top of page
  • rbedwell3

Score analysis: a quick note


Some of you may have noticed that I post on multiple groups depending on the relevance of the content. However, I do post exclusive content to this group only, including some of the posts already on this page but also some of the forthcoming posts which will be complex, in depth analyses of pieces of music by composers including some of my own compositions and as such will be too specific and complicated for the general public.

I also intend to post content on the specific ways M3 can be used in composing and improvising. So to start, I have attached an analysis of an interesting piece by Bach called Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue in D minor BWV 903 as an illustration of the use of the Modal Method and the techniques involved.

Scales used in BWV 903.

Fantasia

The Fantasia contains modulations utilising 17 scales. These are listed in the order that they occur, along with their formulae:

Major (1 2 3 4 5 6 7)

Melodic (1 2 b3 4 5 6 7)

Harmonic minor (1 2 b3 4 5 b6 7)

Neapolitan minor (1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 7)

Hungarian minor (1 2 b3 #4 5 b6 7)

Harmonic Major (1 2 3 4 5 b6 7)

Harmonic minor b5 (1 2 b3 4 b5 b6 7)

Melodic b5 (1 2 b3 4 b5 6 7)

Neapolitan Major b5 (1 b2 b3 4 b5 6 7)

Persian (1 b2 3 4 b5 b6 7)

Harmonic Major #4 (1 2 3 #4 5 b6 7)

Persian natural 6 (1 b2 3 4 b5 6 7)

Locrian natural 7 (1 b2 b3 4 b5 b6 7)

Ionian b5 (1 2 3 4 b5 6 7)

Harmonic Major b5 (1 2 3 4 b5 b6 7)

Phlegmatic (1 b2 bb3 b4 b5 b6 7)

Neapolitan Major (1 b2 b3 4 5 6 7)

Analysis of modal alterations contained in page 1:

1. C Major: Bb Lydian (+1) = B Locrian

2. D Melodic: C Ionian (+1) = C# Altered

3. C Major: C# Altered (-1) = C Ionian

4. F Major: B Locrian (-1) = Bb Lydian

5. D Harmonic minor: C Mixolydian (+1) = C# Alt bb7

6. D Melodic: Bb Lydian #2 (+1) = B Aeolian b5

7. D Harmonic minor: B Aeolian b5 (-1) = Bb Lydian #2

8. F Major: C# Alt bb7 (-1) = C Mixolydian

9. D Harmonic minor: C Mixolydian (+1) = C# Alt bb7

10. D Neapolitan minor: E Locrian nat 6 (-1) = Eb Lydian #6

11. D Harmonic minor: Eb Lydian #6 (+1) = E Locrian nat6

12. D Hungarian minor: G Dorian #4 (+1) = G#Locrian bb7

13. A Harmonic Major: Bb Lydian #26 (+1) = B Dorian b5

14. A Harmonic minor: C# Phrygian b4 (-1) = C Ionian +

15. A Harmonic minor b5: E Phrygian Major (-1) = Eb Lydian +#3

16. A Melodic b5: F Hungarian Major (+1) = F# Aeolian b5bb7

17. A Neapolitan Major b5: B Dorian b24 (-1) = Bb Ionian +#6

18. G Harmonic minor: G# Alt bb36 (-1) = G Harmonic minor

19. Bb Major: F# Alt bb7 (-1) = F Mixolydian

20. F Major: Eb Lydian (+1) = E Locrian

21. A Neapolitan minor: G Dorian (+1) = G# Alt bb37

22. A Harmonic minor: Bb Lydian #6 (+1) = B Locrian nat6

23. A Harmonic Major: C Ionian (+1) = C# Phrygian b4

24. A Harmonic minor: C# Phrygian b4 (-1) = C Ionian +

25. A Hungarian minor: D Dorian #4 (+1) = D# Locrian bb37

26. E Harmonic Major: F Lydian #26 (+1) = F# Dorian b5

27. E Harmonic minor: G# Phrygian b4 (-1) = G Ionian +

28. E Harmonic minor b5: B Phrygian Major (-1) = Bb Lydian +#3

29. E Melodic b5: C Hungarian Major (+1) = C# Aeolian b5bb7

30. D Harmonic Major: D# Alt bb6 (-1) = D Harmonic Major

31. D Major: Bb Lydian +#2 (+1) = B Aeolian

32. A Major: G Lydian (+1) = G# Locrian

33. A Harmonic Major: F# Aeolian (-1) = F Lydian +#2

34. D Melodic: G# Locrian bb7 (-1) = G Lydian 7

35. C Major: C# Altered (-1) = C Ionian

36. G Major: F Lydian (+1) = F# Locrian

37. G Harmonic Major: E Aeolian (-1) = Eb Lydian +#2

38. G Harmonic minor: B Phrygian b4 (-1) = Bb Ionian +

39. G Hungarian minor: C Dorian #4 (+1) = C# Locrian bb37

40. D Harmonic Major: Eb Lydian #26 (+1) = E Dorian b5

41. D Harmonic minor: F# Phrygian b4 (-1) = F Ionian +

42. D Neapolitan minor: E Locrian nat6 (-1) = Eb Lydian #6

43. A Persian: G Aeolian #4 (+1) = G# Locrian bb367

44. D Hungarian minor: Eb Lydian #36 (+1) = E Oriental

45. D Harmonic Major #4: F Ionian +#2 (+1) = F# Aeolian b4

46. A Persian nat6: E Dominant b5 (-1) = Eb Lydian #236

47. A Neapolitan Major b5: C# Locrian nat5bb37 (-1) = C Lydian 7+b3

48. A Melodic b5: Bb Ionian +#6 (+1) = B Dorian b24

49. G Harmonic Major: G# Alt bb6 (-1) = G Harmonic Major

50. G Major: Eb Lydian +#2 (+1) = E Aeolian

51. D Major: C Lydian (+1) = C# Locrian

52. D Harmonic Major: B Aeolian (-1) = Bb Lydian +#2

53. D Harmonic minor: F# Phrygian b4 (-1) = F Ionian +

54. D Melodic: Bb Lydian #2 (+1) = B Aeolian b5

55. D Melodic b5: A Mixolydian b6 (-1) = Ab Lydian +#23

56. C Harmonic Major: C# Alt bb6 (-1) = C Harmonic Major

57. C Harmonic minor: E Phrygian b4 (-1) = Eb Ionian +

58. Eb Major: B Alt bb7 (-1) = Bb Mixolydian

59. D Locrian nat7: C Aeolian (+1) = C# Alt bb367

60. D Harmonic minor b5: Eb Ionian #6 (+1) = E Alt nat6

Now as you can see, the 60 modulations in the above analysis are contained within just page 1 of the score. The complexity of this music now becomes apparent, and if the changes are studied then the sequence of alterations may be understood and utilised in one's own music without fear of plagiarism or mimicry as it is only the principles that are used, not the note selection or melodic material. Also, repeated patterns of sequencies become obvious when this method is used, dismissing the idea that music like this is composed without any concept of technical, sequential music theory and purely down to the creative genius of the mind at work. It's maths, patterns and a knowledge of the two that goes into making a piece pf music like this.

I have attached the score from page 1 below, the notes in red are sharpened while the blue are flattened.

I would also like to add that I don't intend to post scores of analysis on any other sites for copyright reasons so if anyone has a specific reason why they would wish to post somewhere else could they please contact me first.


1 view0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page