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Weca last won the day on June 9 2010

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About Weca

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  1. Wrong. Theory 101? Any major interval (M3, M6, M7) when inverted turns into a minor interval (m6, m3, m2) and vice versa? "Inverting" a major chord turns it into a minor chord. You are not generating a new idea: your "fresh" material is just diatonic scales and chord patterns that you could have sat down at the piano and played yourself. They have no aurally recognizable relation to the source material either. Saying that your approach "generates new ideas" is like saying if I take a Shakespeare play and mix up all the words in it, and rearrange them on a refrigerator, some of the worlds will form sentences, and I can use those sentences to write my own play. JUST WRITE YOUR OWN PLAY! You don't need to pretend that each word somehow comes from Shakespeare!
  2. Chris I am curious what knowledge of music theory you actually have. For example you wrote this: ^^^ this is inane. You just have a very simple arpeggio pattern, outlining a major chord. You don't need to derive chords by "inverting" other chords! A minor and D major were around a long time before you or Radiohead! I feel this criticism can then be enlarged to encompass the rest of your music. Your melodies are simple and tonal. Anyone could write similar music without going through the process of finding other simple tonal melodies and inverting them. Also towards the end of your spiel you talk about modifying your inverted fragments to fit the music the way you want. This begs the question, why not independently write what you want to hear? Are you incapable of composing on your own? You clearly have some kind of marketing scheme here (cute pun title, logo, forum, social media) based on promoting your "innovative" way of writing music. I don't know, maybe it works, maybe you are fooling musical ingenues. Why not slap a "gluten free" label on your website while you're at it. But why don't you tell us composers: what value does it add for a listener to know that your music comes from inverting other music? Can a listener tell, without being told, the source of your melodies? No, because you don't use fugal techniques, like quoting the original for comparison and picking a melody that has distinctive characteristics (like an odd intervallic leap or a recognizable rhythmic pattern). The "melodies" (really motifs) you "invert" are just diatonic scale and arpeggio patterns. And what do you get out of it? Hey, more diatonic scales and arpeggio patterns! At my most cynical: I think you just want the cachet of saying that your music uses a groundbreaking technique and is "sourced" from Radiohead and the Beatles. Well good luck grifting the musically ignorant I guess? Take a look at this, I think it is musically far ahead of you: When the composer fragments and inverts the fugue's theme it is instantly recognizable. Also it took real skill to write that fugue, not just copy paste. By writing the fugue the composer 1. is poking fun at Lady Gaga (for the simplistic top-of-the-pops style of her compositions) as well as 2. making an in-joke (rewriting Gaga's Bad Romance in the style of Bach, after Gaga quoted Bach at the beginning of that very song) as well as 3. showing how the simple motif Gaga uses, could be mined in a musically creative way to create an interesting set of variations. It's kind of genius actually. I don't get that from your music.
  3. Someone sent me this PM yesterday: As you know, the most important chords in classical harmony are the tonic (I), subdominant (IV), and dominant (V). Here they are in the key of C: C major, F major, G major. You can see they make a satisfying-sounding progression. In basic harmony, one of the only places a dominant seventh chord is found is in V7. By adding F we turn G-B-D into G-B-D-F, a dominant 7th chord. The disadvantage of V7 is it has a very "obvious" sound. One could say it is almost obnoxiously dominant. Overusing this plain tonality will make your music sound very conservative. Instead of V7 we can play V7sus4. A sus4 chord replaces the third of the chord with a fourth. For example the third of a G7 chord is B: we replace it with C. Compare: You can hear the V7sus has a "smoother" feel. One of the identifying features of Williams' music is that he uses plain V7 very sparingly, preferring V7sus4. (When he does play V7, he will often play some cool notes on top based on jazz theory; Williams got his start as a jazz pianist and arranger. However that is beyond our scope for now :sweat: ) Moving on: you know that the C major and C minor scales differ by three notes. The C minor scale has Eb, Ab, and Bb. There are a few chords, therefore, that have different qualities when we play them with those notes. For example you know that IV is F major. But in the C minor scale we would play iv, or F MINOR. These different chords are called "borrowed chords" because we can "borrow" them from C minor and play them, even when our piece is in C major. We do this because the borrowed chords are like adding color or spice to our music. Williams loves borrowed chords (he is not alone among composers in this!) but he has a particular affection for bVI. If I play bVI then I, you can hear how strong that chord progression is. Especially if I put G in the bass below bVI (which technically turns it into a major seventh). If you compare bVI-I to the classical V7-I, you can hear that the first chord progression has a more colorful, unpredictable, dynamic and modern sound. Williams often uses bVI as though it were a dominant chord. Finally I have to explain Lydian II. Now you may know that the Lydian mode of C, is like the C major scale, with ONE DIFFERENCE, it has an F# instead of an F. When you play a D major chord over the note C, you get a dreamy sort of sound. This is Lydian II. There is a more technical name for this chord (V7/V) but when Williams uses it, his intention is most often to add a Lydian sound to the music. Lydian II is yet another of Williams' favorite chords. Now to prove that I'm not just making stuff up let's look at some tunes from Williams' music. The first tune we can look at is the theme from E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. Some things to note about this: listen how the Lydian II gives a magical sound. Also notice how Williams uses bVI as the "climax" of his chord progression, not V. Now here is the Force Theme from the Star Wars movies. Notice the V7sus4. And also notice the use of two borrowed chords bIII and bVI. Now finally here is a tune from Harry Potter. It uses only I, IV, V7sus, and bVI! (Well and one GbM chord).
  4. Reviews of the pieces: "Crossfire" (DerrickM): There are some good ostinatos here but it is very "loopy." The harmonies also made it feel more like music for a video game rather than a Zimmer score. The musical "center of gravity" was too high (in pitch) I guess. "The Dark Knight" (th213x): This didn't sound like Hans Zimmer at all; but on the other hand you had my interest all the way to the end of the piece, with your unique orchestration. "Long John Silver" (Phil Rey): Great entry and perfectly captures the way Hans uses ostinatos and a heavy "one-TWO-THREE" beat. This is the first entry that feels "dark" enough for Zimmer. Minor critique: I think you overuse the percussion even for a piece like this. MAJOR critique: I felt a lack of melody throughout the first few minutes. Even in an ostinato-heavy piece Zimmer will have a great melody. The melody at 1:46 is epic and you could easily have based the entire piece around it. At the end it felt like you had the ostinatos set up perfectly but the horns were struggling to figure out what melody to play. "Hoist The Colors" (olibrehm): The snare intro was neat but this really kicks off at 1:25. You have a catchy, original low-strings ostinato. The great cello sound is kind of the opposite of your soupy choir sound. Good "Pirates" sound overall! "Something's Wrong" (Peter): great introduction. But then it shifts into an almost Danny Elfman march or carnival rhythm. I liked that you paid homage to (or parodied) Hans' love for kitschy synth bass sounds. "Hans Zimmer And The Sword Of Destiny" (me): I really like the melody here. My major critique of my piece is it's too static, harmony-wise... always with the D minor.... It could use more percussion as well. And the ending is kind of half assed.
  5. Well it's still Sunday here, so I'll post this - it's an improved version of Hans Zimmer & The Sword Of Destiny. Still just a MIDI mockup :P HANS ZIMMER AND THE SWORD OF DESTINY (revised)
  6. Has everyone forgotten about this awesome contest? Cmon people, upload your music. It can't be worse than what I just wrote in half an hour :D EDIT: SEE PAGE 6 FOR LATEST VERSION!
  7. Hi, Has anyone heard anything good/bad/ugly about the music comp program at NYU Steinhardt? I'll be visiting there in a few weeks so I want to go prepared. Basically anything you know/have heard would be helpful. I know Justin, for one, lives in NY. Thx in advance!
  8. To have the audience hear your music as Lydian, you must focus on what makes Lydian different from major - the #4. A Lydian melody that includes the #4 often, will be very effective. In terms of harmony, the #4 changes the qualities of three chords compared to the major (ii, IV and vi), but Lydian II is really the key here. II7 is an appropriate harmony especially if you go I-II7-I because you can keep the tonic as a pedal bass throughout. Take a look at "Adventures on Earth" from John Williams' ET score (there's a midi here). You can hear: 1. Melodies that strongly feature the #4 of the scale. 2. Lydian II chord strongly featured (included in both main themes as part of I-II motion). 3. Even in the tonic chord, Williams implies Lydian by using II as a decorative "neighbor chord" (using a chord like a neighbor tone). One of the most interesting ways to use Lydian is to include both #4 and ♮4. In the first theme from "Adventures on Earth" you can hear F♮ being used in the melody, then F# in a succeeding chord. This contrast is very effective. Suppose you use both #4 and ♮4 in a single melody? Melodically ♮4 often resolves DOWN to 3 whereas #4 leads UP to 5. Prokofiev exploited this in his 1st Piano Concerto where the primary motive is simply #4-5-♮4-3. Even in the absence of any "explicitly" Lydian harmonies this creates a very Lydian-sounding effect. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vF9tE41SV1Q
  9. I have an audition coming up where I'll have to realize figured bass at the piano. I can do it just fine on a harmony exam, it's the playing that's the problem - I'm not a great pianist. Do you know of any websites, books, other resources that are helpful in developing this skill? I've been doing Haydn's figured bass exercises but it's slow going. Thanks in advance for all help.
  10. Wow, that package is amazing! Does anyone know how to pipe it into Finale, esp. Finale 2007? Or how to get it to play back MIDIs? Very nice Christmas present :D
  11. Here is a video of a guy composing a short action cue in Logic, live: As you can see he can generate good-sounding parts in no time with Logic. On the other hand the arrangement of voices (trombones vs low strings) seems to be conflicting, something that would be a lot easier to see in Finale.
  12. Different METHODS of composing stress different aspects of the music. For example if you wanted to pay special care to the vertical spacing of parts, composing in a 6-stave concert pitch short score would help visualize this most clearly. Composing in full transposed score would make this a bit more difficult, and composing in a DAW like Logic would be harder still. Composing in DAWs vs notation programs has tradeoffs... the main one being that DAWS are a lot faster.
  13. Am I the only one who noticed this? :rolleyes: :rolleyes: (I like the Avatar version much better tho)
  14. It almost makes decent sense as the horn is classically an alto instrument. An alto transposition puts the notes in almost the same spots as an F treble transposition. However no I've never seen it before.
  15. The Good: *The 3D. Wow. Lots of fun, although it is almost superfluous to all the other visual stuff in this movie. *The CGI - flawless. Beautiful. *Facial expressions - to me the aliens seemed MORE expressive than the live action people. Amazing. *Acting - surprising performances by Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, doing more than justice to their roles. *The Navi aliens - as cliche as they are, the combination of story, CGI and acting creates real empathy for their side of the story. *The interesting (if anvilicious) parallels the story draws between the machine "avatars" (mechas, link-ins etc) and the aliens' biological avatars (soul-sharing with animals). Reality will seem a little less real when you exit the theater. The Decent to Mediocre: *The story (middling) and the script (poor). *The overdone action scenes at the end. *The Marine character. *Ripping off the Matrix "unplug" scenes (except somehow the avatar and the person both still remain alive, which is even less justified here). The Bad: *Michelle Rodriguez is. so. bad at the "macho action girl" roles she always plays. *James Horner. :facepalm: :facepalm: For one of the most innovative, interesting and impressive movies of the year he turns in a schlock score. It is, at best, serviceable. At points the music seems to misread the scene and draw you out of the picture. And of course he uses his 4-note theme again which would be annoying even if it weren't self plagiarism. Luckily the movie is such a visceral visual experience, and Michelle Rodriguez is in the movie so little, that these little issues do not detract much from Avatar. The Verdict: A, see again
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