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My First Work for a Full Orchestra!

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About half a year ago I admitted to one of my friends:

"I haven't composed a thing in a few months! 

It seems like I just don't have the time for it any more."

he told me that I can make a short piece for piano,

and I decided to add a twist, thinking to myself:

'I'm going to make a collection of pieces for two people and one piano!"

It took a while (half a year apparently), but I now have a collection of seven original pieces for four hands! yey!


Now you must be thinking "the hell does he want from me? I came here for an orchestral piece!"

Ah! There's a second part for the story!

A month ago I decided to experiment with one of the pieces, thinking:

"This one sounds like it could fit as an opening to a video game, 

but it has to be more... orchestral!"

I've never written a piece for a full orchestra and now the time has come.

Here's what I ask from you, the reviewer (of course, these are just guidelines, you don't have to answer everything):

1. Criticize mainly the orchestration:

*Things that made sense to me but wouldn't make sense in a performance (Instruments too quiet, too little of a time to switch between instruments, the Bassoon won't hear the bass well, etc.)

*Things that are put in the wrong instrument ("Are you crazy? a Tuba can't make a trill in such a low register! You know what? a Tuba shouldn't make a trill at all!")

*Things that are just not written the way I wrote them

2. Criticize it as a composition (I'll upload the original four hands pieces so you can have a look at a simpler version)

*Is the melody too much of a cliche? ("That sounds a little like a mix between the Shire theme and a regular fanfare!" [I promise you I didn't have the Shire in mind, I just thought of it about an hour ago and now I'm scared that I'll have to start from scratch])

*Are the harmonies and scales too simple? 

*Is it too short? (because I've been told that it is, but doesn't really want to make it more than a cute and short fanfare, might change my mind though)

*What about the rhythm? Too repetitive to the point it sounds like a loop and not like a fanfare?

3. Tell me whether you think it could fit in an adventure montage in a movie or as an opening for a computer game.

4. For those who are more familiar with my works (If there are any here)... do you recognize the references?


Huge thanks in advance! 

That's the only thing I've been doing on my free time for a month now,

would really appreciate some reviews!




a Call for Adventure midi.mid

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On 10/14/2019 at 9:02 AM, Rabbival507 said:

*Things that are put in the wrong instrument ("Are you crazy? a Tuba can't make a trill in such a low register! You know what? a Tuba shouldn't make a trill at all!")

As a Tuba player, I am offended.we can play a trill in the low register. Lol. It's ok, no one likes the Tuba.

It sounds interesting from what I got from the midi file, I wish I had a better playback recording.

I don't have anything criticize about the orchestration, you've done a good job compared to my garbage. I'm still learning.

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  • 1 month later...

It is a long time since I was last on this site, and I have missed hearing your compositions. It was a delight, therefore to find this fragment. I have listened to it half a dozen times, each time hearing it more clearly. I have also looked over the score, although I do not have perfect pitch so I am unable to 'hear' music this way.

First, the piece is exactly as you entitle it: a call to adventure. Having watched a great many action and adventure movies, your piece fits the genre perfectly. Well done. I was not reminded of The Shire, despite having watched The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogies many times. If pushed I would say that there was the very mildest of resemblances to the Pirates of the Caribbean theme, but less Irish and more English, somehow. I am more reminded of the Westerns I used to watch many years ago as a child. So, I do not believe you have any reason to be anxious that your composition is specifically derivative.

Second, on first listen, there were several places where the simple rhythm got a bit lost. On listening more I could hear that, in fact, something more complex was going on, as I would expect of serious music. However, in my stereotyping of the genre, I would say that the simple rhythm needs to be obvious, although not necessarily forefronted, throughout any 'A' sections. In contrast to what I have just written, were I listening to Sibelius, I would expect to hear simple rhythms become increasingly complex, which is ultimately more interesting. 

Third, on listens after my first, I was very keen for the piece to continue. Specifically, I was looking towards a somewhat darker 'B' section (perhaps then followed by a return to the 'A' theme).

Fourth, try as could, I was unable to hear the harp. From the score I knew the harp was playing, and I was looking forward to the glissandi, but I just could not hear them.

Fifth, and following on from four, I am going to be very bold, inasmuch I am sure that many others on this site are able to advise you better that I ever could. I think that if you want phrases on specific instruments to be heard, then you need to make holes in which that can happen. In my limited experience, this seems to apply especially to the quieter instruments. I did hear the xylophone, albeit only once, towards the end of the piece. Of course, the other obvious way to handle this would be to include several harps, etc., so as to increase their sound volume in relation to the other, louder instruments.

Sixth, I liked the balance you brought between passages in which multiple threads were being pursued, passages that were harmonious with the theme/melody, and passages that were unison, emphasising the theme/melody. That balance, it seems to me, fits well with the genre.

Orchestral music is usually my preferred musical environment. I am, therefore, excited that you are interested in adapting your talents to include orchestral music. I look forward to hearing where you might take this piece, should you develop it further, and to future orchestral pieces you might compose.

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Thank you so much for the detailed review!

I'm glad you like it, I've been thinking about a darker second part in a long time, I just don't find the time or inspiration for this piece.

About your harp and other quiet instruments- sometimes I gave them place (say to the Eng horn after the first main theme),

sometimes I put them there for a more complex, detailed, texture. I highly enjoy listening to music with tiny voices running around in the background for a more complete texture.

The harp is not heard because I believe that's just how loud it would get. Guess I should ask the others to play more quietly so the listeners would be able to hear it sometimes.

Maybe I'll give it more important parts in the second part, at the moment it's there for gentle touches of grace once in a while.

Thanks again for the detailed review! I haven't got such a good review in... I think a year?

I'll upload the next part once I make it but that might take a long time...

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