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Unread 05-15-2012, 10:01 AM   #1
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Advanced Theory Book?



I am wanting to expand my theory knowledge more. I have a excellent understanding of keys, scales, chords, secondary dominates, leading tones, substitution chords etc. So, I want something a bit more advanced. Would it be a jazz theory book? Please don't tell me to go buy a theory 1 book. It does not have to be for guitar in fact, I would prefer it to work more with piano and then transfer it over as need be.

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Unread 05-15-2012, 10:42 AM   #2
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Mark Levine has a "Jazz Theory" book which is excellent. I should advise, it is quite massive, and covers a lot of ground. This means that probably half of it won't suite you, but it doesn't mean that you can't browse through it and find stuff that might interest you. It's also pretty applied, which is excellent. Overall, it's very well written too.
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Unread 05-15-2012, 10:53 AM   #3
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Persichetti's Twentieth-century harmony is pretty good, and might be more suited to your level of knowledge. I'm sure SchecterWhore will chime in later with a half-a-dozen better suggestions.

If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you.
If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.
-The Gospel of Thomas

Melody is the outpouring of the soul. Words interrupt the stream of the emotions.
For the songs of the souls, at the time they are swaying in the high regions to drink from the well of the Almighty,
consist of tones only, dismantled of words.
-Rabbi Shneur Zalman

7 strings, played slowly.
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Unread 05-15-2012, 05:41 PM   #4
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The Persichetti book is alright. I also like Stefan Kostka's "Materials And Techniques Of Twentieth Century Music". Messiaen wrote a book, "My Musical Language", although you get more out of it if you already sort of know what he's talking about. Arnold Schönberg's books are pretty good. Structural Functions of Harmony has a some informative chapters, and Fundamentals of Musical Composition brings up a lot of nice considerations. Augminished, are you familiar with augmented sixth chords, enharmonic modulation, and non-functional chromaticism? How are you on form? Phrases, periods, etc. Just make sure that you cover all of your bases in basic tonality before moving on.

Analysis is essential, if you haven't already been doing something like this. Start with small forms, then move on to large forms. Some suggestions:

Small forms:

Most anything from Robert Schumann's Album für die jugend. Look for binary forms (AB, or AABB), ternary forms (ABA), rounded binary forms (AB with a shortened recapitulation to A; No.6, Armes Waiserkind is an example).

Bach's cello suites. I think that every movement is in binary form.

Debussy's Préludes, books 1 and 2. This stuff is a little more harmonically and formally complicated.

Bartók's Mikrokosmos books are excellent and about as fruitful as can be as far as as post-tonal theory goes. They're also under copyright, so PM me if you have any interest.

Large forms:


Beethoven. Piano Sonata 21, 8, and symphonies 3-9.

Dvořák's 7th and 8th symphonies.

Brahms, symphonies 1 and 4, and the piano sonatas and rhapsodies.

More advanced stuff: Bartók's string quartets and Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celeste (once again, PM me for Bartók stuff), Mahler's symphonies, Berg's Piano Sonata, Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit, anything Takemitsu, and there are countless others to name.

------

I learned post-tonal theory without a book; everything was either communicated aurally or was arrived at through analysis. Therefore, I don't know too many good resources for learning about set theory and expanded tonality. It's far easier and far better for me to say that you need to learn to analyze, then dig in to Bartók and Webern's music.



Skype theory lessons. PM me.
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Unread 05-15-2012, 08:16 PM   #5
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My version of the bat signal. The SchecterWhore Signal




I am familiar with enharmonic modulation. I have not dealt with augmented 6th chords or non functional chromaticism. Should I look into a book or site that deals with this?

I have worked with lots of analysis but mostly easier stuff. The most complex analysis I have dealt with is dealing with secondary dominant chords and secondary leading tones. That is why I was thinking about Jazz theory. I have started analyzing stuff from the Real Book and wasn't sure how to expand on that.

Thanks for the sheet music. I will definitely start looking at stuff like that. I have always learned better by reading a book and sitting down to reinforce it. But as long as I am on the right track with the analysis then I am happy.
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Unread 05-15-2012, 10:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Augminished View Post
My version of the bat signal. The SchecterWhore Signal
It would raise eyebrows, I'm sure.

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I am familiar with enharmonic modulation. I have not dealt with augmented 6th chords or non functional chromaticism. Should I look into a book or site that deals with this?
Not really. You can learn this stuff in a couple of minutes.

Augmented sixth chord - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

You can think of an augmented sixth chord as any dominant-quality chord that resolves down by minor second (Ex: Gb7-F). Really, though, it's the expansion of the augmented sixth interval to a perfect octave that makes a +6 chord what it is. You'll find progressions like Gb7-F all the time in jazz-snazz-razmataz, but few of these instances are representations of +6 chords, because a fondness for seventh chords ruins any chance of a proper +6 resolution.



Actual +6 chords are found all the time in classical music, where voice leading is of great importance, but are pretty rare otherwise. Nevertheless, my vigilant ear managed to find one in this croony mess:

NeverShoutNever - Robot


At 2:42, progression's Am C7 B7 E, or iv Ger+6 V7 I.

As far as non-functional chromaticism, that's just any chromatically altered chord that doesn't have a function, like spamming a bunch of random minor triads whether or not they're in the key.

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I have worked with lots of analysis but mostly easier stuff. The most complex analysis I have dealt with is dealing with secondary dominant chords and secondary leading tones. That is why I was thinking about Jazz theory. I have started analyzing stuff from the Real Book and wasn't sure how to expand on that.
Well, there certainly are a lot of secondary functions in the Real Book. As far as forms go, though, you want to look elsewhere. Pardon me for saying this, but the Real Book is a kinda vapid.
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Unread 05-16-2012, 09:12 AM   #7
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Interesting. I like the sound of augmented 6th chords. So, is it acting as a tritone sub? I got most of the info on the wiki page until then. The double diminished chords I like to. Might use that with some tunes.


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Originally Posted by SchecterWhore View Post
As far as non-functional chromaticism, that's just any chromatically altered chord that doesn't have a function, like spamming a bunch of random minor triads whether or not they're in the key.
Gotcha. So, how would you tell the difference between a secondary dominant and non-functional chromaticism? Does non-functional chromaticism just deal with minor/major chords? Does the root of the chord stay the same and you alter the chord for "color"?


Quote:
Originally Posted by SchecterWhore View Post
Well, there certainly are a lot of secondary functions in the Real Book. As far as forms go, though, you want to look elsewhere. Pardon me for saying this, but the Real Book is a kinda vapid.
I agree about it being vapid. That is why I wanted to learn more. Its a lot of ii V I progressions. But that is why I posted, I want more! Maybe I will start up with more classical analysis like what you posted.

Again you come through with stuff and I feel like I am just starting to learn theory thanks

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Unread 05-16-2012, 11:37 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Augminished View Post
Interesting. I like the sound of augmented 6th chords. So, is it acting as a tritone sub? I got most of the info on the wiki page until then.


It's like a tritone sub, in that you're ultimately dealing with a dominant chord that resolves down by minor second. However, a tritone sub is a dominant chord whose dissonance is the tritone interval, which collapses to a third or expands to a sixth. In an +6 chord, the dissonance is an augmented sixth, and the resolution is the expansion to an octave. Most of the time, they result in the same voice leading and resolution. However, the augmented sixth is its own thing. It's all about the embellishment of an octave. Tritones are more about thirds. Also, when you resolve to that octave, the other notes don't have to make up a root position chord: An augmented sixth going E-Cx will resolve to D#-D#, and that D# can be either a root, third, or fifth of the resolving chord.

Quote:
Gotcha. So, how would you tell the difference between a secondary dominant and non-functional chromaticism? Does non-functional chromaticism just deal with minor/major chords? Does the root of the chord stay the same and you alter the chord for "color"?
Here's a secondary dominant:

Em E7 Am B7b9 E

E7 has a direction and a purpose: to resolve to some sort of A chord (or act as a secondary +6 chord and resolve to some sort of octave D#).

Here's a bunch of non-functional dominant chords:

E7 A7 B7 E7

While E7-A7 is potentially a group of secondary dominants (albeit not resolving), it falls apart as soon as we hit B7. Were it to go to D or Dm, the progression would still involve functional dominant chords. In the above progression, the dominant quality is used only for color.

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Again you come through with stuff and I feel like I am just starting to learn theory thanks
You're welcome. It's what I do.
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