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Everything posted by Monarcheon

  1. This is really beautiful writing. I know it's not in fifths but the opening reminded me a lot of the opening of "Daphnis and Chloe" the way you opened with chords that sounded like dissonance but resolves without having to actually change. I was hooked from the beginning! I'm going to be honest, since I use a non-compatible browser, I was able to get through most of the piece before it reset itself but I was able to hear the rest in my head, so just a heads up. A lot of really awesome resolutions to half-diminshed chords. I wish there was a name for this, because it's always so eerie and interesting wherever it happens. In particular, I like the E half-diminished you first have in your winds, then your strings, in m. 36. "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Fawn" is the piece I heard there (talk about French influence!). Your wind writing, despite it not having some welcomed breath marks in it, sounds amazing and was a perfect little flurry atop the rest of the orchestra, especially in the beginning. Well done. The conductor/teacher side of me is just picky about your engraving! In your strings, sometimes the cellos and basses could have been in higher clefs, and the staves could have been dragged down to accommodate for both notes and slurs. Same goes for the winds, but just for the slurs. Seeing them cross staves like that gets kind of obnoxious for conductors looking at these pieces for the first time. But really, that's just a spacing issue that doesn't comment on the piece. The rest was gorgeous, and MIDI doesn't do it enough justice! Hope to hear more!
  2. YC: Fall, 2016 Composition Competition - Please Read Carefully! Hello to all! I’ve been given the honor of leading this year’s fall competition for this site by @danishali903. Perhaps some of you saw this on the chat already, but it’s time to make it official! As some of you might have guessed from my entry in last season’s competition, I’m a huge fan of Theme and Variations pieces. Hearing and experiencing multiple ways of expressing one theme is always a refreshing and fun way to look at music. Some of the best Variations pieces include Tchaikovsky’s “Variations on a Rococo Theme”, Brahms’s “Variations on a Theme by Haydn”, and who could forget all the composers who wrote famous variations on Paganini’s Caprice No. 24 in A minor? All of these pieces take the essence of the original and provide quick and innovative renditions of them in the form of variations (sometimes a lot of them!). You guessed it, this season’s topic is Variations on Other Composer’s Themes! Below are all the instructions and guidelines concerning scoring, the topic, and deadlines: TOPIC: Compose a “Theme and Variations” piece using a theme from another composer’s piece. RULES TO CHOOSING A THEME: Picking a theme: Entrants are encouraged, but not required, to pick a relatively well-known theme to write their piece with. This is just for the judge’s convenience, so that they are more familiar with the piece and thus can judge the variations more fairly. The theme must be of a length where making variations on it is plausible. Please be a good sport and don’t pick too short a theme. Stating the theme: Entrants should clearly label in their post AND their score what theme they will be utilizing, by which composer, in which piece, and provide a link to that piece with a timestamp for the judges’ convenience. Failure to do so will result in disqualification. Utilizing the theme: Entrants should open their piece directly quoting the theme they will be using throughout, although the harmony they use with it can vary. This opening should be simplistic and easy to latch onto. The subsequent variations should clearly utilize some part of the theme, be it through the chord progression or thematic motifs. ELIGIBILITY: *You must be a member of the Young Composers forum in order to enter. Sign ups will be in the comments below. *There will again be no limits to instrumentation. *The minimum length for this competition will be raised to 6 minutes. The maximum will stay the same at 20 minutes. *You must have a minimum of 5 variations in your piece. *Same as last competition: You must have some sort of audio rendition accompanying your work, otherwise your entry will be disqualified. *If you volunteer to be a judge, you may not enter as a contest participant. *Entrants should have an intermediate understanding of engraving and orchestration… this is another major focus of the competition; the point value has been raised significantly. SCORING: How clear was it that the entrant followed the basis of theme in each variation? /20 How unique was each variation in comparison to both the theme and the preceding variation? /20 danishali903 wanted there to be a larger emphasis on orchestration this season. How well did the entrant write for the instruments he/she/they chose? /20 How quality is the score? Are all the markings necessary for a successful performance there? Are all the variations and/or coda labeled? /20 Is the length practical (or does the piece start sounding monotonous?)? /15 How is the quality of the audio? /5 Please keep in mind that the point values for everything have been raised, especially for the score quality. TOTAL: /100 An extra 5 points can be added to the discretion of the judges if the entrant provides an explanation as to why they chose that theme and why they chose that instrumentation. A penalty of 10% will be factored in to your total score (per judge) for every variation less than 5 an entrant provides. THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE THE THEME. NOTE: Having a Coda present in your piece, clearly labeled, will not count as a separate variation, but will not be reduced from you score for sounding similar. DEADLINE: I’m hoping for everything to be done by the holidays, so to give the judges ample time to properly judge these, on average, longer pieces, the deadline for submission will be November the 25th. The deadline to signal intent for entry into the competition will be November the 1st. ENTRY: Please list your interest to compete by replying to this thread below in the comments. Please note if you are applying as a PARTICIPANT or a JUDGE. I will be updating this list for participants as we go. I will be serving as one of the 4 judges for this competition, so open spots for adjudicating will be limited to 3. JUDGE REQUIREMENT: Must be willing to properly defend all the scores for each category with a few sentences minimum… we want all of our entrants to grow with us! GOOD LUCK TO ALL AND HAVE FUN! GOOD QUESTIONS THAT MAY COME UP: Should I have variations that transition into each other, or can I stop between variations? Entries do not need to have a transition per se, but the piece should still flow, even if stops are present. Listen to Rozsa’s “Variations for Piano, Op. 9” for reference. Why is the minimum time raised for this competition? The minimum time has been raised in order to challenge composers to think about how they can uniquely portray a melody line, over and over again. Why is there a minimum number of variations and why am I getting penalized for not meeting the requirement? There is a minimum number in order to discourage entrants from writing very few, but long variations. How long should each variation be? The point of a classical variation is to adapt a melody or chord progression into a different style, then change it again, to keep interest high. There is no prescribed length per, but it needs to be long enough to get the idea of a variation across. Some are 30 seconds, some can be a minute. What if two of my variations sound similar? The judges will still count it as a separate variation, but will acknowledge its lack of perceptual difference from the prior variation. However, if the score writing is clearly different, that will be taken into account. What if I have a Coda? Having a Coda present in your piece, clearly labeled, will not count as a separate variation, and will not be reduced from you score for sounding similar. A Coda is generally a callback to the theme, found at the end or near the end of a variations piece. Can I submit more than one piece? No, please only submit one piece for this competition. ENTRANTS: 1. danishali903 2. Austenite 3. bkho 4. ChristianPerrotta 5. KJthesleepdeprived 6. orchdork02 7. Noah Brode 8. luderart 9. Emiliano Manna 10. JohnKiunke 11. SebastianViola 12. TJS Judges: 1. Monarcheon 2. Sonataform 3. Ken320 EDIT: Judge Gylfi has had to resign the position due to health complications. Please do not post submissions to the competition here.
  3. This is a really gorgeous melody line that changes things up a lot, which I appreciate. Were you intending those slurs to be breath marks? I think there could be portions of the piece that could benefit from longer phrases, but phrases are always a personal thing for composers. I do think you underutilize the flute's potential though. What you have here is beautiful, but perhaps some ornaments or grace passages could contribute to the overall "flute-y" atmosphere of the piece. Were you also intending for those tempo changes to be immediate or changed into via accel/rit/etc.? If it's the latter, you might want to mark that. Great stuff!
  4. Good use of the twelve tone! I never thought of using one for mine.
  5. Quaint, and very interesting. Some of your cello double stops (especially the 3rd's) are very difficult to reach out of nowhere. Be cautious of that. Also some of your intervals clash a little in areas where it seems like it's supposed to be tonal. I do like how a lot of your modulations happen very quickly and without you noticing sometimes. Pretty cool stuff.
  6. I agree; I haven't formally thanked the reviewers yet, and I absolutely thank you every word that was written. As much I appreciate the praise, hearing what I could have done better is always enlightening. Again, everyone did a great job; I can't think of a single piece that wasn't a contender, too.
  7. Right, so we're on the same page. *phew* I'm no art analyst so I can't purport to be one, but what I said about focus is probably one of the only things relevant to the argument, especially, as Austenite put it, the "staticness"or space aspect of the painting makes it a bit of a weird argument.
  8. I"m gonna be honest, I didn't really mean for this to be a philosophical question, so sorry if I come off as pretentious or pedantic; I don't mean for that, this is just how I look at music. Maybe it's just a part of being a relatively avid performer as well, where rehearsal includes a lot of stopping and starting, and I appreciate everything that leads to or comes out of a certain moment as well, but that one time something hits you super hard is a feeling a really love. Is it so hard to believe that the composer intended for that moment to stand out, especially if there's some sort of resolved dissonance. For me, too, I look at my own pieces and can clearly identify parts of it I like a lot better, just in terms of development and the execution of the moment. As an analyst to other people's works, I'd imagine that same logic applies. As any artist or photographer would tell you, clearly everything in the picture contributes, but "foreground" and "background" exist for a reason... to give the viewer something specific to be focused on, enhanced by the surroundings. I think of it the same in music... the moment itself is spectacular, but of course, it is that way from development. @Austenite Do you feel the same way, or am I alone in this? hahaha
  9. Hi there; First off, some of those chords are deathly hard to play without rolling them; the right hand can only cover so much. I know you'll find a way around that so I'm not too concerned. The other thing is that these intros... since they're essentially taking the role of the soloist, here... should always feel like they're moving unless pausing for dramatic effect. Yours seems like it only moves around one melody line with a lot of pauses for big chords, which I would advise against. In regards to voice leading, you seem to be doing okay. Maybe on your big chords maybe not *everything* should up chromatically, like some contrary motion could be really nice there, especially if you're aiming for something like "Stella by Starlight" (I prefer Rhapsody in Blue for this analogy personally; Gershwin does great contrary motion in that one). It does sound pretty nice, but is maybe a little bit too broken up to be really focused as an intro.
  10. @Luis Hernández Thanks for your comments; glad I'm not the only one who thinks so (in reference to the end).
  11. First of all, I'd like to say that musical fragment was very interesting in and of itself. I know that's no what you asked, but there ya go. :D I personally like the Marimba arrangement; that "cold" sound as Luis put it is something I personally like very much. The first sounds a little more generic to me, and I think you'll have a lot more opportunity to explore sound uniqueness with the marimba. Good luck!
  12. I really like that idea. My only issue would be if (if it was a category much like this years) audio quality is a scored aspect, in which people forced to use MIDI would have a hard time perfectly matching the visuals it's accompanying. Other than that, it's a great idea.
  13. Congratulations @Ken320! Your piece was fantastic, atmospheric, and a well deserved win!
  14. It does sound nice, but I'm not going to lie this isn't really my kind of style to listen to. However, that being said there were a few things I saw: You use unison/octave passages a lot. Maybe that's okay for you, but personally I found it really distracting, since for me, I've been taught it sometimes halts development of a melody in favor of drawing attention to a passage. If you do this enough, there's not much to specifically have attention paid too; think of it like the Boy Who Cried Wolf. I feel like there's too much of a distance between the piano and the flute. Sonatas should try to meld and intertwine the two parts together with melody transfer and stuff like that. It feels like the flute steals the show here. Other than that, it's pretty good. Keep on writing.
  15. Sketch No. 44 was originally a piano piece, but after I wrote it, I decided to write it out into an orchestra piece on the same day. This is very loosely based on the story of Moses. I'm not a huge fan about how I wrote the ending, but I think it works enough to serve the point of the piece. Split into two basic sections, the Largo and the March, I was hoping to have two distinct, relatively well set-up ideas for it. Would love to hear what you all think!
  16. I really quite liked this. There were a couple interesting changes, but I could just be thinking that because of how you tend to elongate certain parts of the progression at times; pretty cool stuff. To answer your question, what you have here does work... as you go on though, bear in mind that it should probably change tonality or atmosphere somewhere in the next section... what you had here in terms of a "beginning section" as you put it was great but it was just on the edge of too long of the same thing. That could just be me though. Very nice writing!
  17. Exactly what I thought. Because the same chords are used throughout (i, VI, III, VII), your vocals could do some really cool harmonizing to make it seem like the chord progression is evolving when it's really not. Maybe during the "something, somewhere" part you could have you could have them start in seconds then resolve them to thirds, or even fourths sometimes depending on the chord inversion. Also you could throw your audience off a little bit by throwing in an 8 bar progression to mix it up: something like i, VI, III, VII, VIM7, III, Vsus4, V. Your song! I thought the lyrics served your purpose quite well too. Nice...
  18. In measures 9 and 10, you should have your eighth note beamed to the 16th notes, then tied to the dotted half notes. This keeps the piece looking as if it's in 4/4. Your friend is right, in beaming the 16th notes; having them only in two without beaming them to the beat looks strange. From your section from m. 34 onwards, the beat becomes confused they way you've written it. Classical theory is one to say your beaming needs to make sense to the beats given in 4/4. If it's a conscious choice, then ignore me. The piece sounds pretty traditional, so I thought that may be decent advice. Here's the big one. I think you really underutilize the flute in this piece. I tried playing this briefly and it seems very reserved in how it was written; very to the beat, yeah? The flute's capable of gorgeous trills, nice runs, and hearing a flute player exaggerate dynamics is always great to hear. If your friend likes it the way it is though, don't worry about it too much. It certainly gets the point across. Your piece sounds very nice. The form you wanted to use was pleasantly executed! The beaming thing is just engraving but I just think you could add a lot more to make this so much more vivid. Cheers, and congrats!
  19. Well. Maybe? I love the Pines of Rome and the Rautavaara Piano Concerto. Perhaps I framed it incorrectly, but the rest of the piece isn't bad necessarily for liking a great moment in a certain movement. Once one begins to listen to music as chords and notes rather than an entire piece, how it operates both in and out of context is really important, I feel. I can't disagree that what came before or what comes after makes a difference, but analytically, I can't say it makes all the difference. That's how I was taught anyway.
  20. So I get this might be an obscure topic, but I want to explain what I mean. There are a bunch pieces that I don't really like as a whole but have really spectacular moments in them. For example, one is (that's not on my list), the Myers violin concerto, 2nd movement, is an alright piece, but the very end with the accelerando is a really great moment. I was wondering if anyone else felt the same way. Also, if this was already a topic somewhere, I apologize. 10. Shostakovich, Symphony 15, IV, the very end, starting from the mallet duet. 9. Britten, Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, the fugue to the very end, especially the 2 vs. 3 part. 8. Mahler, Das Lied Von Der Erde, VI: Der Abschied, A' section to the soloist. 7. Schnittke, Concerto Grosso No. 1, V: Rondo, where the amplified piano solo comes back in, this time with strings. 6. Barber, Violin Concerto, III: Allegro con moto perpetuo, the end where the violin solo goes into 16th notes, instead of triplets. 5. Respighi, The Pines of Rome, III, The Bird Calls. 4. Rautavaara, Piano Concerto No. 1, I: Con grandezza, the end of the first movement ends on a glorius DM7 chord. 3. Strauss, Death and Transfiguration, after the last heart palpitation and the contrabassoon comes in. 2. Borodin, Polovetsian Dances, the last chord. 1. Respighi, The Pines of Rome, IV: The Pines of the Appian Way, the crescendo Italian augmented 6th chord after the huge dropdown in volume, to the tonic chord after.
  21. Very interesting to hear your early works; it's noticeably different. I can see you were already experimenting with polyrhythms at this point (2 vs. 3). I've always admired your sense of harmony and this time is no different. Your chords are very interesting and suit your tonal melody line quite well. 35-37 were the only measures that stood out to me as a little awkward. Combining G5 with F7 (F13) with that rhythm was just weird to me, that's all. Great piece!
  22. You have a commanding sense of how chords work! I was admittedly a little bit off put by the 9th VI chords with fermatas, they just seemed like awkward pauses. You never seem to give the bass voices a break do you, haha. Also maybe I just randomly lost my sense of pitch, but the A' section seems to be in Eb minor... different from the G minor key signature you had. Everything else is right...? Anyway, very nice to listen to!
  23. You seem to revolve around the tonic a lot in your A section. Prog rock has a tendency to want to gravitate there, mostly because all the notes are synonymous with a major III chord. Your melody line has a lot of potential for variations, harmonically and rhythmically, and can be used in both prime sections and new sections. Keep at it!
  24. Interesting. It certainly sounds like a player piano type piece, good job in executing that. Would I call it jazz, per say? I think it can pass as it, but it may be a bit oversaturated by dominant 7th chords. The only note I had a problem with was the B natural at the end of m. 3, but other than that, pretty nice rendition.
  25. Monarcheon

    Into Slumber

    Hm, it definitely is a little simplistic, but I think it's more execution based things I had some issues with. I'm assuming this is supposed to be relatively relaxing, right? I was a little jarred by how your melody starts in thirds than goes up by parallel 4ths, but maybe that's just me. You nailed the atmosphere here, I think. The soprano whatever-it-was was a pretty nice addition, but maybe you could have added some more harmony to make its notes stand out a little more? Pretty good work.
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