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SSC last won the day on May 22

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About SSC

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    LOL Dispencer

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    Attack on Alpha Base! Captain Starr's Last Stand!!
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    The Threat of the inviso-vampires from Jupiter XII!!
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    Amazing! The First Voyage of the S.S. Proton!
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  1. Examine bassoon parts in the typical orchestra repertoire and get an average for how long the phrases have to be. Do as other do and you'll be fine, the rest is just musical preference.
  2. Try everything. Just write music instead of thinking too much about it. There's no real "rule" how you should write a piano concerto, unless you're specifically copying someone.
  3. There's a bunch of things you need to do/pay attention to. I'll make a bunch of lists now. Budget, because you need to pay for: Musicians (concert and rehearsals) Venue (for the concert itself and maybe if you need to rehearse there beforehand.) Logistic (travel costs if people are not from where the concert is) Misc (Food, lodging, whatever comes up) Then venue: Does the venue allow for rehearsals? How often, how long? Do you have to pay extra? If you need a piano, does the venue have a piano (and if so, what kind, which tuning, etc.) What's the lighting situation. Can you set the lighting yourself, is there a technician, etc? Cost, of course. Sometimes venues will collect a percent of the ticket sales, you need to get that all in writing. The meatbags with their noise-implements: Certain instruments (usually stuff made of metal) need time before rehearsals to "warm up," take that into account when planning your rehearsals. Dress code, which usually isn't a problem, but it can be with singers and, well, women. Not a "problem," exactly, but it's something to add to your checklist nonetheless. Applause rehearsal, because seriously this is important and it reflects on you as a composer that everyone knows what the hell to do during applause. Encore? Plan at least for two short pieces (or a repeat of a catchy bit from the concert program), because being optimistic helps group dynamic! Keep rehearsals short and precise and try to schedule them either before or after lunch, since you don't want people hungry while they're trying to follow a 32th 7/16 marimba passage. If your rehearsal is so ungodly long that it overlaps with lunch (or dinner), then make sure you give your musicians options for taking a lunch break. This is your responsibility as organizer. The actual concert, finally: Organize your concert program so that if you suddenly need to move 5 marimbas and 2 pianos across the stage, you don't do it between short pieces. Keep large things on their own concert segments separated by a pause. 15 minutes is good enough for a pause, only do longer if you need to move 10 marimbas and 4 pianos, or something that requires very specific preparation (like tuning a harpsichord to a specific tuning, whatever.) Calculate the time the concert will last. This is very important specially when you're presenting the project to interested venues. You need two numbers, the actual length of the music proper and the "real" length, including pauses between movements, stage setup, pauses and applause. Can also include introductions, and any other thing that happens during the concert. Round upwards always, things take much longer than they may at first appear. Make a good and proper concert program that people can have during the concert to read up on important things like your biography, how great you are, and why everyone should be like you (great). Don't forget to ask the musicians if they are OK with including biographies for them in the program and allow THEM to give you their own text. Edit for size, but not for content. Also helps to add a list of the pieces performed along with their length and any other things you think are interesting to know. As a super helpful tip, if you can't fit it on a double-sided A4 paper, then you need to reedit. And if all of this doesn't scare you, then congratulations! You're ready to annoy strangers with your weird pieces for dog whistle and garbage truck.
  4. That's amazing! Thanks for the find!
  5. I think you need to think in terms of historical context. The solutions and options you have are only limited by what kind of style you're attempting to copy. Considering vocal counterpoint goes back to 1400s (and even earlier if we're going to take into account ars antiqua guys!), it's fair to say that you have quite a lot of options if you pick and choose from different periods. Fux himself was trying to copy Palestrina's counterpoint, but that's far from the only way to do it. I think it helps, if you're doing historical exercises, to pick a very specific timeframe or composer to emulate, that way you can establish rules much easier.
  6. To me that's exactly the opposite that happens, since the music is much more complex to listen to, I enjoy hearing it multiple times and hearing out new aspects of it each every time. There's a lot there you are never going to even hear the first time through.
  7. Dude, this thread is from 2007! This guy is almost 30 now!
  8. Yes. Though I'm mostly alt-rock in how I do things. I usually write using a guitar instead of piano, tho. I also learned how to sing and play at the same time, and I think it's a little easier with a guitar, but that's just preference.
  9. Or you could as well just write music to already existing poetry as a way to practice. I'm sure getting exposed to it is just as important as trying to write it yourself.
  10. I never said it was bad, it's just what it is. I take it as a homage of the stuff I like/know, it doesn't bother me in the slightest if something sounds similar in some detail or other. Considering "serial music" doesn't sound like...anything specific, I don't know. It's just a composition method, like many others. What it produces it dependent on how you applied the method, hence why Stockhausen sounds pretty different than Xenakis or Boulez. As for Schoenberg, he's basically a lot more traditional than Webern, who was much more forward-thinking with his use of Schoenberg's ideas. I find it really hard to call Schoenberg a serial composer when a lot of his music doesn't use any such system and when it does it tends to be still very traditional in many ways.
  11. I think the best thing you can do is play covers of songs you like already and see how they're made. You often don't need much, just a few chords if it's a typical pop tune. Once you have done enough of that, you can go and try making your own combinations of chords and melodies. Obviously, I'd recommend you just pick up a guitar and learn to play the typical 5 or 6 pop/rock chords and play around with that, as that's the most common way pop/rock music gets composed. Piano works as well, sure, but it's a little trickier, I think, but you can do it just as well.
  12. You don't need new material, you just need to work on elaborating your ideas. Specially your orchestration, since a lot of variety in orchestral music is from using the same material in different instrumentation. Yeah that's going to always happen. You can't really avoid sounding like what someone else if you're writing in a musical language that has so much music written in it.
  13. About the piece: I'm kind of sorry you don't have a score, since I would be able to say more things if I had it. Otherwise, yeah, it's got that kind of "movie soundtrack" sound to it, but I think it's competent in doing that. One thing I think hurts it to me is that you basically have the theme in the start and then everything else that happens is just kind of inconsequential until it comes back and repeats. I mean, it's an ABA form, but you could do so much more with the middle segment after the theme is done. About the exercise: It's not bad, but I personally writing four part harmony exercises never helped me in the slightest. I hated those theory classes and doing annoying homework like that. Instead, every time I wanted to try stuff out I'd write actual music with the ideas or chords, or whatever. I did a lot of instrumental counterpoint which has helped me much more than any harmony exercise since I think voice leading is much more important than what harmony you have.
  14. ???? You could've as well said "Follow your heart!" or some nonsense, for all that's actually helpful. Instead of criticizing me, show you actually know something about the topic that can be actually helpful, or just stay out. I did this 9 years ago based on that exercise I mentioned. This is probably a good read if you're curious how it works.
  15. It's like this: Composing and orchestrating are two very different things. Do not confuse them. The point of orchestration isn't to "write for orchestra," rather it is to adapt your ideas to any kind of ensemble. So, to that end, you can learn a lot from making transcriptions as well instead of just writing for orchestra. I'll give an exercise that helped me a lot (and addresses your counterpoint question.) It's like this: Take one of Bach's 2 voice inventions, no matter which one, and arrange it for string quartet. You only need to really follow this rule: You are not allowed to write more than two voices at the same time UNLESS you are switching instruments (so that means the first beat of the new measure can get played across the old and new instruments so you don't end up with measures cutting off suddenly.) Otherwise you're free to select freely which instrument plays what, in what order. Play around, see what feels better to you. You can repeat this exercise once you've done two 2 voice inventions with the 3 voice inventions, using the same rule as above (only 3 simultaneous voices are allowed.) In fact, here's a thread where I work with others on this exact exercise! So, to actually answer your question, only need as much counterpoint as you want, really. You can be all Brahms like and have tons and tons of counterpoint, or like Wagner and be very selective of it. It doesn't matter, it only matters if that's what YOU want. If you feel your counterpoint is lacking, I can help with you with that, but know it isn't then a weakness of your orchestration but rather of your counterpoint skill.
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