Jump to content

Blue Whale (Animal Sketches)


Recommended Posts

Blue Whale MIDI.mp3

Blue Whale PDF.pdf

Hey ya'll, here is something I wrote yesterday morning. I know it is simple. If anyone has suggestions, please share them. (And sorry for the trashy audio rendering).


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some thoughts!


The piece sounds very nice, I like the chords in the violins/viola. The progression from bar 4 to bar 5 doesn't really make too much sense to me - I think maybe it's that the E in the bass feels weak. Putting another octave on the bass C on the 3rd crotchet beat in bar 4 would solve this, and either keeping the E as it is or leaving it out and having the D hang over until that beat which would also fit with the rhythmic pattern established in bars 1 and 2. (I like semi-symmetrical patterns.)

For me, the harmony moves too slowly in the main melodic phrase at this tempo. Repeating the same two chords can be fine, but done this slowly (and with no variation in the piano voicing) it becomes a little grating. The call and response works well, you generally can't go wrong with call and response to provide interest.

The piano chord in bar 23 is a little muddy in the left hand with the notes so close together. I think taking out the E from the left hand would help, without reducing the harmonic interest of the chord, as it's also in the right hand. I'm not actually convinced about the E being in the chord overall though, it sounds a little too unexpectedly dissonant - a B flat chord with just Bb-C-G in the right hand would still be interesting but would be more consonant. The E could also work better if it was played on a different beat (or on bar 24 for example) - you've still got the B flat chord hanging over with the E providing the interest, but playing them separately would reduce the dissonance.

Bar 22 would sound better to my ears without the F in the bass. I know the chord would then just be a very plain vanilla C major chord, but you're coming out of a relatively frenzied and harmonically chaotic section, and it would make for a nice contrast.

The return of the main theme has the same problem it did before, that it's a little slow harmonically, especially as the middle bit is relatively short.

Bar 42 is great and I would encourage you to use these sorts of chords more often, and try casually inserting them into the main piece rather than just at the end. Eventually you can be going from interesting chord to interesting chord in a logical progression and that's when you get a really fantastic piece.

Overall I'm getting the impression you have a good instinctive foundation of knowing chords and voice leading and bass lines, which is great! Everything else will just come from constant experimentation. Keep writing! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...