solfege and LCCOTO

Questions and answers on the basic structure of the LCC

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solfege and LCCOTO

Postby mandala » Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:04 am

Hi,

I'm newly registered, but I've been lurking for some time...

Does anybody have a strong opinion about how to best mesh solfege ear training with the Concept?

I visited the New England Conservatory page, and they apparently use a "fixed do" system of some sort.

Does this mean "do" is always the Lydian Tonic whenever looking at modes?

For example, I've noticed the Lydian Tonic really makes the Mode III horizontal minor move (LT = b6 of horizontal/"natural" minor). Does this mean I would treat horizontal/"natural" minor as:

me fa so la ti *do* re

From a vertical standpoint, would the relative vertical minor then be:

la ti *do* re me fa so

I have other questions/thoughts about solfege and the Concept, but this probably plenty for now.

I'm a little stuck regarding how best to proceed, so I'm very interested in any feedback you may have...
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Postby chespernevins » Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:41 am

Hi Mandala,

Actually, "fixed do" means that the note C is always "Do", D is always "Re", etc. no matter what key you are in or what the analysis is.

It's "movable do" solfege where the "Do" changes to the tonic of the current key.

I think your take on the minor modes is right on. I'm just not sure if it's worth using solfege syllables as it gets complicated pretty quickly. I'm thinking that it's similar to trying to learn jazz in solfege - the keys change so quickly that it gets very confusing in Movable Do. Fixed Do makes more sense in this context, but then you start to wonder why you need syllables.

Maybe others have a different take.

It would be interesting to further the discussion about ear training.
Last edited by chespernevins on Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: solfege and LCCOTO

Postby sandywilliams » Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:46 am

[quote="mandala"]Hi,

I'm newly registered, but I've been lurking for some time...

Does anybody have a strong opinion about how to best mesh solfege ear training with the Concept?

I visited the New England Conservatory page, and they apparently use a "fixed do" system of some sort.

Does this mean "do" is always the Lydian Tonic whenever looking at modes?

For example, I've noticed the Lydian Tonic really makes the Mode III horizontal minor move (LT = b6 of horizontal/"natural" minor). Does this mean I would treat horizontal/"natural" minor as:

me fa so la ti *do* re

From a vertical standpoint, would the relative vertical minor then be:

la ti *do* re me fa so

I have other questions/thoughts about solfege and the Concept, but this probably plenty for now.

I'm a little stuck regarding how best to proceed, so I'm very interested in any feedback you may have...[/quote]
How to proceed with the Concept? Go through the book slowly. There are several tests to be completed in the book.
I only did solfege when I was a kid in Paris when the accordion playing music teacher would come to class once a week. Singing the scales or anything else is always a good thing.
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Postby chespernevins » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:11 am

I only did solfege when I was a kid in Paris when the accordion playing music teacher would come to class once a week. Singing the scales or anything else is always a good thing.


I've discovered that quoting works if you paste the quote into the message body of the reply, select it all and then hit the Quote button at the top. :)
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Postby mandala » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:16 pm

Actually, "fixed do" means that the note C is always "Do", D is always "Re", etc. no matter what key you are in or what the analysis is.

It's "movable do" solfege where the "Do" changes to the tonic of the current key.


OK, I did a little follow-up research, and I saw that fixed-do, as you describe it, is common in music education in Europe (according to what I read, anyway).

The idea of C always as "do" in all circumstances just seems really bizarre.

The method I'm contemplating would be "fixed" in the sense of the Lydian Tonic always being "do." Something in between fully-fixed and movable do.

For a bit of background, I've been studying the Bruce Arnold ear training system for some time, which is solfege-based, and it's really changed things for me. You could also think of it as "key-based," since you're training to hear how a note sounds within a key context.

The Concept *immediately* made sense to me after ear-training from a key-based perspective.

So, I'm very interested in "all things key." I can hear some distinct quality in the Lydian Tonic where it sits in a mode. I can hear the centrality of the Lydian Tonic and how it imparts tension and energy to a mode. I want to get more deeply acquainted with the Lydian "key mandala."

The Modal Tonics, in practice, feel like "do"...and yet somehow do not.

I'm just not sure if it's worth using solfege syllables as it gets complicated pretty quickly. I'm thinking that it's similar to trying to learn jazz in solfege - the keys change so quickly that it gets very confusing in Movable Do. Fixed Do makes more sense in this context, but then you start to wonder why you need syllables.


I know what you mean. Even a supposedly simple piece of music in an old-school Major Key kind of drives me crazy. "Do" becomes "so" becomes "fa" as they music moves horizontally in a I-IV-V.

The disunity of the Major Scale becomes apparent very quickly.

How to proceed with the Concept? Go through the book slowly. There are several tests to be completed in the book.


I haven't had any trouble matching scales to chords or learning the nomenclature. The intellectual exercise presents no problem.

I've been working on it for about three years.

My aim is to go deeper and discover the intuitive qualities in a more systematic way. I can tell Mr. Russell heard something real in the music--Tonal Gravity is a real experience--and that makes it exciting.

When I get a little more time, I'll tell more about my background and aims with the Concept.

I'm taking a break at work, so I better get back to it.
mandala
 
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Postby chespernevins » Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:40 am

Mandala,

I'm interested to hear where you're going with this. I can imagine what you may be getting at, and am looking forward to your ideas.

I like the fact that you mentioned both HTG and VTG in your examples, and seem to be exploring how the Lydian Tonic behaves in the HTG setting. I agree that this is interesting.

One somewhat advanced ear training direction that has been discussed around here is what I have come to think of as "The Motherlode Challenge".

Our friend Motherlode has learned to sing the whole Tonal Gravity chart (a chart of all intervals graded from ingoing to outgoing). I worked on that quite a bit last year, although it's on the back burner at the moment.

Anyway, tell us more when you get a chance.
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Postby mandala » Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:40 am

Note: the solfege syllable for #4/#11 is "fi" (pronounced "fee"). I got it wrong in my first post. Old habits and all that.

Our friend Motherlode has learned to sing the whole Tonal Gravity chart (a chart of all intervals graded from ingoing to outgoing). I worked on that quite a bit last year, although it's on the back burner at the moment.


I'm getting ready to give that a try this evening. I'll do my best to compress that down into my limited vocal range.

Things about HTG as I've experienced it:

I mainly investigated bringing in chromatic notes to pretty simple melodies, usually without chordal accompaniment. The +V degree, for I think obvious reasons, needs some careful handling against the Major Scale mode--C# against CMG C in F Lydian, for example. Once you've stated the F and gone to the subdominant (as usually understood), C# then becomes "activated" for use and you can play it pretty much with impunity. When you're in dominant territory, on the way back to I (CMG V), it's even easier to use +V as a tension resolving back to CMG V.

A lot of it sounded very ragtime.

For Mode III natural/harmonic minor, it was very similar, except that the chromatic tones didn't begin to sound right until the b6 (Lydian Tonic) sounded. Keeping it in F Lydian, after outlining Am, F was what made the melody move. F gave the feeling of "shift" I normally associate with the IV chord or 4th degree in a Major Scale. D, the conceptual 4th degree for that minor mode, sounded very neutral to my ear, and did not make things move like the Major Scale's 4th degree does in my experience.

In each case, the Lydian Tonic was the "place the music goes to (disunity) before returning" in order to achieve motion.

So, in recent months, I've mostly been working on understanding more old-school, "common practice" types of musical behavior in a Lydian Chromatic sort of way. (I'd someday like to suss out modern Blues sounds in this context, too.)

I had the opportunity to employ the Concept in a more vertical, jazz kind of way in a group setting a while back (playing in an acoustic guitar ensemble), and it worked great. In one case, it was an old-school Eb Dorian vamp for several bars, and the +V and bIII additions worked perfectly.

I seemed to get the best results by focusing on a GbM7#11 arpeggio against the vamp (others in the group were providing the Modal Tonic in the accompaniment).

So, a lot of blahblahblah there, but a lot of my personal experiences have definitely pointed to the centrality of the Lydian Tonic.

I should say that I'm really hoping the 2nd Volume about HTG will come out. I've gotten hold of older editions, but I didn't think those older editions really got to the heart of the matter the way Volume 1 of the new edition did for VTG. I have a feeling Mr. Russell's understanding of HTG had advanced quite a bit in the interim. It would really be too bad if the 2nd Volume never arrived.
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Postby chespernevins » Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:18 am

Note: the solfege syllable for #4/#11 is "fi" (pronounced "fee"). I got it wrong in my first post. Old habits and all that.


In fixed do that I've experienced, there are no altered syllables. F# is still "fa". So I wouldn't have noticed. :)
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Postby chespernevins » Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:35 am

The +V degree, for I think obvious reasons, needs some careful handling against the Major Scale mode--C# against CMG C in F Lydian, for example.


Right. And the Ab in F Lydian 9 TO works so well resolving to C Maj, as in the C Maj Bebop scale. Like G7b9 -> C.

Also, if F Lyd resolves to a C Major chord, then we can use any F Lyd that sounds good. Like using F Aux Dim resolving to a C Maj chord.

Playing a "verticalized horizontal melody" over the C chord is nice, where an F Lyd Dim or F Aux Dim melody is played and then resolved to C, all over a static C chord, and you can hear the tension of the F Aux Dim notes over C.
Last edited by chespernevins on Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby chespernevins » Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:53 am

... after outlining Am, F was what made the melody move.... D, the ... 4th degree for that minor mode, sounded very neutral to my ear, and did not make things move like the Major Scale's 4th degree does in my experience.


I agree.
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