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fishyfry

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Everything posted by fishyfry

  1. Symphony Attempt

    My instinct is yes. Flutes are generally very agile when it comes to leaps. I'm assuming you would want it to be slurred in four 16th note groupings. I don't think that would be a problem at all, but if it's questionable, I'm completely confident it would work if just the first 3 notes of each group was slurred and the fourth tongued. Get a second opinion, ideally from a flutist. I think the best way to start being more deliberate about your instrument choices would just be to educate yourself on orchestration. There are tons of great resources out there. I own Samuel Adler's book The Study of Orchestration, which is such a great resource. It contains lots of wisdom and examples from great composers. Here's a youtube channel with some helpful bits of information, and there are others like it if you look. But the best resources of all are the scores that legendary composers left for us. I would highly recommend taking a look at the scores for some of your favorite pieces, and really studying what kind of choices those composers made and taking some time to think about why they did it and how you can apply their techniques to your own work.
  2. Symphony Attempt

    Hey man. There's a lot to like here, especially for a first orchestral effort! Here are some of my thoughts on the instrumentation, but know I'm no expert and I can't really say anything definitive. M. 14-16: Not sure you need the 2nd oboe doubling with clarinet and trumpet. It goes into the very bottom of the oboe range, which isn't really idiomatic for passages in lower dynamics. M. 20: I would rethink doubling the 2nd violin trill in the trumpets and horns. It wouldn't be possible to do a half-step (F#-G) lip trill, and valve trills would have a chance of really muddying the sound there. That may be fine for your purposes, but you'd probably get a cleaner result from clarinet or oboe. M. 26-30: The 2nd flute line would probably have serious problems cutting through the rest of the dense orchestration. I get it's doubling the trumpet, but it's almost pointless because the trumpet would completely overpower it M. 40-47: The oboe doubling is again dipping a little too far into its low register. Generally, anything below the staff isn't very characteristic of the oboe. I would probably reassign that line to a clarinet, or have the oboist switch to english horn for that line, which I think may be more the sound you have in mind. Some general thoughts: The best advice I've heard for instrumentation is that your choice of instrumentation should clarify the form of the piece. I think you're getting this idea, since you chose to really cut back on the brass for the second theme after they had largely dominated the first (which is itself pretty unusual compared to what I would typically expect from orchestral writing). It seems like you get that idea, but I'd really encourage you to think about how the way you choose to orchestrate certain sections of the piece helps define how they relate to others. One last minor critique: It strikes me as odd that you have a long pause inbetween the first two themes. I really felt like the piece lost a lot of momentum and I really think it would be preferable to have a smoother transition between them. I hope I've been helpful and the things I've pointed out make sense. Forgive me if I've written anything strange, it's kind of late and I'm not thinking 100% clearly.
  3. Unfinished Band Piece

    Hi Charlie. I think there may be some kind of problem with your upload. When I attempt to download it, I get an error message saying "We could not locate the item you are trying to view"
  4. I need some help

    Personally, I think it works a lot better if you have the choir on the sustained notes leading up to doubling the melody, like you did in the second version. It creates a nice feeling of suspense during the long tones, and satisfaction once the choir comes in with the melody. Additionally, if you could start at a slightly lower dynamic and build up to the moment where the choir joins the melody, I think it would create an even more satisfying and dramatic effect. However, I don't know from this clip how this section falls in the overall context of the piece, so you'll have to judge for yourself whether that would sound good in this particular section.
  5. [Open discussion] Young Composers Magazine

    This is a really interesting concept. I will definitely be paying close attention. I'm not sure I'd have anything worthwhile to contribute, and as I'll be starting university in a few weeks, I'm not sure whether I'd have the time too. But I'll be very excited to get involved if I determine I am able to.
  6. Immunity to Dissonance

    Mesmerizing, Luis. I really enjoy it. I do think that it's possible to become immune to dissonance is possible to some extent, especially in a world that's been through impressionism, jazz, modernism etc. A well-adjusted pair of ears can appreciate extremely dissonant music, I think, as long as the composer is discriminating in how he chooses to use their dissonances. I doubt I could write anything that handled b9s and similarly dissonant intervals as well as you do here, but that's the kind of wisdom that a composer gains as he refine his craft.
  7. A Night in Winter

    Honestly, there are some wonderful things here. I don't think it's at all fair to say it's "objectively bad", even if it may be more flawed than the pieces that followed it. The main theme has just the right dark, wintry vibe and I found it seriously captivating. The only major gripe I have after one listen/reading is the entrance of the aleatoric trumpet section at m. 110. Personally, I felt like its entrance was too abrupt for such a stark contrast to the material that preceded it. I think it would really have benefited from having some more transitional material to get to that point, especially considering the narrative of the piece. Anyways, I take it that you've spend plenty of time thinking about the things you might have done differently, so I won't waste our time trying to pick apart your score. I just hope you aren't too quick to dismiss it, because it really does have some lovely ideas going for it.
  8. Rain Has Fallen (Extended Tertian)

    Very cool. There's not much I can say except I love blues and you've got a great little riff here. Do post the full set of variations when they're finished. That's an interesting assignment and it'd be neat to see how you approach those different techniques.
  9. Trio in B-flat for Viola, Violoncello, and Contrabass

    Very nice! I'm sure it must be pretty difficult to write for this strange ensemble, especially in this classical sort of idiom where any particularly dark unpleasant noises are very undesirable. I feel like you did a fine job. At no point did the choice of ensemble cause anything awkward or distracting to happen in the music. The music itself was all really beautiful and great classical-style writing, I thought.
  10. 202.mp3 This is my belated writing assignment for the Theory 202 Masterclass. Apologies for the lateness of my submission.
  11. Surfa Joe

    Pretty neat. Some of the voicing is a little awkward, but I suppose that's not your fault. I could see a program like that being useful if you could quickly transcribe the harmony is generates and make adjustments to the places that are a little rough.
  12. Masterclass: THEORY 202 - Adv. Harmonic Extensions

    Finally I was able to reach some level of completion with this. I'm sorry it took me so long, and thanks for being understanding about it.
  13. HORNS: Bass clef

    ^this is true^ I've only ever played in a concert band setting where horn parts are always on ledger lines no matter how low. It's been a big pain to me more than once.
  14. Masterclass: THEORY 202 - Adv. Harmonic Extensions

    Hi. I lost a big chunk of my work for this assignment, and I don't think it's going to be possible for me to complete by tonight. I guess that goes to show why I ought to be doing more sketching on paper.
  15. HORNS: Bass clef

    I believe that in the old style, the horn part is written an octave lower than it is to be played (i.e. a 4th below concert pitch). Nowadays horn parts in the bass clef are played in the same octave as written. (A 5th above concert pitch, same as treble clef)
  16. Quazopax

    Great work! It all has a certain eastern or ancient feel to me. From what I've heard it seems like your orchestral music has a very cinematic style. I hope your performance goes well! Can you explain the meaning of the title? Hilariously, I tried googling it but a made a spelling error and was led to a whole lot of links for what I'll politely call erotic art.
  17. Masterclass: THEORY 202 - Adv. Harmonic Extensions

    I would like to participate, assuming being unable to participate in the previous masterclass on harmony won't put me at much of a disadvantage
  18. Composing on Paper or Notation Program

    Well, when I do write on paper I'm just transcribing what I've spent ages working out on the piano. If I trying to write by hand using my brain power alone I'm sure I wouldn't last very long.
  19. First of all, the instrumentation is a little bit strange. I can't think of any orchestral scores that feature the alto sax, but no oboe or bassoon. I would definitely encourage you to include these instruments as you develop the piece further, as they can be really beautiful and useful. There's also no double bass part, but I assume you just intend for the basses to double the cello at the octaves. I also have a couple of questions related to the score, because transferring the midi to my notation program has left me a little confused. My program labeled the clarinet part "Bass Clarinet, Bb Clarinet" and has interpreted it as a clarinet, but because of the range and lack of any other clarinet part, I am assuming that it's intended to be a regular Bb. Am I correct? The last percussion part is labeled "Piano, Percussion". Is this supposed to be a piano or another chromatic percussion instrument? The orchestration is not bad as far as I can tell, although it is somewhat difficult to make a judgement since very few dynamics carry over in the midi. Make sure you are aware of the balance between brass and woodwinds/strings since brass can become overpowering pretty quickly. I would generally advise against having so many long passages of all the brass playing at one time. It can become tiring pretty quickly, and having passages devoted to only a few members of the orchestra can help give more diverse colors to the piece, and give you a ground level of sound from which to build on. You did this in one particular passage (m. 5-12) by stripping it back to only the strings, but with the tuba doubling the bass line. I don't think I would use that doubling there as it is very easy for the tuba to overpower the lower strings, but that may be the effect you're going for. If you just wanted to strengthen the bass line without drowning out the string sound, a bassoon doubling would be a safer option. One more little nitpick: I don't think the pickup note in measure 12 leading up to the tutti works as a staccato. It feels like it should be leaning into the next beat, but cutting it short sort of defeats its purpose. Anyways, this is generally pretty good, and I think as you keep working on it, you'll find it gets better and better. This reminds me a lot of my own earliest attempts at orchestral writing, so I hope that maybe sharing a little of what I've learned since then will help you out. Cheers!
  20. Labyrinth 2 (for una corda)

    I loved it. This is a great contrast to the first movement. I'm sure using such an unusual form is not easy, but I think you handled all the different themes in a way that felt organic. And yes, the Symphonies of Wind Instruments is a masterpiece
  21. Intrada 1631 - Stephen Montague

    I think it's a great thing to have a board where we can discuss different pieces. I may make a post if there's a little known piece I come across that I really think would be worth everyone checking out. At one time there was an idea to have a weekly rotation of pieces for everyone in the community to listen to and discuss, but apparently there was never enough support for it to become a thing. I hope that we can all start discussing works more, but I understand how hard it can be to think out a good contribution to the conversation when we are all so busy.
  22. Sketch No. 85

    Hmm... I assume you were somewhat setting out to do something like a contemporary equivalent to Mozart's Variations on "Ah, vous dirai-je Maman". I actually quite like it too. It goes into some pretty dark places to be based on a nursery rhyme. It could even be expanded into a full set of variations, I think, if you ever wanted to do such a thing. I have to say, if you set out to write a piece everyday, and this is one of the "dumb" results, then that is something to be proud of.
  23. Intrada 1631 - Stephen Montague

    Very cool. I am really fascinated by early Mesoamerican cultures, and have wanted to learn more about their music for a while. I'm really happy to see composers exploring some of that material, and I'd really like to myself someday. Based on all the antiphonal stuff you describe, I'm sure this is one of those pieces you have to witness live to really experience, but even from a recording I can tell it is incredible. Btw, I hope you're not discouraged by the current lack of discussion on these posts. I have listened to quite a few of the pieces you've posted and I'm really happy to be exposed to them.
  24. L'histoire du soldat

    Interesting. I have a thing for these sort of primitive sounding synths. I can't help wondering if Zappa ever made similar Stravinsky transcriptions on his Synclavier.
  25. Piano Suite: III. Summer

    Very nice! I think this piece really nicely shows the contrast between the oppressive heat and the relative freedom that usually come with summer. I really like the way you use some syncopations in the main theme. It has a nice offbeat sort of effect that got my attention. Here in the American South, I can certainly relate to the dizzying heats you and Luis describe.
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