027 Harmony

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So it’s only the third assignment in Comp 1 and I’m already concerned that this isn’t really helpful. I mean, I know the best way to learn something is to do it, and I suppose that’s the purpose of this class. But in reality I would never actually write something like this. With the last two assignments I could get away with making the pieces sound authentic because I was free to play around with texture, polyphony, and harmony – to an extent naturally, as two notes is limiting but not entirely. Even though this assignment was designed for experimentation with harmonies and common tones, only two specific voicings of suspended chords could be used at any one time. I found this to be even more limiting in expression, as it brings up the issues of maintaining interest (in a piece in which chords are just hammered out, all parallel and not effectively fitting into any diatonic system) and the block chord and parallel motion limitations which made the piece difficult to personalize.

However I was keen on trying out “free tempo”. Of course, I like my time signatures, but I’ve always thought how much a performer could explore when no tempo markings or alterations were specified but were all left to the performer. That way a piece could begin in one tempo and end in another if desired, placing accelerandos and ritardandos anywhere without regard to ever returning to the previous tempo if there ever was one, as opposed to rubato, in which tempo can be altered but only within a time signature for expressive purposes. The idea is similar to what I have here but I think I could expand upon it elsewhere.

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