1. Didja accidentally blow through the whole, "We're using our real names" thing on registration? No problem, just send me (Mike) a Conversation message and I'll get you sorted, by which I mean hammered-into-obedient-line because I'm SO about having a lot of individuality-destroying, oppressive shit all over my forum.
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21st Century Part Writing (Ebook with Audio Examples)

Discussion in 'Score Study Resources' started by Sylvain Provenzano, Sep 14, 2019.

  1. Here's a Kickstater that interests me :

    I post it here because I want it to succeed and maybe some Redbanners would be interested too.

    Of course, all discussions are welcome, share your knowledge and opinions. =)
  2. Cool. I wish him well and hope his kickstarter succeeds.

    Never heard of him, but he seems like a cool dude, and very intelligent and passionate about wanting to teach.
    So, that is awesome. My honest opinion is that his work will be "directionally correct".

    The one - perhaps - fatal flaw is trying to be all things to all people. I don't think it is possible to produce a great text for both beginners and
    "seasoned pros" with verbal language. Music yes.....absolutley. (for example Beethoven Bagatteles or Bartoks music for kids)

    I have empathy. As I watched the first 5 minutes and listened to the Strawman trope that dominates music forums,
    it just seemed so obvious to me how much teaching - especially online and hawking a product- is like "Animal Farm"

    We are all fucked. Myself and Mike included. Such is life.

    Thanks for sharing, and I hope he makes his goal, and people really love the book
  3. What is meant by the term part writing in English?
  4. A lame term for voice leading.

    PS. How have you been? We (I) need more Thomas Bryla posts around here please!
  5. Thanks for reminding me, just 3 days left. Almost forgot to back it. Done now.
    Sylvain Provenzano likes this.
  6. If he means voice leading I don't really understand the notion for a 21st century style while dismissing the 'old fashioned' approach - still while mentioning Bach as a champion. The example chapters he provide seem very basic compared to baroque voice leading.

    It sounds like a YouTuber trying to hype another way for him to make passive income.

    This was more of a negative Thomas Bryla post. I try to keep an eye on people posting scores to their compositions to write the positive ones :)
    Rohann van Rensburg likes this.
  7. Yay !! More Thomas Bryla.

    I like negative Thomas Bryla just as much. Gotta keep it real and call a spade a spade. Doug Gibson (can't resist joining the third person party) is often negative too. Really negative. :mad:

    Cool....write nice comments about pieces you like, and stay away from the ones that suck.
    Oh..... but I don't think you've ever commented on my pieces.

    :( :confused: :eek: :( :( o_O


    I hope you know that I am just joking, and also far too narcissistic and lazy to care.

    More Thomas Bryla posts, please!
    Rohann van Rensburg likes this.
  8. #9 Paul Poole, Apr 3, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2020
    My view is that there is no such thing as: Here is how you write a part. Or lead a voice.

    It's more one of: Here is one voice leading framework. And here is another. And here is still another. And so on.

    Palestrina is one way. Bach is another. The 1st Viennese School, Wagner, Debussy, Stravinsky, Bartok, the 2nd Viennese School, big band approaches per arranger, fusion......etc., to name just some of the more obvious examples.

    There are some common principles of voice leading (part writing if you prefer) that run through those individual frameworks (though perhaps a bit less so for the 2nd Viennese School in certain respects). After learning the frameworks that seem most relevant to one's musical inclinations, the rest is a lifetime of practice, experimentation and score study.

    But there is nothing about the subject that is particular to the 21st Century. That is what makes me think the book may be a mere repackaging of prior intellectual content marketed to the Youtube crowd (hence: "21st Century Part Wiring"), who think chromatic mediants are the coolest thing ever but don't know that Schubert pioneered them because the Youtube guru just learned it five minutes ago himself.

    I've seen people do this before. Here's a recipe: Take Messiaen's short book on his symmetrical scale approach, throw in a little Hindemith, Russell, Slonimsky, Levy, and Taniev, reword and repackage it and voila, you have other people's hard work you can market as a "brand new, never-before-seen system" to people who are working hard to get a fuller lay of the land, composition-wise. Of course, there's nothing wrong with writing a book like that as long as you give full credit to the sources of your intellectual content, and don't make it seem like it's fresh or innovative.
  9. Yes, well said Paul.

    This looks like a relatively young dude trying to make a living from music. No serious school would look ever use this.
    Too bad he has not had a more rigorous process. I think you need someone who will challenge you. You know.....old school academic rigor.

    While I guess one can say "there is no correct way", and I get that. I will say the few minutes I watched the youtube promotion of his 1st symphony :rolleyes:, the part-writing was very un-elegant.

    RULE= a guaranteed result. A cake recipe if you will. It's not a LAW.

    Well, that is it actually. The term gets muddy these days, but it was really about singing. How can you find the pitch?
    It had a very practical application too.
    Thus things like a holdover common tones, and move to the nearest tone possible, large leap followed by a step in the opposite direction etc.
    are all devices that make a line easier to sing.

    Once instrumental writing takes over, it's a whole new paradigm.

    You can find them earlier than Schubert.

    Perhaps the biggest reason for the change/popularity is the temperament standardization
    and innovations in instrument design from 1800 onwards.

    Just a SWAG (scientific wild ass guess)
  10. #11 Paul Poole, Apr 12, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2020
    Hey Doug. I hope all is well.

    Re: Voice leading.

    Yes, glad you mentioned that. I should have worded it better. I meant that there is no such thing as "here's how to lead a voice" in the sense that there are different voice leading frameworks—in the generic sense of the word, not in the Fux* sense—about actual singing voices. Even there, Palestrina is easy to sing compared with how Bach treated his voice parts, almost like a coloratura at times (apart from the chorales).

    On a related note, we know that the Bach chorales are the default voice leading bible (in my view), but I sang in a symphony chorus once that performed Walton's Belshazzar's Feast. It is a taskmaster. Eight voice parts, regularly crossing, dense, awkward intervals and lines, and sometimes you're a half-step from the guy next to you or behind you. It's a good piece from an audience point of view, but the whole time you're really focused on slotting your pitch.

    *I don't think you could have a name like "Fux" these days and make it out of middle school with your head still about you.

    Re: Schubert / Chromatic Mediants

    Sure. There's always precedent. But he was the first to really exploit them as a regular feature of his music, and did more with them than anyone else. I still don't understand the man. The quality and number of his works is difficult to comprehend considering his dying at 31. You accidentally bump the guy on the street and another lieder falls out of his sleeve.

    P.S. I enjoyed that guitar piece you put up last week.
  11. Well...... I had a work featured on a concert with Kenneth Fuchs. Yes, it was hard not to laugh. A "biggest dickest" moment.

    He studied with Bernstein and sort of carries on the William Schumann vibe.


    :( Did I post a piece? Yikes, I don't remember that at all. :oops: But thank you very much for the kind words.

    Wishing you all the very best

  12. Don't mind me. I have brain rot. I only came across it last week when I was browsing. It's actually from September, 2019.

    This shutdown is starting to get Twilight Zone-y. All sense of time for me has become like that Salvador Dali clock.
    Rohann van Rensburg likes this.

  13. Nice!

    Well here is a short custom piece just for you.

    When I lived in NYC one of my favorite things to do, the few times I had downtime, was to smoke weed while walking down the streets listening to the Twilight Zone soundtracks at 2 or 3 am. It was always silly enough to not be "horror" music, but just weird enough to make me turn-around every now and then. The Pot Paranoia helped too.

    Oh....good times!
  14. As much as I want people to be able to succeed at music, the sheer quantity and nonexistent bar of entry the internet provides makes me extremely skeptical about young guys teaching any sort of "modern approach" to (especially) scoring. Since I am not well-read enough to be able to quickly and decisively make distinctions, the nature of "modern scoring" (i.e. the institutional in-breeding of striping, cue-focused writing, string-ostinatos-ad-infinitum), and the difficult nature of orchestral writing makes this kind of thing seem like mostly a passive-income thing. Given the sheer volume of high-class work on subject matter like voice-leading, orchestration, etc, and the immense caliber of individuals that have written books on it, I have strong doubts anyone this young will have anything new to say on the subject unless they are already extremely proficient at writing themselves. Composing for orchestra is difficult, and mastery usually takes a lifetime. I agree that narrowing in focus would probably be a better bet, and likely narrowing for beginners (teaching beginners is more difficult than one might think, given the expertise required to boil concepts down into something easily-digestible for a newbie).
    Not to say he has nothing to offer or teach, but the proposed scope of this project colours me somewhat skeptical.
    Thomas Bryla likes this.

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