Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Lesson - 68 : S-A-T-B & Counterpoints !

Let us continue our discussions on S-A-T-B further…. for understanding some more conceptual matters only!

As we saw earlier, if any one part is given we can add the other parts.

We also stated that the melody line at top is what initially composed (based on the requirement, creative talent etc….all merge here…..possible also…because you have no other constraints here…at this stage) and then the other parts are added by way of harmonization technique.

So for a S-part we can add the other three parts (A-T-B) as Chords !

And similarly, if B - part is given we can add the other three (S-A-T)

Undergoing all the complications of rules and other criteria… explained earlier…… to satisfy the compatibility of notes Vertically and Horizontally.

Some examples of Harmony exerise I am adding here for your easy reference and better understanding of the topic:

Now, please imagine you have collected all notes of such A-line, T-line and B-line after harmonization …..and assign them…to individual singers or some instruments…!

Just listen to the individual player… what he produces….!

By all probability it is possible that you cannot make it head or tail about what he sings/ plays…..!

What you hear may be some musical notes going up and down …but not a song….!

While playing them collectively all SATB together, you may realise the acceptable chords progression…!

But individually each of those lines are not forming an acceptable song..!

Such a situation of S-line as melody and all others as chords (and just as chords only…) is what the common thing you can witness in most of the film songs.

But in IR’s case, you can notice that the other lines also form beautiful melodies… many of his songs….!

Such a situation of Melody supported by Melody is what usually called as “Counterpoint”.

Counter-point means… Point …against… point..!

So each note of a melody is positioned against each note of another melody… !

One may create a counterpoint melody without satisfying the Harmony conditions… .but to satisfy both Harmony and Melody requirements, is a tough job…!

You need extra-ordinary talent to create such counter points….!

In case of IR, some time it is amazing to note that each of SATB lines, each voice and every instruments sing/ play their own melody along with main melody…!

Raja’s Harmony chords and counter melody usage are of breathtaking proposition !

· Note the case of Bass guitar in the Mouna Raagam song…”Chinna Chinna”…!

· Note the bass flute (or it another voice…?) following the voice part in the charanam of Kozhi koovudhu song…”Edho… Moham….”

· Watch All the parts moving so mesmerizingly in the song “Ennulle Ennulle…” of Valli…! The harmony part of violins itself form the rhythm also in Charanam…!

· See the scintillating phrases of voice and guitar moving in opposite direction…in the Palalvi of song…”Roja Poo Aadugindradhu”…in Agni Nakshathiram

· “Sendhoora Poove” of 16-Vayadhinile another case in point….!

· “Kodai Kaala Kaatre” humming chorus and Singer …who follows whom ?

SATB is at its best and effortless when Raja is in his creative mode !

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