More help on chords
 

More help on chords

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More help on chords    11:18 on Friday, May 25, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

jose_luis
(2365 points)

Sorry for reopening this thread, but I need some more help....urgently

Does anybody know a way to automatically translate the figured bass digits into chords that Finale could understand?

OK, I know, I should study Harmony, but I have no time for it right now.

The problem is that I must add all chords to Haendel's 367b Vivace movement and entering the triads note by note is maddening slow, prone to errors and requires my reading of the F key and I am not much used to it.

It is not just for embellishment, my problem is that with just a synthesised cello for accompaniment I often lose the tempo and I hope the RH notes (which are figured in my score) could help in improving my playing.

I am finding too many difficulties in playing this movement with a pre-recorded accompaniment.

First time this happens, I have successfully tried a few other pieces, from Faure, Haydyn Schubert and even Haendel, but this one... and I am feeling very sad about this problem, as I love this movement and I had chosen to play it in my audition in June!

Thanks for any help!

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Re: More help on chords    06:10 on Sunday, May 27, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Bilbo
(1328 points)

Hi Jose,
I'm not sure what you are asking but I hope that this helps some. I think that you want Finale to write out the realization of the figured bass to fill in the rhythmic/metric flow for you.

Your mention of "Faure, Haydyn Schubert " perplexes me in regard to realizing the figured bass notation because their music didn't use it.

I'd recommend getting to work writing out your own realization. This does involve understanding to some extent the chords although I'm really not sure whether real players whould have dwelled on the chord structure as we know it today because they may have been just cherry picking the notes as they were described in the figuring and not concerned that it was say an "root position F major chord" leading to a "C dominant seventh chord" in first inversion....

In the Baroque period, the kbd or chord playing person could do this realization on the spot. The added complication is that they may have wanted to improvise an appropriate rhythm in a section or add embellishments at their discretion. You see that part of the fun of playing for them was to try new things as they go.

One way that you can do this would be to write down the more common chords that you will need on a side paper.
As an example:
I think that you mentioned that this piece is in F maj.

This is going to give you a predominance of the
FAC Tonic (I)chord and the
CEG(Bb) Dominant 7th (V7)
Then too the BbDF (IV) is going to appear from time to time.
Other diatonic chords can exist but they are going to be more rare.

Then you have the tendancy for the piece to modulate temporarily at the center section to either the Dominant (key of C major) or possibly the relative minor (d minor) to add some variety but generally it will return to the origianl tonic (F Maj.) by the ending.

Your problem is going to continue in that in the part writing of these chords there are certain procedures which are to be followed or avoided. (avoid parallel fifths and avoid octaves as 2 examples to avoid) If you are going to double up on notes in a chord, add a tonic octave first. Remember that you can use other pieces of realized figured bass that you should have in your music accompaniments as examples.
other source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Figured_bass
http://www.robertkelleyphd.com/FiguredBass.pdf


<Added>

I would be willing to assist you by email but understand that my Finale is 2002 and if yours is newer, the file wouldn't load here.

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Re: More help on chords    10:58 on Sunday, May 27, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

jose_luis
(2365 points)

Thanks, Bilbo.

I am sorry I was a little bit confusing in my request. I appreciate your efforts in trying to understand what I need

When I mentioned Faure, Haydn, Schubert, these were examples of easy pieces that I could play along using a piano accompaniment made with Finale, (of course, not not a figured bass).

Instead, playing along with just a cello as a basso continuo for this particular Haendel Sonata (367b) has been frustrating (I tend to lose the tempo) as there are few references in some parts, long notes and some counterpunctual that makes things confusing. I had hoped that by adding a right hand harpsichord harmony would help with this problem.

The piece is not in F major, it it is B minor (h-moll)

For the moment I have replaced the cello by a a harpsichord playing only the left hand notes as they appear on the score, at least while I stay in the learning stage.

It helps a lot, only that the accompaniment is too poor and repetitive. So I still need (this time, just for my playing pleasure) to add some harmony with a right hand part taken from the figured bass.

Unfortunately my musical education, prior to undertaking the flute learning has been close to none. I did some solfeggio, but it was some 40 years ago and I took no harmony lessons at that time.

I can read the low key (which I call it "F key", perhaps I am wrong) very slowly, so to develop the RH accompaniment I must read the LH note, calculate the thirds, fifths, sevenths and so on and eventually the accidentals, one by one and then write each note individually on the high key (which I call in Spanish the "G key").

All this takes too much time and, although I would be gratified if I could finish something like this in due time, it would be my first time I am afraid that right now it is beyond reach.

That is why I was looking for a trick in Finale that would write the chords for me, based on the figured basso digits. But it should do it directly, as I am not able to translate the figured basso digits into modern chords that Finale understands. (I lack the knowledge).

I have thought of a middle way to it: write the triads by hand, but on the low key (a third, fifth, etc. are very simple to be seen "graphically" on the staff, without even bothering on which note is which.

But I am short of time as my next class is on Tuesday, I have to convince my teacher that I will be prepared for the audition on June 19 (something that right now is NOT the case). Anyway, if I am not ready with the 367b I will switch to plan B and play a Largo or any easier movement form the Hallenser I.

I have also posted on the Finale Forum with this question and have received no answer so far. I also downloaded a demo of the full version of Smartscan, but it seems not to have such a feature. I think that, most probably, there is no direct solution to this problem.




<Added>

I think I keep confusing terms, as my concept of "key" is not correct in te above text. I mean "Clef" and not "Key". Confusion comes form French/Spanish meaning of clef/key/clave. Sorry!

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Re: More help on chords    13:17 on Sunday, May 27, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Bilbo
(1328 points)

"I think I keep confusing terms, as my concept of "key" is not correct in te above text. I mean "Clef" and not "Key". Confusion comes form French/Spanish meaning of clef/key/clave. Sorry!"

Jose,
Yes Clef! I understand now. F Clef is the bass clef that shows where the F line is in the staff. 2nd line from the top. Us flutists dont'read them well.

Now It seems that what you want is to have the music analyzed for chords. From what I've seen with my 2002 Finale you can add the chord symbols and they will sound in Finale playback without writing them all out. This doesn't give you any more of a regular rhythm pattern unless you actually add them.

I'm not sure if I have this piece here. I have several of the Handel Sonatas but maybe maybe not that one.

I think that I would make an effort to write out something. Even if you add a drum beat track, it will give you a steady beat to follow to smooth out your rhythms and you can later add the harmonies. Those harmonies can really aid in keeping the tuning true.

I would try to add these notes as it is a good learning experience to do so. You have to realize that the interaction of the instruments is important in the Baroque. -some pieces more than others. So, learning the other parts really helps to understand the piece.



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Re: More help on chords    16:20 on Sunday, May 27, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

jose_luis
(2365 points)

You are right. Finale can add chords automatically, using the base note in the bass line and its internal algorithm; or the user can input the chord, albeit in modern notation only. And this notation is what I do not master. Also it is not clear whether Finale would select the chord as defined by the figured basso

Yesterday and today in the I have been practising almost four hours each and I have considerably improved, at least I do not get lost so often...

I agree that adding the harmony is an excellent exercise and one should know the other part to play reliably and also to be able to recover from mistakes or if something else goes wrong. It is just a question of the time I have available, as it is quite limited and I would rather use it in practising than in writing.

Nevertheless, I will try my system of writing two additional notes on the same clef for the RH part. If it goes fast enough, maybe I could complete the movement this way.

I have a related question, concerning the octave to use: I chose the "LH" instrument (the one on the score staff)as a Cello and the "RH" instrument would be (preferably) a harpsichord.

Would it be OK if I place the two additional harmony notes I intend for the RH on the same octave, same F clef as the Cello or should I write them in a higher octave? (that would complicate things, I mean , adding full octaves for each note)


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Re: More help on chords    16:41 on Sunday, May 27, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

jose_luis
(2365 points)

The Sonata 367b in B minor is also named as Op.1 Nr.9. It is a long work, with 7 movements: Largo, Vivace, Presto, Adagio, Alla Breve, Andante and a final Minuet.

I have been working mainly on the Vivace, but also on the Andante and the Minuet. If I had the time I believe I could do with all the movements (in fact, the others are much easier), except for the Presto, it is played hellish fast in two records I have.

I expect to receive in the coming days another version, this time played on a modern flute with normal tuning (the other two versions are too low in tuning, no way I can tune my flute so low).

<Added>

I forgot to mention that, after setting the cork in the right position (I posted about this some time ago), I am able to easily play well in tune. I have to take out the HJ some 4 mm to play at 440. I am very happy with this change, I had lot of problems before.

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Re: More help on chords    21:13 on Sunday, May 27, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Bilbo
(1328 points)

"Would it be OK if I place the two additional harmony notes I intend for the RH on the same octave, same F clef as the Cello or should I write them in a higher octave? (that would complicate things, I mean , adding full octaves for each note)"

Remember that I said something about parallel octaves being frowned upon. An example of this is where you have a situation where there is written a line in the bass octave and then the same pattern an octave above. If they are written into the music, it's not considered great writing no matter who is sharing the parallel octave notes.

Generally the Cello would play one note at a time although sometimes they play multi-stops but you'd have to know the capabilities of the instrument to write them and they a would be very rare. So I'd add the chord notes in the harpsichord. BTW: the LH of the harpsichord can /should also double the bass/cello figured bass line.

"Finale can add chords automatically, using the base note in the bass line and its internal algorithm"
Yes.
What I saw is that the bass note can be a note which is other than the root of the chord. Say a G in a C Maj chord. You just input it manually and the correct chord will be played in it's inversion.
Now with that you can add the chords by hand for each bass note. As an example:
if no numbers are present, it is a root position chord. First check your key to see if it's maj, min or diminished and add the chord. If you see a 6 number it's a first inversion chord (the 3 is imlied) and the bass is then the 3rd of the chord. A 6/5 would be implid 6/5/3 or a first inversion 7th chord. 3rd in the bass. I know that this can get complicated to unravel. I didn't learn it very easily myself.

"It is just a question of the time I have available, as it is quite limited and I would rather use it in practising than in writing."

I totally understand that. I am limited here becaise I don't think that I have this piece.


"I expect to receive in the coming days another version, this time played on a modern flute with normal tuning (the other two versions are too low in tuning, no way I can tune my flute so low)."

Yes, The Yamaha is already tuned a tad high 442 and these flutes are made in the older pitches 395 or even lower. The only way to come close would be to transpose.

Glad that you have found a cork and head joint position where you are comfortable playing your flute. I think that as you get a bit more accustomed or as your embouchure gets stronger, these things can change a bit. Temperature changes alter things also. Our weather just warmed up a bit around here and I find myself pulling out a bit more.



<Added>

Something else that I wanted to add about this.
If you do decide to write the realization you can try adding the important beats first.

You mentioned"Largo, Vivace, Presto, Adagio, Alla Breve, Andante and a final Minuet."

A largo is generally in 4/4 time. The important beats would be 1 and 3 with less importance on 2 and 4. But the piece is counded easier in 8/8 time

BTW: Handel often left a lot of room in certain very slow movements for the solo line to embellish the tune.

A vivace might be a 3/8 (just guessing) and it would be 1 and 3 for the important beats. If in 2 then the first beat takes precedent.

Presto is generally in 2 beat measures. or a feel of two beats. So if it's in 4/4 the primary beats are again on 1 and 3.

Adagio is generally like the largo but I can't guess at your time signature.

Alla Breve "to the beat of the breve" (Used to be what we call the whole note now) So it clips right along. BTW: In modern music there is a note that takes the time of two whole notes called a longa I believe.

The Andante is probably in 3/4 or 4/4. 1 and 3 are the primaries.

The menuet is interesting because there is a beat shift.
It is like the primary beats varied between 1 and 3 and 1 and 2 depending on the location in the phrase structure.

So, the important places to put your realized chords are on the primary beats so that the integrity of the movement's meter is kept.



   

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