[Smt-talk] Fwd: Looking for a chord progression

Donna Doyle donnadoyle at att.net
Sat Oct 8 08:16:58 PDT 2011

> Jon Wild's mention of the eery reminds me of a recent conversation I  
> had with the choral conductor, Kent Tritle
> ("Choral Fixations," Sundays on NPR), after a broadcast in which he  
> described the sound of the ondes
> martinot as "other-worldly."  Kent said that, most likely, film  
> music has caused him to associate oscillating tone
> with outer space.
> I suggest, further, that oscillating chords suggest the eery because  
> of their lack of contrapuntal voice-leading.
> Counterpoint is to tonal music as counterweights are to gravity--we  
> humans standing on this planet, sensing our muscles working against  
> gravity to keep us upright, associate counteraction as earthly and  
> human and lack of it
> as other-worldy and ghostly. Also, that Europe, concurrently with  
> surviving the year 1000 CE and deciding to
> explore/ enjoy this world, moved from singing in parallel perfects  
> to reveling in counterpoint and developing
> the tonal system is a notion I find provocative.
> Best,
> Donna Doyle
> Queens College, CUNY
> ________________________
> On Oct 7, 2011, at 1:27 PM, Jon Wild wrote:
>> On Fri, 7 Oct 2011, Murphy, Scott Brandon wrote:
>>> A transposition of the minor version (Cm: Cm-Bm-Cm) would also be  
>>> acceptable, as would the last two-thirds of either progression.
>> Root-position minor triads a semitone part are a staple of many  
>> recent film scores attempting to evoke a sense of eery. Here's an  
>> example from the Lord of the Rings soundtrack by Howard Shore;  
>> listen to the passage starting at 1'38":
>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ctOMWAZLw4
>> We hear F#m - Fm - F#m - Fm.  (Also interesting here is the fact  
>> the melody over the F#m has a #4 and a #3...)
>> Jon Wild
>> McGill University
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