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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/22/2019 in Posts

  1. 2 points
  2. 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!
  3. 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".
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 1 point
    Hello everyone! Here's my new chamber music work, "Adventure Ouverture" for piano quintet. It's a small homage to adventure film music and film composers (Korngold, Williams, rota). Hope you like it!
  8. 1 point
    I decided to go onto cpdl.org today for the first time, I was so overwhelmed by shear amount of texts available, which was nice since I had been struggling to find a text to write for. Well I found this one, and it was pleasing to read so I decided to make a (hopefully) pleasing to listen to piece. Its a pretty simple melody, but the harmonies get a little interesting at times. When judging my piece, if you could have a focus on, my harmonies and how effective they are, whether or not my bass part at 22-25 is too difficult for such a simple piece, if the tenor and bass crossing on measure 7 is acceptable and also if my piano reduction is good the way it is rn. Feel free to mention anything else you feel like, I wanted to set a guide on things I'm not certain about in this piece.
  9. 1 point
    Hi everyone! Just wanted to share a tune I've been working on the last weeks. Tried to make a light and easy theme with elements of something cold or frozen maybe. I know it's very short but I like making these short tunes as a learning tool for improving my orchestration and mixing skills. Any comments?:)
  10. 1 point
    Hi DFox - This is quite nice. and WELCOME.. I usually don't come to this section of site. I hang out it 'rock, pop' section.. Don't be discouraged if you don't get too many replies (or any). I don't know younger folks just don't have the manners the previous generation had. The Indigo Dream has love, attention to detail, and heart in it. I get that. Nice transitions to different sections, motifs. very smooth. Don't think it matters if you post here or link to soundcloud.. cause quite a few folks do link.. I was drawn to this, cause I wrote a piece a couple years back called 'Shades of Indigo'. Indigo is an intriguing word and color. Keep up the good work. Mark Styles
  11. 1 point
    This is nice and smooth.. I really enjoy watching you guys play it too. One question - where are the smoky solo's?.... come on.. they are there somewhere waiting to be heard. What you've got now is good.
  12. 1 point
    @Theodore Servin I finally got a chance to listen to the Ivanov piece, and what a gem it is! And how about that incredible A below the bass staff in the basses at the end? That's the open A string on a double-bass, just a fourth higher than its lowest (regular) note! I didn't even think that was humanly possible! My little brother is a basso profundo like that...he can easily hit low-C, but I've never heard anything like this. One of the most impressive things about the piece to me as a technician is the fact that Sheremetev, blatantly and obviously with purpose, commits parallel octaves between the 1st Tenor and 2nd Bass at the climax of the piece (after that excruciating long crescendo), going from what I believe is a root-position A-flat major chord to a 2nd-Inversion C major chord, and he totally gets a free pass from me, even though he might have avoided them by changing either part just a little! Despite being totally illicit by Western standards, it's one of the most electrifying moments in the repertoire to my ears just as is, and I wouldn't change it for the world. I don't know for sure, but having heard other anomalies of that kind, I have a feeling that the rules of harmony don't always necessarily apply as strictly to Russian choral music, and that's fine as long as the results are so eminently worth it. Heartily agreed. By now, you might have surmised that we definitely share an enthusiasm for underrated composers!
  13. 1 point
    There is a time-honoured tradition of this, especially in the days of court orchestras. Haydn, for example, had an orchestra of virtuosi at his disposal for Prince Esterházy's entertainment, and he often made special use of individual players' strengths, especially earlier in his career. When writing specifically for his patron the Prince, who played a bizarre, now-extinct instrument called the baryton, he was careful to give the Prince interesting things to play while staying within his limited technical abilities. When he went to London, he was also well aware of the fine orchestra he was going to be writing for, and his final 12 symphonies show it. When writing for a specific ensemble, I almost always take into consideration what I know to be their strengths, and almost more importantly, their weaknesses. For example, when writing my Missa Brevis 4 vocibus (posted here), the commissioner advised me that his soprano section wasn't really capable of singing above F at the top of the treble staff, hence I only once wrote a G for them (having no other choice in that spot), but otherwise kept the range of the soprano part capped at F. Though it was limiting, had I not done so, it would have caused problems for the very people who were paying me for the composition. However, he had a stellar tenor section, including himself (and I knew his fine voice well), so I several times took the tenors up to A above the staff, and they performed admirably. When not writing with a specific ensemble in mind, I'm freer with my expression, though I still usually take into consideration the technical abilities of the typical professional musician, unless I am writing something like a concerto, in which case the solo part is written with virtuosi in mind and is considerably more difficult.
  14. 1 point
    @HoYin Cheung I love Moszkowksi and Chausson as well! Both pieces that you mentioned are masterworks too! I also love the Piano Concerto no. 2 in E major from Moszkowski and the Piano Quartet in A major from Chausson.
  15. 1 point
    I would praise Moritz Moszkowski too Moritz (Maurice) Moszkows (1854 - 1925) was a German composer, pianist, and teacher of Polish-Jewish descent. I particularly like his Piano Concerto No.1, because of both the breathtaking melodies and well-balanced arrangement. Although I am not a pianist. but I can see his works are great for pianist to show off. Also: Ernest Chausson (1855-1899) was a French romantic composer. His wrote a few orchestral pieces, concerti as well as ensemble works. Personally, Poème for violin and orchestra is very nice.
  16. 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
  17. 1 point
    @J. Lee Graham I'm very glad to hear that! Now, I'm also interested in checking out more of Stanford, because I must confess, I have not listened to much of his music. I do like Rheinberger's music very much; very sophisticated and well thought-out music. I enjoy this kind of romantic music. Best, Theo
  18. 1 point
    @Theodore Servin Wow...your introductions make me want to get to know these guys better!
  19. 1 point
    One of my most beloved preludes by the public:
  20. 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.
  21. 1 point
    Like I said before, mine only has notes on 1 side, so can't help on that question. There are a couple of publications in English available on Amaz, though haven't tried them myself. Suggest getting hold of some recorded music, listening to it and then working it out yourself. Alternatively, there are vids on YTube to watch and then listen to what the instrument sounds like when you blow and use the fingerings of it.
  22. 1 point
    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.
  23. 1 point
    To be able to overcome a form, you must first know how to create it. This was what the great Argol Schonberg was saying. You first learn to build a simple classic sonata and then you are ready to fly away from it.
  24. 1 point
    @Muhammadreza. What problems do you have? I think a Nocturne is (or comes from) a "mood". The form of it is not the most importante. Nocturne and waltz (Gm)
  25. 1 point
    The Nocturno is not a genre. A nocturne (from the French which meant nocturnal, from Latin nocturnus) is usually a musical composition that is inspired by, or evocative of, the night. The nocturne can be in any time signature, any key, etc... Most nocturnes are for piano solo, but there are orchestral nocturne, too. The "father" of the nocturne is John Field, although the most famous ones are by Choping. You can listen to all of them on youtube (and see the scores).