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About caters

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    Intermediate Composer

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    Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Chopin
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    Classical, Romantic
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  1. I have finished analyzing Grande Valse Brilliante by Chopin, the second most famous Chopin waltz after the Minute Waltz. I analyzed both the harmony and the form of the waltz. As for the harmony, that was relatively simple to analyze. The form on the other hand was more complicated in terms of analysis because I had sections, themes within sections, phrases within themes, and subphrases within phrases and even a couple of cadenzas. With the Coda, because it was developing preexisting material, I just showed what material it is developing at each moment. I clarified at the beginning of the score, that I think of this as being in a Quasi-Sonata Form, but you might think of it as an atypical Ternary Form and that's fine too. How well do you think I did analyzing this Chopin waltz? Here is the audio and PDF of my analysis:
  2. I know I accepted that challenge to arrange a Romantic Period symphony that isn't by Beethoven. However, I am finding it quite challenging to both get across the essence of the symphony and not get dangerously close to the original orchestra. In particular, I am finding woodwinds becoming of more importance to that essence. I guess I could resort to a quartet of pianists if I have to, but while I try to figure out both what symphony to arrange and what ensemble to arrange it for, I figured I would do another one of my expansion type arrangements, where I take a piece for a smaller ensemble and arrange it for a larger ensemble. Besides the obvious Classical Period Trifecta, I figured that maybe I could arrange a piece by a later composer. Liszt was definitely out of the question(only piece by Liszt that I think would be suitable for an arrangement is his Liebestraum, and even then, just barely). I knew a lot of composers after Beethoven, both by names and pieces. I further narrowed things down to these composers: Chopin - Melodic grace Grieg - Piano works are well known Tchaikovsky - What looks complicated can turn out very simple(I know this from arranging The Nutcracker Suite for Piano Duet) Mendelssohn - He is like "The Mozart of the Romantic Era" Schumann - Melodic grace Brahms - Similar but clearly different style from Beethoven Debussy - Melody first, harmony second, even the harmony tends to be melodic in nature I then thought "Hmm, maybe I should arrange Reverie" and that sealed the deal. I was going to arrange a piece by Debussy. When people think Debussy, they think Clair De Lune, which I did look at, but decided not to arrange. I looked at other well known Debussy pieces and the one that looked easiest to arrange is Reverie, which also happens to be my favorite Debussy piece. So I decided to arrange that piece. I figured that a trio would fit very well to the piece. I wanted to keep that tender character of the original piece obviously. One instrument that I commonly use to soften a small ensemble like a trio is a flute because the flute, even at forte, still has a tenderness to its timbre. So I figured that the flute should take the main melody(except when that melody goes into the bass clef obviously), the cello should play the bass line, and the violin should harmonize the flute melody. So here is my arrangement of Reverie, what do you think?
  3. I composed a nocturne in Bb about a year ago. To me Eb and Bb fit very well as keys into the definition of a nocturne(music that evokes a nighttime feeling). Here is what I planned to do in the nocturne when I first thought about it: Section More Detail Proposed length A Establishes Tonic of Bb 7 measures B Modulates from and back to Bb 6 measures A' Octave variation 7 measures A'' Tremolo of a 3rd added 11 measures B' Octave variation 6 measures A''' Right hand down an octave, modulates to parallel minor at the end 12 measures C Contrasting key 5 measures D Modulates from minor to parallel major 12 measures A'''' Faster triplets 7 measures B'' Faster triplets, Left hand down an octave 6 measures A''''' Faster triplets, both hands down an octave, right hand plays melody in octaves like in A' 7 measures C' Octave variation, slower triplets 10 measures D' Octave variation, slower triplets 12 measures A'''''' Slower triplets 14 measures Ritardando Brings piece towards an end At least 3 measures Root position chord in unison Perpetuates the piece 1 measure at the most 1st inversion up an octave in unison Perpetuates 1 measure at the most 2nd inversion down 2 octaves in unison Final ending chord 1 measure at the most Now I do have mini ritardandos(slows down by 10 bpm) for each B section towards the ending measure of that section, but the ritardando section would get even slower. I had to ditch the faster triplets because it was ruining the nocturne feel. Here is the nocturne that resulted: So what do you think? Do you think I should add another B section where you have 2 A sections in a row? Do you think I did a good job using the quarter note triplets to give a sense of a ritardando without there actually being a ritardando until the last few measures? And how finished does it sound, ending on a second inversion tonic chord?
  4. Maybe 4/4 would fit better to the Andante? Same notes, same measures, just the beat is on the quarter note. I mean, you essentially wrote it in 4/4 and then put in the wrong time signature. Other than the time signature issue, I like the piece. You transition so well into the 6/8. And is it in G sharp minor? It is very pretty and dreamy. G sharp minor is such a rare key for me to hear, rarer than F# major or even Ab minor, which themselves are rare keys.
  5. I can adjust the volume and pan of individual instruments using the mixer in Musescore, but, I have no idea how adjusting the pan will change things or how much I should adjust it to get a decent piano duet rendering. Adjusting the volume, I know could easily lead to a forte against piano type of feeling if I'm not careful enough with the adjustment. And maybe you are right, maybe I should branch out from Classical/Early Romantic(Beethoven's symphonies, sometimes they are considered to be Romantic Era from Eroica and beyond, sometimes Beethoven's Fifth is considered to be the last of the Classical Era symphonies and the start of the Romantic Era symphonies, and sometimes Beethoven's Ninth is considered to be Beethoven's only Romantic Era symphony). The only arrangement I have made of a work that is undoubtedly from the Romantic Era is a piano duet arrangement of The Nutcracker Suite, another orchestral work. I have never arranged a Romantic Era symphony before. So, yes, I accept that challenge of arranging a symphony by either Mendelssohn, Schumann, or Dvorak. In fact, right now, I am listening to Mendelssohn's "Italian" Symphony.
  6. Well, I am using Musescore to arrange this(in fact, I have been using Musescore for all my compositions and arrangements for years). That makes it very easy to see the notes in staff notation. But, if I try to adjust the reverb using Musescore, it is going to apply to all instruments, so I can't separate the pianos just by adjusting the reverb setting in Musescore. And I don't have any kind of DAW that I can use to get that separation between the two pianos, nor am I at all familiar with using a DAW.
  7. I have been arranging mostly Beethoven and Mozart lately. I figured it was time to change that and arrange a piece by a different composer. It has also been a long time since I arranged a piece for piano, either duet or solo. So I was wondering what would fit into a Piano Duet arrangement well. I immediately narrowed things down to orchestral works. I figured that for the best chances of fitting into a Piano Duet, I would want to stick to those composed in the Classical Era. I know from experience that Beethoven is hard to fit into a Piano Duet, not to mention the resulting arrangement being hard to play. This left me with only 1 other composer really, that being Franz Joseph Haydn. And of course, if I am going to arrange an orchestral work by Haydn, it is going to be one of his 100+ symphonies. The one I am most familiar with is his "Surprise" Symphony, probably the most well known Haydn symphony in existence. It ranks up there with Symphony no 40 K 550 and Beethoven's Fifth in terms of familiarity. The most famous part of that symphony is the second movement, where out of nowhere, the whole orchestra blares out a fortissimo chord. Another surprise in the second movement is the sudden jolt from C major to C minor. But, you know me, I always arrange the first movement first, even if it isn't the most well known part of the piece. I found that so far, Haydn fits pretty well into a Piano Duet arrangement, fitting better than Mozart and way better than Beethoven to the ensemble of a Piano Duet. So far, I have arranged the entire first movement of the symphony. Now, before you go on about impossible hand crossings, I arranged this for 2 Pianos 4 Hands. So there are no hand crossings between pianists, just hand crossings between notes played by the same pianist. This is the edition of the symphony I have been using from IMSLP: http://ks.imslp.net/files/imglnks/usimg/0/09/IMSLP494069-PMLP34746-2_IMSLP284343-PMLP461683-Hayd_Sinf_2.pdf Here is the first movement of Haydn's "Surprise" Symphony arranged for a Piano Duet. What do you think of my Haydn arrangement so far?
  8. I tend to equally often start with different components of the piece. Sometimes the melody comes first and I have to decide on the bass line afterwards(as is the case with my Fantasia in F). Sometimes the bass line comes first, as in a few of my piano sonatas. And sometimes I don't start with either of these, but instead start with a motive or a specific rhythm(the introductory canon of my first symphony is a good example of where I went rhythmic motive first in my composition and the melody and bass just kind of formed from that rhythm). And sometimes, I just go with the flow and don't worry too much about what happens next(my Piano Sonata no. 4 that I finished composing as a birthday piece for Mozart in January of this year is a good example of this).
  9. If you don't know already, I am writing a fantasia in the key of F major. I already posted about it here: Well, I have made some progress with the Fantasia. I have another section in place. Now, I might change some of those triplet arpeggios into sixteenth note arpeggios or eighth note arpeggios, but I have an arpeggiated bass line. I'm wanting to gradually harmonize the melody and make it richer to make it sound like the river is getting wider. But, in order to do that, I need to know where the modulation back to F major occurs(because, like I said in the previous post, I am reserving dissonance for those moments where I go into a minor key). I know I am in C major for a while before I modulate back to F major(Settling the drama of the C minor with a Picardy Third followed by a passage in C major). But, I have no idea where I actually modulate back to F major. That is a bit of a problem. Because what if I by accident put a Bb over a B natural or vice versa(those G chords do change in sonority from major to minor)? That is going to lead to a major seventh interval in there and an urge to resolve. As an example of what I mean by the major seventh having an urge to resolve, whenever I hear a CM7 chord, my brain is always like "This chord so wants to go to C major, it is so close, just raise that B and it will feel right" or in other words, it hears a dominant function from a "tonic" chord. Anyway, back to my question relating to modulation. There are a few places where I can hear a tendency towards F major, with the first one being more subtle than the others. Here they are: But then again, between bars 38 and 51, C major feels pretty settled, like it is the tonic, and it is only after bar 51 that I am sure it is acting as a dominant chord in the key of F major. However, I'm pretty sure that bar 51 is not the point of modulation back to F. I'm pretty sure that the modulation happens before that cadence in F and is only confirmed by the cadence. But then, if the modulation happens before bar 51, why would C major feel so settled before bar 51? You see what I mean? On the one hand, there are things that push the music towards the key of F major, like the Bb major chord at bar 47. If I were to still describe C major as being the tonic at bar 47, the Bb major chord would be a secondary subdominant chord. But on the other hand, until that cadence in F, C major feels as settled as can be, like it is the tonic chord. When I am wanting to make the melody richer, this could potentially become disastrous, this uncertainty of where the modulation happens because C major feels settled until the cadence in F. Here is what I have now of the Fantasia in F(C major section that modulates back to F starts at 1:26 in the audio and bar 38 in the PDF)
  10. It sounds interesting. It is like you have combined the grace of Mozart, the power of Beethoven, the difficulty of Chopin, and your own style into a single movement.
  11. I am working on it for the third time now, and I have a pretty good idea of where I want to have the brass instruments enter and what I want to do for each of the themes of the first movement. If you haven't already guessed yet, I am arranging the Pathetique Sonata once again. I have always heard an orchestral sonority to the original piano sonata, prompting me to arrange it for an orchestra. After a few Mozart arrangements(including arranging Eine Kleine Nachtmusik for orchestra) and arranging Beethoven's Fifth Symphony for a chamber ensemble(which wasn't as hard as I expected it to be), I feel much more confident that I can go from piano score to orchestra than I did 2 years back. Here is the orchestra that I plan to arrange the Pathetique Sonata for: Piccolo(If the notes get too high for the flute, the piccolo will play those notes) Flutes Oboes English horn?(all the other woodwinds come in family pairs, so should I do the same for the oboe?) Bb Clarinets Bass Clarinet(I added this in the case that the orchestra only has 3 bassoons, but I still need the 4 note bass chords) Bassoons Contrabassoon Horns in F(They will get the whole note bass line in the second theme of the exposition, where the left hand goes into the treble clef) C trumpets(standard orchestral trumpet) Alto, Tenor, and Bass trombones?(I have been told to just do 2 tenors and a bass if I am writing for 3 trombones, but would Beethoven approve that or would he prefer I use Alto, Tenor, and Bass trombones?) Tuba Tympani First Violins Second Violins Violas(sometimes supporting the melody in the violins, sometimes acting as a high bass instrument) Cellos(Both the cellos and the bassoons would sometimes be divisi) Double Basses(notating an octave above what Beethoven wrote to make sure it isn't out of range and still get that deep bass) What do you think of my instrumentation here?
  12. Sorry, I meant to put in the mp3 and pdf of what I have so far when I posted it. Well, I have it there now. And yes, I am writing my fantasia for piano.
  13. I am writing a fantasia where I am representing the flow of a river from a little stream out to sea(I even nicknamed the piece River Fantasia), and because it is a fantasia, I'm not really focusing on the themes, motives, etc. like I would for a sonata. I'm just improvising the melody and bass as I go along. But I do have an arc for my fantasia which goes like this: As you can see, the contrary motion is part of how the bass line sinks from the treble clef into the bass clef, and scales are used more towards the beginning of the piece. I have reached my first Rapids moment of the piece. And as you can see, in the 6 measures before, I prepare the major to minor motion with downward moving chromaticism. And since the Rapids moment is going to have a lot of octaves, loud dynamics, and faster notes in general, I decided to do an accellerando in the 3 measures before the Rapids moment. What do you think of what I have written so far? And also, what do you think of the F major to C minor motion? I know I have prepared for it well, but should I move to C minor? Or, if I have Db in my minor key preparation anyway, should I go to F minor? Or should I try both and see which version I prefer, possibly asking for your input if I'm stuck(I will probably write the C minor version and then transpose it to F minor, saving the F minor as a separate file)? The parallel minor is more common to show up than the minor dominant, but at the same time, if I am aiming for the turbulent sound of rapids, then moving to the minor dominant might accentuate that turbulence.
  14. I wrote a short piece for solo piano using the C Half-Whole Octatonic scale. I used the same key signature that I would use for C minor and as you can probably tell from the title, I emphasize the C minor tonality while also making it very obvious that it isn't your normal C minor by outlining diminished sevenths and using them in place of your regular dominant in the cadences. For the ending, I decided to go dramatic and have the C Half-Whole Octatonic go down 4 octaves during a creschendo and then have Cdim7 go straight to C minor with no chord in between. I found 2 cadences so far that I could make using the Half-Whole Octatonic scale, an Authentic Cadence and a Deceptive Cadence. And guess what? Each one of those is the hand inversion of the other. In the Authentic Cadence, the melody goes Db, Bb, C, and the bass provides the chords. In the Deceptive Cadence, it is flipped, the right hand provides the chords and the left hand does the melodic motion. Same chords, same inversions, but much weaker than the Authentic Cadence. What do you think of my short piece in C Half-Whole Octatonic?
  15. I never meant to imply that you said that my syncopated cadence is wrong. I was just commenting on your reply about the cadence sounding odd. Are you suggesting that I have more rests earlier on in the left hand instead of just those at measures 16, 17, and 35, like maybe at measure 10? I can easily find places within the bass line for the left hand to have a rest instead of a note, if that is what you are suggesting. And even if that isn't what you are suggesting, I still will probably add rests to the left hand in the Trio section to help provide contrast(and also to keep it from being tiring on the pianist) and possibly in a revision of the Scherzo section. I mean, once I get the dynamic arc down, the almost constant bass arpeggiation might not fit with the piece anymore. It might be that forte moments would tend towards a sparser, more chordal bass and piano moments would tend towards a more active arpeggiated bass. Or in contrast, it might be that forte moments would tend towards a more active bass and piano moments would tend towards a sparser bass. Or it might differ from section to section as to which dynamics are more sparse and which ones are more active.
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