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Dave Liebman's Master Class on Harmony

randulo

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Here's the Dave Liebman Master Class I referred to in the post about rhythm that is moving towards talking about "wrong notes". In my first nearly OT comment, I mentioned that if you listen to the notes B and C played together (minor second), they definitely sound dissonant, even jarring. Put a note on each side, E B C G (3 7 1 5) and they make a particularly beautiful inversion of C major 7th. The first pair, E B and the second pair, C G are both fifths, the second most consonant interval in the spectrum.

I'm not sure if Dave L. gets into rhythm in this, but his harmony talk is very good, expressing many thoughts I have lived with way before I saw this. One example is how consonance has evolved from octave, to fifth, to third and then - the Devil's Interval, the tritone (what gives the dominant seventh its distinctive sound). Moving to 11th, 13th and beyond (13b9 and further). In other words, the western notion of consonant harmony follows the physics of the harmonic series. My theory, which I probably heard somewhere like Schillinger, is that complexity is less scary as time moves on. And this is also true of rhythmic complexity, with binary and trinary, etc.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cpx7QJRi-ZI
 

Pete Effamy

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Agreed about how dissonances over music history have become consonant. I don’t really hear dissonance these days, especially if a piece is well written. Toru Takemitsu is an interesting composer, and for me his use of dissonance is beautiful.
There seems to be few in life that accept much dissonance though without an ear that has been exposed to a fair amount - though Steely Dan used some thick chords of course.
If anything, perhaps the ear of the masses has regressed recently with all the Rap, R n B etc.
 

randulo

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I know I constantly repeat myself, but I have to refer to the session where I played an ascending line of sixths starting at 3rd and 5th, moving up in minor thirds (it's a pretty typical guitar strategy) and ended it on the third and minor ninth, aka E7b9 which lead to the tonic, Am. The producer and leader asked me if I thought that was right. I would bet no one who listened to jazz or classical music would have challenged this. True the highest note was a half-step above the tonic. Creating tension is the job of those dominant chords! Do I hear an "Exactly!"?
 

Pete Effamy

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I know I constantly repeat myself, but I have to refer to the session where I played an ascending line of sixths starting at 3rd and 5th, moving up in minor thirds (it's a pretty typical guitar strategy) and ended it on the third and minor ninth, aka E7b9 which lead to the tonic, Am. The producer and leader asked me if I thought that was right. I would bet no one who listened to jazz or classical music would have challenged this. True the highest note was a half-step above the tonic. Creating tension is the job of those dominant chords! Do I hear an "Exactly!"?
Well, exactly!
 

randulo

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Rhythm: Yes he did. Some very interesting stuff in this, and it's only a few years ago.
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Pete Effamy

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It's as if Debussy and Bernard Herrmann lived together and raised a child who listened to Holst. Beautiful stuff.
Yes I hear Debussy too. Melodies remind me a little of Stravinsky. Interesting why it’s “beautiful “ to us though, I guess many would call it noise.
 

randulo

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@Pete Effamy Liebman states that "No one is born with good time". I hadn't thought much about this, but I guess no one is born knowing a language, either. However, not everyone is gifted with an ear for language, and it would appear the same applies to time. So, to have "good time" (as opposed to having a good time) is something you have to work at. I've been repeatedly told to practice with a metronome, but although I do it once in a while, I quickly tire of it and it's not fun practicing anymore. I suppose all the years of playing and listening give me somewhat of a pass.
 

randulo

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Band in a box keeps perfect time As does any computer driven backing noise.
1. Who actually wants perfect time? That'll be the norm when the robots take over. Meanwhile listen to John Lee Hooker. :)
2. I don't claim this, but I've seen at least one teacher state publicly that playing with backup tracks is bad for your time!

I love listening to people play rubato, alone or together.
View: https://youtu.be/eOwW9j0YzgM
 

Pete Effamy

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1. Who actually wants perfect time? That'll be the norm when the robots take over. Meanwhile listen to John Lee Hooker. :)
2. I don't claim this, but I've seen at least one teacher state publicly that playing with backup tracks is bad for your time!

I love listening to people play rubato, alone or together.
View: https://youtu.be/eOwW9j0YzgM
When playing Vincent with Don McLean for the first time in rehearsal, worried looks went between the band. Our MD asked Don if we could run it again but similar problems - Don had a habit of playing bars with less, or sometimes more than 4 beats in them. We got through the performance some how and Don remarked afterward that we rehearsed too much.
 

randulo

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The most inspiring things I've heard in the past few weeks were both said by guys named Dave:
Sanborn said "I think in concert." Yes, that's good!
Liebman: (Pointing to pianist) "I'm all over the place, he's my metronome. Then he says to himself, wait a minute, I can do that too!"
 
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