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I have completed the A section of my Presto piece, or at least what I have thought of for it so far. It is quite quick at quarter note = 190 BPM. So it might be easier for you to give feedback from the PDF than the MP3, but I will provide both as always. This is another piece for which I was aiming for a humorous character and I think I have done it. I titled my piece Presto in D major, because I wasn't sure if it could be considered a scherzo or not, but I did know that 190 BPM is well within the range for Presto. I also am not sure if I should stick to your typical scherzo form or if I should expand this out to a sonata form and have what I am now considering the A section be the First Theme. This is your typical Scherzo form:

Ternary-Form.png

I sometimes, especially in Beethoven and Chopin, see diversions away from this form and more towards sonata form in their scherzos(most commonly a coda is added, but sometimes the B section is extended to be more like the development section of a sonata). But currently, what I have would be the A section if I stuck to your typical Scherzo form. In comparison, here is your typical sonata form which I am thinking of possibly expanding this piece into due to the sheer speed of the notes. I mean, most Scherzos that I hear are at least 5 minutes long. Anyway, this is your typical sonata form:

1*EVrsBDYS5Y3WKWG42UWPaw.gif

And here is what would most likely happen if I were to expand the piece from typical Scherzo form to Sonata form:

201425396_ScherzotoSonata.png.f576ed45a1c8875a885a88c3fe6d845d.png

It isn't the speed or how humorous it is that is making me question whether what I have right now could be considered the start of a scherzo. Rather, it is the time signature that is making me question it. Most scherzos are in 3/4. What I have so far of my piece is in 4/4 and the only simple time signatures that it could fit into are 2/4 and 4/4 because of the Alberti Bass in it. That isn't to say that you can't have Alberti Bass in 3/4, you can. But the Alberti Bass I have doesn't fit well into 3/4. Here is my piece so that you can give feedback on it. And should I stick to the Scherzo form and just have it be a 2 minute Scherzo? Or should I expand it into a longer Sonata Form that might be say 10 minutes long at the same Presto tempo?

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Well, I'd say that the thing you have to consider is:

Does this need more time/do I want to expand this?

If you're inspired to continue or feels it still lacks some development, go for the sonata form.

Also, I'd point out a few things about the piece itself. I felt that the themes require some silence or or at least some longer notes for the listener's ear to grab on to. Right now, I feel like the humorous character you intended for it is weakened by the lack of pauses of some sort, making it sound more "restless" than "humorous".

Insted of going up and down, try addding a few ornaments to create that humor. You won't have to move up and down an octave every measure and can still sound very playful.

Listen to the third movement in this piece (by Mozart) :

 

It sounds very playful, and adresses the thing I mentioned earlier.

I hope I was able to help!

Best wishes, Jean.

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5 hours ago, Jean Szulc said:

Well, I'd say that the thing you have to consider is:

Does this need more time/do I want to expand this?

If you're inspired to continue or feels it still lacks some development, go for the sonata form.

Also, I'd point out a few things about the piece itself. I felt that the themes require some silence or or at least some longer notes for the listener's ear to grab on to. Right now, I feel like the humorous character you intended for it is weakened by the lack of pauses of some sort, making it sound more "restless" than "humorous".

Insted of going up and down, try addding a few ornaments to create that humor. You won't have to move up and down an octave every measure and can still sound very playful.

Listen to the third movement in this piece (by Mozart) :

 

It sounds very playful, and adresses the thing I mentioned earlier.

I hope I was able to help!

Best wishes, Jean.

 

That need for rest is how come I didn't go crazy with the sixteenth notes and only really used a full measure of sixteenth notes to transition between different parts of the A section. And in those areas where I use a full measure of sixteenths, the other hand has long notes, it doesn't just keep up with its eighth notes. Most commonly, I use only 1 or 2 beats worth of sixteenth notes in a given measure. For example in measures 7 and 8, where it looks like a cadence is occuring, I have this going on:

Right Hand: D E F# G A B C# D  C#              | D C# B A G F# E D C# C B A B C D C |
Count:      1 e &  a 2 e &  a  3 e & a 4 e & a | 1 e  & a 2 e  & a 3  e & a 4 e & a | 
Left Hand:  A   G    E   G     A   G   E   G   | [DF#AD]                            |

Measure 7 has sixteenth notes for the first half of the right hand and then it has this half note C# while the left hand is moving steadily in eighth notes. Then in measure 8, the left hand comes to a brief stop with this whole note chord while the right hand is chugging along in sixteenth notes to transition to the second part of the A section, using C, a note not in D major as the pivot to G major. This undermines the cadence because the melody is not stopping, just the bass. A similar thing occurs at measures 15-17 and at measures 24-26.

Measures 15-17:

Right Hand: G A B C D E F# G F#              | G F# E D C B A G F# E D C D E G F# | E        G        A        C        |
Count:      1 e & a 2 e &  a 3 e & a 4 e & a | 1 e  & a 2 e & a 3  e & a 4 e & a  | 1 e &  a 2 e &  a 3 e  & a 4  e & a |
Left Hand:  D   C   A   C    D   C   A   C   | [GBDG]           [DF#AD]           | E D C# B A G F# E D C# D E F# G B A |

Here, it is very similar except now, what was previously a whole note chord becomes 2 half note chords, and there is an extra measure where the left hand plays sixteenth notes while the right hand plays quarter notes that outline A7. This brings us smoothly back to D major, like the left hand is continuing where the right hand left off with its scale and the right hand is playing more of a bass role. C# gives us a sense of returning to the tonic and the resolution of the seventh chord arpeggio in measure 18 confirms it.

Measures 24-26:

Right Hand: D E F# G A B C# D C#              | [DF#AD]  [C#EGAC#] [DF#AD]---------|[DF#AD]                  |
Count:      1 e &  a 2 e &  a 3 e & a 4 e & a | 1 e & a  2 e & a   3 e & a 4 e & a | 1 e & a 2 e & a 4 e & a |
Left Hand:  A   G    E   G    A   G   E   G   | [DF#AD]  [C#EGAC#] [DF#AD]---------|[DF#AD]                  |

Here, it is again very similar. But now the bass and the melody are in sync in every way, not just the beats. I guess this could be considered to be 2 cadences in a row here, first one bringing the melody to a rest and the second one being a confirmation of the cadence. And now there are 3 chords, 2 of them being quarter note chords and the last one being a half note tied to a whole note.

One thing that measures 7-8, 15-17, and 24-26 all have in common is that they are cadential moments in my piece. And yes, I confirmed that I could play a first inversion seventh chord with an added octave before I wrote the seventh chord in measure 25 that way.

I could go on, but you get my point. I have quite a few quarter notes, half notes, and whole notes to give moments of rest to the melody and the bass. And I have a few dotted quarter notes at the start of each part of the A section, which makes the first 2 sixteenth notes in the measures with the dotted quarters upbeats. But I also don't go too heavy on the long notes, otherwise, it won't sound like it is at Presto tempo, which is what I am aiming for with this piece. To get a true Presto without it becoming taxing for the pianist, I have to have a balance between long notes that provide rest and short notes(eighths and shorter) that provide motion. If I went too heavy on the long notes, it would sound more Moderato than anything else(this is partly why I have the Alberti bass going is so that even when the right hand is resting on a long note, it still feels like it is moving at a Presto tempo).

This here is a great example of what I mean by the need for a balance between different note values, also by Mozart:

As you can see and hear, there are constant eighth notes for quite a bit of it and where long notes occur outside of cadences, Mozart makes sure that eighth notes or sixteenth notes occur so as to not lose the momentum of the Presto while still providing rest for the players.

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First of all, this is only my oppinion about your piece. If you like what you have, just keep it!

2 minutes ago, caters said:

I have quite a few quarter notes, half notes, and whole notes to give moments of rest to the melody and the bass

I get your point, however, it's not the quantity of fast (16th) notes, it's how you use them. You could probably even add more fast passages if they were organized diferently.

For example: you may have two entire measures full of 16th notes and then one with passage with half notes, so that the listener processes the passage. You actualy have that, but as transitions. Also, instead of making the fast scale-runs up and down, try remaining in one location for a bit longer, (must be noted that, as this is a short piece, 4 measures are already a long time).

15 minutes ago, caters said:

But I also don't go too heavy on the long notes, otherwise, it won't sound like it is at Presto tempo

Overall, I just think that the way you used the 16th notes create passages that aren't fast, but that also aren't slow. Defining your very fast passages from your rests will make up for a more "playful" sonority.

It's also good to note that I'm only making this point because it is something I often feel happens in my music. It's important to balance every aspect of your music, even in scenarios like these, where you want you piece to sound humorous. 

Once again, I hope it helps!

Best wishes, Jean!

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