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  • 1 month later...

I would really enjoy being able to transpose into more instruments...I have b-flat instrumentation pretty well down. I'm a person who likes to vary which instrument is pitched higher than what would normally be done...

I have done a mallet trio but that is the largest I have written for and I think of that piece as a fragment of what could be a larger piece...

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Here are the first two pages of the trio...I said earlier that I only had about nine measure but today was a slow day for physical exercise but a quick day for creation...I wrote more of the piece...

The next section, I plan, to do a marimba II solo/feature, but I decided to hold off, post this and work on the major issues that are already present...

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I would really enjoy being able to transpose into more instruments...I have b-flat instrumentation pretty well down. I'm a person who likes to vary which instrument is pitched higher than what would normally be done...

I have done a mallet trio but that is the largest I have written for and I think of that piece as a fragment of what could be a larger piece...

What do you mean by "being able to transpose"? Do you mean, learning the transpositions of other instruments than Bb instruments?

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Here are the first two pages of the trio...I said earlier that I only had about nine measure but today was a slow day for physical exercise but a quick day for creation...I wrote more of the piece...

The next section, I plan, to do a marimba II solo/feature, but I decided to hold off, post this and work on the major issues that are already present...

Okay. Having taken a look at this music briefly, I'd like to hear what you have to say about it:

how was it written (with or without acoustic assistance); what the idea is for the whole piece (structurally, thematically); how you see your basic musical materials?

I assume that all clefs are supposed to be treble? If that's the case, there are a lot of voice crossings between the two marimbas. What is the intended effect of that?

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In regards to learning to transpose yes, learning transposition to other keys is what I meant. I mainly write for c-pitched instruments right now besides trumpets and clarinets. Anything learning transpositions would be beneficial I believer...

how was it written (with or without acoustic assistance); what the idea is for the whole piece (structurally, thematically); how you see your basic musical materials?

I assume that all clefs are supposed to be treble? If that's the case, there are a lot of voice crossings between the two marimbas. What is the intended effect of that?

It was written for nothing but three keyboard instruments, no assistance whatsoever.

The clefs were supposed to be all treble...assumption correct...That was intended for some unity besides the timbre of the instruments.

Thematically, I was planning on writing the solos all in different tempos showing some excitement, to sorrow, to acceptance. The first solo for marimba II was planning on being the faster, energizing and exciting part. Vibes were sorrow; marimba I acceptance...Structurally, right now its more tonal than anything...but for the sorrow, I would like to learn more atonal techniques and for acceptance do more resolving chords in the background with vibes...

I want to keep rhythms simple showing the musician's technique and basic understanding for the piece...I'm hoping to play this for a concert sometime this year...I was hoping tomorrow or the day after that I could post the vibe solo if I work carefully. The next few days im going to try to finish the solos that way you can have more ideas on what I want the piece to feel like in the different sections...

Unless you think there is enough work here for now, I can work on trying to edit this to sound better...

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It was written for nothing but three keyboard instruments, no assistance whatsoever.

Sorry - I meant - did you write it with an instrument there, or just from your head/ear?

As far as transposing, that's just something you have to memorize - which instruments transpose where. If you're intending on writing anything atonal, it's actually best to remember transpositions by interval, rather than by key (so Bb Trumpet or Clarinet transposition is written a Major 2nd above sounding pitch, an Eb Alto Sax is written a Major 6th above, etc.). A complete list of instrument transpositions is here: Instrument Transpositions for Musical Analysis

You seem to have a good start on this piece. I still want to know why you chose to put the two marimbas in the exact same range with voices crossing, and I'd like to hear what sort of atonal ideas you have for the second solo.

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I wrote it entirely from inside my head. For me its easier to hear instruments in the same range rather than separate voicings. The other option that I thought would be possible would be to take the first marimba out and play it on bells instead so it sounds an octave higher...

I'm thrilled to hear that you think I'm off to a good start because I wasn't so sure about it...

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Ok. The marimba solo which should be posted tomorrow is set at tempo 180 for quarter notes. By keeping the rhythms simple I figured that contrasting the tempos would be a well designed intro for the happy and energetic phrase. I'm also trying to incorporate a larger range on the marimba for this section.

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It seems a bit fast to be sorrowful. Also:

The marimba's tone cannot be nuanced the way a violin or clarinet can, simply by changing some slight physical aspect of the playing. I would strongly consider a) putting in mallet indications, and b) exploring some ways in which you can make this marimba part sound radically different than any part that it plays in the ensemble. OR - you could make each instrument radically different entirely from the others, so that when the solo happens, the audience's attention is drawn to it.

Basically, while I think you've got some solid ideas going on, I don't think you're executing them to their fullest extent. Here are some questions to consider:

1. The three solo parts establish the instruments as completely different identities. However, they're all written notationally almost exactly the same (in half/quarter/eighth divisions). How can you use rhythm to further establish instrument identity?

2. The most timbral exploration you're doing right now is tremolo. What are some other ways you can extend the timbral range of your instruments?

3. Should you decide to increase the independence of each instrument's identity, how will you keep that identity strong while still creating a cohesive ensemble as a whole?

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I was thinking about the piece as what someone else might describe it as and its almost like a sugar rush...it starts off really detailed and intricate and then hits a low exhausting period and then finally it mellows out. The marimba part was the hyper "high" of a sugar rush. The next section that I'm going to write tonight is the sporadic period between the "high" and the "low."

I also thought about mallet selections that would bring out the lines maybe more.

Bells=brass or a hard plastic mallet

Marimba=hard mallet through the solo and then switches to a medium-hard mallet throughout the vibraphone solo, then switches again to soft mallets for the bell solo.

Vibraphone=soft cord mallet

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I have a question. The measure before the vibraphone solo I would like to use hemiolas but I'm not sure how it would sound together...I can hear the basics of each line in my head; what's the confusing part to me is trying to figure out if they sound well together...What do you think is the best solution to the delimma?

Everything I seem to be coming up with seems really force and not the way I want it to end up sounding like...I think I'm going to take tomorrow off just to relax and not think trying to see if I can have more flowy ideas...I will hopefully post the bridge and the solo either thursday or friday...

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I was wondering how to write for percussion. I am fine with transpositions and stuff like that for different instruments, but I have no idea where to start with percussion. I've tried looking online for lessons, which led me here. :)

So, if you could help me out at all, I would be much obliged. ^.^

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I was wondering how to write for percussion. I am fine with transpositions and stuff like that for different instruments, but I have no idea where to start with percussion. I've tried looking online for lessons, which led me here. :)

So, if you could help me out at all, I would be much obliged. ^.^

I'd be happy to work with you on writing for percussion. It's actually not much different than writing for other instruments - you just have to work your way around the notation. Since there's no SET notation for unpitched percussion, you basically have to build a map for the player to follow, and stick to it.

And it's helpful to "practice" your parts using pots/pans and forks/knives, to get an idea for how long it'll take to change mallets/sticks.

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Here's something I just finished tonight...The next section f is in progress as of tonight and tomorrow. I'm hoping to get it up by thursday if at all possible...

I don't mind going back to cover some things in counterpoint and revising my music...Whatever you think though, I'm up for trying it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi! Sorry it's taken me so long to get this together.

I'd like to start by running quickly over the rules of counterpoint, as given by Fux, based on the compositions of Palestrina.

So, firstly and most basically (and I know this is boring, but it's good to start with):

All counterpoint begins with a cantus firmus. The cantus is written entirely in whole notes, and begins and ends on the same note. The second-to-last pitch is the ^2 of the mode. The cantus is a simple melody of between 8 and 12 notes, with a range of no more than an octave, and seldom more than a sixth. There should be a clear "arc" form to the melody, with a melodic climax happening somewhere around the middle. Repeated notes are not allowed. As with all things in 16th-century music, variety is a key concept. The melody should not sit on a note too much; it should be a vehicle to move away from, and then back to, the tonic.

Melodic dissonant intervals are not allowed (no leaps of 4, no sets of leaps that outline a tritone (B to D to F, for example). If the melody leaps up higher than a 3rd, move stepwise in the opposite direction.

The classic cantus firmus example is: C D F E G F E D C.

So, with that in mind, write three canti firmi: one starting on C, one starting on D, and one starting on G. Use no accidentals.

I look forward to seeing your work!

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