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Hi everybody,

I am writing a piece for a composition competition in Holland.
The piece is to be written for a Dutch professional saxophone quartet. They firstly want to have a sketch of the piece that takes no longer than one minute.

I called the piece Medea. Medea is a Greek witch in the story called Medea by Euripides. In class we were studying the Latin translation of the tragedy and in my opinion it is very impressive. In the part we have read Medea was furious with everybody she knows.

In the Messiaen masterclass I learned a new composing method, which I wanted to apply. I used the third mode and tried to create harmony with a lot of dissonances, but also with rest points. This is my third Saxophone Quartet.

Feedback would be very helpful!

Maarten

Saxophone Quartet Gr.pdf

Edited by Maarten Bauer
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Well, I certainly didn't expect that :grin:
Interesting work. I want to say that I find andante scherzando to be a hilarious tempo marking but it's aptly named here.
I also want to apologize for the MIDI... saxes kind of get a bad rep in the classical realm, clearly. 
m. 11-12, you want a pause/breath and also a slur? I've just never seen it written like that.
I'm also confused why you restate 4/4 in the last measure... it's not like it changed?

Very interesting stuff!

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Yes, very nice and promising. The four lines blend well.

Assuming you talk about third mode of Messiaen you can manipulate to create more dissonant moments and less ones. That's the way to create flow in this kind of music (in harmony). In these modes there's no need of double sharps or double flats, because you can use freely enharmonic pitches.

If you plan to develop this, you can do lot of things. It's cool using the third mode in the three upper voices and other simpler (less notes) in the bariton (hexatonic, pentatonic). Or changing to another mode, or scale, o set of intervals in another section.

Take care about transposed notations. Players don't like concert pitch. And sometimes, when you want to transpose in finale or whatever everything is a mess.

Also take care not surpass the range of each instrument, but using all of it. I would also check it saxophones can play fff. There are some contemporary techniques you can use, too (fluttering, multyphonics if they can play it...). If you know the players it's the best.

Watching to your score is not necessary but if you plan to use odd meters or mixed meters or added values, those parts are usually written with no time signature and no barlines.

New Forms are also cool. In this style classic binary and tertiary forms don't fit well. I love Mosaic Form, easy to use.

Luck with it, I'm eager to hear more....

 

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14 hours ago, Luis Hernández said:

Yes, very nice and promising. The four lines blend well.

Assuming you talk about third mode of Messiaen you can manipulate to create more dissonant moments and less ones. That's the way to create flow in this kind of music (in harmony). In these modes there's no need of double sharps or double flats, because you can use freely enharmonic pitches.

If you plan to develop this, you can do lot of things. It's cool using the third mode in the three upper voices and other simpler (less notes) in the bariton (hexatonic, pentatonic). Or changing to another mode, or scale, o set of intervals in another section.

Take care about transposed notations. Players don't like concert pitch. And sometimes, when you want to transpose in finale or whatever everything is a mess.

Also take care not surpass the range of each instrument, but using all of it. I would also check it saxophones can play fff. There are some contemporary techniques you can use, too (fluttering, multyphonics if they can play it...). If you know the players it's the best.

Watching to your score is not necessary but if you plan to use odd meters or mixed meters or added values, those parts are usually written with no time signature and no barlines.

New Forms are also cool. In this style classic binary and tertiary forms don't fit well. I love Mosaic Form, easy to use.

Luck with it, I'm eager to hear more....

 

 

Hi Luis,

Thank you for your advices and suggestions!

I will change (most of) the double sharps to notes without accidentals.

The score is transposed for the instrument, so no line will sound like written.

I play saxophone myself, so the in general I know what is possible and what is not. The saxophone is one of the best instruments considering dynamics. It can play pppp, but also ffff. Of course dynamics are relative, so a fff can also be ff, but then the piece has to be softer overall, so that the differences in dynamic do not change.

I have played "non-meter" pieces as well, but I do not like to read scores without bar lines, because I get lost and disorientated when playing. Beside that, I want to keep the accents on the first and third beat in 4/4.

Thanks for the tip about form!

Maarten

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  • 1 month later...

Hi

I think you talk about the Mosaic Form (also known as Moment Form).

This is a form developed in the 20th century in which there are a number of SHORT sections (just a few measures each, not necessarily the same number of measures each one). Every part is distinct. You can use a lot of techniques to make them different: texture, scales, quicker-faster, modes, density, etc... Once you have all the sections you compose the whole piece making a "puzzle" with your parts and combining them in different orders to make a continuum. So, you don't have the typical repetitions used in earlier times (ABA, ABAB, etc...). The effect you get is a sensation of "no beginning nor end", as if you could take the piece from any point.

I studied Stravinsky's Sympony for Wind instrument and he uses the Mosaic Form with the following parts and order of them:

Stravinsky Scheme.jpg

I have written several pieces in Mosaic Form, for example (the scheme is in the score):  

 

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1 minute ago, Luis Hernández said:

Hi

I think you talk about the Mosaic Form (also known as Moment Form).

This is a form developed in the 20th century in which there are a number of SHORT sections (just a few measures each, not necessarily the same number of measures each one). Every part is distinct. You can use a lot of techniques to make them different: texture, scales, quicker-faster, modes, density, etc... Once you have all the sections you compose the whole piece making a "puzzle" with your parts and combining them in different orders to make a continuum. So, you don't have the typical repetitions used in earlier times (ABA, ABAB, etc...). The effect you get is a sensation of "no beginning nor end", as if you could take the piece from any point.

I studied Stravinsky's Sympony for Wind instrument and he uses the Mosaic Form with the following parts and order of them:

I have written several pieces in Mosaic Form, for example (the scheme is in the score):  

 

Thank you for your response!

I love the idea! I think I am going to use this as my form, because I am having some problems with developing the music. So if I am right, you have many independent themes and you use them in the order you want them to be?

I will listen to the symphony!

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