Bitonalism or Bitonality is a polemic term.It means the use of two different keys at the same time. Looks simple.But some theorists like by example,  Paul Hindemith and Milton Babbit, the last one was the creator of the post-tonal nomenclature (Integer notation or pitch class set) posted that Bitonalism doesn’t exist. He said that is impossible listen two tonalities at the same time.

Beyond Babbit ad Hindemith, many others use to think that Bitonality and Polytonality exists.I’m agree 100% . These ideas exist, and beyond modern classical music, you can listen it in Lithuanian folk, and in some tribes of India.Masters classical composers as Stranisky, Bartok, Aaron Copland , Charles Ives and others used Bitonalism a lot. Someone called Stravisnky the “father of Polytonality”. In Jazz music you can listen Bitonal stuff on the playing of Ornette Coleman (Double Quartet), Jazz group Bad Plus and piano player Richie Beirach.Some Allan Holdsworth ‘s songs also have some Polytonality.

But let’s talk about guitar. I have been thinking for a long time if is possible play Bitonal music on guitar(I mean Solo Guitar).And I arrived to the next concept:It’s not possible in an instant, in a freezing musical moment, that I called it “Vertical musical moment”, but it’s possible in an “horizontal musical moment”, it means wth the passing of time. In a full Bitonal guitar composition or improvisation you will listen two keys or more for sure.

So this video lesson shows my ideas on this complex stuff. Now, I have more ideas that I will show in the next video lesson. The sound of Bitonalism is contemporary, dissonant, and we have a big new world for discover.I’m amazed with this stuff on guitar.

Hope you can find it interesting and useful.

Juampy Juarez

Deceber 2019


Politonalidad significa muchas tonalidades, bitonalidad dos tonalidades, tritonalidad tres tonalidades, esto es , a la vez, o al mismo tiempo utilizar mas de una tonalidad.

Compositores contemporaneos como Charles Ives, Igor Stravinsky, e incluso Mozart(la

llamada”Broma de Mozart”) han incursionado o experimentado con estas sonoridades.

En el Jazz tenemos a Ornette Coleman y su doble cuarteto, asi como de tambien a Sun Ra y sus experimentos.
Otros ejemplos mas modernos serian los arreglos para el standard “All the things your are” del piansta Richie Beirach, asi como algunas improvisaciones del grupo Bad Plus.

En el Jazz existen algunas composiciones de Frank Zappa que tal vez naveguen con estas ideas por el mar de la politonalidad.
Algunos teoricos piensan que la politonalidad, sea bitonalidad o tritonalidad no son posibles.
Por ejemplo, si usamos dos triadas superpuestas, digamos, E mayor y C-, si bien el sonido es
“disonante” o outside, solo estamos replicando el sonido de la tonalidad aumentada de la Escala simetrica aumentada o escala magica.

Para poder componer o improvisar musica politonal, necesitamos al menos tres triadas, con dos, no

hay manera de que “seamos” politonales.

Si usamos tres triadas, vale decir, las triadas mayores de C,F#, y A, aun estamos dentro de la Escala de Bb disminuida, o sea que no es tan sencillo como parece, solo por el hecho de superponer tres triadas no estariamos siendo bitonales.Pero si utlizamos las triadas de C A y Db, Cy A, estarian en Bb disminuida, y Db no, o C y Db estarian en F menor armonica y A no.Ahora si tenemos algo.

En cuanto a las escalas, al intervenir mas notas, es mas sencillo.
Si utilizamos una escala de nueve notas la cual llamaremos escala nonatonica, formada por las notas C, D Eb,E, F, G,Ab,A y B, tendremos las notas de la Escala de Do Mayor, y dos notas, Eb y Ab, de la Escala de C menor natural.Las triadas, cuatriadas, modos, pentatonicas y demas recursos ,
pensados como subconjuntos o “subsets” de la escala nonatonica, serviran para que nuestra musica sea bitonal.
Es posible tambien llamar a esta escala de nueve notas, y su musica, Bi Modal.
Juampy Juarez 

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Class Content

Full Class + Download
Bitonal Guitar Class + Download 00:58:46

Course Reviews


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  1. 5

    VERY solid course from Juampy! There’s a ton of very useful concepts in here. He breaks it down into very simple useable stuff. That being said, this is not beginner stuff. This is challenging stuff and it will keep you practicing a while to get this stuff in your fingers. Lots of good tips and tricks to get you started with it right away though. A very good course.

    by Dennis Klotz
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