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Showing content with the highest reputation since 11/14/2018 in all areas

  1. 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!
  2. 2 points
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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!
  6. 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!
  7. 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!
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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!
  11. 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".
  12. 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.
  13. 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
  14. 2 points
    One of my most beloved preludes by the public:
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. 2 points
    I found this very cute and clever. The odd melodies, at once Chopin then Barnum and Bailey and back again gave me more than one grin. And the sheer force of will behind those pounding chords made it somehow not banal, but humorous. Which is very difficult to pull off. But you did it without losing the essential substance of the music. Bravo!
  19. 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.
  20. 1 point
    Very nice. I very much like how the music returns to the main theme played by the oboe. What software do you use? I’d say the oboe has great clarity, however the string sounds sound feigned. Towards the end I hear accomplishment to dances more common towards the end of the 18thh century, but you wove it in in such a manner to retain that authenticity. thanks
  21. 1 point
    Great classical duet! I liked the motivic imitation in allegro. I think the shape of the andante is really good, and to be honest I liked it more than the allegro. Also posting a score is a good idea, because it makes reviewing much easier
  22. 1 point
    Hi, I never see any heart icon at the bottom right of topics and replies that would allow me to vote for one's reputation. The only case when it appears is that somebody has already voted, but then I have no possible voting action myself on it. Any idea on this issue ? I sign in with Facebook, for information. Would be glad to be able to thank reviewers as well as congratulate fellow composers when I feel like it 🙂 Thanks, Marc
  23. 1 point
    Thanks! That's helpful! I really don't play, so I really do need specifics like those. Much appreciated! At some point I'll find the time and money for a piano teacher, but at the moment I've got too many other irons on the fire so I'm delighted to have people on this site I can lean on for advice.
  24. 1 point
    SSC -- Thanks! Yes, writing the music seems to be the main thing I need practice with, so that seems like a good way to try. I do have a piano at home...so I can play chords on that. Do you write songs as well? pateceramics -- That's true....and I will try! Thanks for your input 🙂
  25. 1 point
    Nice stuff. I listened to several pieces from your collection. You might be better served to upload only a piece at a time. Not a lot of people are going to sit thru 19 minutes.. Also don't get discourage, with little feedback.. It would be nice if more people who uploaded, made comments on other's work. You don't have do be a music analysist. And anyone can comment (it doesn't depend on your musical experience or knowledge) .. I'm not knowledgeable with classical music, but I can comment on the emotional impact it made on me, and the imagery it evoked for me. Hopefully people here will support each other more , and make this a better site for all. Keep up the good work
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  27. 1 point
    Nice synth, and appropriate to the visuals. Everything was centered around the same area on the keyboard - I was hoping for some more "group motion" upwards and downwards, or something to create another texture or color or feeling within the piece. Maybe cut out the low end at some point and have the high notes carry it, or vice versa, or have more motion from low to high or vice versa. It's all good, just very similar throughout! Gustav
  28. 1 point
    Here goes my new piece (inspired on Barroque Music) Instruments: Oboe Solo, Violin Solo, String Orchestra and Harpsichord if you liked, you can also hear:
  29. 1 point
    Music that reminds me of dog sitting Audio: Andante_Comodo.mp3 Score: Andante comodo.pdf I wrote this on a ranch. I wrote this at the radio station, late late at night. It’s a song of love. It’s a song about feeling alone. On the day I finished it, I also finished On Chisel Beach by Ian McEwan. This music wrapped itself around that story, and both were planted deep into my brain. Both the music and that story complain and ache and worry, they both drag it out when it doesn’t need to be that complicated. Both improve with age, with patience, with repetition. On the day I finished it, I fretted in my journal about composing too slowly. I wrote my journal entry on some sheet music. Writing words on sheet music is easier than writing music. Maybe I just need to write music as often as I write words. This song reminds me of sitting up until all hours of the night, on a couch that wasn’t my own, in a strange house, watching WWII documentaries and checking to see if we’d accidentally let the coyote eat the cat. It reminds me of the last grasping days of college. I was spending most of my time grasping, grasping at what?… grasping at something. It reminds me of emerging from a dark cavern to greet the morning sun. It reminds me of waiting, waiting, waiting to grow up. Years and years and years after I finished the music, I played it for someone. She said, “You’re really starting to get good at this.” I pretended that the music was truly new.
  30. 1 point
    I haven't seen the original work, so I'm just looking at this as a concert band piece. I think the opening develops too slowly - I think it would sound better if four bars were cut out and the vibraphone came in at bar 5. I found the glock/oboe rhythm at 96 quite interesting. If you were intending this to be played by a real band, I would kind of recommend just having the glock play it - the reason being it's a very hard rhythm to play, and even I would probably find myself very slightly fudging it. Which would be fine if I was the only player with it, but two players fudging the same unison rhythm can end badly. Another thought I have is that it doesn't seem like it changes enough. You've got plenty of tempo/rhythmic variation, and you change up the chords, but you don't have any dynamic variation and you often use the same combinations of instruments. These things will come more naturally to you as you get more experience in writing - an idea will come with a specific sound/dynamic/colour in mind. You're also generally using the full range of registers available within the concert band - more ideas for variation would be using only the high register or the low register.
  31. 1 point
    I like what you've done here. There were a few times where it got a little harder to follow, but I think that the sort of nebulousness matches your own feelings towards your father. I hope that writing this piece of music brought you some sort of peace and perhaps closure. I think that this type of music is extremely important as it comes from a very real and raw artistic place, and is therapeutic to the artist as well as those who listen to it. Keep at it!
  32. 1 point
    Just by listening to the opening, I initially thought that it would be tranquil, relax-music-type throughout the piece. But it isn't I love how well-redeveloped the motive is, and the way you build up the emotions considering it is a short piece. It sounds like a couple who have been separated for a long time because of a war, but they don't have much time to share their experience as they have to leave each other again. So desperate but got relieved knowing the beloved half is still alive and safe.
  33. 1 point
    Wow, this was really well written and a pleasure to listen to. It kept my attention ths whole nine minutes with elegant orchestration and smooth modulations. I especially liked how your glockenspiel, harp and woodwinds worked together to create delightful flourishes and embellishments. If I had any suggestions, it might be to move the melodic line around a little more -- I wasn't really keeping track, but it felt like a lot of violin with some woodwind doubling; a few more sections featuring the cellos or horns could add some nice contrast in a lower register. There were a few places where the time signatures were doing weird things. On page 10, the rhythm switches to 3/4 with no change in notation at m. 42. The time signature finally changes on pg. 12, m. 57. The same situation happens on pgs. 40 and 41. It may be that I am misunderstanding something about the use of common time in waltzes -- those spots on pgs. 12 and 41 just threw me off. I'm also kind of astounded that your music program has the option to play back the waltz with the traditionally stilted Viennese rhythm. It added a really nice authentic vibe to the playback. One final question: is it usual to have such an extended section in 4/4 time to start off a Viennese waltz? Really great work; thanks for sharing!
  34. 1 point
    I don't really know what to say. This is a spectacular work. The instruments are interesting and blended perfectly. Certainly, your decades as a composer have been worth it.
  35. 1 point
    Recently, I tuned my guitar's four low string like a Cello (I kept the G, tuned D to C, A to F and E to B-flat) and added a Capo on 2nd fret. It really sounded amazing (When I Capo-ed it, it really gave me a Cello tuning). So, I decided to record this piece. I don't think I make my guitar a Cello again, but I think it's cool to give it try, at least once!
  36. 1 point
    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
  37. 1 point
    @Theodore Servin I personally think Stanford is amazing. Check out his symphonies and Irish Rhapsodies for the full English Romantic orchestral treatment. For a tidbit of one of his finest pieces of church music, here's a fine performance of his "Beati quorum via" for 6-part mixed chorus a cappella with scrolling score: The first time I sang that motet as a young chorister, I wept for joy - no lie. Agreed about Rheinberger - an apt description indeed. One of my favourites of his is the "Abendlied" (Evening Song), again with scrolling score: If you get a chance to listen to these, let me know what you think! --Joe
  38. 1 point
    Thanks for these ideas - there are some that I would never have thought about but work well and that I like! It's sad to hear that you couldn't finish your degree. I am thinking about studying composition at RCS but I do not know what style the professors are most comfortable with - hopefully not just experimental/contemporary! You started writing at about the same time I did, although you have been composing for longer. This is a wonderful site, where "young" composers can meet experienced ones like yourself to share ideas and make pieces better. It's been a pleasure working with you to improve not just this piece, but my ways of reviewing and criticising my own music - for this is the only real way I can improve. Thank you very, very much for you time and your suggestions, they mean so much to an aspiring composer like myself. Thanks again. Scott
  39. 1 point
    Thank you for all the comments, Is a pleasure share with you my works
  40. 1 point
    One of the things found in all the research is that, since you can get emotional responses out, well, basically any kind of communication (languages you don't understand, noises, whatever,) you can argue that the degree of "understanding" you have of a language just allows it to trigger finer and more nuanced responses (expectation breaks, comedy, etc, all that.) The "problem" of something like serial music or any kind of music that is "random" sounding enough that it makes you default to basic responses is that it can't immediately engage you on the level of stuff that you're familiar with. This obviously changes drastically the more you expose yourself and familiarize yourself with different kinds of musical languages. One thing that happens when you ARE familiar with the musical language, enough to have actual expectations, is that a curious things starts to happen which is that music that constantly breaks expectation is more "interesting," or "pleasurable" to listen to, but the break has to be just right. Too tame and it doesn't excite the brain centers enough, too harsh and it pulls you out of it. This kind of expectancy "curve" is what drives a lot of music composition from all sorts of people, Beethoven, Bach, you name it. They did it, obviously, purely on intuition, but we know now that they were "guided" by how the brain actually perceives those breaks in expectation. There's a lot to unpack in this theory, but I've been investigating this subject for the last 10 years, I think it's amazing how much we have discovered. Additionally, this can apply to any musical language, all it takes is enough consistency and familiarity to develop expectancy. Here are two papers you can read that back up my statements: http://www.stefan-koelsch.de/papers/Fritz_2009_CurrBiol.pdf and http://www.stefan-koelsch.de/papers/Koelsch_2008_ERAN_EDA_music_meaning_syntax_emotion.pdf There are a bunch of other papers that go in depth into both things, usually with new studies and some new insight, but these are good starting points. You need to brush up on some neurology to really understand what's going on in the brain itself, but you can get a pretty good idea of what's going on even if you just look at the graphs.
  41. 1 point
    I appreciate the live rendition, and incidentally, the visual filter you used fits the somewhat Impressionistic style of the piece. Cool! Definitely better than the midi version. Part of the appeal of this piece is more the feel of the reverb and echo of the progressions, rather than only the notes themselves, if that makes any sense, so I'm really happy you put up a live performance. I think you really did a great job with the atmosphere, it's captivating. However, I think the B section at the about 2/3rds way through was a little bit too much. The L.H. is too loud and repetitive, and I think it bogs down the atmosphere rather than giving it another dimension. Maybe try adding softer dynamics, like mf, so that there is some cresc., but not too much so that it sounds over-dramatic. And as interesting harmonically as the beginning and end are, I think the B part should have more interesting harmonies in the L.H. too. But that's just my 2 cents. Thanks for sharing, this is a really neat piece. 😄
  42. 1 point
    Very nice! You both must be pretty proficient players. The keys you've chosen are kind of icky for the saxophone, if you ask me, but as long as your sister is not complaining! Good job!
  43. 1 point
    Oh MAN Noah! These are COOL! I looked at the paintings before perusing your scores, and I think you've captured the character of the art in music beautifully. Your thematic material, your orchestral colors, the huge variety of textures - first rate, man! I only wish it were a real orchestra playing these. All in good time! What's your instrument? I suspect you're a fiddle-player, 'cause you've given the concertmaster as well as the principal 'cellist a very nice showpiece here, along with gorgeous solos for several of the principal winds. Dang but you've done a nice job handling your orchestra! I think I'm almost jealous! A word with you about articulations though (or the lack thereof): you said this score was pretty rough, but there are a lot of passages in here that I couldn't help feeling should be slurred more - or something. At first I thought maybe you'd just not put any in anywhere, but then I noticed some used judiciously here and there; but still, are you sure you want all those lovely melodies tongued or bowed on every note? If I were you, I'd keep in mind that just because playback plays every note full value, that doesn't mean live musicians are going to, and I'd be more specific about what I wanted played more smoothly, else you might end up with each note articulated separately, and I don't think that's what you're going for. If you know this is exactly what you want, then great, but I just thought I'd mention it in case it was something you hadn't given much thought. You did a really good job of writing idiomatically for most of the instruments. I loved your harp parts in particular - they're idiomatic and add an ethereal quality like any good harp part. I think you may have asked too much of your poor glockenspiel player in movement 5 though; at that tempo, I'm not at all sure what you've written can be played accurately. I'm not a percussionist though, so I might be wrong; all I know is I probably wouldn't have written it. It sure sounds cool though! 😄 Congratulations on what to my ears and sensibilities is a triumph of programmatic music making! Keep up the good work!
  44. 1 point
    Sorry it took longer than I hoped, but here are my thoughts!! (I gave thoughts overall and for each specific piece, sorry if you weren't looking for that kind of detail...) OVERALL COMMENTS: Great compositions and orchestrations, and very well produced. Sometimes your writing is a little busy and may benefit from some reductive editing, but technically speaking everything you wrote worked well together. In my opinion – some of your instruments (your percussion especially) could go to a whole new level if you brought in one or two live musicians for a session to record some of the stuff on an acoustic instrument. Hans Zimmer does this all the time, as do other great composers and producers. The mingling of live and computer music helps to bring some humanity to the crazy-good sounds a DAW can produce. A small group of live performers may set you back a couple hundred dollars, but would make the soundtrack stand out compared to other soundtracks. Otherwise this is a really good soundtrack and you should be pleased with how it turned out! SPECIFIC COMMENTS: The Horizon: Sweet, love the electric guitar sounds especially. Everything here really sets the stage for a game in this style. The rhythmic guitar at 1:25 ish could maybe have been introduced more subtly, and then built up in a crescendo. The orchestra at 1:40 was also kind of unexpected, almost abrupt. Nice transition into 2:15 ish, this is an interesting section. 2:30 is definitely really working well, the parts speak well with each other and create an interesting overall picture/texture/idea. Good sound production at the end. Airships: Good use of ostinatos to compliment the melodic material. I’d consider bringing them down, either reducing the instrumentation or giving them a quieter dynamic. Seems a little cluttered, is all, with all the sustained sounds and with everybody playing in such a similar range. Never be afraid to listen for reductive editing opportunities. Your countermelodies are super strong and add a lot to the piece. Dogfight: Whoa, cool. I LOVE the Celtic sounds (flute, guitars) in this one. Again, good use of ostinatos. Really good electric guitar melody, I feel like I have to search for it through all the other sounds happening, though. 1:25, REALLY good break and transition into the next section. I don’t think I’d have the snare drum or high percussion sounds accompany the horns, they didn’t feel well-matched to me. Great melodic ideas and supporting ostinatos. 3:20, the percussion exit was abrupt, maybe a cymbal roll into that release would help me feel less like you pulled the rug out from under me? The Brigands: Is your eighth note subdivision consistent? Some parts are definitely swing eighths and some are straight eighths, which sounds weird to me when they happen at the same time. A very “saucy” track, I like it, and the harmonic tension definitely helps. Bounty Hunters: I’m losing a sense of your melodic and counter melodic writing style in here. Not a bad piece, but next to the others it doesn’t seem to have as much personality. A Million’s Pirates: The first couple times I listened to this something struck me as off about the timing of the articulate, high-frequency percussion lines – like they weren’t evenly subdivided. The most recent listen I gave, I didn’t hear the same thing so maybe I’m crazy! Live performers would be epic for that part (maybe on un-tuned toms or field drums, or on their rims, or something similar). I think there’s a Celtic flute somewhere in here, but it’s getting lost for me. Bomb Run (& Fire at Will): I think with these pieces you have a chance to change styles a bit. Think of this as the “bridge” of the game, you don’t have to adhere so much to what you’ve created in the “verses and choruses”, you can break a little bit more and just focus maybe on a new idea in the same vein. Fire at Will started to do that (especially cool rhythm idea @ 1:35 ish), with some new-ish rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic ideas. At this point, my ear wants something that breaks stylistically from all the previous pieces. They’re good pieces, but I think you missed an opportunity to make these pieces something special. Surrounded: Nice intro, a unique character. Again, when I listened the articulate, high-frequency percussion seemed to be unevenly subdivided. This time I think I may understand the rhythm you’re using, but it still sounds a little off. Listen around 1:31/1:37/1:43/1:49 for examples, though there are more. The legato melodies in this one are a nice break from some of the other melodic styles. Sometimes the intervals felt weird to me, but it’s hard to put my finger on why sorry! Neat sound effects. Change of style at 3:05 is welcome and refreshing. Cool keyboard and oboe stuff at 3:20 ish, the build in this area is quite nice. Any reason this piece is so much longer than most of the rest? There are a couple areas where the momentum seemed to slow down, maybe reworking some of them out of the piece may have helped (or maybe not – who knows). Good legato melody at 4:45 ish. What We Fight For: I like the guitar parts I hear in the background at the beginning (0-0:15). Nice use of choir, reminds me of one of the earlier pieces in a good way. Good chord progression here, really fits the mood, especially with the clear descending line it creates. The chromatic downward motion in the cello/basses around 1:30 is fun J Hey, the guitar stuff has returned (2:35 ish), cool! A good piece overall. Our Finest Hour: SWEET rhythmic stuff in this – the interlocking here is especially good. With the melodic material, be careful to listen for velocity and plan how you want to build tension and relax it. The horn melody didn’t peak on the higher note like I expected it to, while the trumpets may have peaked too much (felt kind of forced, not quite human). Otherwise, all I can say is wow – for me you really nailed this one. We Fly Once More: Again I hear swing and straight eighth notes at the same time. It’s more subtle here and somehow seems to work better in this case than the other time(s) I heard it. Great balance for the drums, I wouldn’t mind hearing more of the cymbals and crashes when they’re emphasizing melodic content.
  45. 1 point
    I think I understand that you are not able to read and write music easily because you mainly play piano by ear? Is that the difficulty? If so, look for resources on "how to read sheet music" or "learning to read music for beginners." If you can read it, you can also write it. It does take time to learn to do fluently, just like learning to read and write English, so if that is what is holding you up, expect that you will need to spend a little time every day practicing your reading skills before it comes easily. Beginner piano books generally include explanations of how to read music along with their music exercises on "row, row, row your boat," so that might be a user-friendly place to start. Be sure to look for book one, even though it seems babyish. Book two will assume you already understand all the concepts they explained in book one and won't discuss them again. Here's an online explanation of how to read sheet music that might be helpful: https://www.musicnotes.com/blog/2014/04/11/how-to-read-sheet-music/ If you use a software program to type out your compositions, instead of pencil and paper, you can use the playback feature in the program to hear what you are writing. That makes it easier to check for unintentional errors in the way you wrote it. The program will play back exactly the notes you have entered, so you can listen and hear whether or not the notes sound like what you intended and make adjustments. I use the Musescore program, which you can download for free. It allows you to make a very professional looking score, once you learn how to use it, and has a playback button at the top of the page so you can hear what you are writing, and catch mistakes. Since it is free, there is nothing to lose by giving it a try. I hope I've understood the problem correctly! Good luck!
  46. 1 point
    Thanks Gustav Johnson for your review and feedback! Glad to know you love the piece. Nice to hear your expectations and interesting feedback. It's interesting that you were reminded of Bach! Of course, Bach, as one of the greatest composers ever, is always and inevitably an influence and an ideal in composition to learn from and aspire to, while of course creating and maintaining one's own originality as a composer. I think as composers we seek to communicate with - not imitate - other composers. It is that desire to communicate - to give one's own compositional response to all the great composers/compositions one hears and appreciates - that was/is in fact one of my main motivators as a composer.
  47. 1 point
    Couple general notes: Use metric modulation notation between 4/4 and 12/8 (i.e. triplet = eighth in 12). Easier to read than doing math mid-sight-read. Good use of horn pedal in the beginning. Consider a stagger between parts or an offbeat rearticulation to sustain the tone. Going from 60 to 100 was a bit awkward. Maybe an accel? The first trip to 12/8 was way more awkward than the other ones, because you have the snare switching times in the middle of a roll. It takes away from the seamlessness of such a transition. On that note, you cannot use half notes in 12/8. Use ties to sustain the beat. My next personal step would be to elaborate on this one idea a bit more by transferring melodies and registers to feel like a cohesive section. Don't feel limited by the eighth notes as part of a melody; using the same thing in augmentation with suspensions in the normal figure against it can sound really cool especially with harmony changes happening under. You can use prime form (013) to create inversions on the theme you have. Use a refrain from the beginning for another slow section (ABAB kind of) then finish with a more driving similar idea to the first B section.
  48. 1 point
    The thing that stands out the most to me is that the strong syllables of the text don't always line up with the strong beats in the music. That's a very easy thing to adjust by paying attention to how long you make the last note of the preceding phrase. For example, at measure 11, "The CROWS above the forest call; ToMORrow they may form and go." If you speak that line of the poem out loud, the biggest stresses are on "crows" and the "mor" of "tomorrow." There are smaller stresses on the "for" of "forest," "call," "form," and "go." Notice that the two lines have exactly the same syllabic stress pattern. (Well done Mr. Frost). So you probably want your biggest stressed syllables ("crows" and the "mor" of "tomorrow") on beat one, and the minor stressed syllables on beats one or three, if it's a 4/4 section. 4 ......1.......2...3......4....1....2.....3....4....1......2.....3.....4......1.........2....3 The crows a-bove the for-est call; To-mor-row they may form and go. Just shift the phrase so that "the" becomes a pick-up and it feels much more rhythmic. If you want to intentionally break this rule to help illustrate a text about disorder or jaggedness or chaos, doing it in a piece with accompaniment works well. Then the accompaniment can preserve the structure of the meter and be stressed accordingly, and the vocal lines can have stresses on the off-beat that really stand out in contrast. Or for an a cappella piece, you can have one voice part stick to the stresses implied by the meter and another voice part pull against that with stressed syllables on the off-beats. That feels more intentional that what you have here currently, which could be heard as sloppy rhythm by an audience who doesn't have the score in front of them. Adding more accents is another way to have stressed text syllables on off-beats and have it feel intentional. Your lines are very intuitively singable and the piece has a nice feel to it. Robert Frost's work is always nice to put to music. Are you familiar with Randall Thompson's 'Frostiana?' That might be a good place to look for inspiration for future vocal music. Nice job!
  49. 1 point
    I present another sonata, this time for oboe (English horn) and piano. While I have included a program which outlines my thought-process, I find it important to include that this work is one that is important in defining my individual style and voice. It is energetic and narrative, and it progresses in such a manner which it highlights the leader of the duo -- the oboe. Enjoy!
  50. 1 point
    The most important tip is something which nobody mentioned. There is a hole on the lower portion (all the other holes are on the upper side.)you have to cover that hole with your left hand thumb. All the other fingers (except right hand thumb) on the respective holes. The notes are played almost similar to the flute.
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