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Let's have a test on chord grammar

Christian Kaernbach wrote:
"In poems all sort of rule violations are found, even mixing of languages
...... Sure, this goes down to dada, and maybe Martin Brown would then say
music has the grammar of dada."

No, I wouldn't. The Dada people had to mix up elements that carried clear
semantic signals, like cows, chairs, or tulips. They could not mix abstract
elements, like squares or circles. That would not have been Dada.

It is very remarkable that the term Dada, to my knowledge, has never been
used in music. There are just no clear semantic signals in music, and
syntactic signals are missing altogether.


It seems to me that the term "grammar of chord progression" has remained too
abstract for several of you who contributed to this thread.

Therefore I'll now give an example and, below that, a test that anybody is
invited to take part in:

A piece, which is well known and appreciated in many parts of the world, has
the following sequence of chords in its final 10 bars:

1) D-A-C
2) D-F
3) G-minor
4) C-Eb
5) D-major
6) G-D-Bb-A
7) G-minor
8) D-major
9) G-D-A-Bb
10) G-minor
11) D-major
12) G-A-D-Bb
13) G-minor
14) D-major
15) G-minor
16) G-E-C#-B
17) D-major
18) D-major
19) D-F#-A-E
20) D-major
21) D-major
22) D-major

Questions of the test:

A) Which syntactical expectations could be SATISFIED by this chord sequence?

B) Which syntactical expectations could be VIOLATED by this chord sequence?

C) Can you guess from the chord sequence which musical style this piece
belongs to and at which time about it may have been written?

Please send your answers to my personal email address (not to the list). I
will then collect the first ten replies and send them back to the list
collectively. If you don't want to sign your reply with your real name,
please sign with an alias.

Of course I'll also disclose, together with the results, by whom, when and
where the piece was written.

Good luck.



----- Original Message -----
From: Christian Kaernbach <chris@PSYCHOLOGIE.UNI-LEIPZIG.DE>
Sent: Sunday, April 29, 2001 7:09 AM
Subject: On the Grammar of Music