Quartal Chords

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Lockie
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:02 pm

Quartal Chords

Post by Lockie » Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:17 am

Hi.

My understanding is that these chords are made up of intervals a 4th apart with a 3rd on top. They can be ambiguous in "Tonality" sense.

Has anyone any knowledge of these chord types? Is there any good books available for the guitar?

Regards

Lockie

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Location: England

Re: Quartal Chords

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:16 am

Lockie wrote:Is there any good books available for the guitar?
There's plenty of material regarding quartal harmony if you're interested in a general way e.g. Schoenberg, Satie, Scriabin etc. but I'm not aware of anything guitar specific other than Robert Fripp's work with King Crimson and his so called "new standard".

I was an avid KC afficianado and toyed with turning "craftie" at one time. If you feel like experimenting with his tuning you'll need a special string set:

0.011, 0.013, 0.022, 0.032, 0.047, 0.059

These are for acoustic steel strings - an electric set would be lighter. Absolutely no idea how nylons would stack up or even if it's possible - one of the luthier members here may be able to help. Actually, the top string was always "wrong" as it wasn't possible to achieve the necessary high "B". Maybe technology has caught up ... ?

Fripp used to run courses (back in the 80s) - not sure if they still exist but google should be able to help there.

RobMacKillop
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Location: Edinburgh

Re: Quartal Chords

Post by RobMacKillop » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:49 am

Quartal rather than quartel. Debussy apparently used them, but my first real encounter with them was in Miles Davis's So What - always worth checking out.

You should check out "Quartal Harmony and Voicings for Guitar" by Tom Floyd, Mel Bay Publications.

No need to retune the guitar!

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pogmoor
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Re: Quartal Chords

Post by pogmoor » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:54 am

RobMacKillop wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:49 am
Quartal rather than quartel.
Spelling corrected in title so the topic becomes more readily searchable.
Eric from GuitarLoot
Renaissance and Baroque freak; classical guitars by Lester Backshall (2008), Ramirez (Guitarra del Tiempo 2017),
Yamaha (SLG 130NW silent classical guitar 2014).

Lockie
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:02 pm

Re: Quartal Chords

Post by Lockie » Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:26 pm

Hi

Thanks for the suggestions and apologies for the typo.

Regards

Lockie

Jeremiah Lawson
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Location: Seattle

Re: Quartal Chords

Post by Jeremiah Lawson » Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:16 am

In guitar music I've gotten the sense that quartal harmonizations of diatonic melodies are more the norm. Dusan Bogdanovic Sonata No. 1 has a melody that could be described as being in B major but which is supported by chains of fourths that don't necessarily have anything to do with a melody that could be cast in B major.

When I think of quartal harmony or melody I tend to think of piano literature more. With the pedals and the range of the keyboard you can get quartal harmony and melody to be very expansive. I'm thinking of someone like Paul Hindemith or the recently deceased George Walker, whose first piano sonata has a Hindemith-like chain of fourths (all of Walker's piano sonatas are, I think, worth checking out).

Lockie
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Re: Quartal Chords

Post by Lockie » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:10 am

Hi

Interesting topic though. An extended range classical guitar, with the 7th tuned a 5th below low E, some very interesting chords are possible. Another option would be a 10 string tuned in diatonic 3rds etc.

Regards

Lockie

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