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Posted (edited)

Hello,

I play piano since 10 years with a teacher and I try to learn composition by myself.

I read some books about harmony, it is a bit hard for me. I think I will try to learn counterpoint soon.

This is a very short and simple piece I composed to practice :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEWll4yVbRg

I am very impressed by the quality of the works in this forum. I am posting here because I am searching for some advices to progress and learn how to compose more elaborated pieces.

Please excuse my mistakes of english, I am french.

Thank you

 

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This is a nice litte étude! You managed to experiment with the circle of fifths but still make a pleasant-sounding work of music. The live rendering was also a nice touch.

Welcome to the forum!

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26 minutes ago, Tónskáld said:

This is a nice litte étude! You managed to experiment with the circle of fifths but still make a pleasant-sounding work of music. The live rendering was also a nice touch.

Welcome to the forum!

 

Thank you very much ! Your message encourage me to continue.

I am thinking about writing some minuets inspired by classical composers to progress.

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This is a good music! You don't need to write more elaborate works so to speak, just look at Philip Glass for example. I like this piece I think it has interesting ideas and I would like to hear more! Keep going

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Posted (edited)

Thank you for your message. I am glad you liked it. You are right, it is not necessary to do too complex things.

I started to learn counterpoint and I decided to start a more elabored work... something like a sonata.

I just started to write the introduction (a few seconds). It is a good start in your opinion ? Can I improve it ?

I also share a little melody idea using my small counterpoint knowledge.

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On 5/16/2020 at 9:41 AM, Barcarolle said:

Thank you for your message. I am glad you liked it. You are right, it is not necessary to do too complex things.

I started to learn counterpoint and I decided to start a more elabored work... something like a sonata.

I just started to write the introduction (a few seconds). It is a good start in your opinion ? Can I improve it ?

I also share a little melody idea using my small counterpoint knowledge.

 

MP3
 
 
  • sonate
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0:18
 

The counterpoint sounds actually pretty good, Im no expert though! The "sonate" is very short so I don't hear a lot going on there but the etude and this small counterpoint seem a very good starting point, in my opinion of course.

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19 hours ago, antimusicale said:

The counterpoint sounds actually pretty good, Im no expert though! The "sonate" is very short so I don't hear a lot going on there but the etude and this small counterpoint seem a very good starting point, in my opinion of course.

 

Thank you !

I will still work to do more elaborated counterpoints (with more voices). 🙂

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Posted (edited)

Hello,

I started to compose a new short piano piece with 2 different voices.

I have not finished, I still have a few measures to write.

Can I ask your opinion about this work ? Do you have any advice for me to progress ?

Edited by Barcarolle
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15 minutes ago, Barcarolle said:

Hello,

I started to compose a new short piano piece with 2 different voices.

I have not finished, I still have a few measures to write.

Can I ask your opinion about this work ? Do you have any advice for me to progress ?

 

MP3
 
 
  • Invention
0:52
 
 
0:52
 
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That is a very nice invention. It could do with some ornamentation and I feel it needs a slightly tighter structure but it's a fantastic start. Well done.

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4 hours ago, Bradley Scarff said:

That is a very nice invention. It could do with some ornamentation and I feel it needs a slightly tighter structure but it's a fantastic start. Well done.

 

Thank you !

Writing a correct structure is pretty hard for me. I would really like if someone could give me some keys to understand it better (Tips, videos, books...)

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26 minutes ago, Barcarolle said:

Thank you !

Writing a correct structure is pretty hard for me. I would really like if someone could give me some keys to understand it better (Tips, videos, books...)

 

It depends what you're writing. I'm in the process of writing my first piano trio. which involves sonata form for the first movement. So I have done a pretty detailed plan for that I want to happen. say, I will write the first theme, which will about 30-40 seconds long. then I will do long chain modulations to my second themes key which will last about ta minute and a half. then I write my second theme, which is another minute. then move back to my first key before repeating.

even a very lose plan like that is better than none. because then you know what your going to do. You don't have to plan out exactly like "I'm going to start in C major then use I-V-IV-VI chords until I modulate using pivot chords to F major" because that would interfere with the general music you'd produce. 

 

study up on what forms use what. for example Etudes tend to be Ternary or a rondo. and are very compressed. sonata form has several large structures that are very deep requiring themes and Lengthy transitions between themes and long passing modulations. 

With your invention, take the initial theme break It down, sequence it. make it longer or cut it off at particular points., just things like that, study up on Bach and handle to better master that form. You've got fantastic potential and I can't wait to see what you produce!

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Bradley Scarff said:

It depends what you're writing. I'm in the process of writing my first piano trio. which involves sonata form for the first movement. So I have done a pretty detailed plan for that I want to happen. say, I will write the first theme, which will about 30-40 seconds long. then I will do long chain modulations to my second themes key which will last about ta minute and a half. then I write my second theme, which is another minute. then move back to my first key before repeating.

even a very lose plan like that is better than none. because then you know what your going to do. You don't have to plan out exactly like "I'm going to start in C major then use I-V-IV-VI chords until I modulate using pivot chords to F major" because that would interfere with the general music you'd produce. 

 

study up on what forms use what. for example Etudes tend to be Ternary or a rondo. and are very compressed. sonata form has several large structures that are very deep requiring themes and Lengthy transitions between themes and long passing modulations. 

With your invention, take the initial theme break It down, sequence it. make it longer or cut it off at particular points., just things like that, study up on Bach and handle to better master that form. You've got fantastic potential and I can't wait to see what you produce!

 

Thank you very much for your complete message, it will help me.

I will begin another invention with a better structure. If I understand correctly, for an invention it could be good to use a A, B, A (A = main key, B = dominant key) ? And between A and B section I have to find a modulation chain ? I will also study Bach a lot.

 

Technically is my counterpoint correct ? I learn by myself so I have no teacher to correct me.

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2 hours ago, Barcarolle said:

Thank you very much for your complete message, it will help me.

I will begin another invention with a better structure. If I understand correctly, for an invention it could be good to use a A, B, A (A = main key, B = dominant key) ? And between A and B section I have to find a modulation chain ? I will also study Bach a lot.

 

Technically is my counterpoint correct ? I learn by myself so I have no teacher to correct me.

 

I am not a counterpoint expert. but, at least initially, if you follows the rules set out by the likes of Bach you'll find yourself in a fantastic spot. Have you studied Chorales? they're a great part in being able to move your pieces forward as essentially any piece can be broken down to a chorale at it's simplest form. As such this will increase your harmonic ear. (which admittedly I need to broaden myself) 

But from what I've heard aside from some repetitiveness your counterpoint is technically correct. Of course there are stylistic changes you could make since it's very Bach like but that isnt a bad thing in the slightest. 

My knowledge on inventions is that they do use ternary form (A-B-A) but they change key somewhat freely at the end of a musical statement. this is where your chorales come into play. the theme may freely move between keys but for a B section you should firmly establish the key. usually by a V7 chord. this is a very classical way to do it which is more my area of expertise.

Best of luck.

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Hi Barcarolle.  What I noticed about your invention piece is that you sometimes unnecessarily use out-of-context accidentals (like the E natural in measure 4 beat 4 in the right hand) when you've already firmly established yourself to be in the key of B-flat.  I know inventions are supposed to modulate to their dominant key but I don't think you should be forcing yourself to follow this tradition.  Your invention just happens to really want to go to the sub-dominant which is fine also.  You don't have to compose like Bach.  This piece is proof that you can compose an invention that is more uniquely your own and you've proven that you can use secondary dominants to establish various different keys throughout it (like D minor and hints of C).  I hope you keep studying and composing more like 'you'.  😃

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Thank you for all these precious information !

5 hours ago, PaperComposer said:

Hi Barcarolle.  What I noticed about your invention piece is that you sometimes unnecessarily use out-of-context accidentals (like the E natural in measure 4 beat 4 in the right hand) when you've already firmly established yourself to be in the key of B-flat.  I know inventions are supposed to modulate to their dominant key but I don't think you should be forcing yourself to follow this tradition.  Your invention just happens to really want to go to the sub-dominant which is fine also.  You don't have to compose like Bach.  This piece is proof that you can compose an invention that is more uniquely your own and you've proven that you can use secondary dominants to establish various different keys throughout it (like D minor and hints of C).  I hope you keep studying and composing more like 'you'.  😃

 

For me this accidental sounds nicely, why do you say it is "out of context". When should I use it or not ? I wont copy Bach but I think it will be the best reference for learning :).

 

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For me this accidental sounds nicely, why do you say it is "out of context". When should I use it or not ? I wont copy Bach but I think it will be the best reference for learning :).

It might sound fine and you don't have to change it if you don't want to, but from the context it seems out of place because on each side of it you have E-flats.  And you haven't established C major as a key center there just by including the E natural.  That's all.

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14 minutes ago, PaperComposer said:

It might sound fine and you don't have to change it if you don't want to, but from the context it seems out of place because on each side of it you have E-flats.  And you haven't established C major as a key center there just by including the E natural.  That's all.

I thought it sounded ok. I'm no counterpoint expert, but to me it sounded like he used secondary dominants. For example, on the last beat of m.4 the E natural creates a secondary dominant (C7) to lead to the F on the downbeat of m. 5. On the last beat of m. 5 it's less apparent, and a little more awkward to my ears, but I think it still works if you think of the first two sixteenth notes (Eb and G) in the left hand as "ornamentations" before the F on the third sixtenth note. And again, the B natural in the third beat of m.6 is part of a secondary dominant to lead to the Cm on beat 4. 

Like I said, I'm no counterpoint expert, but the first rule I always go to is "If it sounds good, do it."

By the way, good work OP, and welcome to the forum. Sounds like you're into the Baroque sound, so I expect many 5 part fugues in the future 😉 .

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I thought it sounded ok. I'm no counterpoint expert, but to me it sounded like he used secondary dominants. For example, on the last beat of m.4 the E natural creates a secondary dominant (C7) to lead to the F on the downbeat of m. 5.

I can see what you're saying now.  It's just a very rapid moving through progressive secondary dominants.  But including a Bb at the end of measure 4 in the left hand perhaps would make that more clear harmonically.  Of course - I'm no counterpoint expert either.  😃

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I'll reply to your original post, but that said, just know you'll get way more exposure here by creating a different post for each piece you submit.

As a standalone piece, I think this deserves some kind of melody, maybe a flute would be cool? I wouldn't necessarily rework this if you like it as solo piano, but in the future the idea you have seems more like a nice harmony with some counter-play, maybe keep that type of idea as a left hand figure while you have a melody on top? 

Just some thoughts, I'm eager to hear how your music progresses!

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Thank you everyone for your messages and advices.

I will start a new invention and try to do it better. 🙂

 

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