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Monarcheon

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Posts posted by Monarcheon


  1. Quick note: the transition point from m. 44 to the piano's entrance is a little lackluster compared to the superb counterpoint before it.
    Absolutely stick with this, I think. It's a great combo of instruments because of a lot of great doubling options (in the style of someone like Cesar Franck) and if you need things to get bigger, you have the established instrumental timbres to let the left hand do some basic "loud" things. 
    At the point when the piano comes you can play the counterpoint as a sort of call and response with scalar figures doubled in the imperfect consonances. Lots of options; I think it's great!


  2. 12 minutes ago, caters said:

    Oh wait, is it because while the melody goes C Bb Ab G, the bass simultaneously goes C Eb C?

    If you mean for the A-flat to be something of a vii˚7/i, then you've extended your period to 9 bars. A diminished chord wouldn't sound bad if it was fleshed out in the aforementioned inner voices.

    14 minutes ago, caters said:

    Well, it could be iii - IV, E minor moving to F via the triplet motive, E minor would still have tonic function because it is the mediant of C major and thus wouldn't be breaking any harmonic rules, right? Plus the 1 scale step motion between E minor and F would further emphasize the tonic function. Or would iii - IV still be breaking the harmonic rules? I tried to stay consonant with the bass and have any dissonances with the bass resolve.

    You're right it could be iii - IV, but note how the first note you land on in m. 4 is functionally a G major triad with no fifth. This is because the previous measure seems like an arpeggiation, and thus a G in the bass would sound more functionally correct as a V chord. Without any sense of inversion, it sounds like the E in the bass in that measure is a appoggiatura to the IV chord. It's not helped by the fact the A in the triplet figure is a 4th against it, confusing the tonality even more. For this reason and many others in your piece, working with inner voices and constant motion/Alberti style accompaniment will immensely help the sound you want to go for. 


  3. Are you writing to write in the Classical style with this piece? You seem to favor it so there are some notable things:
    1. Sonatina seems like an acceptable word if you want to retain its form and length, though Rondo isn't bad either if that's what it is.
    2. There's a lack of inner voice play which is very common in the the Classical era. It's very bass/soprano at the moment, and the piece shifts between forward and static momentum when you have the RH/LH play both different and same rhythms, respectively. A little bit period-inappropriate but you could take the mazurka route and add a high chord on the weak beat of a measure to keep this.
    3. The section on the subdominant: I'm not sure if this is just because it's not done, but I would suggest adding a three note figure in the left hand after every 16th note triplet arpeggio/measure, since the right hand doesn't have any momentum, and the left hand figure stops abruptly: i.e. F C A downwards in eighth notes.
    4. Breaks some melodic rules: In sentence form, you want those first four measures to elaborate the tonic. When you end the half-phrase on B, in implies the dominant. B is a harsh note to pick there because it can't be the dominant because a V - IV progression is illegal in this period, and emphasizing a non-chord tone on a tonic chord is even stranger. Make sure you're staying careful about those kinds of things.
    5. When you end in C minor the A-flat makes it sound like you made a tertian leap down to A-flat major rather than a parallel cadence.


  4. It's good. Not exactly minimalistic in the theoretical sense of the word. Minimalism in that sense normally expands upon one central process or idea (i.e. the music of Steve Reich). Your melody changes over what we call a basso ostinato, essentially a bass that repeats itself over and over again. 
    In your first broken chord in the bass, the second note (the G-flat) will sometimes clash with a note in the melody, most notably F or A-flat. This isn't inherently a problem, but if it keeps happening without melodic unity or development, it'll start sounding a little unplanned.

    • Like 1

  5. 2 hours ago, Theodore Servin said:

    I probably should have clarified that I was not entirely asking in a historical context, but more within a contemporary context. Obviously, historically there were many reasons why certain composers and their music did not become as well known as others, though I do appreciate your input on the matter. But my main issue is why there is very little attempt to promote these rare composers now, in the present era. As I mentioned earlier, now that this rare music is available to anyone on the internet, people are beginning to discover this music, and for the most part are reacting very positively towards it. Some people have even tried to request performances of it in classical radio stations, or concert venues, but often get little to no response.

    Sorry, in my haste, I forgot to mention that's the underlying cause of the stratification. @Tónskáld took the explanation to its modern conclusion.

    • Like 1

  6. On 8/4/2019 at 4:04 PM, Maarten Bauer said:

    I put the resulting note in the artificial harmonics to make sure they hit the right note, but you think that it is obvious enough with the two bottom notes? 

    Any halfway decent cellist will know what the two notes mean. Source: I'm a cellist and I suck.

     


  7. Historically speaking? It mostly comes down to the public, and in social cases, sex/gender/ethnicity/class, etc. 
    Honegger, Arensky and others were actually quite good, but it's largely the public who decides what gets considered popular enough to move on. When the printed music market became more widely accessible, people bought stuff they knew. Similar thing happened to opera; since people wanted to be "in the know", audiences started demanding operas that were popular overseas.
    There's a reason why we know Rimsky Korsakov and Mussorgsky from the Mighty Five and not so much Borodin, Cui, or Balakirev. Rimsky got popular in academia and Mussorgsky's strong use of mediant harmony got him favors with academia in Boris. It's primarily circumstance, although prolificness couldn't hurt either (i.e. Schubert, Bach).


  8. Interesting concept. 
    Couple notes about the cello writing: No need to put the sounding note above an artificial harmonic. If it was a natural harmonic, it'd be a good idea, but there's only so much you can do with a false one. Low artificial harmonics are not easy, and will not come out in the slightly stifled timbre I think you're after. Most of the time it'll just be wrong.
    The piece is good in concept, I'll just mention I'm not a huge fan of these constant pauses. In the opening and ending, they make sense kinda, since it's kind of like a chorale feeling, but in the middle (especially when it gets faster), I think you miss a bit of the opportunity to ramp up the drama. I imagine all of those huge contrasts being juxtaposed one after the other nonstop, ending in the fortissimo right before the Lento, in stark contrast to the outer sections. 


  9. 6 hours ago, caters said:

    I honestly think that atonality has ruined classical music and that we need something like a Classical Period Revival.

    Yikes. If you never learn something crucial to the creation of the canon, you're missing out on a huge portion of the whole, in this case the musical era you're currently living in. While I personally am not a huge fan of the Galant sound, you'd better believe I busted my ass understanding how it works. 
    And besides, people already have a sense of when pushing a boundary goes too far in a given instance. The Beatles's Revolution 9 stained the White Album for the longest time. 

    1 hour ago, Tónskáld said:

    Great point! I think individual preferences is what makes art exactly that: an art. Nobody corners the market on the definition of beauty; in my opinion, the best artists are the most versatile—those who can adapt and write to many different audiences.

    I agree with the second portion of this statement, but not the first. People have a tendency to take art too seriously, looking for meaning and praising its contributions to the development of the genre as a whole. While I personally think it's kind of wasted effort on their part, I don't think it stems from any knowledgable preference. Ask most people and they'll tell you they don't like Country/Rap/Classical/etc. and be unable to say why. I hate it when people praise something for being "ahead of its time", because they look at things outside what makes the art good in the first place.

    2 hours ago, KJthesleepdeprived said:

    I'm hoping that honest effort and an open mind will bring me there naturally.

    Succinct, and I think the best way to sum this whole thing up, personally. It's no good to rush through the learning process; things take time to form expertise and that's okay.

    • Like 1

  10. I appreciate the little surprises in there every so often to keep it from getting too nocturne-ish. In your score, I would perhaps suggest marking how you want those grace notes to be played, since more classical interpreters would take it to mean a pretty fast ornamentation rather than what's done in the recording.

    • Like 1

  11. What composition style are you going for? You're discussing very tonal harmonic plans as well as classical form, so I'm assuming in late classical early-romantic, but do correct me if I"m wrong. 
    My main thing listening to this is too much whiplash between motion and stasis. It seems to come randomly sometimes (i.e. m. 13), with some cadential points lasting a little too long (i.e. mm. 46-47), and the entire section of whole notes is completely unnecessary (a simple plagal extension from a PAC would achieve the same effect and not take as long). It would be one thing to add suspense, but if you're really trying to emulate a sunny day of all things, it probably shouldn't be there without some sort of rhythmic drive. 

    The canon also needs a lot of work, if you're going for that classical-ish style I was asking about before. A crazy kind of harmonically ambiguous sound with themes coming in all over the place is great in a more modern style. Even then, the piano should probably be used as a more driving force than an inclusionary one.

    @Tónskáld makes good points about player enjoyment. An audience will never feel the emotions you feel writing the piece, so you want your performers to be as motivated as possible to make the music actual art.


  12. You seem to lean in on dissonances in this one, part of your style, I've noticed, but this one especially. Parallel sevenths and what I'm guessing are intentional dissonant resolutions are found throughout. My only complaint with this comes when it's done with too much oblique motion or P8's, like mm. 16-17 in the upper voices. I don't know if it was intentional for spots like that to be "text painting" on "dwell", but they never seem very helpful in thematic establishment; rather, it seems like a gesture that kind of has an opposite function.
    Interesting work, overall.

    • Like 1

  13. @Tónskáld covered some foundational stuff, so I'll just focus on engraving... You need to make sure that when you're putting rhythms in that everything is sectioned off in their own beat, and since you're using 5/4, that everything is in some sort of grouping.

    The very first soprano line, for example, has to be dotted eighth, sixteenth tied to another sixteenth, then the remaining 3 sixteenths.

    • Like 1

  14. I don't know how much music history you've studied up to this point, but this whole notion of material-based originality came from the genesis of the Romantic era, where the advancement of middle-class music making along with the general advancement of music printing/publishing combined. Composers started using super fancy/exotic-sounding titles and used increased harmonic changes to be more expressive and have their pick at the newly free market.

    I'll elaborate on my own opinions/answer more of the proposed questions if this discussion gets more lively, but I'm more a fan of the way the Classical era dealt with originality, where quality was based upon how well you could use old forms and conventions in your own style/ways. It doesn't sound very modern to us because it was their styles, but Haydn's and Beethoven's music were pretty novel when they were written. 

    The modern era has taken this Romantic ideal of expression and newness to its extreme, trying to push progress without having the patience for it. The elitism and high-artness of modern classical music generally glosses over the music most people will listen to; how subtle its changes are to formulas, but how effectively catchy the songs are. 

    Maybe my thoughts on this will change over time.

    • Like 2

  15. There's not really enough of the fugue variation to make any judgments... it definitely sounds like a sequence by bass fifth from what's there. 
    Saying you want to make it "fugal" means something very specific, and in that language, you've achieved stretto from the very beginning which is a little odd; I would focus on free imitation. It'll achieve the same effect you're going for.


  16. Hey, man, come back more often 😞
    I like how you were able to write a piece in Dorian/any mode really that doesn't sound gimmicky, at least in terms of the harmony. Accenting the 6 felt incredibly natural, which is great, because a lot of composers always play into their modality too much and ruin its novelty. 
    I might break up your longer time signatures into smaller ones and/or use the dashed barline to denote metrical sections. By the 24/8, I was feeling a little bit wary of all of the tonic repetitions. I appreciate you mixing it up with some displacement, but maybe you could have some inner voice fun there instead as the piece goes on.
    Cool little thing!


  17. 1. Gershwin's Piano Concerto, 1st movement, starting 7:30. The beautiful E major section comes out of nowhere, and when it climaxes with a major 7th suspension on the ii chord nothing else matters.

    2. Shostakovich Symphony 15, end, 42:52: I love this whole piece, but the end is so completely different, yet totally not at all (in reference to the first movement), that it's ironically one of the most conclusive pieces, even including his 5th and 7th symphonies.

    3. Kapustin Piano Concerto No. 2, mvt. 3, 2:03, everyone should hear this whole piece, but I guess I just love contrast that isn't really a contrast at all, because in the middle of all of this toccata-esque piano play, there's this great little section of swing, while the piano sticks with themes from the whole piece in the same style. It's short, but a fantastic little moment.

     


  18. This isn't meant to be condescending in any way, but I'm curious as to what your theoretical/dramatic rationale was to write it in the way you did. 

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