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 Post subject: Music theory of EF
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 12:52 am 
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Disclaimer: I am no music theorist!

That said, it occurred to me that I haven't read a dialog on Edgar's music in terms of the theory behind "his sound". As with most original artists, there are many essential parts that make up the style. I would like to point out at least one of these "tools". If there are any educated music theorists among us, feel free to add or correct any wrong assumptions I may put forth.

I keep hearing Edgar use a major triad a half step up from the root of a minor triad, thereby forcing a momentary diminished (?) seventh chord. For instance, an E min triad (E,G,B) is sustained, the third (G) is dropped and the major triad of F (F,A,C) is inserted over the E minor. Of course stacking is varied (such as the 5th below all, etc.) and leads to other technical discriptions, but in essence the same feel of a major seventh with the fourth emerges.

This is nothing new or unusual, what is unique to EF is that it is done in a measured way and not in the usual passing tone manner. Take "Daughters of Time" as an example. There are countless other songs which this occurs in but my memory fails. I also will admit I may be grossly over-simplifying here and Edgar himself would probably laugh, but what-the-heck.

This topic was pointed out to me many years ago (1982 I believe) by a music major friend of mine. He wasn't much of a TD fan until he heard Edgar's "Stuntman". He then became a big fan and I was subsequentially harrassed by him for all my albums so he could study up. He would jump up and point out the portions of Edgar's stuff that would grab him. His opinion was that Edgar was a genious at putting together notes in unfamiliar contexts.
This I have discovered too over the years and is part of what sets his "sound" apart from almost anyone else out there. I have often annointed him with the coveted "Modern Mozart" moniker for this reason. His genious is not in invention, but in execution of melody. He will use what is usually just a normal passing tone in, for instance blues, and apply it as a sustaining tone for the bar. This is indeed surreal and in keeping with everything else in EF's style (graphic and life philosophy inclusive). And the best compliment of all is that it has been used by many since TD became so popular. History will be kind to Froese.

-David Ryle

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:11 pm 
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I know absolutely nothing about music (except what I like) but I have read several interviews with Edgar where he has eluded to having a musical "trick" that he uses and is surprised that no one has noticed.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:42 pm 
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Wow very interesting! Going to exhume my synth from the basement soon for trying to try that out... :)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:17 pm 
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Very interesting post David.

It has always fascinated me why it is that I like certain bits of music which can sometimes be just a few seconds of music or just a chord change.

Your post has certainly inspired me to research deeper into the theory behind the music to try and find a common thread that appeals to me


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 12:44 am 
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It's a bit absurd trying to find Edgar's "trick" - as there is no trick: he simply got his programming from an extraterrestrial sphere....like so many other geniuses.. :wink:
I think we have to live with the fact that he and his music is special.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 12:53 am 
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Nero wrote:
It's a bit absurd trying to find Edgar's "trick" - as there is no trick: he simply got his programming from an extraterrestrial sphere....like so many other geniuses.. :wink:
I think we have to live with the fact that he and his music is special.


I can live with that fact Nero! :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 12:57 am 
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Nero wrote:
It's a bit absurd trying to find Edgar's "trick" - as there is no trick: he simply got his programming from an extraterrestrial sphere....like so many other geniuses.. :wink:
I think we have to live with the fact that he and his music is special.

Well put Nero. Personally I think that Edgar's only trick is to keep it interesting and to bring in the unexpected every so often.


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 Post subject: EDGAR .. YOU GO.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:12 am 
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If we have a look of the amount of albums, solo or with TD then there can be concluded that there is a lot of creative energy inside that man! And there is so much variaty in all the songs that it keeps me entertained.

EDGAR .. YOU GO!

MD.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:19 pm 
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Disclaimer : BM has put his thinking hat on

very interesting post from David Ryle......

I think David is on to something here.....the interesting thing is....is this the reason that 'all' EF compositions 'feel' similar and familiar to us...almost to the point of 'aha...heard it before..'. IMHO near all TD music has this quality, its instantly recognisable as a signature, that addictiveness in the structure and theme of the music :arrow:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:58 pm 
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My apology if it appeared I meant EF was a "trickster". (Note: I did catch the humor). More like a master than a manipulator.

The subject is more of a charge for discussing what it is about EF's style that makes it so musically special. I am in no way attempting to disect and disinfect the wonderful mystery and magic of the music, but am more interested in knowing a bit of what goes through the mind of the composer when he builds the creation.

It doesn't take a genious to notice the unique-ness in Froese's sound, and yet it seems so ellusive and hard to quantify. That was the point of my inquiry. I figure someone will bust forth with a real analysis which I am in no way capable of myself. I was hoping to learn more for my own curiosity and to serve me better when composing my own music. I am a hopeless addict of the "TD Sound" and have always tried to understand what components are in play there. I am not a professional musician with aspirations for musical gain, but just have a curiosity for my own use.

It seems to me that the early work was such a test ground of ideas and although there came about many signature themes that served as prototypical for later EM artists, the newer (post Rubycon) era music seemed to hone a new set of musical phrases and ideas that I am more interested in. I don't mean by that to say I like one era over another but that the latter day music seems more accessible to analysis in conventional western musical terms yet of course is still just as unique as the earlier encarnations.

If I may be even more presumptuous to state that I think there was a new "flavor" created round about the Melrose period that stands in stark contrast and carrys through to todays work for TD. This hyper-melodic, yet still atmospheric and other-worldly sounding style is the subset of songs I was trying to understand with my attempted examination. It is so accessible in traditional melodic point/counterpoint terms that it I want to get a small insight into how it is created. Of course I acknowledge the ellusive nature of a full description and again do not wish to deconstruct the mystery. I would rather like to keep the magic. That would be a crime to spoil it for myself.

I have over the years discovered little things that remind me of Froese and find it interesting that these things are truly unique and have never been discussed anywhere (that I know of). I am comfortable with anyone that has no interest in plucking the feathers off the Bird of Paradise that is EF, but there are those such as myself (I trust) that may like the idea of a more scientific theory.

-David

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:08 pm 
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I like the idea of a scientific theory of EF's compositional style......thats possible and would be very interesting



sometimes its worth analysing and disecting an artists method....I dont do this much anymore as I usually just either enjoy the music for what it is or when feeling 'mystical' I apply a higher meaning to the music [example, IMHO TD music is a total package of sound, art and metaphysical nuance that is practically unmatched in modern rock music..........]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 6:54 pm 
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EF-"I'm not interested in the sound message, I'm interested in the mind message"

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:00 pm 
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the BM has got the mind message from TD music

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:55 pm 
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A few EM musicians, such as Can Atilla and Rob Essers (A lizard's walk), have learned how to sound quite similar to TD. They may have discovered a few of Edgar's compositional tools. But still the real magic isn't there.

Just because an artist can make a painting in the style of Picasso doesn't make him Picasso.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 11:22 pm 
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tdfan wrote:
A few EM musicians, such as Can Atilla and Rob Essers (A lizard's walk), have learned how to sound quite similar to TD. They may have discovered a few of Edgar's compositional tools. But still the real magic isn't there.

Just because an artist can make a painting in the style of Picasso doesn't make him Picasso.


Totally correct. And not my goal.

I suppose the idea of even a minimal analysis will probably lapse before it ever gets going here, but I do believe that history will be kind to EF and his music will be as studied as any of the great composers. Hopefully not postumately though. I would love to see the international music society give credit where credit is due in his regard, but I've read enough about Edgar's quotes to know it is not an issue with him. Rightly so. His output will not suffer regardless.

I do like the quote from 24db. Very appropriate and just exactly why I love Froese. My inquiry comes from the fact that when I accidentally play something that reminds me of EF I get excited to know why and what it is - BECAUSE it makes me feel a certain thing. I want to be able to bring a little of that TYPE of feeling into my compositions when I think it is appropriate. This is what musicians do. Of course great maestro's like Froese invent it to start with and that cannot be replicated. All this comes from deep respect and honor of what Froese has given us and such a love that I just want to embrace it more.

-David

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