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Guillem82

Funeral March in Cm

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Hi, here my new composition. I wanted to create a dark and dramatic atmosphere with the use of brass and double reeds.

It starts with a Trombone solo with a timpani triplets, with reminds me somebody knocking at the door heavily. And in bar 12 come the violins with descending sixth chords with a seventh tension on the first violins, that reminds me of heaven and the angels. The main theme with its full harmony comes in bar 18 played with the full brass section and doubled with a timpani triplet pattern on the tonic and the dominant. at bar 45 comes the second section, more lyrical, with a choral style and after that, at bar 72 comes a repetition from the beginning with a final coda.

I don't extend more my explanation, you can see more by yourselves.

Hope you enjoy and looking forward to you comments.

Edited by Guillem82
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Thanks for your answer @Marc Deflin!

I use Special edition vol. 1 & 2 from Vienna Instruments with following articulations:

Strings: Long notes (sutain), short notes (detaché & shot detaché)

Woodwinds and Brass: Long notes (sustain), short notes (portato)

I also use Valhalla reverbs, which are really good for its price.

Edited by Guillem82

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Me encanta la pieza, tiene este ambiente dramático, pero de vez encunado puedes sentir esperanza aunque luego se derribada por la fuerza y drama de los metales. Probablemente de mi piezas favoritas de un compositor actual por no decir mi favorita (me encantan piezas con ambientes oscuros). 🙂 

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Gracias @Hendrik Meniere!

You just got the character of the piece: there are some moments of calm and hope "some light behind the shadows", but they are always knocked down by the power of the brasses.

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Very nice.  Sounds Beethoven inspired, especially with the C minor key and the recurrent triplet "fate rhythm" that is so common in his music.  My only minor critigue is that it's doesn't sound too march-like to me, I would probably characterize it more as an overture.

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Awesome!

I can hear elements from the baroque, classical and romantic periods, which I think is a sign that you are able to articulate various influences to create somehing that is yours.

Form-wise I feel like this is very consistent. There's repetition to a right amount, and the orchestration brings difference to that, which is great.

Good job!

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Some excellent material here. I definitely see the connection with classicism.

In reviewing the score, however, I think the orchestration is a bit sparse and lacking -with some obvious issues that are hidden by the Vienna samples used. 

Some examples:

Mm. 12 - 14: You have accents in the 1st violins (the second beat of tied notes). It looks like your intent with the accents was to bring out the 1st and 3rd beats -but, that doesn't help the overall usage of suspension in this passage. 

Throughout: There seems to be hesitation in your overall orchestration that suggests that you aren't comfortable with doublings. The strings, for instance, don't seem to deviate from purely homophonic texture at all. There's very little doubling between the string and reed parts (which, given your choice of instrumentation would strongly strengthen the reed lines themselves). 

Some recommendations:

1. I would look at breaking up the opening theme presented first in the trombones. Take the descending scalar material and utilize it in more of a fugato opening. The rhythmic motif that you affixed to the ending of the theme can then be used to create a more march-like texture (timpani, doubled with lower strings, bassoon, and possibly horn). Let the rhythmic motif serve to underpin the unveiling of the descending motif of the first two bars. Float this passage around the orchestra. The oboe would serve well to provide contrapuntal material (perhaps doubled with viola?).

2. Don't develop the material too quickly. One of the nice things about marches, particularly funeral marches, is the moderate to slow movement. Keep in mind, funeral marches started as processionals: the procession of the deceased within their casket. These are solemn, emotional occasions (hence why Beethoven's marches are wrought with insane amounts of emotion). Development should unfold naturally and not be rushed. 

3. Finally, set up a clear structure for the march. If you're going with a ternary or binary form, identify your highs and lows.. point A and Bs, then build your material to those points. If you're looking at a more sonata-allegro form, then set up your structure. I can see a form somewhat -but, there's a lot of material here that hampers things a tad bit. Also, and this is something I learned, don't compose any work based off the rendering your notation software provides. Many things can be missed -some of which can be major.

All in all, good material. I hope this is constructive. You've got awesome ideas -would love to see this more developed and fleshed out.

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This job is breathtaking!!! From the start I knew already "this is gonna be amazing"

Deserves to be performed for sure!

I see some Mozart influences here, keep doing this awesome!!!

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Hi @jawoodruff,

Thanks first for you comments and your time! I answer to each point here below:

Mm. 12 - 14: You have accents in the 1st violins (the second beat of tied notes). It looks like your intent with the accents was to bring out the 1st and 3rd beats -but, that doesn't help the overall usage of suspension in this passage. 

Ok, I will review the notation.

Throughout: There seems to be hesitation in your overall orchestration that suggests that you aren't comfortable with doublings. The strings, for instance, don't seem to deviate from purely homophonic texture at all. There's very little doubling between the string and reed parts (which, given your choice of instrumentation would strongly strengthen the reed lines themselves). 

I have been very carefull with doublings. I have other compositions with lots of doublings beetwen parts and I got some critiques about too much doublings, that's why I have deciden to avoid doublings here. Probably I need more experience in orchestration to get a good balance with doublings. I did only a comple of compositions with more than 4 instruments.

"1. I would look at breaking up the opening theme presented first in the trombones. Take the descending scalar material and utilize it in more of a fugato opening. The rhythmic motif that you affixed to the ending of the theme can then be used to create a more march-like texture (timpani, doubled with lower strings, bassoon, and possibly horn). Let the rhythmic motif serve to underpin the unveiling of the descending motif of the first two bars. Float this passage around the orchestra. The oboe would serve well to provide contrapuntal material (perhaps doubled with viola?). "

Sorry I didn't catch the idea....

2. Don't develop the material too quickly. One of the nice things about marches, particularly funeral marches, is the moderate to slow movement. Keep in mind, funeral marches started as processionals: the procession of the deceased within their casket. These are solemn, emotional occasions (hence why Beethoven's marches are wrought with insane amounts of emotion). Development should unfold naturally and not be rushed. 

That's a good tip: anyway I named that funeral march because it's sad, but I feel always tedious to give a name to a piece, just because it has to have a name...but I don't like at all labeling my pieces, because then people judge then by its name. And I recognize I would do exactly the same, so don't take it as a critique ;)

Anyway you are totally right in one point: music ideas save is a always good. The great masters have writen master pieces with very few material. As exemples the main theme of Beethoven's 5th Simphony (4 repeated notes) or Mozart's 41 Jupiter Simphony with the final movement with 4 long notes C-D-F-E complete and excelent movement. When I started composing I tent to put lots of ideas in the same piece. Result: no unity at all. I'm recently seen the need to throw some of the ideas I have or keep them for other composition. In this sense less is more. Less ideas and more exploration on the material.  

3. Finally, set up a clear structure for the march. If you're going with a ternary or binary form, identify your highs and lows.. point A and Bs, then build your material to those points. If you're looking at a more sonata-allegro form, then set up your structure. I can see a form somewhat -but, there's a lot of material here that hampers things a tad bit. Also, and this is something I learned, don't compose any work based off the rendering your notation software provides. Many things can be missed -some of which can be major.

You are right: form is essential for a good music composition. I'm exploring a lot in that feel in my new works. But you mean, you feel some lack of form in the piece? Does it all needs to be labeled exactly in terms such as Sonata-Allegro, minuet, rondo, lied, and so on? Can't it be some freedom in the terms?

In my opinion, form is base on repetition of ideas and contrast of ideas. After that you can label it as you want.

All in all, good material. I hope this is constructive. You've got awesome ideas -would love to see this more developed and fleshed out.

Thanks again: the feedback was very helpfull indeed!

Best wishes!

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