Counterpoint

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Theremin
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Counterpoint

Post by Theremin » Thu Feb 27, 2003 7:31 pm

One of the things that is love about Glass Hammer is their use of counterpoint. The only other artists I know who use counterpoint intelligently are Gentle Giant and Spock's Beard. However, I don't really like Gentle Giant overall and Spock's Beard only uses it sparingly. Especially on Lex Rex, the interplay between the instruments is amazing. My favorite sections are the beginings of Shapes of the Morning and Tales of the Great Wars. Shapes of the Morning is one of the best neo-classical pieces I have ever heard! It is a perfect blend of the old (the fugue) and the new (rock instrumentation). is is what Bach would have sounded like if he had a synthesizer! :D

PS I just listened to the interview on Delicious Agony: I can't wait to hear more about the new album! :D
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Counterpoint - try Echolyn

Post by erdy1 » Mon Mar 10, 2003 7:27 pm

Echolyn makes good use of counterpoint - very impressive, if you ask me.

Erdy1

more on echolyn

Post by Erdy1 » Mon Mar 10, 2003 7:34 pm

Echolyn is also one of few to make good use of 12-tone systems. Overall, I'd say Echolyn (Mostly Chris Buzby, with his advanced university studies in composition) are definitely one of the most impressive out there if you're looking for skillful applicatin of music theory. Nice orchestration too (again, arranged by Buzby).

Of course, Glass Hammer is incredible too!
I must say, I was skeptical of Lex Rex - the first listen, I kept looking for a weak moment. Never found one. It's one of my all time favorites now.

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WoW!

Post by Theremin » Mon Mar 10, 2003 8:39 pm

A rock band that actually uses Schoeberg's twelve-tone technique!?! :shock: Now that is interesting. I'll have to check that out. Do you know what song(s) in particular use it? I haven't even heard of any classical composers using it seriously since the twenties.
Funny :arrow: :jedi:
I gotta admit that I'm a little bit confused
Sometimes it seems to me as if I'm just being used
Gotta stay awake, gotta try and shake off this creeping malaise
If I don't stand my own ground, how can I find my way out of this maze?

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Post by Sam Gamgee » Sat Mar 15, 2003 10:38 am

So, being the musically... uh... well, not musically challenged, and not quite ignorant... um. Wel, i don't know how to say it in a word, but I am not very educated in music theory compared to all the rest of this forum, apparently. What's counterpoint?
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More on Echolyn's compositional styles, counterpoint

Post by Erdy1 » Sat Mar 15, 2003 12:01 pm

Sam - Counterpoint emphasizes separate melodic lines moving against (counter) eachother, rather than the use of chordal harmony. Classic examples would include early choral music and much of the of music of Bach. Canons and Fugues are contrapuntal. GH examples would include the beginning of "Tales of the Great Wars."

Theremin - Echolyn uses 12-tone composition very sparingly - but here's an excerpt from Echolyn's website (www.echolyn.com) that explains their use of it in an instrumental interlude "Only Twelve" (from album Suffocating the Bloom):
---
CHRIS: There's only twelve notes in our Western music system. I decided to take some of my knowledge and apply it here with the band. Starts with one 12 tone row (violin) accompanied by a different 12 tone row in the cello (played rhythmically expanded from the first), and then joined by a third 12 tone row (viola) that rhythmically follows the first. (If you don't believe me or don't understand, I'll be glad to explain it in layman's terms.) Finally all three rows are joined by chords that harmonically place the tones in an analyzable chord progression - leading us back to the traditional tonal system most of us are accustomed to.
---
The nice thing about Echolyn is whatever theoretical approach they use, it always sounds good. You don't have to have a degree in music theory to "like" the music, although the more theory you know the more you will appreciate what they're accomplishing.

I guess I should add that Echolyn is my all-time favorite band (although if GH puts out a few more albums like Lex Rex, that might change :-). You absolutely have to hear Suffocating the Bloom and As the World - start with those, but all their albums are wonderful (IMO you probably should not start off with Mei). Make sure to give them a few listens before passing final judgement. Not quite as accessible as GH, but very rewarding.

They're also Christians and have very inspiring, though not overtly religious, lyrics (for example, check out the song "Never the Same" from As the World) if that makes a difference.

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