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interesting read (but very hardcore)

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Gump
 Gump
(@gump)
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Joined: 20 years ago
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Heavy metal theory analyzed at the postgraduate level. This is a thesis paper, not an easy read.

http://ethesis.helsinki.fi/julkaisut/hum/taite/lt/lilja/characte.pdf


   
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BlueMidnightThunder
(@bluemidnightthunder)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 12
 

Just wanted to say a quick thanks for posting this! This is really informative! I haven't read it yet. Just skimmed through it but it looks like something really worth reading so far.

BlueMidnightThunder
AKA: "Shanna"


   
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BlueMidnightThunder
(@bluemidnightthunder)
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Has anybody read this? If so, what do you think of it???

BlueMidnightThunder
AKA: "Shanna"


   
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NoteBoat
(@noteboat)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4921
 

Yeah, I read it. I didn't bother to comment earlier, but since you've asked... might want to buckle up first :)

It's definately not a post-graduate piece of writing.

Divide it into three logical parts: acoustics (ch.2), implied progressions (ch.3), and modal analysis (ch. 4-5).

In the acoustics section the author discusses "summation tones" and "difference tones". These are not properties of acoustics. They have been demonstrated to occur in some listeners, but without physical cause... so they are a neural response, and fall under psycho-acoustic phenomenon, not acoustic properties. But the author doesn't discuss them in this context; rather, they're suggested as acoustic 'truths' of some sort, and no mention is made of actual acoustic properties, like the non-linear nature of loudspeaker reproducion and its effect on the reproduction of harmonic overtones. That stuff is appropriate to the topic; the psycho-acoustics angle has nothing to do with distortion or volume.

On to implied progressions... this is the meat of the article in my mind. But it took me several readings to figure out what the author was saying, which is this (I think): power chords imply a third. If this implied third is viewed as a basso continuo through the progression, two consecutive pitches of a power chord and a major sixth interval will present themselves as a major chord followed by a first inversion minor chord.

But this section begins with a paragraph saying that a) metal uses chords in root position, and b) this has a lot in common with figured bass. You can't have it both ways... if it's figured bass, they're not in root position; if they're in root position, there is no figured bass. It's pretty darn confusing when your opening says you're going to show something... and that something requires disproving what you're going to show!

Then on to 'modes'. This section is the worst of the lot.

To start with, whenever someone talks about 'church modes' as a musical source, and backs up that statement with all sorts of Aeolian illustrations, I have one piece of advice: re-read your music history. Aeolian is not a church mode. Never has been. Aeolian is the name that Glareanus applied to secular (i.e. non-church mode) music that had a minor tonality.

Anaylzing sections as moving between Aeolian and Dorian tonalities, and discussing at length such 'modally altered chords' is an exercise that one of my teachers called 'mental masturbation'. I look at the examples and I see... the harmonized melodic minor scale. No modes required; no modulations, no Schenkerian analysis, no score reduction. Ockam's razor - the simplest solution is almost always the best.

That simple solution would also eliminate the need to talk about a diminished fifth interval as a chromatic alteration. They occur naturally in every single key. Look at those pieces in melodic minor, and they can occur several times in each key! Again, no modulations, etc. required.

In fact, there's so much stuff in the mode sections that I found convoluted... it nearly buried the one thing that could be interesting: the use of secondary subdominants. I'd like to see something substantive on how metal music uses plagal rather than authentic movements; that might be a decent topic.

Just my two cents worth.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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undercat
(@undercat)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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holy crap.

Do something you love and you'll never work a day in your life...


   
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afterblast
(@afterblast)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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I find it ironic that someone spent unknown days anylizing the basics of songs that were probably written because one guitarist said to another "dude listen to this awsome riff!"

wherever you go, there you are.


   
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havocdragon
(@havocdragon)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 53
 

Meh, it was alright, but I only read about half of it. I have many points of contention with the author on several points he makes.

I think Cream, Led Zepplin, Deep Purple and alot of those bands gave birth to Metal, but I do not beleive they were metal. Yes I am from that 'representatives of a younger generation' category.

Metal has a certain Energy, timbre, writing style, thats generally an emotional outcry against repression of some form, whether it be society, significant other, political etc etc. Rock and hard rock can encompass quite a bit more, and might go over these subjects, but may not always be an emotional outcry.

Many animals were harmed in the making of this signature.


   
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reeve
(@reeve)
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I think Cream, Led Zepplin, Deep Purple and alot of those bands gave birth to Metal, but I do not beleive they were metal. Yes I am from that 'representatives of a younger generation' category.

Metal has a certain Energy, timbre, writing style, thats generally an emotional outcry against repression of some form, whether it be society, significant other, political etc etc. Rock and hard rock can encompass quite a bit more, and might go over these subjects, but may not always be an emotional outcry.

I definitely agree with ya on that one. Zep wasn't outcrying against society, they were just blues based rock.

Well, I've had some requests, but I'm going to play anyway.


   
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Alan Green
(@alangreen)
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Joined: 20 years ago
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And just look at the discography on pages 74-75 - only one album released after 1988.

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


   
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