it in the.
Makes the outer strings seem very harsh. Here for instance is the same chord by Mozart. Very simple and everybody that it is really easy and they do. The same in every position. But it's a little harsher because of the. So on. Well there is a major and added and a minor. Let's try a major part. On a position proposed solution. Mutant string from him to his mother's to my already you know stylistically. This could not be by Beethoven. Just doubling. It went up a lot. That's better than you know MySpace you know what the musicians call
texture. It wouldn't be that kind of text because I remember years and years ago when I first studied theory and how many they said one of the cardinal sins was to double the third that is that that a key tone in the middle that was that's proper You see for this kind of a position you know double thirds specially contrapuntal because of the harmonic series on its own which conflicts with the harmonic series I. Get this but if you do it artistically and with color with orchestration. It's all beautiful. Are. The root of the trouble. There are two of them. And two thirds. Nobody objected. See this review we had to major in a minor. We need they augmented. Nobody diminished. There we go. You're diminished now and closer in our position. Everything
they see. At the end of a short time. You. And I will see about. That takes away almost all the business. That's because it was so unfinished and I'm comfortable when you first fight I'm going to do this way. That's where the year is up. That isn't bad but when you put the three of them right together that was that was very upsetting. That's right. That's very harsh. Well he's been called a devil in music you know. Triads does not always exist as you might understand but they're implied as early as the tenth century. Here's the way the tension to a song that only used two parts but they might go. You imply that something is in the air you still there it. That's right. You know 11th century England they used to do that.
DNA passed through and went through F. And you implied the essay The implication was there but the card was not. It sounds more full in the 14th century. We're skipping 300 here it's very easy to do and you get such a technique is this. Sort of trying. To show. You here when this train went. And you hear the double leading tone to G in the C Sharp goes to. Is called Forward owner falls back in a succession of triads And first can vary. Thought that about you. But the not really you just triads until the advent of opera about
16:00 with Perry and Jeannie and then you know the triad was a full entity because all of the post had to do was write C in the bass clef and no other note and the real eyes or the figured bass usually the harpsichord would play. And you know we should play this new by understanding you want to see why the root of the C e.g. if this c you were in the bass and there were a 6 below what he'd know that C was the third of the chord so we play. A minor. I think that's that's a whole lot of area get it makes an awful lot of difference in the sound but I think that for our purposes when we talk about interesting I will get can't get into what enough it is terribly important what a difference it makes and one can hardly over exaggerate. Just like saying the difference between two kinds of women's haircuts you know how you'll see a woman one day and she'll look nice and the
next day you hardly recognize her she had her hair reshaped. Well that's a kind of inversion I expect. But it was no laughter to have him say it was there it is. Well until 66 right. If I really knew there was a tribe now they're all implied before here for example is a composition written about 15 20 and there's definitely a triad in almost every beat. Beautiful just going to pray that we must go on. Some of our listeners are already asking themselves if their words can be stacked to form triads of a root the third in the fifth. Why can't some daring composer add another add on top. That's what I was going to do a while ago you were and yes I wanted to find out what happened and call the result a seventh card.
Of course it was done to more than 300 years ago by a giant of a composer named a very in an opera or fail. I remember this had never been done before here was a kind of progression that Montevarchi might have used. And there was a singer going on above it will. Bore you or offend you by saying. Here's the thing that was unusual. You're no seventh chords in there yet. Not here it is. It seems so tame today but in sixteen hundred and seven as opposed to say 16 underdogs that was an extremely daring thing to do
the critics said you can't do that this is bad music. Would you try that secret Jessamine again sent away to a minor chord. And then we take the seventh card which I'll explain in a minute. And we don't even prepare the seventh heaven we just attack it as if we were prepared and as you might guess I suppose I said this in my new piece and I go. And say horrible. Well you're right. You get the picture. The first seventh chord in music history appeared in 16 0 7 not a very dim view of the major triad added a minor third on the top. We're now able to identify that seventh as a minor seventh. And this particular seven car began life in the 16th century as a combi out of town or as a passing dog. And was a shocker to the audience of nearly 800 hundreds when they listened to Beethoven's
First Symphony. I was about eighteen hundred. What did you see. Mozart and Haydn would advertise a symphony in G major in the First Corps but always. Or had a slow introduction and B minor. To me and. So forth but the first card was always on the tonic of the proper key. Here's a Beethoven symphony number one in C major in the first chord is. No one. Finished yet the dominant and he goes so. You have it the tonic. Yeah. That is so the could be I'm reading meters a bad piece of wood and how to write is a crude young man and dismiss him and that's the beginning and that's a big if that's because by that time is a fairly common seventh chord and time of
heightened Mozart in our time the seventh chords is common assault on food or taxes. You hear it all the time in fact. Here's the last part of one of our talks pieces. Just the last part of a certain movement. Get out of Rhode Island what we associate with Gershwin and the blue eyes. Oh yeah it's very common. So we won't spend much time on it but as time goes on with come back to it. And by the time we're finished you realize it is truly calm. Another time a seventh car which appeared rather early in music consists of a minor triad with a minor third added above the fifth. And they have to perfect the interval from root to seventh with a minor seventh recall our Electra Number two is a major seventh heaven
but the effect is totally different from the dominance of dominant dominant. Whoops what did you do. I put a hold. On your ears and say I don't think enough to go that far. This has a poll that everyone did not very good. The minor seventh was that was totally different. And different in such a way that extremely powerful. A few examples of fiction are yours first from a Beethoven Piano Sonata E-flat major first chord first quarter is not tonic. It's a super tiny and beautifully said it. Has an acoustical explanation farden pressure should get into it but I will mention one thing.
The fifth and it are both perfect. There is not a diminished fifth row minute that the major third is in the middle a tender locked by two minor third one of the bottom top so it really has no place to go unless your function that was beat that was Beethoven. I'm going to. Go on. And the second example we have is when the well-known opera she lay on Cavallo the was the fire.
Was. I mean look at. Him and I like that I suppose that's what we just heard that some minor minor seventh card. I don't think anything ever sounded like that before since the way he gets that they asked him. Oh and with everything that goes on either side of it and it has suddenly come out with that many many good friends of course it is about such compositions. I don't I you know I enjoy music for music sake not because it's egghead or operatic because it's written for organ. I avoid all cliques.
Let's take another seven card and see what happens here to an augmented triad which you remember from last talk. Let's add a minor third on top. And what happens. Remember I had this in very close position. Now. The augmented tried again. And then you were a minor. Which from the top to the bottom majors and majors not in layers. Our listeners agree that it sounds unusual. It is very rare. But listen to the sound that emerges and may add a major third on top of the hour minute drive. A major third major They're going to make it the same as a major
top to an octave above them. As major thirds that only two thirds a week and you can't get away from it if you go I don't keep it like all the same. May just want to give us a sort of just give induction of each one the same distance apart from the other. Like to hear a particular example of this kind of. I won't resolve it just to see how Bach handled it in the chromatic fantasy in a few. You see how that chord really was not a chord.
That you know about this way. Without it. So it really wasn't a chord all of that because it's been you know paired my consonants and then becomes dizzy and then receive one of the portions of I'm just out here and you called it our attention. Number two was how different composers use the same song on an entirely different way. Now this could be a sound and I'm from Ravel. But in this chord has to function in the temporary key of A minor So you know. You can go anywhere. Did I hear that sound. And the the famous More lies sonata
of Beethoven as I think it says as mine it's very close it's very close. To letter. Now let's try adding a minor third on top of the diminished triad diminished Dr. O's position. We had a minor third. Whole another seventh chord which presidents of to infinity. It's a complete circle and next to me I'm going to say you take a diminished chord at that with each interval the same distance it was hard. Everybody's not going to start right on any one of those notes and it's still going to come out to see I hot and very useful for modulation Wouldn't it be because you can spoil it for everybody that's what you're going to do it with you but you have to diminish the old minor third and a diminished seven years Heres a major seventh minor seventh
the middle one could say the augmented tried. With the top with a third of the top as a circle and one can say that the mini seventh is also a circle and very very calm. Let me illustrate how quickly you can module a pair with a diminished seventh from the Mozart symphony number 40. The end of the exposition section we've had one two three themes ends this way. Look we went from B flat major to a sharp minor about as far away as you can get in one court room before it made back the dominant of G minor. Now the next card. Is a diminished seventh. We're going to go.
Why it didn't go to whom with C. We can use that of the main told to go. And that we don't know. In the meantime I got after I might. Be. Making fun of rice it's on but but really I need to learn a 30 or so up book came out. One of the theory books so common in the time that said a gentleman composes Please do not modulator diminished seventh is already a cliche. Oh it had been done it so often by Beethoven himself. And because there are many more seventh Corps. But we shall limit ourselves to just a few. One more common seventh chord is constructed from a diminished triad. Third man there to many to which we had a major third.
On top of this seventh chord is especially attracted to composers and is very expressive. It's one of the few Chinese favorites. Let's listen to it in this a Bally s second symphony first movement. Listen
eat the eat. Eat. Eat. The very top of the time ice cream occurred dischord. Minus minus. Any shift. A minor 7. That's cold in parlance by musicians half diminished. It was on the go to hear it was another happening. And from there to be one later. In the sequence is the tune. Of another half the
mission. Plan to go to G flat major and on the second. We have time for one more example I think I need a busy afternoon of Fong which begins with a beautiful flute solo here where you know I think the card exactly that it's spelled every But the same type of chords a half to many seventh day sharp C Sharp sharp word days of Alias. If we resolve that same chord we hear or to hear. This is the way Davis here is all you hear in the view of orchestration. The key was to comment on when something moves the inner ones up a half step
and changes the color of the orchestration. You're. We'll return in a conversation or two to review the seventh chord you have just spoken about and one or two more. Touch lightly on their importance and tease you with the suggestion of the possibility of adding a third to the seven chords and thus involving the chord of the ninth.
Up the down staff
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Stacking the Seventh Chords - the Agitators
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Chicago: “Up the down staff; 4; Stacking the Seventh Chords - the Agitators,” 1971-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 21, 2021,
MLA: “Up the down staff; 4; Stacking the Seventh Chords - the Agitators.” 1971-00-00. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 21, 2021. <>.
APA: Up the down staff; 4; Stacking the Seventh Chords - the Agitators. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from