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 Post subject: Guidonian Hexachord
PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 12:13 pm 
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Location: Gulfport, MS, USA
I have to take Medieval/Renaissance music history this coming semester, and before I start, I'm trying to wrap my head around the concept of the hexachord. It seems simple enough, but some of the implications of it are counterintuitive to someone who's been brainwashed to think in octaves. Does anyone know of some reading material that might help with this? I started reading this article but got confused around section 1.3 (too many questions).

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 12:54 pm 
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oh boy, Terez. I clicked off after just the first line of introduction. :? Good luck in that class.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 12:18 am 
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Well, I don't think I'll really have to know it for this class (though I could be wrong - we'll see). But since I'm a bit obsessed with the evolution of harmony, it would be a good thing to dig into. :D

Maybe I should just ask Alf. He knows everything...

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"Z Czernym poznałem się na panie brat—na dwa fortepiana często z nim u niego grywałem. Dobry człowiek, ale nic więcej..." - Fryderyk Chopin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 1:09 am 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hexachord

when in doubt, simplify with wikipedia!

-jg

p.s. where have you been lately?

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 3:31 am 
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Location: Gulfport, MS, USA
lol...I already looked at the Wiki page. It hasn't got what I'm looking for, alas. And I've been hiding this summer because I've been taking a bunch of core classes and no music classes, so hanging out here would have just been depressing. :lol:

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"Z Czernym poznałem się na panie brat—na dwa fortepiana często z nim u niego grywałem. Dobry człowiek, ale nic więcej..." - Fryderyk Chopin


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:03 am 
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pianolady wrote:
oh boy, Terez. I clicked off after just the first line of introduction. :? Good luck in that class.


I too clicked off after the first line of introduction (and not because it's something that I already know...) :lol:


Happy to read you again, Terez. :P

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:56 pm 
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Gah! If Alf doesn't know, then I have no hope! :(

I should track down one of the music theory or music history profs...

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"Z Czernym poznałem się na panie brat—na dwa fortepiana często z nim u niego grywałem. Dobry człowiek, ale nic więcej..." - Fryderyk Chopin


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:34 pm 
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Terez, usually when I read your posts I get envious about you being in school still with all that
access to great music, stimulating conversations and interesting people. Then I read a post
like this one and think thank god I don't have to go through that again.

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"I am glad that you wish to study the art of tones from its roots up, and it depends only on you to learn for yourself so much of it as has become known to me." -- J.S. Bach


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:57 pm 
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Bah, I don't think it will be that hard once I get my questions answered. :D Everybody knows the "Doe, a deer" song. The difference between that and the original hexachord is that the current one uses all 7 tones of the diatonic scale, and the original only used 6 and went "ut re mi fa sol la" instead of "do re mi fa sol la ti". Also, the current use of solfege is altered so that "do" is always the tonic - adjustments are made for minor keys or modes with the alternate syllables (minor third is me instead of mi, minor sixth is le instead of la, etc.). By contrast, the original system apparently was so that the one semitone in the hexachord (first 6 notes of a major scale, essentially) was always between "mi" and "fa". So, if you're singing a chant in Dorian mode, the "tonic" (which I'm not sure was a very solid concept back then) would be on "re". Since they only use 6 tones, it ends up sounding closer to pentatonic music than what we're used to.

Anyway, we pianists don't get much exposure to medieval music, or even Renaissance music. Keyboard literature kicks in around the time of Bach, and by then functional harmony as we know it was established. I'm just interested in this because I want to learn as much as I can about the evolution of harmony between, say, Pythagoras and Bach. That's a really weak area of knowledge for me - even weaker than my knowledge of the evolution of harmony in the 20th century. :D

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"Z Czernym poznałem się na panie brat—na dwa fortepiana często z nim u niego grywałem. Dobry człowiek, ale nic więcej..." - Fryderyk Chopin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:22 pm 
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Terez wrote:
Everybody knows the "Doe, a deer" song. The difference between that and the original hexachord is that the current one uses all 7 tones of the diatonic scale, and the original only used 6 and went "ut re mi fa sol la" instead of "do re mi fa sol la ti".


That reminds me of the old joke "There are 10 kind of people, those who understand binary and those who don't."

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"A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking" - Anonymous

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:57 pm 
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Count me among the latter. :lol:

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"Z Czernym poznałem się na panie brat—na dwa fortepiana często z nim u niego grywałem. Dobry człowiek, ale nic więcej..." - Fryderyk Chopin


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