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Thanks, Rainer,

A quick question so I can better understand.
You are using some symbols that I believe may be European and not American
(though I could be wrong)

what are t,  tp,  s6- , S7  ?

thanks, Rick

On 6/9/12 8:09 AM, Rainer Straschill wrote:
Rick Walker schrieb:
Is counterpoint used in modern songwriting, out of curiosity? I, of course, have heard it in J.S. Bach's music, though I"m not sure I understand what he's doing harmonically speaking.
I guess that's true for the vast majority of people whose name was not J.S. Bach ;)

Your question gets really interesting I think when you put it in the "live looping composition" context. Here, strange loops can be fun (and incidentially, I just wrote a piece in that direction a short time ago), meaning loops that don't come out exactly where they started. Of course, Bach did that, too. In my example, the tonal center is somewhat moving, but not aggressively so, so when you finally reach the last turnaround, you don't even notice that you came out one whole step above where you started.

Now put the chord progression into one looper with a computer thingie attached which pitch-transposes the loop +2 semitones every time it comes around, and put the melody (which is moving with the tonal center) in another looper and send it through an intelligent pitch shifter which you also attach to the computer thingie to make it transpose the stuff so it stays at the same root, only moves around as the harmonies do (differently in every turn, until after 6 passes you're back at the end).

Rick, I'll send you the score offlist, here are some more comments on what I do harmonically:

I do transpose every two bars with two harmonies per bar, so every four chords. I always start with t (minor tonic), go to T/7 (major tonic w/ minor seventh in bass), then comes a D7 (that's dominant 7, not "D"). Next, different things are possible: 1. by inverting the D7, assume it's a D6 of a new tonality. Follow that with s7, D7 and end in
      a) t (you moved -1 semitone)
      b) tp (-4 semitones)
2. follow the D7 with a s6-, the neapolitan subdominant, which you can
      a) treat as the D of another tonality, follow with t (+6)
b) treat as the D6/3 of yet another tonality, resolve to D and follow with t (+1)
      c) as 2.b) but end with tp (-2)
      [d) treat as is, follow with t and end up where you were.]

That way, you can move -4, -2, -1, +1 and +6 (equals -6). So, with the exception of a minor third up, you can reach every key you want within four bars.

I consciously avoided using the 07 trick already mentioned by Fabio and Per, so if you really need the +3 in four bars, you can use e.g. t, T/7, D79b w/o root (which is a dim7 on minor third above that), assume it's the S7 of your destination, follow by D7 and voila - +3 semitones!

The diminshed 7th and the neapolitan chord are the two wormholes known to musicians to get to other tonalities in the blink of an eye. Both do however force you to use one chromatic note.