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  1. 5 points
    Hi all, I've not posted anything here for quite a while, been busy with other things, but I've also been working to finish my first fully orchestrated piano concerto. The first movement was posted here about a year ago, but the second and third movements are new. The first movement has also been edited and hopefully improved as I added a short cadenza that I felt was missing from the first movement, as well as changing the odd passage here and there. Anyway, I'm pretty pleased with the final edit. As always, any comments are welcome and gratefully received.
  2. 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.
  3. 3 points
    Hi all! I'm new here, and I really wish I'd discovered this community much sooner! I love classical music but, as a violist, my largest complaint has been the lack of stirring, cinematic viola concerti. Well, what's a composer to do? So here's my stab at a full-length viola concerto. I've named it Yfirsést (pronounced ih-ver-syest), the Icelandic word for "overlooked," and an all-too common feeling among violists. This is the first movement, and it resounds with the struggle of overcoming mediocrity and being seen for what you are. (I couldn't tell you what composer it sounds like, because to me, it sounds like me. 🙂) I appreciate your feedback, and especially taking the time to listen! I'll upload the second and third movements (along with the scores for all 3) later.
  4. 3 points
    Some short pieces. Six Piano Pieces.pdf 01 Aeolian (Winds).mp3 02 The Hummingbird's Phrygian Flight.mp3 03 Quick Diminished Changes.mp3 04 Can We Be Friends.mp3 05 Longing Worlds.mp3 06 Gemini II.mp3
  5. 3 points
    I've got one more sonata to share here. This is a 2015 composition. It was performed as part of my trio performance in 2018, but we didn't get around to making a house recording of it, so the performance will have to do in spite of some shortcomings in both the performance and recording. Remembering that the balance was piano-heavy in the violin sonata I had played in the same venue some years earlier, I placed the recorder quite close to the cello this time. Too close, as it turns out. One of these times I'll get it right; this seems to be a difficult venue to record in, despite the excellent live acoustics. For those expecting some modern elements in my writing, you'll note that there are a number of aleatoric elements, including but not limited to baby cries, pages shuffling, various weird noises, an early entry, and some wrong notes (all completely intentional, of course). The piece itself is in three movements. The first is a rather slow, brooding sonata-allegro. The second is an ABABA rondoish form with alternating slow and quick segments, and the final movement is also best described as a rondo, though it doesn't cleanly match the standard 5-part or 7-part form of Classical period works. It's one of my darker works and likely not as appealing as other things I've written, but I've finally decided I like it enough to share it here.
  6. 3 points
  7. 2 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 😅
  8. 2 points
    This is a concertino I wrote specifically for a youth chamber orchestra. Although it's not a perfect performance, I was very pleased with the results considering the amount of rehearsal time they had. This is my personal recording of the piece from my place in the audience, so I do apologize for the fuzziness and the whispers going on around me. The name means 'Boreal Song' or 'Song of the North.' Though I generally prefer to convey my musical ideas through chord structures, this piece is more lyrical than my normal wont. There are 2 major themes and a number of motifs throughout. The piece was designed to represent the struggle of spring overcoming winter, so I hope you can hear that in the tense passages and deep yearnings of the solo cello. As always, feedback is welcome! Edit: @Maarten Bauer I just saw you put up a piece performed by a youth orchestra, too, so now it looks like I'm trying to one-up you! That wasn't my intent at all, so everyone please go listen to Maarten's piece, too!
  9. 2 points
    Something which defies expectations as per conventions, but I think in the context of this discussion, it's probably more fair to say "a style that is somehow identifiable to a particular composer" But really, everyone who isn't trying to imitate someone else will develop a style of their own without having to really think about it. This depends entirely on what you want to do If all you want to do is write a good piece of music, then less "originality" and more "familiarity" is good. Having a distinct style there is not a bad thing, but not required. If you want to be a composer for film and stuff, then having something that sets you apart from the endless waves of competition is vital. Newcomers in that business generally complain about being undercut by guys who will "do it for free" or at least less. However, what they fail to realize is that they're all making the same "trailer" and Hans Zimmer knock-off music; the only thing they can offer their potential clients is a cheaper price. Meanwhile, guys like Silvestri, whose signature is clear in their scores, can basically command their price and get tons of work — because they bring something no one else can authentically offer to the film. There are two things that people who are into primarily orchestral music generally fail to realize: 1. The kinds of music that they study and put on a pedestal was not the music of the common folk. "Art music" was — and I don't care how much you flame me for saying it — mostly a trend designed to appeal to the aristocracy. It HAD to be different from what the peasants were listening to, or else the rich would have no interest in it. Just look at this self-righteous letter penned by Chopin Yeah man, screw all those disgusting normal people who like music they can dance to. The bulk of Beethoven and Mozart's pieces that remain popular with most people today, are curiously their simplest ones. The reality is that the kind of music most people listened to back then, was not much different from what appeals to people to day. A good tune and rhythm. This is why old folk tunes have maintained their appeal through the ages while rich-people music from the times has waned. Suspiciously, interest in it has greatly waned now that everyone can afford it. Because now, rich people can afford yachts and fancy vacations and disgusting "gourmet" foods that are over-rated and they probably don't even like, but they can flex on the normies with it. I find it amusing that all the great sculptures, paintings and architecture of European history are still appreciated the world over, and in most cases were BUILT by the underclass. But suddenly, when it came to art music and they said they didn't like it, now they were wrong. They were "dunning-krugered", etc. Same with the inane tat that is "modern art". Now, the rich people know what's best! Meanwhile, orchestras are doing everything in their power, playing "lesser" music, to stay relevant in 2020 and with good reason: There is no rule that says society must have orchestras. So if those orchestras aren't playing music people want to hear, they will die out. 2. Most deliberate attempts at "revolutionizing" music have failed Shoenberg and his serialism are gone, and probably for a reason. Now look, I'm willing to agree that standards have fallen greatly since the 20th century due to technocracy, industry nepotism, and consumerism. But like I said, you'll find that what MOST people like about music has not actually changed. Most people would rather listen to old sea shanties than schoenberg, just as most people would rather listen to AC/DC than Mahler. When you compare The Parson's Farewell to Thunderstruck, it immediately becomes clear what the musical appeal and similarities between to the two are that are responsible for their longevity. Given that, I think it's pretty clear that if you try to reinvent the wheel, you're going to wind up disappointed in the long run.
  10. 2 points
    Well, just to throw my two penneth in, I really believe that "originality" in the basest sense of the word, doesn't really exist. We have even had works of complete silence, so if you can tell me a style or genre that doesn't yet exist, (which by definition, can be the only "original" form of composition, then I would love to know it. In the past, "Classical music" didn't exist either, there was just music. There weren't enough alternatives to warrant a distinction between genres and so the term Classical music was never applied to the likes of Bach, Handle, Mozart, Beethoven etc., in their own times as they were really considered the pop musicians of their day. Now that we do have the distinction, we have to consider who we want our music to appeal to. The vast majority of ordinary classical music lovers, the general public, which is the greatest audience for our craft, still prefers tonal, melody led music with conventional harmonies and meters. It really is a much smaller proportion of the audience, (still a huge number however), that are looking for "new original" music. Given that on one hand, anything you write, provided it is not a direct copy, is original, and on the other hand, since everything has been done before, nothing is original, then really the only thing that remains, is a question of individual taste, and to which audience you want to appeal. I think also, if you get caught up too tightly on trying to be original, then you compromise yourself in as much as the reason you are writing, is not because "es lo que sale de los cojones" (this is what comes out of your soul), but rather to try and prove something to either yourself or to others, and I don't think that should really be the motive for producing art, of any description. Although I should also say that ANY motive for producing art, is a valid one, as long as something is being produced that someone else can appreciate on whatever level, then it's good.
  11. 2 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.
  12. 2 points
    Composition completed on 10/24/2015 You also can watch this piece here -
  13. 2 points
    Composition completed on 11/24/2015 You also can watch this piece here -
  14. 2 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.
  15. 2 points
    Surviving the Snow - Full Score.pdf
  16. 2 points
    Hello, I wanted to write som court music, so here is my little fugue for 2 trumpets and 2 trombones in c major. Please telle med what you think! SimenN
  17. 2 points
    Composition completed on 12/30/2015 You also can watch this piece here -
  18. 2 points
  19. 2 points
    Hey, I'm not 100% sure what this genre of song is, I'd love it if someone could let me know because I want to try produce a bit more in this style. Normally I compose orchestral soundtrack sort of stuff but I think it is good to be able to branch out and produce in all sorts of styles not only for the ability to reach a wider range of applications but because I can learn more about other techniques and technology which I could apply across a range of genres. Anyway this is the first sort of composition I've made outside of my usual genre and hopefully it actually sounds different, not just the same with different instruments haha. Let me know all the criticism you have because I am so new to this and I need all the help I can get! Cheers.
  20. 2 points
    Emanuel, please do not promote your track in my post!
  21. 2 points
    Concerto per violino, archi e bass continuo in b minor "Paradiso e inferno". written 20.06.19 - 25.06.19. Been some time since i wrote a concerto, so here is my summer contribution. Three part concerto written in the late italian school. I. Allegro - paradiso: 4/4 time, livly tempo and fugures, high in the register of the violin (Heaven it is!), the triumph key of d major. II. Adagio - cadere dalla grazia (fall from grace) 4/4 time. slow pace, rethorical use of rets, b, minor III. Vivace - inferno, 4/4 time, fast pace, slaming fugres, chromatic downward passages (going down to hell), b minor Please tell me what you think SimenN
  22. 2 points
    So a year ago, I had this idea of composing a suite that would represent different types of weather. I would call this suite Weather Music. But it wasn't until a few days ago that I actually started composing part of the suite. What part did I start composing you might ask? Well, I started composing probably the most intense part of the suite. That's right, I composed the part of the suite that is supposed to represent a storm. I am like exactly a quarter of the way through finishing the piece. But before I even started composing it, I was like: Full orchestra example: Beethoven here is really getting across the feel of a thunderstorm and the calm after the storm with the orchestra here. String orchestra example: Probably the most well known example of a storm represented in music. So well known, that it itself is often called Storm when played without the preceding 2 movements of Summer. There is no calm ending to the music at all. Piano example: Not directly a piece representing a storm unlike the previous 2 but it could very well be interpreted as stormy music because of the tempo and all the octaves. So I had a lot of pieces to go on as to how to get the feeling of a storm across. The only real questions were what key to have the piece in and what to compose the piece for. I eventually decided on piano solo because that is my area of expertise. I mean I am a very advanced pianist and I started composing in my intermediate years, mainly piano works. So it makes sense that composing for piano would be a natural thing for me because I know my abilities and limitations as a pianist. I don't directly know those same things for flute, violin, or any other instrument the way that I do for piano. The only way I know these things for other instruments is by studying the instruments and pieces written for those instruments. This is how come I know that out of all the possible piano-not piano duets that exist, the most balanced is the cello-piano duet. This is how come I know that a forte dynamic in the first octave is impossible on the flute. It has to do with pieces that I have listened to that are written for those instruments and other ways that I study the instruments. But no matter how good I get at say writing for flute, my piano composition skill is likely to always be superior because I get that skill directly from my knowledge of music notation, music theory, and 10 years of experience playing the piano, no studying piano pieces out of context of playing them required at all. Plus I have several other non-piano works that I am working on(namely my first symphony which might take me a year just to get the piano draft of it finished but that's okay) Anyway, back to my storm piece. That was quite the digression there but I just felt like I had to get it out. I decided to have it in the key of C minor because it is very easy for me to improvise in the key of C minor and simultaneously get it to sound very expressive. It is almost impossible for me to do that same thing for C major(which is partly why I mostly avoid composing in C major). And stormy is 1 feeling that is very natural to the key of C minor. In fact, just about any emotion that you can get out of a key is a natural emotion in C minor under certain conditions. Even happiness is a natural emotion for C minor. How I'm getting across the feeling of a storm So 1 thing that I noticed in common in nearly all pieces of music that I would consider to have a stormy character was octaves. But not just any old octaves. No, the octaves I noticed in stormy music were very fast and they were alternating. Very commonly, I would notice that almost the entire bass line is in octaves(as is the case with the Beethoven examples) or otherwise as in the Vivaldi example, the repeated notes in the bass would get across the same feel as octaves would and the octaves only really exist if you combine the bass and alto lines. So naturally, I took these octaves and applied them to the left hand part of my piece and the only time these octaves would be slow was in chords. Even when I state the Fate Motif, it isn't slow, despite being a rhythmic augmentation of the original motif just because of the fast tempo. I so far have done all these things to get across the feel of a storm: Keep up the momentum of the 16th notes except in certain spots to make the entire piece sound dramatic Use a minor key because the same drama would be hard to get across in a major key, even taking everything else into consideration Use scalar passages with unpredictable leaps to represent the strong wind by giving a chaotic feel to what would otherwise be a normal scale. Use diminished 7ths more often than dominant 7ths just to add more drama Use the Fate Motif as a bass line during some of the scalar passages to represent the lightning flash. Use chord progressions to represent the thunder that comes after the lightning(this is what I mean when I say that the octaves are slow in chords) Have the melody in the right hand outside of scalar passages be staccato to represent the rainfall Under the staccato melody, use fast octaves to give a sense of turbulence, which is very fitting for a storm Use stark dynamic contrast between passages representing thunder and lightning and passages representing rain Creschendo to a loud dynamic Suddenly get quieter Presto tempo(mine is actually on the slow end of Presto, at 160 BPM) Here is the piece as it is so far. Sound ends at about 1:25 in the MP3 just so you know. Does it sound stormy to you with all the octaves, 16th notes, and the Presto tempo?
  23. 2 points
    Tomorrow is the longest day of the year on a Sunday in my country, at which time people burn a dummy witch per old tradition, and this afternoon, I just felt in the mood to finish this piano piece. I feel like it has a bit of summer in it. But I actually started on it back in April or so, then put it in the drawer, because I found something off-putting about it. I hope it sounds reasonable now.
  24. 2 points
    The main piece of advice I can give you is to work out your form in advance, then come up with some ideas (they can be short) to fill each section. Learning how to develop well will help make you pieces longer.
  25. 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!
  26. 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!
  27. 2 points
  28. 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.
  29. 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?
  30. 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!
  31. 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!
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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!
  35. 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".
  36. 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.
  37. 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
  38. 2 points
    One of my most beloved preludes by the public:
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. 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
  42. 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!
  43. 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.
  44. 2 points
    Hello, everyone. It's been a while since I last posted anything, and I finally have a new piece for you all to listen to: the Fantasia in F-sharp minor. I consider this piece to be my most ambitious work for piano, and also my most personal work. It is also my now-longest composition, lasting roughly 32 minutes in length. The Fantasia is in 3 movements: Movement 1. - Ballade: Moderato serioso (F-sharp minor) Movement 2. - Barcarolle: Andante (F-sharp major) Movement 3. - Finale - Tempest: Moderato - Allegro appassionato - Maestoso (F-sharp minor-major) Here are my performances of the movements on Youtube: I hope you all enjoy. 🙂 Theo
  45. 2 points
  46. 2 points
    Nice standard piece. Not surprising from the harmonic point of view. Timidly, you change the texture for a short time from 1:30. I would insist on that because a constant pattern in the left hand makes this pieces a bit tiring (in my opinion).
  47. 2 points
    This is my submission for the Young Composer's 24 Prelude and Fugues project. I decided to be a little bit modern with the prelude and more Baroque ("correct" style) for the fugue, but not without hints of modernity. I also tried to make the the prelude a mock inversion of the fugue's theme to make them a bit more connected. I haven't done something like this in a while, so it was cool to revisit this kind of writing!
  48. 1 point
    Oh, so you can write for woodwinds. Where was this guy in the Sea Symphony? This piece... phenomenal! So much movement, so much emotion, so much Mendelssohn. Either you've listened to a lot of his music, or he has been reborn as you. Either way, this was some fantastic orchestral writing right here. I do have a couple of suggestions. You might have a look at some orchestral scores to get a better feel for how the woodwinds are typically scored. Most orchestras have two or three wind players to each instrument (the same goes for brass), and they'll often write divisi passages for them, or notate them as a2 if both parts are playing in unison. Nothing a little research can't fix! Also, transpose. That trumpet is playing some awfully high notes... not sure if playing a high C# (B natural untransposed) is feasible with such soft dynamics during the menuet section. Also, the arco/pizz fiasco strikes again. You know what to do. 😉 But overall I was overwhelmed. I loved how you brought back the menuet passage and used the other theme (or its variation) as counterpoint. You seem to have a good mind for hearing how things will sound with the different voices of the orchestra—and that is a rare gift, indeed. I find your music quite refreshing. Please, keep making more!
  49. 1 point
    Hello everyone. It's my first post here in youngcomposers forum. So, I decided to start composing! My goal now is to compose a short piece every week, with some kind of limitations, to keep my work organized, more interesting and asking some research. To get started my limitation now was simple - write melody first and then harmonize it. So it's my first tune for 'one tune in a week' challenge, and my first composition for strings! Sounds a little silly, but I had some fun while composing this, and that I think is very important! Critiques and feedback are more than welcome! 🙂
  50. 1 point
    More than "Etude" it's lika a Fantasy. I think you have lots of good material here. You could split it to make other things, but I like it the way it is.
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