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Monarcheon last won the day on December 4

Monarcheon had the most liked content!

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About Monarcheon

  • Rank
    Elite Composer
  • Birthday June 16

Profile Information

  • Biography
    My job as a theorist and reviewer is not to force changes or ideologies into your music, but to make you question your decisions and beliefs in the process. Being able to defend your ideas not only makes you a better musician but a better-equipped human being, and ultimately, it's our job to be both, even while only exercising one at any given time.
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Occupation
    Composer, Conductor, Arranger, Administrative Assistant
  • Interests
    Cooking, Music, Drama
  • Favorite Composers
    Gershwin, Ravel, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Reich
  • My Compositional Styles
    Big Band Fusion, Freely Atonal, Maximalist
  • Notation Software/Sequencers
    Finale 25, Logic Pro X
  • Instruments Played
    Cello, Guitar (classical), Piano, Violin, Percussion, Conductor

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  1. Monarcheon

    Do You Have A Style As A Composer?

    I don't myself have a problem with modern art as long as there are processes to the craft. Schoenberg, Boulez, Xenakis, Stravinsky, Webern, and Prokofiev all had ideals that let the art actually emerge from process and the results can be very effective (emphasis on can). I don't want to sound as though pushing the envelope in art is a bad thing, as it's a natural progression. Schenkerian theory is, for example, a retroactive modern approach to tonal harmony. The piece you wrote for this last competition is an example of the progression of art and music into a modern setting, through evolved harmonic and sonic processes. I saw some of the other videos by this guy and he has some trouble articulating his arguments when he throws around words like "SJW" for no reason when his argument could be a lot more articulate. In this particular video, I think he pulls the correlation/causation argument fallacy and presents connections as evidence. Not all the time, obviously, but often enough to make me notice. He has a point though, I'll give him that.
  2. Monarcheon

    Do You Have A Style As A Composer?

    I have read it, but it was when you first posted it, so I don't much remember it. Modernism's creed isn't bad when it's used in conjunction with craft. It just oftentimes does not. I'm not really sure how the argument about political correctness furthers postmodern idealism, which is itself actually rooted in the issue of politics - it just now has extended its scope and lost its original meaning.
  3. Monarcheon

    Do You Have A Style As A Composer?

    I don't know how many younger people you hang around with but this is a big thing right now. Trying to "original"; the modernist period has come back from the dead. There's this huge wave of emerging EDM artists and film scorers who are so hellbent on learning all of these techniques now. YouTube music theory and composition channels are way more influential than they used to be because people want to know everything they can and twist them to be as "new" as possible. I think this is the first step to the death of art as we know it. So many people are focused on knowing, that they forget that part of knowing is doing. They don't know how to control these techniques, and they plop in Adam Neely's triple polychord or 8-bit Music Theory's non-functional fifths voice leading without knowing how to retain the dramatic arc and it just sounds bad. In other words, the creation of art is being replaced by the creation of sounds. The question of a composer's style is thus important to them only when it helps them advance their own agendas. If people want to write like John Williams, they'll overuse the lydian fourth over a dominant pedal with a shit ton of horns but don't actually know the history of its usage, and how we got here and why that matters.
  4. Monarcheon

    The Second Malformation of G

    It's a pretty good remaster, though I don't get as much of a driving sense as I do with the original. This probably has more to do with a levels/sound design thing more than a compositional aspect, so tinkering around with them shouldn't require too much attention.
  5. Monarcheon

    !!!TouLa's Dance!!!

    This whole "bII -> I" is fine and all but overused. I was hoping that a use of a V/vi mod -> i could be utilized, but it was only done as a melodic pedal which briefly tricks the ear. Variation would really help. Right now it just sounds like someone improvising over a vamp. Not the best look, as it does quickly get old.
  6. Monarcheon

    Time Moves Too Fast

    The track is generally fine. A double arm linear intervallic pattern will obscure the fundamental structure, even in extended harmony. The prosody of the vocals is sometimes off. Treat it like poetry; you should be very careful where to put the feet of the syllables you use. In addition, the rhythm of the vocals is very straight. Too straight, practically, which could feed into the previous issue I mentioned. Intonation too.
  7. Monarcheon

    Cold Coffee (Smooth Jazz)

    G7 at :18 sounds really out of place with no extensions. Try b9 or 13. Same at :39. Retardation in oblique motion to a unison pitch at :26 is bad voice leading. Parallel 4ths after the Am9 chord (A/D dyad) aren't quick enough for the audience not to render a response to it. Everything is also too loud. Timbre of the ride cymbal makes it sound like it's being struck. Piano is too loud. Sax is generally fine but a bit off in this combo in terms of its use. It plays too slow and outlines a missing harmonic tone too often. Jazz arrangers like to say add extensions to every chord to make it sound jazzy, but it sounds like you took it too literally here. The last three chords all have 7th's but the voice leading is off (standard root position is awkward) so they all sound a bit off.
  8. Monarcheon

    Revenge - Venganza

    Harmonic language is good. If there's one thing I can comment on right now, it's the use of negative space. Sometimes I think there's too much of it, especially when everything else flows so nicely. This is especially apparent in the quarter note triplet measures that do not have the syncopated bass. This obviously doesn't include held measures; that worked well enough.
  9. Monarcheon

    Composition in F# minor

    It's a neat little exercise, with some interesting compound melody. Be very careful not to rely on linear intervallic patterns especially at a tempo like this, otherwise the audience will quickly lose the novelty aspect of extended voice leading. Also be sure to smooth over instances of voice crossing with contrary or similar motion, but never oblique.
  10. Monarcheon

    What are colleges looking for?

    If you're that short on time, a counterpoint exercise that follows rules or another strict compositional format could be okay. It's good to show professors that you know theory and can make the rules sound musical. Examples of the former are fugue, Renaissance counterpoint, chorale, etc. Examples of the latter include dissonant counterpoint, total serialism, 12 tone serialism, etc. It's obviously not as good as a full piece, but a 4-5 minute piece in-format would be better than trying to half-assedly work something up.
  11. Monarcheon


    @Gustav Johnson, haha, EDM composers use the word "hocket" I've noticed nowadays and I'm not sure how I feel about it. Klangfarbenmelodie is much more specific so I opt to use it even if it does sound a bit pretentious.
  12. Monarcheon

    Journey to Pluto

    Couple general notes: Use metric modulation notation between 4/4 and 12/8 (i.e. triplet = eighth in 12). Easier to read than doing math mid-sight-read. Good use of horn pedal in the beginning. Consider a stagger between parts or an offbeat rearticulation to sustain the tone. Going from 60 to 100 was a bit awkward. Maybe an accel? The first trip to 12/8 was way more awkward than the other ones, because you have the snare switching times in the middle of a roll. It takes away from the seamlessness of such a transition. On that note, you cannot use half notes in 12/8. Use ties to sustain the beat. My next personal step would be to elaborate on this one idea a bit more by transferring melodies and registers to feel like a cohesive section. Don't feel limited by the eighth notes as part of a melody; using the same thing in augmentation with suspensions in the normal figure against it can sound really cool especially with harmony changes happening under. You can use prime form (013) to create inversions on the theme you have. Use a refrain from the beginning for another slow section (ABAB kind of) then finish with a more driving similar idea to the first B section.
  13. Monarcheon

    Study for string quartet #2 in D Major

    Needs to be reworked. Chord voicing and voice leading don't follow the rules. Examples: m. 1 - suspension on the tonic chord with a 3-2 voicing. m. 2 - beat 3/4 omits the third of the V/vi and returns to the V7. m. 6 - beat 3, m. 7 - must use E# to signal augmented sixth chord. Missing the other half (G). Resolves to 1 without the proper voice leading in the alto voice. m. 16 - retardation incorrectly resolved from the bass m. 24 - parallel dissonances in the soprano/bass then soprano/alto m. 32 - register transfer in the soprano/alto unsubstantiated in bass. m. 45 - Resolution to a dissonance. Counterpoint (which is used too much when truncated) comes second to harmony. Those rules come first.
  14. Monarcheon

    Woodland Wonders

    Generally, a pretty good little byte. I like the way you use thirds to weave your way through tonality. Make sure your altered chords are a little bit more substantiated; on the #VI chords the third + extensions are a little lacking (I'm not sure if they're just too quiet). Voice leading in the bass is sometimes a bit skippy; this was most noticeably in the 3rd to last chord (Cb major). But overall, nice work.
  15. Monarcheon

    Midwinter Poem (wind ensemble)

    It's generally a very good piece. I don't think you use the upper percussion too much. If there's one thing I was to gripe on majorly it would be the overall pitch (as opposed to pitch class) range of the band; it's very constant, even if in different dynamics, and it makes the piece sound a little static. I get that support in the bass or upper voice is pretty standard orchestration practice, but I hate it when it's taught that way. But for a normal band who doesn't care about this stuff, it's a really good work.