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Prelude and Fugue in C Minor


Samtaylor
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This is an edit I did to a piece I wrote for school. I wanted something a little more professional sounding and not so humorous.

I added a prelude to the fugue to give it some length and more opportunity to show my writing.

I plan to use this as part of my portfolio for college, so any suggestions are welcome.

Doesn't have to be about the piece, could be about what else to include in the portfolio.   

Sheet music is also available to see any engraving  issues. There's probably a lot. 

Edited by Samtaylor
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In measure 8-9 the dynamic signs are obfuscated.

Measure 16 - the squiggly line is too close to the fermata, and I don't think you can really use such a sign without elaboration, correct me if I'm wrong.

Measures 21-23 the slurs are ugly.

30-31 same deal, also the decrescendo mark in the second violin overlaps with the beams.

Measure 32 - the piano dynamic is covered.

36 - the decrescendo hairpin is covered.

38 - first violin, the slur is not acceptable.

39 - viola, hairpin.

40 - piano dynamics could be better.

41 - mp dynamics should be lowered.

44 - the second violin hairpin is obfuscated.

45 - cello, piano.

46 - cello slur is not good.

47 - 2nd violin, slur and hairpin overlap.

48 - cello, piano; second violin slur is absolutely terrible.

50 - all of the dynamics are too low on the Y axis.

57 - if you can fix the cello forte it would not be a horrible idea.

59 - the pizzicato directions and dynamics collide, also, pizzicato is not a proper noun nor a noun for that matter so it does not carry a capital P, neither does arco. In the first violin there is a slight overlap between slur and accent.

60 - second violin slur and accent could be better.

61 - viola, put the mp right next to the dim., also slur and accent in 2nd violin. Later in the second violin the slur could be lowered slightly so it does not collide with accidentals.

62 - viola slur is not good, cello mp sign, diminuendo trail and slur collide, in the first violin the dim could be a little bit lower.

63 - the piano signs and cresc.'s are unacceptable. The accelerando text should be all lowercase and it needs to be raised so that the trail does not collide with the staff. Besides, accelerandos that apply to all instruments should be written in large bold letters, not small ones that can be mistaken for directions for only the first violin. The pianissimos are not acceptable. You do not write arco where there is no music, only when there is an actual note or passage to be played arco, silence not included. The accents are not well placed.

64 - cello, where does the arco apply? accents in viola and 2nd violin are not good. cello cresc could be lower.

65 - it is not good practice to have the performers switch pulses after acceleration without spelling out the relationship between the pulses. the cello cresc is bad. it would look nice if the ff's were lined up.

66-67 - the cresc trails here are bad.

70 - the grace notes could be nicer.

74 - the mp could be better placed.

78 - ditto, for viola.

85-88 - what on earth is going on with the stem directions!? It looks like the 1st and second violins are in multiple voices. this is catastrophic!

90 - the dynamics could be better placed in general, and accents.

93 - could have better accents.

97 - ditto 2nd violin and viola.

100-101 - the dynamics should probably be at the place where the notes are. Again, "Pizz." is lowercase.

 

But you could have spotted any of this very easily. Believe me, dotting your i's and crossing your t's can make the difference between getting in or not. Step up your game!

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Okay, so the main thing here is that the non-harmonic tones clash with each other, obscuring the tonality of the piece  and making the melody of the piece seem less important. I think in an effort to give the instruments something to do, the tonal idea behind the piece became unclear...

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12 hours ago, Monarcheon said:

Okay, so the main thing here is that the non-harmonic tones clash with each other, obscuring the tonality of the piece  and making the melody of the piece seem less important. I think in an effort to give the instruments something to do, the tonal idea behind the piece became unclear...

 

Can you give an example? 

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5. Dominant chord in the high voices, but tonic in the lower voices.

6. Voices create an Augmented 7th chord with added major bass.

15. Unresolved 4th in the soprano voice.

29-30. Crossed voices obscures the melody.

38. Added fourth is weird, not necessarily wrong.

43-44. 2nd violin part is unnecessarily difficult and adds unnecessary tones into the music.

Not a tone problem but in 58, the transition to cello pizz is near impossible.

Also not a tone problem but in 63, arco should be directly over the notes that should be played as such. 

63, 64. Alto voice resolves to tonic prematurely.

67. First also note should be an A#.

80. Passing tone in tenor does not match the anticipation in alto.

97. This chord doesn't make much sense to me. Almost forms an Italian 6th on top, but a dominant on the bottom...

The issue with engraving is relatively simple... just space things out. The more important thing however, if you're submitting this to college, is that you need to figure out how the players will bow this piece. A lot of the time the bowings end up backwards for the players, and while yes, they can figure it out themselves, it's a composer's job to make it as painless as possible while still making it musical.

I don't want to sound harsh at all, but since I also didn't get into college with my pieces at some schools, I'm just looking out for you, friend. 

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20 minutes ago, Monarcheon said:

 

I don't want to sound harsh at all, but since I also didn't get into college with my pieces at some schools, I'm just looking out for you, friend. 

 

Thanks! I don't think it's too harsh actually. it's very informative. I and very humbled that anyone would even take the time to go through this and call out the things that maybe be a little weird. And the lists help a lot!

 

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