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About alexmacomposer

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Ohio, USA
  • Interests
  • Favorite Composers
    Steve Reich, Philip Glass, John Adams, John Luther Adams, Arvo Pärt
  • My Compositional Styles
    Post-minimalist? Classical?
  • Notation Software/Sequencers
  • Instruments Played
    Clarinet, Percussion, Piano, Violin, "Voice" (Bass 2)

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  1. @Tónskáld Thanks for your feedback! I do appreciate the sentiment to have something more involved as an accompanist XD. I didn't want the beginning pianist to be too overwhelmed by "oh my god look at all those fast notes" though. You're right, I hadn't noticed the messy bits in the score -- I'll go back take a look at those if I ever need to prepare this for performance (that coda-m.19 collision is very sneaky). Thanks again! (Also, for anyone else on this thread -- the video does not match up with the score, so check out the PDF for a clearer view of the parts. The PDF is still a little busy though.)
  2. Here is a piece I composed almost two years ago: The idea is that it should be performed by an experienced pianist accompanying a beginning pianist. The experienced pianist (or teacher, as it probably will be) performs the bottom two staves, while the student should perform the top staff. This should probably be practiced with a metronome as much as possible. It allows for early introduction to playing interesting music with another musician (which was neglected in my piano experience, but never in my experience with other instruments!). What are your thoughts on the feasibility of a teacher-student duet (at, say, a recital), the artistic merits of the piece, and anything else? MP3 and PDF are also available:
  3. I do appreciate this piece -- in fact, I think it is more complex than it may initially present as (and even Eric Whitacre has had scores not even looked at by competitions because they looked "too simple" -- yet he is still very successful). (Don't tell anyone, but there are ways to make a score look more complex -- namely, making the print smaller (in MuseScore, it's "Format > Style" on the top bar), adding lines such as slurs, dynamics, and expression instructions, and changing the print to match a "personal style" of fonts and text sizes. Also, having and changing tempo text to be larger and more eye-catching than other scores (in MuseScore, you can do this globally in a score through "Format > Style") can make it look more professional and "I-know-my-stuff".) I especially liked the presentation of many different ideas throughout this piece. It almost felt multi-movement, if that's what you were going for. Good job! What was your process for writing this?
  4. I love this! I think it's incredibly beautiful. Where'd you submit this? And what's the piece/subtitle about? I noticed a few things about your notation that I have questions about (and I too use musescore so I understand the struggle it is sometimes lol): Your rests in the non-playing staff are inconsistent -- for example, in measures 1 through 3, each rest is marked differently. It might be better to be consistent and change every rest to quarter note values. The main issue I had reading through your score, however, was in passages such as measure 4, where there are constant sixteenth notes exchanged through the hands. A possible solution is to just make the rests invisible to stress that the passage passes throughout the two hands, as Eric Sammut does throughout his 4 Rotations for Marimba (Performance of Rotation II: https://youtu.be/8hAGcUKHFuI?t=18; Sample of score: http://www.lonestarpercussion.com/Sheet-Music-Books/Marimba-Solos/Keyboard-Percussion-Publications-KPP-SAMM-FR2-Four-Rotations-for-Marimba-II.html -- pages 1 and 2 are available in images). (To do this in musescore, select all applicable rests you have and press [v] to make them invisible.) Also, I think it would be easier to read if, at spots such as 25, the rhythm starting at beat 2 were written "eighth, sixteenth, sixteenth-sixteenth, eighth, sixteenth" (see a similar example in marimba 1 part of Steve Reich: Mallet Quartet). Other than that, beautiful piece. Subscribed, and I'm gonna go listen to it again.
  5. I liked it -- especially the backing track and the chorus. I think if you changed your verses to include notes other than the root of the chord, it could give them more interest. Also, the key change in the middle was a little jarring. Would it be better if you didn't have the rests in between? Good job, and thanks for sharing!
  6. I have recently visited your profile, and I suppose you would know to read percussion just as well haha I do still think some of the score notes and beaming could be made clearer, but you’re the judge of that.
  7. I had completely forgotten about The Unanswered Question! I think the concept of that piece is really profound, and I can see how one could be affected by it like you have been. And I like the way you’ve kind of adapted that by changing the key of each melody. Keep writing so I can keep listening 🙂
  8. In general, very well-formatted! And if I'm not mistaken, you are using this for college prescreenings and want it to be as clean as possible? Please don't take the following advice as a negative value judgement on your piece -- I actually very much enjoyed it and think it is quite good. I do want you and this score to do as well as possible though, so: For most percussionists I've met (especially snare drummers), it's easier to read notes when they are beamed in groups of 1 quarter note (4 sixteenth notes). So, for example, mm. 30-31 in the snare part (Perc. 2), each quarter note value would be beamed separately. An easy way to do this in Musescore for only the percussion parts is to simply edit the time signatures of each percussion part and not the rest of the parts. You should right click on the time signature, select "time signature properties," and change beaming by clicking each note you want to separate. You should also select "Also apply for shorter note values" to make it faster (so you don't have to separate every subdivision). If you're okay with changing the beaming for all parts, go ahead and apply that procedure to a new time signature in the master palette. Also, in general, (you may know this already,) you shouldn't write a note across a beat (as in 4/4: sixteenth - quarter - half - dotted eighth). Therefore, the snare part in the preceding example would also read differently. (Search "Mallet Quartet Steve Reich Marimba 1" and you'll see something similar to what I mean -- by the way, I think that that is a beautiful piece, and you should listen to it if you get the chance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IwhsE8oDy8.) Another thing was that your name for the "Perc. 1" part becomes "Xyl." (xylophone) in the middle of the score, which may be confusing to someone reading it. You may want to go and change the name or at least short name of the instrument back to "Perc. 1". Finally, in your score notes: under "Special Instructions", where you explain the technique of bowing a metal stand, you wrote "this unorthodox techniques". I am also a little confused by the explanation of where you place the bow. It can be made clearer by saying something like "bow the shelf (upon which sheet music is placed) of the music stand as one would bow a vibraphone. This should produce an inharmonic screeching tone." This would also allow the percussionist to decide how best to approach the bowing. Also, you wrote that it may require resin to be placed on the bow -- industrial resins should not be placed on bows, and rosin is always required on any bow. You may want to change that to "This effect may require more rosin than is usual." And lastly, you may want to change "A conductor may or may not be necessary to perform this piece" to "This piece may be performed with or without a conductor." To recap: You did a great job with this! There are just a few minor things that I thought could have been made clearer for your prescreenings. Good luck!
  9. Wow, I'm really glad to have discovered your music! I especially liked the Etude No. 5. I do have to ask, though, (and maybe I am just unenlightened,) whether the effect you wanted in measure 17 of the Etude No. 5 could be better expressed with fewer quintuplet brackets. Overall, your music is splendid and I will keep listening.
  10. It's really cool that you've finished your first composition! Don't worry about the length; some of the best pieces are short and sweet. I liked it, and it's very impressive for the first piece you are counting. What does the title mean?
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