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About TSTwizby

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    Starving Musician

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  1. This is one of the few pieces I've written that I can actually play, but unfortunately I lack the equipment to record myself playing at any reasonable quality. Most of this was written all in one go, following inspiration rather than any concrete form or plan. I've never come across a satisfying way of notating what I explain in the first note; staccato isn't the same thing and a caesura, though closer, would usually be too long.
  2. Something to keep in mind is that there are many different kinds of 'lost'. There's the feeling of being somewhere in a dark, misty expanse, with no sense of direction or way to orient oneself; there's losing track of one's way in a constricting, twisting, labyrinth. There's being in a location that's perfectly ordinary, except that one doesn't know there way around. Each of these senses of 'lost' would feel very different in song, I imagine. The general sense I get from what you've described is that you're looking for something like the first, and given that I can think of two ways to move forward. If you want a more passive kind of 'lost'-ness, as of one wandering aimlessly, then it would seem to me that keeping things slow and sparse, and focusing on 'high-level' aspects of the music might be helpful. If, on the other hand, you want a more searching, active kind of 'lost'-ness, as of one hesitantly exploring their surroundings despite being unsure of where they are or where they're going, then you may want to focus on more 'low-level' aspects of the music; perhaps have multiple competing themes, each briefly explored before petering out as paths forward are sought out and abandoned. The two instruments could either complement or contradict each other, giving the piece a more consistent or conflicted feel, or alternately one (probably the piano) could take the part of the environment while the other takes the part of the one wandering. In any case, there are many, many ways to achieve a feeling of 'lost'-ness, and these are far from the only ways you can accomplish it. I think the most important thing is to be definitive about exactly what sort of feeling you're going for.
  3. Thank you all for the responses! I'm glad to see differing perspectives on the matter. @Luis Hernández : To briefly comment on your point, I rarely (intentionally at any rate) use a well-defined form in my music writing. I'm not really opposed to them or anything, it's just that most of the ideas I've had that I've been able to expand on haven't fit into a proper form. @Guillem82: I didn't post any examples at first, since I didn't want to taint people's answers with reactions to anything specific. That said, now that I've gotten a few, I'll add some examples to my first post. I'll probably post a few more in the 'upload your compositions' section as well; I've finally managed to get myself to go and join one of these communities, so why not make good use of it?
  4. I apologize for asking a question with so many obvious answers ("As long as it needs to be!" "As long as you want it to be!" etc...) but this has been troubling me lately. For reference, I have no formal music education (apart from a bit second-hand from my brother, who plays classical saxophone). I have primarily written pieces for piano, since I'm tolerably capable of playing it, and most of what I've written has been for my own satisfaction, though if I can ever wrap my head around SDL and graphics programming I hope to use some in videogames some day. Getting back to my question, the reason I ask this is that the most consistent criticism I've gotten about my music is that it's too short (either as suggestions that a particular part be 'longer' or as a more general statement along the lines of 'I wish you would write something longer'). I don't usually set out to write short music, but I often reach a point where I've said everything I felt I needed to say, as it were, 2-3 minutes into a piece. Another way to phrase the question I suppose would be something like: 'how much should I try to extend a piece before allowing myself to be satisfied with it?', with the related sub-question: 'if I find myself struggling to extend a piece, should I interpret that as a sign [of my inexperience as a composer/that my idea for the piece may have been overly simple] or as a sign that I've more or less finished writing it?' Edit: Now that I've gotten some good general answers, I'll add some examples for people to comment on directly if they choose to. For the sake of completeness, I've included one short song that I consider complete, one short song I do not, and one longer song. Apologies for including raw Musescore exports and for unhelpful names- my ambition as a composer outstrips my skill as a player and namer at the moment. Unknown 1- I consider this one to be pretty much finished, though I could see myself coming back to it if struck by a new idea on how to extend it. The most common criticism I get of it (from people who can tolerate the style) is its being too short. Also one of the few pieces I've written that I can competently play. Music Box 3- As implied by the title, this is a piano arrangement of something I wrote for a music box. As such its short length is completely intentional. That said, I fully expect to at some point come back to it and either incorporate it into a larger piece or extend it (~:08-:25 are just too fun not to expand on...) Something V2- This is my second-longest piece at the moment. I still need to tweak it a bit, but don't expect to add much to the length (may add a few measures to the third section, but apart from that need to experiment a bit more with that section's left hand and tweak a few places to make them physically possible to play. May rework parts of the first and last sections as well, as they're a bit freeform).
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