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Thread: mirror intervals & increasing & diminishing intervals

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb mirror intervals & increasing & diminishing intervals

    Over the past few months I've come across interesting ideas thru two books that I have been studying. The first is a book by some guy named Piston, and it's about Harmony, the second is Nicholas Slominsky's Scales and Melodic Patterns. The ideas are this: increasing and diminishing intervals and also mirror intervals. Anyone out there familar with these concepts? I've found that by applying them to my melodic playing, using these concepts have helped me break out of "patterns" and "licks" and to play fresh ideas and concepts. Increasing and diminishing intervals go something like this: increasing would be if you play C to D, that is 1 to 2, now play D to F which is 1-m3, then F to A, which is 1 - 3, and so forth and so on............. diminishing would be the same idea in reverse. Mirror intervals would be if you played 1 -3 and then what note is the 1 the 3rd of. Anyone else run across this idea? How have you used it in your playing? Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Mode Rator Zatz's Avatar
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    Hi 6diamonds!

    I tried to take a melody line and substitute some intervals for their complementary analogues. Say if you have perfect 5th interval you can play perfect 4th instead; given minor 3rd try using major 6th and so on... (the rule is that two complementary intervals must span over the whole octave. Ex.: C->F (P4) + F->C (P5) = C->C). I guess that's what you call mirror intervals in your post. This tool has much to do with chord inversions where intervals may go topsy turvy thus making up a complementary interval and still sound somewhat the same maintaining the interval flavour to some extent.

    Ultra mega best regards,
    Zatz.

  3. #3
    Resident Curmudgeon szulc's Avatar
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    These are cool ideas, but remember just exercises, you need to WORK with them to come up with meaningful music, Maybe you should write out your meaningful applications of this and share it. Start a thread and see where it goes.
    "Listen to the Spaces Between the sounds."
    Szulc's Site

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    Post

    Hey,
    Thanks for the response. Here is something on mirror intervals that I got out of Walter Piston's book entitled Harmony. I wish I had some music staff I could put on here or a scanner to scan the page, but anyways, here goes an explanation of what he talks about in that book. Say you have Bflat and it's major 6 is G, right. To invert that would be to go Bflat to Dflat. Now to go one step further, lets write out a melody line: Bflat, G, F, C, D: now invert that to this: Bflat, Dflat, Eflat, Aflat, Gflat. Nicolas Slonimsky's book, Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns also covers this idea, although in that book, it goes thru a bunch of progressions and on the opposite page it has the increasing and diminishing intervals. The way I've been working these ideas into my playing is this: I'll be playing a solo or melody line and then to make it interesting or to keep myself from repeating myself, I'll throw one of these ideas into my playing or I use it when playing over changes to segue into another chord. It makes for some interesting "outside" sounding notes without going too far "out". If I can get my scanner to work, I'll up-load some music staff with the concepts on there for you to see.

  5. #5
    Resident Curmudgeon szulc's Avatar
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    You could use Powertab.
    "Listen to the Spaces Between the sounds."
    Szulc's Site

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    How does Powertab work? Thanks for the help.

  7. #7
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    It´s a neat little programm which you can download HERE

    Once you installed it, start it...
    Basically, you can create great looking TAB with it. Just move along the TAB-lines and type in the number of the frets. You can listen to a playback of your TAB ( MIDI ), and you can export single staffs to a BMP-file, which you can post here, at the forum.
    All TAB I post at the forum, and all TAB in my articles was created using Powertab.

    Now back to our regular program
    Eric

  8. #8
    Resident Curmudgeon szulc's Avatar
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    Transposition

    Musical ideas can be transposed in many ways, the most obvious of these is absolute transposition. The entire musical idea is shifted by the same number of half steps ( up or down). This is common in early blues and in blues based 60's surf music. The next obvious type is Diatonic transposition where the idea is moved through a given scale, but the scale's intervals remain unchanged, this is common in classical music. Yet another common transposition is to move the phrase to another mode. This is called modal transposition, in this case the scale's interval's change according to the new mode. The most common use of this is to take a Major Based melody and rewrite in the Natural Minor Scale.

    Less common methods can also be used to transpose ideas. You could displace even (Or odd) notes by an octave up (or down) or you could displace even notes by one interval and odd notes by a different interval, this will meet with varying degrees of musical acceptability. It does not necessarily have to be odd and even notes that are displaced it could be only the notes above or below middle c. The method you use to displace the melody does not have to use constant interval ( or diatonic interval ) subtitution. You could subtract every note from middle C and use the resulting interval as the substitution. You could take a musical line and invert all the intervals between each two successive notes. You could add(or subtract) a Half step to the first note and increase (or decrease) the added interval for each successive note. Once again this will meet with varying degrees of musical acceptability.

    But these ideas can be used to stimulate your creativity and provide alternatives, beautiful music might even be made this way. ( though I believe this is not likely) Anything that sparks creativity is a good thing even if the thing itself is not all that useful.
    "Listen to the Spaces Between the sounds."
    Szulc's Site

  9. #9
    Detroit VidKid's Avatar
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    Yea, those Mirror Interval Progressions are off the Tritone (C F# C) and are great outside material. Most of those patterns are a combination of differing intervals, some partial scales with C and F# as target tones. There are more similar patterns ideas in the Tritone Progression section. The Mirrors seem to be ‘the greatest hit list’ from the Tritone Progression section. I think you could apply anyone of those patterns to a Aug or Dim arp also.

    Personally, I use these types of TT patterns over minor chords. For example, the C-F#-C will work well over Am Dorian for ‘outside’ stuff. The C targets the b3 and the F# targets the 6th. They also will work for over Alt dom7 chords (E7alt). I sort of mix in Super Locrian, Harmonic, Augmented etc. in with these patterns for balance and end a phrase to a goal tone in Am dorian (Root, 5th, 3rd, 9th) which is usually ‘blusey’. Wherever I am in the TT pattern, I try to resolve a ˝ step away to a diatonic tone for release of the tension.

    If you carefully study the Progressions in Slominsky, they consist of patterns off the TT, Dim, Aug, WT, or Chromatic ideas. The Spirals will create really interesting ‘outside’ material if you structure your solo passage around those notes. The Pandiatonic Progressions are all diatonic and offer great melodic ideas for soloing.

    Edt: Opps, I just notice this was an old thread, but still an interesting topic.

    VidKid
    Last edited by VidKid; 10-10-2005 at 04:24 AM.
    Yesterday's dissonance is today's consonance, while today's atonal is tomorrow's consonance-Liebman

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    thanks for the reply..i've come to heve a somewhat better understanding of this concept since I posted it..vidkid, your reply did shine some more light on the slominsky book and that is always appreciated. i'm gonna work on these ideas you presented tonight..thanks!!

  11. #11
    Detroit VidKid's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, there's not too much info on how to apply these concepts by Slonimsky. Lot's of trial and error on my part and mostly errors at first (LOL)

    I failed to mentioned that some of those TT patterns will sound better off a B-F-B TT over an E7alt. The B note is the 5th and the F being an altered flat 9th note. It will sound more 'diminished' sounding, if you know what I mean. You have to experiment where the starting point is.

    To each his own on how to use this stuff. (LOL) I listen to alot of Garret, Liebman, Coltrane, Metheny and Stern, hearing some reference to those patterns. Metheny will target aug, WT and dim tones with various patterns (at least I think he does), with proper resolution at the end of a phrase.

    I hope this helps,

    VidKid
    Yesterday's dissonance is today's consonance, while today's atonal is tomorrow's consonance-Liebman

  12. #12
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    I have the Slonimsky and Piston books in my personal music library. I didn't get much from Slonimsky's Thesaurus except for some concept regarding Major third cycles like in Giant Steps by Coltrane, and some ideas regarding Grandfather harmonic stacks of intervals that enclude all possible intervals within a couple of octaves. The rest of the book is a waste of time, as far as I am concerned. The rumor was John Coltrane used to practice reading through the book forwards, then turn it upside down and read through the retrograde inversion of the book starting at the back page to the front. Junkies used to spend hours listening to him practice from his back porch daily. John was notorious for possessing a hard practice ethic.
    Piston's book is an elementary harmony book. Schoenbergs "Theory of Harmony" and his later work called "The structural Functions of Harmony" are far more advanced and interesting.

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