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there are certain chords never heard in Bach

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  • there are certain chords never heard in Bach

    Having listened to much Bach's organ music and classical music in general there are certain chords never heard.

    Namely Minor 7th, Major 7th, Minor 6th, Augmented chords and Flat 5 chords.

    These above chords are chiefly associated with soulful, bluesy, romantic or jazzy popular music.

    But we do surprisingly, get dominant 7ths and diminished chords in some of Bach's works, which chords are also commonly associated with bluesy or jazzy popular music.

    Odd time signatures, as 5/4 and 12/8, are also avoided in classical music. Seldom are exciting syncopated beats heard in classical music as well. There doesn't seem to much in the way of chromaticism in Bach either. This is more a thing again of sophisticated popular music.

    Is there any contemporary music which combines the elegance of classical music with the sophistication of jazz's harmonies and rhythms? Is there jazz music with a particularly "Baroque" flavor?

  • #2
    Listen to Moussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition played on a piano--it was written for that instrument. I don't think you'll find it written in any of the styles you mention, but it has very interesting chords, key signatures, and time signatures. Lots of 5 & 6 flats/sharps, and the opening movement is really written in 11/4 time--it alternates 5/4 with 6/4 measures for a net 11/4 time. But it works. Take a look at the score! It is a piece for a virtuoso. If you have only heard the orchestral version or organ transcription, the piano version is a revelation.

    Saint Saens Symphony No. 3 in C Minor (sometimes called "the organ sympnony" but the score calls for 2 pianos in addition)--the last part of the last movement sounds quite modern to me.

    Also, Rossini's Petite Messe Solenelle (Little Solemn Mass) has a jazz flavor, especially to the Cum Sancto Spiritu (after the intro) which has the form of a fugue. The opening Kyrie has a jazz sort of beat to it--at least a very modern beat. It is scored for 12 voices, 2 piano and harmonium--if you find a recording, try to get it with that scoring, as the wheezing of the harmonium fits the piece well at certain times.

    Now you know 3 of my favorite pieces of classical music! A 4th is the Sibelius violin concerto, but that doesn't fit this discussion. The Sibelius can send shivers down my spine.

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    • #3
      I was playing through some classical pieces with a Grade 4 piano student last week. A lot of the chords you mention were to be found! I haven't got the music to hand, and the teaching room is now off limits until after Christmas! A spanish style tango was one of them and a delightful piece called 'Am Abend'. You'll find the sheet music to the original piano version and my arrangement for organ on my website.

      And there's nothing remotely 'odd' about compound time signatures in classical music. Try listening to some pastorales, like those of Frank Bridge, for example. And another student is working on a prelude by Cesar Franck which starts in 9/8.

      Irregular time signatures? Not so common, perhaps! And of course Mr Satie (and others) were not afraid to have no time signature at all!
      It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

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      • #4
        Quite an interesting organ piece, Rhumba by Elmore has a pedal glissando in it!

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        • #5
          Bach Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue in d minor


          or the Fugue of Bach's Prelude & Fugue in e minor


          Lots of chromatism in Mozart,too.


          Beethoven's late string quartets, e.g. Grosse Fugue, have very complex harmonic structures, but the common use of more complex harmonies and chromaticism followed him. Liszt, Chopin, Brahms, Mahler, and in particular Richard Wagner.


          Tonality begins to disappear with the impressionists, Debussy, Ravel, and company, and disappears entirely with the serial composers like Schoenberg.



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          • #6
            I don't think Bach ever got into atonality: keyless works. This is another weird realm in western music.

            Odd and wonderful notions in music include:

            1. atonality
            2. chromaticism
            3. strange time signatures
            4. chords consisting of 4 or more notes
            5. imperfect intervals
            6. syncopation
            7. merging western harmonies with non-European and non-American beats as of African drums and other ethnic percussion styles: Latin American and West Indian music is rife with this
            8. pentatonic scales, Asian
            9. the Greek modes
            10. classical Indian ragas
            11. microtones and quarter tones
            12. avant garde works

            Leonard Bernstein was a great musical educator:


            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPGstQUbpHQ

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            • #7
              Jonmyrlebailey,

              Where do you come up with this stuff?!!!

              People address your initial question, but rather than furthering the discussion, you come out of left field with your list and make a random statement about Leonard Bernstein.

              Michael
              Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
              • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
              • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
              • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

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              • #8
                Originally posted by myorgan View Post
                Jonmyrlebailey,

                Where do you come up with this stuff?!!!

                People address your initial question, but rather than furthering the discussion, you come out of left field with your list and make a random statement about Leonard Bernstein.

                Michael
                I have a vivid imagination.

                A guy up there started to talk about tonality disappearing and that Bernstein video came to mind so I thought i'd share it since it was on the subject. I was adding something to his two cents.
                I watch Bernstein a lot on YouTube.


                "Tonality begins to disappear with the impressionists, Debussy, Ravel, and company, and disappears entirely with the serial composers like Schoenberg."

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