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Tónskáld last won the day on September 23

Tónskáld had the most liked content!

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51 Excellent

About Tónskáld

  • Rank
    Intermediate Composer

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Iceland/United States
  • Occupation
    Something non-musical
  • Interests
    Writing music, playing piano, being outdoors, traveling
  • Favorite Composers
    Bach, Gerswhin, Grieg, Sibelius
  • My Compositional Styles
    Neo-Romantic, Northern European/Scandinavian
  • Notation Software/Sequencers
    Sibelius, Spitfire Labs (VSL)
  • Instruments Played
    Piano, viola, clarinet, flute, French horn

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  1. Thanks for taking the time to listen! It was quite enjoyable putting this together for an a cappella choir and submitting for a competition—which I didn't win. But I learned a lot. And to your comment, I still have a lot to learn as a composer. As I slowly grow into my style, I feel like my works are slowly becoming more cohesive and less directionless. Hopefully future works will iron this out better. Thanks again!
  2. The first movement sounds "fragmented" and "improvised." I didn't hear a lot of emotion in this; perhaps it would sound better on a live recording. I do question the playability of this piece. There is an awful lot of hand-crossing while sustaining other notes... it probably will sound much less smooth than the recording when played live. The second movement sounds much like the first (to me), but with a little more structure. While a delicate and architectural piece, I again question the playability, especially the crescendo from M.18 to 28. The third movement I liked quite a bit! It definitely had a 'jazz' feel to it, with the edgy chords and syncopation. This piece looks fun to play! Overall, I enjoyed the colorful chord structures of your works, although they still sound a little too random to me, as if they're being improvised on the spot. There's nothing necessarily wrong with that—it's just a personal preference.
  3. This is an interesting work, to be sure. The musical palette you used was quite colorful! And while I understand you were going for an "acidic" atonal piece here, it didn't sound atonal so much as it sounded like mixed tonalities. Most of your chords are triads in non-related major keys. Like @Monarcheon mentioned, you rely perhaps too heavily on 4ths throughout, especially within the same part. This being a song set to religious text, I would have liked a stronger sense of theme and melody; it seems too "random" as it currently stands. However, that's just a matter of personal taste. Some choir directors might find that appealing. As a tenor myself, I can tell you that the tenor part is consistently high. I strongly recommend rewriting some of the divisi passages so that the tenors aren't hitting high G's and A's so often and so fast. I would be hoarse after just a couple of rehearsals of this piece. I also dislike the F chord at the very end; there is a lot of doubling going on. Perhaps you could redistribute the chord to minimize that? And finally, it's a good idea to notate when a part is to be sung unison if there has been a passage of divisi. Musicians are smart, but it never hurts to be more clear. You clearly have a strong understanding of music theory and composition. I like your developing style, and I look forward to listening to more of your stuff on this site!
  4. And these happen to be my favorite influences, as well. No wonder I liked your waltz so much!
  5. Although you wrote this a year ago, I think this is the first completed original work of yours I've come across on this site, so you're probably better now at most of the issues I'm about to mention. Take them with a grain of salt! The flow of the piece is, to my taste, quite abrupt and choppy. Each theme erupts onto the scene with naught but a half-note chord to introduce it in the preceding measure. Your use of note values doesn't lend itself well to recreating a march; instead, I feel it "hurts" the overall rhythm of the piece. As an example, your opening theme goes: | 8 8 8 8 | 2 16 16 16 16 | 8 8 8 8 | 8 8 8 8 | 4 4 | 4 4 | 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 | 2 |. This doesn't allow for an established accented rhythm one would expect to hear in a march. The rhythm never really sets in, and so the half-note cadences just sound "too soon." Perhaps the work could use better transitions overall. This work also lacks interesting variations, in my opinion. There are instances where the themes are transposed to different tonalities, but rhythmically, they do not vary. The scalar theme was initially a welcome relief from the monotony. However, even it shows up several times throughout the piece with no variation to it, just a C scale ascending and descending with altered harmonies beneath. The dissonances in the coda (Gmaj7 chords) are very jarring, and, in my opinion, do not belong in this piece. They almost sound like the performer accidentally hit the wrong notes. If this piece had included more dissonant chords throughout, I don't think those Gmaj7 chords would sound so alien. You clearly have a great understanding of music theory, at least in isolation. I encourage you to experiment more with how the chords relate to each other when actually sounded (and not just what the theory books tell us). And, seeing as how this was written a year ago, I'm sure you've done a lot more experimenting. 😊 Keep up the good work!
  6. This is quite an accomplished work, and very well-written for piano! I really liked the tied triplets at M.107 (reminded me of Chopin somehow) and the broadened version of the theme starting at M.118. I especially appreciated your treatment of harmony—not too predictable but tastefully exotic. My personal opinion of your notation techniques is that they were very clear. As a pianist myself, I would have no problem understanding what you were trying to convey. And I would be remiss if I didn't congratulate you on your performing abilities: great job! I look forward to more of your musical expressions!
  7. I love the medieval/renaissance soundset you're using, especially the Irish flute/whistle! Definitely goes well with this song's melody!
  8. Very mournful and haunting... I liked it a lot! The "bookends" (slow part at beginning and end) were quite tasteful and gave the piece a sense of finality. One small criticism is that I think the middle section and its reprises (M.20, for instance) are in a waltz, yet the score shows 4/4 time. It might help performers rhythmically if it were notated in 3/4 time. Overall, great job! Your writing for piano is idiomatic and you clearly know what you're doing. Keep up the great work!
  9. Such rich harmonies and sonorities! I liked this a lot, but my favorite movement was the Danza. You're very good at writing (and scoring) for strings! I'm glad you were able to have this performed—it certainly deserved it.
  10. @blakeklondike Welcome to the forum! Many oboists can also play the English horn (aka Cor Anglais), a lower-sounding cousing of the oboe. Most symphony orchestras have at least one oboist who can double on the English horn.
  11. Yes, and similarly, the bass is such a gargantuan instrument that it can't produce any bowed double stops greater than a perfect fifth (unless one of them is an open string), so that final octave will have to be adjusted.
  12. Sorry, we'll have to agree to disagree. If you were to take Beethoven's Fifth and transpose every note up one octave, it would sound far less dramatic even though it would still be in the same key as the original. Or, if you transposed it down one octave, it would sound much darker—and still be in the same key. There's so much more involved than just the key signature. Your final question in the original post was: I have answered that question and satisfied the purpose of this post (or so I thought). I'm only trying to be helpful. I took the time to carefully consider your points, think about possible misconceptions, and try to explain each of them as I saw them. I'm not saying I'm right, but I am offering my opinion—as you requested on the outset. You can take it or leave it; I am not interested in arguing about it.
  13. I think @AngelCityOutlaw and @Jean Szulc make good points. I can't speak for every composer, but I'd wager the vast majority of compositions are in the specific key they're in because that's simply how the composer "heard" it in his/her head. However, I would agree that changing the key is compromising the composer's original "intent" of the piece. Whether that's good or bad I suppose is up to each person to decide. I don't exactly know what you mean by this. Almost everyone would stay in the original key unless the instruments being arranged for can't play certain notes in the original. At that point, I would think physical limitations would take precedence over personal preference. Or I would question whether the instruments being arranged for are a good choice to begin with. Yes, and by that same token, it could make things easier (which is why many beginner piano books contain easy transpositions of songs in more "difficult" keys). Key signatures are arbitrary things, anyway. If everyone learned F# major when they first started learning to read music, then C major would be the difficult key. And besides, harder ≠ impossible. That's why there are such things as rehearsals. From previous interactions on this forum, I know this is important to you. @AngelCityOutlaw has already tackled this one, though. There is no "periodic table of keys" that links an emotional state to each Western key signature. That would reduce music down to a science, where all a composer would have to do is string together a bunch of keys to give the emotion s/he wants. In reality, it's much more nuanced than that... because, as mentioned previously, it's all about the relative intervals of the music. Ultimately, it's your decision whether to transpose or not. I don't think your arguments are very sound as to why you shouldn't transpose, but I think they're moot, anyway. If you don't want to transpose, then you don't have to. No explanation needed.
  14. I'm with Gustav... not very familiar with this kind of work. The only thing that comes to mind are "theme and variations," and I don't think that's what we're looking for here, am I right?
  15. Very impressive little work! I liked that it flowed so beautifully yet still kept me guessing. I had to listen to the very end because I had to know how you tied everything up. Great job! I look forward to hearing more of your work!
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