Hail to thee, true Body (Ave, verum Corpus)
  • CYS
    Posts: 1
    My idea with this was to provide a "musical paraphrase" of the chant melody for Father Caswall's literary paraphrase of the Latin text.

    (Yes, I am aware that the harmony is, to use a term that my conceit will tolerate, somewhat ideosyncratic.)
    Thanked by 2Heath jpal
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    Nobody commented on this, but seems quite good to me. 3rd measure, 3rd system, you have written an unsingable progression ie one that can't be sung in perfect tuning. Possibly rethink that? The G in the bass would naturally be sung tuned low against the subdominant harmony (ii serving as IV, and following vi), while the C in the bass, second beat, has to be sung high since it's dominant harmony. The movement to an A major then leads to a lowered d minor, next measure, which takes you back home a comma low in pitch.

    But drown it with organ and it should sound passable.
  • SkirpRSkirpR
    Posts: 854
    which takes you back home a comma low in pitch.

    But drown it with organ and it should sound passable.


    Fascinating.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • 3rd measure, 3rd system, you have written an unsingable progression ie one that can't be sung in perfect tuning.


    Seriously, you've got to be egging us on. There are no unsingable progressions. If there were, we would have spent all our time in theory class trying to find them along with parallel fifths.

    I'm complaining because I don't want anyone to fall into the trap of thinking that this tuning obsession you have means that there is possibly something drastically missing in their musical education because they have never heard of this and that they should go out, buy a ukulele and try busking for a living.

    Present this concept to even an advanced Catholic choir and you'd undoubtedly find attendance dwindling.

  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,357
    purple
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,413
    So much for deceptive cadences.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,349
    I don't know if mrcopper is right about the "unsingable progression", but it's good that someone is thinking about these things for the good of singers.

  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,357
    BTW - Related:
    I did an English translation of this a while ago as well.
    The English was well received here at the time, and the SAB harmonization was deemed... not as good as the translation. (I wrote it for my choir in particular, who sings it very well.)

    http://forum.musicasacra.com/forum/discussion/7216/hail-true-body-english-ave-verum
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    As seems to be usual, I must disagree with Choirbook again. Singers like to tune. So a well-educated music director who has gone beyond parallel fifths might get a group of amateur singers quite interested in pitch work. I'm going to my studio for a few minutes and I'll bring back suggested revisions for both pieces, CYS and Adam Wood ("Parallel Octave" Wood).
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,357
    It is unlikely I will integrate "suggestions" into my original arrangement, because of the damn-hard sudoku-like nature of voice-leading and part-writing. (Which, you can tell from my original, takes me a long time to do poorly.)

    If you would like to set a whole new harmonization or arrangement of my Englished text, built from scratch or derived from the melodic-alterations I did in my original, for any size or type of ensemble, in any style or tuning system...

    Please feel free to do so.
  • SkirpRSkirpR
    Posts: 854
    As seems to be usual, I must disagree with Choirbook again. Singers like to tune. So a well-educated music director who has gone beyond parallel fifths might get a group of amateur singers quite interested in pitch work. I'm going to my studio for a few minutes and I'll bring back suggested revisions for both pieces, CYS and Adam Wood ("Parallel Octave" Wood).


    Yes, singers like to tune, but we're living in 2013. I don't think musical harmony can should be restricted by tuning as narrowly as you say. Most of the wider musical world accepted equal temperament long ago. I see the benefit in really vertically tuning important chords, but I wouldn't really see the benefit to changing the harmonic structure of a composition or arrangement so as to provide that possibility for each and every chord. At least, that's not the mainstream view in, you know, the world of musical composition.
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    It took me only about a minute to fix Caswall's version, but I struggled a bit with Adam's. In the end, decided that Adam's setting is fine just as it is, even though we learn in Harmony 101 not to use parallel octaves. But in that setting, the effect is as of using 16' and 8' stops, so as you say, Adam, it is perfectly singable and effective.

    As to Caswall's, and it is a fine arrangement in my opinion, please see the attached pdf

    I'll post again after this to explain the notation and to respond to comments above.
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    SkirpR, the essential thing in my
    obsession
    is not that music should be tuned perfectly, but that composers should understand tuning in order to improve their music; they should write so that their music COULD be sung perfectly even if it isn't.
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    Caswall's setting (last system) is on top, my simple improvement on the bottom.

    The downward triangle indicates a comma flat, and in a diatonic setting, the third of the tonic, dominant, and subdominant major triads is naturally sung a comma flat. Tonic is a cross in a circle, perfect fifth relations the thin arrows, up for dominant down for subdominant.

    Regarding Caswall's version: Voices moving in perfect intervals (fifths, fourths, octaves) tend to sing correctly in tune (unless voice strain because of tessitura, etc) so when the bass moves from a comma-low D (last beat, first measure of my example) to a G, the G is going to be a comma low. Then the C will be a comma low, too, and the E above it will be TWO commas low. Then the A major triad, perfect fifth from the E, will be two commas low and the C# of that triad THREE commas low. From there, as I said originally, you wend your way home a comma flat.

    My version: the fix is simple, just go to a Bb in the bass rather than a G.

    Why do I care? Maybe I'm looking for disciples, composers and music directors who can get it and see the value.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,357
    In the end, decided that Adam's setting is fine just as it is, even though we learn in Harmony 101 not to use parallel octaves. But in that setting, the effect is as of using 16' and 8' stops, so as you say, Adam, it is perfectly singable and effective.


    Well thank you! That's the nicest thing anyone has ever said about my part-writing.

    FWIW - I was aware of the "rule-breaking" at the time, and I did not consider it a judicious choice for a purpose, but rather a lamentable compromise. I was going for easy to sing individual lines, with a simple harmony based on drones. That is: I was trying more than anything to illuminate the chant melody, not create a new work of great choral music.

    We had already been singing the Latin plainchant as a repertoire piece, but I wanted to provide the congregation with an English rendition. When we do it now, we sing them back-to-back: the Latin in plainchant (alternating men-and-women), and then immediately into the English with choral harmony. Whatever the artistic failings of my arrangement, the practical effect is quite successful for my purposes.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,413
    The B-flat is missing from the key-signature in mrcopper's pdf. I, too, would have opted for B-flat instead of G in the bass part at the critical point. But there remains the question of the deceptive A major cadence, which has been replaced by a rather insipid A minor.
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    Thanks for the correction, yes, the key signature is 1 flat. After the Bb, in fact, the A major triad would work ok. I didn't like it, and moving C# to A will be slightly difficult for the tenors, but otherwise don't have any tuning criticisms of it.
  • SkirpRSkirpR
    Posts: 854
    The downward triangle indicates a comma flat, and in a diatonic setting, the third of the tonic, dominant, and subdominant major triads is naturally sung a comma flat. Tonic is a cross in a circle, perfect fifth relations the thin arrows, up for dominant down for subdominant.


    I've seen and read other treatises about this, particularly from Scandinavian choral conductors, but I will honestly admit I don't think I'll ever quite get it until I see an example accompanied by a recording or live demonstration.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Oh, I wonder if CDub is on the same page as Noel and me, G3Summitboyz (Geezers3) about all this compositional minutiae? Fux this, give the Byrd to that. "No just tuning, no pizzicato!" Enough elephant talk (you gotta know yer King Crimson for that one, that's esotericism to the max!) Tucker is on a Josquin jag, good on 'im, mate. But whether you're at point A or point Z or anywheres between any piece of choral cake, a choral conductor, not a Schenkerian scholar or an expert on pre-Baroque plucked/hammered keyboards, is required to know if any given interval(s) of two or more notes are dead center by all involved without a strobe or going all "dog whistle" over the issue. On the matter of the compositional effect and affect, does the setting do justice and add its merit to the treasury of other same text settings? Period. Is what we talk about here matter only as if a sacred music parody of "Jeopardy" Alex Trebek: "Correct. What is Ave Verum Corpus?" The question: "What do Mozart, Byrd and Elgar have in common among their compositions?" Buhdeeyahbuhdeeyah, t't't't'that's all folks. Can we listen to a work without a score in front of us and get the union of text/music holistically rather than by CSI anymore?
    For your consideration, not revised, intended for organ accompaniment, but piano used instead. Doesn't float your boat, just say that and be done with it. Yikes.

    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,357
    I'm not sure what all you just said, but I'm pretty sure I agree with it.
    Thanked by 2gregp Jahaza
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    I like being an enigma. Hey, I said that a week ago. I'm getting senile or.....
    another King Crimson reference:
    I repeat myself when under stress, I repeat myself when under stress, I repeat myself when under stress, I repeat myself when under stress, I repeat myself when under stress,....
    The album of KC is ironically called "Discipline."
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    I don't think I'll ever quite get it until I see an example accompanied by a recording or live demonstration.


    Presto: I made a video of tuning charts to go with an a cappella piece, "O My Deir Hert, Young Jesu Sweit". The notation uses proportionally sized bars up or down (sharp or flat). You can also see that it's not a "temperament", because sometimes the same note is tuned one way, and sometimes another.

    video

    And, showing it's not only for fully tonal vocal music, an orchestral piece, "Holy Day Overture" recording of the beginning of part I, "The Brooding God"



  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,357
    The only way that score could be more clear on this issue is if it also included St. Gall squiggles above the notes.
    Thanked by 1melofluent
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    Oh, I wonder if CDub is on the same page
    I'm not sure what you said, too, but I think I don't agree.
    Thanked by 1melofluent
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Cool.
  • SkirpRSkirpR
    Posts: 854
    Presto: I made a video of tuning charts to go with an a cappella piece, "O My Deir Hert, Young Jesu Sweit". The notation uses proportionally sized bars up or down (sharp or flat). You can also see that it's not a "temperament", because sometimes the same note is tuned one way, and sometimes another.


    Thanks, but to hear it only one way is, for me, only marginally helpful. Perhaps it would be possible to play shorter excerpts - say one or two phrases - played once in your just intonation system, and then again using equal temperament.

    As a plus, I'd like to hear it performed both ways by real singers, not synthesized.

    And, if you could explain to me, how do you determine which note to tune each chord to? Based on the scale degree of each note in the chord, or the function of the notes of the chord?

    Like some others here, my initial instinct is to dismiss mrcopper's scrupulosity with intonation, but I'd rather try and learn from him. It's summer, and it couldn't hurt.
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    Melofluent, I think I like your music. Despite what you said,
    Can we listen to a work without a score in front of us
    recordings are imperfect and, worse, perhaps, reproduction electronics vary widely, very widely ... so I like to see a score. Why don't you post one?
    Thanked by 1melofluent
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    It's buried in a dead Macintosh. I'm gonna get a round tuit this summer, revising for organ, etc. on Finale.
    Thanks, mrcopper, despite what you said.
    BTW, are you using the Finale platform? If yes, I could post my 12 minute symphonic homage to Jimi Hendrix for you tomorrow...And, yes, it's been performed professionally, God knows why.
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    Ok, Skirpr, the best recording I have online is an "O Danny Boy" arrangement and please stop the recording after 5 measures, and consider this: there is a tonic, in this case Eb. The dominant, Bb, and subdominant, Ab, are nearly rock solid unless we go far afield harmonically. Equal temperament uses almost pure fifths, so these three notes are very close to the same in either tuning. Keep the volume low, or some of the electronics creep through.

    recording, corrected

    To these we tune the other notes.

    Listen, if you care to, and look at the pitch graphs below. And stop the recording when the actual O Danny Boy melody starts. Measure 4 is the most interesting of the introduction: spelled differently it could be a B7 chord without the fifth (B D# A) but the tuning is radically different, so I believe it's unambiguous where it should go.

    Here are my instructions to a choir director interested in such things:

    Blue bars indicate tuning lower than equal tempered equivalents, orange bars indicate tuning higher than equal tempered notes. The vertical size of the bars is proportional to the amount of tuning required. For example, the first G of the alto line is 14 cents lower than a G on the piano, tuned against the root Eb. Note the changing intonation on the soprano F, for example, page 2: sometimes tuned low, in relation to subdominant harmony (bar 7), and sometimes tuned high, in relation to tonic or dominant harmony (bar 9). The tonic note Eb is exactly the same on piano and in voice.

    A conductor may something like "if you have a fat blue/green bar, TUNE to the other voices; if you have a thin gray line, you are tonic and hold your pitch for others to tune to; if you have a narrow blue/green or orange bar, your voice is in perfect relation to tonic, so also try to hold pitch by your tonal memory and let others tune to you; if you have a fat orange bar or a double-wide blue/green bar, your pitch is exceptional and you should learn how it fits in the musical texture."
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    The orchestral score reminded me of some of the notational traits of a San Francisco composer from the 60/70's, Herbert Bielewa. That's gotta be coincidence.
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    Never heard of Herbert Bielewa, but in that time and around SF some of these same ideas were percolating.

    And though I have Finale I rarely use it. Usually Score for notation, and Cakewalk Sonar for midizing and Gigastudio for reproducing electronic samples.

    And I'll look forward to the score of your Ave Verum .. and maybe the Jimi Hendrix experience ...

    William
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Well, I was up at SFState and prepared my post grad studies with forum member Dr. Frank LaRocca, it's an exciting haven for composers, the Bay Area.
    Okay, I've been purposefully elusive with my commentary thus far because I think it's prudent not to rain on a parade as much as spit into the wind. So, utilizing "Danny Boy," I'll try to explicate my sentiments regarding form and analysis versus performance practice:
    1. I agree with Adam W. with the intimation of both shape-note feel of interpretation, the interpolation of compound chords rather randomly (it seems to me, and I know that right of judgment doesn't belong exclusively to me, you're the composer) which infer a sort of Barbershop ethos of chromaticism, as opposed to say, Wagnerian dominants that are meant to be both tonic and transitory to persistent dissonance simultaneously.
    2. As you rightly posed about recording, it's difficult to discern the aural upshot of your tuning system. But of all the songs in all the gin joints in all the world, "Danny Boy" seems to intrinsically demand a definitive and sure combination of aspects, which include voice leading that is discernably leading to conception or deception, and which is well prepared. There has to be self-evident in such settings of such songs, a clear aesthetic or, if you will, emotive effect upon the listener. (Please remember we're discussing "Danny Boy," not WAM's Requiem.) This setting seemed almost robotic if not edging towards martial. So, this auditioner is left to ponder if not only is there an adherence to your tuning science, but also to a strict performance practice?
    3. In my choral journey as singer, conductor, composer, I've often heard that for a capella intonation training, the relationship between classic renaissance polyphony choral and compositional technique AND vocal/choral jazz arrangements by folks like Darmon Meader, Michelle Weir not to mention the greats, Phil Mattson and his arranger Gene Puerling, are of great mutual benefit for a choral teacher to train an elite choir.
    If you haven't ever heard Gene Puerling's "Danny Boy" under the Iowa singers under Mattson, you'll be better for giving it a listen. Simply sublime, if not divine.

    That's all I got on this, mrcopper. Thanks for indulging an old fart.
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    Thanks for your time responding, melofluent! Hard to know what to say ... Yes, the rhythms are precise, that was kind of a compositional goal, versus some of the soupy popular versions of this song. yes the recording is electronic, but it's still the best I've managed to do. Compare with other electronic recordings! And you raise that darn barbershop word again ... makes me irritated, but if that's how you hear it that's up to you. Thank you for listening, anyway. btw it's recorded 'hot' so if you play it loud the electronic stuff can be very prominent. It starts pianissimo.
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    Quick update: this is one reason why public fora are useful: I thought to myself, "How could melofluent hear my piece as martial?" Then, on cranking up the volume, I could hear it. As a result, revised recording now posted, with the recording levels rather less and some of the electronics filtered out.

    Thanks!
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,357
    But, you know... the recording isn't the music.

    Mrcopper- I asked this before, and I don't know if I got much of an answer. And I don't mean it to sound rude or insulting, but I think it is relevant:
    How much experience do you have with actual choir singers? It strikes me that your music and ideas lean heavily toward the theoretical.
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    Adam, the short answer is a lot. The longer answer is a lot, but not so much with my recent path with how intonation works. As an individual singer, speaking just personally, I find I can sing nearly anything now where I can imagine the tuning, and I used to have to rely on various sight-reading thought processes when singing something unfamiliar.

    the recording isn't the music


    ... but I can't understand how someone would look at the music, ie the score, and say it looks martial?

    William
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,357
    but not so much with my recent path with how intonation works.


    fascinating
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    but not so much with my recent path with how intonation works.

    that's only because I went hermit for many years while developing these ideas and just the past few months have begun stirring up what pots I can about the ideas. My music has been performed around the world, especially choral music ... not that I'm a household name by any stretch even in the choral world.
  • SkirpRSkirpR
    Posts: 854
    that's only because I went hermit for many years while developing these ideas and just the past few months have begun stirring up what pots I can about the ideas.


    As I said in my most recent comment above, from what I understand about intonation, your theories seem to make sense, although I've always longed to find a treatise about intonation accompanied by recordings of singers actually demonstrating the application. (I realize such a recording would require a choir of world-class singers capable of altering their intontation to demonstrate the actual differences between different tuning methods - but such world-class ensembles do exist - and I imagine a number of those conductors would be interested in such a project.)

    All I've found so far have been people who seem to know a lot about the physics of it, and even some of the psycho-acoustic aspects of it, but applying any of it is - to make a comparison - at worst, like trying to decide which can of paint to buy by reading someone describe the color, or at best, like getting to see a sample of the paint, but not getting to hold it up to another sample you're also considering.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Yes, the rhythms are precise, that was kind of a compositional goal, versus some of the soupy popular versions of this song. .... And you raise that darn barbershop word again ... makes me irritated, but if that's how you hear it that's up to you.

    My dear mrcopper, let me clarify the "barbershop" thing for you, as I truly try not to irritate people but still manage to do just that all the time! The most salient point of that observed opinion wasn't about a "barbershop dom. 7th chord," that was a weak illustration of my not getting any sort of "feel" about how you couch your compounded chords, and my inability to understand how your voice leading constructs supporting a very known melody congeals to compliment its phrases and cadences. That's my problem, not yours.
    Regarding the rhythmic stuff, I do remember that you have some sophisticated vocal/phonetic software, so I'd forgotten that your singers were "virtual." So, I think that what I said, and about what Adam inquired, was about the "human element." In your own metaphor you put your setting against "soupy" versions. Taking that analogy further, your version is a concentrated, almost bio-engineered future food, so allow me to say for illustration, a "pill" of nutrients. Between a soup and a pill, which will be more readily taken up by the human to consume. Oops, that "taste" factor is hard to get around, is it not? sDg
    PS. I wish Jeffrey Quick would chime in here, or Doc Kwasniewski, as they're closer to the fire than I.
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    Well, that was nicely put. I pondered your comments, and re-looked at the score. For quite some time in my "O Danny Boy" the only accidentals other than garden-variety secondary dominants come in measure 4, and that measure is straight out of the old harmony books: it's an augmented 6 4 3, and the first book I looked at to verify my accuracy has this example, from Mozart, Symphony #40, pretty close to an unimpeachable source. Same chord, same usage, as V +643 of V .

    I wrote I V IV6 V+643/V V V7 I in what I felt was an elegant solution to the problem that the melody starts on the leading tone.


    If Mozart writes barbershop harmony, then so maybe do I.
    Thanked by 1melofluent
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    SkirpR, a very good masters thesis on choral tuning is linked here . By Jay Dougherty, and I believe he intended that it be publicly available.

    The conclusion he reaches is questionable (tune like they do in barbershop, by following an equal-tempered melody with tune-to-it-references) but the background and history are excellent.

    Also, maybe I'm slow, but it has taken me years to fully understand all of it ... so ... take your time. Ears and brain both have to grow accustomed to the tuning.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,357
    From the thesis by J. Dougherty:

    Aristoxenus, Greek philosopher and student of Aristotle, “had a dispute with Pythagorean tuning.” He questioned whether the musings of theorists were as important as the observations of the musicians. He contended that the judgment of the ear was superior to mathematical calculations.


    I'm glad to know someone at the time held the same opinion of Pythagoras as I do.

    Greek philosophers drive me crazy.
    "My logic perfectly shows that movement is impossible. Clearly, movement is an illusion, and the problem has nothing to do with my logic being flawed or limited!"

    riiiiiiiiiight
  • SkirpRSkirpR
    Posts: 854
    I skimmed Doughtery's thesis, and the part that resonated with me most was tuning vertically based on the overtone series. I imagine that comes from a teacher he and I have in common in our choral lineage, but I don't know for sure.

    One problem seems to me to be what to do with more tonally advanced music. I've only ever skimmed it, but the book "Choral Intonation" by Per-Gunnar Alldahl seems to approach the matter somewhat more practically from an extended harmony point of view - as the Scandinavian choirs exhibit very good intonation and often perform more harmonically adventurous music. However making this more practical also makes it more complicated!