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Music Appreciation


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Ken320 last won the day on June 18

Ken320 had the most liked content!

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197 Excellent


About Ken320

  • Rank
    Seasoned Composer

Profile Information

  • Biography
    I studied music composition formally, as well as in depth study on guitar, piano and percussion. I have played professionally with several ensembles, mostly popular music, in both Chicago and New York. I enjoy performing, recording and writing music, learning new possibilities, keeping up with fantastic new music technologies. I have done extensive work with electronic music, but now I am focusing on more traditional music and the wonders of orchestration.
  • Gender
  • Occupation
    Database Design Consultant, Administrator, Composer
  • Interests
    Composing, exploring abandonned buildings
  • Favorite Composers
    At this point I have no favorites anymore. Although I never tire of baroque and good popular music. I also enjoy many modern film composers, and cinema.
  • My Compositional Styles
    Improvisational, cinematic, experimental, methodical
  • Notation Software/Sequencers
    Sibelius 7, MOTU 9.12
  • Instruments Played
    Piano and Synthesizers

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  1. I'm saying that I'm not entering, but I am offering to be a judge. You should enter. Why not?
  2. This is a nice piece, a little more of a stretch than the other cat pieces in that it is missing some stealth. I may be somewhat biased by Warner Bros. cartoons ... and I am guessing that you wanted to avoid obvious clichés. But there was a"pounce" at the end, I'm pretty sure.
  3. Yes, you're right. The form really needs music that is somewhat busy to compress everything down to scale.
  4. I know a fair amount about art and art history. I should have no problem judging. It sounds like a good competition.
  5. I have listened to this again and I think I was hasty in my previous comments. So I would like to retract them and say that this is a good piece and I that enjoyed it much more the second time around. All of the dissonances resolved. Even the very last one, though it took longer to get there.
  6. My term "badly chosen" was of itself badly chosen. I was being dim on purpose because I knew there must be a reason. So, I do these techniques all the time, I just didn't know that someone had codified them into words. I just think of it instinctively. It's a fine line to walk. If I had done the odd notes without preparation, people would dismiss it as being clever. You have done the necessary preparation. Why not expand this in length?
  7. Each of these pieces are one minute long. Each was an entry to a competition and only the first one made the cut. The Coup was aired as part of Vox Novus' 60x60 competition where 60 works are chosen out of I don't know how many on the subject of Radio. So it consists of material I borrowed from the library of old radio shows along with my own music mashup. The second and third were for another competition with the subjects Halloween and Death, respectively. It's hard to give something one minute long a musical arc, but it's an interesting challenge in any case.
  8. Please, what is linear harmony? This sounds like a perfectly good tango but for a couple of really badly chosen notes in the melody.
  9. It is predictable because you have used clichés in the lines, and it's cinematic because there are gestures instead of themes. Well done! Clichés are extremely useful, provided they are used properly. Many composers starting out don't realize this, I think, because they are trying so hard to be original, not yet understanding how deep the pool of originality is in the familiar.
  10. I have not studied fugues that much, but I remember it written in "The Study Of Counterpoint" where a melodic minor statement that descends normally with the flat 6 and 7, will need to be modified to harmonize correctly with another voice which is ascending, therefore using the natural 6 and 7. In these cases you would descend the same way you came up, to avoid nasty harmonic clashes, and to defer to the demands of the dominant, which has already been explained here. So M is correct in that descending without the flat 6 and 7 makes it an improper melodic minor. But … composers need to get used to thinking about tetrachords, rather than pure scales, to get the necessary harmonic facility when more than one voice is used. Think of tetra chords as the first and second half of scales.
  11. In all seriousness, I do like your piece and its humor.
  12. Hmm ... well, let me see now. If I were Freud, scratching my beard in contemplation of the composer, whose fiancee bares the minimal resemblance of a task master ... perhaps the composer is letting his ego reign surreptitiously in a display of passive aggression, if temporarily, by composing a German square dance and calling it a waltz, a waltz she has surely requested along with not so subtle warnings of the affections to be withheld if it is not satisfactorily produced? A waltz in four. Yes, that will fool her, he thinks. Well, we shall see. Please report back with the first eight. ()
  13. I am not responsible for listeners who go off track (It's in my contract). Thanks for listening!
  14. I spent a lot of time working on something for the "story" competition, which fell through for me. And that was an interruption for something even before that. So it comes down to time, for me. Danish's last orchestration idea was a very good one and we all would have learned much from the exercise. Because the competitions are only four per year, it is reasonable to expect the very best from composers, having that much time for it prepare for it. I mean, if you want to win awards, this is what you have to do. But in general I agree with bkho. If I were to add my 2c into devising rules, I might veer away from the current method slightly to add on something more like figure skating rules in the Olympics, where they judge you on double axels, triple axels, and so on. "Composers must go from Key A to Key B to Key C, points given to the most natural sounding modulation , or most unique. It's still fine to have contests based on form or style. So I would not change that. As I have suggested from the start, making the time constraints narrower would help. Not too long not too short. Everyone write something this long.
  15. Blaire, this would be one of those cases where a score would really come in handy. I think the chord you are talking about is the fourth bar when the strings enter. The notes are G#,D,E,G. It’s a good jazz chord because it can be many things depending on what the bass note is. If it’s F then it’s Fm6. If it’s Bb then it’s what I would call Bb13, a dominant chord that could resolve to Eb. In this case it’s G# which is ambiguous because it goes up stepwise to another ambiguous Am9 chord that goes to Dm7-D7, and then finally to G. I hope this is the chord you are talking about. It’s used in this example too. Just for fun, see if you can identify the music.