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Hi, everyone:

This is my first composition in vocal music and  the lyric is written by me.

This song is recorded by sibelius. 

Any suggestion is welcome, especially the solo cello part. I do not familiar with cello ,so I do not sure those cords can or can not be played by single player.

Hope you can enjoy it!Encounter Love .mp3Encounter Love .pdf

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Hi

The melody (voice) is very interesting, with unsual intervals (5+). The range is a bit demanding for an average soprano (Bb2 - C5: more than two octaves). In the first part there are difficult parts because the tesitura is high. The second part is more balanced (I think).

Your harmonic language here is also interesting. What I'm not sure at all is hoy you use the cello. Usually it's not an instrument to play "background chords" (measure 78 and 70, for example). Besides, I guess some of this triple stops are, if not impossible, very difficult. This double and triple stops are reserved to talented soloist for the cello. Perhaps, It would be difficult to find a "normal" cellist who could play this.

I also think your work would benefit of some structure (parts and sections, with repetition and variation). I recognise some phrases that are repeated.

I like there are parts where the voice is still, it's a good contrast.

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On 2016/8/2 at 2:29 AM, Luis Hernández said:

Hi

The melody (voice) is very interesting, with unsual intervals (5+). The range is a bit demanding for an average soprano (Bb2 - C5: more than two octaves). In the first part there are difficult parts because the tesitura is high. The second part is more balanced (I think).

Your harmonic language here is also interesting. What I'm not sure at all is hoy you use the cello. Usually it's not an instrument to play "background chords" (measure 78 and 70, for example). Besides, I guess some of this triple stops are, if not impossible, very difficult. This double and triple stops are reserved to talented soloist for the cello. Perhaps, It would be difficult to find a "normal" cellist who could play this.

I also think your work would benefit of some structure (parts and sections, with repetition and variation). I recognise some phrases that are repeated.

I like there are parts where the voice is still, it's a good contrast.

 

Thank You deeply~!~As an amateur, I composed this song for practice, so I do want to make it difficult.And I do want to use skills and chords as many as possilbe which I learnt.

If this song will be played by some artists, I will change it into an easy way.

Hope more advice~!~ I love composing~!~

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Okay so I interpret m. 0-13 to be the tonal introduction, while everything else is purposefully atonal:

m. 0-36: Cellos are not written in alto clef; bass clef or tenor clef is definitely preferred. 

m. 1: The triple stop in the cello is ridiculous. I don't know if you intended for all three notes to be played at once, but that's not possible. You're going to want to put a roll marking in there so they know to separate the root from the rest of the chord.

m. 2: Juxtaposing a G7 against a Cm triad is a little weird.

m. 5: A harmonic G on that note is a little bit difficult. You're also going to need to notate if it's an octave up or not. If it is, they need to jump from a normal position to an obscure one just to play that note. If it's not, they'll need to shift to at least 4th position to play it.

m. 7: Cello has Cm, soprano has G7, and piano has D˚... it clashes too much in my opinion.

m. 8-9, 12: Gm and G triads clash too much. 

---------------------------------------------------------

m. 15: F and A-flat double stop requires thumb position, which doesn't sound very good in pizzicato that high. Also, an awkward shift to get up there.

m. 16: Again, you need a roll or something in the cello. This chord requires a random jump to 6th or 7th position, so maybe take the root out from the bottom and highlight it in the other voices.

m. 26, 32: Pretty high note for a soprano... 

m. 33-34: Octaves in the cello are hard and not very useful. The Cm chord needs to be split again.

m. 37-38: Some pianist find grace notes to the same chord to be annoying, but not all do.

m. 38: Cello: having the grace notes with the rolled chord is impossible; you'll need to decide which tones you actually need.

m. 45: Having the harmonic on the B-flat is going to be hard to hit, keeping it straight would be much simpler, since they would already be in position.

m. 49-50: The rhythm writing for the cello is off. Keep things in terms of 4/4, people are going to get confused.

m. 54-55, 56: You can probably have one of how ever many double stops in that measure. Both is going to sound bad.

m. 58: You're looking for tenor clef, not alto clef.

m. 60: Same advice about the rolls or split chords for the cello.

m. 67-68: Are you not going to beam the soprano 16th to the dotted? I only ask because you do it in the other voices.

m. 67-69: Dot slurring 4 notes will make some cellists uncomfortable; two might be easier.

m. 70: Cello: Same advice.

m. 73: I would pick two notes to play in the cello instead of 4.

m. 75, 78, 79-80, 82, 85, 87, 89: Same advice about triple stops for cello.

m. 101-106: Those notes are so short, you'd be fine just having one slash through them... they won't be able to play tremolo. 

m. 106-107: Combine all the eighth notes into a couple half notes with the same notation.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Generally:

Beaming is done to keep the beats in line with each other... like in 4/4 the beaming of the notes is generally going to want to make it look like it's in 4/4, not as if it's 8/8 where the rhythm is variable. If it IS as variable as it is in your piece currently, I'd suggest 8/8, 6/8, etc. in some of your sections.

Cello triple stops are generally bad unless they can be easily rolled; quadruple stops are only okay if there are open strings involved. To counteract the triple stop thing, you can go into the second layer and put the bottom note as a "shorter" note than the top two notes, so it becomes a double stop, or put a roll marking in there. Triple stop triads are generally very hard to play and a string player will assume you're not very used to writing music for them. Also, cellos use tenor clef, not alto clef, which is alto clef shifted up one line.

Your chords in your atonal section (or how I heard it) generally resolve themselves pretty well, so there's just technical things to tend to now. Good luck!

 

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16 hours ago, Monarcheon said:

Okay so I interpret m. 0-13 to be the tonal introduction, while everything else is purposefully atonal:

m. 0-36: Cellos are not written in alto clef; bass clef or tenor clef is definitely preferred. 

m. 1: The triple stop in the cello is ridiculous. I don't know if you intended for all three notes to be played at once, but that's not possible. You're going to want to put a roll marking in there so they know to separate the root from the rest of the chord.

m. 2: Juxtaposing a G7 against a Cm triad is a little weird.

m. 5: A harmonic G on that note is a little bit difficult. You're also going to need to notate if it's an octave up or not. If it is, they need to jump from a normal position to an obscure one just to play that note. If it's not, they'll need to shift to at least 4th position to play it.

m. 7: Cello has Cm, soprano has G7, and piano has D˚... it clashes too much in my opinion.

m. 8-9, 12: Gm and G triads clash too much. 

---------------------------------------------------------

m. 15: F and A-flat double stop requires thumb position, which doesn't sound very good in pizzicato that high. Also, an awkward shift to get up there.

m. 16: Again, you need a roll or something in the cello. This chord requires a random jump to 6th or 7th position, so maybe take the root out from the bottom and highlight it in the other voices.

m. 26, 32: Pretty high note for a soprano... 

m. 33-34: Octaves in the cello are hard and not very useful. The Cm chord needs to be split again.

m. 37-38: Some pianist find grace notes to the same chord to be annoying, but not all do.

m. 38: Cello: having the grace notes with the rolled chord is impossible; you'll need to decide which tones you actually need.

m. 45: Having the harmonic on the B-flat is going to be hard to hit, keeping it straight would be much simpler, since they would already be in position.

m. 49-50: The rhythm writing for the cello is off. Keep things in terms of 4/4, people are going to get confused.

m. 54-55, 56: You can probably have one of how ever many double stops in that measure. Both is going to sound bad.

m. 58: You're looking for tenor clef, not alto clef.

m. 60: Same advice about the rolls or split chords for the cello.

m. 67-68: Are you not going to beam the soprano 16th to the dotted? I only ask because you do it in the other voices.

m. 67-69: Dot slurring 4 notes will make some cellists uncomfortable; two might be easier.

m. 70: Cello: Same advice.

m. 73: I would pick two notes to play in the cello instead of 4.

m. 75, 78, 79-80, 82, 85, 87, 89: Same advice about triple stops for cello.

m. 101-106: Those notes are so short, you'd be fine just having one slash through them... they won't be able to play tremolo. 

m. 106-107: Combine all the eighth notes into a couple half notes with the same notation.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Generally:

Beaming is done to keep the beats in line with each other... like in 4/4 the beaming of the notes is generally going to want to make it look like it's in 4/4, not as if it's 8/8 where the rhythm is variable. If it IS as variable as it is in your piece currently, I'd suggest 8/8, 6/8, etc. in some of your sections.

Cello triple stops are generally bad unless they can be easily rolled; quadruple stops are only okay if there are open strings involved. To counteract the triple stop thing, you can go into the second layer and put the bottom note as a "shorter" note than the top two notes, so it becomes a double stop, or put a roll marking in there. Triple stop triads are generally very hard to play and a string player will assume you're not very used to writing music for them. Also, cellos use tenor clef, not alto clef, which is alto clef shifted up one line.

Your chords in your atonal section (or how I heard it) generally resolve themselves pretty well, so there's just technical things to tend to now. Good luck!

 

 

Thank you for your extremely helpful advice, and I really learn a lot from you. I do make mistakes in the cello part and some chords and I will correct them later.

I want to ask you some questions:

1\ “m. 15: F and A-flat double stop requires thumb position, which doesn't sound very good in pizzicato that high. Also, an awkward shift to get up there.” 

Could you please interpret it more specific? I don't know why pizzicato in that high  doesn't sound good? And why it is an awkward shift.

2\ The cello chords

I want to play them simultaneously. Basing on what I learn from books, I knew cello chords can not  be played in one string and only can be played contiguous strings. Are there convenient charts for cello,viola and violin? I wrote these chords basing on books and my calculation.

3\"m. 33-34: Octaves in the cello are hard and not very useful."

Same question:Could you please interpret it more specific?

4\"m. 54-55, 56: You can probably have one of how ever many double stops in that measure. Both is going to sound bad."

Same question:Could you please interpret it more specific?

5\"m. 106-107: Combine all the eighth notes into a couple half notes with the same notation."

I want to emphasize some eighth notes.Do I need to write staccato? Or notes like these can not played by the cellist? 

Thank you again for your reply.

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4 hours ago, kingjing said:

1\ “m. 15: F and A-flat double stop requires thumb position, which doesn't sound very good in pizzicato that high. Also, an awkward shift to get up there.” 

Could you please interpret it more specific? I don't know why pizzicato in that high  doesn't sound good? And why it is an awkward shift.

2\ The cello chords

I want to play them simultaneously. Basing on what I learn from books, I knew cello chords can not  be played in one string and only can be played contiguous strings. Are there convenient charts for cello,viola and violin? I wrote these chords basing on books and my calculation.

3\"m. 33-34: Octaves in the cello are hard and not very useful."

Same question:Could you please interpret it more specific?

4\"m. 54-55, 56: You can probably have one of how ever many double stops in that measure. Both is going to sound bad."

Same question:Could you please interpret it more specific?

5\"m. 106-107: Combine all the eighth notes into a couple half notes with the same notation."

I want to emphasize some eighth notes.Do I need to write staccato? Or notes like these can not played by the cellist? 

 

1. The higher up on the cello you go, the less string you have for it to vibrate. A minor third on F can only be played starting with the F one position before thumb position, which is already about 1/2 way up the cello. It's not so much an awkward shift as it is one that requires the whole string of notes before it to be up there as well.

2. No. Like I said, chords that utilize an open string normally work better. But more importantly, the chords need to be spaced out correctly. The cello has the open strings of C (on the bottom), G, D, and A, all a fifth apart from each other. You need to think about how far apart a players fingers will need to be playing the chord.

3. Octaves in the cello are generally considered a very showy, soloistic thing to have in a piece. These specific octaves are very hard to play because they are so low on the cello. Additionally, the right hand of the piano plays the same notes, so you'd might as well just have the left hand play them in octaves as well, and have the cello play one line, or not play altogether.

4.  Cellos playing thirds without an open string is generally hard to play twice in a row because you have to shift two fingers at the same time instead of just one. It makes it hard on the player for not that much gain.

5. Then beam them differently. You need to beam two eighth notes together properly so that the emphasis is on the off-beat. A string player won't be able to tremolo that fast, either, so reduce the amount of split lines on it as well.

 

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12 hours ago, Monarcheon said:

1. The higher up on the cello you go, the less string you have for it to vibrate. A minor third on F can only be played starting with the F one position before thumb position, which is already about 1/2 way up the cello. It's not so much an awkward shift as it is one that requires the whole string of notes before it to be up there as well.

2. No. Like I said, chords that utilize an open string normally work better. But more importantly, the chords need to be spaced out correctly. The cello has the open strings of C (on the bottom), G, D, and A, all a fifth apart from each other. You need to think about how far apart a players fingers will need to be playing the chord.

3. Octaves in the cello are generally considered a very showy, soloistic thing to have in a piece. These specific octaves are very hard to play because they are so low on the cello. Additionally, the right hand of the piano plays the same notes, so you'd might as well just have the left hand play them in octaves as well, and have the cello play one line, or not play altogether.

4.  Cellos playing thirds without an open string is generally hard to play twice in a row because you have to shift two fingers at the same time instead of just one. It makes it hard on the player for not that much gain.

5. Then beam them differently. You need to beam two eighth notes together properly so that the emphasis is on the off-beat. A string player won't be able to tremolo that fast, either, so reduce the amount of split lines on it as well.

 

 

Thank you, that's really helpful. If I had a chance to chat with cellist, I would show all the questions.

One more question:

Generally:

Quote

 

Beaming is done to keep the beats in line with each other... lCello triple stops are generally bad unless they can be easily rolled; quadruple stops are only okay if there are open strings involved. To counteract the triple stop thing, you can go into the second layer and put the bottom note as a "shorter" note than the top two notes, so it becomes a double stop, or put a roll marking in there. Triple stop triads are generally very hard to play and a string player will assume you're not very used to writing music for them. Also, cellos use tenor clef, not alto clef, which is alto clef shifted up one line.

Your chords in your atonal section (or how I heard it) generally resolve themselves pretty well, so there's just technical things to tend to now. Good luck!

 

I don't understand this sentence: "you can go into the second layer and put the bottom note as a "shorter" note than the top two notes, so it becomes a double stop".

What does "second layer" mean?Could you please write a simple example for me ?

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23 minutes ago, kingjing said:

I don't understand this sentence: "you can go into the second layer and put the bottom note as a "shorter" note than the top two notes, so it becomes a double stop".

What does "second layer" mean?Could you please write a simple example for me ?

You did it yourself here, in the left hand, where the half notes are in one "layer" and the secondary rhythm is another "layer" all in the same staff. Do the same for the cello, but make it so one of the notes is shorter before the roll.

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 19.47.57.jpg

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On 8/3/2016 at 3:26 PM, Monarcheon said:

quadruple stops are only okay if there are open strings involved

I guess nobody told Bartók, although there are a lot of things Bartók was not told…

Anyway, I think it is misleading to say that open strings must be involved. Not only is that "rule" patently ignored in many seminal string works, especially of the last century, but there are many "closed" quadruple stops that are very doable. I am only familiar with viola fingerings but I have tried a cello and while it is certainly much more difficult there is nothing about the spacing which makes it impossible, plus in the higher positions that point becomes somewhat moot. Not that these quadruple stops are in any way easy to tune…

EDIT: Regarding the Bartók, I realize it is just a simple finger barre in this particular example, but that's besides the point, this is just something that instantly sprung to mind.

bartok.jpg

Edited by Gylfi
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Is this the 4th quartet? Could be wrong, but I remember watching it and thinking that it couldn't be Bartok... the violin quadruple stop in the violins is insane (especially with the transition), but not impossible.

And fair enough, but keeping open strings involved is a good rule of thumb I teach people starting out in composition. As they learn the instrument more, they can branch out a bit, but that's because they realize that fifths or sixths in your triple or quadruple stop generally makes things easier for them in first position. (<---- OP, that's the relevant takeaway from this post, haha.)

 

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1 minute ago, Monarcheon said:

Is this the 4th quartet? Could be wrong, but I remember watching it and thinking that it couldn't be Bartok... the violin quadruple stop in the violins is insane (especially with the transition), but not impossible.

And fair enough, but keeping open strings involved is a good rule of thumb I teach people starting out in composition. As they learn the instrument more, they can branch out a bit, but that's because they realize that fifths or sixths in your triple or quadruple stop generally makes things easier for them in first position. (<---- OP, that's the relevant takeaway from this post, haha.)

Yeah, that's right, last movement of the 4th. It's not that what you say is untrue and one should certainly not pen difficult quadruple stops lightly, but it is dangerous to teach people to be afraid of instruments and write in an overly simple manner in my opinion. It's one thing to abstain from impossible trombone glissandos that require faking and makes everyone annoyed, but it's completely another to abstain from writing quadruple stops that are just very uncomfortable. A lot of players like the challenge; plus the uneven intonation and rough articulation are an effect unto themselves which to some extent happens by itself and is more difficult to emulate in well-behaved writing.

 

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2 hours ago, Monarcheon said:

You did it yourself here, in the left hand, where the half notes are in one "layer" and the secondary rhythm is another "layer" all in the same staff. Do the same for the cello, but make it so one of the notes is shorter before the roll.

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 19.47.57.jpg

 

I totally get it ~!~

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2 hours ago, Gylfi said:

Yeah, that's right, last movement of the 4th. It's not that what you say is untrue and one should certainly not pen difficult quadruple stops lightly, but it is dangerous to teach people to be afraid of instruments and write in an overly simple manner in my opinion. It's one thing to abstain from impossible trombone glissandos that require faking and makes everyone annoyed, but it's completely another to abstain from writing quadruple stops that are just very uncomfortable. A lot of players like the challenge; plus the uneven intonation and rough articulation are an effect unto themselves which to some extent happens by itself and is more difficult to emulate in well-behaved writing.

Yes, I intended to write this piece in a difficult way especially for the solo cellist and solo soprano. It is good for me to know the limits of instruments or voice. I read rarely modern and contemporary composers's scores, so I have a lot of questions about modern instruments's technique.

As Monarcheon said, it is a pedagogic way which is I am lack of. I am not formally going to the composing lesson. Things like " fifths or sixths in your triple or quadruple stop generally makes things easier for them in first position" etc, I've never known before.

Thank you both~!~ I really learn a lot from you~!~

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