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jawoodruff last won the day on March 14

jawoodruff had the most liked content!

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About jawoodruff

  • Rank
    Elite Composer
  • Birthday 05/05/1980

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  • Yahoo

Profile Information

  • Biography
    Patience, diligence, persistence, and sincerity will lead to success.

    Composer based in Indianapolis, IN. Studied music composition and viola performance at the Chicago College of Performing Arts.
    While not composing, I am also an entrepreneur and a business owner. Let's chat sometime!
  • Gender
  • Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Occupation
    Freelance Composer, Entrepreneur, Business Owner
  • Interests
    music, history, science, religion
  • Favorite Composers
    Mozart, Beethoven, Schoenberg, Gubaidulina, Stravinsky, Schubert, Berg, Ligeti, Ravel, Debussy, Scriabin, Prokofiev, Stockhausen, Ruth Crawford-Seeger, Takemitsu, Chopin, Murail
  • My Compositional Styles
    Modernism, Post-Modernism, Minimalistic, Serialist
  • Notation Software/Sequencers
    Finale 2009
  • Instruments Played
    Viola, Piano, Sing

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  1. I really like the descending 16th note motif at the end of measure 7. It's a nice dramatic gesture within the texture. Bravo on that. Overall a decent prelude with an interesting inspiration. Thanks for sharing.
  2. Schoenberg is a decent starting point. As I said in my post though, there's a big difference in reading about a form and actually writing in that form. I can boil down any work into its formal constraints -but that's not really going to help you in writing said form. There's lots of variables and important insights that you don't experience when reading about form -not to mention, different theorists often will look at a piece and its construction in different ways (there goes that entire subjective argument so prevalent in art music). One good example comes in the work of Mozart. Mozart often used forms in ways different then his peers and predecessors. For instance, he would combine Rondo form with Sonata-Allegro or expand fugal forms by combining them with sectional forms. Large scale works -also- featured an overarching formal structure (the Requiem). Boiling the material down, we also see ingenious use of motivic material within Mozart's works. Do to this, different theorists come to different conclusions when analyzing his music. I've read books that attempt to provide an overarching theory to explain his formal usage and others that go from the microcosmic outward. The interpretation of the structure of his music is oftentimes in the eye of the beholder. In lieu of reading a book, I'd look at compositions from the following composers to get a strong understanding of the variability and usage of form: Brahms, Mozart, Beethoven, Mahler, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Haydn, Schubert (particularly his liede), Debussy
  3. Not bad. Would love to hear your thoughts on this work itself -your intentions, etc. Writing for a solo instrument can be extremely challenging. Some things to consider: graph out points of interest -i.e. where you want the highs and lows to be, when you want to repeat material, etc. This will help you strengthen the writing to better illustrate and provide interest to your ideas. Second, while I'm not a big proponent of overuse of extended techniques... writing for solo instrument is a great arena to experiment with them -and the clarinet is a rich instrument in that regard. Consider things like that to generate more timbres and textures. All in all, enjoyable. Love the idea.
  4. As much as I love the idea of a textbook that delves into form, I'd recommend score study over theoretical texts. Let me expand: 1. Forms can be overcomplicated and muddied down by extra-motivic/thematic practices (harmonic, rhythmic, and textural). For instance, when studying sonata-allegro forms (from late baroque onwards), one can see the differences each musical epoch had on what constituted 'sonata-allegro' form. While theoretical works on form often overlook or gloss over the differences between musical eras. 2. Forms are often tailored to fit the intra-musical ideas presented within each and every work itself. Forms are nothing more than templates thru which you input your ideas that are developed along conventional norms within our craft. Much the same concept as a potter uses molds. Once you put the clay into the mold, you then craft or stylize it to fit your expectations -tailoring it to fit your tastes and desires. With these two points in mind, there are some basic formal ideas: Sectional Forms: Sectional forms are based around specific thematic/motivic elements. You have different types to this. Binary is simply A and B sections. Compound (or Rounded Binary) is simply A and B sections that are followed with a return to the A section to close the work out. This can also be called tertiary form. The key thing to note about sectional forms is that often you want a return to one section -to help combine your ideas more cohesively. This type of form is also one of the oldest. Rondo form is a type of sectional form that is structured either ABACA or a full rondo ABACADABA. There's lots of variety here though. Contrapuntal Forms: Contrapuntal forms are based around counterpoint devices and imitation. These types of forms can also be shortened to comprise sections of sectional forms. Fugue, for instance, can appear in a larger sonata-allegro or binary form as an abridged section. Types of contrapuntal forms include fugue, ricercare, and canonic inventions. Developmental Forms: Sonata-Allegro as it evolved over the last 400 years is what one would call a developmental form. It holds as its foundation a simple tertiary framework (ABA'). Various epochs ascribed harmonic designations to the sections: A is predominantly in the tonic, B is in the dominant, etc. However, it is the addition in the classical era of a developmental section (AB or C) that laid the foundation of this form for future expansion. Developmental forms serve to develop material formally. Through-composed forms often fall within this category (and some would argue that fugues bridge contrapuntal form and developmental form). That's pretty much the basics. All musical structures will fall within one of these three form types -with maybe a small handful of hybridized examples. As I mentioned in the first sentence, score study is going to teach you more about form then any theoretical textbook will. It will also teach you the most important aspect of form: transitions. Each composer has approached transitions in their own way -so score study will give good insights here. Hope this helps.
  5. I'll probably add pedal markings to it myself. I probably won't change the ending -I did think about fading to nothingness. I'll consider it. Glad you like it!
  6. I probably should put a marking there. I want the violinist to use a down bow for both measures 11 and 12. I thought about either leaving a note on top of that or using a breath mark to indicate that. The up bows for measure 10 and 12 into 13, I realize I could've used a slur to indicate this. But I want a definite stop between each note, while still using the up bow. I think this is a matter of transcription though -and I'm probably not marking it correctly. I can play these passages though easily. The violin and piano are stratified in many sections -intentionally. I hoped the dynamic differences would've made this known by looking at the score. The cadenza really is what I've labored over the most. My goal with this was a sort of meditation on some of the ideas that came before. I'll probably rewrite some of this too make it sound more hollow -as that was what I was going for. I wanted the open string double stops intentionally -as is probably indicated with the opening double stop material (perhaps I should provide some contrast with other stops?) Glad you like the development.
  7. jawoodruff


    I was busy working on a project for Euphonium when I got the ideas for this piece. Over the last few days, a week really, I've added and changed stuff. The work slowly expanded from there. When I got the idea, I thought about doing a sonata based on it -but, as my composition advanced, I decided a one movement work would suffice. The form is pretty straightforward -so I won't bore you with the details. I can, however, say I'm happy with this draft of it. The language is very intimate and, I'm sure some would note, there's a sense of doom and resignation in the piece (largely due to my stressing over the coronavirus and it's potential impact on my family). But, in the end, the show must go on -and life itself will ultimately return to some sense of normalcy. At any rate, I hope you all enjoy this.
  8. It is a nice touch -and perhaps you could use that material later on? I like what you have around M130 -I think the transition from the birdcall section to that is the main area that -to me- is lacking. I love the contrast between the sections here. That's the best thing about being a composer, you call the shots -and each of us have our own way of making our material work (or at least we should). I think this is an awesome piece so far and love the ideas. Hope my tips can shed some insight. 🙂
  9. Each of us grows best by providing our own insight even when we lack the knowledge that we are trying to encourage others to take up. That said, Beethoven's Eroica is an awesome symphony and well worth studying. I've never really been a fan of the 4th -though it's ingenious in its own right. I guess I've succumbed to the fact it's been overshadowed by the massive third and fifth symphonies.
  10. We love you @Ken320!!!! You and @Quinn are both awesome assets to the forum. You both should be commended for upending the reviews here. They are well appreciated!
  11. Wow, the Handel-esque section at R.M. 59 came out of no where. Almost reminds me of Smetana's Moldau -which also has fanfare section similar to this (though not as Handel-esque). I don' think the chordal part in the piano is necessary at measure 90. I mean, it works, but... I think the piano should continue to add to the bird-like environment here. You have the winds doing resonant tones already -so, it's not needed from the piano. I'd use the piano solely to continue the bird-like sounds. It's a nice timbral touch. I think the introduction of the piano arpeggiations at 96 seemed to have set you up for the problems you're encountering. The preceding section sort of dissipates prematurely -and you've not set enough room for a nice transition to the next section. I'd consider expanding the bird-like section like I mentioned above. Move up the piano register and increase the density of the bird calls with the wind instruments then have the piano start the arpeggiation up high (but with rests breaking up the eventual arpeggio). This would serve to prepare for the next section while at the same time giving ample time to the birdlike section itself. Relieve the tension with a descending arpeggio in the piano that rests on the starting note of the arpeggio for the next section. You can then foreshadow the next section in the bassoon prior to the falling arpeggio (given the other instruments are in a frenzy with the bird calls). That said, I'm loving this direction for you. The material here sounds very mature -which is an awesome thing! Brings tears to my eyes seeing you starting to develop somewhat of a voice. Keep up the amazing work! Can't wait to view this once you're finished.
  12. Honestly, looking at the string parts as a whole... I'd recommend you study part writing a bit. There are a lot of passages here where the bass is doubling the 1st violin -which isn't something you should actively do. Second, instead of having the strings conduct themselves almost uniformly homophonic, I'd look at doubling some of those wind lines (or imitating them). Separate the 1st Violin and Viola for this task and then have the 2nd Violin, Celli, and Bass carry on the harmonic underpinning. 3 voice harmony would be better to undertake here then 5 part -just a thought. Almost all the action here is scored for the winds -which doesn't quite make sense as you're missing out on some really nice timbral color.
  13. The lullaby reminds me of LIszt's Lebestraum -only less imaginative. I like it though. The B7 in measure 15 doesn't quite work and seems to sever the environmental that preceded it drastically -I'd look for a different progression here. The material at measure 17 also is a bit departed from the first half. A little too much, in my opinion. I'd look for a way to tie the two sections together (mind you, this could also be due to the transitory progression I mentioned at measure 15). When you change textures like this, it's always a good idea to foreshadow the change to prepare. In Viaje, I noticed you love the type of texture created by the opening bars. I've seen this in a few of your works. So, that said, let's see where you take this. Here, you took it where I figured you would -give me something new. That said, I think you missed an awesome opportunity to explore the tonal landscape in measures 21-30. Formalistically, I think this one is much more cohesive then the lullaby. Nice works!
  14. Nice and playful. Only tip is to tidy the score up a little bit. Consider changing the crescendo markings from the scissors to just simply cresc…………, that would make a big difference.
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