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Hello,

I would like to share with you a short piano piece I did some time ago. In this work I tried to write with some classical  construction with my own ideas, which makes it a not serious piece.

I would apreciate some feedback

Thank you!

 

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Im sorry for the dynamics and the articulation. I have a very low quality writing program and if I write dynamics or articulations the midi file will decrease its quality and therefore a  awfull create a even lower quality mp3. In my next piano works I will try to add dynamics! Thanks for your feedback!

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It's a fun little ditti. It reminds me of the jingle for Slinky. :grin: Bar 23 segue is a little uncomfortable. Maybe try a G7 before going in to D major? Bar 24 is not playable even at half the tempo, the jumps are too big.

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11 hours ago, Ken320 said:

It's a fun little ditti. It reminds me of the jingle for Slinky. :grin: Bar 23 segue is a little uncomfortable. Maybe try a G7 before going in to D major? Bar 24 is not playable even at half the tempo, the jumps are too big.

 

You are right the 23 to 24 is a little too much, but I dont want to use G7 because it would be too classic, I will have to find another transition chord. The 24 compass is not playable because this music was not to be played. When I composed this piece I wasn´t expecting for someone to play because Im not a professional composer I didn't have composing classes either, so it was just a musical experiment. If someone ever wants to played it I will rearrange that part!  

Thank you a lot for your feedback,

Best regards!

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The recap at measure 31 strikes me as oddly out of place. There is so much acrobatic stuff immediately before it and after it that it becomes a weird moment of calm. What would happen if you kept the right hand melody but did some sort of arpeggio instead of block chords in the left for m. 31-35?

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4 hours ago, Adrian Quince said:

The recap at measure 31 strikes me as oddly out of place. There is so much acrobatic stuff immediately before it and after it that it becomes a weird moment of calm. What would happen if you kept the right hand melody but did some sort of arpeggio instead of block chords in the left for m. 31-35?

 

I have never thought about that! The fact that the recap is calm was suposedly to make a contrast with the acrobatic stuf before, but maybe I didn't express that contrast as I wanted to. I would not use arpeggio either because then I would have to rewrite 35 and 36 bar which I dont want to because they are supposed to be like that to create a more "classical" effect!

I will certainly look at those bars and try to find an alternative! Thank you for your opinion!

Best regards!

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Hi Martim,

Think about your narrative arc for a moment: The entire middle of the piece is a musical representation of anxiety, right? Well, in real life, once an anxiety attack has come and gone, you're not just instantly calm again. There's usually leftover nervous energy. The calm isn't complete, there's usually something still stirring under the surface.

When it comes to a recap in a piece like this, where the contrast between the subject and its development is significant, there needs to be some sign that the journey the listener just went on matters.

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3 hours ago, Adrian Quince said:

Hi Martim,

Think about your narrative arc for a moment: The entire middle of the piece is a musical representation of anxiety, right? Well, in real life, once an anxiety attack has come and gone, you're not just instantly calm again. There's usually leftover nervous energy. The calm isn't complete, there's usually something still stirring under the surface.

When it comes to a recap in a piece like this, where the contrast between the subject and its development is significant, there needs to be some sign that the journey the listener just went on matters.

 

I understand what you are saying, but I cant agree on you because of two aspects. First of all, it didn't bother me at all when I first listen it because it was really the way I wanted to sound. Secondly, the anxiety title does not refer entirely to the more animated middle section, but to the harmonic variations and extremelly anoying repetitions on different octaves like the final bars. That recap is just a musical technical I use to write my pieces with short duration, so It does not influentiates that much the anxiety theme.

 

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8 hours ago, Martim Manuel said:

I understand what you are saying, but I cant agree on you because of two aspects. First of all, it didn't bother me at all when I first listen it because it was really the way I wanted to sound. Secondly, the anxiety title does not refer entirely to the more animated middle section, but to the harmonic variations and extremelly anoying repetitions on different octaves like the final bars. That recap is just a musical technical I use to write my pieces with short duration, so It does not influentiates that much the anxiety theme.

A few points:

1. Your listeners will always hear your music differently than you do. They do not know what you were thinking when you wrote a particular passage, nor exactly how the concept in the title relates to the sounds in the piece. They also have different life experiences that cause them to perceive things differently. Things that don't bother you will bother them (and vice versa).

2. I misspoke when I included m. 35 as a problem measure. It's mm. 31-34 that are problematic to me as a verbatim repeat of the main theme. Measure 35 sounds like the natural next step after m. 30.

3. Nothing should be done in a piece with a purely technical motivation. Nothing. As composers, we deploy our technical skills to help solve creative problems, communicate with the listener, and express our artistic intent.

4. Following on #3, a composer must know why every note is in a piece. Each note should align with their creative intent. In the case of a recap, a composer should know why the main subject is being repeated and modify the recap accordingly. What should the listener feel when they hear this? How does the recap relate to the journey of the development? How does it set up the coda?

5. In looking in more detail, part of the reason the recap isn't sitting well is also that it is interrupting a sequence of the same material (m. 30 and mm. 35-36). The developmental material in this so sequence-oriented that it is jarring not to get one on the material in m. 30.

6. Regarding the harmonic difficulty going from m. 23 to m. 24, the problem note in the chord is the G#. The progression from m. 22 to m. 24 Bb7 Bdim | C7 C#mi7 | D. Since you're trying to get into the key of D (or at least tonicize D), the chord at the end of m. 23 needs to be some sort of dominant function chord in the key of D. Change the G# to a G and the progression becomes Bb7 Bdim | C7 C#halfdim7 | D. There is your dominant function chord. Also, the sequence of chord qualities is more logical, alternating dominant 7th and diminished chords in m. 22-23 to get to the D octave in 24.

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I have listen over and over again my own piece and I dont really find any problem with those measures 23 and the recap. I'm going to try to explain to you why (Im not fluent in english). Measure 23 can't be a dominant function chord because I dont want a "easy" transition to the 24+ measures. About the recap, my works are inspired on mozart/beethoven classicism where the recaps where oftenly used, not only because they wanted to express something in particular, but mostly to create a structure that allows the music to travel to another place. That's what I wanted to do. Its a way to make me able to create a structured short duration music, and to me it sounds ok. I know I have to make music according to the listeners, but if I dont like it in the first place, what's the point?

I never had composing classes so your professional criticism is very important to me, I may not change this particular piece but now I will take more care doing recaps and transitions.

Best regards!

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23 hours ago, Martim Manuel said:

I have listen over and over again my own piece and I dont really find any problem with those measures 23 and the recap. I'm going to try to explain to you why (Im not fluent in english). Measure 23 can't be a dominant function chord because I dont want a "easy" transition to the 24+ measures. About the recap, my works are inspired on mozart/beethoven classicism where the recaps where oftenly used, not only because they wanted to express something in particular, but mostly to create a structure that allows the music to travel to another place. That's what I wanted to do. Its a way to make me able to create a structured short duration music, and to me it sounds ok. I know I have to make music according to the listeners, but if I dont like it in the first place, what's the point?

I never had composing classes so your professional criticism is very important to me, I may not change this particular piece but now I will take more care doing recaps and transitions.

Best regards!

There is a danger in listening too often to the same piece while it is in progress or immediately after it's completed. The closer we are to our music, the more inclined we are to like it simply because it's familiar. One of the things I've built into my own composition process is a waiting period after I complete the first draft of a piece to gain a measure of objectivity on it before beginning to edit.

Regarding the ease of the harmonic transition between into m. 24, half diminished 7th chords are more dissonant than minor 7th chords. So, despite being the correct function for the spot, it will not make the transition sound any easier. Your progression immediately before also implies at least three different keys before landing the listener in D major. It's a very nicely written piece of harmonic deception, by the way.

Now, to the more philosophical subjects...

On the subject of recapitulations, development and recapitulation is different in concept from simple ABA form because development has consequences.

In the simplest sonata form, the development features enough harmonic instability to solidify the tonic key such that both subjects are stated in the tonic key instead of in separate keys. The first movement of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik is a good example of this. The development does not go terribly far afield form the thematic material and the main subjects is restated nearly verbatim while the second subject is modified to work in the home key.

In more complex sonata forms, the creative ideas from the development actually change the nature of the recapitulation. In another Mozart work, Symphony No. 40 in G minor, the development section is designed to fake the listener into thinking they're hearing the recapitulation. The entire development is about deception. So what does Mozart do when it's time for the actual recap? He brings the violins ahead of the lower strings, making the real recap look like yet another fake. It's really hip writing. The recap does its job of returning the listen "home" musically, but it carries forward the idea of the development.

Beethoven, being more strongly driven by expressive desires over form, was more aggressive in bending recapitulations to fit the narrative context. In his 5th Symphony, the recap of the first movement is orchestrated very differently from its original appearance, carrying over elements from the development in the background. The orchestration is lighter and perhaps even more "tired". There is a reflective little soliloquy in the oboe at one point. These changes feel like a consequence of the development, which portrays a person weakening the face of fate.

In the fourth movement, Beethoven wants the recap of the A theme to feel very much the same as it did the first time, like a bright, victorious fanfare bringing light to the darkness. So, not only does he recap it verbatim, he precedes it by quoting the last portion of the third movement so the fanfare has the same dark, foggy texture to contrast against.

Structurally, it boils down to this: the bigger the difference between the subject and its development, the bigger the consequence that has to be dealt with in the recapitulation. Keep that in mind as you're studying classical works.

On the question of making music for the listeners vs. you personally, it's a balancing act every composer has to grapple with. The challenge of communicating through music is finding the right metaphors and language to make ourselves understood to our desired audience. Sometimes, the thing that totally makes sense to us as composers doesn't work for an audience. The question then becomes whether you as the composer like that thing enough to stick to it or whether it makes sense look for another solution. It's a judgement call each and every time.

When it comes to finding out what works and what doesn't, this forum is a great resource. Not only will folks tell you, but they're fellow composers and can tell you why.

Finally, nothing says you have to go back and revise this piece. I believe it was Tom Petty who said that projects are never completed, only abandoned. We grow as composers by tackling new ideas and writing new pieces.

Edited by Adrian Quince
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