An Introduction to "Macro-Harmony"

One of the defining characteristics of tonal music is the overwhelming tendency towards music written with a "Limited Macro Harmony” - let me explain. 

If you analyze an entire piece of music for the total collection notes used over a moderate span of musical time,  it will use on average 5 to 8 notes.

As a painter, I struggled to make non-objective paintings that represented a single harmony, tonality, or a limited Macro-Harmony…  Thankfully I’m beginning to over come this.  I recognize that a painting is the definition of a compositional Macro-Harmony.   

And how great it was to recognize this… to observe the smaller constituent parts of a painting and feel their mood… stepping back we see those parts fall in conflict with the one another, yet standing even further back we are struck by harmony of all kinds. 

A lot like the close up view of our ever changing lives which seems to have that hellish mix of good and bad, and so it’s necessary to step way back, far enough to see the whole picture of your life from the Macro scale.  I bet you find beauty and diversity when you see your whole life, contained like colors in a painting.

- Thomas Edward Hoppe

November 28, 2023 — Thomas Hoppe

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