ScoreTalk (Ep. 2): Why The 'Schindler's List' Theme Is So Beautiful

Paul T McGraw

Senior Member
Another wonderful video. I really like your approach. Personally, I also relate to the roman numeral harmonic analysis. I am always amazed by those who doubt it's value.

I hope you continue making these wonderful videos.
 
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ChrisSiuMusic

ChrisSiuMusic

Senior Member
Another wonderful video. I really like your approach. Personally, I also relate to the roman numeral harmonic analysis. I am always amazed by those who doubt it's value.

I hope you continue making these wonderful videos.
I really appreciate that Paul, thank you. It’s the classical way :)
 

Pier Bover

Active Member
Nice video indeed.

I did a bit of Roman numeral analysis when taking some piano classes years ago. What other harmonic analysis types are there?

Also, how does one learn how to use these for composing? Usually I play stuff on the piano and when it sounds good I can analyze it and can somewhat understand why it works but I cannot go the other way around. When looking at these analysis videos I imagine Williams knows beforehand what chord he has to go or which key he has to modulate to so that everything works.
 
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ChrisSiuMusic

ChrisSiuMusic

Senior Member
Nice video indeed.

I did a bit of Roman numeral analysis when taking some piano classes years ago. What other harmonic analysis types are there?

Also, how does one learn how to use these for composing? Usually I play stuff on the piano and when it sounds good I can analyze it and can somewhat understand why it works but I cannot go the other way around. When looking at these analysis videos I imagine Williams knows beforehand what chord he has to go or which key he has to modulate to so that everything works.
Hi! Thank you. I only really know of 2 ways: analyzing using root quality chord symbols (C major), and Roman numerals. That's how I was taught in classical theory classes. In the case of composing, I would assume it typically goes how you'd describe it. Our inner ear leads us to chord progressions and melodies, and then we can go back later and analyze what we did. It's more rare to use theory solely to compose music.
 

ism

Senior Member
I did a bit of Roman numeral analysis when taking some piano classes years ago. What other harmonic analysis types are there?
Well there's Neo-Reimannian, for instance. Roman Numeral analysis kind of stops working when you get to, say, Wagner's high romanticism, and the kinds of shimmery hollywood chords that it leads to that are more about relational effects the pure tonal functionality.

Can recommend some excellent books on this if you're interested. (Or pick up Mike Verta's Jerry Goldsmith masterclass).

UPDATE - actually, I mean the Horner masterclass. But the Goldsmitg one probably has similar themes.
 
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anjwilson

New Member
There are quite a few harmonic analysis methods besides Roman numeral analysis. One particularly useful one for modal progressions is Riemannian functional analysis (not neo-), which downplays the specific Roman numeral and groups harmonies into functional families (Tonic, Subdominant, and Dominant) and analyzes the transformations applied to them from the basic form of those functions.

Schenkerian analysis and its derivatives (e.g. Salzer's linear analysis) are also extremely useful as they integrate contrapuntal analysis with harmonic analysis and teach people to hear ornamentation beyond non-harmonic tones. In my opinion, they are at least as useful as Neo-Riemannian analysis for Wagnerian "romantic harmony" and beyond.
 

ism

Senior Member
There are quite a few harmonic analysis methods besides Roman numeral analysis. One particularly useful one for modal progressions is Riemannian functional analysis (not neo-), which downplays the specific Roman numeral and groups harmonies into functional families (Tonic, Subdominant, and Dominant) and analyzes the transformations applied to them from the basic form of those functions.

Schenkerian analysis and its derivatives (e.g. Salzer's linear analysis) are also extremely useful as they integrate contrapuntal analysis with harmonic analysis and teach people to hear ornamentation beyond non-harmonic tones. In my opinion, they are at least as useful as Neo-Riemannian analysis for Wagnerian "romantic harmony" and beyond.
And (accessible) references on the later?
 

anjwilson

New Member
Salzer extends Schenker's ideas even into post-tonal music. The classic for Salzer is his book Structural Hearing (at the time of writing, $4.29 used for the hardcover at the Amazon link). Admittedly, Salzer caught a fair amount of flak from music theorists in the 1980s and 1990s for the criteria needed to distinguish structurally deeper from structurally shallower tones outside of tonality. From a composer's standpoint, though, such objections are not necessarily signficant.

Edit: looks like PDFs of it are up on Scribd as well: Vol. 1 and Vol. 2
 

ism

Senior Member
Salzer extends Schenker's ideas even into post-tonal music. The classic for Salzer is his book Structural Hearing (at the time of writing, $4.29 used for the hardcover at the Amazon link). Admittedly, Salzer caught a fair amount of flak from music theorists in the 1980s and 1990s for the criteria needed to distinguish structurally deeper from structurally shallower tones outside of tonality. From a composer's standpoint, though, such objections are not necessarily signficant.

Edit: looks like PDFs of it are up on Scribd as well: Vol. 1 and Vol. 2
Thanks! I've actually though about pickup up that book a number of times, but didn't really have a sense of what it's about. Definitely going on my wish list.

And at risk of going even more off topic, there's interesting resonances with major shift in the foundations of mathematics itself in the second half of the 20th century. Moving from stable point based set theory to relation-based category theory.
 

leslieq

Member
Great analysis there, Chris. It’s a piece that totally reduces me to blubbering mess every time I hear it played live or when I’ve been in the orchestra 😭

I tried to make a mock-up of the piece using NotePerformer:
— let me know what you think.
 
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