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Gamma last won the day on January 28 2011

Gamma had the most liked content!

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About Gamma

  • Rank
    I make stuff sound nice
  • Birthday 03/27/1991

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  • Biography
  • Gender
  • Location
    Kalamazoo, MI
  • Occupation
    College student
  • Interests
    piano, piano, and did I mention piano? And of course composing...duh
  • Favorite Composers
    A lot.
  • My Compositional Styles
  • Instruments Played

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  1. A fugue... Or something with heavy counterpoint. I'm actually taking counterpoint this semseter so hopefully that will get my feet wet in that regard. I also plan on reading Fux's The Study of Counterpoint, then hopefully jump to Taneyev's Convertible Counterpoint in the Strict Style. Something about heavy counterpoint is very appealing to me. I think I like the complexity it can have. Also I guess a piano sonata or a piano concerto would be cool to compose. My school has an annual piano concerto competition and it'd be cool if I could be the composer and pianist in a concerto. However I don't know the rules or whatever so it might not be possible.
  2. This is what I wrote, explaining what I did in the piece, to my professor. I typed it up in like 10 minutes so it's not that in depth or well written, but it should give a basic idea of what I was trying to do. Although the project was aimed at using twelve tone as a method of tone organization, I decided against it, to instead use my own system that I used on a few of my pieces last semester. This system is based on augmented triads and the intervals they create from the bass to the soprano line. Most of what I have is based on experimentation. I would construct chords and judge them. If I liked how they sounded and progressed I would ask myself, why? Then analyze the properties of the chords. One of the easiest ways to explain what I have done, is to look at my piece, especially the first phrase, which is ideally what the system is about. Similar to a triad in tonal western harmonies, the piece uses chords of a different kind. They are essentially augmented chords, such as C, E, G#. However, I also mix them with another augmented chord to make a larger and more robust chord. Since technically, based on pitch content, there are only 4 possible augmented chords, and there really aren’t that many combinations of the augmented chords. Although a significant factor I thought was important, is the relationship from the soprano to the bass line, often a major third. Of course, this is definitely not always the case, as using different inversions can provide a slightly different sounding chord altogether, despite the unchanging pitch content. Let’s look at measure 1 of Nocturne No.1. One could look at it as an F major chord with an added C#. This is still true, however that is not what I was thinking when I constructed that first measure. Instead, it can be looked at as, a C augmented chord, where the E and G# are missing, combined with an F augmented chord (all the pitches present, F, C#, A). It is still hard to for me to explain why I put the chords in such an order besides saying, I like the way it sounds. Generally, I aim to make the major third relationship, which is seen in measure 3 when the violin comes in. It uses an E above C (in the bass) and creates the major third relationship. The inverse of that, a minor 6th is interesting to me, as it sounds quite a bit different. The first inversion, if you will, occurs at measure 4, when the overall harmonic structure remains the same, yet it has slightly changed inversion, instead with a E in the bass and the C# above, creating the minor 6th. I also found that the transition from measure 5 to 6 is very strong. I’m not quite sure why, but my best guess is because of the split from the major 2nd, F# and E to make another major 3rd relationship. This acts like a modulation, and the overall harmonic structure then is based on augmented D (D, F#, A#) and G chords (G, B, D#). A final interesting thing about this system is the easy creation and importance of a whole tone scale. If you take two augmented chords that are a whole tone apart, it makes a whole tone scale/harmonic field. This is almost like a final cadence, or ever perhaps like a tonic chord, and is useful for transitions. This is seen in the piece of measure 8 in which augmented chords F and G are used. As you can see, I do not strictly follow staying within the harmonic field created by the augmented chords. I use passing tones, and did use a fairly twelve tone-esque melody. The rest of the piece can be largely examined just based on these ideas presented in the program notes. There are a few moments of experimentation that I’m almost uncertain of what I did, but I do like what I have done overall. The form is a bit experimental for me as well. Opening with a theme, and giving small chunks of themes that reach mini climaxes, which was a goal to make a larger scale gesture within the piece. Although, making an entire piece a giant gesture was much more difficult than I anticipated, thus I made the gestures more like themes on a small scale.
  3. That's interesting, as I also devised a system around the notion of manipulating the 4 augmented triads. This can be seen in my Nocturne No.1 for Violin and piano. Mine doesn't seem nearly as complicated though, and I use nonchord tones pretty freely as long as they resolve towards a pitch in the harmonic field.
  4. I would like to participate but the idea of "meditation" seems hard to judge... :/ Perhaps I need further clarification? Otherwise I'll enter....But I'm not going to be surprised if I get marked down a for it not meeting someones expectation of meditative or whatever.
  5. Ever since I heard Roslavets's Violin Concerto No.1, I can't imagine anything much better. Just my opinion though. You should check that out too if you are wonder what it's like to push the boundaries of violin music and tonality.
  6. Will this occur next Summer (2013)? I don't quite have the money to afford it this Summer...I'm totally into going to a Summer camp that is composer oriented, especially since I can't seem to find summer programs for college students like me. I'll definitely apply next summer if it's still available though!
  7. I don't neccesarily think it involves "gifts" more so the willingness to learn and work hard to improve. Talent can be easily wasted if you don't have the dedication and will be ultimately surpassed by those who do. But I think an important trait is to be open minded in music. Perhaps there is some scientific evidence of genetics involved, that allows for people to be more creative/musical or something, but I don't understand such things so who knows. Edit: Further, I also ask for clarification for what you mean by "gift" of composition? I assume that it means that you find composing music is less difficult and strenuous. Or perhaps you are implying you are successful? You say "get good at composition" but what does that entail?
  8. Heh, without doubt I would! However, I really admire his Suicide in an Airplane, perhaps my favorite piece of his. I think Hamelin's recording of it is the best. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zS0x3u6pH3w
  9. Because I enjoy composing? Though, I admit to some degree it's for some sort of recognition and a place in the history books as arguably bad that may or may not sound to some. I don't agree with most notions that people compose music or do anything really without some sort of want of recognition and acceptance.
  10. This probably sounds horrible being a so called "composer", but I've never really enjoyed vocal music (yes, that wide of a spectrum) much at all. Probably not a good thing to admit, but it's something I've never really digested and enjoyed doing or listening to. I'm basically forced to sing in my Unversities vocal ensemble, which I thought would change my mind, but it hardly has. Meh. Hell, I probably can't even give a specific reason to why I dislike it so much. Oddly enough, in contrast to what posters above have said, I really enjoy music that strives to be different for the sake of being different. Sometimes it reaches out so far that I have a hard time understanding it at first, but eventually I usually come around to appreciate it.
  11. Roslavets: Prelude (Largo) It's definitely not the most difficult piece for piano, but keeping a steady rhythm at a slow tempo with an odd rhythmic melody can prove challenging. When I played this for my piano jury I got to play it on the large concert grand piano in the recital hall and it felt amazing when I hit the climax to hear all the pitches so lushly.
  12. I share the same sentiments as jrcramer. Obsessions tend to come and go. I have had many obsessions (too many to remember) since I started composing.
  13. Mine is both at the same time as well. When I hear a melody in my head, it already has the harmony behind it. I actually prefer harmonies over a melody to be honest.
  14. Well, my prof used various musical examples to show how it is used. Then had us think for ourselves how we would explain it. The fact that we had to come up with our own explanation helped me really understand the concept better. He really emphasized on how varied it is and how much of it is only a mere concept to the human mind. I'm not sure if this helps. I can't precisely remember how he explained it though, but he even admitted it's a tricky subject. I don't think the explanation of division of beats, compound, simple meter, blah blah blah is difficult. It's just the concept of what it is (and what it can be) was tricky. This is the definition he used online, but he said it can be arbitrary. Meter - the aural perception of hierarchical patterns of rhythm. To be metric, you must hear a minimum of two levels of patterns (e.g., measures and beats). Patterns are formed by the perception of groupings of accents.
  15. I think what I should have said, it needs context! Variables such as: Dynamics, how long repeating the note for, what the other hand is doing, lol what kind of piano (most uprights don't have that kind of action), how "even" you want each repeating tone to be, ect. CONTEXT WOOO!
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