[Reading] ➾ A Geometry of Music: Harmony and Counterpoint in the Extended Common Practice (Oxford Studies in Music Theory) By Dmitri Tymoczko – Tactical-player.co.uk
An interesting academic read with little practical utility imo While technically very accurate, tediously mapping voice leading onto multidimensional graphs isn t overly superior than just looking at the notation or other easier methods And while geometry validates rules of thumb that are already common practice no pun intended , those rules of thumb are still a lot easier than the analysis methods presented in this book A lot of lecturing birds on flying i m afraid So yes as an academic work, pretty good But for the ideal composer as the book was intendedmeh Theory with little practical application. Most Listeners Prefer Tonal Music To Atonal Music, But What Exactly Is The Difference Between Them In This Groundbreaking Work, Author Dmitri Tymoczko Identifies Five Basic Musical Features That Jointly Contribute To The Sense Of Tonality, And Shows How These Features Recur Throughout The History Of Western Music Tymoczko Creates For The Reader A New Framework For Thinking About Music, One That Emphasizes The Commonalities Among Styles From Medieval Polyphony To Contemporary Jazz A Geometry Of Music Provides An Accessible Introduction To Tymoczko S Revolutionary Geometrical Approach To Music Theory The Book Shows How To Construct Simple Diagrams Representing The Relationships Among Familiar Chords And Scales This Gives Readers The Tools To Translate Between The Musical And Visual Realms, Revealing Surprising Degrees Of Structure In Otherwise Hard To Understand Pieces Tymoczko Uses These Theoretical Ideas To Retell The History Of Western Music From The Eleventh Century To The Present Day Arguing That Traditional Histories Focus Too Narrowly On The Common Practice Period From , He Proposes Instead That Western Music Comprises An Extended Common Practice Stretching From The Late Middle Ages To The Present Using Analysis To Make His Argument Clear, He Discusses A Host Of Familiar Pieces By Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Debussy, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, And Others A Geometry Of Music Is Accessible To A Range Of Readers, From Undergraduate Music Majors To Scientists And Mathematicians With An Interest In Music Defining Its Terms Along The Way, It Presupposes No Special Mathematical Background And Only A Basic Familiarity With Western Music Theory The Book Also Contains Exercises Designed To Reinforce And Extend Readers Understanding, Along With A Series Of Appendices That Explore The Technical Details Of This Exciting New Theory Easy to understand, and would recommend for anyone learning how to compose music, or have an interest in the subject. The utility of this book is highly overstated, IMHO As someone who has taught college math I am not intimidated by the multi dimensional space concept, and I ve been a composer for decades a film for which I wrote the score is doing fairly well on Prime I find his explanation of tonality wanting really, the augmented and diminished chords are natural than the major and minor , and I found nothing in here that inspired me with fresh approaches to composition All the diagrams look pretty, but once I got past all the flash, at its core I found myself asking where s the beef Tymoczko is undeniably right about the mathematics here You could choose to represent a four note voice leading as a fourth dimensional orbifold But, by the end of the book, it s still unclear why you would E.g., the symmetries that exist in these geometries are mathematically valid, but is a composer working in a major key likely to value the suggestion they invert it into the Locrian mode Read this if you want some interesting mathematics, but don t expect it to be practical. Truly thought provoking, very abstract concepts Being honest I had to read some sections than once, but the concepts are mind opening once understood. Nice I ve been waiting 30 years for a book like this Quite hard work but definitely worth it The vision to link all these types of tonal music is amazing As a composer who went through university in the serial wasteland of the late 1970 s the recognition of the place of jazz and rock as a beacon of hope for tonality strikes a consonant chord I can t recommend this book highly enough. A thought provoking book well worth the read.