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panta rei

Valse nr 5

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When I did a cleanup of my old files, I found the beginning (first 15 bars) of a waltz.  My intention (back in 2010) was to write a piece as homage to Chopin on occasion of the celebration of his birthday in 1810. However, I abandoned it, because I had too many other ongoing projects.

Instead of deleting it, I now finished it last week. I have to say that it was really a useful experience to write something in a Chopin-like style. The first phrases and their repetitions later on in the piece are of course very, very much Chopin, but there is also a lot, which is different.  

I would be curious to know what you think of it (thanks in advance for your feedback).

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You definitely succeeding producing something very Chopinesque and it's quite lovely.  I only wish that there was more of the contrasting section that started at around 2:00 as otherwise it's pretty homogenous but I enjoyed listening to it!

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@panta rei This waltz is a perfect homage to Chopin. I would never have guessed he didn't write it! However, I'm not entirely sure if that's a good thing, as it might be considered more artful if your own voice came through in the composition.

At any rate, it was quite lovely and refreshing! If you'd like more feedback on your writing skills, perhaps you could attach a score?

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Hello Ryan, Luis and Tónskáld

Thank you very much for your feedback! I am glad that you enjoyed the piece. I will reply to  your comments in this post ( and not in separate posts) for reasons of convenience.

 

 

Bryan:

This was an interesting comment. Actually, I considered several times to enlarge the mid-section (which starts at 2.00), but in the end, I did not do this. This section goes in 4/4, and I was afraid that it would rupture the waltz structure. But.. maybe not. I will think about it again. It would be fairly simple to expand the section. Thanks for the suggestion!

Luis:

Well, the rhythm of the left hand is very typical for Chopin waltzes. I think that the problem here is the kind of mechanical monotony of the computer-generated playback. In a real live performance, it would be a very much different experience.

Tónskáld:

Admittedly, I was very pleased with your comment, but also a bit surprised. The piece has the basic structure as well as typical attributes of a Chopin waltz, but there are also a lot of things which Chopin would never have done. The most striking example is in bar 39 (I have now attached the score). Put these notes together, play it on the piano,  and you will see a chord, which is very typical in jazz music. Also bar 39-45 is not Chopin. The mid-section goes in a 4/4 metre ( as far as I remember, Chopin has not changed metre in his waltzes). Also the music in this section is not Chopin-like. Finding a suitable switch from Bb-minor to the original G-sharp minor key (after bar 112) took me quite some time. The solution I found has its essence in bar 113-116. This is my own idea, and a non-Chopin construction.. The ending (starting at bar 150) is also something which is also my idea, and is not Chopinesque.

The question about whether it is a good thing to write “in the style of Chopin” or not, is an interesting one. If it is artful or not is, according to my opinion, a question of what you make of it! There are numerous famous composers (e.g. Liszt, Scriabin etc) who copied the style of Chopin, because he made a huge impression and a paradigm shift in piano music. These composers did an excellent job, but eventually they realized that they could not match Chopin, and then they went (successfully !) into other directions.

The mantra “you must find your own voice” is one of the first things which is preached in all conservatories. Well, I agree that this is of course worth aiming at, but unfortunately, very often the results of such efforts are rather mediocre.

However, I definitely don´t want to start a discussion on this topic, because it would just could go on and on with subjective arguments, which is boring. For me, the main thing is: like what you like and compose what you like, regardless of what other people like or dislike.

ps: I attached the score, and I am looking forward to your comments. My score writing abilities are not always that good, so I am grateful for suggestions/corrections.   ds

 

 

           

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9 hours ago, panta rei said:

Tónskáld:

Admittedly, I was very pleased with your comment, but also a bit surprised. The piece has the basic structure as well as typical attributes of a Chopin waltz, but there are also a lot of things which Chopin would never have done. The most striking example is in bar 39 (I have now attached the score). Put these notes together, play it on the piano,  and you will see a chord, which is very typical in jazz music. Also bar 39-45 is not Chopin. The mid-section goes in a 4/4 metre ( as far as I remember, Chopin has not changed metre in his waltzes). Also the music in this section is not Chopin-like. Finding a suitable switch from Bb-minor to the original G-sharp minor key (after bar 112) took me quite some time. The solution I found has its essence in bar 113-116. This is my own idea, and a non-Chopin construction.. The ending (starting at bar 150) is also something which is also my idea, and is not Chopinesque.

The question about whether it is a good thing to write “in the style of Chopin” or not, is an interesting one. If it is artful or not is, according to my opinion, a question of what you make of it! There are numerous famous composers (e.g. Liszt, Scriabin etc) who copied the style of Chopin, because he made a huge impression and a paradigm shift in piano music. These composers did an excellent job, but eventually they realized that they could not match Chopin, and then they went (successfully !) into other directions.

The mantra “you must find your own voice” is one of the first things which is preached in all conservatories. Well, I agree that this is of course worth aiming at, but unfortunately, very often the results of such efforts are rather mediocre.

However, I definitely don´t want to start a discussion on this topic, because it would just could go on and on with subjective arguments, which is boring. For me, the main thing is: like what you like and compose what you like, regardless of what other people like or dislike.

ps: I attached the score, and I am looking forward to your comments. My score writing abilities are not always that good, so I am grateful for suggestions/corrections.   ds

           

In hindsight, that was a bit catty of me to say that, especially without offering any explanation at all. I'm sorry you felt the need to defend your work, which is absolutely a work of art and uniquely you! I didn't take the time to carefully analyze the piece (as you graciously provided in your response) to see all the differences from Chopin. I see no harm in copying another composer's style and making it your own—most of the greats did that, in some form or another.

I've never set foot in a musical conservatory and still have been plagued with well-meaning senior composers telling me to "find my own voice." The issue I take with that—and I think you'll agree—is that some composers like the same kind of music, so they write in similar fashion. It's really an unreasonable demand that every composer write music that is "in their own voice," especially since that phrase theoretically means writing music completely different from anyone that's gone before you. Western music has been several hundred years in its evolution thus far, and I think we've exhaustively discovered what the human ear likes and dislikes when it comes to music...

So, unless you want to "revolutionize" the Western music front and go back to banging pots and pans (that is what a lot of modern music sounds like to me), I would have to agree with you 100%: like what you like and compose what you like!

It seems that you are doing just that.

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Thanks a LOT, Tónskáld for your reply, and please don´t be sorry! Maybe I overreacted a bit. This was proably caused by cropped up feelings after hearing about "the own voice" issue over and over again. Your view on this seems to be very similar to what I think of this. As I said before, there is no need to continue this discussion any further.

Thanks again!

 

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I very like your themes. Your melodies are expressive and interesting. As another speakers I think that in this waltz there is a perceptible impact of Chopin's style. However I don't think that it is a flaw. The composition is beautiful and this is the main thing. 

Single matter I would like ask is an episode in 4/4. I didn't understand it. What was it for? What did you want to say with it? The measure 4/4 is very strange for waltzes. At last that fragment is too short compared another parts. It surprises listeners and asks questions but doesn't answer them.

I didn't want to say that it was a flaw. I just think that the episode in 4/4 makes your composition more similar to a ballade or a poem. Or maybe your composition has a program.

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It is a beautiful piece, and very suitable for the piano medium. I think it is reminiscent enough of Chopin, but I can still hear some differences (especially in the bits that you mentioned.)

Thanks for sharing your music!

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On 10/19/2019 at 1:32 PM, Alexx said:

I very like your themes. Your melodies are expressive and interesting. As another speakers I think that in this waltz there is a perceptible impact of Chopin's style. However I don't think that it is a flaw. The composition is beautiful and this is the main thing. 

Single matter I would like ask is an episode in 4/4. I didn't understand it. What was it for? What did you want to say with it? The measure 4/4 is very strange for waltzes. At last that fragment is too short compared another parts. It surprises listeners and asks questions but doesn't answer them.

I didn't want to say that it was a flaw. I just think that the episode in 4/4 makes your composition more similar to a ballade or a poem. Or maybe your composition has a program.

 

Hello Alexx

Thank you very much for your feedback, and I am really glad that you like my piece. Not everyone is interested in classical style music. I also am grateful for your remarks about the 4/4. I had another look at it, and I have to agree with you. The 4/4 time signature in a waltz is not appropriate. The reason for changing to 4/4 was that I suddenly got an impulse that the piece was getting boring.

Now I realize that there are many other ways to deal with this, but I definite want to keep it as a waltz

Thus, I have decided to remove the 4/4 segment and instead, insert a modification in 3 /4  (possibly somewhat longer as well). I will post as a revised version in due time.

Thanks again for your valuable comment.

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On 10/19/2019 at 2:10 PM, aMusicComposer said:

It is a beautiful piece, and very suitable for the piano medium. I think it is reminiscent enough of Chopin, but I can still hear some differences (especially in the bits that you mentioned.)

Thanks for sharing your music!

 

Thank you for your positive feedback, and I am glad that you like the piece

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Amazing job!!!

The only thing I could give as a feedback is that as this is not a prelude/étude based on a motiv/rythm/technique or something more simplier than a waltz as a Ländler I see the almost unchanging rythm as potential monotonous

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Thanks a lot for your comments.

I listened again to the playback which I posted, and I can actually see your point.

But I don´t think that the problem with the potential monotony is caused by the continuous 3/4  rhythm, but that it is due to the mechanical electronic playback (for example too much emphasis on the pha-pha of the hum-pha pha rhythm). The waltzes from Chopin also have this rhythm, but when rubato´s and small tempo changes as well as other delicate nuances of expression are added, they are far from monotonous. And this can only be achieved in a live performance.   

(I will try to improve the electronic playback if I find the time to do this. It means quite a lot of work)

On 11/25/2019 at 3:05 AM, J.Santos said:

Amazing job!!!

The only thing I could give as a feedback is that as this is not a prelude/étude based on a motiv/rythm/technique or something more simplier than a waltz as a Ländler I see the almost unchanging rythm as potential monotonous

 

 

Edited by panta rei

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19 hours ago, panta rei said:

Thanks a lot for your comments.

I listened again to the playback which I posted, and I can actually see your point.

But I don´t think that the problem with the potential monotony is caused by the continuous 3/4  rhythm, but that it is due to the mechanical electronic playback (for example too much emphasis on the pha-pha of the hum-pha pha rhythm). The waltzes from Chopin also have this rhythm, but when rubato´s and small tempo changes as well as other delicate nuances of expression are added, they are far from monotonous. And this can only be achieved in a live performance.   

(I will try to improve the electronic playback if I find the time to do this. It means quite a lot of work)

 

 

I wasn't pointing the 3/4 rythm, but more like the static bass, even with static bass you can play with the right hand to create other sensetion of ryhmts, such a mazurka, etc

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3 hours ago, J.Santos said:

I wasn't pointing the 3/4 rythm, but more like the static bass, even with static bass you can play with the right hand to create other sensetion of ryhmts, such a mazurka, etc

 

OK, sorry that I misinterpreted your comment.  But I think that my points about the playback are still valid.

 But you could be right, and a monotony could still be present, even with an improved playback or a live performance.

Therefore, I will just forget about any further work with this piece, and I will put it away in my archive. In any case, it was fun to write it and it was a useful exercise for me.

And thanks a lot for your valuable comments.   

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