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Monarcheon last won the day on August 6

Monarcheon had the most liked content!

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361 Excellent

About Monarcheon

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

    SUMMER 2018 Competition: Results

    @Gustav Johnson @Noah Brode @Ken320 I am interested in examining the relationship between your pieces and your stories further. Would you consent to me using your pieces and stories as examples in an analytical semiotics research project I'm conducting?
  2. Congratulations to all that entered! You all picked very unique ways of portraying the end of the world, ways I wouldn't have expected going in. It was a refreshing experience for me and there was serious merit to all the entries submitted. I don't think we're going to have another competition in a while because of the low turnout this time, but we'll play it by ear. Because of these same circumstances, I can't grant the main prize we had going, but the HoF will still be considered. Thank you all again for participating! SCORES: 1. @Ken320 - 69/100 2. @Gustav Johnson - 62/100 3. @Noah Brode - 59/100
  3. Monarcheon

    Ruining the Grass

    The harmonies on this one don't click with me for some reason... this was most apparent during the imitative counterpoint at A. The first measure is fine with a i - VI with a tonic pedal, but the next measure's Dm9/A is not very apparent when hearing it through the first time. It gets more cluttered after that with Bm7b5b9 in m. 28. Because the chords outline a rather standard progression while the melodies don't, the imitation sounds more like a gimmick than an artistic choice. This is clearly not a classical piece, but some convention-breaking sounds a little weird when things are taken homophonically. The first chorale at m. 8 does a crossed voice between the tenor and the bass and m. 35 has a double suspension with the eighth notes which is an inverted crossed voice. In a similar vein, m. 44 has a parallel 5ths and 4ths layered over a pedal secondary dominant, without a third, which is a neat effect, but contrasts with the measures before and after it. The same thing happens at m. 52. C, the Ab should be a G#. m. 55 really confuses me since the B seems to be the dominant of the dominant chord, but it's juxtaposed against a VI chord but with also a G natural in the tenor, creating this weird Am7/F/E polychord which sounds a little rough. Fleshing out the piano part might help a bit by adding tendency tones and providing a little more movement where things kind of stop in the dramatic arc, but I can see how that may have been intentional. As for the question about 2/4 v. 3/4, mm. 17-19 seem to be written with something like a 3/2 measure in mind, with 3 big beats with an internal quarter note structure. Everything else in that section seems fine to me.
  4. I'm working on two client orchestra works right now. They're not being too picky, but music for film which I'm also done is, in contrast, very picky. And you can't fault them for that. They have a vision and they hired you because they thought you could help them achieve that. If their mind changes, that's quite honestly to be expected since many commissioners are not musicians. Orchestration always takes the longest, even if you have a general concept for what you're wanting to get out of it.
  5. Monarcheon

    away, but never back (LIVE)

    That's the thing, though. Raw emotion isn't communicated through music. Period. We can get close (it's asymptotic), and that's why I study semiotics and music theory, so I can learn how everything fits together to create a feeling. This is how I can tell who a newer composer is... they can't control the drama they want to create. Experience and study in musical form is how we're going to get as close as we can to the emotion we're trying to emulate. Quick edit: The purpose of this piece was to illustrate this idea to the students. It was more for them than the audience. Everything and nothing are such arbitrary concepts that the only way to feel this was through the most direct way possible: with as little direction as possible, but not unstructured. Everything is planned, because how else are you going to emulate your emotion when you have no idea how to emulate it?
  6. Monarcheon

    away, but never back (LIVE)

    I've heard of the concept, but had never actually seen it! Thanks a lot! Thank you! I'm always very concerned with emotion, and I wrote this piece so that the kids wouldn't have to worry about that pesky "technique" thing that, while important, limits their playing. I just wanted them to get into it, you know? When I wrote my jazz cello concerto, the opposite was almost in mind - how do I make the audience get into something that's normally so "boring"?
  7. Monarcheon

    A try at a 3 part fugue

    Writing true tonal counterpoint is arguably equal in difficulty to dissonant counterpoint, since they merit on reverse principles, with the exception of a larger focus on rhythm for the latter. Fugue form could be improved by way of increasing the length of episodes and delaying the countersubject, but yes, it was mostly the voice leading rules that were ineffective.
  8. Monarcheon

    A try at a 3 part fugue

    So there's a lot to unpack in yours. 1. Tons of melodic leaps to dissonances, and leaps away from dissonances. Both of these are disallowed. 2. The answer is neither real nor tonal, so it's not a true answer in the Baroque-sense. 3. This style of counterpoint does not use the English cadence. Measure 16 can't use the minor 9th. 4. Lots of parallels. 10 has octaves in the beginning, octaves between m. 22-23. Remember that the treatise only spells out forms of counterpoint. All the voice leading rules of the past still apply.
  9. Monarcheon

    A try at a 3 part fugue

    What rules are you trying to adhere to?
  10. Monarcheon

    Fluid - Variations for Piano Solo (2018)

    This seems to be audience-dependent. You may see it as motivic development but many people will not. Most audience members won't sit down and analyze music after they hear it; it's what Schoenberg stood by when he wrote 12 tone music - 12 counting it all out was pointless. It's not really that calm now. I don't know if you've ever played repeated notes on a piano in 16ths, but getting that effect perfect is extremely difficult because the hammer needs to come back up, but at a normal level of pressure will sound percussive again. Combine this with the march-like, logarithmically-accelerating ostinato you have and it sounds rather frantic. The more you stick with triadic structure, the less fluid it will generally sound. This isn't true in all cases, like when Shostakovich writes his tonal fugue, but movement (motion) is required to make that work. Like I said before, a lot of your music looks and sounds pretty blocky because you opt to stack rather than dissipate.
  11. Monarcheon

    Variations on an Original Theme

    Whatever it takes to get it to move a little more. Loose counterpoint, light arpeggiation. Some composers opt for moving on beats where the melody doesn't. In the bigger section, filling in the middle could be used instead of forcing motion where you don't want it. It's all about balance.
  12. Monarcheon


    Contestants, please refer to this post for posting instructions.
  13. I'm not a huge gamer by any stretch of the imagination, but this song is so well-crafted in every way: chordally, orchestrationally, atmospherically, timbrally. Regardless of the gaming relation, this just captures so much fun and energy. Props to Kubo for a delightful arrangement.
  14. Monarcheon

    Projekt Noire - This summer...

    Your chord progression is quite interesting: D major, B minor 7, F major, D minor 9... it's a little clashy but has a neat effect. The F tuning in the mezzo range is a little bit off which is cool, but clashes with the just-intonated F in the bass later in the section. I don't know if it's noticeable enough to you to change. The extreme upper voices I feel don't have enough change... it's an airy accompaniment and I see that, it just makes this feel like listening to a loop rather than a piece. Nice ideas though. Interesting execution.
  15. Monarcheon

    Variations on an Original Theme

    I'm going to specifically talk about Variation 7 if you don't mind. Have you heard Pictures at an Exhibition? Not the Ravel orchestration; I mean the solo piano version. The reasons I think the last movement of that piece is ineffective is the same reason I'm not as huge a fan of this movement in yours. I'm going to start of saying I really, really enjoy the melody transformation in this variation. I think it's beautiful. The accompaniment, however, leaves a bit to be desired. A lot of this comes from the left hand. Because of how you write is as sustained through one or two very slow measures at octave doubling makes me feel like you have this intended as an orchestra piece in a way, as low strings. It would work better there because the envelope of the sound doesn't decay as fast. The piano is great because it can weave around melodies, especially in the beginning of the section. Most of the time it's also on the root chord, which it really doesn't have to be. First inversion chords do wonders in implying a sense of movement. When we get to the loud part, all of these issues become a lot more pronounced. Intended to be grandiose, I don't really get that feeling because the ear, while never losing sense of the tonic, loses sense of the specific forms of the functional harmony. The range between the two hands also makes it feel like there's a gap of sound that's missing when listening to it. This becomes especially apparent in measures like 163 with the one moving note being a high suspension without contrapuntal backup. It's a beautiful section and more while stasis and decay can play an important musical factor, how it doesn't change in style between the two periods forces a cognitive dissonance between styles that implores investment, but clashes with the familiar.