some thoughts on, and possible criticisms of the L.C.C.

The main body of the LCC and its practical application, including all 4 published versions of Book 1 with their inserts: the 1959 tan cover; the 1959 light green cover Japanese edition; the 1970‘s white cover, which adds an illustrated River Trip to the 1959 edition, and the currently available Fourth Edition, 2001.

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some thoughts on, and possible criticisms of the L.C.C.

Postby Alan Smith » Mon Mar 12, 2007 1:35 pm

If I have a criticism of the l.c.c. it would be that it's bias nowadays is very much towards enlarging and refining its initial presentation at the expense of a concise and complete overview.

This means that those now approaching the theory for the first time with the intention of aquiring tools and strategies for managing the resources of the chromatic scale may well fail to grasp its full potential. As things stand (and without the benefit of hindsight offered by previous editions), the new student may well feel somewhat in the dark about the larger implications beyond simple scale to chord relationships.

The risk here of misunderstanding is similar now to what it was back in the early 1960's when if there was a prevailing misperception it was that the student was somehow compelled to use the various vertical and horizontal member scales of a tonal centre referred to in the text.

Its to be hoped that further editions will in the fullness of time address the need for various strategies and techniques for handling the full resources opened up by the theory.

This is especially true in relation to the horizontal approach which is still little understood by many, myself amongst them

The 'horizontal condition' of a prevailing tonal centre with the emphasis on fourth based member scales can strike one as being at odds with vertical approach; just why is it that fourth based scales are necessary when relating to a group of chords resolving to a tonic. If the tonic is truly a 'Lydian Chromatic' tonic then why not use any scale? The use of the normally major scale and other fourth based scales in this context may also beg the question of whether the true Lydian Chromatic tonic is in fact a fourth above the one established by a horizontal approach.

Beyond this there is the same problem of how to bring the wider resources of the L.C.C to bear upon this horizontallly established tonic. what techniques can be used to harness these resources?

Another perhaps even more fundamental problem area is the lack of an overview on the use of the l.c.c. to form truly chromaticised harmonic (and indeed rhythmic ) structures. This I believe is essential if the student's use of the concept is to trancend the simplistic orientation implied by the question, 'what scale can i play over this diatonic standard chord progression?' Even the 'modalization' of chord progressions according to the (then) liberating practices of the late 50's early 60's can be seen as simplistic in the light of all the more advanced language that followed in it's wake.

Here too the issue arises; considering the wealth of polytonal/polyrhthmic jazz compostion that now exists including the pantonality of the Ornette Coleman school, one wonders if there are not more immediately fruitful sources of information that will avail the student of modern polytonal/rhythmic practices in jazz and other areas of musical endeavour? Certainly there must have been or else all modern creative musicians are graduates of the L.C.C.

Just a few thoughts to ponder. Any comments?
Regards

Alan Smith
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Postby chespernevins » Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:55 pm

This is such a big topic. I have so many questions, but it's hard to put the questions into words concisely.

I agree there is a big h0le left by the fact the second volume is unreleased. (Even with the original books out there.)

The Concept is so neutral in terms of compositional approaches. It seems like these approaches have to come from other areas of study, or understanding, or creativity.

Off the top of my head - some of my questions. I'm going to ask them without much thought because when I start thinking about it, I get to a point of complexity that it t0ngue ties me:

1) Now I know about flat/sharp lying keys, and the interchangeability of all chords within a given Lydian Universe. But how do I go about writing a good chord progression?

2) How come the #IV degree is not a Conceptual Modal Tonic?

3) (Here's a weird one) If a major scale has two tonics, does a "mixolydian" scale have 3? Does a Dorian scale have 4? (I mean, listen to the scales...)

Regarding questions 2 and 3: When a Bb lydian scale is forced into having F for a tonic, then it ends up with a pull between the 2, right? So the F (V of Bb) becomes a CMT.

So if Eb lydian is forced to have an F as a tonic, then II becomes the CMT. Eb is the lydian tonic, F the tonic of the "song", and Bb seems like it's still a tonic of sorts if you play up the scale. (F -> Bb -> Eb )

What if B lydian is forced to have a tonic of F? Shouldn't F be a CMT?

Is this kind of stuff in the second book? And far more?

I suppose the more we study historical western music, the more we can understand about horizontal gravity. But there's probably more, right?

- Chesper, wandering around in the dark

(uh, sorry about the 0's in some words - the spam filter was editing me!)
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Postby chespernevins » Fri Mar 16, 2007 12:47 pm

Alan said:

The 'horizontal condition' of a prevailing tonal centre with the emphasis on fourth based member scales can strike one as being at odds with vertical approach; just why is it that fourth based scales are necessary when relating to a group of chords resolving to a tonic. If the tonic is truly a 'Lydian Chromatic' tonic then why not use any scale? The use of the normally major scale and other fourth based scales in this context may also beg the question of whether the true Lydian Chromatic tonic is in fact a fourth above the one established by a horizontal approach.


Let me throw this out here:

If I understand what you are saying above...

It is interesting that a major scale (F major) is a member of the F lydian chromatic scale.

The idea of a horizontal scale means to me that an F major scale is most closely related to Bb lydian - that is, the F major scale is a Bb lydian scale in a context that has forced F into being the tonic – thereby creating two tonics (F & Bb )– which creates the forward moving cycle of constantly resolving between the two tonics.

My thinking is that the F major scale is MOST closely aligned with the Bb LC Universe.

And an F Major scale is LESS directly aligned with the F LC Universe, with the Bb being a farther out note in the F LC Universe.

So if you are using an F major scale over chords that go from Bb Lydian to an F Lydian tonic station ( G- C7 -> F ), then, yes you can consider the F major scale as being in the FLC Universe, but if you start using other F lydian scales, it’s going to be a little “out thereâ€
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Postby Alan Smith » Fri Mar 16, 2007 5:28 pm

[quote]So if you are using an F major scale over chords that go from Bb Lydian to an F Lydian tonic station ( G- C7 -> F ), then, yes you can consider the F major scale as being in the FLC Universe, but if you start using other F lydian scales, it’s going to be a little “out thereâ€
Regards

Alan Smith
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Postby chespernevins » Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:48 am

Your other points regarding the implied tonics of modes are a little more difficult to understand as I feel there's some confusion there about what constitutes a tonic in relation to a mode as opposed to a chord.

To me a Dorian scale implies one Lydian tonic, a minor 3rd above it's root. However the minor chord built on that Dorian tonic, say Cm7 or Cm11 may well imply a number of other possible tonics depending on the notes present in the chord. The fewer the notes, the more it will support a variety of alternatives.


Do you mean alternate or secondary modal tonics? That’s not really what I mean.

I was thinking this:

A G major scale / C Vh implies two tonics because G A B C resolves from G to C and then D E F# G resolves to G. That’s the whole premise of the horizontal scale, right? Two tonics that tug back and forth to give that feeling of a need to move.

So take a G mixolydian / F IIh mode:

Doesn’t G A B C resolve to C, and C D E F resolve to F? So can I say I have the tonics G, C and F?

If you play a chord progression in the G Mixolydian, or F IIh mode, it sounds right to move back and forth between the chords G, F and C while emphasizing the G chord as the I chord and playing a melody from the G mixolydian mode.

Just like the major scale/Vh mode generates motion between the two tonics on I and IV, why can’t we say the mixolydian/IIh mode generates motion between I, IV and VII?
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Postby sandywilliams » Wed Mar 21, 2007 6:52 pm

I don’t think of a’ chord progression in the Mixolydian mode’ (BTW The term ‘Lydian’ is the only modal term that the LCC has in common with tradition theory nomenclature). This kind of thinking is similar to saying that the Major Scale has a certain chord progression. Check out page 81 of the 2001 edition of the LCC. Also, reread the first paragraph of the Forward to the book.
You could use the G Major b7 scale to create a melody to a song that has none of the chords in its scale! Since it isn’t a vertical scale we aren’t’ concerned with what chords it produces. The scales that produce chords are vertical scales.
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Postby Alan Smith » Thu Mar 22, 2007 7:54 pm

A G major scale / C Vh implies two tonics because G A B C resolves from G to C and then D E F# G resolves to G. That’s the whole premise of the horizontal scale, right? Two tonics that tug back and forth to give that feeling of a need to move.

So take a G mixolydian / F IIh mode:

Doesn’t G A B C resolve to C, and C D E F resolve to F? So can I say I have the tonics G, C and F?

If you play a chord progression in the G Mixolydian, or F IIh mode, it sounds right to move back and forth between the chords G, F and C while emphasizing the G chord as the I chord and playing a melody from the G mixolydian mode.

Just like the major scale/Vh mode generates motion between the two tonics on I and IV, why can’t we say the mixolydian/IIh mode generates motion between I, IV and VII?


Well what you're saying here is that specific collections of tones from the mixolydian scale, or it's component tetrachords if you will, have implied tonics of their own. You are right in saying that G A B C implies a tonic C and that C D E F resolves to F. But these are 4 note chords that are resolving to these tonics not the entire scale. If you were to sound the entire G mixolydian scale as one 7 note chord, it would imply just one tonic, F lydian. At least that's how see it.

As far as using F, G and C major chords to outline the Mixolydian scale that's fine; but if you're melody is entirely G mixolydian the implied tonality of the whole thing is F Lydian irrespective of your chords.

If however you were to relate to F, G and C as chords with their own implied resolution, ( a progression could have any of the three chords as resolving chords depending on the last chord played) then yes you could have any one of three tonics there. But again it's the chords you've derived from the Mixolydian scale rather than the scale itself that have yielded this result.

To summarise; saying G A B C....C D E F ...D E F G have separate tonics is not to say that the tones G A B C D E F taken collectively have the same three separate tonics. See what I'm getting at?
Regards

Alan Smith
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Postby sandywilliams » Thu Mar 22, 2007 9:12 pm

“But again it's the chords you've derived from the Mixolydian scale rather than the scale itself that have yielded this result.â€
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Postby sandywilliams » Fri Mar 23, 2007 11:09 am

Here are some thoughts from a friend who I hope will be joining us soon:

"regarding mr. smith's post, i believe that he's got the concept of HTG not quite right. i don't believe that mr. russell's intention of introducing CMG was to imply, for example, that a chord progression resolving to a C major tonic station is actually employing an F lydian tonic; Dm7 G7 Cmaj7 clearly falls within the jurisdiction of the C lydian chromatic scale through the four horizontal member scales: C major, C major flat seventh, C major augmented fifth, and C african-american blues.

i think that for all intents and purposes mr.russell was merely pointing out that the F lydian scale, which is a member scale of the F lydian chromatic scale, contains the same tonal material as the C major scale, which is a member scale of the C lydian chromatic scale, and that the similarity ends there. in other words, the F lydian chromatic scale is not related to the C major horizontal member scale, other than that they share their respective pitch inventories.

another way of explaining this is that tonal gravity, which we have previously observed, is the real underlying phenomenon behind the concept, not merely the listing of pitch classes within the member scales. let's also put it this way: VTG and HTG are fundamentally different, although their origins are the same. state of being and state of resolution are their respective characteristics.

another observation i had was that the idea of three tonics in the "mixolydian" scale is incorrect because the author of that particular point seemed unaware of the fact that the two resolving tetrachords of the major scale are constructed: whole-step, whole-step, half-step, which is true for the pitches CDEF and GABC, but not DEFG as the author suggested - i think that this is an important distinction, and perhaps should be pointed out."
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Postby chespernevins » Fri Mar 23, 2007 9:28 pm

Sandy said:

BTW The term ‘Lydian’ is the only modal term that the LCC has in common with tradition theory nomenclature


I always thought that what you say here was true. But then when I read pp.118-121 of the new book, I saw that he uses the terms Mixolydian, Ionian, Aeolian and Phrygian in statements like "The Lydian scale's dual state Mixolydian mode". That's when I started using the term again when discussing CMGs.

What's your opinion on this?
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Postby chespernevins » Fri Mar 23, 2007 10:18 pm

another observation i had was that the idea of three tonics in the "mixolydian" scale is incorrect because the author of that particular point seemed unaware of the fact that the two resolving tetrachords of the major scale are constructed: whole-step, whole-step, half-step, which is true for the pitches CDEF and GABC, but not DEFG as the author suggested - i think that this is an important distinction, and perhaps should be pointed out


Well, just for the record, I posted the 3 tonics thing, and I never said DEFG. I said GABC and CDEF, giving the "tonics" (sic) C and F, and I meant that G is a "tonic" because it is a G scale.

Alan said DEFG, but I liked his post anyway - he is very clear. Of course, now I'm going to disagree with him... :D

OK, so now Alan said:
Well what you're saying here is that specific collections of tones from the mixolydian scale, or it's component tetrachords if you will, have implied tonics of their own. You are right in saying that G A B C implies a tonic C and that C D E F resolves to F. But these are 4 note chords that are resolving to these tonics not the entire scale. If you were to sound the entire G mixolydian scale as one 7 note chord, it would imply just one tonic, F lydian. At least that's how see it.


A G Mixolydian scale (sorry Sandy - just for clarity here for a second - I'll stop with the modal jargon soon!) with *only* an F lydian tonic would be a vertical state FII chordmode, right? Sounding the scale all at once would seem to be a vertical situation.

But if a FVh mode (C maj) has "two tonics" - the lydian tonic (F) and the Conceptual Modal Tonic (C), because of the 2 tetrachords, I just used the same logic with the IIh major b7 mode. GABC gives the resolution to the note C and CDEF gives a resolution to the note F, which gives us the major scale duality again, but this time it is in the context of emphasizing G as the tonic.

It is an interesting point, though, about the DEFG. There is no tetrachord that resolves to G. The G only gets it authority by how it's stressed in context, whereas the major scale has the two tetrachords resolving directly to the lydian tonic and the conceptual tonic.

In playing a melody in the IIh major b7 mode, it seems like one could easily come to rest on any of the 3 notes mentioned - the G, C or F, so I began thinking along these lines.

I don't think George has said this or would agree with it - I am just playing with the idea. But I'd be just as happy to understand the arguments against this.
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Postby chespernevins » Fri Mar 23, 2007 10:30 pm


i think that for all intents and purposes mr.russell was merely pointing out that the F lydian scale, which is a member scale of the F lydian chromatic scale, contains the same tonal material as the C major scale, which is a member scale of the C lydian chromatic scale, and that the similarity ends there. in other words, the F lydian chromatic scale is not related to the C major horizontal member scale, other than that they share their respective pitch inventories.


I hear you - I know that George says that the C Major scale is part of the C Lydian universe.

But at the same time, he says on page 119:

F Lydian scale mode V: CDEFGAB
The Lydian Scale's Dual State Ionian Mode

FVh : C Major
Last edited by chespernevins on Fri Mar 23, 2007 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby chespernevins » Fri Mar 23, 2007 11:11 pm

So, from what I'm gathering:

Let's say I write a melody using the notes GABCDEF exclusively.

And I use a chord progression for this tune that includes G, F, C, Amin, Emin, and Dmin and it began and ended on G - clearly in the key of G.

And let's say the melody is an irish or folk or traditional type melody that clearly stays in G - no single measure has more than 5 or 6 notes over any one chord, lingering in a vertical state.

I suppose we would say that we are using a horizontal mode from the G LC scale, and not from the FLC scale. (G Ih major b7 and not F IIh major b7 ??)

And I suppose we could not say that the chord progression comes from FIIh major b7, or from G Ih major b7. We would have to analyze the chords vertically: G from G Lyd | F from F lyd | C from C lyd | Amin from C lyd | E min from G Lyd | D min from F lyd. And the chord progression sounds the way it does because of the degree of sharp and flat resolution from one chord to the next, not because they have any relation to the horizontal scale in the melody.

Am I getting warmer? (Thanks for your patience!)
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Postby dogbite » Sat Mar 24, 2007 10:31 am

it is beginning to look as if there is some confusion as to exactly what CMG or "conceptual modal genre" and therefore, CMT or "conceptual modal tonic" are all about. i confess that i do not have an easy answer. since volume I seems specifically written as a detailed analysis of vertical tonal gravity (VTG) and volume II, as yet unreleased, is to further explore horizontal tonal gravity (HTG), and that the ideas of CMG and CMT clearly fall within the realm of HTG, we are shooting in the dark, so to speak...

i believe that the eventual release of volume II will illuminate these concerns and that it is probably a good idea that in the meantime we don't get too hung up on what may turn out to be minutiae - in other words, perhaps it would be best if we stick to the basics of 1) VTG when relating to individual chords and 2) HTG when relating to a tonic station. in studying with mr. russell and mr. wasserman, i had the clear impression that the CMGs and CMTs were descibed more as a matter of convenience rather than a tenet of the concept...

i may be completely wrong in these observations; however, i think that the musical examples used in this thread of posts needn't be overly challenging. for example, a folk melody with the tonic "G" using the chords G, Am, C, Dm, Em, and F would clearly be analyzed as a G major flat seventh member scale of the G lydian chromatic universe when employing HTG. the fact that the same may be analyzed is FIIh or CVh shouldn't hang us up too much, but may be useful in providing connections to other member scales - i really think that mr. russell was merely trying to point out that the F LC scale (through the F lydian member scale) and the C LC scale (through the C major member scale) have common elements to the G major flat seventh member scale that may be exploited through the use of CMG...

again, i may be completely wrong in my analysis here because my understanding of CMG may be totally off track - let's face it: this is difficult language here and it may do much for us to try to avoid looking at the concept through the lenses of our previous musical teachings. of course the folk melody used as an example here would have been dismissed by my college theory professor as a simple mixolydian melody, but the concept sure makes it all so much more interesting, doesn't it???

regarding my comment about the difficulty of this language here, i had to reread all of these posts numerous times and will do so again to make sure i have not misinterpreted anybody, so i beg forgiveness if i have done so.

in any case, i am gratified that such a lively discussion is happening here, so keep 'em coming all you lydiots out there!!!

schell
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Postby Alan Smith » Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:39 am

I would be quite happy to stick to the basics and take it on trust that we use horizontal gravity when relating to a group of chords with a clear resolving tonic. So C lydian chromatic would be the station implied by a group of chords that resolved to C Major. I just don't think it was fully explained why 4th based scales have to take precedence in this situation. If the tonic station is truly Chromatic then surely the Lydian #4 based scales ar equally applicable. If not why not?

Of course it's no great 'problem' to me as such as I frequently look for the chromatic possibilities beyond the member scales anyway. Looked at chromatically ecvery L.C. tonic contains the member scales of every other L.C. tonic. It's really just a point of interest bearing in mind the concept's contention that the Cmaj7b5 Lydian chord scale is more in keeping with C major from a gravity point of view. Exactly why that ceases to be the case in a horizontal situation is not clear to me.
Regards

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