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Do Not Be Afraid (based on Isaiah 43)


Ruthie
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Hi!

I'm definitely too old to be called a "young composer", but I am a bit late to the party! 

This is my first piece, although it has been re-drafted MANY times. 

Have a look/ listen, and please give me some honest feedback..but please don't be brutal :-) I'm new to all this, but really enjoy composing, and hoping that one day i'll make a decent job of it :-) 

I'm not a pianist (as you probably can tell from the piano part...) so any tips/ hints for this would be fab. As would be any other feedback/ suggestions/ constructive comments, (and of course anything you think works well) is really really appreciated.

Cheers!

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For a first piece, this is REALLY good. I have to say, even though I'm not a pianist myself, this is a good piano accompaniment. There's a couple things that I think you might want to look over.

Most noticeable was the way you wrote down the lyrics. With words that normally have 1 syllable you wrote down two. Look at m. 10, the alto has na-me written down. As long as you make it clear, with either a slur or assumption, you can leave it as one word (like you did with 'mine' on m.12). By separating it into two parts a conductor might interpret it as 'name' and then hold 'm'. If you wanted the altos to hold the 'm', you might want to write a note in parenthesis after the 'me' part of 'name' and say "(Hold mmm)". Basically don't split up syllables where you don't do it where you speak.

Second thing that I saw was the dynamics. The first time you introduce your sopranos, they're at pianissimo. Which is normally fine, but singing up to the E could sometimes be trouble. Trouble would be more likely with the tenors and their G on the pianississmo. at m.17-20. Most tenors of even high skill levels would say "Why does this Ruth dude hate me?". I think the sounds at those measures are gorgeous and I love what you did with it, but it a little high for the dynamic choice. Maybe a crescendo in the Soprano and alto leading up to the introduction of the Bass and Tenor? 

Loved every moment when you had duets between parts. I also love many of your suspensions, like m. 56 and m.60. 

One thing about ranges. on m.60, you have altos singing an E, which is out of many normal choirs alto range. It's not that they can't sing it, it's just they don't want to. I'd just move that E-D to the soprano 2 instead of Alto 1.

m.35, a courtesy sharp in the bass would be appreciated (in this case with or without parenthesis would be fine).

I think in a future pieces you should be mindful of the capabilities of the limitations of the different voices. As well as being more thoughtful to not give skips between phrases (like you do with the bass, poor guys). You have a couple points where you go to these beautiful chords but some voices are getting their notes from nowhere. I don't think you should worry about that aspect for this piece, as it's something that is meant in the early process and is mostly a hassle to fix. 

I really loved how you solidified the key. That's what makes this so great at times. Somehow there is a fantastic consistency that you've managed. It seems you planned this piece out before you wrote it. And it worked out quite well.

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Hi, Ruth!

First off, congrats on a very moving piece! Choral works were some of my first compositions, too, and to this day, the blending of human voices is like no other sound on earth to me...

I'd like to make some comments on the accompaniment, if that's okay. Basically the less notes that are on the page, the easier it becomes to sight read, and the better your piece will sound. Too many notes from the piano really tend to clutter things up. I've attached a simplified version of your intro that's more accompanist-friendly so you can get an idea of what I'm talking about.

I hope this helps!

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"Some Guy That Writes Music"...Thank you for your kind words and feedback... it's really helpful to have some specific advice.

I know what you mean with the "alto"  ranges, I sing in a community choir... and I guess I wrote thinking of them... our alto section is more dense than the Sops, so I guess that's why I wrote it that way. I didn't think about how easy it would be to actually sing (I know... rookie error!) so that's helpful. The lyric issues are an easy fix & I see what you mean. Bizarrely, I didn't really plan out the piece, it just kind of "evolved" from  3 basic ideas... but i'm happy that it's come out looking like I kind of had a plan! The courtesy sharp... I know it should be there... I just can't work out how to do in in musescore (not that i've tried really hard to find out though- it's going on the "to do" list)

I'm encouraged that there are parts that sound good to others... you never quite know whether others will like what you've written. Thanks again for taking the time to listen and write feedback... i'm a little sad, but it has made my day!! 😉

Edited by Ruthie
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Thank you Tonskald,

That's a really helpful suggestion. I always worry that the parts I attempt to write for piano are too basic... so I think that is why it is so visually busy!

Thank you for also your encouragement... I was aiming for a piece that has emotional effect so glad to read it comes across that way. Thanks for taking the time to listen and give feedback. very much appreciated.

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