Book 1 question: Why P5 and not E7?

yv7

New Member
I recently discovered EIS and this forum. I'm quite enjoying reading book 1. I find some similarities between Schillinger's theory of symmetric harmony and EIS. I'm slowly working my way through the voice leading exercises. I have the following question that the book AFAICT does not answer, which is: Why is the perfect fifth not an equal interval? i.e. Why P5 and not E7?

-- YV

PS: Are there teachers here that are accepting students at the moment?
 

Farkle

Senior Member
Hi, there!

Couple of reasons for P5 and not E7.

1. In EIS, for the intent of understanding how voice leading works, the Root Tones move from one to the other in the least possible distance. So, any bass movement more than an E6 (tritone) is not "moving the closest distance". So, there is no such thing as an E7 in Book 1, because that's not the most efficient bass movement. The most efficient is to move the OTHER way, an E5. Spud's course was always predicated on the idea of smooth voice leading in maximally efficient linear motion. Of course, for range purposes, etc, sometimes you pop the bass to different octaves. But in terms of building your voice leading, that's why.

2. Yes, there's some stuff similar to Schillinger's harmony, and also Hindemith's theory of Harmony. Good Theory is Good Theory. :)

3. The Perfect 5th is included partially because it's such a cornerstone to jazz and pop music (circle of 5ths). We could just as easily describe it as E5's moving the other way, but perfect 5's (or P5's) allow us to converse with other musicians. :P

If you're interested in teachers, Head over to the EIS website:


And reach out to Lilith Murphy, the head of it. She'll get you started.

Mike
 

Craig Sharmat

Moderator
Moderator
Just wanted to add to Mike's fine post that as you move along to deeper harmonies for voice leading the beauty of the system of using E5's from the opposite direction in place of E7's becomes apparent. It is one of the many ingenious parts of the course.
 

DivingInSpace

Senior Member
So, these peaked my interest. Which books are we talking about, and where can i buy them? I seem to only find the course with no price tag (so i automatically expect it to be way too expensive for me)
 

Craig Sharmat

Moderator
Moderator
So, these peaked my interest. Which books are we talking about, and where can i buy them? I seem to only find the course with no price tag (so i automatically expect it to be way too expensive for me)
Could be expensive for you. You can learn more about the course at equalinterval.com. The books are part of a course and not for sale as traditional books.
 

DivingInSpace

Senior Member
we believe in Spud Murphy ommmmm

i'm sure Berklee and every other school have their own teaching material.
To my knowledge, most universities use public available material, and i've had access to a lot of the material from Berklee through my own university course. Sometimes they compile different sources into compendiums though, but it is all available in some way. I of cause can't talk for how it is done everywhere else.

I was mostly joking about the sect thing, but i find it a bit weird and daring that i have to buy into their course, to figure out if this system is something that suits me.
 
Craig and Glenn might be the most qualified for answering all your questions before starting the course.

I've been taking lessons from Craig over 2 years now and wish I had started way earlier!
 

Craig Sharmat

Moderator
Moderator
To my knowledge, most universities use public available material, and i've had access to a lot of the material from Berklee through my own university course. Sometimes they compile different sources into compendiums though, but it is all available in some way. I of cause can't talk for how it is done everywhere else.

I was mostly joking about the sect thing, but i find it a bit weird and daring that i have to buy into their course, to figure out if this system is something that suits me.
When I started college at Syracuse NY they used the Berklee books there. EIS has a bit of a sect vibe based on the books not being available but once you see it what it is, it is just music explained in a concise but often non traditional fashion. The other issue is books have been given out to students who race ahead thinking "I got this" send the assignments to the instructor only to realize they misunderstood a lot of the material and basically wasted months of their time. Before anyone can start the course they have to go through an interview process (of course no charge) so the potential student can see if this might be good or not so good fit for him (her). Also the teacher can get a read and see if he thinks the course is good for the student or not a good fit. No teacher wants to see a student enter the course knowing they will be disappointed.
 
OP
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yv7

New Member
@DivingInSpace There's three different titles you can borrow from your local library through the interlibrary loan system in US.

1. Lyle Murphy's system of Horizontal composition based on equal intervals. (This, from what I gather from other threads in this forum, is book 1 & 2 of the course, as it is taught today).

2. New music of a 12-tone system

3. Complete course in modern harmony, composition and orchestration for dance band, radio and motion pictures: A set of 4 books (incidentally also available online through the NYPL's digital collections archive: https://digitalcollections.nypl.org...c#/?uuid=4df4a880-af6f-0134-e120-00505686a51c)

These titles read more like a workbook than a text book. Lyle Murphy says in the introduction that the emphasis is on the musical material presented and not wordage and is meant to be worked out on the piano. I like self learning so I'm quite enjoying working through the exercises in these books on my own. But I've caught myself going too fast a couple of times already only to later realize I misunderstood the material, as @Craig Sharmat says.
 

DivingInSpace

Senior Member
@DivingInSpace There's three different titles you can borrow from your local library through the interlibrary loan system in US.

1. Lyle Murphy's system of Horizontal composition based on equal intervals. (This, from what I gather from other threads in this forum, is book 1 & 2 of the course, as it is taught today).

2. New music of a 12-tone system

3. Complete course in modern harmony, composition and orchestration for dance band, radio and motion pictures: A set of 4 books (incidentally also available online through the NYPL's digital collections archive: https://digitalcollections.nypl.org...c#/?uuid=4df4a880-af6f-0134-e120-00505686a51c)

These titles read more like a workbook than a text book. Lyle Murphy says in the introduction that the emphasis is on the musical material presented and not wordage and is meant to be worked out on the piano. I like self learning so I'm quite enjoying working through the exercises in these books on my own. But I've caught myself going too fast a couple of times already only to later realize I misunderstood the material, as @Craig Sharmat says.
Thanks a lot, i don't live in the US, so it might be a bit more tricky to get my hands on those. Doesn't seem like my library, or university, have those avaible. I'll try to take a look around though.