Oblique Motion

In this video I discuss Oblique Motion.

Oblique Motion is one of many types of motion used by composers. I first discovered this via Bach and Classical Music.

Oblique motion may sound complicated but it’s not. It is essentially as follows:

One part is PASSIVE while the other is ACTIVE. In other words, given two parts, one part is staying the same over time and the other time is moving about.

This can sometimes be a DRONE or it can be a melodic fragment as I show later in the video. This constant sound increases the resonance on instruments like a solo cello, violin, guitar or banjo. It makes the music TWO DIMENSIONAL (A term my composition teacher like to use! Makes sense to me!), as opposed to ONE DIMENSIONAL.

If you are playing something by yourself, you want to fill up the space sometimes so the music doesn’t sound bland and lifeless. The passive part can even lead to interesting harmonies you wouldn’t necessarily obtain by thinking only in chords.

Jody Written by:

Professional Musician of 27 years. I've played Banjo and Acoustic Guitar on the stages of Carnegie Hall, The Grand Ole Opry, and The Ryman Auditorium. I've also played in six different countries.

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