Great paper on chromatic Mediants in film music

Discussion in 'Composition, Orchestration & Technique' started by ed buller, Apr 2, 2019.

  1. ed buller

    ed buller Senior Member

  2. JEPA

    JEPA Senior Member

    Mar 10, 2018
    i love this harmonic sequences!
  3. agarner32

    agarner32 Active Member

    Nov 7, 2015
    Thanks for posting this great article. The author states, "The study of chromatic mediants, chords whose roots are a third apart and which share the same triadic quality . ." Chromatic mediants can also be different qualities although not as common. Ex. Ebm - Cmaj or Abm - C.
    goalie composer and ed buller like this.
  4. OP
    ed buller

    ed buller Senior Member

    Yes using Min to Major and Switching between them is another great resource as are Dim and Aug sonorities

    agarner32 likes this.
  5. wilifordmusic

    wilifordmusic Member

    Jan 28, 2012
  6. Hans-Peter

    Hans-Peter Member

    Thanks. I agree this looks very good and will likely be discussed in my dissertation.
  7. borisb2

    borisb2 Member

    Sep 6, 2018
    seems like the article is not free anymore .. did anybody download it?
  8. OP
    ed buller

    ed buller Senior Member

    our secret



    Attached Files:

    rudi, MauroPantin, rgames and 3 others like this.
  9. JEPA

    JEPA Senior Member

    Mar 10, 2018
    but what the article doesn't say is what scales are used on the chords, and that makes a lot of it if u are modulating. For fantasy are some scales very useful, for horror another ones, for mystical atmosphere another ones, for mystery dark/light, etc. that work well...
    Wally Garten likes this.
  10. OP
    ed buller

    ed buller Senior Member

    yes its a simple article. As to scales well if you say have two chords you like. Say Ab min and Emin. Use the notes from these to make a scale . It will only be pentatonic though. So you can add a C natural to get a hexatonic scale/ This is what Holst used in neptune ( stolen by many ) to create a "otherworldy" atmosphere.

    You can hear it here on the celeste:


  11. synergy543

    synergy543 Senior Member

    Dec 11, 2004
    The Internets
  12. Massimo

    Massimo Active Member

    Dec 10, 2006
    Many Thanks for the attachment! Cheers, Max T.
  13. borisb2

    borisb2 Member

    Sep 6, 2018
    Thanks a lot Ed
  14. brek

    brek Active Member

    Oct 30, 2016
    related to the paper:

    Useful to see in the context of the scene where and what the harmonic shifts are. Some good scoring happening there.
    borisb2 and synergy543 like this.
  15. Selfinflicted

    Selfinflicted Member

    Jun 22, 2016
    The video seems to be missing some things.
    Theory ain't nothin' if isn't related to sound.
    There's some stuff that doesn't reflect what is playing - and the key to me is all the other stuff happening over the chords (like what he does with the melody, etc)

    1st part it goes C to Bmin/D and then B min, E min, not C, D, B min, E min
    The A, D, G feels more like V, I, IV, not I, IV, bVII - D feels the temporary home
    The A to C is an elision of a deceptive move from the A, D, G sequence to a C instead of the expected D. C is close to the E min and then the E min Bb becomes a sequence going down (D min Ab) with the Ab as V of Db and then G as V of C.

    The next section ends G, to G/F (where it currently says IV), F, F/Eb, F/Db
    The bass movement is moving in whole steps with the bass moving while the upper voice remain, thus making thing want to move. It's functionally all a prolonged dominant to C
    And the C, F, C, F plagal thing actually eventually starts to move and becomes C, Bb/D (not F/D with a random Bb), C/E, F with an ascending bass. But, the key here is that the melodic voices are imitative like stretto or a round - the voices are staggered and start to affect the harmony as things move. So, you get the great stuff like
    C/E to F, to C/G to F/A with a Bb in the melody, C/B to F/C again with Bb in the mel
    to the juiciest part which is sort of an A min/D to C/E - an inner voice plays descending c-g-f, leading to the C/E chord
    Then back to similar stuff to the beginning, C, Bmin/D etc

    What's great about this piece is the superimposition of different things and how it flows organically. Voice movement, line, and voice leading always seem the more important thing to me. Theory is just a way we talk about things after they've happened, not the thing that makes things work.

    But, chromatic mediants can be found in Beethoven and Brahms.
    Last edited: May 23, 2019

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