It is also one of the most needlessly confusing books ever written. I was immediately taken by it and have worked with it ever since, sometimes more than at other times, but continuously for over 40 years now. I have some hard-earned insights into what seemed to be a complex subject when I began. This series of articles is about those insights and about what the LCCTO is and what it is not, and about how I have utilized it to help me to create the music I wanted to create. As with any map, it is most useful when you know where you want to go. I also believe that George Russell himself is somewhat responsible for the fact that so many people have the sense that the LCCTO is a system, because Russell presents his Concept in that way, in my opinion.
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He taught throughout the world, and was a guest conductor for Finnish, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, German, and Italian radio. It has existed in a state of continual evolution since the early s. What is the aim of the Lydian Chromatic Concept? The principal aim of The Concept is to grasp the behavior of all musical activity i. Its purpose is to provide a road map of the musical universe that tells you where all the roads are, but does not tell you which roads to take. What is the primary difference between the Lydian Chromatic Concept and all other theories of music?
Unlike any other theory of music, Mr. By seeking what music ITSELF is telling us about its own elemental structure, The Concept supplies the necessary means to conceive that a gravitation field of tones exists as a self-organized order of unity. The Concept does not disprove the discoveries and contributions of other musical theories, but rather explains where their truths rest in the context of tonal gravity. What is Tonal Gravity?
Tonal gravity is the heart of the Lydian Chromatic Concept. Simply put, the basic building block of tonal gravity is the interval of the perfect fifth.
There are 3 states of tonal gravity: Vertical, Horizontal, and Supra-Vertical. Why is the Lydian Scale of paramount importance in this Concept? The Lydian Scale was not chosen as the primary scale for this system of music theory because it sounds nice or has some subjective or historical significance. Since the interval of a fifth is the building block of tonal gravity, a seven-tone scale created by successive fifths establishes the most vertically unified harmonic order whereby the gravity falls down each fifth back to the singular Lydian tonic.
When seven ascending consecutive fifths i. What is the fundamental difference between the Lydian and Major Scale?
The Major Scale is known as a diatonic meaning: two tonic scale. Therefore, the essential difference between these two scales is that the Lydian a single tonic scale is in a state of unity with itself, and the Major Scale, with its two tonics, is in a state of resolving. What is a Lydian Chromatic Scale? The Lydian Chromatic Scale is the most complete expression of the total self-organized tonal gravity field with which all tones relate on the basis of their close to distant magnetism to a Lydian tonic.
Are there any historical and acoustical foundations underlying the Concept? The recently published edition of the Concept goes into great depth and discussion concerning the historical and acoustical foundations underlying the Concept. These ideas are critical to understanding the significance of this theory, and are too involved and elaborate to post on this website. It should be noted that the current book presents these specific subjects far more extensively than in previous editions.
Who can most benefit by studying the Lydian Chromatic Concept? One of the beauties of The Concept is that it is designed for musicians and non-musicians alike. Its contribution is relevant in all stylistic genres of music and from all time periods.
It even extends beyond Western music to some ancient forms of non-Western music. Most students of The Concept tend to be composers, improvisers, and people interested in the analysis of already existing musical compositions. Many people outside of music are drawn to The Concept due to its objective view of tonal gravity.
Does a student of the Concept have to abandon their already existing knowledge of Western music theory? Students of this work are able to adapt their own musical perspectives to the ideas presented by the Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization. For example, analysis of compositions by J. Bach and Maurice Ravel are included in the current volume to reinforce the all-inclusive nature of tonal gravity.
Is the current revised edition dramatically different from the previous editions? The more robust, comprehensive and detailed current volume adds never before published depth and dimension through exhaustive examples of analysis, scales, background information and test examples for the student.
Volume Two, the completion of the entire work, is currently in development. What are the extra-musical considerations of the Lydian Chromatic Concept? Its framework is applicable in almost any stylistic genre of music — both Western and non-Western — encompassing the European classical tradition as solidly as the lineage of jazz innovators.
Are there any connections drawn in The Concept between music and psychology? No art form or theory is complete without some basis in psychology and spirituality.
Artists most often describe the process of creativity in transparent and intangible terms. Most - if not all - music theoretical systems have chosen to ignore the inclusion of this key internal element. While Mr.
Has the Lydian Chromatic Concept been taught at any established educational institutions? He has given seminars in this work around the world and has personally guided countless private students. The previously released versions of the book have been used to teach the LCCOTO at colleges and universities around the world over the last 40 years. There are currently a small number of instructors in the United States, Europe and Japan who are formally certified by George Russell to teach the Concept.
Microscopic photograph of a single snowflake One reflective illustration of how the self-organized unity of tonal gravity within the twelve-tone Lydian Chromatic Scale resonates in nature. While it is inevitable that you will bring what you know to the Concept, you will soon realize the dramatic difference of this musical landscape where tones, scales, chords, and modes resonate within the Principle of Tonal Gravity.
In order for this to begin to work within you and within your music, it is strongly suggested that you give these ideas your complete openness and attention, and, even for brief moments, let go of your preconceptions of the theoretical foundations of Western music. The knowledge that appears in the two volumes of the Lydian Chromatic Concept bas been distilled very carefully to allow students of the Concept to adapt their own musical perspectives to this one.
The unified core of ideas at the root of the Concept has the potential to transport music into a realm of deeper meaning. Opening up to those possibilities requires patience, concentrated thought, and dedicated study.
Therefore it is important to realize that you cannot assimilate these ideas from too narrow a basis, either intellectually or emotionally. By making the effort to absorb the terminology and structure presented here, your musical foundation can be made stronger and the connections between you and your music more intelligent.
Once the unity of the Concept begins to penetrate your practical understanding, everything in it becomes useful. It is then that its message challenges you to inquire musically and psychologically into the things you think and feel. For this reason, it is crucial to embrace the Concept from an emotionally receptive position of seeking something genuine for yourself in a world where most music is far removed from innovation and excellence.
To do this requires a willingness to learn that emanates from self-motivation. The Concept has a unique way of interpreting and translating the things of great value that music can tell us--something about the meaning of organization and gravity.
Its purpose is to generate new pathways toward greater freedom in exercising aesthetic judgment and discernment that invoke a more objective fulfillment of musical statement. The focus, attention, and consciousness you put into the study of the Concept will uncover greater meaning and an expansion of your musical understanding, regardless of the stylistic genre of music to which you apply it.
Throughout this course of study you will notice that terms like vertical, horizontal, and the relationship to states of tonal gravity signal an eloquent departure from the major-minor consonant-dissonant system that is commonly taught to students. This specific language, when integrated into your thinking, can bring about personal advancement that will convey insight and innovation to your craft.
The ideas are interrelated for a unity like that of a mandala, rather than the compartmentalized, noncontiguous elements that form commonly accepted notions of musical behavior. By its very nature, the Lydian Chromatic Concept will give you a fresh outlook that can aid in bringing life to your musical understanding. This requires you to master a sense of independence and self-awareness. Try to "visualize" the relationships presented in this book by "hearing" its knowledge with an inner ear that is capable of formulating your own singular musical ideas through the experience of an internal focus.
This focal point can help you decipher between the superficial, mechanical associations you may be accustomed to making in your compositions or improvisations and the quality of consciousness that allows many levels of subtlety to come into play. Simply to imitate what others have played and composed is not enough. It may be beneficial for you to consider adopting a reciprocal attitude to digesting the Concept whereby the energy you give while implementing its ideas will fuel your passage through unexpected doors of discovery.
Having a specific aim while working with the Concept can he helpful. Whether you are a composer, instrumentalist, improviser, educator, arranger, or theoretician, and even if you come to this book from outside the profession of music, finding an aim as you work will allow you to put this knowledge into action and have it work for you. Use this book as a map to help you aim for that which extends beyond your customary approach.
This will require you to examine some basic questions about the meaning behind an organization of musical tones and why you play or write music.
As you absorb this knowledge and become more intimate with its fundamental principles, such as the actuality of a passive "do" which yields to everything in scale that is higher that itself Chapter II , you can begin to unearth a vision of your innate "response-abilities" within your musical discipline.
At its essence, The Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization creates a self-organized and infinite range of possibilities for us to master.
The Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization
The word "Lydian" is here derived from one of the classical Greek scale modes. Having finished this work, Russell is completing another volume on related elements which he has been simultaneously developing over the last several decades. The Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization was expanded several times over the years, and has grown greatly since its first appearance in It is with pride and pleasure that we present this fourth and final edition.
Lydian Chromatic Concept:
Lydian Chromatic Concept