A Mental Tool Avoiding Parallel Motions in Voice Leading of Real Time Music Performances and Improvisation

It is a huge problem getting familiar with performing figured bass tradition in Western Music since large number of rules makes real-time performing highly challenging. Template base models are privileged in performing of this musical style e.g. short musical excerpts include 2 to 5 figured bass phrases that require people to perform in appropriate contexts. However, this general pedagogical approach is not problem free:

  1. Memorizing schemas has negative influence on everyday creativity in which performers have hard times in real time performances.
  2. Most of the time, merging two schemas leaves suspicion of performer's side
    1. Whether merging two schemas follow an appropriate voice leading
    2. If It is encountered an issue in voice leading of merging these schemas, modifiying schemas are acceptable or not
    3. Whether the current merge leads to a parallel motion.

In this work, I will present a system which is a descriptive model. It generates grammatically correct polyphonic textures in figured bass style tradition in Western Music : a brief code that is a mental short cut. I hope it helps performing these style of music real time in improvisatory style. Present method will be introduced here in the terms of general music theoretical concepts. In Neo-Riemannian approach, two distant chords in a progression is constructed with a chord which is not written or played in the score. This imagined but not realized voice leading process is beacuse of some certain constraints that needs to be developed. I will demonstrate that the present method may develop a direct voice leading procedure in Neo-Riemannian Theory. The system is also easily applicable to computational models in software programs.

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Rules

Rule 1 Demonstration

Root - 2nd Succession (min2nd)

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Root - 2nd Succession (maj2nd)

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Root - 2nd Succession (min3rd)

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Root - 2nd Succession (maj3rd)

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Rule 2 Demonstration

2nd - 1st Succession (minor2nd)

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2nd - 1st Succession (major2nd)

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2nd - 1st Succession (min3rd)

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2nd - 1st Succession (maj3rd)

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Rule 3 Demonstration

1st - Root Succession (minor2nd)

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1st - Root Succession (major2nd)

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1st - Root Succession (min3rd)

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1st - Root Succession (maj3rd)

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Rule 4 Demonstration

Root - 1st Succession (maj7th)

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Root - 1st Succession (min7th)

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Root - 1st Succession (maj6th)

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Root - 1st Succession (min6th)

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Rule 5 Demonstration

1st - 2nd Succession (maj7th)

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1st - 2nd Succession (min7th)

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1st - 2nd Succession (maj6th)

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1st - 2nd Succession (min6th)

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Rule 6 Demonstration

2nd - Root Succession (maj7)

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2nd - Root Succession (min7)

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2nd - Root Succession (maj6)

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2nd - Root Succession (min6)

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Summary

The code "Root-2nd-1st" and its cycles "2nd-1st-Root" and "1st-Root-2nd" applies to minor 2nd, major 2nd, minor 3rd and major 3rd.

Since major7th, minor 7th, major 6th and minor 6th are inversions of the aforementioned intervals, initial code is inverted as "Root-1st-2nd" and its cycles are "1st-2nd-Root" and "2nd-Root-1st". As long as contrary motion of outer voices, both code pairs work with perfect 5th, diminished 5th, and perfect 5th.