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Classical Era Keyboard Composition Help


Marcus2
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Hello chums. My name is Marcus. I am largely a self-taught amateur composer.

 

I have observed techniques used by composers of the Classical period such as C.P.E. Bach, Haydn, and Mozart, and I have incorporated such into a composition of my own. The piece I intend to complete is a keyboard sonata in C minor, and I have the last several measures of the piece attached to this topic in PDF and MIDI format as a fragment.

 

Feel free to observe and listen to this fragmentary composition. Do any of you people know of any methods that could help one master a style period like the Classical? I was thinking along the lines of a specific kind composition help book, but if any of you can think of something more effective in what I'm looking for, that would be great.

Fragment.pdf

Fragment.mid

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It sounds fairly classical, but somewhat lacks directionality; and the harmonies are a bit clumsy.

 

Apart from improving your harmonic skills, check out Caplin's Classical Form: A Theory of Formal Functions for the Instrumental Music of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven

Google it and I'm sure you'll find a pdf.

 

Anyway remember you must shape the 1st mov. of a sonata in "sonata form".

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Thanks for suggesting that essay for me. I'll Google it and check it out! ;)

 

And please point out how my fragmented piece lacks directionality, and how or why the harmonies are "a bit clumsy".

 

EDIT 1:

 

I have Googled the essay you suggested. But it turns out it's not really an essay at all, but a whole book full of information! If I want to have a complete look at something like this, I'd have to pay for it.

 

Other than Google Books and Amazon (which were the top results), there are a few instances of the work in PDF form. But at those sites, you'd have to register to look at it, and I don't know what sites I can trust these days, or if I'll have to pay for membership.


My following comments may not be relevant to the issue at hand, but I think they are worth mentioning:

The book focuses on Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, but skimps on the compositional styles of other noteworthy composers (i.e. C.P.E. Bach, Gluck, Pla, Soler, Boccherini, Salieri, and Clementi). I hope I don't come across as asking for too much here, but the guys in the parentheses were true Classical masters, like Haydn and Mozart, though unlike Beethoven.

 

You see, much like Schubert, Beethoven was partially Classical in style (in the works of his early period), but was more of a Romantic composer (particularly since the 3rd symphony ("Eroica") and piano sonatas Op. 53 ("Waldstein") and 54).

 

I might as well study the music of the Classical masters further, unless there's another alternative...

 

EDIT 2:

 

If your suggestion is truly the best method, could you possibly provide a link to such a PDF? Because frankly, I don't like to spend a lot of time Googling. Thank you. :)

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The most pressing issue is the melodic contour and the voicing of chords. The lines themselves don't move with clear purpose. Focus on learning part-writing and melodic embellishment. Read up on how inversions were treated, as there are a lot of non-root tones in the bass that don't do anything: they should have some melodic or cadential function. 

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The most pressing issue is the melodic contour and the voicing of chords. The lines themselves don't move with clear purpose. Focus on learning part-writing and melodic embellishment. Read up on how inversions were treated, as there are a lot of non-root tones in the bass that don't do anything: they should have some melodic or cadential function. 

All these terms you mention sound like Chinese to me. I may know a good deal about music and music history, but apparently I'm weak at knowledge about compositional techniques.

 

Is there something more general I could look at that is related to composition of the classical era? I mean a book or essay that shows the techniques and science behind the work of various Classical period masters.

 

The book title provided by AlbertPensive looks good and all, but I don't think I'll be able to read the whole thing without paying for it, unless there's a reasonable way to obtain it for free.

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I got the pdf after googling a few minutes.

 

BTW the book does talk about harmonic and melodic directionality and is valid for almost everything based on the standard forms despite focusing on 3 composers.

I'm using it for writing romantic music.

 

Maybe Ch. Stanford's Musical Composition also has something about this but it's simpler.

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I got the pdf after googling a few minutes.

 

BTW the book does talk about harmonic and melodic directionality and is valid for almost everything based on the standard forms despite focusing on 3 composers.

I'm using it for writing romantic music.

 

Maybe Ch. Stanford's Musical Composition also has something about this but it's simpler.

The only hit I got for possibly obtaining the PDF was this: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1468-2249.00131/abstract. I registered onto the site, but after that, I tried clicking the download link, and they required me to pay for it. How do you like those apples?

 

Look, I'm not interested in how fast you got to the PDF by googling, for saying such is not all that helpful. I am interested in where specifically I can locate the pdf and download it for free. Please copy and paste a link to your next post. I'm already short on credit cash as it is...

 

EDIT:

 

If you don't feel like copying and pasting the exact link, it would be helpful if you gave me the name of the appropriate website so I can narrow my Google search. Forgive me if I sounded rude in the last paragraph before this edit. I didn't mean it; I was just a little frustrated.

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All these terms you mention sound like Chinese to me. I may know a good deal about music and music history, but apparently I'm weak at knowledge about compositional techniques.

 

Is there something more general I could look at that is related to composition of the classical era? I mean a book or essay that shows the techniques and science behind the work of various Classical period masters.

 

The book title provided by AlbertPensive looks good and all, but I don't think I'll be able to read the whole thing without paying for it, unless there's a reasonable way to obtain it for free.

 

I can't think of any good books that deal with these topics. I learned about inversions from Kostka and Payne's Tonal Harmony (which is not a great book by any means, though it covers a lot of ground). I would check out Hindemith's texts to read on melodic writing (among other important things). 

 

Books are expensive, nowadays you can find a PDF for most anything, but a simple Google search will yield many informative links on the aforementioned subjects. If you actually want to learn, go for it. 

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