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Everything posted by Ken320

  1. (nodding my head) nice. carry on pat
  2. Wow! This is great to know. I've been wondering how to do this myself, it makes perfect sense. BTW, I like Gillian Welch very much. I know her first two records by heart now, having played them so often on the guitar. I can't afford a banjo now but I'd like to get my hands on one. Have you dropped your thumb yet? ;)
  3. OK. Yes, ostinato is a repeated phrase, but in classical music - music produced from 1750 to 1830, not ALL orchestral music - it is usually a line that supports a more primary melody. It is not the melody itself. There are exceptions of course. Not quite as banal as Smoke on the water (apologies to Deep Purple fans). If you have an example from classical music, please share it. Listen to the violins in the background here playing an ostinato pattern against the melody
  4. Patrick: Another piece of advice is to grow a thick skin. Pay no attention to the morons on this site. They have little to offer but hot air and buzz kill.
  5. We must assume that he's not getting into music just to be average. ;)
  6. You can't go wrong with reading Chopin's music. Besides being beautiful, they are all teaching pieces. Many of his works are written in all the keys with a good bit of modulation, so accidentals will be all over the place. The ones with six sharps or flats will illustrate chromatic melodies that necessarily use double sharps and flats. Why? Because the idea is to show upward and downward movement from line to space and from space to line. He will use double sharps in flat keys and double flats in sharp keys. So Chopin is good, and see Stravinsky's Firebird, first movement, whose key signature has 7 flats! and is chromatic from the get go. What joy! Again, like Chopin the sharps and flats are mixed to show a clearer up and down line.
  7. I don't think you are thinking too far ahead at all. Your goals and ways to get there vis a vis higher education are very admirable. In my experience it is rare for any individual, and especially for someone of your age, to actually have a plan mapped out. If you love music this much and are gifted enough to go the distance, than it will serve you well. Give yourself allowances for change though. Change of school, change of specialization, change for things beyond your control, technology, economics, politics, whatever. I knew a piano major who was a cut above the rest of the department because in addition to being well prepared and musically brilliant, she planned! Just in her third year she already new the teacher whom she would study with in Paris for her Master's. From what you describe you probably know that the competition is tough and that a Doctorate degree will be required to teach at most schools. However, a community college would welcome you with a Masters, during which you can work on your higher degree. Best of luck to you!
  8. Actually I've never noticed this technique in classical music, although there is something called a Coda, which is a sort of short recap, or punctuation at the end. But for jazz and pop music, these riffs as you call them are sometimes called a vamp, or just repeat and fade, if this is the case. One example that comes to mind is "King of Pain" by the Police.
  9. *** I'm not sure if this is already talked in another thread. This is quite basic though. My general question would be, "How to establish a key after modulation?" *** Another thread, on Pluto, perhaps, where rocket science meets music. Green, Why would you consult Shoenberg if you're interest is in modulation - a tonal concept? People here have suggested many good ideas regarding V-1 cadences, which, when transposed, will eventually establish a new key.
  10. Get practical. Prepare for an investment in time, labor, emotion. Prepare not to feel "rosy" all the time. Work through that. Pretend that you're a weight lifter. How does HE prepare? His goal is moving a huge weight with his muscles from the floor to the air. The composer is focused on moving a note through time with his brain. Though sometimes it feels like lifting weights.
  11. Well, not a metaphor, but the real thing: a blank sheet of paper. This fills me with dread every time. It's a sort of battle within yourself, to get something/ANYTHING down, or to walk away defeated. The more you get down, the more skin you've got in the game, the more likely you will produce something. Now, it may not be earth shattering. It may suck. It may sit on your computer for months until you realize that it had merit. Then you go back to it and finish it. I'm certainly no Mozart with fully-formed ideas popping out of my head. I labor at it. And if I'm not afraid of work I will eventually have music.
  12. It might be helpful to think of it like this: You're working with marble and you're cutting away at it, bit by bit. In the end, as long as you have some marble left, you will have something, you will have material. In the cutting and sculpting, you will ALWAYS have "something."
  13. If you've ever spent time on youtube, you've heard the phrase "the best ever ..." many MANY times. And when you click the link you get a whole lot of nothing. I Never heard of Scott Smalley, but I'll look him up. You can get a DVD master class of Johnny Mandel from asmac.org - American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers for only $50.00, and his string arrangements are classic examples of transparency and clarity. He did some recent work with Diana Krall. I'd be wary of ANYTHING costing $800, when a serious commitment costing only time trumps everything else.
  14. This post is a little old, but let me add a few things to the responses that I am in agreement with. I would not dissuade you from one on one teaching - you should do this regardless of the technology you use. But MIDI sequencers will give you immediate feedback in your compositional process, provided you have GOOD sample libraries and the requisite stuff to run it on. Your ear will be your 24/7 on-call orchestration teacher. Notation programs will leave you wanting in regards to sound and SATISFACTION. Meaning, if you had to play baseball with a plastic mitt, how motivated would you be? When I went to school I got maybe four hours total orchestra time. In four years! And the players were rushed, unfocused humans playing unfamiliar material. It sucked. With a MIDI sequencer you will learn instantly what is too thick, too muddy, too complex, too harsh, too weak, etc. I have just begun using Sibelius and there is no avoiding the work involved in using a MIDI sequencer and notation together. Turning apples into oranges. That's the way things stand now - the need for both worlds.
  15. If you want oohs and ahhs there are probably many that will do. I have a little experience with only one: Eastwest. It knows 100,000 English words, has it own phonetic language and is extremely configurable with regard to shaping every aspect of a word, i.e., length and volume of vowels and consonants. It's all broken down in an editing window as you type the words in.
  16. Here is an example of extremely quiet playing. It's a balancing act between using the smallest amount of bow on the string while still getting it to "speak." It's done on the cello so there is more neck position variability than on the violin. If you have access to a music library, go and check out some scores. :nod: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8qg_0P9L6c
  17. I agree that there is a sort of musical relativism when it comes to rules. But you're not creating your own rules in serialism. That's the point. You're bound by Scheonberg's from the get go. Required: use all 12 tones. Required: create an order an adhere to it. I admit that the Devil is in the details after that, but I find it limiting and dated. Wuorinen used the term tonal as the opposite of serial technique, but now we're in the post-modern period and ANYTHING goes. So, "real serialism," as the original poster put it, may be an impediment to creativity, as is Mozart. Maybe some of you live by it, maybe not. I mean no offense. My professors in school were smitten by Scheonberg, to the extent that they derided those who disagreed with serialism. One said, and I quote: "Stravinsky would be nothing without the repeated note." As if ostinato is just a cheap trick.
  18. I think by math maybe Antonio means algorithm. Music by rule rather than ego or emotion. Charles Wuorinen described 12-tone music as the process of creating a system of rule, sort of like an infrastructure. In other words, like a road. You cannot drive your car unless the road exists. If it does not exist, you must put off driving until you build the road. Conversely, with tonal music, the road has been laid down over centuries of time, and all you need to be concerned about is driving.
  19. Brilliant. I have just finished reading Wuorinen's "Simple Composition," which is anything but simple. I really like his music (some) very much. I think I just wasn't interested in methods I would never, ever use to compose. Serialism will retain its place in the composer's tool kit, but it will not supersede the tonal. Yes, I love the excitement of the dissonant harmonies. But the serial paradigm is too strict, in any of its forms, and that ultimately renders it a distant choice for repeated listening, in other words, boring. When music acquires such a uniformity, what is the point in pleasure or study? Do NOT waste you time studying Wuorinen or any other 12 tone disciple. Just carry a 3X5 index card in your pocket with the rules.
  20. Yes, John Williams. That's a good site. Also check out "The Accidental Tourist," a great film and score and easy to learn by ear.
  21. I think in the case of this song the program material itself is a big factor as to why the key changes sound "right." Exciting, in fact. Because each section is almost identical to the last. The rhythm is the same, the orchestration is the same, and the chord progressions sound virtually the same. So when you make that jump in key to the next section, you are still in familiar territory. Your mind just goes "Oh yeah, I've heard this before, it's just a different key." And because he doesn't clutter it up with unnecessarily passing chords, he doesn't confuse the listener. Try this for an experiment. Take this progression, which is similar to the piece, and try modulating it to various keys. A lot of them will sound good juxtaposed together without a single passing chord. The first chord in each series is the new key for that series. Dm-Bb-C, Am-F-G or Dm-Bb-C, Gm-Eb-F Sorry, didn't mean to confuse you, each sequence begins and ends on the tonic Dm-Bb-C-Dm, Am-F-G-Am or Dm-Bb-C-Dm, Gm-Eb-F-Gm Not all will sound good. See which ones! Check this out for examples of quick key changes. G to Bb @ 1:05, with no connecting chord at all, then Eb http://www.youtube.c...h?v=qPQRdi6GUcw
  22. You could try this - http://www.asmac.org/ or this - free-scores.com good luck or if you can get to a university music library (long shot)
  23. Ok then. Music doesn't have anything to do with philosophy. Nor does plumbing or basket weaving. Composing music is one of the most conscious acts I can think of. It takes a great deal of ego and will power to compose music. Anyone can have an idea pop into their mind from the subconscious. But if you don't have the sheer will and basic technique, ain't nothin gonna happen. Philosophy is a way of viewing the world and men and women's actions in it. Sort of like economics. Music is a language unto itself, with its own laws, problems and solutions. I wouldn't sit to write a piece of music and have my mind grappling with issues of selfishness vs. generosity, for example. And likewise I wouldn't write a book on the violent nature of men, while pondering the best way to modulate from the key of C to Bb minor.
  24. Composing without a piano, or sequencer to hear immediate feedback, is such an abstract endeavor that I don't do it. There are some guys good enough and quick enough to do it on paper, or Finale. But I've got to hear it, test it out, weigh the options. Mistakes occur and sometimes these are gold. But you will never know if you can't hear them. Chopin, Ravel, Debussy composed with a piano because their music was idiomatically pianistic. Simple. Stravinsky always composed with a piano, and I've read that it was not always in tune. Hmm, makes you think. If he were alive today, I think he'd be using a sequencer, but who knows? I know this. Sometimes you need a basic blueprint for a piece and the piano is perfectly suited for that. Even piano music can be morphed into most anything. It's just a tool.
  25. Schoenberg's Fundamentals will be useful only if you want to write and think like Schoenberg, whose vision imo was extremely narrow. He was interested in theory and methodology more than anything else. The Norton Scores, however, contain examples of music of all periods and styles. It is not a manifesto, but rather a compendium of what good composers have done over the years and why.
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