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Guest thatguy

this sounds really stupid but....

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Guest thatguy

well...im having a hard time writing quartets and smaller scale works. i seem to have an easy time with larger orchestral pieces, yet they take (at least for me) a huge amount of time to write, and i have no time at all. everytime i try and write say a string quartet, my ideas and pencil go blank as everything seems bland and brittle. anyone have advice or ways to get ideas down when writing these kinds of works?

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Guest thatguy

ya i know im making this harder then it should be lol...good advice though, im indulging myself in the chamber section :)............and um no giving up isnt really an option since it has taken a long time for me to get where im at, i MUST find time, just dont know where to look:D

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Write down what part each instrument plays in the quartet (and I mean melody, harmony, continuo etc, bearing in mind they should change roles frequently) and expand that into a structure, for example, 1st violin starts with melody for seven bars on a solo, and then 2nd takes over, while 1st plays a counter melody or harmonic part, and the cello starts playing some pizz notes, for example?

Then write down the main melodic idea, and shove some chord sequences or harmonies or counter-melodies in with it. As the music gets developed, use more variations. Just keep in mind what role each part is playing in the music.

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Force yourself to write nothing but unaccompanied solos for a week no matter how boring they are. If it really starts to get to you write a duet or two and get back on the solos. Then, when you finally come back to writing for a small ensemble you'll be amazed at how full and complex it really can become!!! lol, idk, I'm just sayin stuff...though it does kind of make sense...w/e

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Force yourself to write nothing but unaccompanied solos for a week no matter how boring they are. If it really starts to get to you write a duet or two and get back on the solos. Then, when you finally come back to writing for a small ensemble you'll be amazed at how full and complex it really can become!!! lol, idk, I'm just sayin stuff...though it does kind of make sense...w/e

You're on the right track, the first thing my professor made my write (and the only piece since then that i was guided on start to finish) was an unaccompanied solo, it was a perfect means of figuring out how I would approach composition from the bare materials. Motivic development, etc etc. If you can make an unaccompanied solo work, all need to do is throw in some counterpoint and you're on your way. Obviously there's MUCH more to it than that, but we've all got to start somewhere of course. Good luck

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Guest thatguy

thanks for all the advice guys! (and gals if any)

ya again the title to this thread is VERY much how i feel lol, i guess i just want to expand my horizons with different ways to convey music. i do appriciate all the help. ive started different ideas and techniques mentioned here, and it seems to be helping. although it doesnt help that there is a large ensemble idea roaming in the back of my mind....

sigh...ive already started it lol

but still, my string quintet is coming along nicely :D:D

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You're on the right track, the first thing my professor made my write (and the only piece since then that i was guided on start to finish) was an unaccompanied solo, it was a perfect means of figuring out how I would approach composition from the bare materials. Motivic development, etc etc. If you can make an unaccompanied solo work, all need to do is throw in some counterpoint and you're on your way. Obviously there's MUCH more to it than that, but we've all got to start somewhere of course. Good luck

yeah...thats what I meant to say... :whistling:

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well...im having a hard time writing quartets and smaller scale works. i seem to have an easy time with larger orchestral pieces....

Sit in front of a piano for a couple hours everyday. That'll solve your problem. :toothygrin:

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Sit in front of a piano for a couple hours everyday. That'll solve your problem. :toothygrin:

Can you be more specific? This doesn't really say anything

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I was just kidding, but it does actually have a lot of truth to it. With an orchestra at your disposal, you have this urge to mix and match colours and all sorts of other goodies... with a piano, you are limited to what you can do with only your two hands, not to mention that's it is only one uniform sound. Thus, simply put, a piano is a way to confine yourself to certain possibilities, and when you work under these confines, you learn to work better on this smaller scale.

Here's something.... try undergoing a large scale duet project.... that will really get you going, you are very constricted by the instruments you use (i.e. two flutes), but you learn to work around it. Don't start with quartets or quintets, start as simple as possible and try to get a point across with only two instruments. With full orchestral madness it's easy to just do what you want by using a plethora of different instruments each with their own character, but to get it to work at such a small scale is a real feat, and it can be done.

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