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Chord dispositions

Posted by Athair 
Chord dispositions
December 14, 2017 03:58AM
Hi; i would like to ask about the chord disposition.issue; that is, take chord I.within a.major.key (for.instance,.C-Major).

Then the question.is (to put.it in a very simple way):

what are.the differences.in writing.C in the form C-E-G-C (basically, writing the 3rd, a so-called.imperfect consonance, next to the Bass) and writing either C-G-C-E or C-C-E-G (that is, writing a perfect consonance next.to the Bass; either a 5th or an 8tve, etc.)?

Naturally, all this could.be sorted.out.by means of counterpoint.analysis; anyway, i.think the.issue.is.not meaningless.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/14/2017 03:59AM by Athair. (view changes)
Re: Chord dispositions
December 14, 2017 12:35PM
There's little difference in most cases. The bass tone determines the harmonic context. There is a difference in the melody as your examples show. Once you have chosen the melody and bass, there's not much other choice except as to close or open harmony..
Re: Chord dispositions
December 14, 2017 04:33PM
There's not a lot of difference. Having smaller intervals between Bass and Tenor might make the sound heavier and muddier, particularly so with some instruments and/or when it gets especially low.

But in most cases, the horizontal movement of the individual parts would be more important. A flowing and melodious part that moves mainly by step (with some small leaps) would be preferable to one that jumps around ungainly just to satisfy considerations like this. There's also the consideration of keeping in a suitable range for the singer or instrumentalist, as well as things like correct doubling, avoiding parallel and exposed fifths and octaves, not having any two lines too far apart and so forth.

So yeah, chord voicing is not a meaningless issue, but once bass and soprano are sorted, the exact position of the middle parts (in and of itself) is fairly low down on the list of considerations.

And there's usually no reason a particular note in the tenor has to lead to a particular chord... There are usually several options with voice leading (but you can sometimes get yourself in a mess!)

Check out this textbook on Four Part Harmony.
Re: Chord dispositions
December 16, 2017 12:36PM
Thanks! I was thinking.in such.terms like: C-E-G-C (3rd on Tenor) points to VI plus allowing downward bass-motion like I-VII-VI; while C-G-C-E pointed to III, with some help. Additionally, theres the issue.of why in the latter case the Bass moves by skip-motion, etc

Re: Chord dispositions
December 16, 2017 12:37PM
Thanks! I would stress the imperfect vs perfect consonance.in.the Tenor.rather than the interval size; and i agree in that a given note in the Tenor (for instance) doesn't have to lead to a particular.chord (as far as i know, this would be dependent upon what part of the chord is given the melodic-starting role, so speak).

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