voiceleading pop

In “theory”, you could “arrange” to have your discussions here.

voiceleading pop

Postby Spparkle » Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:37 pm

Quick question:

So much of pop music is octaves and open fifths... Granted these are the nonos of voiceleading, do you think it generally is a good idea to follow these rules in arranging pop music, or is it ok to have blatant parallel 5ths.

I know everyone is going to say "depends," but I thought I'd ask anyway since FA girls tend to be a bit of theory sticklers.

Thanks!
Katie Bank
Bowdoin Ursus Verses
Harvard Fallen Angels
Music Teacher: Sea Crest School, Half Moon Bay, CA
Spparkle
 
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2003 9:32 am
Location: San Francisco, CA

Postby vocalmark » Tue Oct 10, 2006 7:14 am

Depends... ;-)

I think that if the music has a prominent line of parallel octaves or fifths, then the arrangement is justified in having that same line. It is always cool, however, to create the same line over many voice parts with different voice leadings. Not only does it challenge the group to bring out what should be heard, if they pull it off well, it makes them look very good from a musicality standpoint.

If it's simply a matter of the bass line has a fifth over it throughout the entire piece, I would look to make the a cappella arrangement a bit more interesting. In my opinion, taking a relatively monotonous line of parallel fifths or octaves and making it interesting (thus spicing up the arragement) is what separates a great arranger from a good one.

Anyone can "transcribe" - only a select few can "arrange".

Mark Hines The Vocal Company - www.thevocalcompany.com SoJam, 2011 Executive Producer CASA, 2010 Board of Directors

vocalmark
 
Posts: 417
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 9:13 pm
Location: Raleigh-Durham, NC

Postby billhare » Tue Oct 10, 2006 8:03 am

Liquid5th-Mark wrote:If it's simply a matter of the bass line has a fifth over it throughout the entire piece, I would look to make the a cappella arrangement a bit more interesting. In my opinion, taking a relatively monotonous line of parallel fifths or octaves and making it interesting (thus spicing up the arragement) is what separates a great arranger from a good one.
Anyone can "transcribe" - only a select few can "arrange".


Yeah, but will it ROCK? As David St. Hubbins so wisely said in Spinal Tap, "there is a fine line between stupid and clever".

I wish my college professors had taught me that while I was a music major - would have saved me a few years of struggling in the real world. Sometimes simple is the most effective - if it means one person having to sing only one note throughout the whole arrangment, make them proud of the great contribution that one note makes.

-B

Bill Hare Some dude who records and mixes people who can't play instruments. http://www.dyz.com

billhare
 
Posts: 2002
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2003 11:14 am
Location: Silicon Valley, CA

Postby vocalmark » Tue Oct 10, 2006 9:36 am

Bill Hare wrote:if it means one person having to sing only one note throughout the whole arrangment, make them proud of the great contribution that one note makes.


I would venture to say that about one out of every 75 collegiate a cappella groups has an individual that can actually sing "the same" note throughout an entire piece of music. That's not meant to be offensive, but when it comes down to it, singing the same note, or even just a monotonous line, is one of the most difficult things to do in music.

They can be proud of their one-note part, but I'm not interested if it's not sung well :-)

Mark Hines The Vocal Company - www.thevocalcompany.com SoJam, 2011 Executive Producer CASA, 2010 Board of Directors

vocalmark
 
Posts: 417
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 9:13 pm
Location: Raleigh-Durham, NC

Postby whataboutrob » Tue Oct 10, 2006 9:44 am

It's always that quiet alto you didn't see coming, too. Of course, when you find out they can do it (or once you figure out the people with the best ears in your group) you tend to abuse them a bit, always making them sing the really difficult, no fun parts.
whataboutrob
 
Posts: 298
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2006 2:24 pm
Location: Purchase, NY

Postby NasonW » Tue Oct 10, 2006 7:37 pm

I guess it would depend where you want this particular song to shine: it's been my experience (and, don't kill me if y'all disagree) that some songs are arranged solely for the studio and make killer recordings; others sound light years better on stage than any studio can replicate. So I'd just say to really consider where you want this song to shine and focus on the acoustical value if for the stage, and the layered, tuned texture for the studio ... that's of course not to say it's impossible to feature a solid arrangement both on the stage and in the studio, but it's a good way to give yourself some focus if you're just starting out. :)
NasonW
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 9:43 am
Location: Baltimore, MD

Postby sahjahpah » Tue Oct 10, 2006 8:33 pm

key katie,

do you know if any other harvard a cappella junkies are lurking around these parts? i haven't seen many around. i imagine there probably isn't anyone from the dins or kroks or pitches, but anyone else...?

-samir
sahjahpah
 
Posts: 344
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2005 7:00 am
Location: Cambridge, MA / Washington, DC

Postby JCarps165 » Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:02 pm

Hey Samir,

Actually, I've been known to lurk from time to time, but I finally decided to register tonight after noticing your post! The Harvard scene has been pretty removed from RARB and CASA and is only now starting to slowly creep into things with the LowKeys in the ICCA's, the Callbacks on BOCA, the Opportunes CD produced by John Clark, etc. Who knows...The Dins are actually starting to do some heavier production on our next album...maybe Harvard will finally join up with the rest of the a cappella world!

Jon
Jon Carpenter
Din & Tonics (2003-2006)
Veritones (2006-2007)
JCarps165
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2006 2:57 pm
Location: Cambridge, MA

Postby sahjahpah » Wed Oct 11, 2006 6:05 pm

good to e-see you, jon! and sorry to hijack the thread, katie...
sahjahpah
 
Posts: 344
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2005 7:00 am
Location: Cambridge, MA / Washington, DC

Postby Spparkle » Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:43 pm

Hey guys,

There is the occasional Veritone alum on here as well, should she care to reveal herself :-)

I also know of a callback alum or two to do what Jon did... lurk but not post. Oh, just embrace the fact you are a cappella dorks guys! You already go to Harvard! You're a dork! The jig is up!

:-) Oh, and the song I was refering to was Plane by Jason Mraz... I think that Handel would have agreed with Bill. I sang Soloman with the Harvard University Choir a few years back and I had an A for about 3/4ths of the whole piece. Go altos and their ability to keep the pitch up.

-Katie
Katie Bank
Bowdoin Ursus Verses
Harvard Fallen Angels
Music Teacher: Sea Crest School, Half Moon Bay, CA
Spparkle
 
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2003 9:32 am
Location: San Francisco, CA

Postby sauce » Wed Oct 18, 2006 3:20 pm

Well back to the subject, for a bit :)

This is, of course, a great issue to bring up, and one that does present challenges in voice-leading of pop songs. I love great voice leading, but when it’s all said and done, the questions will always come down to: Does it sound good? It is convincing? And those are questions only our ears can answer.

Experiment with different interesting voicings, inversions, suspensions – 6ths, 7ths, 9ths, etc. and see what they sound like. It’s hard to believe, but chords like Dm7 CAN sometimes sound great in a rock song where they originally played D5. Flat 13s aren't only for jazz (see "Plane" passing Gb in Bb(7) chord in chorus).

In particular, with moving power chords (e.g. C5), I’ve found that using the major or minor triad sometimes works in the initial attack of the chord before moving back to the open fifth. That can mask or eliminate the plain old parallel fifths. Another voicing I’ve found that works well sometimes is interspersing the 9th (e.g. C(add9) – C, D, G).

I'm not claiming to be the greatest arranger or anything, but I've found that it's the details that DO matter, and make the difference between a good and great arrangement.

Again, thanks for bringing this up, and happy arranging!

p.s. I listened to the song you’re working on, and I don’t think you should have any problems with using just full triads or more for all those chords, right...? Even when the texture is pretty sparce, it sounds to me that there is still a strong harmonic context being implied (chorus: VI, III, V...)
sauce
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 9:02 am
Location: Rochester, NY

Re: voiceleading pop

Postby krakadoros » Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:38 pm

i found a site , that can help. http://www.arrangemymelody.com
krakadoros
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:32 pm

Re:

Postby ceegers » Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:37 pm

sauce wrote:when it’s all said and done, the questions will always come down to: Does it sound good? It is convincing? And those are questions only our ears can answer.

Very much this.

And even that very much depends on how you want it to sound. Open 5ths will give it a certain feel... filled-out chords will give it another feel, and you might want it one way or the other.

C.J. Smith Hempfield HS R# founder/director 03-05 U. of Hartford Hawkapella 05-09 Currently doing many musical things that do not include a cappella groups :-( :-(

ceegers
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:57 pm
Location: Lancaster PA

Re: voiceleading pop

Postby vandre » Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:32 pm

vandre
 
Posts: 140043
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:40 am

Re: voiceleading pop

Postby vandre » Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:33 pm

vandre
 
Posts: 140043
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:40 am

Next

Return to Vocal Music

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron