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Three Transformations of an Original Theme for Solo Violin, Op. 292

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This is my "Three Transformations of an Original Theme for Solo Violin, Op. 292". It is my second set of transformations for solo violin, as well as my second set of transformations ever.

Quoting myself from the description of my initial set of transformations, the "Five Transformations of an Original Theme for Solo Violin, Op. 260":

"Whereas in variations you have always to variate from the main theme, in transformations, you transform from the initial theme 'a' into 'b', and then from 'b' into 'c'. You are, in other words, freer."  

This time around, I considered the theme to be the first transformation simply because, unlike the case of a theme and variations, the theme of a series of transformations is neither more nor less important than any of its transformations. In fact, either of the three transformations in the current piece can be considered to be the theme, not necessarily the first one. We can therefore say that the major difference between a set of variations and a set of transformations is that the latter is not theme-centric while the former is. Making an analogy with atonality in which there is no tonal center, we might say that in transformations there is no thematic center, There is merely a relationship between individual transformations, between different embodiments/treatments/expressions of related musical themes.

In my compositional output, I can say that I see the transformation as occupying a middle ground between the sententia and the soliloquy. Each transformation is longer and more developed than a sententia but less so than a soliloquy. Another way to think of transformations would be as "variations on no theme", or "variations of a composition" or "Variations of composition/composing".

Here is the link to my first set of transformations:


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Very coherent. I think you're really improving on that front!
T1: I might bracket the sixteenth notes together with a rest in between them. It's easier to read that way. Having the fermata on the 16th note is awkward, and difficult to interpret. 
T2: Nice!
T3: mm. 26-27, bowings will be awkward. I'd suggest adding a slur somewhere in those 16ths. mm. 31-33 is a bit too "break in the action" for me with such a short movement. 
Overall, I'd have liked to see a bit more development, since they all sound so similar, but it's a pretty good set. 

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You know damn well what I'm talking about Sojar. That is not standard practice. It is ostentatious and unprofessional. Of course anyone is free to name and catalogue their work however they choose. It's just that sometimes, if you apply a convention to your pieces in a way that makes it seem like you don't know what the convention actually comes from, it makes it look like you don't know what you are doing. If you are an amateur composer who has never been published, and you present a piece to any serious person in the industry, and you say it is Opus 292 there is a good chance they think you're ignorant at best, and at worst are laughing at you, and will laugh at you with other industry folk who understand how stupid it is.

It's whatever. You are right, ideologically. So, whatever.

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I dont really care about opus numbers but I have to agree with opaqueambiguity. About the music, I think it doesn't have a well definied charachter. For example the first repetition on the 2 transformation, it's a very odd passage from Am to CM in that part. If you wanted to do that on purpose I just dont get the point but its my bad then. But I think in general the three transformations are very well structured but in my opinion, the musical ideas should be better worked/thought to give a better defined charachter.

Its just an amateur opinion, dont take it too seriously, and I dont regret hearing those 3 pieces ;)

Best Regards

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Thanks for your customary detailed review and constructive criticism Monarcheon. Thanks Maarten for your review and opinion. Thanks Martim for your review and opinion (which I just saw) also.

As for the issue about the usage of opus numbers, I think the following page should throw some light on the matter:


I think the key phrase is the following:

"Since approximately 1900, composers tended to assign an opus number to a composition, published or not."

By the way, I did not assign opus numbers to my pieces until they reached Op. 189. That was the first piece, back in January 2014, that I assigned an opus number to. However, obviously, I could not start from Op. 1, since as you can see, I had already composed 188 pieces before it (not including the pieces that I had composed earlier using a less sophisticated notation program, or even earlier, using paper and pen). Moreover, I had numbered those 188 pieces in a separate file on my computer. So it was not difficult to start using opus numbers continuing from the number of pieces I had in that file of numbered pieces. Till then, I had refrained from using opus numbers perhaps out of a false modesty, thinking that it would appear like "boasting". But the advice of my cousin who has a "DMA" degree (Doctor of Musical Arts) in "Keyboard Studies" completely changed my perspective about the matter. Essentially, what she said was that it would give the listener an idea where an individual piece stands in my output. Now I don't regret starting using opus numbers and advise every composer to do so. It is a great way to organize one's compositions. The number 292 admittedly might seem inordinately high and maybe unintentionally "boastful", but as Sojar rightly mentioned, most of my compositions are short and written for solo instruments or chamber ensembles. So that fact might serve as a qualification of that relatively high number. Maybe I should from now on put an asterisk next to the opus number and provide that explanation in order not to unintentionally mislead my audience. Opaqueambiguity's initial question might seem to reinforce that idea. But then again, who determined how long compositions should be before they can be considered opuses? I don't think anyone did. 

Edited by luderart
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On 2/21/2017 at 5:43 PM, luderart said:

. But then again, who determined how long compositions should be before they can be considered opuses? I don't think anyone did. 


Music publishers did, over the course of the last 400 years. It's whatever, you are absolutely right. Ever since the advent of modernism most traditional conventions are open to being retooled, appropriated, and even rejected. I do believe cataloging your work is important, I do as well. However I don't refer to it as opus numbers, because it does seem misleading. It is important to note that traditionally a single opus number could denote a collection of works, not each individually. If a set of pieces was published together it may have a single opus number for the whole set, and then each piece would have a subnumber associated with it. This is generally why a lot of prolific composers didn't have really high opus numbers comparable to their output; most works wouldn't be published at all, especially shorter ones. When shorter ones were published, it tended to be in collections that would all carry a single opus number.

My cataloging doesn't fit anything resembling that, so instead of labeling something as Opus # such and such, I simply place the number after the title. For example a title might look something like "Beautiful Love Song (#235)"

When I was a kid, I would assign a catalogue number to each individual movement, and then another one to the piece as a whole. This is probably not how I would do it today, but I don't want to break my own conventions at this point, and I don't want to renumber the whole catalogue.

Edited by Opaqueambiguity
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