Saturday, February 7, 2009

Further Harmonic Adventures in Whole Tone

In an attempt to squeeze more variety from the whole tone scale than I originally thought possibly, I tried something different today.

This is precisely the reason I chose to do this particular canon/blog project -- to push myself into little experiments here and there.

Here's the deal:

Since the whole tone scale has no perfect fifths or perfect fourths in it, I realized that I could solve that problem by the addition of another part that wasn't restricted to the scale. It was a short cognitive leap to realizing that all the pitches that I needed were in "the other whole tone scale." If I kept each individual voice in just one of the two scales, I would increase my resources but still maintain the melodic features of WT scale.

My first canon of this type is a brief fanfare that moves through an implied circle of fifths.

Interestingly, when all voices are in the same WT scale, there are a limited number of intervals and the same intervals are used both melodically and harmonically. In this case, by the technique described above, I have greatly expanded the number of available harmonic intervals while keeping the limited melodic, interval resources peculiar to the WT scale.

I used the WT scale C, D, E, F#, G#, Bb in the two trumpet parts and the WT scale 1/2 step higher in the two trombone parts.
N.B. I did try to create as "common-practice" a sound as possible in this canon.

(click on image to enlarge)

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