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Thread: List of Tendencies

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  1. #1

    List of Tendencies

    Thought I'd start a new thread with a "simplified as possible" list of tendencies. I've realized that without showing the whole game plan, it's hard to communicate the whole idea. Any tendency on its own doesn't have the power to "Always" be true, another tendency could be stronger etc. This is what has made finding a "by the ear" and a "unified" music theory elusive, and what makes labels inconsistent.

    This is pretty deep stuff that has taken many years for me to click to. I've changed this list many times and it may still need changing. Please, if the aim of your response is respond with normal theory ideas don't bother. If that would've worked for me I wouldn't have spent all this time on a new theory. If however you've tested out some tendencies and want to give negative or positive feedback or have creative ideas towards things please respond.


    The ear has a "Tendency" to want the labels on the right(in bold) to be the reference point, the "1".

    Conditions - Thin Thick
    • High Low
    • Soft Loud
    • Silence Sound


    Connections - Disconnected Connected

    • Random Repetition
    • Far Close(in register or in time)
    • Complex Simple(divisible)


    Viewpoint or Tonality - How Conditions and Connections combine
    • Weak Strong - is there a huge advantage one way or the other?


    • Conflict Agreement - are the tendencies pointing towards the same note or place in time?


    • Risky(Strong and Conflicted) Safe(Weak and Agreeing) - Hard to tell, I still haven't figured out its tendency, maybe it doesn't have one.


    • Ambiguous(Weak and Conflicted) Obvious(Strong and Agreeing)
      • Symmetric Bright


    • Ambiguous Risky (Both Conflicted, but Risky is Strong)
      • Symmetric Dark

    • Safe Obvious ( Both Agreeing, but Obvious is Strong)
      • Extended Key

    • Risky Obvious (Both Strong , but Obvious is Agreeing)
      • Dark Bright




    Lets use an analogy of we're in a small boat trying to get to land.

    Close means that the land is close
    Simple means that the path is clear

    Strong
    means that we can paddle fast.
    Agreement means that the current is headed in the direction I want.

    Risky means that the current is going against us, but we are strong enough to make it.
    Safe means that we're too weak to fight the current, but it's at least going to land somewhere.

    Ambiguous means that either I'm fighting the current but not getting anywhere, or there's no current to fight but I'm so weak I can't paddle.

    Obvious means that I'm in luck, I'm can paddle fast and the current is headed in the direction I want.


    Examples with intervals and numbers:
    • Close - Half Step, Whole Step
    • Simple -Octaves, The low note in a P5, The high note in a P4
    • Ambiguous(intervals only) - TT, +, P4, min6, m2
    • Safe(intervals only) - min3rd, whole step
    • Risky(numbers) - b6, 4, b2
    • Obvious (numbers) - 3, 5 ,7


    Examples with Rhythms:

    • Close - Grace note, two 16th notes (as opposed to whole notes), The & of 4 in 4/4
    • Simple - 2/4, 4/4
    • Ambiguous - Free time
    • Safe - Quick constant time
    • Risky - Duplets in 3/4
    • Obvious - 1 (2)& 4 1 for 4/4


    Strategies, like "Balanced" are great to know, but the tendencies actually give a reason "why" balancing happens. Like if everything is Obvious then nothing is Obvious(example stacked 5ths).
    As soon as we think we've found the answer for everything, the goal changes.

    Notice that we're not trying to describe how to make "good" sounding music. All we're trying to do is match the way we think what the "1" is, to how the ear really chooses a "1".


  2. #2

    Numbers and their tendencies

    8 - The simplest connection. Farther though than most connections in melodies.

    5 - Strong, Positive and Very Simple. Closer from below, but more Obvious from above. This number is so Simple the positive aspect can sound clear or hollow compared to other bright numbers.

    4 - Strong, Negative and Very Simple. Closer and more Obvious from above. Needs other tendencies treating the 4 in a negative way or its 1 in a positive way just to really be a 4.

    3 - Strong, Positive and Simple. Closer and more Obvious from above. The Brightest number.

    b6 - Strong, Negative and Simple. Closer from below, but more Obvious from above. Very Dark and just like the 4 it needs a huge advantage from other tendencies to exist.

    6 - Weak, but Positive. Closer from below and so close that Low may not matter. Can become 5 3 very easily and going above doesn't stop that. Just needs a little help to be Obvious.

    b3 - Weak and negative. Just needs a little bit of positive tendencies on its 1 to exist. Closer and more Obvious from above, but the ratio is simpler from below. So weak it's the easiest Dark number to make Obvious. More complex if far.

    2 - Weak, Complex and Positive. Closer more Obvious and much Simpler from above. Farther is simpler up to 3 octaves.

    b7 - Weak Complex and Negative. Easy to get to work just like the b3. Below is closer and close enough that Low doesn't matter.

    7 - Strong, Very Complex and Positive. Can be very Close. No need in a melody to jump to it. Will never be Simple no matter how it's voiced. If a true 7 it should sound bright.

    b2 - Strong, Very Complex and Negative. Can be very Close. Takes many positive tendencies on the 1 to get a true Dark b2.

  3. #3

    Symmetrics

    Symmetric "issues" were an early discovery, but learning all the ways to deal with them has been a long study. 6 notes only (like an Allman Brothers harmony) means we don't have to deal with them. Or with a Blues turnaround (could work with the same band) we could have all 12 notes in a single lick with jumps, which means we are dealing with them.

    Most "Avoid" notes are in a symmetric, create a strong key elsewhere or they are 3 to b3. If you're able to get C# to sound great in the Key of A minor, then "Avoid notes" just means that it's risky, not "wrong".
    The main thing to remember about a Symmetric is that it needs/wants to be Asymmetrical or uneven. Slight or 1/4 step bends help, 1/2 steps either way are needed (even though up has more of a potential to be a "1"). The "hidden" trick is that 5ths and 4ths can work too or anything you can do with other tendencies to overpower them. Be forewarned though, they fight hard. This is how I learned that strength doesn't mean that you know where you're at.

    There are only two symmetrics that need to be memorized,Tritone and Augmented. All other "Symmetrics" seem to not take on that sound until a TT or + connection occurs. Keep in mind we're talking about a "anti" number or an "interval" to be exact. So we are labeling possible connections between numbers that have become "Symmetric".The numbers used should sound similar to normal, but have a different "issue" because of the needs that a Symmetric has. They have less color and more tension.

    Tritone - very common. The secret with many chord progressions, but melody can prove it easily. A 3 for instance has a greater need for b3's and 4's if a b7 is in play.

    Augmented - proves that the problem is that things are equal. Hurt the b6 and Augmented on the Key can be a good thing. That being said The b357 Augmented has close positive moves and is the most common viewpoint.



    This may seem like a pain but one of the best things I ever did was memorize the tritone of every number and the Augmented of every number. TT 1, b2 5, b7 3, 6 b3, b6 2, and the classic 7 4. For Augmented: b3 5 7, 1 3 b6, 2 TT b7, and 4 6 b2.

    If you're into Chord progressions and want to focus on that right now:
    Why Does I II IV I, or I VI IV I work, but not I IV II I, or I IV VI I (without other tendencies help). Because of Symmetrics. The're all major chords, why is one better than the others to measure from?

  4. #4
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    is timbre (ie. instrument tone) also acting as a tendency or basically it has to do with
    Thin Thick
    High Low
    Soft Loud
    Silence Sound
    ?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by anatole View Post
    is timbre (ie. instrument tone) also acting as a tendency or basically it has to do with ?
    I couldn't find a way to log in as myself, I guess it's been a long time since I was here. So I added a "2"

    I believe timbre is a combination of Tendencies. I default to Thick and Thin as far as my own playing, but depending on the room, etc..

    Some instruments contain partials/harmonics that are more complex than what other instruments contain. Some have similar partials, but even then they may be at different volume levels.

    Then there's even if the partials are not exactly harmonic/simple ratios. Being a guitar player it's not really an issue for me, but I've heard of testing that disproves octave equivalence with just changing Timbre.

    Still the Tendencies apply. Complex --->Simple is just now at a microscopic level in Timbre land!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Valentino 2 View Post
    I couldn't find a way to log in as myself, I guess it's been a long time since I was here. So I added a "2"
    I sent you a message on facebook did you get it eventually?
    I hate it they let down the forum at all about jazz, at least they are realizing the good things that's been buried in the process.
    I'll say it's not nevermind. I hope you kept all your good recent posts, BTW did you approach coexisting and morphing tonics in your book ?


    I believe timbre is a combination of Tendencies. I default to Thick and Thin as far as my own playing, but depending on the room, etc..
    OK for combination.

    Some instruments contain partials/harmonics that are more complex than what other instruments contain. Some have similar partials, but even then they may be at different volume levels.
    yes OK I mainly play on the acoustic piano.

    Then there's even if the partials are not exactly harmonic/simple ratios. Being a guitar player it's not really an issue for me, but I've heard of testing that disproves octave equivalence with just changing Timbre.

    Still the Tendencies apply. Complex --->Simple is just now at a microscopic level in Timbre land!
    and I realized that If I would ask a friend to play a line with a horn that it would not feel connected as much as if I would play the same line on the upper piano register (right hand),
    at the time I thought, oh OK so one can play "outside" with a horn over the piano chords and it's allright while it may sound quite conflicted at the piano solo.
    so I thought careful not to be trapped in solo piano (left hand vs right hand) testing..

    so what does it mean then ? that at the piano the upper part connects more to the chords than a different sound like a horn would do ? it seems to me there are quite big consequences coming down that observation, isn't ?



    about the last thread you opened @AAJ, the one Engelbach answered about shell voicings, it seemed you were not really specifically asking about shell voicings but more about minimal diad/two notes chords with which ratios would be perceived consistently toward a single tonic. (ie. a +5 over a [1 5] might not be perceived as a bright +5 whereas it would better over a [1 7]) (well it what I understood)

    in the LCC book, at page 112 (Alternate Modal Genre Chapter) there is a "note to pianists: when playing a scale against a minor chord, it is only necessary to play the minor 7th (or minor 6th) degree of the chord in the left hand. The tonic and seventh degrees of a 7th chord are all that is necessary, as well. Allow the scales of the solo (in the right hand) to express the vertical coloring of chords."

    somehow this kinda sounds like what you were experimenting with.
    now I can't remember if I read it somewhere in the LCC or if it was Motherlode or even you Ken who was saying it's the lydian tonic interval (between the bass note, ie. modal tonic and the lydian tonic) that is "important"..
    well I can't much help you on this but the thread looked quite interesting to me I wish it could go on.
    Last edited by anatole; 02-01-2017 at 10:11 PM.

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