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Ken320 last won the day on February 3

Ken320 had the most liked content!

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243 Excellent

About Ken320

  • Rank
    Seasoned Composer

Contact Methods

  • Skype

Profile Information

  • Biography
    The process of musical discovery is essential to me.
  • Gender
  • Interests
    Photography, reading, traveling, conversing about The Universe and the big old world around us..
  • Favorite Composers
    I have no favorite composers.
  • My Compositional Styles
    Improvisational, cinematic, experimental, methodical. genre-blending.
  • Notation Software/Sequencers
    Sibelius 7, MOTU 9.51
  • Instruments Played
    Piano and Synthesizers

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8,973 profile views
  1. Ken320

    Help me for writing Nocturne and Waltz

    Mostly I agree with Luis, that mood is the prime directive and that form takes a back seat to that. I'm not a purist. Chopin made effective use of simple ABA form for his Nocturnes. One example that stands out is the nocturne in F major. He has a dreamy A section followed by an agitated B section, very typical of Chopin, and then a return to the A section, a very obvious journey. Dream-nightmare-dream. But why get hung up on the 'night' concept. You can have a nocturne on a boat on a lake with a man and woman on a warm summer's day and the lady trailing her fingers in the water making ripples (Op.55 #2, Eb Major). No one can tell you how to be evocative, but that's what you have to do.
  2. Ken320

    Three "Minutes"

    Try this one. It's pretty new and it came out well. https://youtu.be/aTgRL01I9cU
  3. There is a topic on that subject called "Do you think you have a style as a composer?"
  4. Stravinsky wrote a lot of stuff in the 20-30 minute range because people called him up and said, Monsieur Stravinsky, we would like to have some music for our Dippidy Doo Da Centennial Celebration. M. Stravinsky: How long? Oh, about 20-30 minutes ... M. Stravinsky: Gotcha. (cha Ching!)
  5. Ken320

    Three "Minutes"

    Thanks, maestrowick. It is odd, (onsidering that you're following me) ... This is a very old piece, I have more substantial things than these here novelties. Why not check them out? 😀
  6. Have you ever tried to make Jello without a form? It's very messy! Asking why would we want to write something of length is like asking why do we climb mountains. Because it's there! Because we can! Because it separates the wheat from the chaff. (I'm plum out of metaphors now)
  7. Ken320

    The lack of "Common practice"

    Please accept this bit of humor and levity. It's on topic!
  8. Ken320

    The lack of "Common practice"

    I imagine 18th and 19th century audiences were more unruly. And that's just from their clothing and general discomfort! Since live music was the only music they knew, they must have developed a certain Blase attitude, maybe even boredom due to familiarity, at least for the aristocracy. Today going to a concert is such a treat that it seems fitting that we put it on a pedestal and recognize it for the gift that it is.
  9. The tonality you've chosen is fine. It has value and can be developed. But you're stretching the limit of that ostinato. So with that in mind there are many things you can do to add interest (if you don't mind a little back seat driving). First I would begin to alter it much earlier in the piece and introduce some sort of punctuation from other instruments here and there so that it can continue. Think of the punctuation as fuel. You can then invert and/or transpose the ostinato along the way. And you can pass it off to other instrumnets. Just some suggestions off the top of my head. Keep working on it. It's good.
  10. Ken320

    The lack of "Common practice"

    It's been a long day. You're at an All-you-can-eat buffet. It looks as if the food has been there all day as well. The Mac & Cheese has dried out, the broccoli looks like mush. The salad looks like it was dragged through the garden. There are two pieces of chicken, one like a fossil and the other plump and juicy. Which one is better?
  11. Ken320

    The lack of "Common practice"

    Agreed. Multi-directional and multi-stylistic. Bernstein said as much in the final lecture in his Harvard Lecture series, 1973). Personally, I look at it like this, giving the broadest, least restrictive, latitude to the composer in his or her choice of narrative, design and language: Keeping it simple, there's only one rule: Manage expectations, and keep the listener interested in what you're trying to say. Because music exists in the time domain and the listener will be expecting things, and there's nothing you can do about it. I can't put it any more basic. It shouldn't be so difficult, right? But suddenly, now, language is important (which was mentioned here often). Commonalities. The effective composer uses them to his advantage. The iconoclast ignores them at his peril.
  12. 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!
  13. Ken320

    The lack of "Common practice"

    The question relating to an arbiter of quality as in, "Who gets to decide?" at first seems a fair one but the more you look at it it has something of a straw man quality to it. If you asked me what makes a piece of music good, I would say something that it compels me to give it repeated hearings. Not just once out of curiosity - I'll listen to anything once. But two or three times? That's compelling. How about over and over? How about forever? That's really compelling, that's transcendent. Now, if you asked me What makes it so that I want to listen to it over and over, I have to define what makes it good. If I said that it kept my interest, well obviously, but I'm still skirting around the edges. So I might say that it had an effective balance of familiarity and contrast. And if it was of any length I might add that it was masterfully done because of that. The composer set up expectations for me to expect, then fulfilled those expectations someimtes in unexpected ways, and given its length and complexity impressed me as being masterful. And I never get tired of this give and take. It's the same every time I hear it, even if I know every note by heart. I am describing commonalities here, things that any composer can and imo, should, do. As far as I can tell I'm not dictating anything specific here, just common aesthetic traits. Like a thoroughbred can and will run if you let it, so can music be these essential things that all people will understand, given any exposure to Western music. If you cheat people out of those things, no amount of education or conditioning will set it right. And there is so much good music out there, why waste your time. (but me personally, as I said, I'll listen to anything once.) So many words here to describe music! It's funny. But it's not just an intellectual thing, it's also very personal and human. If your wife or husband came home and suddenly kissed you in a whole new way, you'd say, What the hell was that? And I don't think you'd execpt the explanation, Don't worry, you'll get used to it.
  14. Ken320

    The lack of "Common practice"

    I don't know if you can get back to common practice except maybe to change the paradigm into something more audience-centric. You know? Step aside from theorems and slide rules. If you intend to impress the abstraction of 'a learned professor' why not try instead to entertain an audience? They're both abstractions. Given the trajectory of deconstrucionalism, deferring to an audience as arbiter of a 'good musical language' is not a bad idea. For a while anyway. Remember, nothing is forever.