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Creating a sense of being lost

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I'm composing a piece in E minor that I want to sound like you are lost. I already start getting that feeling just by being in E minor. Here are some things that I have decided on.

Instrumentation - Flute Piano Duet

Tempo - Lento espressivo(slow and expressive)

Starting harmony - F#°7

Resolution chord in second measure - E minor

I was thinking that if I want my piece to sound like you are lost, then maybe I should concentrate on the lower register for both the flute and the piano. As such, the piece would be more dynamically reserved, so as to not be impossible for the flutist(a true forte in the low register of the flute is impossible). I was also thinking of having more minor than major harmonies in it. Minor harmonies would reinforce that lost feeling. Major harmonies on the other hand would try to turn it around. Of course, there has to be some major harmonies, otherwise it will feel like constant modulation.

Chromaticism would also help reinforce that lost feeling. I usually don't go all that chromatic but I might want to with this piece. Speaking of modulation and chromaticism, I was thinking of not modulating until some chromaticism hints at a new key. For example, if Eb appears more often in a phrase than previously, I might then use that Eb to modulate to C minor. Would anything else that I haven't thought of help get across the feeling of being lost?

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Something to keep in mind is that there are many different kinds of 'lost'. There's the feeling of being somewhere in a dark, misty expanse, with no sense of direction or way to orient oneself; there's losing track of one's way in a constricting, twisting, labyrinth. There's being in a location that's perfectly ordinary, except that one doesn't know there way around. Each of these senses of 'lost' would feel very different in song, I imagine. The general sense I get from what you've described is that you're looking for something like the first, and given that I can think of two ways to move forward. If you want a more passive kind of 'lost'-ness, as of one wandering aimlessly, then it would seem to me that keeping things slow and sparse, and focusing on 'high-level' aspects of the music might be helpful. If, on the other hand, you want a more searching, active kind of 'lost'-ness, as of one hesitantly exploring their surroundings despite being unsure of where they are or where they're going, then you may want to focus on more 'low-level' aspects of the music; perhaps have multiple competing themes, each briefly explored before petering out as paths forward are sought out and abandoned. The two instruments could either complement or contradict each other, giving the piece a more consistent or conflicted feel, or alternately one (probably the piano) could take the part of the environment while the other takes the part of the one wandering.

In any case, there are many, many ways to achieve a feeling of 'lost'-ness, and these are far from the only ways you can accomplish it. I think the most important thing is to be definitive about exactly what sort of feeling you're going for.

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You may be approaching this the wrong way. Rather than focusing on incidental things, like register or major/minor, focus on how you yourself feel being lost. Have you ever really been lost? If not, how will you convince the listener? Even better, what pieces that already exist evoke feelings of being lost to you, as you see it? Analyze them and copy them. I am confident that in the end you will have something more true to your emotions and it won't sound like you copied it if you put a little thought into it.

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