Joe Hisaishi: Quartal Harmony in a Diatonic Framework, Spirited Away

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Joe Hisaishi: Quartal Harmony in a Diatonic Framework, Spirited Away
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Clip from Spirited Away  |  SBS Viceland  |  January 1, 2017

Joe Hisaishi's soundtrack to Spirited Away is a clever blend of traditional diatonic harmony and some Impressionst techniques. Of these techniques, such as pentatonic scales, obscured tonality, it's the use of quartal harmony (chords and harmonies using stacked fourths) that really drives the inert and dreamy feeling of the film.

In this scene, Haku takes Chihiro to see her parents, who have been transformed into pigs in the spirit world Chihiro has accidentally stumbled into. As Chihiro reme

Joe Hisaishi's soundtrack to Spirited Away is a clever blend of traditional diatonic harmony and some Impressionst techniques. Of these techniques, such as pentatonic scales, obscured tonality, it's the use of quartal harmony (chords and harmonies using stacked fourths) that really drives the inert and dreamy feeling of the film.

In this scene, Haku takes Chihiro to see her parents, who have been transformed into pigs in the spirit world Chihiro has accidentally stumbled into. As Chihiro reme

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