34 votes

I am confused about modes. Can someone explain it in these terms?

Forget the "rotating a major scale" thing. It's presented as a way to derive modes, but in practice it only seems to be backwards thinking that confuses people. When you want to create a ...
piiperi Reinstate Monica's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

How often is the Sostenuto pedal used in classical and modern Piano Music?

You rarely need it, but when you do, it's indispensable! A few examples come to mind: Claude Debussy: Clair de Lune. Second page, Tempo rubato. The left hand needs to hold some low octaves, then ...
200_success's user avatar
  • 1,641
13 votes
Accepted

How is this dissonant harp sound achieved?

I'm not a harp player, but it appears that this is done with the harp equivalent of prepared piano on a few strings. About four or five strings of the harp appear to have some kind of putty attached ...
Michael Seifert's user avatar
12 votes

I am confused about modes. Can someone explain it in these terms?

All of the answers here give accurate information on modes and their construction and how they are derived but I’m going to provide you with a way to learn and conceptualize modes that with some ...
John Belzaguy's user avatar
10 votes

I am confused about modes. Can someone explain it in these terms?

They way I do it is first classify modes into major and minor families. Then I add the alterations for each mode. Basic major mode is ionian and basic minor mode is aeolian. MAJOR Lydian is major mode ...
Michael Curtis's user avatar
10 votes

I am confused about modes. Can someone explain it in these terms?

A D Major scale for C Lydian is wrong -- D Major has C# in it. For C Lydian, you would play G Major. Same problem for F Lydian; you would play C Major, not G Major. The modes you're asking about -- ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 86.5k
9 votes

Do there exist contemporary composers writing in the style of Viennese classical music?

This is indeed a very itchy question: It is obviously quite difficult for contemporaries to compose like Haydn or Mozart without appearing to be mere imitators - or worse: just nasty forgers! ...
Kono's user avatar
  • 91
9 votes
Accepted

Are there physical dangers to preparing a prepared piano?

I've never heard of a string breaking or a piano being damaged (i.e. actively needing to be repaired) after being prepared. That said, your question is the specific reason why many institutions / ...
jjmusicnotes's user avatar
  • 25.6k
8 votes

What are inner and outer voices in music of late 20th century and 21st century?

how do I determine the inner and outer voice in complex real-world music, like orchestral music with dozens of instruments? For most traditional orchestral works, this will be clear. The dozens of ...
phoog's user avatar
  • 22.2k
7 votes
Accepted

Why is contemporary music for the recorder so weird?

It's not just recorder music! About 100 years ago a lot of composers felt music wasn't developing interestingly enough and made a conscious break from 'common practice' - which might (very) loosely ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 92k
7 votes

Are there physical dangers to preparing a prepared piano?

Yes, you could potentially damage the piano. The likelihood of you damaging the piano depends on the specifics of the preparation. Even if the actual likelihood of damage is low, you must also ...
ibonyun's user avatar
  • 2,420
6 votes

We love the Second Viennese School, but daughter's practice of Boulez's music is wearying us. How can we appreciate Boulez?

From my recent experience working from home, frequently in the same room as my wife, and inspired by the suggestion in the other answer to "find an arrangement where a good part of the time your ...
phoog's user avatar
  • 22.2k
5 votes

I am confused about modes. Can someone explain it in these terms?

Don't where your Lydian idea is from, but it'll give you wrong answers every time! Two ways of understanding modes. All modes can be attributed to the same parent key / major scale. Well stick with ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 192k
5 votes

What are inner and outer voices in music of late 20th century and 21st century?

When writing chorale-style for 4 equal voices, 'inner' and 'outer' are terms that mean something. In other styles and textures, not so much! And that's fine. Know how to harmonise a hymn tune, ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 92k
4 votes

Exercises for 21st century piano sightreaders

I've personally used Bartok's Mikrokosmos for practicing sightreading. It helps me pay more attention to what notes are really there, and avoid trying to anticipate the harmony of the piece (which, ...
Jacob Stuligross's user avatar
3 votes

How often is the Sostenuto pedal used in classical and modern Piano Music?

in the left hand piano music, i think there is no way to play the piece without using sostenuto pedal , because you have to play in the two staves using one hand , however the composer doesnt give any ...
sana's user avatar
  • 31
3 votes
Accepted

Is Escala's «Clubbed to Death» a passacaglia?

Wow, nice find! "Clubbed to Death" actually begins with the opening to Elgar's Enigma Variations, at which point Escala takes a part of that opening bassline and uses it to construct the form. The ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 84.3k
3 votes

How often is the Sostenuto pedal used in classical and modern Piano Music?

As a composer, I am very aware of this capability on professional instruments and use it often. I have taken to naming the pedals Ped. I - sustain, Ped. II - sostenuto, and Ped. III - una corda. I do ...
user61468's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Why are there multiple modern era styles?

Why the 20th-century explosion of styles/genres Four major developments happened as the 20th century approached and developed through WWII: City-States gave way to the modern conception of Countries. ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 86.5k
2 votes

Do there exist contemporary composers writing in the style of Viennese classical music?

If by "known" you mean renowned, then no. Too much has happened in the 200 years since, and a professional composer simply couldn't bear ignoring a huge part of the possibilities which we now know to ...
Kilian Foth's user avatar
  • 7,553
2 votes

How often is the Sostenuto pedal used in classical and modern Piano Music?

Notice that the examples given above are all pieces written in the late 19th C and later. The sostenuto pedal wasn't even invented until 1844, so it makes sense that it would take some time before ...
Heather S.'s user avatar
  • 5,567
2 votes

Why oughtn't listeners try to hear where tone rows start and stop?

One possibility is the distinction between the composers being discussed. Schoenberg was more free with his use of the twelve-tone method, often repeating or reordering pitches. (He wasn't the only ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 84.3k
2 votes

conterpoint and melodic learning or other ways?

The way I understand the question is this: Do I need to learn counterpoint to write melodies or music in general? The quick answer is: No, you do not need to learn counterpoint to write melodies or ...
LSM07's user avatar
  • 1,419
2 votes

How to notate popular/contemporary song structures?

We DO sometimes see pop song copies which resort to complex repeat structures, and even little interior sections marked 'play these bars 2nd and 4th times only' or the like. And it can be the only ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 92k
2 votes

How to notate popular/contemporary song structures?

But give me a verse-chorus structure (e.g. ABABAB) and I wouldn't have any idea how to notate this. What about songs where the B section is repeated multiple times (e.g. AABABABB)? Where there are ...
jjmusicnotes's user avatar
  • 25.6k
2 votes

How often is the Sostenuto pedal used in classical and modern Piano Music?

There are some required uses of the sostenuto pedal in the Piano Variations of Aaron Copeland and the Piano Sonata of Elliot Carter.
Walker TD's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

Can Reich's Piano Phase be emulated with a delay unit?

Playing with an arpegiator and a looper today and I succeeded in reproducing the same kind of effect as in Piano Phase, as @Tim said. The arpegiated phrase was not the same than in Piano Phase, but ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 4,892
2 votes

Penultimate chord in Messiaen's Regard du Pere seems to break the pattern

Some evidence that Messiaen intended exactly this chord comes with the return of the theme -- in full -- in mvt. 5 and near the end of the finale. The same chord (set of pitch-classes) is there on p....
Rosie F's user avatar
  • 5,202
2 votes

We love the Second Viennese School, but daughter's practice of Boulez's music is wearying us. How can we appreciate Boulez?

The existing answers ("Maybe don't listen?") make a good point, especially that practice is not performance. (I'm tempted to name-check https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Cares_if_You_Listen ....
Andy Bonner's user avatar
  • 16.6k

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