"Studies in Harmony"

by

Godfried-Willem Raes

A collection of etudes to be played on any stringed keyboard instrument.

Since melody is -after all- not much more than a decorated musical scale, for many of these pieces we renounced the use of any other kind of melody than merely scales. This to reveal better the characteristics of the harmonic structures underlying each of these pieces. Put in another way: these pieces are not harmonisations of thematic (melodic) material, but rather pieces where melody and harmony are fully integrated in a single unifying compositional thought. Although they are abstract musical forms in time, they should be played and interpreted in an utmost 'traditional' musical way, i.e. not mechanically! The midi versions we present on the website serve a mere demonstration purpose. They are compacted files to suit the space limitations put on the size of our website. These pieces are intended to be played by keyboard players: piano, pianoforte, clavichord, harpsichord, Tangentenfluegel... The scores are available from the author in printed form but can also be downloaded from this website in Finale *.MUS format. The files are zipped. Feel free to request scores by email. if you have trouble with downloading or printing. A PDF version of the score is available as well.

This series, sofar, contains the following etudes:

Studies in fuzzy harmony:

first series

Fuzzy harmony: Study Nr.1   1996 play midi demo
Fuzzy harmony: Study Nr.2   1996 play midi demo
Fuzzy harmony: Study Nr.3 mit Schwung 1996 play midi demo
Fuzzy harmony: Study Nr.4 X-mass'96 1996 play midi demo
Fuzzy harmony: Study Nr.5 dolce 1997 play midi demo
Fuzzy harmony: Study Nr.6 binding 1997 play midi demo
Fuzzy harmony: Study Nr.7   1997 play midi demo
Fuzzy harmony: Study Nr.8 fast 1997 play midi demo

(In the background, you should now hear the demo midi file for Fuzzy Harmony Study Nr 5 playing)

All scores for these studies can be downloaded in a Finale file format: (Finale 97 format) or as PDF, ready for printing.

The finale file-format should be readable both on PC and Mac with the Finale program.

Pianists having some of these studies on their repertoire are: Hans Roels, Heleen Van Haegenborg, Daan Vandewalle. On harpsichord, they are performed by Anne Faulborn.

second series

Fuzzy harmony: Study Nr.9 for player piano 2000  
Fuzzy harmony: Study Nr.10 for player piano 2001  
Fuzzy harmony: Study Nr.11 Hin Damit! 2004  
Fuzzy harmony: Study Nr.12 Fuzzy Tango 2004  
Fuzzy harmony: Study Nr.13 for piano 2007  

Study nr.9 makes use of shepard tones and is for that reason alone, unplayable by humans. No playing scores for this second series (except nr11, ' Hun Damit!', for which there is a human playable pianoscore available) are available for musicians. They can only be performed by the M&M robot orchestra.

Catalogues of harmony:

ChordCat: Study Nr.1 the complete collection of all possible chords that can be formed from 2 to 12 notes:

12 diads, 220 triads, 495 4-note chords, 792 5-note chords, 924 6-notes chords, 792 seven-note chords, 495 8-note chords, 220 9-note chords, 66 10-note chords, 12 11-note chords, 1 12-note chord.

This catalogue is a variation on an idea by Tom Johnson, who realised it using 13 notes, repeating the C.

Our version makes use of shepard tones to avoid any octave preference as well as tonal center in the final result. After all, we composed it at the occasion of an anti royal concert held at the Logos Foundation in Ghent on december 4th 1999.

1999 this piece can be performed interactively using <GMT> software. (PC only)

download

HarmCat: Study Nr.2 the complete collection of all imaginable chords (from 1 to 12 notes) that show qualitative differences, in ascending order of dissonance. They are 350 in number. The performance makes use of shepard chords and thus is best suited for the player piano. 1999 this piece can be performed interactively using <GMT> software.(PC only)

download

HarmSolves: Study Nr.3 the complete collection of all imaginable chords that show qualitative differences, in ascending order of dissonance, each followed by their harmonic sollution. 1999 this piece can be performed interactively using <GMT> software.(PC only)

download

Studies in spectral harmony:

 In preparation…

one of these studies found it's way to "Paradiso", one of the acts in "Technofaustus"., an opera in which in it used extensively also in may other acts and scenes.

Studies in symmetrical harmony:

 In preparation…

Older work related to algorithmic harmony: A Book of Chorals

Most recent work related to algorithmic harmony and counterpoint: Harmony Library for experimental programming composers. This is to be used in the context of our real time <GMT> programming environment. It covers harmony in the most general sense and even includes a complete library of functions related to quartertone as well as to just intonation harmony.


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First published on the Web on July 29th 1998 by Godfried-Willem Raes

Last Updated on 2012-10-09 by Godfried-Willem Raes (PDF files added)

P.S.: Voor uitvoeringen van deze stukken moeten noch mogen auteursrechten worden betaald. Elke poging tot inning van auteursrechten, door welke instantie ook, naar aanleiding van publieke uitvoeringen, uitzendingen en publikaties van deze stukken kan gerechterlijk als poging tot afpersing worden vervolgd.