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Harmonic feelings or what? (Read 419 times)

Offline billybraga

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Harmonic feelings or what?
« on: January 05, 2021, 12:47:54 AM »
Hi, im a intermediate student, and i want to know how the composers choose their melodies, how the notes can fit so perfect with the chords of the left hand? For example, on mephisto waltz no.1, liszt write a lot of crazy and quickly cadences, with stunning passages on the left hand. How the great composers like him decide to use one chord over another? At 1800's time, was there so much knowledge about music theory, or they were human prodigies? (liszt,chopin)

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Liszt: Mephisto Waltz no 1
piano sheet music of Mephisto Waltz no 1


Offline j_tour

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Re: Harmonic feelings or what?
«Reply #1 on: January 05, 2021, 04:03:01 AM »
At 1800's time, was there so much knowledge about music theory, or they were human prodigies? (liszt,chopin)

I'd suggest they were both humans and prodigies.  At least in many cases!  ;D

I don't have a definitive citation, but it seems almost certain to me that, especially among prolific, accomplished improvisers as was the tradition for quite a long time, your average early-to-mid 19th C composer-pianist had a more intimate knowledge of common-practice major/minor (and beyond) music theory than perhaps is typical today. 

As well as many more hours of executing all kinds of relatively sophisticated voicings in cadences, and facility with modulating in whatever complicated (or not) fashion he or she would have chosen.  In addition to their own favorite manúuvres at the keyboard, perhaps to distinguish themselves from "the masses."

It was a great age for experimentation, as you know, so it wouldn't surprise me.  I would bet, prodigies or not, they worked very hard at exploring possibilities of interest to them.
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