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Everything posted by Monarcheon

  1. I've extensively studied popular music as part of my second degree in music history. Far be it from me to call something wrong, but personal style doesn't excuse something from alternate views. Similarly, simply because everyone likes it doesn't necessarily make it an artistically viable choice. The poetry by Rupi Kaur, for example, is very popular but hardly good poetry. As it stands, your handle on voice leading in counterpoint is quite good. Modern pop likes to use cross modal counterpoint and it seems like you picked up on that naturally which is admirable. To me it just occasionally doesn't work vertically as well as horizontally.
  2. Tempo shifts are a bit too drastic sometimes. Interrupts flow after short periods of time. Use of counterpoint is generally quite nice, though it's very distracting when there's a register disparity. It lacks the proper Schenkerian voice exchange when you shift keys, either through modulation or chord progression. Near the end, some of your chords seem to blend together with awkward results. V over i and V over iv normally. But it's never that big an issue.
  3. You try to do a lot in two minutes... which is a shame, since some of these ideas are really good, but you don't have enough evidence to prove that they're a unit, or even their own thing. It falls in this strange middle ground. In slower parts, I admire your attempt to always have a moving line to keep the pulse, but sometimes it's too explicit. Let things grow. Also, don't be afraid to add slurs to all your parts. They make a huge difference in performance... a doo-wap vs. dot dot.
  4. I feel like the drums aren't totally consistent in their groove. This seems to be a theme with your work and I can never tell if it's intentional. Focusing on D is fine as a drone tone, and the whole step deviations are quite nice, but I feel like it's not quite atmospheric or unsettling without change. Music is not so much about repetition as it is deviation from that repetition; most comp teachers tend to leave that second part out.
  5. Monarcheon

    For You

    The mixing on the opening is a bit confusing with the keyboard louder than the vocals. I feel like there are some unnecessary chord extensions that kind of get in the way of the atmosphere for me personally: i.e. 0:43 Db∆7 instead of a triadic structure. I know it blends into the tonic, but that sometimes makes it feel a bit more out of place. Could have used a bit more elaboration on the chord progression. It feels a bit quickly made at the moment, and there is a lot more to have done with it, especially since the tonic is not the first chord. If you're going for a mood, you're almost there. I can't imagine it's supposed to be complex, but this otherwise doesn't make me think of anything super grounded in reality.
  6. So I see you're experimenting with broken sequences here. I think the second one works better than the first since it is used as a developmental figure instead of part of the initial motivic device. The parallel fourths and fifths in the first one could have contributed to that perception, however.
  7. Not sure of the original song but your chord voicings are nice and lead well. Only thing I would say is that occasionally the electronic parts without the piano trading off with the piano sound a bit awkward when leading into each other sometimes.
  8. It's generally nice. I'm not a huge fan of some of your pseudo-syncopations where the solo takes over that figure. The Adagietto is well done. By the way, don't write the bassoon in mezzo-soprano clef. Tenor should be used.
  9. Couple things in the fast section: Parts where the left hand was remained static for at least 2 beats felt a bit uncharacteristic and halted the forward momentum of the piece for me. Even oblique motion I think could have worked where you have those, or an added figure in the diatonic triad. Perhaps this was your intent, but I found myself losing the beat in the parallel octave section a lot. In fact, I'm pretty sure this was your intent what with the "misplaced" (figuratively, of course) accents, but even with the clever chromatic figure, I found them a bit distancing. Contrary motion part near the end was nice, but why in m. 48, do you end with the left hand only playing eighth notes just before the climax (great chord, by the way). Slower section: Careful that you're not misusing F-flat. In m. 68, for example, you use F-flat in a V/iv chord, which merits an E-natural instead. Function over form. mm. 73-74: the register disparity leaves it feeling a little awkwardly lonely, which would be fine if it was not immediately succeeded by a return to form, and preceded by similar chord structure. m. 88: not sure how many audiences won't hear that retardation up to C natural as on the downbeat. I know it makes sense in your head, but in "Grave" tempo with no moving voices, it'll just sound like artistic license. It's a pretty cool piece. Hope you're better now.
  10. So... this counterpoint may be dissonant, but it's not dissonant counterpoint. Dissonant counterpoint has a lot of rules to follow about rhythm and intervals and running pitches. So the piece is nice, but it doesn't follow Seeger and Cowell's rules.
  11. I'm wanting to impress doctorate programs with portfolios so I'm entering dissonant counterpoint along with one of the other tonal fugues I entered here. Does anyone see any mistakes or issues?
  12. I really liked how it opened; really cool harmonic language. As it went on, though, the only reference was a shifting between I and bIII which is still pretty nice, but I think the intermixing that you used in the beginning was much better.
  13. Prelude: A couple weird measures. Most notably 3 and 12. For 3 and 7, the use of the German +6 is really nice in terms of building tension, but are followed by confusing chords, C˚ and Eb˚7, respectively. I kind of see what you're going for on 7, which is why I think that one is okay; it seems like you're eliding a cadence which is clever. 3 doesn't have the same treatment. Measure 12 is just a bit awkward because of the tritone leap to the top note. In general, I think the fact that this entire Prelude sounds like one voice makes it sound more like the first period in a two-period structure with something else added the second time. Just feels a bit empty. Fugue: In two voices, parallel dissonances (where two non-standard intervals are consecutive) are not "wrong", but they do sound awkward (they would be wrong in Renaissance counterpoint, however). Places like beats 3 and 4 in m. 20 just sound out of place because of it. The same rule applies with parallel 4ths. Beats 3 and 4 in m. 31 are an example of this. Speaking of m. 31, why did you go back to two voices at m. 30? The episode isn't super long, but it kind of unnecessarily loses a voice. m. 26's first beat confuses me, mostly for the major 9th between the bottom two voices. The fugue's general structure is also a bit weird: Subject - m. 15 Answer - m. 19 Codetta - m. 22 (this is too early; you have one more measure of subject to get through). 3rd Voice - m. 26 (why does the soprano suddenly have the answer again?) I could go on, but it seems like it needs a little more direction.
  14. So I read the description of your video, and the way I interpret this is that you're attempting a series of minimally connected vignettes that relate only by general motif. However, the composer's intent is rarely important when it comes to listening to music so I'm going to do my best to look at this without a score. To me, there's a general lack of a dramatic arc to the music. Not only is this caused by the form, but the orchestration, especially near the end: you finally decide to stick with one style until the end, but it's not very finale sounding, even though I think you want it to be. In other words, your ending is less convincing of an ending than some of the other styles you put into the piece. You rely too heavily on the component parts (octave pedal and arpeggiated structures) that the registers are never filled and it ends up sounding empty. In addition, there are too many times where you pull the "dramatic buildup that leads to nothing" trick (it was extremely annoying at 4:57), and I found it to be rather irksome as the piece went on. This combined with your general lack of classical transitions (which would make sense if this was a more modern piece, but it is not), outweighs the connecting power of motif, in my opinion. It was strange to me that orchestrational repetition was your crutch to repeat certain parts in your more contrapuntal areas. You have a general sense of your harmonic structures (save a few awkward transitions), but in places like 3:10 and 1:43 the repetition of the two note figure discerning the harmony was extremely pronounced and generally non-fluid. Takes away from some of the better moments throughout the work. You also often structure your measures in such a way where it seems like every measure is essentially an elaboration of a chord with arpeggiation and nonharmonic tones used to slightly divert from that path. Normally this is used as a pretty interesting buildup tool, but again, if used to often, the effect is lost. Starting at 3:45, you have D, E, F#m, C#m all relatively clearly pronounced, which is fine, if this wasn't so common a technique you implement within the piece. Everything starts to sound like a cliché at that point, and I generally don't like audiences to just casually listen to music without thinking. Touching on the form of the piece, each section is varied on its length. This is generally okay, but the shorter vignettes don't particularly sound like intentional tidbits of music; it instead sounds like you don't really know where to go from there. In other words, it has the potential to sound like lazy writing, and this problem is exacerbated by the lack of smooth transitions. Because it's clear much of this piece is cinematic in nature, rather than strictly sticking to any past tonal forms, your journey ends up having too many plot holes for it's own good. The harmonic of this motif, when it does switch is extremely welcome, like near the end at 5:24 (even though the first E∆7/E7 polychord is a little odd), especially when it resolves to A major. The rest of the time when you're exploring your VI - VII - i progression becomes stale since very rarely is that developed. So many opportunities to reharmonize the motif and it was disappointing to not get as many different views of the theme as I could have. In other words, development was very selective. Overall, the piece certainly works, I just personally find it a bit too randomly structured, even if it was very structured in your own mind. Provided you have your theoretical reasons for your choices, everything I say here is worthless. Just offering another opinion.
  15. Can't argue with that. I'm not. Finishing up bachelors right now - I rushed through Music Theory and History degrees so I could get to what I'm actually interested in: semiotics. Wasn't really learning much. Starting a doctorate in theory as soon as possible. Basically, whenever I get bored I practice writing with rules again. Tonal fugues, 12-tone music, spectral music, etc. Gotta practice it sometime if I'm going to have to teach it.
  16. This is a bit of a strange recreation of an Elvis-era song. It's almost as if it's competing with the progressive rock that came after, especially with the synths near the end. The focus on power chords in the main riff is a little empty-sounding. The horn section helps out sometimes but not enough to maintain a consistent tonality. My other issue is the ending. The only way you can make the two sections connect is through major analytical harmonic reaches and references very little, with an entirely different key center and progression. The fact it doesn't have any lyrics to connect the A to the B makes the connection even harder.
  17. I'll focus on Return to Kashmir: :48 - B# leading tone sounded a bit off since it wasn't substantiated with anything besides a upper register tonic drone, which is a bit of a strange choice. It's generally better other times, until the end, where you have the B# turn into a major triad, in which the mediants of B# major and C# minor are enharmonically equivalent. Melody takes back seat in this piece. Heightens a sense of repetitiveness, especially in the B section. C section was best with shifting times and rhythms. Great drop section.
  18. Not entirely true... Baroque rules were influenced by very explicit rules (albeit not particularly strict ones) from the Medieval and Renaissance periods. Though, if you're trying to sound Baroque, then you should follow those rules. Unless it's for a contest/application or something, I don't think many people do that nowadays.
  19. Haha, well the 9ths and parallel fifths are rampant in the prelude but thank you!
  20. Occasionally, on the contrary; lack of motivation lets you practice things you wouldn't normally. In this case, set writing.
  21. This is a piece written for a beginners group that is meant to feature the underused/played instruments in the orchestra. Variations on the normal theme from the beginning then ending on a canon of sorts kind of like Britten's "Young Person's Guide..." Performed a while back but unfortunately didn't get a recording or anything. 😞
  22. Another "bored during class" kind of piece. I think the set was (025) this time.
  23. A rondo is an elaboration of ritornello form, where the refrain is played between contrasting sections. In this case, it happens to be B not A. This link here...: https://music.stackexchange.com/questions/31899/why-is-mozarts-turkish-march-considered-a-rondo ...describes that the form can be boiled down to an ABA by what they call "second order groupings" but this is unconvincing to me.
  24. Focusing on your prelude: Any reason why your first and third measures in the left hand are tied across the center of the bar instead of just being a half note? The beat of space in those opening bars feels a bit unsubstantiated. No reason to not fill them in, especially since you're trying to establish material. Augmented second leap to a the fifth in contrary motion sounds off in 7. Same in m. 14 (with a minor 3rd leap). Why write out the trill like that in mm. 7, 11, etc.? m. 12 is also weirdly empty, strange considering first go through it had your bass voice continuing on regardless. Direct fifth in m. 13 is awkward sounding. Also, what would be considered the major 6th in modern times isn't as common then. Triadic arpeggiation of m. 16 sounds like a harmonic standstill. mm. 17-18's retardation to the suspended tone sounds strange.
  25. This work seems a bit lonely. Could be the MIDI rendering of instruments, but it felt very sectioned off, in comparison to your other stuff. The groups that comprise the melodic and countermelodic structures were almost too obvious without much else serving as glue between them. It was also a little bit too much hearing almost every phrase end on some version of the tonic, sometimes in between phrase-ends as well.
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