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Everything posted by Monarcheon

  1. Do you by chance play violin? If you could play this, congrats, because that's a very difficult and awkward solo violin part to play... the consecutive double stops and open string/positioned stops make it quite hard. I couldn't play this, but maybe that's because I'm not the most adept at it. It certainly sounds nice, but the solo part writing might need some tweaking.
  2. Really good second part to add on to the first; tranquil in a unique way. Engraving things: m. 22 and 60, that's kind of an awkward way to lay out that chord... maybe use the bottom staff? For the clusters at 52, the natural ones seem fine (you may want to use a bracket, just to indicate they're not rolled), but the one with the C-sharp in it would be really awkward to play, since the palm of the left hand doesn't really extend like that.
  3. Really atmospheric with some obvious thought put into it! Only thing I found a little weird was when the fast section starts, it's really loud for just a little bit then drops to the clarinets so a new section; I just thought it was a strange transition. But you did some really nice writing with this! Flows pretty nicely.
  4. Coincidental that Sketch 23 has only 23 really good bars, eh? I tried it out, and that was absolutely the problem. I don't know what I was thinking. It's been really good for me; gives me an orchestration lesson everyday and a bank of ideas for larger-scale works if I need it. I absolutely encourage it, if you're at all interested!
  5. Thanks a lot! And yes, I feel similarly... 23-52 always felt a little weaker to me, but in these exercises I try not to reedit things if possible.
  6. I appreciate how there's a definable melody amongst the odd intervals. I'm just confused as to why the eighth notes aren't beamed, but I'm sure there's a good reason. Is it because the top and bottom lines have different internal beats? But the rest of this was cool! Good work.
  7. For a while now, I've been challenging myself to write a short piece every single day, with a very low time limit. This happens to be the 23rd, for solo piano, a Scherzo study in major 7ths and diminished fifths. It's not really my best work, but I was wondering what you'd all think.
  8. I recently worked at a kid's instrumental music camp and was thankfully commissioned to write a few pieces for the students involved (string orchestra, chamber). Is it weird that I found myself more initially paralyzed to write music for them then I would for a professional orchestra? I've always had problems coming up with initial melodies, so that affects me for writing for both professional players and beginner players. But in terms of finishing the piece with interesting parts for all the instruments that is engaging for them to play (i.e. what they'd find "cool" music to play), I find myself having to rewrite and ponder things more. Does anyone else have this problem?
  9. Is this the 4th quartet? Could be wrong, but I remember watching it and thinking that it couldn't be Bartok... the violin quadruple stop in the violins is insane (especially with the transition), but not impossible. And fair enough, but keeping open strings involved is a good rule of thumb I teach people starting out in composition. As they learn the instrument more, they can branch out a bit, but that's because they realize that fifths or sixths in your triple or quadruple stop generally makes things easier for them in first position. (<---- OP, that's the relevant takeaway from this post, haha.)
  10. You did it yourself here, in the left hand, where the half notes are in one "layer" and the secondary rhythm is another "layer" all in the same staff. Do the same for the cello, but make it so one of the notes is shorter before the roll.
  11. 1. The higher up on the cello you go, the less string you have for it to vibrate. A minor third on F can only be played starting with the F one position before thumb position, which is already about 1/2 way up the cello. It's not so much an awkward shift as it is one that requires the whole string of notes before it to be up there as well. 2. No. Like I said, chords that utilize an open string normally work better. But more importantly, the chords need to be spaced out correctly. The cello has the open strings of C (on the bottom), G, D, and A, all a fifth apart from each other. You need to think about how far apart a players fingers will need to be playing the chord. 3. Octaves in the cello are generally considered a very showy, soloistic thing to have in a piece. These specific octaves are very hard to play because they are so low on the cello. Additionally, the right hand of the piano plays the same notes, so you'd might as well just have the left hand play them in octaves as well, and have the cello play one line, or not play altogether. 4. Cellos playing thirds without an open string is generally hard to play twice in a row because you have to shift two fingers at the same time instead of just one. It makes it hard on the player for not that much gain. 5. Then beam them differently. You need to beam two eighth notes together properly so that the emphasis is on the off-beat. A string player won't be able to tremolo that fast, either, so reduce the amount of split lines on it as well.
  12. Hey, thanks a lot! The competition specifically called for knowing your instruments so what better way to fulfill that than to use one of your main instruments.
  13. Horn and tubular bells... lots of parallel octaves in my future.
  14. Okay so I interpret m. 0-13 to be the tonal introduction, while everything else is purposefully atonal: m. 0-36: Cellos are not written in alto clef; bass clef or tenor clef is definitely preferred. m. 1: The triple stop in the cello is ridiculous. I don't know if you intended for all three notes to be played at once, but that's not possible. You're going to want to put a roll marking in there so they know to separate the root from the rest of the chord. m. 2: Juxtaposing a G7 against a Cm triad is a little weird. m. 5: A harmonic G on that note is a little bit difficult. You're also going to need to notate if it's an octave up or not. If it is, they need to jump from a normal position to an obscure one just to play that note. If it's not, they'll need to shift to at least 4th position to play it. m. 7: Cello has Cm, soprano has G7, and piano has D˚... it clashes too much in my opinion. m. 8-9, 12: Gm and G triads clash too much. --------------------------------------------------------- m. 15: F and A-flat double stop requires thumb position, which doesn't sound very good in pizzicato that high. Also, an awkward shift to get up there. m. 16: Again, you need a roll or something in the cello. This chord requires a random jump to 6th or 7th position, so maybe take the root out from the bottom and highlight it in the other voices. m. 26, 32: Pretty high note for a soprano... m. 33-34: Octaves in the cello are hard and not very useful. The Cm chord needs to be split again. m. 37-38: Some pianist find grace notes to the same chord to be annoying, but not all do. m. 38: Cello: having the grace notes with the rolled chord is impossible; you'll need to decide which tones you actually need. m. 45: Having the harmonic on the B-flat is going to be hard to hit, keeping it straight would be much simpler, since they would already be in position. m. 49-50: The rhythm writing for the cello is off. Keep things in terms of 4/4, people are going to get confused. m. 54-55, 56: You can probably have one of how ever many double stops in that measure. Both is going to sound bad. m. 58: You're looking for tenor clef, not alto clef. m. 60: Same advice about the rolls or split chords for the cello. m. 67-68: Are you not going to beam the soprano 16th to the dotted? I only ask because you do it in the other voices. m. 67-69: Dot slurring 4 notes will make some cellists uncomfortable; two might be easier. m. 70: Cello: Same advice. m. 73: I would pick two notes to play in the cello instead of 4. m. 75, 78, 79-80, 82, 85, 87, 89: Same advice about triple stops for cello. m. 101-106: Those notes are so short, you'd be fine just having one slash through them... they won't be able to play tremolo. m. 106-107: Combine all the eighth notes into a couple half notes with the same notation. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Generally: Beaming is done to keep the beats in line with each other... like in 4/4 the beaming of the notes is generally going to want to make it look like it's in 4/4, not as if it's 8/8 where the rhythm is variable. If it IS as variable as it is in your piece currently, I'd suggest 8/8, 6/8, etc. in some of your sections. Cello triple stops are generally bad unless they can be easily rolled; quadruple stops are only okay if there are open strings involved. To counteract the triple stop thing, you can go into the second layer and put the bottom note as a "shorter" note than the top two notes, so it becomes a double stop, or put a roll marking in there. Triple stop triads are generally very hard to play and a string player will assume you're not very used to writing music for them. Also, cellos use tenor clef, not alto clef, which is alto clef shifted up one line. Your chords in your atonal section (or how I heard it) generally resolve themselves pretty well, so there's just technical things to tend to now. Good luck!
  15. "Variations on a Wanderer's Theme" for Solo Cello, based on the Shakespeare play, "Hamlet". This is my entry for the Summer Composition Competition.
  16. I agree with you to an extent. Am I going to say you can't have your opinion? No, of course not. That's why we exist. But modernist music that has a direction and a somewhat traditional flow, regardless of how it sounds technically (notes/chords/etc.), does exist, in Crumb, Gorecki, and Rautavaara. The composition program at the school I'd gone to was notorious for teaching unfocused avent-grade music, the music you speak of. So yes, it can be disproportionately unfocused crap, but it doesn't account for everything.
  17. Hm... I'm sorry you feel that way. I know it won't change your opinion but I personally like the jarring changes, because when it all comes back it makes sense in the recapitulation. Now I don't always use it, but it has a niche usefulness I just love. Kind of like "The Young Person's Guide". My teacher (referring to the unfriendly keys) has always told me that players should, "deal with it". I try not to too much but when the opportunity to use of borrowed chord shows its face, I can't say no.
  18. I finally got this piece copyrighted, so I can put it up now... this is a pretty early piece, and one of the first I felt relatively proud of for doing. This is just the first movement... hope you all enjoy.
  19. I appreciate it! Yes, it is, but I still prefer it over Finale or Sibelius sounds, haha.
  20. Quick, and really nice! I was a little confused when just listening to the third study, as the 5/8+3/8 rhythm sounded like 4/4 to me, but other than that, these are cool!
  21. It'd be really nice to see a pdf score of this piece (all your pieces, actually), there's some dynamic and time things I don't know if they're just recording issues or what you'd actually intended...
  22. Like I said, I don't consider composing and orchestrating to necessarily be the same thing, although they definitely overlap somewhat. I can compose a melody in my head, right? Let's say I did, but if I wanted a horn to play it, and it goes over a transposed high B or C (which is the limit of comfortable range for most). In this case, then I KNOW I'll have to transpose it down, or give it to another instrument, which is basic orchestration, yes, but maybe you'll see what I mean separating the two concepts. All in all, I think composing refers to the building of ideas and structure, while orchestration is the execution of those properties.
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