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    Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Chopin
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    Classical, Romantic
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  1. Well, then it looks like I'm going to have to tweak the melodic structure of my canon. And I figured that in my canon set, the first canon should be for 2 voices. That doesn't necessarily mean no bass line, as you can have a canon with a ground bass(Pachelbel's Canon in D is an example of a ground bass canon). But that does mean that only 2 voices are involved in the actual canon part of it(the melody against itself). When you say that the voices are too close, what does that mean? I mean, they are about 2 octaves apart in bar 16 where you say that the voices are too close. Those 2 voices have certainly been closer than 2 octaves apart. Wait a minute, maybe that isn't referring to octave distance but scale step distance. Let's see, C and D are 1 scale step apart, C and C are 0 scale steps apart, D and B are 2 scale steps apart, and D and C are again 1 scale step apart. Well, that can't be the reason the voices are said to be too close because there are a lot of moments where the notes in the 2 voices are 1 or 2 scale steps apart and you don't say the voices are too close in all those moments. So what does it mean for the voices to be too close? And, how am I going to get a convincing cadence without direct fifths and direct octaves? Because I know I have to end on the root for it to sound convincing. But then it sounds like the direct octave is mandatory for a convincing cadence in 2 voices.
  2. Well, I did add octaves to most of the piano accompaniment in the first movement of La Primavera to add richness to an otherwise bare bass line. And there are some movements where octaves are just required such as the third movement of Le Estate
  3. So, I am working on a set of canons as a prelude to the fugue. No, not literally, as in I would put these before the fugues I write. No, what I mean is that I view the canon as being simpler than the fugue in all sorts of ways and thus as a preparation for fugue writing. I aimed for a more Bach like feel to this canon than the Pachelbel like Canon in Bb that I composed for woodwind quartet. I even went so far as to write it for harpsichord instead of piano to further get that Bach feel to it. Now, why am I mentioning Bach? Well, he is the composer that keeps encouraging me to go ahead and write a fugue. I put some text in the score related to keys and counterpoint. Now I have been told that my canon is really a canon at the sixth. Alright, I'm fine with that. I have also been told that my canon is full of dissonant strong beats and just in general, unresolved dissonance. Here is the first canon in my set of 48 canons. What do you think of it? Does it sound Baroque in its nature? Where are my counterpoint errors exactly? And what are those errors? Do you think I should add a bass line to this?
  4. It sounds interesting. I like it. It kind of reminds me of Flight of the Bumblebee what with the fast chromatic scales.
  5. Bach: Counterpoint, getting a lot out of a single melody Beethoven: Oh boy, does Beethoven influence me a ton. Here is everything that has shown up in my music that also shows up in Beethoven - Sudden dynamics, Grandiose feel, Drama, Sudden tempo changes Mozart: Effortless grace to the melody, the music just flows - He was the one who inspired me to start composing at 12 years old Chopin: Beautiful melody, relatively simple bass line, rhythmic ostinato
  6. This is my first ever arrangement of a piece. I'm about halfway through this arrangement. And there is a general template that I sometimes changed. That general template is: Solo violin -> Flute 2nd violins and violas -> Right hand of piano Cellos -> Left hand of piano Here is the progress of each of the concertos that make up The Four Seasons: Spring -> Complete Summer -> Complete Autumn -> Incomplete first movement Winter -> Haven't gotten a single note down Now why did I decide to arrange it for a flute-piano duet? Well, I thought over it long and hard, looking at the arrangements that are on IMSLP and I thought this: But then I got a lot of feedback saying: So I then asked some flutists about this and they all said: That brought a huge sigh of relief to me that any flutist who would perform this would put in their own breathing and that I don't have to notate it in the score. Speaking of which, here is the score as it is right now and a corresponding MP3. Sound ends at about 17:02 because the arrangement is incomplete. What do you think of it so far?
  7. I figured that I would start this thread since I am making significant progress with my orchestration of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. You will notice that most of the notes in any staff are taken directly from the quartet score and put into suitable octaves for the instrument. With this thread, you will be able to see how I have progressed with it because I will post an MP3 and PDF once I finish a section. So far, I have the exposition of the Allegro movement orchestrated. I am working on the development section right now. I have decided on this instrumentation for it: 2 flutes 2 oboes 2 clarinets 2 bassoons 2 horns 2 trumpets Tympani 1st violins 2nd violins Violas Cellos Double basses Here is my first draft of the exposition. How well have I orchestrated it? What issues are there with my orchestration? I vary the instrumentation where Mozart simply repeats the phrase.
  8. So, I just got this idea yesterday of orchestrating Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. Should be easier to do than the Pathetique Sonata orchestration I did before. Since it is Mozart that I am orchestrating, I'm staying conservative with my instrumentation. Here is the instrumentation I plan on using for my orchestration: 2 flutes 2 oboes 2 clarinets 2 bassoons 3 horns 2 trumpets tympani 1st violins 2nd violins violas cellos double basses The reason I haven't put in numbers for the string instruments is because most likely, the orchestra will decide on their own what the best strings:other players ratio is or will know it from playing Mozart symphonies hundreds of times. Either way, it isn't like I know the strings:other players ratio for a classical period orchestra(which is what I'm aiming for with my instrumentation if you can't already tell), so I would have no clue on the ideal numbers for the string instruments. There are some spots where I see Mozart writes a phrase and then he repeats the phrase. These would be prime times to bring in more players or have some players take a rest(really depends on the dynamics of the initial phrase and the repeated phrase). And there are some extended creschendo passages as well. Those would be places where I increase the sound density. Extended diminuendo passages, I would do the exact opposite for. I would decrease the sound density. But do you have any suggestions on how to go from string quartet to orchestra? And in particular, what should I do about the triple stops that start the piece? I have been told that double stops, while they sound great in a solo, or even a quartet, when you get to the size of an orchestra, it becomes clunky in sound. The double stops I can simply either have more than 1 instrument group play it or make 1 staff divisi. But I have no idea what to do about the triple stops. If double stops sound clunky in an orchestra, then triple stops will sound even more clunky in an orchestra, so I obviously can't just leave them as triple stops. But what should I do about those triple stops? Here is a PDF of the entire piece as originally written:
  9. So you're suggesting that instead of always having the right hand play staccato while the left hand plays octaves underneath, that maybe, in those sections where I play the staccato melody twice before I reach a scalar passage, first it should be played the way I have it written with the right hand playing staccato and the left hand playing octaves, then at the repeat, the hands should switch roles so that now the staccato melody is in the left hand and the octaves are in the right hand?
  10. I feel a happy emotion to this, even when the minor keys are exposed. But not just any happiness. It feels kind of like a person is skipping around. I love it. And the C major is so expressive here. I have tried to get my C major to sound expressive and all I get is what sounds like happy boredom, sort of like this piece here: If I want the piece to both be expressive and have C as the tonic note, I usually resort to 1 thing, using the key of C minor. I find that with C minor, I can get just about any possible emotion across relatively easily like this: Anger - Just use more forte dynamics and diminished 7ths, faster tempo further reinforces the emotion but isn't necessary Sadness - Keep it slow Mysteriousness - Slow and in low octaves Nocturnal peacefulness - Slow and in high octaves Happiness - Fast tempo and off beat notes(I find that, if I just displace a note by say an eighth from where I would typically put it, and I put more dynamic emphasis on weak beats, I can get C minor to sound happy)
  11. I don't think I have heard such a key like A major be so sad. Usually when I think of an emotion that is typical for A major I think of this: That's right, I think of the key of A major as having a bouncy feel to it, which staccato just reinforces. A good example of this is Rondo Alla Turka by Mozart. But your piece has a grim sadness more typical of a minor key like E minor, despite it being in a major key. I myself have never gotten a major key to feel sad. I have gotten it to feel nocturnal, but not sad. If I were to think of a piece that has the sadness that your piece has, I would think of this one: How did you get a major key to sound so sad? I have only been able to do that with minor keys by keeping things slow. If I keep things slow in a major key, it starts to sound nocturnal to my ears. But sadness, not really if I just slow the tempo of the major key piece. So clearly, there is more to it than just tempo for major keys to sound sad unlike how with minor keys you can just slow things down to get a sad feeling.
  12. 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?
  13. So this is a composition that I improvised on the spot. It is incomplete right now. As you can tell when you listen to it, there is a rocking feel to the bass line, what with all those fifths. At the speed at which I have it going in this prelude, I don't know if you hear it this way, but it almost sounds as though bass guitar and drums have been combined into the bass staff of the piano. Like harmonic drumbeats almost. I was composing this, thinking more along the lines of a prelude in Classical music, but the more I listen to it, the less Classical it sounds and the more it sounds like the harmonic and melodic backbone of a song. So, I was thinking that because it feels to me like the backbone of a song, that I should turn this Prelude into a song. I was thinking either Jazz or Rock. To me personally, it sounds more like Rock and even more specifically, Heavy Metal. But of course, I'm being a little biased there. I have been exposed to more Rock music in my life than I have been exposed to Jazz. So I was wanting your opinion on it, which is why I added a poll to my post. And so that you can look at and listen to my Prelude, here it is:
  14. I have had this block in my C minor sonata for months. I have the introduction down as I want it but I can't think of a first theme to come after the introduction. Thankfully I have about 6 months before Beethoven's birthday comes around. That's right, I am dedicating this piano sonata to Beethoven, the 1 major composer that reinspired me after a long composer hiatus and who keeps pushing me forward in my compositions. I was able to compose a Mozart style sonata in less than a month. But with this C minor sonata, it has been about a month and I still can't figure out what to do for the first theme. @Tortualex on Musescore.com has given me quite a few suggestions after I told him that I wanted to be innovative with this sonata like how Beethoven was innovative more than 2 centuries before. One of them was to have it have 3 themes instead of your typical 2 themed sonata. In particular he suggested that I have this harmonic structure to my themes: First theme in C minor Second theme in G phrygian(which would have the same notes as C minor but have the tonic chord be G minor) Third theme in G major He said that with those 3 themes, I will have a lot of thematic material to have my sonata be more than 7 minutes long and still be interesting. He then suggested that I break more rules when I get to the recapitulation. Specifically that I make the second theme be in G major and use that G major as a secondary dominant to C minor(this though confuses me. Is he suggesting that I use the Locrian mode as the primary dominant instead of G major? Or is he suggesting that I have the third theme in G phrygian and use the minor dominant as the primary dominant?). Then afterwards he suggested having a second development followed by a true recapitulation. That would definitely be an expansion on your typical sonata form from the exposition having 3 themes instead of 2 to having a first recapitulation leading to a second development and then having a true recapitulation to the second theme being more modal than tonal. I have gotten advice more related to symphonies but basically, one of the pieces of advice that I got for getting out of a composer's block was this: Now, I haven't been thinking much about my sonata since last month which I figured would relieve the composer's block with it because just not thinking about the piece for a while(sometimes just a few hours, sometimes a month or more) often relieves my composer's block. But it did no such thing for this C minor sonata. I'm still in as much of a composer's block as I was a month ago. So should I go this motive route and base my first theme off of a short little motive instead of thinking of it as 1 long melody and accompaniment like I have been doing? If so, how will I know how workable a motive that I come up with is? Is there even such a thing as a motive being less workable than another?
  15. I would assume so. Here is how I would do such a thing in Musescore, the notation software that I use: Put in a rest for the length of the tuplet Notes -> Tuplets -> Other Set the number of notes in the tuplet. Now input the notes for the tuplet That is, unless I know that one of the notes in the tuplet besides the starting note is in sync with the beat. If that is the case, then I would input it as multiple smaller tuplets to make the beat divisions easier to see for the musician. And given that Sibelius and Musescore are similar in sophistication, I wouldn't be surprised if there is a way to do longer tuplets in Sibelius. I just don't know because their personal plan is like absurly expensive($80 a year just to be able to do col legno and other techniques? Um, no thanks. I would rather just use Musescore because I know it is going to stay free and maybe a decade or 2 from now will be even better than Sibelius at everything).
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