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  2. Theodore Servin

    Variations for string quartet

    This is really good! The way you wrote for the strings is really impressive. Also, that was a nice fughetta at the end! This piece deserves to be performed by a profession string quartet ensemble!
  3. Pietro17

    Variations for string quartet

    This is a piece which I wrote in december. The theme is a polish christmas carol "Gdy się Chrystus rodzi" (When Christ is born). MuseScore performance of dynamics in 3rd variation isn't good :/ but you can use your imgination ;D Let me know what you think!
  4. Harry Billinghurst

    Trio for Flute, Cor Anglais and Cello

    A piece written for a composition assignment. This piece is 12 tone and I have attached the tone row matrix I was working from. This is how I submitted it but I have a few issues with the tempi in certain parts as well as the general form. All feedback welcome 🙂
  5. Quinn

    Journey to Pluto

    I quite liked it. Harmonically fairly basic it's unpredictable, the abruptness of the ending that I particularly liked, leaving it just hanging. The rocking between subdominant and dominant worked because it's a pretty lively piece and short enough not and you did vary the tonal centre part way through. It had hints of Nyman's "Think Slow Act Fast" to me but only just. I looked at the score. Perhaps I'd have done some of the doubling differently but what you've done would work. Not sure about all the tuned percussion being necessary but that's just my opinion and it may be just what you want. Some of the balance was lost with this particular rendition. If performed, a conductor should sort out any problems there. Edit. Maybe I should add, given the section in which you've posted the work, that I see it as a piece complete in its own right, not part finished. It could be one of a suite of movements.
  6. Noah, you bring up a good point in that labels of style or originality are usually pinned on artists by "the audience," and most composers, myself included, do not feel so defined by an identifiable style. I have propensities and weaknesses, and I put in a lot of effort to keep them hidden. 😉
  7. Right. Conversely, and ironically, ignoring or rejecting artistic concepts don't necessarily make a work original either. But time and experimentation still applies, because in the end it will take artistry to reject such artistry, which is hard to get your head around. Unless you are being willfully unskilled, perhaps a growing trend these days if you follow the path of deconstruction in an effort to out-extreme one another. But come to think of it, it's not that different from when I was going to school. So maybe it has more to do with maturity.
  8. Quinn

    Etude No.2

    Having a look at the score on first approach it looks quite difficult to play, the mix of octaves and 7ths in the right hand and various rhythmic complexities (more the phrasing between right and left hand and the triplets - they're easy enough in themselves but not against what's going on around them). It looks more like a study in wrist action and quick adjustment of the hand-span. And of course for those unaccustomed to less conventional time signatures. It didn't come across as particularly tuneful but I assumed (rightly or wrongly) tune isn't what it's about. It's your Etude 2 so you're may be accumulating a set. I'd say this one is intermediate in difficulty - short-ish and not as difficult as most of Chopin's or Liszt's studies - but that makes it particularly useful. It's good preparation for the really difficult repertoire. For that reason I like it.
  9. Crikey! Read up the scientific literature - psychoacoustics? I haven't even the maths for that! I was interested in the neurophysiology - but wonder in the value to a composer concerned more for "music appreciation" and cultural implications. It seemed easier to look at the soft science of semiotics because it accounts for cultural and musical context, and applies to my attempts at composition. Re music, semiotics is limited beyond the broad concept of music as communication (as far as I can see. Its fans try to push the boundaries but they're far more complex than the initial foray into (verbal) linguistics). One relevance I mentioned earlier re information theory, common elements must be understood by both composer/performer and listener for communication to occur. In live performance, body language is an additional communicative factor. It doesn't lay claim to hard and fast linguistic rules but like every transmission the components need to be there. The lack of a common language is why the serial school failed to achieve popularity. Understandable because it failed to recognise the part played by social conditioning, the symbols signified nothing useable in the ears/brains/minds of listeners. And yet some people do derive a positive experience from it. So what's different about them? So it isn't just about social conditioning. Perhaps a rebellion against it? Is it about adventure, a love of surprise and the unfamiliar? How come some music works deep under psychedelic influence? Point is, how it guides a composer moving beyond the conventional with the hope of a degree of acceptance. The vague "language" of music does seem to work for most people if it can provide various anchors on which listeners can latch. I could be wildly out but without too much contrivance it's possible. It could always be that it reflects the preferences of composers when it works. An interesting subject and one that will engage academia more than composers I reckon. Too much tinkering with magic spells can break creativity. I'm ill-qualified to discuss psychoacoustics. Am happier with semiotics and meanings production but appreciate at least some applications of psychoacoustics.
  10. I watched a video of YouTube musician Andrew Huang titled "Hacking Jazz". First, he recorded a melody then he added a jazzy harmony under the melody. So, I did the same thing, but I didn't want to write "jazz" melody, it was just a simple improvisation on the guitar. Anyway, when I moved the recorded audio to FL Studio, I decided to harmonize the melody with everything I know about jazz. This is the result 😛
  11. There are a couple of other points maybe worth mentioning. 1) Practice passages slowly until you can play them more or less perfectly. Occasionally try them at target speed just to see what your hands need to do to play them. But revert to slower practice. If they aren't right in slow motion they'll probably be fumbled at higher speeds. 2) Be as analytic as you can. Look at how the hand(s) need to be sloped/positioned to play something at the correct speed. A good example is this "tuck the thumb under when playing scales / arpeggii. In fact, at speed it's only a partial "tuck under" as the entire hand moves to its new position, not propelled there by the thumb. Etc. Much tension can be avoided with good analysis but this too comes with practice and why one really should seek the advice of a teacher. Even once per month is better than nothing. Finding teachers who can do more than supervise how you're practicing at the keyboard is a problem in itself.
  12. My own teacher during my late teenage insisted that I did most development work away from the keyboard. It concerned finger independence, velocity and endurance. Students sometimes don't realise it but their entire bodies are used in piano/organ playing, the body acting mainly as an anchor but often used in directing power through the fingers. Playing a string of chords pp requires a different bodily action than playing ff. It's important not to keep on until your hands/arms cramp up. Push a little bit but allow rest. Like people who do body-building, if you crash your muscles you need a couple of days to rebuild. So you can plan your pianistic development along the lines of day one, endurance (octave playing, say); day two, finger independence and velocity exercises. However, it isn't good to crash the piano playing muscles in your lower arms/hands. I doubt it's still available - but look up the Cowling System. If it's still available I have absolutely no commercial interest but about the first 5 or 6 lessons were most useful. IIRC what it didn't cover was octave practice. An octave stick was recommended for this!
  13. and Oh boy, my favorite discussion: Psychoacoustics! Before we get started, I must ask anyone wanting to debate this with me to read up on the scientific literature on the topic! An acquaintance of mine actually did us a solid and put a rather extensive list of peer-reviewed papers published on this exact topic, most of which are ground-breaking and first to document such things. Here you go: http://www.stefan-koelsch.de/papers.html That's a lot of reading, so start with the 10 most cited papers he suggests at the start. Have fun!
  14. HoYin Cheung

    Etude No.2

    Hello Everyone, This is another experimental etude I wrote recently. The whole piece consists of many modulations. Again, there are syncopations and irregular time signatures. I have included some notes in one of the pdfs. Hope you like it and I appreciate your comments! Best, HoYin
  15. Theodore Servin

    Tonal teachers in europe?

    Here is an [ongoing] list of classical music professors who compose/improvise tonal music. Some of them are from Europe, but because the percentage of teachers who teach and write tonal music is so small, I'm including anyone who fits the bill, even non-Europeans. -Morten Lauridsen, professor of composition the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music -Michael Gees, professor of improvisation and composition at the Cologne Conservatory -Georgs Pelēcis, professor of counterpoint and theory at the Latvian Academy of Music, also the first president of the Riga Center of Early Music
  16. Last week
  17. Agreed more or less. CPP and counterpoint probably developed as "pleasing" to the ear because the human is attuned to the harmonic series. Minor keys sound sad or angry because the 3rd of the minor scale clashes with the natural 5th harmonic of any fundamental - and things. I believe a certain level of semiotics comes into music in that unless I'm wildly out, its performance seeks to communicate something to a listener so there must be elements understood by both performer and listener. It involves expectation: resolution of contrived tensions. Stray too far from the diatonic and problems arise. I used to listen to BBC3 Hear and Now. So often the works were neither pleasing nor did they make any sense, tonal or structurally. Occasionally they did but I got the feeling that much was just thrown together by people in musical education who really didn't know what they were up to or what their "composition" should sound like. I felt someone's embarrassment once at a summer school where one of these "composers" presented a score that looked good on paper, all very complicated but... the ensemble's conductor played a section then asked what the composer thought. The composer thought it was fine. Then, said the conductor, let me tell you... and he listed a whole lot of instances where things hadn't gone as per the score. Oh dear. That's why I think re Hear and Now and elsewhere, so many of those premières were also their dernières! Such music clicks with some listeners, others not and I suspect fashion comes into this more than a little!
  18. Noah Brode

    Do You Have A Style As A Composer?

    @Quinn - Sure, but I'm including those 20th Century guys as part of my "relatively recent" statement. I'm thinking about Western music stretching back hundreds and hundreds of years. At any point on that arc of musical history, the composers of the time could only innovate to a certain extent beyond what had already been done. Schoenberg is a great exception and a game-changer, though, however successful he was in his output. I think now, we are not only limited by the musical conventions of our time, but also by the fact that we can't change the way humans experience acoustics. As in, the Common Practice system evolved because those are the physical manifestations of sound that sound good to humans. Fifths sound nice, thirds sound nice, major chords sound nice. I think you can only stray from that so far before things get too messy and unrelatable to the average person's ear. I think now its more about finding ones own voice with the resources we have. That's just my take, though, and I'm massively unqualified.
  19. one of the best things i've heard today 🙂
  20. Not so sure it's so new a concept. It turns up all over the place in musical history. Of several examples that come to mind, Schoenberg decided he'd had enough pushing romanticism to its limits so he came up with a new system - original indeed even if it failed on semiotic grounds. Same with people like Pierre Schaeffer with musique concrète and Stockhausen with electronic music. But you could also include Debussy, perhaps even Beethoven who expanded the language of Symphony hugely beyond Mozart - and many others. This determination to produce the truly original is chasing a holy grail. It does happen but extremely rare. Most times someone's already done something to lay the foundations of one's own work. As for conventionally notated music even with specialised symbolism (e.g. microtonal accidentals, pitch-bending brackets and on) it's almost impossible to come up with radically original works.
  21. Quinn

    Tonal teachers in europe?

    I hope my view isn't too contentious but I don't think a person can teach anyone to compose. A teacher can show them the tools - how to write CPP harmony, that's mostly tonal; counterpoint and stuff, though I'd recommend asking someone skilled to check one's work. But the spark of creativity has to come from the would-be composer. Doesn't matter if you want to compose like Mozart or Brahms, Beethoven, Haydn, early Prokofiev, you have to come up with the thematic material and learn how to manage it. Best is to study the works of these composers and find out how they reached their solutions. A teacher might make suggestions or help a student to avoid traps but can't do the composing for the aspirant. As I see it, anyway.
  22. SSC

    Tonal teachers in europe?

    I don't get the criticism then, if they were able to help you out, then weren't they doing their job?? Just because someone likes to write in X language doesn't mean they're incompetent in everything else. In fact, I'd say my teachers who pushed for really modern stuff were both extremely well-versed in tonal music in general. Like I said at the start, any competent composition teacher should be able to help you regardless of what language you want to use. It matters much more that they're not stupid and anti-pedagogic.
  23. Ah yes! Exactly as Chapter 5, paragraph 3 line 4 of the sacred book of "Rules for Good Art" clearly states!
  24. A beautiful piece to listen to, not just for the music itself but the purity of the voices. But the music is so accomplished that comment is barely appropriate. You asked about the counterpoint. I learned species counterpoint and though this in rather a different league from V, I looked at the Sanctus in a modicum of detail. If you have broken any rules I didn't spot them - besides, nothing was apparent in the sound itself. But I can hardly claim to be an expert. I noted the fugue form - that alone takes some mastery - you turn to it often (if not a fugue then imitative entries). And the modulations were handled always with skill (it was something with which I always had problems). I noticed the way you marked phrasing. I'd guess your study went deeper than just looking at the famous renaissance composers' scores - as if you assessed how they were really sung and captured that in score. Altogether it had a beautiful solemnity about it. Edit. A propos your declaration "While the final product did not disappoint me, despite having employed all my knowledge and skill, I knew I had not produced an authentic piece of 16thCentury at all. " If true you seem to have come very close. I doubt WIlliam Byrd could have got much closer.
  25. Noah Brode

    Do You Have A Style As A Composer?

    Well this is an interesting discussion, @Ken320. I'm sorry to have missed it when it was new. When I started writing 'concert music' or whatever a few years ago, I was writing in what I now understand to be a terrible perversion of the Classical style. This is mainly because I had just fallen in love with that style (cuz that's what they play on classical radio stations). Since then, most of my scraggy has taken on a more Romantic or Impressionist style (though still pretty mangled), with wider-ranging techniques. It's kind of ludicrous for me to say my music has a distinct voice, since there's so little of it altogether and my grasp of theory and orchestration is still ... in development. My audience is so miniscule that I doubt any of this matters (yet, I hope). To the point made by @Monarcheon, I'm certainly guilty of stealing techniques from things I hear and read about online. I suspect most of us are, whether that's from a website or a classroom. I think the challenge is using these techniques well and responsibly. Polychords, secundal clusters and stacks of fifths all play into my latest piece because I read about them on one website or another. I do try to fit them into places where they make sense aesthetically or dramatically. To be fair, though, the entire history of music is full of people making subtle adaptations or innovations to the existing body of music theory, and borrowing the rest from those who've come before. I think the current conception of artists and composers as solitary geniuses who must offer radically original works (or be considered worthless) is a relatively new concept in the history of art and music. I think in the past, there was a lot more admiration of technical mastery over pure originality. I'm interested to hear others' takes on this, though.
  26. Monarcheon

    Do You Have A Style As A Composer?

    Seems like a bit of a straw man, no? My point is simply knowing the artistic concepts doesn't translate to good art inherently. That takes time, and yes, experimentation.
  27. aMusicComposer

    Tonal teachers in europe?

    I have to agree with you for this comment, but I think what @Theodore Servin is trying to say is that there's no point having a teacher who paints using the colour green when you want to know about red. I have met composers in workshops who write atonal/experimental music and although they were good at teaching me to develop my tonal style, they were more comfortable with other composers who write "modern" music.
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