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Sojar Voglar

Are There Any Weak Points In Your Composition You Are Aware Of?

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Another bone to chew for you guys. Do you think your composing is experiencing some sort of weakness you intend to work on and improve?

I personally, since I am a sucker for big contrasts in music, sometimes feel weak when approaching towards the form of composition. I would love to make my longer pieces, especially symphonies more organic and more homogenous. I also sometimes lack the strength to make long sections in fast tempo. I have improved a lot since 2004 but there are still moments when I don't feel comfortable in taking control of form.

Now it's your turn!

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I think that is my big personal concern as well...to have the control to be more homogenous when I want to be, and contrasting when I want to be...instead, of leaning towards the latter.

 

As well as utilizing all tools at once...I practiced so long isolating aspects, and working on single things, making for a somewhat minimalist style, that it became difficult to remember to bring it all together =P

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In my opinion, I tend to forget entirely about the angle of texture that can be achieved when writing certain passages for the piano. I've been trying to find ways to focus on it more, so it can come more naturally to me in my future compositions.

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Development...I get bored very easily and always to introduce new material, even though I should focus on developing the the previous material in a more interesting way. 

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quote name="sparky" post="1186659485" timestamp="1364225191"]

Development...I get bored very easily and always to introduce new material, even though I should focus on developing the the previous material in a more interesting way. 

I believe Beethoven is still a superior teacher how to compose long pieces with little material. Take his first movement of Eroica. Most of 20 minutes are based on just a basic triad. Awesome.

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I have yet to master the large form. More specifically, I've yet to manage a large form successfully without bending to the age-old dogma of "goal-oriented music"—that is, I haven't been able to write a long piece while staying true to my current aesthetic concern of writing strong music that is not interested in "going anywhere." It's something which requires a lot of experimentation with musical time and the handling of material in such a way that no true development is perceived in the traditional sense; very difficult.

 

I also have significant difficulty writing for winds and brass.

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Chamber music, generally speaking, doesn't come easily for me. I view my smaller-scale works as consistently weaker than either my orchestral pieces or my piano solo stuff. Perhaps it might be due to chamber music depending so much on personal expression from both the composer and the performer. It's also likely that my shortage of formal training becomes more apparent in such a context.

 

In an overall sense, I rarely have trouble with forms - but I still tend to hurry towards a climatic section and/or overuse "dramatic pauses". Quite the opposite from Voce, my pieces are rather "goal-oriented", but sometimes I can't resist the urge to deviate.

 

I have noticed also some issues with counterpoint - I rarely manage to get it consistent through the whole lenght of a given work (i.e. prematurely ended fugato sections, focus mainly on the melodic lines, etc).

 

And of course, stylistically-wise my biggest weakness might be my inability to write "modern" music worth listening.

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Guest Kibbletime

I struggle to write anything decent in 4/4.

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I have a hard time bringing myself to take risks: it's difficult for me to go "F-it, I'm gonna have this here just because". 

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I have a hard time bringing myself to take risks: it's difficult for me to go "F-it, I'm gonna have this here just because". 

There was one Slovenian composer who never had problems with that. His name was Slavko Osterc (1895-1941). He simply added several dissonant spices in what would otherwise be free triadic harmonic progression "just to upset the puritans". ;)

As a result, lots of his music has been justly forgotten.

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quote name="sparky" post="1186659485" timestamp="1364225191"]

Development...I get bored very easily and always to introduce new material, even though I should focus on developing the the previous material in a more interesting way. 

I believe Beethoven is still a superior teacher how to compose long pieces with little material. Take his first movement of Eroica. Most of 20 minutes are based on just a basic triad. Awesome.

 Could not agree more re Beethoven. Look at the Diabelli Variations! Or the Pastoral Symphony, or the motivic gorgeousness of the 5th. 

 

Anyway, when it comes to areas for development: restraint, melody, modulation, and (judging from the comments people usually make on my pieces) playability. :) No running away from that one, I guess.

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generally form, I understand different types of form, Sonata allegro, Rondo, Ternary, Binary, etc. but I have trouble figuring out how I use what I have and organize it in a way that makes the music most effective. I also feel like orchestration's an infinite hole of intimidation, although I think I'm starting to get a better grasp on it now. I also I can learn more on how to develop my music, although I'm certainly getting better. In essence, the toughest thing for me to do would be to write a theme and variations, so being able to manipulate the same melody into something different would be something to work on. 

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I definitely struggle with developing something I've already written.  Oh, I can take a melody and repeat it over and over, changing the accompaniment during each rendition, but I don't think this is what "development" means.  As a result, I struggle to make my pieces over 3.5 minutes in length.

 

*Sigh*

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I'm not much good at development sections and prefer to write new material than develop old stuff.
But, I'm determined to write a good development section some time...
I'm also weak on sticking to musical forms

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Loads. And I don't expect this assessment to change no matter how experienced and accomplished I get.

 

Horn parts - get stuck into19th-century chordal filling and then desperately try to get in a loud unison passage to please the players. Also tend to wander a bit high in parts 1-2

 

Don't fully understand how to write for 'pop' instruments, particularly guitars

 

Have to rein in dissonance in choral writing to make it singable.

 

I sometimes write rhythms that players can find difficult (although probably less so for professionals who are experieinced contemporary music performers)

 

Am trying to experiment with a less 'horizontal' style of orchestration.  I like a horizontal style of texture (lots of simultaneous contrapuntal lines) but I think my writing could be more innovative if I was freer in assigning this to instruments.

 

I think in general my music could be a bit cleverer sometimes and a bit more tightly constructed. I sometimes take too long to reach a key point and this makes the music lose momentum.  I can aim for unity of material to the exclusion of all else and this can result in insufficient contrast.

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Development hates me, and I hate it. Same goes for form.

Also, making it mean something: I know it's easier once you have experience and know lot's about composing, but I find it difficult to express myself in compositions or give them any purpose. I just like to write cool stuff, which is why I want to compose for film when I'm older.

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Structure - I find it difficult to make a piece flow, and often I rush because I get over-excited about a specific section and I don't take my time to have it spread for a long period of time, out of fear.

Development, I often spend a long time writing out my motif and then trying to shape it but never feeling quite satisfied with the end result.

 

Modulation- I always want to experiment with a variety of different keys to convey different moods and feelings- yet

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My weaknesses (don't know where to start  :D ):

But most of the time it's form and development. 

In my compositions I tend to bring new motifs, themes etc. one after another. But sometimes I want to develop one theme into a bigger part, at this point I fail.

And also getting my ideas into a bigger form, isn't my strongest point  :whistling:

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