Mcfadden thesis will blow your mind...

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Luis_Br
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Re: Mcfadden thesis will blow your mind...

Post by Luis_Br » Tue Dec 13, 2016 9:13 am

The book is the chapter 3 of the thesis (which is the main thing, the other chapters are academic motivation and conclusion of the work).
The book is more or less the same as the thesis, it seems (I haven't compared each line), but in the book it is better organized and easier to read.

RobMacKillop
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Re: Mcfadden thesis will blow your mind...

Post by RobMacKillop » Tue Dec 13, 2016 9:33 am

The Horetski Preludes, Cadences and Modulations has been free on my site for years, and elsewhere:

https://rmclassicalguitar.com/19th-century/ - scroll down to the section on Improv.

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petermc61
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Re: Mcfadden thesis will blow your mind...

Post by petermc61 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 9:58 am

It's not entirely clear to me which component of his thesis is new or profound in its insights. I am rather surprised that is a doctoral thesis to be frank.

Peter

2handband

Re: Mcfadden thesis will blow your mind...

Post by 2handband » Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:35 pm

petermc61 wrote:It's not entirely clear to me which component of his thesis is new or profound in its insights. I am rather surprised that is a doctoral thesis to be frank.

Peter
OK, there is nothing there I don't already know... it is true. But show me another treatise discussing theory as directly applied to practical applications for the classical guitarist starting from the ground up and with that much depth? As near as I can tell it doesn't exist. I'm thrilled to see anything that promotes fretboard freedom for classical guitarists, especially now that I am starting to teach them.
RobMacKillop wrote:The Horetski Preludes, Cadences and Modulations has been free on my site for years, and elsewhere:

https://rmclassicalguitar.com/19th-century/ - scroll down to the section on Improv.
Rob... I clearly need to look your site over in more detail. That's good stuff!

Luis_Br
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Re: Mcfadden thesis will blow your mind...

Post by Luis_Br » Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:27 pm

I agree nothing is new. It is just an organized compilation. Certainly there are other similar books, but McFadden's is a nice organized compilation in the classical way of harmony for the guitar, considering figured bass and voicing within the chords. I don't know other books with such organization. You find simple tips in Sor and other earlier methods which does not go as far as McFadden, or you find more thorough exploration in pop/jazz books which generally simplifies to block-chords and do not mention figured bass or voicing very well from the classical perspective.
Another great book, IMO, is Bogdanovic's Counterpoint for Guitar, which explores another nice view of building up improvisation and harmony from the counterpoint perspective. Considering the guitar has difficulties on building up complex four-voice harmonies, the counterpoint view is nice to add variety to something with less simultaneous voices.
I would recommend starting with the counterpoint view, as most classical composition teachers here recommend. You start learning to explore simultaneous single lines which are easier to begin with improvising, there is more freedom but you already start thinking on some relationship between them. After mastering the counterpoint, you move to deeper harmonic concatenation developing further the vertical view.

2handband

Re: Mcfadden thesis will blow your mind...

Post by 2handband » Tue Dec 13, 2016 6:49 pm

Luis_Br wrote:I agree nothing is new. It is just an organized compilation. Certainly there are other similar books, but McFadden's is a nice organized compilation in the classical way of harmony for the guitar, considering figured bass and voicing within the chords. I don't know other books with such organization. You find simple tips in Sor and other earlier methods which does not go as far as McFadden, or you find more thorough exploration in pop/jazz books which generally simplifies to block-chords and do not mention figured bass or voicing very well from the classical perspective.
Another great book, IMO, is Bogdanovic's Counterpoint for Guitar, which explores another nice view of building up improvisation and harmony from the counterpoint perspective. Considering the guitar has difficulties on building up complex four-voice harmonies, the counterpoint view is nice to add variety to something with less simultaneous voices.
I would recommend starting with the counterpoint view, as most classical composition teachers here recommend. You start learning to explore simultaneous single lines which are easier to begin with improvising, there is more freedom but you already start thinking on some relationship between them. After mastering the counterpoint, you move to deeper harmonic concatenation developing further the vertical view.
Thanks for that recommendation, Luis. I just bagged a copy. I'm just now starting to take classical students, and my thinking is exactly the same as for my students in other styles in that I will NOT turn out robots who can copy others to perfection but are useless to any musical situation in which they have to think on their feet (which outside of the solo recitalist world is almost all situations). So anything that can help me move students in a direction that promotes fretboard freedom within the classical idiom is huge. It's also useful to me as all of my methodology for getting quickly around the guitar is informed mostly by other styles. I can't improvise fluidly if figured bass is thrown at me, for instance. Counterpoint as well so this gives me stuff I need to work on too.

2handband

Re: Mcfadden thesis will blow your mind...

Post by 2handband » Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:36 pm

Luis... the bogdanovic book rules. Thanks for the recommendation.

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Robin
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Re: Mcfadden thesis will blow your mind...

Post by Robin » Mon Dec 26, 2016 2:03 am

I'm about half way through reading the McFadden thesis. Since guitar is the second instrument I've learned, I have found the process he uses for building an understanding of fret board harmony helpful. Harmony on the guitar is not as straightforward to understand as it is on a piano. I appreciate that he compared and contrasted the key elements of keyboard harmony with guitar harmony. I would agree that guitar majors should have the benefit of fret board harmony coursework at the university level as it would contribute to a well rounded and in depth understanding of the instrument. This is an area that I'm slowly learning in an experiential way through repertoire and through playing guitar in a mandolin orchestra.

As I read this thesis, I think about how this applies to teaching the instrument. Most modern classical guitar methods don't really address the theory and application of intervals and chord building in the way McFadden is approaching it. Some of the older methods such as Carcassi and Sor do spend time developing the concepts of keys and intervals. Oppositely, piano methods introduce intervals and how chords are built from them right from the beginning.

I think that it would be possible to use McFadden's framework along with a student's repertoire to teach and develop understanding of the layout of the fret board and how harmony is built. The responsibility would fall on the shoulders of the teacher to teach beyond the page and create various studies from repertoire.

Back to reading...

Robin
So much music, so little time.

2handband

Re: Mcfadden thesis will blow your mind...

Post by 2handband » Mon Dec 26, 2016 2:23 am

Robin wrote:I'm about half way through reading the McFadden thesis. Since guitar is the second instrument I've learned, I have found the process he uses for building an understanding of fret board harmony helpful. Harmony on the guitar is not as straightforward to understand as it is on a piano. I appreciate that he compared and contrasted the key elements of keyboard harmony with guitar harmony. I would agree that guitar majors should have the benefit of fret board harmony coursework at the university level as it would contribute to a well rounded and in depth understanding of the instrument. This is an area that I'm slowly learning in an experiential way through repertoire and through playing guitar in a mandolin orchestra.

As I read this thesis, I think about how this applies to teaching the instrument. Most modern classical guitar methods don't really address the theory and application of intervals and chord building in the way McFadden is approaching it. Some of the older methods such as Carcassi and Sor do spend time developing the concepts of keys and intervals. Oppositely, piano methods introduce intervals and how chords are built from them right from the beginning.

I think that it would be possible to use McFadden's framework along with a student's repertoire to teach and develop understanding of the layout of the fret board and how harmony is built. The responsibility would fall on the shoulders of the teacher to teach beyond the page and create various studies from repertoire.

Back to reading...

Robin
The complete lack of fundamentals discussion in classical guitar methods baffles and annoys me. Look at it this way... with a student of any other style I'm throwing theory at them after about the first month worth of lessons assuming decent progress. But then I don't use a method for most things; I've got my own systems that have evolved over 20+ years of teaching. Most rock/blues/folk guitar methods are awful (even the ones that show promise have been unacceptably slimmed down in order to create something that can be sold for $20 or less), and the only methods I've seen that cover theory in an even remotely acceptable fashion are for jazz players.

I do see a few problems with McFadden's work... mostly in the way he handles scales. I just can't see the approach he's using build true fluency; the ability to play freely in any key anywhere on the neck on demand. There is also zero discussion about how scales function (and can be juxtaposed) over different parts of a chord progression, and no scales (or harmony for that matter) are discussed beyond garden variety common practice major and minor tonality. So although I really like what he's trying to do, think it's mostly done well, and am a little appalled that it isn't just standard... there is still some work to be done.

Edited to add: It's worth mentioning that Aguado's first guitar method contained what I gather was a pretty damned comprehensive (for it's day) discussion of theory and harmony. I'd love to look that over in depth but it's never been translated and I don't read Spanish. Or I shouldn't say it's NEVER been translated... Editions Orphee did a translation a few years ago but opted at the 11th hour to just publish the exercises and not the text. Ophee's explanation of this makes no sense to me, and I suspect the truth is that they wanted something they could retail for $20 or less. I'd happily pay top dollar for a modern edition with a full translation.

RobMacKillop
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Re: Mcfadden thesis will blow your mind...

Post by RobMacKillop » Mon Dec 26, 2016 8:30 am

Tecla published Aguado's major guitar method in English. But do you mean another method?

2handband

Re: Mcfadden thesis will blow your mind...

Post by 2handband » Mon Dec 26, 2016 2:24 pm

RobMacKillop wrote:Tecla published Aguado's major guitar method in English. But do you mean another method?
There were three. The first was the Escuela de Guitarra published in 1825 which was a "major" work as well, different from the 1843 method but not necessarily lesser. It also included a great deal of information on theory. Editions Orphee has a publication containing all of the music but stripped of text. Apparently they DID do a translation but a last-minute decision was made to not include it. The second method was op 6 and published in 1834. It was aimed at amateurs and an edition was published in English which can be had for free in the usual places. The Tecla book, which I have, is a translation of Nuevo método para guitarra published in 1843. A more complete treatise on guitar technique you'd be hard pressed to find anywhere but Aguado leaves out the theoretical material, instead advising the student to learn theory and solfege before jumping into the book.

I would pay good money for a translation of the 1825 method.

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Robin
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Re: Mcfadden thesis will blow your mind...

Post by Robin » Mon Dec 26, 2016 3:32 pm

2handband wrote: The complete lack of fundamentals discussion in classical guitar methods baffles and annoys me. Look at it this way... with a student of any other style I'm throwing theory at them after about the first month worth of lessons assuming decent progress. But then I don't use a method for most things; I've got my own systems that have evolved over 20+ years of teaching. Most rock/blues/folk guitar methods are awful (even the ones that show promise have been unacceptably slimmed down in order to create something that can be sold for $20 or less), and the only methods I've seen that cover theory in an even remotely acceptable fashion are for jazz players.
It seems to me that beginning guitar students would benefit from being exposed to the entire fret board much earlier. Most method books spend an exorbitant amount of time introducing the first position. There is logic in doing that but I wonder if it would make sense to expand on that much, much earlier. Student repertoire could be written to include explorations of single notes in upper position as part of a simple piece in first position. With a little imagination, character pieces could be written with a pedagogical purpose. Once harmony is introduced, recognition of intervals and their patterns on the fret board would improve sight reading skills... If I were a composer, I'd try my hand at writing some. Maybe in my next life.

Robin
So much music, so little time.

2handband

Re: Mcfadden thesis will blow your mind...

Post by 2handband » Mon Dec 26, 2016 3:45 pm

Robin wrote:
2handband wrote: The complete lack of fundamentals discussion in classical guitar methods baffles and annoys me. Look at it this way... with a student of any other style I'm throwing theory at them after about the first month worth of lessons assuming decent progress. But then I don't use a method for most things; I've got my own systems that have evolved over 20+ years of teaching. Most rock/blues/folk guitar methods are awful (even the ones that show promise have been unacceptably slimmed down in order to create something that can be sold for $20 or less), and the only methods I've seen that cover theory in an even remotely acceptable fashion are for jazz players.
It seems to me that beginning guitar students would benefit from being exposed to the entire fret board much earlier. Most method books spend an exorbitant amount of time introducing the first position. There is logic in doing that but I wonder if it would make sense to expand on that much, much earlier. Student repertoire could be written to include explorations of single notes in upper position as part of a simple piece in first position. With a little imagination, character pieces could be written with a pedagogical purpose. Once harmony is introduced, recognition of intervals and their patterns on the fret board would improve sight reading skills... If I were a composer, I'd try my hand at writing some. Maybe in my next life.

Robin
Interesting you should say that as I am in the process of writing some stuff for my daughter with that sort of thing in mind. There are things like that in the Aguado catalog but in a lot of cases the stretches turn what could be a nice beginner's piece into something entirely other; that man must have had massive hands. I have no illusions about my ability to sell this stuff so once I have it done I'll make it available if you or anyone else wants it.

chiral3
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Re: Mcfadden thesis will blow your mind...

Post by chiral3 » Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:57 pm

I agree with you 2handband. I have a son about your daughter's age who is a year or more into the formal study of piano. The focus on the keyboard and lessons about intervals, inversions, extensions, accidentals, scales (key signatures), etc. is immediate in the piano pedagogy.
“Every man should be capable of all ideas, and I believe that in the future he will be.” ― Jorge Luis Borges

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Post by jack_cat » Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:11 am

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