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Music Nurds Assemble! Implying....

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Peter T. 25 Jun 01 - 07:38 PM
hesperis 26 Jun 01 - 03:00 AM
pavane 26 Jun 01 - 03:10 AM
Don Firth 26 Jun 01 - 05:00 AM
pavane 26 Jun 01 - 05:46 AM
RichM 26 Jun 01 - 07:48 AM
John P 26 Jun 01 - 08:17 AM
Peter T. 26 Jun 01 - 08:32 AM
Mark Clark 26 Jun 01 - 10:48 AM
Justa Picker 26 Jun 01 - 02:45 PM
Don Firth 26 Jun 01 - 04:13 PM
Amos 26 Jun 01 - 04:56 PM
pavane 26 Jun 01 - 05:54 PM
Justa Picker 26 Jun 01 - 05:57 PM
Don Firth 26 Jun 01 - 06:59 PM
Amos 26 Jun 01 - 08:26 PM
Rick Fielding 26 Jun 01 - 10:29 PM
pavane 27 Jun 01 - 02:53 AM
Mark Clark 27 Jun 01 - 01:18 PM
Peter T. 27 Jun 01 - 06:23 PM
Peter T. 27 Jun 01 - 06:25 PM
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Subject: Music Nurds Assemble! Implying....
From: Peter T.
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 07:38 PM

How much of a chord do you need to imply the rest of the chord? I know that power chords (1-5) sort of do the trick -- I am a guitar player -- but are there rules for other circumstances, when the music is more complex, i.e. you only need to change one note in a progression once the ear is prepared, etc.? Are there any reasonable rules, or is it all ear? Sometimes it seems that you need the whole beast, and sometimes not.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Music Nurds Assemble! Implying....
From: hesperis
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 03:00 AM

Well, some jazz pianists use only a few notes of a chord to imply that chord. But unless you've studied the theory, you probably wouldn't know that the notes ACDEFAB all at once, are supposed to be Am13 or whatever... (I don't know it, I've just seen some weird stuff. LOL!)


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Subject: RE: Music Nurds Assemble! Implying....
From: pavane
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 03:10 AM

Well, you really need a book on theory, but...
A minimum of three notes are needed to define an actual chord. Two notes define an interval, and a chord is made up of two or more intervals. The types of interval involved determine the type of chord. For example, a major chord contains a major third (e.g. C to E) and then a minor third (E to G) (working upwards from the bass). A minor chord contains a minor third and a major third. That means C to Eb followed by Eb to G. Two notes forming a fifth (C to G) cam imply a chord, but not whether it is major or minor.
Does that help? Probably not!


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Subject: RE: Music Nurds Assemble! Implying....
From: Don Firth
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 05:00 AM

Exactly right, pavane. All sorts of notes can be piled on, of course, but three (a triad) is the minimum necessary for it to be an official, ordained chord. One can imply a chord, either major or minor, by playing the root and 3rd (e.g., C and E, leaving the G out), but C and G without the E is just an interval -- an open 5th.

We had a knock-down-drag-out over this awhile back. Here: *TWANG!!*

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Music Nurds Assemble! Implying....
From: pavane
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 05:46 AM

As author of a program which adds chords to tunes, I had to learn a little about it! I will have a shufti at the thread.


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Subject: RE: Music Nurds Assemble! Implying....
From: RichM
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 07:48 AM

Well, in trad Irish music that I play...the chords are weakly attached to the music, so I can "imply" a lot! In changes from D to Bm for instance, I'll often play the low B note only, if the Bm is held for only one beat.

In bluegrass though, woe to the one who doesn't make the right chord change at the right time! No implied chords please, or you get lots of frowns from your band mates.

Rich McCarthy


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Subject: RE: Music Nurds Assemble! Implying....
From: John P
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 08:17 AM

When playing music that is mostly diatonic, like most folk music, the ear expects to only hear the notes that fall within one major scale. This means that the available chords are limited. In a C major scale, you can have C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am, and Bdim. When the melody goes to, say, an A at the beginning of a measure, the chords that might fit in that location are Dm (D, F, A,) or F (F, A, C) or Am (A, C, E). Thus, if you play a D note by itself while the melody is playing that A, the ear will hear a Dm chord. If you play an E, the ear will hear an Am chord. If you play a C, the ear will hear either an F chord or an Am chord, depending on what else is going on around it. If you want it to be more specified than that you will have to play two notes. Since you are more likely to be playing two or more notes anyway, the chord will usually become obvious when heard along with the melody note.
Or not -- you could play a C and an A along with the A in the melody, and the ear could still hear either an F chord or an Am chord and you would have to play all three notes to be completely obvious. Or not -- the rest of the notes in the measure may well define your chord for you, even if you only play one or two notes. For instance, with the A in the melody on the first beat of the measure, you play an A and an F. This could be either a Dm chord or an F chord. But let's say the third beat of the measure has a C in the melody. Now, between the A and the F you are playing, and the the A and the C in the melody, you have a clearly defined F chord. Or not -- maybe when the third beat comes you change to playing an A and an E. Suddenly you have an Am chord on the third beat, just by changing one note by half a step. You can, of course, start adding sevenths to chords and make it a good deal more complicated. It goes on and on . . .

John Peekstok


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Subject: RE: Music Nurds Assemble! Implying....
From: Peter T.
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 08:32 AM

Thanks guys, esp. John P -- that is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for to get my head around it. yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Music Nurds Assemble! Implying....
From: Mark Clark
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 10:48 AM

Yeah, I really like John's answer as well. It seems to me that we have two things under discussion here: one is canon law of music theory and the other is application of sounds to make pleasing art. A detailed knowledge of theory can be very helpful when arranging music or even when improvising a solo but, in most of the music we all play, it is the artist who must select from a pallate of suitable sounds to create a properly balanced and self consistant background for a song. Whether a full chord is chosen or a simple interval or even a single note depends on what the artist finds most effective, not on some formula defined by theory.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Music Nurds Assemble! Implying....
From: Justa Picker
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 02:45 PM

Interesting.
When I studied theory (many moons ago) I was taught that 2 notes comprised a chord, with the root (lower) note determining the chord name. Everything else is gravy.


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Subject: RE: Music Nurds Assemble! Implying....
From: Don Firth
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 04:13 PM

Good explanation, John. Fun to play around with real sparse arrangements and see what you hear when the whole chord is not there. I think it was Pete Seeger who once said, "It isn't how many notes you play -- it's that the notes you do play are important!"

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Music Nurds Assemble! Implying....
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 04:56 PM

Just listen to Fred Hellerman backing up Dylan on his "Corrine Corrine" to hear how two note intervals can appear to flesh out not only chords but a whole sequence of expected transitions -- in this case the 1,4,5 of an expected blues song with 7ths and minor intervals entwined throughout. All done in a series of two-note pairs.

A


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Subject: RE: Music Nurds Assemble! Implying....
From: pavane
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 05:54 PM

The lower note only determines the chord in root position. Not true for First and second inversions.


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Subject: RE: Music Nurds Assemble! Implying....
From: Justa Picker
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 05:57 PM

True, Pavane. Nevertheless, 2 notes do form a chord.


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Subject: RE: Music Nurds Assemble! Implying....
From: Don Firth
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 06:59 PM

I swear, this verges on some of the medieval discussions of theology.

"Two!"
"Three!"
"TWO!!"
"THREE!!"

It's all been argued before (see link above). Best thing to do is go to the library and get a couple of good books on music theory, read them, and see for yourself. (And, no, doing this won't corrupt anybody's purity as a folk musician.)

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Music Nurds Assemble! Implying....
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 08:26 PM

At least we aren't decapitating each other on the issue.

A


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Subject: RE: Music Nurds Assemble! Implying....
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 10:29 PM

Amos, was that fred hellerman? For years I thought it was Bruce Langhorne. Fred's a favourite of mine.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Music Nurds Assemble! Implying....
From: pavane
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 02:53 AM

Lets look at it another way. The SAME notes can be parts of different chords, depending on context (e.g. the key of the rest of the tune). C and E can be part of C, Am, and various other less likely chords.
With only 2 notes, there is more ambiguity, and there are more possible chords which they could be part of. So although they may be a chord, it is not always possible to tell IN ISOLATION which chord it is!


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Subject: RE: Music Nurds Assemble! Implying....
From: Mark Clark
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 01:18 PM

Yeah, so?


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Subject: RE: Music Nurds Assemble! Implying....
From: Peter T.
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 06:23 PM

To add a bit more to this mix, we are also dealing here with voicings. Presumably the bottom bass note and the top melody note are usually the most important anchors for what is going on for the ear. So you could be hanging chords off the bass line like clothes on a clothesline, and the voicings would enable you to both do that, and imply more of a chord than you need. One mote in a bass chord could imply the chord because the progression is anticipated by the mind.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Music Nurds Assemble! Implying....
From: Peter T.
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 06:25 PM

Sorry, I couldn't see because of this beam in my eye. NOTE. yours, Peter T.


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