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  1. 4 points
    Hi all, So, I've been away from this site for a few years - long enough that I find it has changed and my profile is completely empty! It's time to change that. In February, I had the opportunity to perform a recital of my own works, this trio among them. My colleagues and I decided afterwards that it would be worth the trouble to do a house recording of it. This is the result. My personal musical preferences lie squarely in the conservative German branch of the 19th century, and I've always believed that a composer should write the sort of music he or she likes to hear. That's what you can expect from this trio with respect to form, harmony, rhythm, and so forth. It's in four movements. The first movement is a traditional sonata-allegro with slow introduction. The second movement is a scherzo and trio. The third is a theme and variations, based on a melody I wrote when I was 13 or 14 (side note - NEVER throw away the ideas you compose when you're young!) The fourth movement is rondo-like arch form. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed performing it! I have decided against posting the score. I hate to have to take this stance, but as an essentially unknown composer, I am deeply reluctant to post my scores to an internet site that is open to the world when I know colleagues who have been victimized by thieves stealing their works and claiming them as their own. Even with a legally copyrighted work, it is stressful, time-consuming, and expensive to take these people to court. I apologize to those who would have liked to see it.
  2. 4 points
    Lately we talked about destruction of music, etc... Well, I did this piece.
  3. 3 points
  4. 3 points
    Put it in your "Ideas" folder and keep it for later. Actually I don't have any "ideas" folder because most of the time I just title ideas as... "idea". But my compositions folders are organized according to the period of creation (by period I mean... new level in musical development, last time I opened a new folder was after the first time an orchestra performed my piece) so they look that way: but you might consider creating an "ideas" folder. When I can't come up with a new thing I just look for a project named "idea" and start from there.
  5. 3 points
  6. 3 points
    Thanks for taking the time to listen, Willibald - I'm glad you enjoyed it. Regarding the composer competition, I certainly agree with you. I've seldom found much enjoyment in listening to mid to late 20th-century art music. The peculiar thing is that the general market is not actually especially interested in academic music. There's interest among performers and composers, but the vast majority of concert-goers would prefer listening to a Brahms, Bach, or Mozart over a Boulez, Babbitt, or Cage, for instance. Modern composers are often quite removed from this market, partly because it is incredibly difficult to gain a foothold against the established repertoire, and partly because there simply isn't enough demand for classical music to allow most composers to make a living of it. Thus, they pursue it as a hobby in the way that Ives did, while earning their living doing something else. I think what's really at play here is that most post-secondary composition instructors of the past couple of generations grew up in the academic climate of the 50s through 70s - an era that was marked by a striking intolerance for utilizing stylistic elements from past eras in an effort to advance music in the same way that all other fields were advancing - and they push their students to continue this tradition. Most composers are intelligent people, and they pride themselves on this intelligence. They do not want to be regarded as unoriginal, nor as individuals incapable of handling the complexities of highly advanced modern music. Those who did dare write more traditional music (Barber, for instance) often received scathing criticism from the proponents of the new style, and students who were not lucky enough to have an open-minded professor at school were likewise scolded for their lack of originality. This peer pressure can be extremely persuasive, and in my opinion is the primary reason that avant garde styles came to dominate the art music world. Unfortunately, this played a significant role in killing off demand for serious art music (which was seen as necessary by many of the chief proponents of the avant garde movement). The effects are still very much present to this day. A few years ago when I was checking in here more regularly, I remember seeing numerous examples of composers in this forum posting nicely written music in traditional styles who were admonished that they should be "finding a fresh, original voice" rather than imitating styles of the past. Invariably, these detractors were modernists, and ironically, their music was seldom any more creative or original than the composers they scorned - they were just imitating a somewhat more recent style of music. The idea they persisted in advancing - that one MUST employ the tools of the modern era in order for his or her music to be relevant to the modern era - always struck me as deeply flawed. If older musical styles are no longer relevant, why do we still listen to and adore them? Why are they still, to this day, more popular among the concert-going public than modern art music styles? The argument only makes sense if one feels that the primary purpose of music is to advance and evolve. All that said, it also makes no sense to me that anyone would claim the world would be better off had avant garde music never been explored. There are some musicians who genuinely believe that this is the most beautiful and expressive music in the world, and they should not be scorned for it. There are also many who find a real sense of fascination and intellectual fulfillment in the process of writing in serialist, aleatoric, and other avant garde styles. I actually think that for many of them, that is of much more importance and relevance than the resulting sound. And there can be no denying that such music is a greater communicator of certain emotions than the tonal system could be. I suppose, in a nutshell, that I wish people would stop trying to pressure each other into writing in their own preferred style. Write what you enjoy - not what you're told you should write. Unless, of course, you make a living writing music for other people, in which case what you write should probably be something they want to hear. :-)
  7. 3 points
    First of all, great that you want to learn to compose! I can share my composing advice. When I started to compose, which is circa 2,5 years ago, I did not know anything about music theory. I did play saxophone and I learnt to play keyboard. So, I was familiar with reading notes and chords, but harmony, form, counterpoint etc. were terms I never had heard of. To be clear: my first compositions were garbage, but I am so glad that I wrote them. Every 'mistake' you make, will help you with composing the next piece. Experience and doing it is the key. I started to imitate and copy Mozart's first minuets so that I became familiar with standard forms and harmony. Furthermore, I listened to all kinds of music. Since you say that you already have some knowledge of theory, I think you should just start composing. When you do not like the result, do not delete it, but look why you do not like it and what you could change so that you will like it. Good luck!
  8. 2 points
    Sinfonia Concertante in C for Oboe, Bassoon, Fortepiano, Violin, Violoncello, and Orchestra. One movement in three parts: Allegro spiritoso – Andantino grazioso – Tempo primo Scoring: Flute, Principal Oboe, Oboe II, Principal Bassoon, Bassoon II, 2 Horns in C, 2 Trumpets in C, Timpani, Fortepiano, Principal Violin, Principal Violoncello, Strings Composed: January 10 - March 10, 2017 Commissioned by Billy Traylor, Director, Austin Baroque Orchestra. The Sinfonia Concertante is a form that had its heyday of popularity in the second half of the 18th Century. It is essentially a concerto for two or more solo instruments (five in this case) with orchestral accompaniment. It is considered to have emerged from the concerto grosso of the Baroque period, and is a cross-over form incorporating elements of the concerto and the symphony. Ordinarily, as with the concerto and symphony of the same period, it is in multiple movements, usually three or more. However, the present work was conceived as a single-movement work in three contiguous parts, contrasting in key and tempo (similar to an early opera overture) at the request of the commissioner, who also requested that the entire piece be less than 10 minutes long. As is often the case, all the principal players play ripieno with the orchestra when not performing a solo part, and likewise the fortepiano plays figured continuo when not soloing. The instrumentation is nearly identical to that of the Sinfonia Concertante in B-flat (1792) by Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), the addition of the concertatofortepiano being the only difference - again at the request of the commissioner - and I studied that work extensively before and during the writing of this piece. Perhaps the most famous example of this form is the Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat for Violin, Viola, and Orchestra (1779) by W.A. Mozart (1756-1791). There is a lot going on in this piece. Not only is the form condensed, but much of the time the texture is such that there is a very active quintet layered on top of an orchestra, as if it were a chamber work and an orchestral work all at once. I found the feedback I got from the soloists during rehearsals very interesting indeed. The oboist complained that I called for E and E-flat above high-C from him, which for a skillful player should be doable even on a period Classical oboe; and in fact he cracked both of them in performance. The bassoonist was thrilled with her part, saying that what I had written was not only reasonably playable, but very idiomatic for the instrument and a lot of fun to play. The fortepianist (who played my own Peter Fisk fortepiano for the performance) had nothing to say at all, but I got a sense that perhaps his part wasn’t demanding enough, because he was often tempted to rush the tempo. The violinist and ‘cellist both got after me for taking them too high without adequate preparation, which I found very strange; being a string player myself, I know for certain that any player worth his salt should be able to jump to a high position and begin playing without having to be led up there through a series of position shifts, even in 18th Century music. At any rate, I was not persuaded by anything I heard from the players to make even the slightest change to the music, and with a knowing smile I nodded and expressed condolences where necessary, but did nothing to assuage their discomfort where there was any. It is a concerted work after all, and meant to be challenging – and if Mozart had written it, there wouldn’t have been a peep out of anyone. This work was premiered on May 26, 2018 by the Austin Baroque Orchestra – on period instruments! It was my first performance of one of my pieces to have been performed by such an ensemble, and it was most gratifying. I have been trying to get a live recording of the piece ever since, but the Director is hesitant to give it to me because there were a few mistakes made here and there. It was an excellent performance, nonetheless, but he’s a perfectionist. I’ll keep after him! In the meantime, I hope the present electronic rendering will serve. Enjoy, and by all means let me know what you think. EDIT - I managed to obtain an amateur recording of the Austin Baroque Orchestra performing this piece, so I am replacing the electronic rendering I had attached here with it. It's not the greatest quality recording, and there are more problems with the performance than I remember there being (not the least being that in this, the second performance in San Antonio, the timpani were missing), but it has electronic rendering beat, and it gives a good idea of how the piece should sound with live instruments - and instruments of the period to boot. There is a bit of silence and tuning at the beginning - just wait it out!
  9. 2 points
  10. 2 points
    I thought the same thing. It would be a crap shoot. But if it means getting it performed, then it's worth it. You mentioned taking piano lessons. That would eat up your time, but it would be great. When I was living in New York I approached the Julliard School about studying there. But they wouldn't even take one of my credits. When I asked why she said "We want you to learn the 'Julliard Way.' I'm thinking to myself: Theory is theory. What is this Julliard way? What she is really saying is, "We'd like to extract as much cash from you as possible for as long as possible." So, you're right. Sometimes it's better to declare yourself a practitioner of music and just forge ahead.
  11. 2 points
    Well, this is really nice, all around. About the piano part. It's not particularly idiomatic, is it? I mean mostly it's metronomic, sort of like the dishwasher in the ensemble. Maybe you could give this accompaniment a little more thought in terms of varying the repeated notes into lines with simple leading tones on the weak beats? If you were to orchestrate this, I could hear a slower tempo with a small string ensemble playing sostenuto chords. As timekeepers they would have more expression than a piano, and it would seem appropriate. But I really like the basic chord progression throughout. Maybe you could explain why you chose to leave in the one or two notes that might cause your audience to scratch their heads. Is it really worth it?
  12. 2 points
    Movements: 1. Kyrie 2. Gloria 3. Sanctus 4. Benedictus 5. Agnus Dei Scoring: Mixed chorus a cappella (SATB) Style: Baroque stile antico, circa 1700 Composed: June 23 – July 9, 2014 at Wichita, Kansas, USA I here present my second attempt at a Missa Brevis. This one is a cappella, and in the Dorian mode throughout. The first was composed in 2000, modeled after the short Masses Mozart wrote for Salzburg Cathedral in his youth; I posted it here some years ago. This work was commissioned in 2014 by a Roman Catholic church in Colorado that supports and highly values the best in traditional church music for their liturgies. A long-time friend and colleague happened to be the director of their small but well-trained choir, and he regularly programs 16th Century polyphony for them to perform during Masses. When he proposed the commission to me, he specified that I would compose a short but solemn Mass, as well as a set of Propers (the variable parts of the Mass, including the Introit, Gradual, Alleluia, Offertory, and Communion) specifically for the feast day of the church’s patroness, Our Lady of Mount Carmel; he further stipulated that ideally the work would emulate Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611) – his favourite composer – in style and substance. Flattered that he thought highly enough of me to think that I was capable of this, my response was that the style would be a tall order – Victoria was one of the giants of Renaissance liturgical music, and not easily imitated – but that I would gladly do my best to present him with the best polyphony I could manage. My friend was satisfied with that, so we negotiated what I thought was a fairly generous stipend, and I accepted the commission. Though it was not due to be fulfilled until the following spring, I immediately set to work (I’ve rarely been one to procrastinate on a commission), though not without some trepidation; I am relatively facile in several historical styles, but I had never attempted to write 16th Century polyphony before, and I wasn’t altogether sure I would succeed. I worked diligently and completed the entire Mass in 15 days. 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 16th Century at all. Rather, I had written a solid work in stile antico. For those unfamiliar with the term, to quote Wikipedia: “Stile antico (literally "ancient style") is a term describing a manner of musical composition from the sixteenth century onwards that was historically conscious, as opposed to stile moderno, which adhered to more modern trends. It has been associated with composers of the high Baroque and early Classical periods of music, in which composers used controlled dissonance and modal effects and avoided overtly instrumental textures and lavish ornamentation, to imitate the compositional style of the late Renaissance. Stile antico was deemed appropriate in the conservative confines of church music, or as a compositional exercise as in J. J. Fux's Gradus Ad Parnassum (1725), the classic textbook on strict counterpoint. Much of the music associated with this style looks to the music of Palestrina as a model.” I had done my best, so I presented the Mass to my patron, and to my relief, he was very pleased. The work was premiered by my friend’s choir at a festal Mass on July 19, 2015, the Sunday following the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (July 16) when the patronal feast was observed, on which occasion the present recording was made. The following year, I was invited to come to Colorado to join the choir in performing the Mass again, and I accepted. The appreciation of the choir and congregation for my work was most affecting – a memorable experience indeed. I hope you enjoy this little Mass, and do let me know what you think of it. I’d especially like feedback on the counterpoint from any of you out there who may be experts in the art. Thanks for your time!
  13. 2 points
    Concerto per oboe, violino, archi e basso continuo in mi minore (13.01.19 - 04.03.19) written in the late Italian language. I finally got this concerto finished. It has been a thorn in my side for two months now. No time for composing and very little inspiration. The concerto its written to the baptism of my unborn son, so I have about 4 months to edit and rehears. I. Allegro II. Adagio III. Vivace Please tell me what you think!
  14. 2 points
    There is a legend about a dialogue between Mozart and a young composer that went something like this: Young Composer: "Herr Mozart, I am thinking of writing a symphony. How should I get started?" Mozart: "A symphony is a very complex musical form and you are still young. Perhaps you should start with something simpler." Young Composer: "But Herr Mozart, you were writing symphonies when you were 8 years old!" Mozart: "Yes, but I didn’t have to ask how." This story is almost certainly apocryphal, but that doesn’t mean it is not very much the truth. You’re probably going to think I’m not being very helpful, and I’m usually very positive and encouraging; but I don’t believe there is anything anyone can tell you here that is going to edify you sufficiently that you’ll know how to write something as complex as a piano concerto upon reading it. As demonstrated above, If you have to ask how to write something, you’re not ready to write it. As Mozart may or may not have done with his young friend, I would urge you to try and write simpler things first before trying to tackle a piano concerto. I read elsewhere that you’re only 13 years old, and you have only been composing for a year and a half. Give yourself some time writing smaller things before trying this. You’ll know when you’re ready to move on to bigger things. However, since nothing I say is likely to stop you if you have your mind set on trying to build Hoover Dam with a box of Lego, as it were, @aMusicComposer has given you some wisdom about not expecting too much from your first effort (with which I concur), as well as some good advice about studying a book on orchestration – and Rimsky-Korsakov’s is a great one for what you seem to be envisioning. As for planning in advance, it appears you already know something of what you want to do as far as basic things like key, metre, tempo, and instrumentation go. Now all you need are some ideas, and no one can teach you how to come up with those. Good luck to you, and keep us informed of your progress!
  15. 2 points
    You still use repeat signs, but either add text above the affected passage that says, "4X," or "repeat until directed," or something like that, or you can use a first ending bracket at the repeat sign, but instead of being marked, "1." to indicate 1st ending, it will be marked, "1., 2., 3., 4.," to indicate 4 repeats before moving on to the next section. You can also indicate different treatments for each of the repeats in text above the affected passage. For example: 1. p, 2. ff, 3. mf.... Hope that makes sense without pictures.
  16. 2 points
    The way I've usually seen it in scores and parts is a repeat sign with 3X above it for 3 repetitions, 4X for 4 repetitions, etc. I'm not familiar with Reich's scores so I can't tell you how he does it, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if it were all written out.
  17. 2 points
    Before this degenerated into rancor, there were many good points made on a subject that is difficult to unravel, especially in cyber space. But there was already agreement in some areas, the finer points a which got lost in cross talk. Thanks for your efforts!
  18. 2 points
    I'm of the controversial opinion — and I'll die on this hill — that the arts, western music included, have long since reached their highest possible standards. I will argue that paintings by the likes of Michelangelo and Da Vinci, sculptures such as David or The Rape of Persephone, western classical, baroque, romantic, folk, etc. music, and so on were and remain the best examples of their respective mediums. They exemplify the mastery over their respective crafts that one ought to aspire to. And this is obvious in the fact that these works continue to stand the test of time as being considered the all-time greats. They still have this appeal to people, hundreds of years later. Here's the thing about reaching a high standard: The only way to truly be "original" from there is to do something that defies this standard, and the inevitable result of abandoning that paradigm is a lower standard. In the contemporary sense regarding film music, John Williams, Goldsmith, Silvestri, Korngold, etc. are still seen as the gold standard. Their music for Star Wars, Back To The Future, whatever...they're the most popular orchestral pieces of the 20th and so far 21st centuries. Why? Because they are reminiscent of, and in many cases directly lift from the standards established in the romantic era and before. "Batman Begins" or the scores to most of the Marvel movies, are absolutely NOT of that standard. They work for what they are, but what they are is vapid, empty pieces of music to accompany vapid, empty films. The only piece most people can recall any melody from in the entire franchise, is the "Avenger's Theme"...composed by Alan Silvestri. These kinds of works, will — and I'll argue already have — fallen by the wayside if not be forgotten entirely in time. The MCU, much like the band KISS, will be remembered more for their record-breaking sales and furthering of unabashed consumerism of the day than any actual artistic or cultural worth. So what to do about originality? Concern yourself with living up the high standards of yore rather than being unique. The obsession with being "unique" is actually a lie anyway, one which is symptomatic of society's post-enlightenment shift away from seeking to cultivate virtue and wisdom by understanding what we ought to love. It's fine to love trailer music, but you ought to love the works of Mozart or John Williams more. Otherwise, what you wind up doing is trying to convince everyone else to conform to the idea that your music of a lower standard, is actually just as good as any of the greats because you feel there is no inherent meaning in anything other than that which we choose to impart on it. So I agree with Coleridge about the waterfall: The waterfall is, and has to be sublime — not just "pretty".
  19. 2 points
    This is an interesting scenario. I've done both things (written for specific people, and written stuff without anyone in mind,) and I think that the most important thing is that if you're writing for specific people, they should know and you should tell them what you're doing to some degree. You should be very familiar with what repertoire they can play well and what's their overall technical level. I've had mostly good experiences with this as people I've written things for trust me enough to let me do whatever I want, and it's worked out pretty well. However, you can't count on that being the case and it could as well be that they can put restrictions on what they want you to write, etc etc. If it's an outright paid commission, then sure it doesn't matter that much that you cater to their wishes since a job's a job, but in my experience I've always done things in a way where I have the freedom I need to do my thing first and foremost. However, I understand that may not be always possible or reasonable. The best way to go about it, in my opinion, is to write for no specific person and write what you actually just want to hear. Then, after you've written the piece, see if there are any comments on possible changes or interpretations that you may be willing to compromise on. I think this gives off the best impression of you as composer since you are sure of your work but at the same time you are open for suggestions, just remember that you are the boss in the end, with all the responsibility that entails.
  20. 2 points
    I love Mieczysław Karłowicz (1876 - 1909), he was a Polish composer and he died so young because of an avalanche when he was in mountains. I praise his Violin Concerto in A major and symphonic poem "Odwieczne pieśni". I am very glad you've put Vasily Kalinnikov on your list, if only he had lived longer... but what he already composed is amazing
  21. 2 points
    One of my most beloved preludes by the public:
  22. 2 points
    Well, here's an interesting discussion. Would that they were not so rare these days! To answer the original question, most (but not all) of my music falls within an immediately identifiable historical style. Within the fairly narrow confines of that style, I invariably try to do certain things differently and uniquely according to my own sensibilities, while remaining as faithful to the style as possible - creating something new with old tools, as it were. I've been told this gives much of my historicist music a flavour that is uniquely my own, and I would like to believe this is true. It is certainly something I continually strive for on some level as I compose. There would be little value to my self-expression in this manner were there nothing about it that is mine, and mine alone. That said, it is not of paramount importance to me that my personal expression is as unmistakable as that of Beethoven, for example, only that I have been at once true to the historical style in which I am writing, and to my own artistic sensibilities. Likewise, in my "modern" voice, I follow the dictates of my own sensibilities in hopes that what results is something that is my own unique expression.
  23. 2 points
    For improvisation it flows well. Nice spread in harmonic rhythm, a graceful tune and pianistically accomplished. An occasional hesitation but that's a risk with all improvisation (I suppose...until you've 'learned' the bits you like for use in subsequent performances - how it is with me anyway!). It could easily pass as a composed piece on paper. Improvisation is composing on the fly to me! Some very nice moments in it.
  24. 2 points
    I agree I just wanted to add a few more suggestions of ways to develop the 'skeleton' Try adding multiple voices maybe in the left hand (think RH of moonlight sonata mvt. 1) - this maybe difficult due to the range of movement but might be worth considering Try incorporating/imitating another style - either a genre or a composer Try swapping around the hands - having the arpeggiated movement in the RH, higher up etc Try using different tempos (tempi?) and/or different dynamics - neither of these change throughout, adding a rit or accel, or a faster/slower section would provide some contrast (similar things for the dynamics) Overall, just experiment, maybe play it through on a piano a few times and see what works. If you do change it, I'd like to see the new product
  25. 2 points
    I think one of the best things that helps to write music is listening to music and watching the score at the same time (in youtube you can find almost anythinthing). That's the way you learn how to write what you hear.
  26. 2 points
  27. 2 points
    Nice standard piece. Not surprising from the harmonic point of view. Timidly, you change the texture for a short time from 1:30. I would insist on that because a constant pattern in the left hand makes this pieces a bit tiring (in my opinion).
  28. 2 points
    This is my submission for the Young Composer's 24 Prelude and Fugues project. I decided to be a little bit modern with the prelude and more Baroque ("correct" style) for the fugue, but not without hints of modernity. I also tried to make the the prelude a mock inversion of the fugue's theme to make them a bit more connected. I haven't done something like this in a while, so it was cool to revisit this kind of writing!
  29. 2 points
    I'm sorry my little entry is late. I ended up axing about half of it last night because I wasn't happy with it. I'm not sure if I still qualify, but either way, I'm glad I joined. Here we witness as the Earth is struck by an enormous meteor, shaking the planet upon impact and causing a massive dust cloud that encircles the globe, choking out life. The humans who survive the impact are left to wander about the ruins of civilization, despondent and struggling to survive, until they realize that the first meteor was only the beginning of the shower. They are snuffed out as meteor after meteor strikes the planet. We are left with an eerie scene of shattered cities and empty homes, and desolate landscapes devoid of any and all life forms. I used the full orchestra because I thought it would lend a more epic power to the music, which I thought was necessary considering the assignment at hand. The main, chaotic motif is based on a C minor seventh chord with a split fifth and added ninth. There are not a lot of major chords in this one, for obvious reasons, but I did think that the brilliant explosion of the meteor deserved its ethereal-sounding Db major seventh with split fifth and added ninth. The G minor section also flirts with major modality as the people wonder whether they can rebuild (before their ultimate demise). The odd time signatures were meant to convey the utter terror and panic felt by the humans as they realized their impending doom. EDIT: The original score I submitted was in concert pitch. The score titled 'Cataclysm - Score - Corrected' is correct.
  30. 2 points
    Hi Roberto, It's just practice, patience and perseverance. You're doing really well so just experiment and see what happens. I personally take quite a while to write a piece, a month at least or even two until I'm really happy with it. The piano sonata "Lily" which you commented on, took me two months from start to finish. The ideas come quite quickly at times, but then you have to put meat on the bones and edit and alter and tidy up etc., these things don't happen over night. Take your time, and above all, enjoy what you do. Mark
  31. 2 points
    Hi eternum, You have some interesting harmonies going on here, but I would urge you to experiment a bit more with the left hand. For what it is, it's not bad, but you could do so much more with it, it's quite rhythmically static at the moment. Also, you don't really develop your melodies to their full extent. Try playing it backwards, upside down, keeping the rhythm but changing to notes, keeping the notes but changing the rhythm, there's lots you can do to broaden melodic elements into a better, fuller piece. I listened to your waltz also, and it suffered from the same lack of development. That's not to say your ideas are bad, they're not, only that each time you start a new round of the first or second themes, they remain much the same as the first round. I would take both of these pieces and see how many different ways I could change the themes, and vary also the left hand parts. The left hand should never really be "just" an accompaniment, it should also have a life of it's own if possible. These are some of the things that make music more interesting, and in that process, you will also learn a lot about what is and what is not possible. I hope you don't mind my comments, it's just my opinion, but if you do try some of my suggestions, I'm sure you would have fun, and produce some really interesting music. Good luck Mark
  32. 2 points
    This is what I do. When I learn something, whatever (a scale, a mode, a rhythm, added chords, chords by fiftsh, etc.........) I write short things to aprehend those elements and to feel how they work and sound. These are not compositions, only exercises. I don't care if they are good or not. With time, I try to combine what I have been learning. This is, perhaps, more difficult, but it is the essence of composition: taking many tools you know, and pick those that fit in you idea.
  33. 2 points
    Just two short parts. I wanted to write "emotionally" using contemporary tools. I think most contemporary idioms are linked to ancient ones (in music). @Rabbival507 The second part (2:35) uses the In Sen scale all the time in the right hand (except a few passing notes), and also in the left hand but less. I think you called this scales Miyako Bushi.
  34. 2 points
    I don't have much time, here are two things I noticed: 1. Your dynamics should have a sharper change. It never moves above F or below MP. If you want a static piece (it should be a static dance I think?) then fine, but keep that in mind. 2. A waltz, as far as I know, should be in 3/4. Look what you did: For many years I didn't know the difference between 6/8 and 3/4. After all, in maths, 6/8 and 3/4... are the same thing! But here it's different. Look at the way the bar is separated. 6/8 separates it to two threes, while 3/4 separates it to three twos. It also sounds like 3/4. So- change the time signature to 3/4 and the way the eights are separated into three groups of two instead two groups of three. Good luck.
  35. 2 points
    T H E E N D O F T H E W O R L D YC SUMMER COMPETITION: 2018 Welcome, everybody to the Young Composer Forum's Summer 2018 composition competition! Be it the apocalypse, the rapture, or nuclear annihilation, people throughout the years have always had concerns over the world ending in some way or another. It's exciting, and awesome, and terrifying, yet nobody knows exactly how it will come about. In particular, composers throughout the years have tried to emulate the afterlife, or this process of death (Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6, and Holst's Ode to Death, etc.) and now I'm asking you to put the fate of the entire world into your hands: how's it all going to go down? GOAL: Write a piece of any instrumentation under the theme of "the end of the world". Note that this is not a piece just about death, however you may follow one person/group of people through their experience of a dying world. You may call upon any context, inspiration, or story to make this happen (i.e. anything from the rapture to alien invasion). ELIGIBILITY: *You must be a member of the Young Composers forum in order to enter. Membership is free and found in the top right corner of the page. Sign ups for the competition will be in the comments below. Simply note that you are interested in judging or participating. *There will again be no limits to instrumentation. Extra points will not be given for smaller or larger ensembles. *The minimum length for this competition is reduced to 3 minutes, but keep in mind you'll have a lot to write about. The maximum is also reduced to 20 minutes. *You must have some sort of audio rendition accompanying your work, otherwise your entry will be disqualified. *A score is required, but is not as heavy a focus as previous competitions. If you want to enter and are not proficient at engraving, message @Monarcheon. *If you volunteer to be a judge, you may not enter as a contest participant. *Entrants should have an intermediate understanding of engraving and orchestration. *Entrants may only submit one work. SCORING: 1. Submit a piece that properly depicts the end of the world in any context. This piece should progress like a story, of sorts, not just simply the event that causes the world to perish. The relation to the source material should be clear in your music in one way or another. Since it is difficult to convey things through sound, your job is simply to convince the judges that you've thought about how to make it work. (/40) 2. The more technically based compositional aspects are judged here. These aspects include score quality (/15), audio file quality (/15), and orchestration (/15) 3. Submit a writing component explaining the context in which the world is being destroyed and explaining how your instrumentation and compositional sections depict your writing. This should include what techniques you used to demonstrate certain aspects of each, keys, styles, or anything else you feel is prudent. (/15) TOTAL: /100 Mark your entry interest by: August 1st Pieces must be submitted by (in another topic that will be posted later, not this thread): August 7th Judges must be finished grading by: August 14th PRIZES: All entrants receive detailed feedback on their works. The winner’s piece will be placed in the YC Competition Hall of Fame. It is possible that winners receive a full year’s subscription compensation to Sibelius, but we are still working on that (THIS FINAL PRIZE IS NOT GUARANTEED). ENTRANTS: @bkho @Youngc @Gustav Johnson @Ken320 @edfgi234 @Hugget Zukker @Noah Brode
  36. 2 points
    This is a piece I wrote years ago, for some reason I was reflecting on all the needless poverty in the world and this bubbled up. Sorry if it depresses you! Mike
  37. 2 points
    Hi all! Home Economics doesn't exist anymore and The Food Network makes it look like you can't fry an egg without granite countertops, truffle oil, and a degree from culinary school. I thought I would take a basic recipe and turn it into an ear-worm. With any luck, the members of any choir that sings this and a good number of the people in the audience will remember how to make lentil soup forever. The pianist has to deal with accidentals and an irritating key signature, but the choral parts should sit comfortably for everyone, be easy to read, and it repeats, which should be user-friendly for high school chorus or amateur choral groups. How does this look? Thanks for taking a look!
  38. 2 points
    Down bows are naturally stronger and up bows are naturally lighter, so if you have a pattern of quarter notes in a 4/4 section with nothing unusual accent-wise, it's best to have down on 1 and 3 and come back up on 2 and 4, to follow the natural accents of the phrase. For a strongly accented passage where there is time between notes, you might want a series of down bows. The player will have time to make a bow circle in the time between notes to reset the bow to play the next note as a down bow. But any time you change bow direction, be it up bow or down, there is also a slight feeling of accent compared to two notes slurred together. Slurred notes give a feeling of smoothness and phrasing. In a particularly smooth line, you'll probably want some slurring, but think about where you would choose to breathe if you were whistling the line. The bow should definitely change direction there at a minimum. Think about where there are natural accents in the line. Those are good places for the bow to change direction. Think about grouping notes according to a repeated pattern to preserve a sense of orderly smoothness: each measure is slurred, or every four eighth notes, or whatever makes sense. Think about how fast or slow a bow can move to play the dynamic you want. Eventually the player will run out of bow and need to turn around, but that will naturally happen faster at a forte than at a piano. Think of the bow arm as dancing. How does the arm want to dance, given the character of the music in a given phrase? Where would you want to kick out a leg or an arm if you were dancing? And don't worry too much about dictating every little thing. String sections generally make their own decisions about how to phrase a line. Sometimes a conductor will dictate how he would like them to slur something to change the accents and improve the balance between the different orchestra sections. They all do this for a living. Trust them. Marking every bowing is like marking which fingers to use in a piano score. It's done for beginning students and it's done in the occasional really tricky passage where it's not intuitive, other than that you can mark your slurs and mainly trust the player to find the best solution for up vs. down.
  39. 2 points
    Hey, everyone ! It's been a few years since I've last posted on this forum.. I haven't been as productive with composing as I should've been these past few years.. needless to say, I'm still pretty new. 😛 Here's a piece I finished back in 2014 and posted here a long time ago.. So, since I'm getting back into composing (and that this is arguably my best work out of the very few I have) I wanted some fresh feedback on it.. I wanna improve as a composer.. so please, don't hold back with the critiques. 🙂 Cheers! Nic https://www.noteflight.com/scores/view/8196350de48ded3feb3b24a05e70cc59e7124e39
  40. 2 points
    The money is mostly in composing for media like film, tv, games, and advertising. From a business perspective, each has their pros and cons, but it has been my experience that video games are the most difficult to make a living with due to indie market saturation coupled with falling prices. Only the biggest games at the highest price-point make any real money, production budgets are significantly lower than elsewhere and they never pay royalties. Kind of a silly question 😜 Plenty of composers make a living at it, but it's important to not succumb to survival bias when planning your career. Because statistically, most don't. The hard truth about this is that it is about 90% sheer luck. The other 10% is through networking and referrals. People over-estimate the payoffs of "networking". Yes, meeting people is important and ultimately necessary, but realistically: You have no idea who you are going to meet, where you are going to meet them, and MOST people will not require your services. Most directors, game developers, etc. tend to work with the same composer for pretty much their entire career! So don't try to work with Spielberg; try to work with the next Spielberg. This involves working on student and indie projects for little or often no pay just to starting getting experience, IMDB credits, and some semblance of a portfolio. You definitely need a portfolio. You don't need a piece of paper from a school, but you need the kind of knowledge (and more) that a music degree offers. Whether you learn that by self-study, working under more experienced composers, or actually getting the degree is up to you. To stand a fighting chance, you should know music inside and out. Harmony, part-writing, counterpoint, the scales, the modes, orchestration, writing for pop ensembles, etc. all while having your own sound and don't become Zimmer clone #1347324988753. I'm a guy who has actually managed to make some money with composing music before I was drinking age (In the USA, anyway) but I have a far more "red-pilled" outlook on this than most: You should know that pursuing composition as a career and putting all your eggs in that basket (not saying you are, but hear me out) is a very, very risky endeavor. You have to be prepared to accept that, to no one but fate's fault, your career may never provide enough income to live on no matter how skilled and well-connected you are. The supply tremendously exceeds the demand. What most don't talk about in this subject, or realize until it's too late, is that pursuing this career inevitably requires you to dedicate a lot of time to it that takes up time for other things in life that are also fulfilling until you "make it", and keeping this up for too long without payoff has consequences. I know it's something no aspiring composer wants to hear (when I was a teenager with professional music aspirations put my fingers in my ears to it), but we all need some contingency plan in the event music never works out long-term. There has been a number of studies recently regarding the mental health of musicians, and they're finding it's on a serious decline. Why? Most of this depression comes from a decreased sense of self-worth from not making enough money, or hitting new milestones in their career. 'Cause If you're still working some dayjob you hate in the mean time, the future can start to look increasingly bleak with each passing year that you're not doing much with music and trust me...as you get older, the years just go by faster. So I guess what I'm saying is: "Don't get discouraged if you don't get a lot of jobs with music, and remember that life has more to offer." Unfortunately, a lot of passionate musicians can forget that.
  41. 2 points
    Something good always happens on a Thursday. It's been a hard work week, and I'm a little dried up. Nevertheless, I managed to compose something in the hot evenings. I'm excited about how this piece is coming along, and therefore I want to step carefully. I've decided to let you guys share your thoughts on how this might go on, or critique what's already there. It would be heartily appreciated 😀 I think it sounds like a parade due to the rhythm and the sectionality; unfortunately that's not a word in English. Note 1: The "end" is weird; I'm aware. It's a work in progress, and the very last part is just meant to suggest the bed of some kind of bridge (contrasting part) perhaps to come. Note 2: This was made with Sample Modeling strings and flutes, Orange Tree Samples nylon guitar, and some built-in Kontakt basses and percussion.
  42. 2 points
    Thank you for sharing your three preludes, which have really nice ideas and have a generally good flow. Some comments: Prelude in e minor: The time signature change in measure 2 feels a bit forced as it does not add really to the musical structure. I would just shorten the measure. Measure 2 then rhymes very well with measure 4. Same goes for the repetition of this part at the end. The block chords feel really thick. Probably you could thin the texture a bit. Prelude in D Major: The open end on the first inversion chord is charming, however, it could be staged more effectively, e.g. by slowly petering out. Or you follow @Youngc and add a proper cadence. Prelude in c# minor: You use the inherent chromaticism quite nicely. Just an idea: You could change the last f# into a double sharp for a provisional leading tone to the dominant, but this is just an idea.
  43. 2 points
    You may need to turn your speakers/headphones up, i've been having some problems bringing my mix level up. Let me know what you think.
  44. 2 points
    I've been studying harp writing for a while, it's amazing, and difficult. It sounds nice but in general terms it looks more like a writing for piano. For example: you have not taken advantage of the interval the harpist can play with one hand (tenths are easy), with quick notes it's quite hard to play more than 4 notes in a row, the harpist uses 4 fingers in each hand, never the little one; this is possible if you could use both hands as it happens sometimes in the score (m. 41...). The broad tesitura of the instrument is not represented. Trills in the harp are, in fact, tremolos and they are notated this way (bisbigliando is also characteristic, but is different): The major concern is, perhaps, the pedals and enharmonic pitches. The number of pedal changes at a time are limited. I've read that harpist don't like the changes in the score, because most times there's no only one solution. But as a composer, I always write those changes, just for me, to be aware if what I'm writing is possible or not. I don't know if you know about this issue... In the left side there are three pedals, in the right side four: Each pedal has three positions (flat, natural, sharp). You can change one pedal of the left side and one pedal of the right side at the same time. For more changes, you have to give time in the score. Your piece starts as follows: D C# B E F# G - A In measure 13 you have a modulation where the pedals are: D C Bb Eb F G Ab...... In fact you don't need to change A to Ab, so let's consider you have to change C# - C, B - Bb, E-Eb , F# - F As you can see it's not possible, you have two simultaneous changes in the left side and two more in the right side. If you are interested in harp writing (which is wonderful), I would suggest: Reading some book on orchestration Watching tutorials in youtube (there are many) Listening and watching scores for harp
  45. 2 points
    The general atmosphere (more in the slow parts) is unique, I like the "dirty" sound of the chords.
  46. 2 points
    The worst thing about choral music mockups is that, unlike instrumental music, the digital rendering makes no attempt to even sound natural. That makes following the score a must. Fortunately, you did - thus making possible a detailed review by an experienced choral composer such as Pate. The experience of listening to your work - or rather, to imagine it sung as it should - is pretty cool. You strived towards simplicity, and audiences will thank you for that in a choral environment. Granted, I love polyphony very much, but sometimes I just want to understand whatever is being sung, and it's already tough enough when the lyrics are in a language I'm not fluent at, such as German, Russian or Latin. So I must say I'm really satisfied that you went out to polish your music without disregarding your audience. Thanks for your work!
  47. 2 points
    This is what Hans Zimmer would sound like if he ever got out of D minor.
  48. 2 points
  49. 2 points
    Maybe you're trying to do too much at once. Harmony, rhythm, colour, tempo, melody, feel, orchestration, dynamics, yada yada yada... it's a lot of stuff to consider. SO. Try eliminating a lot of it. Limit various elements and focus on one thing. Take an existing harmonic progression, write a new melody for it. Take an existing melody and re-harmonize. Take a piano piece and re-orchestrate it for a string quartet. Take a piano + soloist piece and write some accompanying background figures for it. Or whatever. Artificially limiting yourself will force you to focus on one or two elements, you'll learn a lot along the way. You'll also write some terrible stuff. Embrace it. Eventually good things will flow. Don't expect any of these exercises to be actual, presentable pieces - it's homework. It's practice. They're musical workouts. You have to get in shape before you try and run the race. So, don't worry about being blocked. Knock away one block at a time, be patient with yourself and don't expect great things right off the bat.
  50. 2 points
    It is playable without too many difficulties:) Those double-stops are easily doable in the first position. Moreover, all chords here are in an octave, which is within the normal range (ninth and tenth are plausible but requires more skills to play) To be precise, the fingerings are as follows,
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