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Combinaciones 3 a 3

A theme divided in four movements for guitar, bass, keyboards and drums:

Movement I (Sample) - c331.mp3 - 316 Kb

Movement II (Sample) - c332.mp3 - 257 Kb

Movement III (Sample) - c333.mp3 - 135 Kb

Movement IV (Sample) - c334.mp3 - 226 Kb

Combination Method.

I have begun experimenting with elements extracted from maths, using them in music. This is not new, I know. There are lots of composers that base their music in maths, but you can say that maths belong to music itself. Anyway I am going to use this site to comment one of my methods.

The base idea is the mathematic topic 'combination with repetitions'. I'll try to explain this idea in a single way. Let's take three elements: A, B and C. You can create with them groups of three elements as following: ABC, ACB, CBA, and so on. If you repeat an element in a group, then you can get combination like these: AAA, BBB, ABB, CCB, CCA, CCC, and so on. Then you say you are creating patterns using three elements (A, B, C) taken in groups consisting in three elements, which can be repeated in these groups.

In this example, the number of resulting combinations (groups) is 27. These patterns are the following: AAA, BBB, CCC, AAB, ABA, BAA, AAC, ACA, CAA, BBA, BAB, ABB, BBC, BCB, CBB, CCA, CAC, ACC, CCB, CBC, BCC, ABC, BCA, CAB, CBA, BAC, ACB.

Well, let's see how to use this idea in the field of music. The firt step is to take three rhythmic patterns: A, B and C. Then I create a three chord progression: 1, 2 and 3. After that I apply each rythmic pattern on each chord. For example, if I use the pattern A with the chord number 1 I get the pattern A1.

Método de las Combinaciones. Esquemas

If I join three of the resulting patterns, following the chord progression, I get 27 different combinations: A1A2A3, A1B2C3, C1A2C3, B1A2C3, and so on.

Método de las Combinaciones.

I use this idea with all the instrumental lines of the piece, and then I play the 27 groups without pause between them, sorting them as I prefer. I can play the 27 groups twice o more adding and deleting instruments in order to add complexity to the composition. There are lots of possibilities. Though I only use combinations of three elements taken in groups of three, you can use other combination models (four elements taken in groups of two, three elements taken in groups of four, and so on.)

Combinations. Movement IV.

In order to understand correctly the "Combination Method" I show here an example based in a theme of my own. The title in spanish is Combinaciones 3 a 3. Nº 4, it is 8 minutes long and it is written for keyboards, electric bass, electric guitar and drums. The example has been extracted from the line of the electric guitar.

As I explained before, the "Combination Method" consist in taking a group of musical patterns and combine them in all the possible ways. In this composition I take three patterns (A, B and C), each of them with three harmonic variants (1, 2 and 3). The result are 9 patterns: A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, B3, C1, C2 and C3 which are combined in a determinated way in order to create the line of the electric guitar. I use this method with all the instrumental lines.

Here you have the three variants of the pattern A:

Here, the pattern B variants:

And here the pattern C:


In this example there are 27 combinations, that are sorted for this composition in this way:

A1A2A3 /  B1B2B3 / C1C2C3 /  C1A2A3A1C2A3 / A1A2C3C1C2A3 etc...

Having in mind the list above, the line of electric guitar begins in this way:

Combinaciones 3 a 3. Nº 4 begins with the keyboard playing the 27 combinations. Then, it begins again but with the electric guitar, the bass and drums playing a simple and repetitive rhythm. These instruments are not very usual in minimal music so this theme doesn't sound as "conventional minimal music". I try with this to compose very personal music although this is based in a style invented by other composers.


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