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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/13/2019 in all areas

  1. 6 points
    IN A DIFFERENT WORLD YC Composer Competition - Summer, 2020 We live in a bit of an unprecedented time and it seems that many of us are, understandably, feeling many emotions ranging from anger to fatigue to even hope. Whatever your reaction, welcome to this summer's competition, where you'll attempt to express it as creatively as possible. I. Topic: Compose a piece that in some way mirrors one's reaction to the 2020 global pandemic and how it may or may not sway or adapt over time into something else. II. Eligibility: 1. You must be a member of the Young Composers forum in order to enter. Sign ups will be in the comments below for JUDGE or ENTRANT. Comment "I'd like to enter as ____" for entry. 2. There will again be no limits regarding instrumentation. There is no minimum length, but there is a maximum length of 15 minutes. 3. You must have some sort of audio rendition accompanying your work. 4. You must present a score of your music for judging. 5. If you volunteer to be a judge, you may not enter as a contest participant. III. Scoring: Scoring will be split into two categories with two "winners" – member voting and traditional judging. Member Voting: Once submissions have been entered, members will get three votes in which to vote on each other's pieces. These votes are tiered, meaning you will vote for your favorite entry, your second favorite entry, and your third favorite entry. The criteria or reasons for your vote need not be explained, though participants are highly encouraged to leave reviews on each other's works regardless. Members will send their first, second, and third choice picks to the facilitator @Noah Brode after the submission deadline. Failure to do so will result in disqualification. Traditional Judging: How well is the central process of the piece executed? How effective is the progression, or in the case of a lack of a linear one, how well is it represented? Most importantly, how internally consistent is the piece in the construction of a narrative? /25 How well is the piece orchestrated? Do instrumental orchestration (range, ability, etc.) and voice leading seem to be appropriate? How effective is the treatment of the ensemble? /20 How clear is the score and audio of the submission? /5 A brief written segment (1-2 sentences) is required to explain the premise of the piece, if any. /0 Entrants whose primary language is not English are encouraged still to participate, as the diction and syntax themselves will not be judged. Judges will not judge the premise itself and will use the explanation to rationalize participant choices. Timeline: Members will submit entries by first submitting their piece to @Noah Brode, both the score and the audio file. SUBMISSION DEADLINE FOR ENTRANTS: AUGUST 14, 11:59 PST JUDGING DEADLINE FOR ENTRANTS: AUGUST 21, 11:59 PST JUDGING DEADLINE FOR JUDGES: AUGUST 28, 11:59 PST Current Entrants: 1. Ivan1791 2. Thatguy v2.0 3. caters 4. Quinn 5. danishali903 6. Left Unexplained 7. HoYin Cheung 8. Hendrik Meniere 9. Leonardo C. Núñez 10. Gernt Current Judges: 1. @Noah Brode 2. @Tónskáld 3. @Monarcheon
  2. 5 points
    My Piano Sonata No.1 in F Minor composed in 2018. The sonata has 3 movements and is written in a romantic style. The first movement is in rondo form. The second consists of a prelude and a short fugue, and the final movement is more free in its form. The sonata is inspired by some of the works of Chopin and Beethoven. I'd be interested in any feedback. Sorry about the awful recording quality.
  3. 5 points
    The suite's finally up! A lot of movements have been posted here already, but it is a different experience all the way through (if I do say so myself 🙂). Movements 3 and 5 have not been uploaded here before if you want to skip to those, though. Enjoy!
  4. 5 points
    Here is a little impromptu I wrote a few weeks ago. What do you think ?
  5. 4 points
    This is a tone poem inspired by a work penned by Icelandic poet Jónas Hallgrímsson in 1843. His poem speaks to the frailty of life, the uncertainties that threaten us, and the watchful eye of God. The imagery evoked here is of a lone seagull flying out across the sea under moonlight, who meets his untimely demise in the jaws of a lurking shark. The phrase "Máninn er hátt yfir sæ"—the moon is high over the sea—anchors each stanza of the poem, providing a sense of steadfastness against an otherwise bleak tale. This I chose to be the title of the tone poem, and I hope the proceeding aural onslaught captures the evocative imagery of the source poem. Do let me know your thoughts and feelings about this work. The harmonic language is my own, but I sometimes question whether it suits its purpose in storytelling... Even if you don't feel qualifed to comment on the technicalities of the piece, your insight into the tone poem's emotional depth (or lack thereof) is just as valuable to me. For those with more theoretical savvy, I've also attached the score and would greatly, greatly appreciate feedback regarding that. I've tried to make it as succinct as possible but I know I've overlooked things. Thanks in advance for your thoughtful input!
  6. 4 points
    Tried my hand at @Ivan1791's challenge just for fun and whipped up something quickly. I think it's pretty fun! The justification for the last variation is that each beat in the right hand uses (0148) which is the "dissonant" chord's pitch class set. Enjoy!
  7. 4 points
    Hello! This was my shot at creating a few variations on the theme that @Ivan1791 posted in the 'Challenges' section of the site yesterday. One thing to note was that the flatted sixth scale degree in measure 5 (Ab in the original key of C Major) was important to the original composer. I did my best to keep it around in most variations, although the harmony differs from the original intent in some cases. In minor key variations, I changed this to a sharped sixth scale degree in order to maintain the 'borrowed tone' aspect. Let me know what you think overall! Thanks for listening. EDIT: Brief explanations / explications of the genesis of each variation can be found in the musical score.
  8. 4 points
    I don't know why more people don't want to do competitions, you're GUARANTEED peer review and a bigger platform to share your music. I'm open to any ideas, I'm thinking solo piano or something similar and simple. Let me know if you're interested and in about a week we'll see who wants to participate and what theme we should use etc. etc. If there are obvious skill differences then we could break it up into groups, but come on people let's get a good group together and see what we all come up with.
  9. 4 points
    Hello! Here is my submission for the Secret Santa composing event organized by @Jean Szulc and @Left Unexplained. It's titled "Left Unspoken," it's scored for piano trio, and it was inspired by my Secret Santa topic: the word mamihlapinatapei, from @TheCluelessClariney. In their own words: My piece comes in fairly short at just under 4:00. It is structured as a simple A-B-A format, with one more contemporary-sounding section sandwiched between two more CPE-sounding sections. I hope the theme comes across in the interplay between the violin and cello, particularly at the end. Made with MuseScore 3. As always, all criticisms and suggestions are welcome. Thanks for listening. 🙂
  10. 4 points
    Here is my piece for the Secret Santa event. I finished it. And very quickly too. EDIT: @Left Unexplained said that I had to include the topic that I got as well as my piece, so here is the topic I got:
  11. 4 points
    Here was my topic for the Secret Santa event: "I'll keep this topic simple -and fairly abstract. One of the things, in my music, that I often write about is life and death. So, the topic that I choose will be within this abstract area: life, mortality, death, rebirth, lessons learned in life, philosophy of life." Wasn't sure whether or not to include the author, so I'll abstain for now, but I hope you enjoy the piece... though it is admittedly very theoretical.
  12. 4 points
    Hello everyone, It has again been a while since I have posted anything, and I have a new piece to show you all: the Fantasy-Variations in G-sharp minor. This piece was written in 2020. The theme is based on an aria from the 1967 opera "Grigory Melekhov" by the composer Ivan Dzerzhinsky. Ivan Dzerzhinsky (1909-1978) was a Soviet composer and pianist, best known for his operas and popular songs. His most famous work is the 1935 opera "Quietly Flows the Don" (based on the novel of the same name by writer Mikhail Sholokhov), which was a success at its premiere, and which launched Dzerzhinsky's career as a composer. He continued writing operas over the next several decades, including "Virgin Soil Upturned" (from which the duet "The Cossack Song" has since become popular among Russian ensembles), "Fate of a Man", and of course, "Grigory Melekhov" (also based on Sholokhov's novel). Aside from operas and vocal works, he also composed piano concertos and piano suites. His music usually is quite traditional and accessible, many pieces bearing similarities to Mussorgsky and even Puccini. With the exception of "The Cossack Song", his works receive very few performances today, and they are almost entirely within Russia. Furthermore, he has been labeled a "hack" by musicologists for his musical style, and for his status within the Soviet Union. I wrote this piece because I thought Dzerzhinsky's melody was too beautiful to be forgotten, and I wanted to make it available to other people, as well as to add something new to it; this is not meant to be a political piece. All that said, I hope you all enjoy the piece. 🙂 Also, for those of you who are interested, here is the original theme:
  13. 4 points
    The second movement of my piano suite. It'll be released as a full piece in about a week or so, but this is my second favorite movement in and of itself! I know it's based off of some prime form I was working off of, but I don't remember what it is now 😅
  14. 4 points
    I'm a doctor for what's its worth. Please everyone, relax. Certainly, there is concern particularly for the high risk elderly and those with complex medical issues but for the vast majority of people, this is really similar to a bad flu which is also high risk in elderly and patients with complicated medical issues (yet people still don't vaccinate for this......). Take the usual precautions by good handwashing/hygeine, avoid large crowds when possible, and look after your loved ones who are higher risk. The hysteria can be worse than the disease itself.
  15. 4 points
    I see. Then you obviously do not require our feedback here. Good luck
  16. 4 points
    "Marcia Funebre" for Piano Here a little funeral march that proably I will generate a more developed pice from it: Marcia Funebre (3).mp3 Marcia Funebre.pdf Open for suggestion and feedback! ADVICE! The dynimic notation is still not finished.
  17. 4 points
    I don't know how much music history you've studied up to this point, but this whole notion of material-based originality came from the genesis of the Romantic era, where the advancement of middle-class music making along with the general advancement of music printing/publishing combined. Composers started using super fancy/exotic-sounding titles and used increased harmonic changes to be more expressive and have their pick at the newly free market. I'll elaborate on my own opinions/answer more of the proposed questions if this discussion gets more lively, but I'm more a fan of the way the Classical era dealt with originality, where quality was based upon how well you could use old forms and conventions in your own style/ways. It doesn't sound very modern to us because it was their styles, but Haydn's and Beethoven's music were pretty novel when they were written. The modern era has taken this Romantic ideal of expression and newness to its extreme, trying to push progress without having the patience for it. The elitism and high-artness of modern classical music generally glosses over the music most people will listen to; how subtle its changes are to formulas, but how effectively catchy the songs are. Maybe my thoughts on this will change over time.
  18. 3 points
    For my Secret Santa entry, I had to describe a world in which all the adults had succumbed to a global pandemic (COVID-19, anyone?), leaving the children alive and alone to fend for themselves and shape the planet they had unwittingly inherited. Though this is a fanciful scenario, psychologically this fear of loss of protection and "parental" guidance is not so farfetched. What would happen if all of that were stripped away? (It invariably is many times throughout our lives.) So that's what this work aims to delve into. I did not intend to get so carried away with this project. I wanted it to be just a few minutes long, with maybe one or two thematic developments... but the creative flame took hold and I'm helpless to resist its overlordish demands. Sigh. So here you have my first attempt at a "traditional" symphony. Not quite as long or extensive (thank God!) but an attempt nonetheless. As is my usual wont, the music is built around the 4th mode of limited transposition—a symmetrical scale whose harmonic progressions depend largely on augmented 4ths/diminished 5ths. Lots of dissonance, tons of quartal harmonies, and perhaps a bit of atonality in places, but I'm not apologizing. The work is extremely tonal—or maybe modal is a better word—it just explores some chords and progressions that aren't very CPP. No score yet... still working on the final two sections, hope to post it and them soon. But I wanted you guys to have something to listen to, since today is the deadline after all. Still working on the score, but the symphony is, by and large, finished. Great topic, definitely fed my creativity! Let me know what could be improved, or what you liked/disliked, as you listen to this. Thanks for bearing with me, and happy listening!
  19. 3 points
    Sorry for the scrafty audio/playing https://drive.google.com/file/d/1UzGvEozzXZleH6qK9SGI16nn0quul0bI/view?usp=drivesdk
  20. 3 points
    Here an Scherzo I wrote in early Classic style with ABA form.
  21. 3 points
    Would y'all please stop talking about balls on my thread??? Lol. Seriously, though, writing dissonant works of music ought to be the result of your process and not the reason. The scales I use are non-heptatonic and symmetrical, so my harmonies tend to be dissonant (lots of stacked fourths). The chords required to produce cadences (both perfect and inauthentic) don't exist in these scales, and the music comes across as eerie and dissonant in most places, or non-CPP at least. I don't think I'm ballsy per se, but I do recommend learning how music fits together before you begin tinkering with its underpinnings.
  22. 3 points
    I'd like to enter as an entrant entering the entrance of entrants
  23. 3 points
    The - usually well-meaning - advice not to write pastiche (which is to say, not to write in old styles) but rather to write music that is "true to oneself", that is "authentic", is built on several assumptions that are questionable at best. Chiefly, it assumes that authenticity is the chief virtue of art - which, in turn, depends on a very particular view of the role of the artist, as if the value of art is primarily in the expression of the artist, rather than its value being in the art itself. It's as if the only reason to listen to a Corelli piece were because it is by Corelli, or because it dates from such and such a year. And this strikes me very much as nonsense. I (and I would daresay the vast majority of people) listen to a piece of music because I enjoy the music itself, because the music itself provides me a satisfying artistic experience. So it matters not one whit, as far as the value of that work (to me) is concerned, whether it was written by Corelli or by Simen N. The music is what it is, and its value is in itself, not in who wrote it or in what year it was written. Moreover, there's an unwarranted assumption not only that someone's "true voice" exists in a meaningful way but also that this true voice has to be more or less in line with current musical trends. Who's to say that Simen N's authentic musical spirit, if such a thing exists, is not the Baroque one displayed here? If I had a CD of concerti like this one by Simen N, I would gladly listen to them, just as I listen to my CDs of Corelli concerti grossi - neither because they were written by Simen N in 2020, nor in spite of it, but just because I would enjoy them.
  24. 3 points
    The opposition to pastiche composition has a common theme, one which I experienced at my school when I first developed an interest in it. It harbors the idea that music is the creation of an artist, and all art should contain artistic expression. Imitation of a style or composer from a bygone era, therefore, should not be encouraged for it will limit one's means to distinguish themselves within a school or tradition that countless others have already exhausted through their output. Whilst this argument has some merit, it is based on a number of misconceptions and assumptions that cannot be ignored if one is to think about it. As Simen points out in his quote by JS Bach, composers of the 18th century were more craftsmen than artists, whose craft centered around pleasing and relatable patterns. Many highly successful composers from this period were educated in institutions that from an early age drilled their students in such patterns by rote, to the extent that it became a second language. I think it is fair to say that the underlying practice of composers from the 17th and 18th centuries conflicts with our understanding of artistry (that is, if you associate artistry as something beautiful or profound that pushes boundaries and which may challenges people intellectually). It is no coincidence that popular music from this era is predominantly by figures whose mastery enabled them to set themselves apart from their contemporaries. But how can one begin to understand their art without looking at the context in which their craft was cultivated? The truth is, the practices of the 18th century musical world have long ceased to exist. There is much we do not understand and may never do. The attempted revival of their practices in my view, is more a scholarly exercise and Simen seems to do this better than others. I have observed that most who use this forum subscribe post-romantic models, and many have become quite specialized in their respective disciplines. An inevitable outcome of this is that people will project different things on other people's works. That is an important thing to consider when you are offering criticism.
  25. 3 points
    Hello everyone! I've been away from the forum for a couple of weeks, we all know times have been crazy... However, I had finished my Sextet for Winds and Piano some time ago, and wanted to share it here. As always, feedback is extremely appreciated. Thank you for listening 🙂
  26. 3 points
    MOD NOTE: This thread was originally locked with posts removed insofar as they became or led to inciting remarks for further review from me and OP. I will admit that this was a hasty decision and I don’t wish to set a precedent of merely halting conversation upon the first sight of danger, though comments that are primarily inflammatory in nature quickly become irrelevant and are socially unwelcome. I want to be clear that my actions were not intended to silence opinions, but quell the heated argument; in this case, my attempts to make peace overstepped and failed. This thread is now reopened as the previous discussion was good, and while I deeply apologize to those involved that I cannot replicate the removed comments, I do hope the conversation can continue as it was, civilly and thoughtfully.
  27. 3 points
    Hello, I'm a pianist and I compose for almost 2 year now. Recently, I wanted to compose something for orchestra in order to improve my orchestration skills. I choose to compose a waltz because it's a light genre and i wrote a set of waltzes this summer for piano so I know the form quite well. Here is the audio : Do you like it ? Camille_FRT__Grande_valse_de_printemps_.pdf
  28. 3 points
    Hi, Here a Waltz I wrote last week. Because of the mood I named just Spring Waltz. It's written for a late classical period orchestra: 1Piccolo, 2Flutes, 2Oboes, 2Bb Clarinets, 2Bassoons, 4Horns & Strings. I added also Glockenspiel and Vibraphone, because I like its percussive effect when doubling the winds. I think the style is also of the period. I appreciate your feedback.
  29. 3 points
    Seaside Dreaming Master.mp3 Hi guys I'm new to this site and I would appreciate feedback on this piece I've composed. Thanks.
  30. 3 points
    The title says it all: a few days after posting this fugue I seeked for and found some parallels, so I corrected them. I wasn't sure whether I should repost (which I'm doing right now) or simply let them slide past my mind. But I recently realised they were too obvious, which might be the reason why no one has replied since I posted the fugue. Also, I changed the instrument in the soundfont I'm currently using for the computer to play what is supposed to be a Reed Organ, despite I don't think the timbre is comparable to the real instrument, I guess it sounds nice. So it might sound like it's played by some sort of unspecified wind instrument. Hope everyone, quarantined or not, are safe and resisting the devastating effects of this epidemic so far.
  31. 3 points
    I guess the fact that you're asking for help with your music, but not showing anything of what you actually composed but some schemes you made, sums up the situation. This is very present in most of your pieces, you come up with some thorough explanations for every note you put on the page, but sometimes leave the "emotional" aspect of music composition to the side. Yes, you have an expressive goal with most your pieces, but you always seem to approach them as in a "let's see what reminds me of that in other people's music", followed by "I'll stirr all of that" fashion, if it makes any sense. It's not because you've identified those characteristics in other pieces that they will be of any use for you. As cliché as it might sound, try creating your own storm, without seeking into people's music for the tickboxes you have to fill.
  32. 3 points
    Hello everyone I would like to share this new melody. If you have time, please give me your opinion and advice. Thanks ! 🙂
  33. 3 points
    I wrote this short piece to practice counterpoint, creating some rythmic variety between parts and using some rythmic imitation. I highly appreciate your comments, and let me know if I have some forbiten parallels or weakness in the voice leading, my goal is to learn and improve 🙂 I have also a question: my baseline usually enters after the hard beat with the rythmic main motif and the resolution of the leading tone is delayed and resolved one octave downwards. I'm also not sure if this I a legant solution, because the 4th suspension between the oboe and bassoon is missing because of the silence, but on the other hand the resolution ends properly, so it's probably fine. I have tryed to put the notes missing on the hard beats and in the right octave, but it worsens drastically the flow...Can someone clarify that's is right or not? And how can it be explained? Probably my mind is just stuck with the classical pattern, where every note has to resolve in certain way and I'm just starting to open my mind... Also before the last cadence the dominant (F) should be resolved to the tonic one octave + a fourth upwards, though in the last beat the Bb is the missing one from the previous bar. Can it be analysed as a delayed resolution?
  34. 3 points
    Wrote a short piece in B minor, this time the theme wasn't from improvising. I just wrote this completely on the computer. Hopefully I didn't subconsciously use something from an existing piece...
  35. 3 points
    Hi, here a classic bagatelle. I wrote the main theme some years ago and arranged it for piano in this quarantine days. I appreciate your feedback.
  36. 3 points
    ***** Anyway I've already commented on this person's efforts several times with no acknowledgement or thanks when I really should be putting time in on a project even if stalled by this latest virus thing) so I won't be commenting again. . ***** @Quinn, I get maybe four acknowledgments out of ten comments I leave. It's a problem around here, and it's just bad form.
  37. 3 points
    A prelude I have composed yesterday. I hope you like it!
  38. 3 points
    A little jazz piece... Hope you like it. (Trumpet in concert pitch).
  39. 3 points
    Fanfare for My Brother Score.pdf In a passing conversation, Dr. Thurman had told me about how he was selecting repertoire for orchestra brass literature that included euphonium. This topic has always been a “thorn in the side” for euphoniumists worldwide especially for me as a compsoer. Although I knew they would probably never be played, I would write orchestra music with euphonium in college hoping one day the orchestra world would fall in love with instrument. Reflecting on that “pain”, I told Dr. Thurman I was going to rework a piece specifically just for him to conduct and called his own. I reached in my vault and throughly revised a piece originally called “Water to Wine” to “Fanfare for My Brother” to show my gratitude to someone who truly is my “Brother from another mother.” Here's from a read-through recorded on the phone.
  40. 3 points
    I think the best word to describe my music is "neo-romantic." I write music that I feel is easy and pleasing to listen to - not necessarily 'light music' but not avant-garde. My style is not so similar to Romantic composers as to be reminiscent of any one, rather in a review I received here I was told that: "One minute I'm hearing Mendelssohn's influence, the next a little Tchaikovsky." I believe it was @J. Lee Graham who said that, a composer who is obviously also a traditional tonalist. My biggest works are largely Romantic. There are some minor 20th century inflections that I add, such as an unusual modulation or chord choice. I also like to utilise new instruments such as the Contraforte, or ones which slipped into obscurity during the Romantic period such as the alto trombone. NB: The alto trombone is a wonderful addition to the orchestral brass section. Listen to many orchestral pieces from the Classical era, including Beethoven's symphonies to hear it in action. In chamber works however, there is a larger scope of influence, especially from the music of Scotland, where I live. Classical pieces that I have written include sections with common Scottish musical ideas, and a string sextet that I am writing has the finale as a harmonised Strathspey dance. In the age of the internet and globalisation, we have a huge range of musical influences from throughout the world. Ethnomusicology is a growing area of study, and we composers have the freedom to write whatever we want, whether from orchestras with oboes and strings, or for ensembles with sitar, gamelan and electronics. What we should never forget is the universal language of music. Atonality has become common and respected, and this poses the risk of us tonalists being forgotten or actively disregarded. The worst thing that I could hear is not an experimentalist piece by Stockhausen. It's not a calculated serialist sonata. It's just four words: "Find your own voice." Who has the right to dictate anyone's compositional style?
  41. 3 points
    Just a little sad flute solo.
  42. 3 points
    I have written this as part of the Christmas music project. It's a revision of a carol I wrote a couple of years ago (which can be found here) based on Shakespeare's "Song of the Holly." It is for SATB choir and an accompaniment.
  43. 3 points
    As the title implies, it truly is silent
  44. 3 points
    Hello guys, I am totally new here and I am really impressed by discovering such an active forum with so many talents! I am really surprised, didn't know there was such a place on the web! Anyway, I am a youngish composer (31yo), I started composing around 2 years a go (but play the piano since many years). I have composed a good amount of stuff but my favourite is probably Math Piano Rock. This is inspired by Math Rock, a fast paced genre with frequent change of rythm and no lyrics (I hate lyrics!), but also Prokofiev and Bartok. The piece is *difficult*! The video below is performed by a software - but I have actually played it live a couple of times (you can see in my channel some videos where I do that, if you are interested). I am always looking to opinion, suggestions and ideas!
  45. 3 points
    Hi Everyone, I just recently finished my first "exact" composition for solo piano . Prior to this, I have been improvising and composing various themes for many years but this is the first time I went about trying to put together a coherent piece and notating it. I would love to hear what people think about it. Here's a link to my own performance ( with score) on youtube: Also, here's a link to the score (also attached as pdf) : https://musescore.com/user/25828516/scores/5759589/s/0aktCw I realize that some of the more difficult sections aren't a 100% clean in my performance. So those interested, could listen to a "100% accurate" but somewhat stiff/mechanical software (musescore) playback to evaluate those sections. ( I did my best to put hidden instructions in the software so it sounds less robotic ). I'm completely self-taught in music theory/composition and am trying to evaluate where I stand currently as far as my compositional skills are concerned. So, any kind of feedback would be highly appreciated. Also, here's a short description of the piece: The title of this piece alludes to the tendancy of this piece to drift from one style to another, from music of one period to another, from one mood to another. The music also tends to "drift" from a standard waltz form to music which has little resemblance to a waltz ( but may still maintain a slight waltz pulse) . Thank you very much !!
  46. 3 points
    Wrote this last night, I'm kind of excited about it. Anxious to hear what you guys think.
  47. 3 points
    Jesus, man, how much are you paying for this?
  48. 3 points
    This was written in November 19, 2012. I was quite prolific and experimental in writing music during 2012-2014, and while I was just playing around with melodies along the higher register, I decided to write this one out. While this one's a very short piece, it was among the very few ones that were actually completed, so I wanna share it to the forum. Hope you like it 🙂
  49. 3 points
    The difficulty is that when trying to be original, you have no control over what your contemporaries are doing. Ideas don't appear out of a vacuum. We are all the products of our cumulative experiences. So it's very likely that the same influences that nudge you towards writing a certain kind of music are acting on other composers in the same way. There are a LOT of people on the planet at this point in history, and it ends up being a numbers game. And today we live in a globally connected world. We don't have the comfort of long periods of musical isolation from the neighboring cathedral towns or royal courts while we gather our thoughts and develop our ideas. If you're working on it, someone else is going to hear about it. If someone else is working on it, it's hard to stop their ideas from leaking into your inner soundscape. We also have no control over what happens after us. Trying to strategize the best direction for your music now, in the context of music history two hundred years from now, is a pretty impossible task. If you've got the foresight to solve that one, can you please stop pursuing composing and sort out world peace instead? What seems original now may completely miss the boat for what ends up being significant. I say, just write what you like. One of the best predictors of being important to the direction of music in your time is to write enough music to get good, and to get good enough to be performed, filed away in music libraries, and passed around to other musicians so you can influence other people. If you hate what you are writing, you won't be able to stick around long enough to get good. You'll quit before you get started. So compose music that you find moving, don't quit to spend your free time watching TV, and if you are very lucky, you may stumble on something original enough to move the gears of progress a notch.
  50. 3 points
    This is a great discussion point - and one that I think the world of composition needs. There is no secret that I am a tonal composer. It's just the music I enjoy writing and listening to. As a composer, whichever combination of tones you use will create something that is unique to you, whether is be 5, 7, 8, or 12. Provided you are not copying a piece directly, then it is original enough. The biggest problem comes from exposure. Why would a (paying) audience go to see a symphony by an unknown composer which sounded Classical, rather than their favourite Mozart one. Here lies the problem with originality - performances. Bottom line, if you want to write tonally, do it. It's still original. However atonal music is more likely to be performed, which brings me to the next point. I, as a composer, want to write music that I enjoy. If someone tells you what style of music you should write, then that will ruin the enjoyment of music for you. This is the problem with conservatoires, who tend to only accept people with an avant-garde style which they consider to be more original. Not to attack John Cage, but silence? Seriously!? Disclaimer: I mean no disrespect to atonal/avant-garde composers. You are all equally skilled and creative. I just personally don't like the style. If even one other person besides me listens to my music and enjoys it, then I feel like I have succeeded in a way. I would like to get my music performed but composition isn't my main pursuit in music so I don't mind as much. New music ensembles tend to only want to perform avant-garde pieces, and traditional orchestras generally do not accept pieces from budding composers. As a composer, I want to reach out to other musicians and show them what I have worked on. You could say I am trying to "revolutionise music" because I want to show the world that tonal composers still flourish, even though they are looked down on by competitions and festivals. I thought about this a few months ago. I love the works of the greats from the last few centuries. It appeals strongly to me, because my ear - as most ears do - perceives it as right. Tonal music is designed to be pleasant - but that doesn't mean it is limited to what most non musicians think classical music is. Take two birds sitting on a branch. One sings tonally, the other races rats over a finish line and sings the notes in the order that they place. Which one will get a mate? The ear - our ear, an ant's ear, a bird's ear - likes the harmonic relationship between the frequencies of a tonal scale. My style, as I have said before, is tonal, but I like to experiment with the changing harmonies caused by a chromatic movement. Listen to this simply beautiful piece by Grieg. I didn't play it for a while, because from looking at the score I could see it had a lot of chromaticism. But it is still tonal, and this is what I try to write. I don't count myself as a pastiche of Grieg, because I draw my style from another source. Scotland has a rich traditional music heritage, and if you listen carefully to some of my most recent music (not posted here yet) you can hear the influences from playing fiddle in a school folk band. I even write specific Scottish traditional pieces to play in the group, although that is not the main part of my output. My style? Tonal×Accidentals×Scottish Music Music is so subjective. Thanks for sticking with me, it's my longest post ever.
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