Villa-Lobos Etudes 1 and 2 Analyses

Analyses of individual works for Classical Guitar and general discussions on analysis. Normal forum copyright rules apply.
johnhall
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Villa-Lobos Etudes 1 and 2 Analyses

Post by johnhall » Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:53 pm

I did these about a year or so ago and don't think I posted this:

http://www.johnhallguitar.com/blog/etud ... _analysis/

http://www.johnhallguitar.com/blog/vill ... _analysis/

Thanks for your attention.

John

Prashanth Sebastian
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Re: Villa-Lobos Etudes 1 and 2 Analyses

Post by Prashanth Sebastian » Tue Jul 19, 2016 5:52 pm

Thank you for sharing this...
very informative :merci:

cool09
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Re: Villa-Lobos Etudes 1 and 2 Analyses

Post by cool09 » Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:32 pm

Thanks. I always regarded the 12 Etudes as very musical. Extremely colorful, evocative and clever. Barrueco's recordings are my favorite by far.

kampfgolem
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Re: Villa-Lobos Etudes 1 and 2 Analyses

Post by kampfgolem » Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:45 pm

Thanks for sharing.

I have a couple questions. Please keep in mind I'm used to Jazz/functional analysis and classical is a whole new world to me.

1) In meas. 8, the chord is notated as Em7(b5)/Bb and is labeled a non-functional passing chord. Wouldn't this make more sense as a Bb dim triad serving leading to Em? I mean, that's what I hear, a diminished chord.

2) Why are the chords in measures 12 through 22 labeled as "tritones" instead of descending diminished 7 chords?

Are these conventions from classical analysis?

Thanks again!

stevel
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Re: Villa-Lobos Etudes 1 and 2 Analyses

Post by stevel » Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:55 pm

kampfgolem wrote:Thanks for sharing.

I have a couple questions. Please keep in mind I'm used to Jazz/functional analysis and classical is a whole new world to me.

1) In meas. 8, the chord is notated as Em7(b5)/Bb and is labeled a non-functional passing chord. Wouldn't this make more sense as a Bb dim triad serving leading to Em? I mean, that's what I hear, a diminished chord.

2) Why are the chords in measures 12 through 22 labeled as "tritones" instead of descending diminished 7 chords?

Are these conventions from classical analysis?

Thanks again!
John can respond directly, but:

Ordinarily, in "classical" analysis, jazz chord names are not used and the inversion symbols would be used on the Roman Numerals (he includes the 6/4, but not others).

However it should also be noted that this is not a "classical" piece and is a post-tonal work. It does contain many traditional elements, but as you can see, there are non-functional progressions and "linear" chords, etc. (that happens in classical music too BTW).

Sometimes when people analyze, they're doing more than just simply "naming chords" which can only be but so informative. For example, I see John pointing out the interval of the 10th at the beginning, and bracketed when it appears. He's also showing with the dotted slurs, the countour of the melody line (and it's "directed motion" if you like).

A great example if the "Common Tone Diminished Seventh" chord - many people who are simply "naming chords" will just give that a name like "io7" or "Eo7" but the CTo7 nomenclature tells us more about what it is and how it functions in context.

So I've always encountered analyses like these as "reductive analysis" where the "to the point" the analyst is trying to make elements are singled out and the texture is reduced to highlight those (which could be a reason for no inversional symbols).

There's actually an A and G present in the Em7b5/Bb chord (which is why he has "11" as well).

Bbo would have a Db rather than D. So it's not Bbo. You may be hearing a diminished sound, but that's produced by the E-G-Bb rather than Bb-Db-Fb (since there's no Db).

This is simply a non-functional "passing sonority". Even giving it a Roman Numeral is tricy (and not very informative) in "classical" analysis.

But it *works* like a CTo7 chord (though I should note, even with the later one, "true" CTo7 chords resolve to Major chords not minor...but we could always call it an "irregular resolution").

I do sort of disagree with John about the "descending tritones" - I mean, obviously he's pointing out that aspect. But personally I see it as planing of a diminished chord over a pedal bass note.

While Bach would use similar devices with a fully-diminished 7th chord, French composers from the impressionist era onwards very often treated as it its a "rootless" V7b9. So that progression sort of goes:

E7b9 - A7b9 - D7b9 - G7b9 - C7b9 - F7b9 - Bb7b9 - Eb7b9 - Ab7b9 - Db7b9 - F#7b9 - of course with the E pedals throughout.

Aurally the sound is similar to a V7(b9)/V resolving to a i6/4, but our i is simply a root position i chord (which is also why the CTo7 idea makes some sense - neither of them resolve "correctly", but again, this ain't classical music, and even if it was, such things happen on occasion.

Nonetheless, I'd say the "important bit" is the E drone, which maintains the center, and the planing aspect (and of course the fact that after reaching the high E climax through ascent, we have this descent now).

This kind of chromatic alteration of a basic harmony (like F# moving to B with two intervening chords) is again commonplace in Bach so even if the chords aren't functional, or "the same as Bach would do", the idea is certainly sound - call it a "re-imagining" if you like. That of course makes analysis with traditional symbology and nomenclature difficult (or simply uninformative) but like many a good analyst does when faced with a work like this John seems to be trying to point out the "glue" that holds it together in the absence of more functional harmony.

Steve
Last edited by stevel on Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

D.Cass
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Re: Villa-Lobos Etudes 1 and 2 Analyses

Post by D.Cass » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:43 am

Stevel, I was with you until you mentioned the descending chords as m7b5 acting as a rootless 7b9. I would argue that these are diminished chords. Jazz 101 a 7b9 is a full diminished chord played a half step above the root. We have G# D F B this would be a G# dim./G# half dim. would contain an F#. Using an E as a root would call an E9 if it were a m7b5.

johnhall
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Re: Villa-Lobos Etudes 1 and 2 Analyses

Post by johnhall » Wed Dec 07, 2016 2:37 pm

Thanks Steve. I think you summed things up beautifully. It is a reductive analysis similar to what Schenker would do in that the idea is to show the essential underlying voice-leading or the "glue" as you put it. It might be helpful to read some of the commentary that goes along with the PDF.

I am sure Steve meant full-diminished seventh chords in the middle section rather than half-diminished. Who knows, he may have been thinking about Prelude 3. More likely just a slip of the pen. I proof read this stuff over and over and still screw it up. Thanks for all of your interest and feedback.

John

kampfgolem
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Re: Villa-Lobos Etudes 1 and 2 Analyses

Post by kampfgolem » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:32 pm

stevel wrote: However it should also be noted that this is not a "classical" piece and is a post-tonal work. It does contain many traditional elements, but as you can see, there are non-functional progressions and "linear" chords, etc. (that happens in classical music too BTW).

Sometimes when people analyze, they're doing more than just simply "naming chords" which can only be but so informative. For example, I see John pointing out the interval of the 10th at the beginning, and bracketed when it appears. He's also showing with the dotted slurs, the countour of the melody line (and it's "directed motion" if you like).
Perhaps I should've refrained from using the dreaded "C" word (classical) lol. I meant it more as "academic music". But yeah, I figure that much. To me, the analysis of a musical piece further serves as a way to more deeply understand its "aural logic" (or lack thereof). Also, I think it's important to try to "explain" something from an aural point of view -- ie. saying a jazz piece is made up of II-V-Is is rather pointless.
stevel wrote: There's actually an A and G present in the Em7b5/Bb chord (which is why he has "11" as well).

Bbo would have a Db rather than D. So it's not Bbo. You may be hearing a diminished sound, but that's produced by the E-G-Bb rather than Bb-Db-Fb (since there's no Db).
D'oh, my bad. I wasn't looking at the actual score at that time and not having mastered the etude yet I completely forgot about that elusive A. It does have a particular sound that I don't relate to a half-diminished chord though. Just now I was trying it and the added 11 seems to kind of "even out" the dissonance, if it makes any sense.
stevel wrote: So that progression sort of goes:

E7b9 - A7b9 - D7b9 - G7b9 - C7b9 - F7b9 - Bb7b9 - Eb7b9 - Ab7b9 - Db7b9 - F#7b9 - of course with the E pedals throughout.
I am familiar with the use of a dim7 (I, like D. and John, assume you're talking about these, as half diminished chords would only yield pretty "regular" 9 chords) as a 7b9, but I hadn't looked at the progression like this. It really blew my mind. To me it's just the "easy part of the etude" lol.

What's a CTo7? A diminished 7 built from the b2 of a given major chord?

johnhall
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Re: Villa-Lobos Etudes 1 and 2 Analyses

Post by johnhall » Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:56 pm

A common-tone diminished seventh chord is a full-diminished seventh chord that has a note in common with its chord of resolution. For example since you are a jazz player:

Take the progression in C major:

Em7 - Ebdim7 - Dm7 - G7 - Cmaj7

The Ebdim7 chord has the note A (B double-flat) as a common tone with its chord of resolution (Dm7). If we are talking about seventh chords it actually has two notes in common, A and C.

Generally the diminished seventh chord is found in composition as a leading-tone or secondary leading-tone chord meaning that its function or tendency is to resolve up by half-step to its chord of resolution, just as vii is said to resolve to I in a major key or #vii resolves to i in a minor key.

In the example above, even after trying to re-spell the chord with the four possible "roots", we cannot make the case that this chord has a leading-tone function. This is then described as a common-tone diminished seventh chord for the reason stated earlier.

The real explanation for why this chord works is in the voice-leading.

Note the chromatically descending tenths, E-G (Em7) moving to Eb-Gb (Ebdim7) and finally to D-F (Dm7) as you play these chords on guitar. The chord in reality is simply a way of filling in with four voices a chromatically descending tenth. In jazz you will often hear this in a slightly different way using parallel harmony: Em7 - Ebm7 - Dm7 in which the Ebm7 replaces the Ebdim7 chord. Of course since classical harmony attempts to avoid parallel fifths, the Ebdim7 is a better choice.

John

stevel
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Re: Villa-Lobos Etudes 1 and 2 Analyses

Post by stevel » Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:46 am

D.Cass wrote:Stevel, I was with you until you mentioned the descending chords as m7b5 acting as a rootless 7b9. I would argue that these are diminished chords. Jazz 101 a 7b9 is a full diminished chord played a half step above the root. We have G# D F B this would be a G# dim./G# half dim. would contain an F#. Using an E as a root would call an E9 if it were a m7b5.
Total brain fart sorry - I meant fully diminished (for some reason I was stuck on the earlier m7b5) - E - G#-B-D-F is the "rootless" 7b9 I was talking about.

A m7b5 produces a "rootless" dominant 9th chord.

Sorry for the confusion.

stevel
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Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:15 pm

Re: Villa-Lobos Etudes 1 and 2 Analyses

Post by stevel » Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:47 am

johnhall wrote:
I am sure Steve meant full-diminished seventh chords in the middle section rather than half-diminished.
John
Yep, brain fart. I think I was thinking "7b9" and the somewhat similar "7b5" stuck in my head!

stevel
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Re: Villa-Lobos Etudes 1 and 2 Analyses

Post by stevel » Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:56 am

Just to add a more "classical" explanation of the CTo7 - it kind of is best explained thusly:

C - A - C
G - F# - G
E - D# - E
C - C - C

The C is the common tone.

The F# and D# act as lower chromatic neighbors to the 3rd and 5th of the chord. In 4 parts, the upper note often dips down to the "7th" of the o7 chord.

Theorists gave this a "special" name becuase while it's usually spelled like above, making the root D#, it's not really acting like a D#o7 chord (that would resolve to Em in this key for example).

It's more of a "voice-leading" chord - it arises out of linear chromatic motion.

As John points out, it's used commonly in pop styles (which came from Classical - though we really start to see it in Romantic Period music and then in Salon music of the late 19th early 20th century music - barbershop quartets love them...)

The "Basie Ending" is really the same idea. The "country" walk up with the chromatic chord in the middle (it goes down as well) is also the same idea - some of them don't have all the notes present, or resolve in one direction (unlike neighbor motion like my example). But it's all the same principle.

In Jazz, they typically name it whatever most convenient so you could see C6 - Co7 - C6 in my patter above.

But the "classical" name of "Common Tone Diminished Seventh" points out that it's a non-functional o7 structure, and the "common tone" is a more important feature.

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