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Monarcheon

What Masterclass topics do you want to see?

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I'd love to see classes on things that traditional theory books don't cover but that are central to composition:

  • Thematic development
  • Structuring a work
  • Techniques for revising a work
  • Writing for different instruments (above and beyond what you'd get in an orchestration text)
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Topics on contemporary techniques:

  • New scales, new modes, mixing modes, modes of limited transposition
  • Composing with interval sets
  • Working with rhythm: polyrhythm, addition, odd meter, no meter, non retrogradable rhythm
  • Extended triad techniques: non functional triads, parallelism, planing, stasis
  • New Forms: Fibonacci series, mosaic form, cagean structures
  • Indetrminacy: chance music, graphic notation
  • etc...
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  • Harmony: Alteration, extention & spicing up harmony. For example Neapolitan sixth.
  • Ways and tricks to create (more) emotion in music (Mournful, exited, etc.)
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I'd like to learn more about orchestration and instrumentation, especially extended techniques and tips for specific instruments. 

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1. Use of composition software, sound samples etc. This has become something like a necessity for composers at present. It would be great to learn more than we know and to cover things beyond the basics (while covering/reviewing the basics also).

2. Composing in sonata form and the other large forms with practical examples or exercises.

3. Theory, harmony, counterpoint as general topics and different aspects of them.

4. Orchestration, and discussing (the orchestration of) various classics from the orchestral repertoire.

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Maybe explanation of a lot of the terms used in music composition, tricks for harmony and counter melody writing would be my want-to-knows. 

Edited by Ranger

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I'd like beginner stuff. I am sure I am not the only one that is on this site that really doesn't intend on a career in composing and never plans on going to school and getting a degree. I have never had any composition classes actually. My knowledge of music is in playing for piano, singing and enjoying all sorts of performance from rock (Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Muse, Coldplay) to classical recital (voice, piano, violin, etc.) to orchestral classical concert (Poem of Ecstasy, Pines of Rome, Daphnis et Chloe) to electronic music (deadmau5, Zedd) to film scores (Lord of the Rings, The Untouchables, The Mission, etc.) I know my basic theory. I know my key and time signatures, my scales, my intervals, and chords and inversions, blah blah blah up until modes. I understand modes, but don't have them memorized. I know piano well. I sight read pretty well too. I play pieces like Debussy's Estampes or Suite Bergamasque, some of Scriabin's Waltzes or Preludes or Nocturnes, some Rachmaninoff Preludes, some Mendelssohn, Barber's Excursions or Souvenirs, etc. I know how the voice works pretty well though I don't sing as much as I play piano.

Anyways, that is where my experience comes from. It has nothing to do with the construction of notes and phrases, accompaniment or orchestration, melodies and development thereof. So, my interest in learning and practicing (and especially receiving constructive criticism) is just coming up with an idea, notating it and getting some other parts to accompany the melody or motif and trying to develop some whatever-it-is well enough. I love basic structure advice and criticism. I don't need so much detailed help with how an instrument works or whatever (though I do - just not yet). I would just like help with the overall progress of my ideas and the structure of my piece and how to make it more interesting and less blocky. 

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On 3/8/2017 at 4:21 AM, Luis Hernández said:

Topics on contemporary techniques:

  • New scales, new modes, mixing modes, modes of limited transposition
  • Composing with interval sets
  • Working with rhythm: polyrhythm, addition, odd meter, no meter, non retrogradable rhythm
  • Extended triad techniques: non functional triads, parallelism, planing, stasis
  • New Forms: Fibonacci series, mosaic form, cagean structures
  • Indetrminacy: chance music, graphic notation
  • etc...
 

You should be the teacher for these things. You've made them very clear in your postings, and your works serve as good examples of them.

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5 hours ago, Ken320 said:

You should be the teacher for these things. You've made them very clear in your postings, and your works serve as good examples of them.

 

Thanks Ken.

Of course if there is people interested in some of the topics, I wouldn't mind, if Monarcheon thinks it's a good idea. Many of these subjects are good to write short compositions. For instance: how to use (harmonically and melodically) al alternative scale...?

I think the idea of the Masterclass is great.

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8 hours ago, Maarten Bauer said:

Very important for me: How to analyse scores (on several ways -> harmony, structure, orchestration).

 

It would be beneficial for composers of any level to study Mozart's Symphony No. 40. All those things are addressed clearly and artfully in the music itself. Everyone should get the score if you can. Leonard Bernstein helps along here: 

https://youtu.be/DCP58BigEfw

 

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No. 40, 1st Mvmt.  has a lot to recommend it. The theme is played in both minor and major contexts. It contains the germ of chromaticism, which is later developed and given a sense of "rightness" through the circle of fifths, an important lesson to learn. I had asked my aural skills professor if the circle of fifths applies to all descending chromatic lines, and I used the example of Sophisticated Lady by Duke Ellington. It does. But Mozart doesn't use jazz chords, so it's easier to understand.

 I like 40 more, but Mozart is a good choice in general because the orchestra is small enough for easy discussion and the scores are easy to get.

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I rise from the seas, awoken from my deep slumber, to post in this thread! I have a question: with whom do I have to speak to if I wanted to do a masterclass on something. Say, a comparison between different harmonic analysis systems, or some such nonsense. I'm kind of interested in doing this kind of thing again, just like ol' times. Hell, maybe I get to actually finish one of my old masterclass attempts this time, who knows everything is possible (or is it? [Maybe {then again, maybe not.}])

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2 hours ago, SSC said:

I rise from the seas, awoken from my deep slumber, to post in this thread! I have a question: with whom do I have to speak to if I wanted to do a masterclass on something. Say, a comparison between different harmonic analysis systems, or some such nonsense. I'm kind of interested in doing this kind of thing again, just like ol' times. Hell, maybe I get to actually finish one of my old masterclass attempts this time, who knows everything is possible (or is it? [Maybe {then again, maybe not.}])

 

You would talk to me, though, for now, in these early stages, I'm taking the process very slowly. In a couple weeks, I'll be opening it up.

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I'm going to echo the request for orchestration and instrumentation topics but specifically when writing for smaller groups. I'm currently struggling with orchestration when I'm writing for something like a string sextet (haven't forgotten my Luderart-theme challenge from forever ago) or some other chamber ensemble (like the one I attempted for last winter's competition). I know these Masterclasses aren't going to be completely tailored to my needs so I'm also seeking lots of advice from an experienced local musician on my compositions. Nevertheless, I think Masterclasses on these topics would make useful additions if there is anyone else equally interested.

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Perhaps a masterclass about "Motivic manipulation" would be interesting. Transposition (real and tonal), inversion, retrogradation, rotation, fragmentation, augmentation, diminution, prolation/mensuration, etc... All of it is good for any style, from baroque to contemporary.

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I would also like to learn about the 12 tone, and also learn other forms of music like Baroque dances (Courante, Allemande, Bouree, Gigues and Minuets)

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