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Hi all,

As the title says; I need some advice and / or tips with composing fast tempi compositions.

In opposition to pieces with slow tempi, which I really like, the ones with fast tempi just sound flat, lack harmony and are not interesting at all...
These fast tempi are in such a huge contrast qua quality and character with the slower tempi. 

I find it very hard to compose pieces that I do like myself. 

Help would be very appreciated! (I have attached two pieces for you, so that it is easier for you to give advice and to understand what I mean. Note that these pieces are not finished yet).

Maarten

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Personally, I tend to enjoy writing a lot of counterpoint in faster music. Ostinatos or at least rhythmic motifs are usually a part of faster pieces, but there are lots of elements you can manipulate to keep from feeling bored with your music. Consider using time signatures you're not as comfortable with, possible mixing meters, introducing countermelodies, which can also add new rhythmic character by using syncopation, polyrhythms, etc. Those sorts of things. It probably goes without saying, but also note that most fast pieces thrive on contrasting technical passages with more lyrical material.

Btw, I listened to the Symphonic Poem and I personally quite liked it. I was not able to view the score, so I can not give many particular comments. But I thought it had a nice sense of drama and I got a feeling of Beethovian influence 

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9 hours ago, fishyfry said:

Personally, I tend to enjoy writing a lot of counterpoint in faster music. Ostinatos or at least rhythmic motifs are usually a part of faster pieces, but there are lots of elements you can manipulate to keep from feeling bored with your music. Consider using time signatures you're not as comfortable with, possible mixing meters, introducing countermelodies, which can also add new rhythmic character by using syncopation, polyrhythms, etc. Those sorts of things. It probably goes without saying, but also note that most fast pieces thrive on contrasting technical passages with more lyrical material.

Btw, I listened to the Symphonic Poem and I personally quite liked it. I was not able to view the score, so I can not give many particular comments. But I thought it had a nice sense of drama and I got a feeling of Beethovian influence 

 

Thank you for the advice! This will certainly help.

Hmmm... I can't open the file either. Maybe now?

Edited by Maarten Bauer
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I always like it when composers use pedal points in fast pieces.  You've got a quick moving melody, and maybe some counterpoint for intricacy, and then you start adding in a bass note on held double whole notes.  The contrast helps add intensity.  And you can ratchet up the intensity by degrees by keeping the pedal point the same, while the melody moves into more and more intense harmony away from it, or keep the melody in the same place melodically, harmonically, and start moving the pedal note around the scale to build intensity.  This can be combined with gradually changing the pedal from long double whole notes, to whole notes, to half notes, to quarter notes, to the same rhythm or counter-rhythm used in the melody.  Gradually speeding it up over the course of a piece can add some real drama.  

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45 minutes ago, pateceramics said:

I always like it when composers use pedal points in fast pieces.  You've got a quick moving melody, and maybe some counterpoint for intricacy, and then you start adding in a bass note on held double whole notes.  The contrast helps add intensity.  And you can ratchet up the intensity by degrees by keeping the pedal point the same, while the melody moves into more and more intense harmony away from it, or keep the melody in the same place melodically, harmonically, and start moving the pedal note around the scale to build intensity.  This can be combined with gradually changing the pedal from long double whole notes, to whole notes, to half notes, to quarter notes, to the same rhythm or counter-rhythm used in the melody.  Gradually speeding it up over the course of a piece can add some real drama.  

 

Thank you for your comment.

That is a very interesting and clever technique! I did not know that one, thank you very much.

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