Page 1 of 1

Chord-Parenting Capacity

PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 3:15 pm
by strachs
Does anyone here employ any of the "Auxiliary" scales for chord-parenting?

Although, theoretically, these scales can be used to navigate the more outgoing fringes of tonal gravity, I find that the only really useful scales from a chord-parenting POV are the Lydian-derived scales (L, LA, LD and LFS).

In what circumstances do you find the Auxiliary scales useful?

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:53 am
by dds1234
Well the Aux. Aug. scale is notorious for sounding dreamlike... Its key center is an odd one also, such as eternally playing descending 3rds. It's useful for me whenever I am trying to lean away from a resolution. Even infinitely! Tertain harmony isn't too terribly applicable for this scale. Fifths are such a big part. Dey' don' mesh.

I also like the other two for the same reason... In fact because of this post I have realized that I use these all together too much! Anyways, I enjoy using the other two because of their interval structure. There was a thread about the minor third a while back actually. I have a tendency in improvising to rapidly jump around using minor thirds, for me this scale helps me know what it is I'm doing.

I cannot really say as a whole why I find them useful in a harmonic way. -at least a western harmonic reasoning.
But I do use plenty of perfect second, whole half, and tritone+minor third clusters in my music.

What type of things do you do habitually in your playing Strachs?

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:20 am
by strachs
I enjoy using tonal areas that highlight both similarities and differences. For example, I am a big fan of pentatonic scales, but they can get boring in the wrong hands (mine, for example) - although Oriental music amazes me for how much emotional mileage is squezed out of this scale.

What I like to do is colour the pentatonic scale with tones from modes which contain it. (all in 7TO)

For example, Major Pentatonic is found in the lydian scale, as well as Ionian mode (major scale) and Mixolydian. So you can colour it with the natural or augmented fourth, as well as major or lowered seventh.

These all have their relative minors: Minor Pentatonic is found in Dorian, Aeolian, and Phrygian. So you can colour it with a natural or lowered sixth, as well as a major or minor second.

I find that viewing these modes as colouring for the pentatonic scale means I can still rely on my pentatonic patterns/ideas, while drawing on the other available colours as needed (all the while remaining within the humble 7TO).

Also within the 7TO, a device I like to use involves chords with stacked perfect fifths.

For example, a M7 chord (fifth between 1 and 5, another between 3 and 7) can turn into a m7 by either lowering the upper fifth (3 and 7) to b3 and b7. This results in a shift of Lydian Tonics (CM7 to Cm7 goes from C Lydian I to Eb Lydian VI). The reverse can be done, too, by raising the lower fifth (1 and 5) a half-step. So CM7 becomes C#m7 (a shift from C Lydian I to E Lydian VI).

I find that, even without venturing into upper extensions (beyond the 7TO), the LCC gives me a tool to know where I have come from, where I have come to, and where I could possibly go (or choices of a path back home) without worrying too much about old rules for modulation using the so-called "dominant" chords. ANY MG can get you into or out of a tonal center, not just MG II.

Simple stuff, probably, for you pros, but I am enjoying the clarity and insight that the LCC offers even in exploring a small tonal universe. Given time, I am looking forward to venturing into using higher tonal orders for this stuff, too, but so far I've only used those in analysing existing music (again, with much appreciated new insight).

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:07 pm
by strachs
Anyway, the reason for my question, was because I can totally see how the Lydian-derived parent scales expand the pool of vertical chord "colours" in a measureable way, but in my experimenting/observations, I find that Modal Genre kind of loses it's meaning in the Auxiliary scales. They don't, as far, as I can see, introduce any chords I've ever used. I thought that was the idea of Parent scales.

Especially Auxiliary Augmented (whole-tone scale). It doesn't even have the VI degree, which seems to lead to total ambiguity as to MG. And since AD and ADB are modes of each other, I wonder why they are both considered Parent Scales.

Does ANYONE actually use the 12TO to achieve outgoing chords? I am beginning to think that the 11TO and 12TO don't really provide any vertical function. But I'd like someone to prove me wrong if I'm going astray here.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:10 pm
by chespernevins
No profound answer here, but I did once write a tune that started roughly like:

Bb Aux Aug I (Bb7 +5) I | C Aux Aug II (D7 +5) | F Lyd Aug II (G7 +11) |

The first two chords had a vertical melody over them that used the Bb Aux Aug scale. (Both the BbAA and the CAA scales are the same set of pitches: Bb C D E F# Ab)

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:11 pm
by strachs
OK, good example. The 7+5 chord can definitely be produced by the AA scale (although this is not the most ingoing environment for it).


Did your melody over the 7+5 chords include other tones from the AA scale?

Is there a reason you identified the D7+5 as CAA II, rather than DAA I?

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:14 pm
by chespernevins
strachs wrote:OK, good example. The 7+5 chord can definitely be produced by the AA scale (although this is not the most ingoing environment for it).

True. I specifically wanted a whole tone type sound in the accompanying chord. I wanted a natural 9 and no natural 6 or 5 - just the #11, #5, b7.


Did your melody over the 7+5 chords include other tones from the AA scale?

Notation would be better, but the notes were:
8th note pickups: Ab Bb Gb | [Bb7+5 9 +11] E C D Bb | [D7+5 9 +11] Ab |

with the 2nd and 3rd notes and 6th and 7th notes being a leap up of a +5.

strachs wrote:Is there a reason you identified the D7+5 as CAA II, rather than DAA I?

Simply because a "regular" D7 is a CII, so I kept it in the II category.

Modal Genre II (MG II) is a Primary Modal Genre (PMG) for a 7 chord and MG +V is a PMG for a 7+V chord, but MG I would be an Alternate MG (AMG) for this chord. So I guess in a sense MG II is a more fundamental choice than MG I.

I guess that begs the question why I didn't call the first chord Ab AA II. I guess because I viewed the Bb chord's modal genre as being I, kind of as a tonic chord to the tune.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:42 am
by strachs
Also related to chord-parenting:

As we already know, Lydian b7 is a mode of Lydian Augmented. Yet, it appears as a Primary Parent scale in it's own right in the Concept. From one set of notes, we get an 8TO structure and a 10TO structure.

My question would be, does this (Lb7) scale provide NEW chords, or just AMG environments for already available chords?

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 11:07 am
by strachs
The only truly unique chord I see that did not previously exist as a PMG flavor is Mode II 9th+5.

Otherwise, all the chords already existed in LA, one step to the right in Chart A.

A quasi-exception is Mode VI, which has min 7th b9 and min 11th b9. These were already available on Mode VII back in the 7TO Lydian scale. They are not listed that way in Chart A, however, because (as we recently discovered over in the "Thoughts on ...." thread) they are the vertical extensions of a CMG phrygian minor tonic station, and not a PMG chord.

As you may know, I always had a bit of a problem with the Mode VII column in chart A.

In general, the more ingoing interpretation is always preferred. (paragraph 1 on page 213: when comparing CMG treatment of the horizontal versus horizontal scales on PMG I, the CMG view is more "natural, genuine, intrinsic, and unified" than the horizontal scale approach.)

This causes me to wonder if Lb7 is really a 10TO scale, or simply a CMG/AMG alliance with LA?

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:54 pm
by strachs
I guess my bottom line is, I have a dislike for knowing more than I need to know. Especially if it confuses me further. My mind is kind of lazy that way.

My preference is to do away with horizontal scales altogether, and just put my CMG hat on to deal with the horizontal aspects of harmony since that's the most natural, ingoing interpretation anyway.

As Chesper correctly pointed out over in "Thoughts on...", Lb7 is not horizontal. Nonetheless, it seems to me it's a needlessly outgoing way to say what can be said in more CMG/AMG terms.

Viewing matters this way, there is a simple parallel between Lb7 and Mb7:

Mb7's most natural, ingoing (and for my brain, only necessary) interpretation is a CMG alliance with Mode II of the Lydian scale.

Lb7's most natural, ingoing (and for my brain, only necessary) interpretation is likewise a CMG alliance with Mode II of the Lydian Augmented scale.

In both cases, you could, after "resolving" to the CMG, consider the resulting structure PMG I of the sharp-lying scale, but then you have to "impose" a different scale to make that work. In the case of Lydian's CMG II, you would end up on a PMG I, but with Major b7 imposed on it. In the case of Lydian Augmented, you would end up on PMG I, but with Lydian b7 imposed on it.

In both cases, for me, the simpler solution is just to not insist on calling the strucuture PMG I. Keep calling it whatever it was in it's more ingoing environment.

Maybe I'm just missing it, but is there any advantage to assigning PMG I to any scale that has a more ingoing existence in another parent scale?

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:16 pm
by sandywilliams
A C AD scale may not seem to parent too many new chords but it is rich in harmonic color. It contains B,D,F, Ab major triads, BDFAb minor triads, BDF,Ab seventh chords, Cdim maj7#5, Eb dim maj7#5, Gbdim maj7#5, Adim maj7#5, and so on. There’s a lot of color to slap on the wall.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:00 am
by strachs
I'm not making a case for not using Lb7, just as I'm not suggesting we no longer use the major scale.

My sensibilities just prefer to note where a scale's tonal organization comes from when I use it (that's the basic impetus of the Concept in the first place).

It's true that there are several points of view from which to examine a scale, but I find more often I'm "on the level of getting lost" when I try to juggle them.

So, in the spirit of trimming down the redundant, I'm trying to place EVERYTHING in it's most ingoing position, and just stick to the CMG/AMG tangent for accessing the more outgoing stuff.

That being said, the auxiliary scales, being symmetrical, are much more fluid when it comes to assigning PMG's. Their association with available Lydian Tonics is equally weak and diffuse. The extreme perhaps, being the AA (always noted for it's "dreamlike" quality, probably due to the fact that it kind of FLOATS like a bubble, not strongly being gravitated in any direction). Thus MG's can be assigned at will when using these scales.

The asymmetrical scales (especially the Lydian scale) feel a definite gravitational leaning toward one tone, the Lydian tonic. *(footnote)

LA/Lb7 is probably in the middle ground here. It's quite Asymmetrical, but has two very interesting worlds to offer, depending where you point your LT compass. Of the two tritones, however, one is clearly more ingoing than the other.

So if you treat it like the other asymmetrical scales, Lb7's outgoing resources can be tapped into via CMG/AMG means (using LA). But since it's structure is ALMOST approaching the LT vagueness of the symmetrical scales, one could make a case for re-assigning the MG's. I just haven't heard that case yet. I'm gonna work out my CMG/AMG muscles. Anyone wanna come to the gym?

* That's why viewing the major scale as a kind of 11TO scale is a bit backward, IMO. Don't forget, the ingoing-ness or outgoing-ness of a chord/structure is not only determined by Tonal Order, but by Modal Genre. For the major scale, the more natural explanation for it's outgoing-ness is that it is on a slightly more outgoing MT than Lydian.