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stewboy

Whirlpool

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A few weeks ago, I was intending on writing another wind band piece but then it became hard and so I started procrastinating by tossing out this piece over a few hours (though I'd had the idea floating around in my head for a while). I also spent a small amount of time at a real piano to make sure it was playable, and although I couldn't get it all up to tempo just then I'm sure that with time it would be easy enough.
I showed it to my tutor and his main problem with it was that the overall arc wasn't very convincing - it didn't sound 'complete' and the ending didn't seem fitting, mostly due to the fact that I don't really have a home key. There are three key moments of rest/stability: A minor, E major, and F# major. The first of these isn't really solidified enough (it moves away too quickly), and the other two sound very disconnected. At the time, I hadn't really invested a lot into this piece and I wasn't writing it for my course, but rather just to get some ideas out. So, I kind of left it to rot for a bit since then.

Thinking about it now though, I wonder if I could improve it by reconciling those three areas of stability into the same key. For example, introducing the E major early on, and then figuring out the last transition such that the ending can stay in E major. I do like the underlying idea and a lot of the progressions.

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What a surprise.

It's a wonderful piece, I like it very much. I love the part almost at the end when it becomes harder with those chords, to go back afterwards.

Honestly, I don't see the problem with the home key and that... I don't see why a piece must have a home key or whatever. You can do what you want. If you feel you need a "home key", work on it to find it. If you think it's good as it is, there's no need to change anything just because it should be in a particular way...

In music anything is possible.

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@stewboy

I wish I could compose something like that.

You succeed in making a piece on one instrument, with almost single rythmic idea, that is also interesting.

Usually rythmicly repetitive pieces makes me bored in half a minute.

In this one I didn't get bored for a second, you kept changing chords and scales.

Thanks for sharing and I hope to hear more music of yours in the future.

 

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Thank you! This piece was really one of my 'exploration' pieces where I'm just experimenting and playing around with what I can do with chords. They can often end up a little unfocused and unstructured but they can result in some really neat ideas which I then reuse in more thought-out works :)

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@stewboy

May I ask how you do that? 

Unfortunaly, when I grew up the only thing my father listened to

(therefore the only thing that I heard in the house, and heard for hours upon hours during to this day)

is music with one or two chord progressions of three or four chords, so that's my default :(

Please teach me how to get out of this pit, and I'll be so greatful for that.

 

I know how to compose without a chord progression, you can see my "battle" piece under "orchestral pieces",

but it's really difficult to me and... actually I don't think that I never came up with a piano piece with more than two chord progressions...

If you have the time for that, please tell me how you come up with special chords, how you do your modulation, and...

basically I'd like to see a talk by you about how you composed this piece.

 

Please consider that, and if you do it, please do "@" and then my user name, like I'm doing in my messages, so I'll get a notification.

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@stewboy

Just to make it clear- I took theory lessons for a few years, so I know how to do that theoretically.

But when I'm composing my own piece... well... :(

 

You see, it's like math lessons when you learn a new thing.

You can understand it when the teacher does that, you can go through other people's solutions and understand them,

but doing it yourdelf is a whole different story.

 

You know what?

Don't tell me how you did that. I'll try to do it myself through work, cause that's how you really learn.

If I succeed I'll publish my work on this forum.

Thanks for reading everything I wrote (if you really did).

Edited by Rabbival507

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@Rabbival507

Doing it yourself through work is really the best way. And I mean doing it over and over, and over, for years. You don't necessarily need to share everything you write, it's just for your own benefit. I took part in an online weekly one-hour composition event for a few years, and it was a great opportunity to experiment because if something didn't work, you only spent an hour on it so no matter!
When I first started writing music (10 years ago I think) I wrote quite pop-music kind of chord progressions. Although I improved very gradually over the years to become more and more interesting, there were two pieces of music in particular that were major influences on my style and my harmonic language, which might or might not be of help.

The first of these was Janacek's opera 'The Cunning Little Vixen'. You can find the full opera here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQhLyG3_HnQ (skip to any random point and you'll find beautiful music) but you can also find a cut-down orchestral suite at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a79nSbmy69U which will give you a very good idea of the overall musical language. I played this opera while in my city's youth orchestra, so I got a lot of opportunity to hear the music in action and think about how it worked.
The second was 'Loops II" by Philippe Hurel, a piece I learned for my final undergraduate recital for my bachelor's. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8WtE7uI8a8 is an ok recording. You probably need the score to fully appreciate it, but it really expanded my definition of 'consonance' and I find myself using ideas from it all the time in my music now (like in my 'Tarantella' guitar duet I posted recently).

As to how I wrote these progressions, it was mostly instinctive, so I'm not sure how much I can explain. Bar 87 is a particularly good example of this - while writing I just 'knew' that it had to go to an F# chord. Probably on analysis I might be able to find a specific reason. I'm not saying that F# was the only chord it could go to or that it was even the best chord, but my mind was positively crying out for it to be an F# chord and it just couldn't be anything else at the time. It just flowed naturally in my mind as I was writing it and I didn't have to think about it at all. That's often how I write - through instinct (and also through playing around with music in my head while walking anywhere). Instinct can only come through practice. Keep writing, do silly stuff just for the sake of it and then look back on it afterwards and see if you can figure out what worked and what didn't work, and why.

  • Thanks 1

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