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So I've been working on my musical and other incidental music for so long, I've kinda lost the whole modern classical realm of composition, so I tried writing something kinda of Luther-Adams-ish but am completely lost as to what to do next. Any ideas? I know adding a melody to the 2nd figure is an obvious one.
Thanks for any help.

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Great start!

To be honest I did not miss any melody in the 2nd figure. It is good like this.
Try analysing the music you have now:

  • What are my motives?
  • What is the idea behind the music?
  • Why do I use these melodic patterns?
  • What structure will I use for the piece?
  • What harmonies am I using?

If you know this you can stick yourself to those ideas and limit yourself hereby forcing yourself to continue with the material you have.

I hope this helps!

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This is really good, I love the energy of it, but I did find the transition at about 39 seconds to be a bit jarring. Since you're opting for an incidental style, what is the foreground that this music accompanies?  For me, the first part of the piece was almost combative, and so maybe a good way to extend this idea is to represent a sense of impending peril beforehand and some kind of aftermath afterwards? In this example from Lord of the Rings  you really the build up, fight (starting at about 3 mins in), the aftermath (5:20 onwards), and then the flight (at 7:20.) 
So, maybe map out a scene with individual 'beats' (or 'moments') and then write around the really good section you've already put together?

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If you already look to Adams one thing that springs to me is that he never repeats. There's always a temporal displacement of elements, juxtaposition of time or fragmentation (either literal or distorted time fragmentation) much like Mozart's orchestration.

I would spend a lot of time just figuring out a development of the first two bars. How can the figure be orchestrated to accent and soften different shades. How can timpani accent different notes to bring out another sense of timing (Adams-like), what fragments can the figure be divided in and how can these fragments be re-combined, transposed and layered. All these new combinations can then be orchestrated in different ways.

I wouldn't add melody yet. In fact I would delete the violins/viola and woodwinds since they seem to distract you from your initial idea by being 'something new'.

The fact you haven't done this and kinda rushed through it is in my opinion the reason why I and others feel the transition to be jarring. You have not told us anything yet.

Also 'pesante' is not really an option for eight notes at this tempo.

Notationwise: Since you indicate consecutive down bows for basses you should be conscious of note length. Same with brass and consecutive double whole notes. Same regarding note length is those tenuto/staccato combinations. I know they are meant to mean detaché but they are not used nowadays.

Apart from Adams you could probably also get some insights in to this kind of music from Jerry Goldsmith.

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6 hours ago, bryla said:

You have not told us anything yet.

Haha, well music doesn't really say anything 😉 but I see your point.

6 hours ago, bryla said:

Also 'pesante' is not really an option for eight notes at this tempo.

I know pesante is often associated with tempo, but it doesn't have to be. Expressive markings are, at least to me, generally just an associated description.

6 hours ago, bryla said:

Since you indicate consecutive down bows for basses you should be conscious of note length. Same with brass and consecutive double whole notes. Same regarding note length is those tenuto/staccato combinations. I know they are meant to mean detaché but they are not used nowadays.

The basses will likely get it; I've been in string orchestras enough to know the basic instinct of performance practice, but thanks for the tip on the brass!

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Better to have the score as professional as possible. Just sharing my experience. Good luck!

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