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Showing content with the highest reputation since 02/22/2018 in all areas

  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
    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.
  4. 3 points
  5. 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. :-)
  6. 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!
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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!
  10. 2 points
    Mark as an exercise only! Have it played by a string player and get feedback! You'll quickly see patterns and learn the idiomatic way.
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 2 points
    A short Horn Quartet inspired by hunting music with a mixture of Waltz light music. Any criticism and opinions are welcomed
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. 2 points
    The general atmosphere (more in the slow parts) is unique, I like the "dirty" sound of the chords.
  20. 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!
  21. 2 points
    This is what Hans Zimmer would sound like if he ever got out of D minor.
  22. 2 points
    Thanks for taking such a thorough look at this NRKulus. I'm afraid the tritones don't bother me. I had fun with the text painting in this piece. There's nothing inherently wrong with a tritone, they just want to resolve, so having one at measure 13, on the word "desiderat" feels very appropriate. How better to express the verb "to desire" (some editions translate it as "to long," "to thirst," or "to pant") for water, than with chords that ache particularly harshly for a resolution? The main objection to them in choral music is that they can be hard for singers to hear in their heads, so sometimes a few people land on the wrong note, and the tuning falters. There's a tritone in, I want to say the Faure "Requiem"? that half the alto section chronically misses because they are leaping down to it and it feels so much more intuitive to leap to the tenor note. (Audiences don't notice, because the altos who get it wrong are still on a note in the chord). But in this case, it's a harmonic tritone, not a melodic one, and the notes are in the key already, and are approached by step, not by leap, so it should be solidly tuned without any problem. At measure 40, the Bb in the alto is serving a similar purpose of text painting. The psalm text is all about the soul longing for God, so "anima mea," "my soul" crawls its way chromatically, hand-over-hand up the scale. The journey is supposed to be a struggle musically, since the text compares longing for God with a wild animal desperate for water. So we're crawling by half-steps. The thinning of the texture at the top of page 5 was to another way to play with dynamics (four voices in harmony at forte is quieter than four voices in unison at forte because of the way the sound waves cancel each other out or augment each other). At the end, I really like inverted chords, and since the text speaks of longing, but never of union with God being achieved, it felt appropriate to leave the audience hanging. We resolve a little, out of all that polyphony, we're at least quieting down into homophony and heading back home when we finally get to the text "ad te Deus" and find out what it is all this unquenchable desire has been about, but there's no promise that we've found God, so landing on an inverted chord, and then cutting the lights and saying, "that's all folks, show's over" felt fun to me. Does it all work? I don't know. Your objections are certainly valid and well-reasoned and there may be better ways I could have supported my intentions. Shrug. I'll have to see if I can get someone to sing it and see how it sounds live. (:
  23. 2 points
  24. 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.
  25. 2 points
    10 minute sketch of the snowfall that happened here last night.