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Hood rappers

As we just saw, one musical principle that has reverberated throughout time and across continents and cultures is theme and variation. To revisit that classic example, here’s the theme from Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5” and the first variation of it, displayed in Ableton Live’s piano roll. The simple shifting of the notes downward is very effective.

By stressing and manipulating the common and uncommon tones between these three scales, we can create a lot of tonal variation out of very little harmonic information — freedom in limitations, for sure. Examine these three scales to see the crossover:

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