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The following program is produced at WG U.S. in cooperation with the national educational radio network. The down staff. Conversations on music with composer Scott Houston and Carolyn Weiss of the University of Cincinnati. The words you are about to hear are connected to sounds. Sounds you can get away from and sounds you cannot avoid. The discussion which follows will attempt to explain some of those sounds. Without pretense without prejudice without rivers of words but perhaps with a trickle of understanding. Mrs. Watson I wish simply to unravel some mysteries. Explain a few enigmas. And lead you toward the realization
that there is logic behind all music of whatever age that music has developed gradually and will continue to develop. We hope that we shall have contributed to your understanding of the art of sound. Your understanding will be enhanced if while listening to this series you are seated at a keyboard or with a simulated keyboard of your own design in front of you. We begin our simple explanation with the word interval and you understand what interval is yes and I want to ask you one question back to Houston and that is Lee do you encode Unlocker the of course would include rock. This is no snobbery but this is no I condemn although I may throw out because I happen to know what a term or two and if you please will stop me and ask me what it means I will endeavor to explain it will take me 30 minutes.
But now for the interval. Now for the interval. Let's play one. Those who have good ears will recognize it on the pianos. Eed to f m e for a me far very good or don't re in the Phrygian mode. I'll bet that's not fair now back I got nobody that is. What we call a half step. If you find a up on the keyboard you notice there's no black key in between those two white keys. Well it's the same between B and C there's another place and they keep it like two places that's right. But suppose you were to start from F and go a half step up. If you play the right key you'll be a different sound. But you can get a half step from here. To. A flat. Thought in much the same thing as the other one. That's right. We live a straight.
Whole series of half steps. With a well-known tune by Irving Berlin white Christmas. I did not harmonize it although I'm capable of doing so is a whole flock of them there is no fun and there's nothing but I have to eat a half and half step back to pass that down to D sharp by half step down back up I have stuff to eat and they eat a half as a half step and then sharpens a half step and abstracted years ahead. You may hear you don't hear it played in whole steps and it's. Almost doubled when they're getting back to my time do you remember good night sweet hot it was. You certainly surprised me there of that. I do remember it. That's also on. Well it's my time too but there is a half step. Let's hear it melodically this way.
Now playing simultaneously or what the musician calls harmonically plays and have tips elsewhere on the keyboard. Logically. Only. Logically. I can see they're both caught and if that's when they play together it just kind of some kind of a disco you know but that is also called an interval of a half step when you noticed I was very careful to play these half steps or so-called minor seconds in a very soft dynamic because they can be very harsh and many modern composers don't wish to be harsh they don't want the term abrasive used with their music even though it might be so-called As far as I'm concerned dissonance missions. Let me show you another half step in a Mozart piece by the way that white Christmas is about
thirty two or three years old. And here's I have to open Mozart Symphony Number 40 which is one hundred eighty five years old. And he flat down a f. Whole tune goes. That's the first move is not the reopening of the very opening lead up to a short measure and a hundred duction. You notice that that half step isn't particularly ambiguous because it doesn't really establish a key until it's been repeated in a very open thing. We haven't yet said what an interval it is. Maybe we should wait until we get a few more. Perhaps you should go back home. And play a longer phrase rather than just a short motive. And we can do it from the bottom Brandenburg Concerto in number three which is by the way two hundred forty two years old and I will mention
a date from time to time or a length of time just to show you how the materials have been used in different ways by different composers So here is the first tune on the brand of number three. Listen to that succession of intervals. So for now a person the first interval was a half step or a minor second. And then we leap down a pervy fourth and a whole step or major second. I go back up and repeat that minor second and leap down a minor sixth. And then an octave on this may be confusing up to so many intervals in a row. But will stop now and illustrate some more and he's let us hear then
in the instrumental version of my piano version of the Bach Brandenburg number 3 beginning of the first movement. It was. The opiate it was. The. Be a little bit with. The old to. The. It was. Now. You can tell immediately what we're talking about is music. We are attempting to develop the logic behind the music. We've talked about the half step in the White Christmas and a half step in the modes are number 40 and a half step in the beginning of them ran over and I would take each of these intervals and illustrate them on the piano with well-known tunes from popular music with well-known so-called serious music which I disagree with.
Instead of taking these in the special order we'll do it in the order they occur in the Brandenburg Concerto. So the first was a half step. And my guess was Mozart and before. Now the perfect fourth. Remember the old television show I spy. Oh yeah Bob Cosby and Bill Cup. So. That's a perfect for if you see. Just the intervals and I'm not tempted to play the trombone rhythm below of course the well-known to a dusty Fidelis so comely you faithful. Is a perfect for. The Brahms Third Symphony which is 80 years old and the dusty Fidelis is one hundred and eighty years old. Here's the way Brahms uses the Perfect for it.
In this way. That was their favorite interval of Brahms he used that same on a number of times. That's interesting. Well I will follow that up another time but I wonder why he said like you so much you're right he does. How about tears. Well that's interesting. I'm not in our schedule revers Let's see how voters taps taps one. It begins with a fourth doesn't it. Well using the British army in 1900 so that's one hundred and seventy years. The next gen which we can't which we derives from the Brandenburg Concertos is the whole step number one. Whole stuff. You find on the keyboard between any two white keys except eat a F and B to B A C for instance as a whole step that
is the host of The Host and so forth. He could have made that a half a step instead of a host of so not how it would have sounded. I think at the beginning of the Brandenburg that you are being silly. That's cute though. Here is the Brahms Second Piano Concerto and the very opening of horn part which uses nothing but whole steps. To him briefly to C and C D. Simon might use a host at. Host families aka. That's true there are two hosts. Which is conclusive evidence of a major key three out OK
and another one whole step and corral. In the Lutheran church. You harmonize my inbox. Which is four hundred and twenty years old and I listen to this nothing but whole steps in the first phrase A to B host. B to C Sharp as to. SEE Sharp to d sure opposed. But I love the piece. German is as this canoe. It is enough and this is the way Bach harmonized them. We threw him out of the queue. By itself but I know it will sound. But when you put the chords with his son Quinn does an Oriental or exotic slits in a line in the back as being exotic with a bucket isn't but the melody is. All right and there now we can go to the next interval we had in the back. Matter number three.
Most minimal of a minor sixth in other words you count six six times down is that right. You know I am actually. No one cares anyway it's six lines and spaces so an end of the six means that the six sixth time you have one you can see and you know you can teach five year olds as they can count up to six and say J say he after noon. B C D and an alphabet A B C D E F.. That's a sixth A to F as a 6 therefore B G is a 6. That's a minor sixth to differentiate you member of the old folk tune from Germany by a nearby machination is a minor sixth and the second leap in the Mozart to M. a 40 is a minor sixth.
Going the other way how minor 6 when there are lots of them were trying to be careful and select for and either common ones or very good ones. The minor sixth I think is probably the most expressive occurs in Wagners Tristan and INS this way. Now let's hear that in the orchestra. Bill. Thank you.
layer with. It so that's what you can do with hot steps and sand miners. Ah well found and let's make one thing clear again Carolyn. And when we talk about music we can only talk about it for a certain length of time a short time before we illustrate on the piano or hear an actual piece or a part of the piece. A Too many academicians refer to music in a theoretical manner thought of hearing the music itself they talk for 15 minutes on whatever about the music and never illustrate and never get a chance to identify. For instance our students can tell you. Not only are the intervals named in that cadence but the type of cadence the full bore don't you used and the syncopation says or equals post 13:00 the
identified by sound and they can also write one. So I'm a little shocked right now about that music. So it seems rather academic to say that we were illustrating the minor sex not want to give you a clue as to our whole approach to this series of lectures the next gen we had in the Brandenburg Concertos was the Hakim remember her in the 90s. But they sound alike those two t's right there two geezers and they differ only in pitch where they have the same note name in the interval or difference in between the two is an octave. All right. Next week it's a word show. And there are some money leaps of an octave because it's a very tricky almost cliche. So we picked a couple
that I think are important member everybody knows this. I'm the messiah Handel Messiah God omnipotent. Can anybody really sing that active like that. No that's most frequently out of tune a song is most frequent interval to some out of tune. They say during this hour like this. Takes a stab at it but it's an octave. There's another great one in the tone Paul might regard Strauss The Hero's Life in German that Headley held in late. That also here with us isn't Don Juan. Well yeah. All four wants to know who's the leitmotiv really are those two things of the in the song the Judy Garland popularized over
the rainbow with me. There was one prisoner who made that octave when she sang. There's a tendency you know to look down upon the proper form of what she was and items of the next and a poem I discuss that comes out of the first tune we played the man of her Number three is the perfect fifth. Now we mentioned perfect for it before. It was in their Schubert tune with voice and I know that later became the musical comedy. May I ask one question of why perfect. What's imperfect You know what would be an impending final call perfect Let's say that from a bit later. OK one because I think we do explain that or we should explain the leader and they haven't got through the rest of the intervals yet. But we're talking now with the perfect fit. Perfect.
Money from fear of a logic probe you. Want to break that. Zip code sound as if it's a very open sound and a very. Hard as it is a good word. Very open very hollow so you hate to be left with it but next to the octave the most important interval there is. Here's the melody of a 400 year old melody. Out of the deps. The corral is 400 years old bach harmonize an entirely different way. To go the popular side hears a tune. And I think that's from a carousel doesn't know it.
Oh Oklahoma here I don't know who the next from Asian point yes that has a lot to perfect that lesson scenery. I think that one. Another probably another week if. That's in there and I like to say that when people say we're in love I think that with it here's a 900 for. The seven hundred for of course that's one hundred sixty seven years old. I associate those with trumpet calls as I'm going to make because that's in the here we go again Harmonic series of the trumpet and the French horn all brass instruments. Years ago. We could play that without changing about as another story again and perhaps over the heads of some of our listeners in the Orthodox and
the more shocks Cadsoft in the New World Symphony goes. And there's a perfect. Most natural snow in the world thank when people began to do that develop counterpoint of about the ninth century A.D. the first interval they used was either the perfect gift the Perfect for a puppy was an accident somebody was singing or in general join. Those high in the mornings with him. Oh I think we can go to the minor third Remember now we're not doing this in a series we'll put them together in a logical order. After we leave because all of these into firstly played separately as a melody or together at the simultaneously correct and it's still in the same session. And right it's the minimal difference in pitch between two tones. A minor third occurs and might we had a whole step himself and
the next leap down is a minor third. What constitutes a minus. Now how far how far did you go it has to be had to be a 3 in there somewhere I don't want to count the half steps you see you can go one three half steps that's three out of the minor third major third but this pretty soon get you oriented to two county half steps and intervals like all right you know yourself as pretty so your own are not good. And many times they can just explode those theories in the second mind entered on a satellite. The famous Brahms lullaby. Is a minor third from the American composer Howard Hansen's romantic Symphony the second movement occurs that is. A minor third the piano was an
unsatisfactory instrument to so let's hear it in the orchestra. The early. The next interval is the major third and I think will conclude his first talk with that interval later on will combine one of the first major thirds and really is important is the Beethoven Third Symphony and that's one hundred and sixty four years old. After a couple introductory chords another begins. Major third put them together later and say major third minor third equals a major triad which is a perfect fit. So it's really necessary to understand intervals before we can
use or understand that you really as if my question I said What is a is a minor third Now if I hear my third and then a major third I'd be able to distinguish the difference right you hear a minor through the bottom of the major chord up of a different kind of a triad don't but there's a major third in David C's piano prelude. Wow. Remember we just played a major third and here is the context. In Beethoven one hundred and sixty steps six years old. And here's a day busy piece 65 years old which sounds use the major third. Although heard it different you cannot believe it's the same and if Here's another one since you mentioned already this is good. A good guardian chant period at least a thousand years old maybe fifteen
hundred years old we're not sure. It begins with a major third black job on of the day. Amazing. I'm amazed at. The old tunes Detective What was his name Sigmund spade used to make a career of finding tunes that were similar. And you're just doing it yourself. It's fascinating though if you if you get really getting into high class stuff it is high class stuff and one of the main points in this series of 13 talks is to show how music develops that there is logic behind it that it will continue develop gradually from here to its review not for a second just the intervals we've had this morning past. Every fourth I'm playing each melodically harmonically
a whole step. A lot of them harmonically minor sixth. Pretty dot give. Ma if they. Don't want to play perfect fifth a monthly. Minor third. Harmonic the first Nama logically. The major third. A lot of things and we give our listeners just a short quiz what interval is this. Correct and perfect fit. And it was this. A minor sixth. Very good. And lastly.
Yes Stan you're not on trial. It is a half step. Thank you very much Carol. You've been listening to up the down staff conversations on music with composer Scott Houston and Carolyn Watts our technical director is Bob Stevenson. 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 A.
Up the down staff
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Intervals: The Music Movers
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