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Inversion synthesis - interesting new composition technique

Discussion in 'Composing' started by InnerVersion, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. InnerVersion

    InnerVersion New Member

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    Hi guys,

    I'd like to share with you an interesting new music composition technique that I've been developing since 2009, called inversion synthesis. The core part of the process involves harmonic inversion (for melodies, chord sequences or both) and is a technique made famous by Rachmaninoff with his 18th variation on a theme by Paganini. This alone remains a huge untapped area of great source material, with the Rachmaninoff example being the only well known inversion.

    My technique expands on the basic inversion principle to allow inverted melodies from different source pieces to be combined together, even from different genres of music. It results in a very powerful method of creating new ideas. So far I've applied the technique successfully to creating modern piano music, but it should be suitable for composing music in any genre or style.

    I've written a full guide to the technique in four parts:

    The technique, part 1 (inversion)
    The technique, part 2 (synthesis)
    The technique, part 3 (retrograde inversion)
    The technique, part 4 (advanced inversion & composition)

    I welcome your comments and look forward to hearing your results using the technique!

    Also, to get some idea of how I've applied the technique, have a listen to the opening piece "Cambric Clouds" from my debut album released in 2009.

    Chris
     
  2. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Chris,
    I reviewed your page and the techniques described. I think you have a legitimate technique. In a way, you do for "extant music" what Shoenberg did for for the musical elements of melody and harmony, that is perform operations. As such, for me it falls into a camp of operations-composition that bypasses the intial generative-composition step. It certainly has a library, a universe wide, to operate upon. Of course, the techniques themselves of inversion, retrograde and retrograde-inversion are not really yours (and you don't claim them to be); you only claim the Inversion Synthesis to be novel as well as the whole approach to "composing." However, your Inversion Synthesis is wholly dependent upon the approach to begin with, so its novelty is a subset of your novel compositional approach. Finally, a distinction is often made in Genesis between what God created (the universe and the basic materials) versus what he made (man from the earth). By analogy, I would say that you are largely making music, not creating it. But that does not equal making poor music; that will depend upon the operator.

    Regards,
    Eddy

    How about a game of Musical Jeopardy: "Alex, I'll take Retrograde-Inversion for $500", and "Ooo's" and "Aahs" come from the crowd! RING, RING, RING! "And it's the Daily Double Quodlibet!"
     
  3. InnerVersion

    InnerVersion New Member

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    True, but a significant part of my claim is that the strict harmonic inversion process has been hardly used at all in the last 100+ years, with the Rachmaninoff vs Paganini being the only famous example.

    In general yeah, certainly for my "Piano Sketches" which are based mostly on inversions. With my second "Reflections" album I'm trying a different approach of composing a significant start and end to each piece which is entirely my own work, and then using inversion synthesis to provide ideas to fill the gap.
     

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