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Modal Music Composition: 3rd Edition download epub

by Stephen M. Cormier

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Only a modest knowledge of traditional (tonal) harmony and forms is necessary. No knowledge of modal music is assumed. Numerous examples and tables provide important information in easy-to-use form. Only 11 left in stock (more on the way).

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ISBN 10: 0975431838 ISBN 13: 9780975431832. Publisher: Inman & Artz Publishers, 2010.

by Stephen M. Cormier. Select Format: Paperback. ISBN13:9780975431825. Release Date:July 2006. Publisher:Inman & Artz Publishers.

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Print and download in PDF or MIDI Daily Composition Made this one with the choir sound in mind and without thinking of any baroque rules. Daily Composition For SATB. Inspired by Russian choral music.

music, composition, music theory, schillinger, music analysis, arranging. Joseph Schillinger is an Ukrainian-American composer and music theorist, known as sbj creator.

Modal Music Composition. Updated Chapter 2 Examples. VII Modal Music Composition Updated Examples. ˙˙ Ionian Mode ˙˙ Aeolian Mode & .. 8 Lydian-(Dorian) &. ? ˙ V of II II IV of III III IV of IV? IV IV of V V V of VI VI V of VII VII Mixolydian-(Phrygian) &. V of II II IV of III?

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Modal Music Composition:Third Edition serves as a reference work unlikely to be superseded and also as a source of fresh ideas for composers and songwriters looking to use modal music as a true alternative to the tonal system. Only a modest knowledge of traditional (tonal) harmony and forms is necessary. No knowledge of modal music is assumed. Numerous examples and tables provide important information in easy-to-use form. This edition adds the complete set of parenthetic harmonies for each modal key. Three extended study compositions illustrate the procedures more vividly than standard examples. The 3 study compositions and examples are recorded on the included audio CD. This book, therefore, fills the need by composers and songwriters alike for a comprehensive description and analysis of the melodic and harmonic characteristics of the modal scales and their interrelations. Although composers have often used modal passages, it is acknowledged that the modal scales have less harmonic stability than the still predominant major-minor scales. To remedy this, Dr. Cormier has taken a fresh look at the modal scales and developed a systematic set of procedures that can maintain modal stability while retaining their special character

Comments: (7)

A very dry and encyclopedic book. Dr. Cormier is not a professional musicologist, but I had high hopes for him initially. Still, he did not deliver. A bulk of the book is devoted to repetitively listing features of the different modes, with few comments and helpful advice into how a composer can incorporate them into a composition. Cormier's central idea, that we can group six of the modes (all except Locrian) into three modal pairings or dyads (i.e., Ionian - Aeolian, Lydian - Dorian, and Mixolydian-Phrygian), analogous to the major-minor pairing in traditional harmony, is a very interesting one. But even poring over the separate chapters he devotes to each dyad, there is little musical insight and advice offered. Instead we just get more and more dry, repetitive descriptions with few convincing musical examples. There are a lot of short musical passages in the book that are actually recorded in the CD, but majority of these are just monotonic chord progressions. It would have been much more helpful if Cormier had found or composed examples where the chord progressions are used in short passages of actual music.

Composing musical examples is indeed something Cormier does try to do in the second part of the book, where there is a full-length "study composition" for each of the modal dyad chapters. Listening to each of them however, it becomes really apparent that Cormier is not a very good composer. He is articulate in describing what happens in the compositions, but they themselves make little aural sense. Without the descriptions, the music simply sounds weird, disjunct, and ambiguous. His choice of scoring the compositions for a choir of clarinet-family instruments, which he claims is to prevent timbre and texture to affect our understanding of how the modes work, actually detracts from the appreciation of the examples themselves. The "study compositions" become incomprehensible, boring, and dry, and require gargantuan willpower for one to keep studying them earnestly.

Besides these weaknesses, Cormier also has a tendency to sound very verbose, with constant name-dropping of famous musical trends, figures, and styles, perhaps in an attempt to show his erudition despite him not being a professional scholar. This, however, only bogs down the book. A good book on music is always well-served by quotations of actual musical works whenever something is being discussed, and these are very rare. This would be a much better book if it is converted from a dry text to workbook-style. Trim down the paragraphs on historical context, condense the repetitive features of the modes into tables, and add in more actual CONTENT of how to compose modal music.

In the end, I felt that I learned very little of how to write modal music by reading this book. I did learn about Cormier's interesting idea of the modal dyads, but I believe that it is up to me to develop them on my own, because Cormier himself doesn't seem to have succeeded in creating a coherent compositional language using that idea.
Not for the dilettante or casual reader!

I have a sense that this book offers more than I have yet been able to get out of it. I've been dabbling with modal harmonies and motifs in my own compositions for some time, and I was hoping to get a significant technical boost from this. So far I haven't. I'm still hoping for that to happen.

The back cover blurb states: "Only a modest knowledge of traditional (tonal) harmony and forms is necessary." I think that is a gross misstatement. Without a firm grounding in traditional theory, most of this book would make little sense at all. For example, the author makes a passing reference to parenthetic harmonies (pp 70ff) before launching into the particular application of secondary dominants in the various modes. One would be well advised to re-read Piston's dozen pages on the topic before trying to make sense of the author's comments.

The book goes into excruciatingly obvious detail on some basic elements, then skips and jumps over other essential material. For example, it gives exhaustive written descriptions of the various basic modal scales, in addition to illustrating them graphically and audibly, then simply assumes that the reader understands the meaning and importance of the tritone.

Many pages are devoted to modulations within a modal scale or scalar dyad, with analysis in depth of the various pivot chords available, but relatively little attention is given to the problem of modulating between the modes and the traditional tonal scales or into a modal scale outside of the particular dyad. I am presently working on a problem of getting from an A-flat seventh into a G Dorian by way of a few bars in b-flat minor, then back to an ambiguous G-major. I'm not sure just why I am doing that, and I may throw the whole idea away and do something else instead, but I would like to see at least a few paragraphs in this book dealing with this order of practice. I could look at a number of scores by composers of the past two hundred years for hints to an approach, but I was hoping this author would direct me toward some potential solutions.

Some of the examples on the accompanying CD are useful, at least for a person inept at the keyboard. And the three study compositions are interesting in their own way -- avant-gardish and eggheadish -- rather beyond the ken of a typical musical audience. One might think of Edgar Varese on a caffeine jangle. While more appropriate for Darmstadt than for Salzburg, they do give a sampling of available sonorities in the modal system. Unfortunately, they often seem directionless. Music needs to give a sense of forward momentum, and these tend to flounder around in aimless circles then just quit without a prepared cadence. There are wonderful melodies and cadences available in the various modes. Too bad there are none in evidence here.

So it's back to Fux and Piston and Hindemith and a library of study scores to resolve my problems, with an occasional hopeful look into this book for some additional ideas. Meanwhile I do give this book a solid four stars because there is nowhere else in the world that I know of where a person can find the specific information on modal harmonic structures contained here.
Modal Music Composition: 3rd Edition download epub
Author: Stephen M. Cormier
ISBN: 0975431838
Category: No category
Language: English
Publisher: Inman & Artz Publishers; 3rd edition (July 15, 2010)