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This is a Christmas carol for SATB chorus, based on William Shakespeare's poem "Song of the Holly"

Edited by aMusicComposer
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It was a pleasure to listen to it. The effect of contrasting voices and how they drop out and come in was fine. Sometimes, the voice leading could have been a tad more polyphonic,  but that depends on your style. However, I think the music could do more to convey the meaning of the text, especially the contrast between the lines about ingratitude etc and than the refrain where the holly reminds the author that life can be jolly. 

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35 minutes ago, Willibald said:

It was a pleasure to listen to it. The effect of contrasting voices and how they drop out and come in was fine. Sometimes, the voice leading could have been a tad more polyphonic,  but that depends on your style. However, I think the music could do more to convey the meaning of the text, especially the contrast between the lines about ingratitude etc and than the refrain where the holly reminds the author that life can be jolly. 

 

Thank you very much for these kind comments! 

I'm planning to add a basic string accompaniment to provide some depth to it, and some polyphony.

When you talk about conveying the meaning of the text, do you mean thinking about the emotions behind it and incorporating them into the music?

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@Willibald Here is the string + chorus arrangement

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Thanks. Sounds good! Some small remarks:

You have a very strong bass, with three independent voices (choir, cello, contrabass). It’s fine as the contrabass makes some chords more harmonious (like the first one, where the choir sings a F Major chord in second inversion, but the contrabass transforms it back into root position), but it can sound a bit bass-heavy in a real performance. It is also difficult to pull off in terms of voice leading.

Minor quibbles: I guess you did use those transposing bass clefs for the contrabass to get an accurate MIDI output. In a real score, you would just use a normal bass clef; the contrabass player is accustomed to playing an octave lower than notated. In the alto, you have one wrong notehead (for percussion instead a normal one) in the first bar. This happens again in the third bar.

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21 hours ago, Willibald said:

You have a very strong bass, with three independent voices (choir, cello, contrabass). It’s fine as the contrabass makes some chords more harmonious (like the first one, where the choir sings a F Major chord in second inversion, but the contrabass transforms it back into root position), but it can sound a bit bass-heavy in a real performance. It is also difficult to pull off in terms of voice leading.

Thanks. Should I make the cello play more of a tenor range or just specify e.g. that I only need a few contrabasses?

21 hours ago, Willibald said:

Minor quibbles: I guess you did use those transposing bass clefs for the contrabass to get an accurate MIDI output. In a real score, you would just use a normal bass clef; the contrabass player is accustomed to playing an octave lower than notated. In the alto, you have one wrong notehead (for percussion instead a normal one) in the first bar. This happens again in the third bar.

MuseScore automatically writes contrabass in that clef. I will be able to change it. I hadn't noticed that in the alto voice. I must have clicked copy + paste and the cross notehead repeated. 

Edited by aMusicComposer

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