Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Good afternoon everyone! I'm fairly new to the forum, so I thought I would share something I wrote to introduce myself. I wrote this piece last year and finished around November, but just now decided to make a score so I could share it with you all. I'm interested in any and all feedback, as long as it's constructive.

It is a rather long piece, so I included an outline if you would like to listen in "chunks". I used what you might call an "abbreviated sonata form": There is an Introduction, an Exposition stating two themes, an abbreviated Recapitulation of both themes, and a Resolution. (i.e. there is no development section) The outline is as follows:

  • Introduction (0:00 - 5:13)
    • Ominous opening, built around an ostinato figure (0:00 - 2:13)
    • Lyrical theme (2:13 - 4:17)
    • Return of ostinato figure, transition to exposition (4:17 - 5:13)
  • A Theme of Exposition, somewhat manic and bombastic (5:13 - 7:09)
  • B Theme of Exposition, pastoral yet deeply emotional (7:09 - 10:42)
  • Brief transition to Recap of Exposition (10:42 - 11:21)
  • Recap of A Theme, abbreviated (11:21 - 12:48)
  • Recap of B Theme, abbreviated (12:48 - 15:07)
  • Brief transition to Resolution (15:07 - 15:48)
  • Resolution/Coda (15:48 - 19:21)

As you listen, there are a few specific things I would be interested in your impression of:

  • What is your favorite part? What is your least favorite part?
  • While I have included a score and would certainly appreciate feedback on its appearance, I'm mostly concerned with feedback on technique, structure, orchestration, etc.
  • How do you feel about the overall form? Does it work well?
  • I am a former brass player, and know relatively little about string playing. Is my string writing convincing? What could be improved?
  • What overall effect does the piece have on you? Does it create a certain image? Does it bring out a certain feeling?
  • Anything else that jumps out at you.

While I'm mostly happy with the way this piece turned out, there is certainly room for improvement. There are a lot of things I really like about it, but if I'm being real honest with myself I think the overall form falls a little flat, due to the lack of a development section. I dunno, maybe I'm too hard on myself, what do you guys think?

Thanks for listening, and I hope you enjoy! If you have any questions about anything I did, feel free to ask and I will explain to the best of my ability.

gmm

New Piece for Orchestra.pdfNew Piece for Orchestra.mp3

Edited by gmm
MP3
0:00
0:00
PDF
  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow!  This is a wonderful piece!  To start out I think I'd have to say that my favorite section is the lyrical section in the introduction and when it's recapitulated in the resolution/coda.  I don't have a least favorite section.

I don't think it's true that (as you say) your piece lacks a development.  Your music has a very rich storytelling potential - you just express it through writing new themes and that gives your music the feel of a soundtrack.  It's more of a melodic adventure I guess.  I don't think you need to have a strict development section and trying to force yourself to have one could be just about the most un-creative thing you could do.  Besides - when you recapitulate you certainly don't seem to ever do things the same way twice - and that at least counts as variation which is something I've been trying to get myself to do in my own composition (I mean through-composing my repeats and making them different the second time).  I didn't listen with the score but you definitely seem to have found your own melodic and harmonic identity.  Throughout the piece I get tastes of the flavors of other composers who have come before like Gershwin.  And Brahms in the pastoral B section but nothing overwhelming that detracts from your unique identity.

I don't think there's a problem with your string writing.  You write well for the whole orchestra not just strings or brass.  Being a horn player myself I really enjoy the beautiful melodic lines you've written for it throughout and especially the pastoral B section and the lyrical theme from the introduction.

About your form - I think it's almost unfair to call your ostinato from the beginning and the lyrical section 'introductory'.  They obviously don't stay 'introductory' since you use them throughout the whole piece.  I think you have probably over 5 unique themes interwoven into this and no particular one of them takes precedence except maybe the themes, ironically, that you start and end with.

A cool moment you have is the big build you have that starts right before the 7:00 minute mark.  I love the descending brass and the soft resolution with strings and horn.

Well, that just about does it for me.  I hope you submit more compositions =).

Edit:  I just looked at the introduction in your score and I guess I should have heard this but your flutes which are so important to your texture in the introduction are way too low in their register to be audible.  One way to fix this would be to have a G alto flute play that lowest C#.

Edited by PaperComposer
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

@PaperComposer thank you for your insightful comment! 

13 hours ago, PaperComposer said:

I don't think it's true that (as you say) your piece lacks a development.  Your music has a very rich storytelling potential - you just express it through writing new themes and that gives your music the feel of a soundtrack.  It's more of a melodic adventure I guess.  I don't think you need to have a strict development section and trying to force yourself to have one could be just about the most un-creative thing you could do.  Besides - when you recapitulate you certainly don't seem to ever do things the same way twice - and that at least counts as variation which is something I've been trying to get myself to do in my own composition (I mean through-composing my repeats and making them different the second time). 

I see what you mean. I don't intend to go back and add a development section because it "should" have one. This structure was my plan from the start. Since the Recap is mostly the same as the Exposition I wondered if the piece might come off as a little repetitive, but it sounds like it was still enjoyable (at least to you). The reason I omitted it in my original plan was this is the first piece I wrote of this magnitude, so I didn't want to overwhelm myself. 

13 hours ago, PaperComposer said:

I didn't listen with the score but you definitely seem to have found your own melodic and harmonic identity.  Throughout the piece I get tastes of the flavors of other composers who have come before like Gershwin.  And Brahms in the pastoral B section but nothing overwhelming that detracts from your unique identity.

Thank you! You know, you're the second person to say that section reminded them of Brahms. While I respect Brahms and everything he accomplished, I've never really been able to get into his music. I've tried on several occasions, and while I didn't dislike it, I never found anything that really grabbed me, you know what I mean? Do you know of any specific passages of his you would compare this section to? That might help me find a spark in his music.

 

13 hours ago, PaperComposer said:

I don't think there's a problem with your string writing.  You write well for the whole orchestra not just strings or brass.  Being a horn player myself I really enjoy the beautiful melodic lines you've written for it throughout and especially the pastoral B section and the lyrical theme from the introduction.

Thank you! I think I'm happy with the string writing itself, what I meant was that I don't know as much as I should about bowing and other technical aspects of string instruments. In the score I mostly just notated what "felt" right, but I'm not sure if the bowings I put in there make sense or are feasible. I guess if a string player didn't like what I wrote, they would just change to whatever they like, but I would like to give them at least a decent starting point.

And, I'm a (former) horn player too! 🙂 Hopefully my bias isn't too obvious in my writing lol.

13 hours ago, PaperComposer said:

About your form - I think it's almost unfair to call your ostinato from the beginning and the lyrical section 'introductory'.  They obviously don't stay 'introductory' since you use them throughout the whole piece.  I think you have probably over 5 unique themes interwoven into this and no particular one of them takes precedence except maybe the themes, ironically, that you start and end with.

I agree. With this piece I was experimenting with a more extended introduction, rather than a short one that leads right into the exposition. My goal was to write an introduction with standalone ideas from which I derive the themes I used later in the piece. For example, the opening motive in the oboe and clarinet below (m.3): 

image.png.09607acff3784eb93caa30ff3044d96b.png

was transformed by retrograde inversion to build the first theme of the Exposition in the clarinet (m.99):

image.png.d2317b2c0050e799631be9da40bcfe2f.png

In this way, the introduction provides the material from which the rest of the piece grows, while still having it's own independent identity.

 

13 hours ago, PaperComposer said:

A cool moment you have is the big build you have that starts right before the 7:00 minute mark.  I love the descending brass and the soft resolution with strings and horn.

Thank you! I wanted a very dramatic contrast here, I'm glad it was effective.

13 hours ago, PaperComposer said:

Edit:  I just looked at the introduction in your score and I guess I should have heard this but your flutes which are so important to your texture in the introduction are way too low in their register to be audible.  One way to fix this would be to have a G alto flute play that lowest C#.

Good point, I'm not as educated on these type of nuances with woodwind playing as I should be. It would make sense to have the 3rd flute double alto flute to play this. I hope you're not too offended if I don't do this immediately, as it would take some time to work this into the score, and at the moment I would like to concentrate on other projects. But I will certainly incorporate this idea going forward.

13 hours ago, PaperComposer said:

Well, that just about does it for me.  I hope you submit more compositions =).

Thank you for listening! I am very close with finishing another piece of this scope (this one with a proper, and intentional development). Hopefully I can have it finished within the next month or so.

Edited by gmm
Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Since the Recap is mostly the same as the Exposition I wondered if the piece might come off as a little repetitive, but it sounds like it was still enjoyable (at least to you). The reason I omitted it in my original plan was this is the first piece I wrote of this magnitude, so I didn't want to overwhelm myself. 

I think if you accomplished what you set out to accomplish in this piece you should be satisfied it.  I certainly am!

Quote

Thank you! You know, you're the second person to say that section reminded them of Brahms. While I respect Brahms and everything he accomplished, I've never really been able to get into his music. I've tried on several occasions, and while I didn't dislike it, I never found anything that really grabbed me, you know what I mean? Do you know of any specific passages of his you would compare this section to? That might help me find a spark in his music.

Well there is alot to compare to since Brahms so famously uses 3rds and 6ths copiously in his harmonies but here is one example:

Quote

Thank you! I think I'm happy with the string writing itself, what I meant was that I don't know as much as I should about bowing and other technical aspects of string instruments. In the score I mostly just notated what "felt" right, but I'm not sure if the bowings I put in there make sense or are feasible. I guess if a string player didn't like what I wrote, they would just change to whatever they like, but I would like to give them at least a decent starting point.

I didn't look at your score in detail so I didn't see what bowings you are talking about but from my experience string players like to write their own bowings into their parts when they find something counter-intuitive (of course coordinated by the concert-master).  Otherwise the alternation of up and downs bows is pretty natural to them most of the time and doesn't need to be notated.

Quote

Good point, I'm not as educated on these type of nuances with woodwind playing as I should be. It would make sense to have the 3rd flute double alto flute to play this. I hope you're not too offended if I don't do this immediately, as it would take some time to work this into the score, and at the moment I would like to concentrate on other projects. But I will certainly incorporate this idea going forward.

Offended?  LoL 🤣  Don't worry - I rarely revise my own work as well.  I simply think my time (as much as yours) would probably best be spent applying what I've learned to new compositions.

Quote

Thank you for listening! I am very close with finishing another piece of this scope (this one with a proper, and intentional development). Hopefully I can have it finished within the next month or so.

I am looking forward to it!👍

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Stirring, rich, intense. The harmonies were so lush. Everything about this piece was subtle—and I like that very much!

I didn't find this work very Brahms-esque, or even German in particular. To me it sounded thoroughly French, with distinct hints of Saint-Saëns and Debussy. Your use of sixths especially gave it a Debussy flair, almost pentatonic at times. I love that about his music.

The emotional landscape of this work had me visiting a mountain stream in the Norwegian fjordlands: fresh, crisp, unhurried and untouched by modernity. (Or perhaps I should say a mountain stream in the Alps, since this piece didn't necessarily remind me of Scandinavian writing.)

I thought it was impressive how you interwove all the themes together. But I think the most impressive aspect of this piece was its emotional drive. It was just... moving. The swells, the softness, the orchestral color. I didn't tear up listening to the mp3, but I guarantee you I would have been undone had I heard it live in concert.

Some criticism: the score is a bit messy and difficult to follow along as a conductor. Sibelius is a great notation program but I truly don't understand the algorithms behind its score layout program. I can give pointers, though it might best be done via personal message.

Also, I was not a huge fan of the blatant recaps. I don't mind some, but once a section is over I don't want to hear it again in the piece, at least not so immediately recognizable. Just a matter of personal taste, I suppose, and nothing objectively wrong with the work.

The ending was not what I expected, and I have mixed feelings about it. It was evocative how you brought back the opening structure, but I feel it should have ended either quietly or with much more movement. As it stands, it's sort of a hybrid between the two, and it wasn't a very convincing hybrid, at least not to me.

Petty nitpicks notwithstanding, this is a work of superb stature. I bow to your masterful use of the orchestra. Looking forward to your next venture!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

@Tónskáld thank you for your kind review and thoughtful criticisms! 

32 minutes ago, Tónskáld said:

The emotional landscape of this work had me visiting a mountain stream in the Norwegian fjordlands: fresh, crisp, unhurried and untouched by modernity. (Or perhaps I should say a mountain stream in the Alps, since this piece didn't necessarily remind me of Scandinavian writing.)

I thought it was impressive how you interwove all the themes together. But I think the most impressive aspect of this piece was its emotional drive. It was just... moving. The swells, the softness, the orchestral color. I didn't tear up listening to the mp3, but I guarantee you I would have been undone had I heard it live in concert.

Wonderful! I'm glad it conjured such a vivid image for you.

32 minutes ago, Tónskáld said:

Some criticism: the score is a bit messy and difficult to follow along as a conductor. Sibelius is a great notation program but I truly don't understand the algorithms behind its score layout program. I can give pointers, though it might best be done via personal message.

I'll message you.

33 minutes ago, Tónskáld said:

Also, I was not a huge fan of the blatant recaps. I don't mind some, but once a section is over I don't want to hear it again in the piece, at least not so immediately recognizable. Just a matter of personal taste, I suppose, and nothing objectively wrong with the work.

Yeah I understand this, and I think I mostly agree. I think a simple solution would be to just remove the Recap. Since it's so similar to the Exposition, I don't think it really adds anything. If anything, it might take away from the emotional power of those ideas by repeating.

36 minutes ago, Tónskáld said:

The ending was not what I expected, and I have mixed feelings about it. It was evocative how you brought back the opening structure, but I feel it should have ended either quietly or with much more movement. As it stands, it's sort of a hybrid between the two, and it wasn't a very convincing hybrid, at least not to me.

I have mixed feelings as well. There are two things that I think contribute to this:

  • When I originally wrote this, I had a lot of momentum after finishing the recap. Since I had all this momentum, I tried to push forward and crank out the Resolution, which led me to put out something I wasn't entirely happy with. I think if I had taken a short break and let the inspiration come naturally, I would have had a better result.
  • I think if I had written a Development, I could have presented several ideas and left them unresolved. Then, I could have returned to those ideas in the Resolution and given them a proper, well, resolution haha. 

As I said earlier, I've kind of moved on from this piece, so for now I'll chalk this up as a lesson learned. Maybe one day I'll return to it when I have more experience and wisdom...

I will say I never considered ending this piece quietly though, was there anything specific about it that led you to think it deserved a quiet ending?

49 minutes ago, Tónskáld said:

Petty nitpicks notwithstanding, this is a work of superb stature. I bow to your masterful use of the orchestra. Looking forward to your next venture!

Thank you, but you're far too kind. I'm just an average dude who likes making music in his spare time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

First: What sound library is this? It sounds really good.

As for your music -- this is a lovely piece, with lots of lush harmonies and effective dramatic moments. I am reminded of Debussy, Delius, and early Stravinsky (Firebird). A few notes:

p. 23: I like how the timpani accents the downbeat before the tutti proper begins.

p. 25 (first system): The horn-call reminds me very much of a leitmotiv from Strauss's Salome, which you can hear throughout the opera's finale, "Ah! Ich habe deinem Mund gekusst." Partly it's the strings playing tremolo, but the themes themselves are rather similar. Not similar enough to be a problem, though. Just thought I'd point it out.

p. 25 (second system): I love the orchestration and harmonies here, how the brass provides the harmonic background and the woodwinds play over it. Very effective dramatically.

p. 31: I like how the cymbal crash falls in the middle of the bar rather than on the downbeat, but I wonder if it might work better as a long, sustained roll (as in the Coda).

p. 49: I liked the clarinet sextuplets here, which are later taken up by other woodwind instruments. But the woodwinds might appreciate an occasional rest so they have a chance to breathe. In figures like this, it's typical to put a rest on the downbeat.

While this is a very good piece as it is, I agree with you that the form might need rethinking. Removing the Recap seems like a sensible idea and is probably the quickest solution. But I feel like this piece belongs in a larger context, which might help to reveal its "true" form. Perhaps it should be the slow movement of a symphony or part of a ballet (again, thinking of Firebird). Then, once you have the surrounding movements completed, you'd have a better idea of what this piece needs to make it complete.

All in all, good work, and thanks for sharing!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Tónskáld said:

Some criticism: the score is a bit messy and difficult to follow along as a conductor. Sibelius is a great notation program but I truly don't understand the algorithms behind its score layout program. I can give pointers, though it might best be done via personal message.

I'd be interested in hearing these pointers. Personally, I had no issues following the score, but then, I'm not a conductor.

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Vogel thank you for your kind words, and welcome to the board!

10 minutes ago, Vogel said:

First: What sound library is this? It sounds really good.

I used Spitfire Symphonic Orchestra for all of the Strings, Brass, and Woodwinds, and Spitfire Percussion for the percussion. The only outlier is the harp, for which I just use Garritan Personal Orchestra with Fabfilter's Pro-R to give the sound that it's in a hall. 

12 minutes ago, Vogel said:

As for your music -- this is a lovely piece, with lots of lush harmonies and effective dramatic moments. I am reminded of Debussy, Delius, and early Stravinsky (Firebird). A few notes:

Thank you, this comparison is very kind of you. I love Stravinsky (particularly the Firebird) and Debussy. I've never even heard of Delius however, so I will be sure to check him out. Do you have any of his works you would recommend?

15 minutes ago, Vogel said:

p. 23: I like how the timpani accents the downbeat before the tutti proper begins.

p. 25 (first system): The horn-call reminds me very much of a leitmotiv from Strauss's Salome, which you can hear throughout the opera's finale, "Ah! Ich habe deinem Mund gekusst." Partly it's the strings playing tremolo, but the themes themselves are rather similar. Not similar enough to be a problem, though. Just thought I'd point it out.

I'm glad you liked it. I have no problem being compared to Strauss!

17 minutes ago, Vogel said:

p. 25 (second system): I love the orchestration and harmonies here, how the brass provides the harmonic background and the woodwinds play over it. Very effective dramatically.

I'm glad you pointed out this chord because it might be my single favorite chord in the whole piece. If you want more detail behind how I came up with it I would be happy to discuss via Message.

20 minutes ago, Vogel said:

p. 31: I like how the cymbal crash falls in the middle of the bar rather than on the downbeat, but I wonder if it might work better as a long, sustained roll (as in the Coda).

I see what you are saying, but I like it as it is. I want this moment to feel more "piercing" rather than an immense rush. The piece I drew inspiration from on this passage, and the section preceding it, is Mahler's 7th Symphony, starting at about 13:03 in the below link. You might also notice I tried to borrow from the beginning of this piece with the opening of my piece. (Hopefully it's not too much borrowing lol).

 

29 minutes ago, Vogel said:

p. 49: I liked the clarinet sextuplets here, which are later taken up by other woodwind instruments. But the woodwinds might appreciate an occasional rest so they have a chance to breathe. In figures like this, it's typical to put a rest on the downbeat.

In the score, I noted for the player to change every two bars to allow for breaks. When the whole section comes in later, I'm fine with them staggering their breathing to make sure all notes are played. 

image.thumb.png.68cea78800b6d883784488523968145f.png

31 minutes ago, Vogel said:

While this is a very good piece as it is, I agree with you that the form might need rethinking. Removing the Recap seems like a sensible idea and is probably the quickest solution. But I feel like this piece belongs in a larger context, which might help to reveal its "true" form. Perhaps it should be the slow movement of a symphony or part of a ballet (again, thinking of Firebird). Then, once you have the surrounding movements completed, you'd have a better idea of what this piece needs to make it complete.

I've been grappling with the idea of a larger multi-movement piece such as a symphony. I imagine I could come up with a suitable symphonic form, but I'm trying to get my head around what I want my symphony to be from philosophical standpoint before I make such an attempt. Though if/when the time comes, I think I would rather start with something new and fresh. At least for now, I think I will let this piece be.

Thanks for listening and critiquing!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, gmm said:

I used Spitfire Symphonic Orchestra for all of the Strings, Brass, and Woodwinds, and Spitfire Percussion for the percussion. The only outlier is the harp, for which I just use Garritan Personal Orchestra with Fabfilter's Pro-R to give the sound that it's in a hall. 

Thanks! I haven't done much experimenting with sound libraries yet. The sound quality is a big step up from standard MIDI, so I'd like to start using sound libraries at some point, but I've heard they can be quite time-consuming, and I'm not sure I have the technical expertise or patience to get the most out of them.

1 hour ago, gmm said:

Thank you, this comparison is very kind of you. I love Stravinsky (particularly the Firebird) and Debussy. I've never even heard of Delius however, so I will be sure to check him out. Do you have any of his works you would recommend?

You've probably heard Delius's music, even if you've never heard of him. The Florida Suite and On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring are both excellent introductions to his work. He's sort of a more Romantic and English (and therefore straight-laced) cousin to Debussy, yet wholly original at the same time.

1 hour ago, gmm said:

I see what you are saying, but I like it as it is. I want this moment to feel more "piercing" rather than an immense rush. The piece I drew inspiration from on this passage, and the section preceding it, is Mahler's 7th Symphony, starting at about 13:03 in the below link. You might also notice I tried to borrow from the beginning of this piece with the opening of my piece. (Hopefully it's not too much borrowing lol).

I hadn't noticed, to be honest. Now that you point it out, I can see that the similarities in the opening measure of the two pieces, but they go in very different directions after that, so I don't think it's an issue. If you want to see some true Mahler ripping-offing, then check out "Hell's Picture Scroll" from the Ran soundtrack. If you know your Mahler, then you'll recognize the similarities right away (hint: Das Lied von der Erde).

1 hour ago, gmm said:

In the score, I noted for the player to change every two bars to allow for breaks. When the whole section comes in later, I'm fine with them staggering their breathing to make sure all notes are played. 

image.thumb.png.68cea78800b6d883784488523968145f.png

Ah. No issues there then.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Vogel said:

Thanks! I haven't done much experimenting with sound libraries yet. The sound quality is a big step up from standard MIDI, so I'd like to start using sound libraries at some point, but I've heard they can be quite time-consuming, and I'm not sure I have the technical expertise or patience to get the most out of them.

My advice would be to start out small. When I first started investing money into this hobby I used Garritan Personal Orchestra (I think about $100) and the basic version of Cubase ($50 or $100 I can't remember). While relatively simple, it's a good way to get used to interfacing with a DAW and orchestral libraries. Then when you're more comfortable, you can step up to a larger quality library. If I find some of these old compositions I might post them just for grins.

 

5 minutes ago, Vogel said:

You've probably heard Delius's music, even if you've never heard of him. The Florida Suite and On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring are both excellent introductions to his work. He's sort of a more Romantic and English (and therefore straight-laced) cousin to Debussy, yet wholly original at the same time.

I hadn't noticed, to be honest. Now that you point it out, I can see that the similarities in the opening measure of the two pieces, but they go in very different directions after that, so I don't think it's an issue. If you want to see some true Mahler ripping-offing, then check out "Hell's Picture Scroll" from the Ran soundtrack. If you know your Mahler, then you'll recognize the similarities right away (hint: Das Lied von der Erde).

Thanks for the suggestions, I will check these out!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, Vogel said:

You've probably heard Delius's music, even if you've never heard of him. The Florida Suite and On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring are both excellent introductions to his work. He's sort of a more Romantic and English (and therefore straight-laced) cousin to Debussy, yet wholly original at the same time.

This is a very good description of Delius. One might think him French for his elegance and lightness, but the no-nonsense of his music gives him away as staunchly British.

Another composer who came to mind while listening to this was Koechlin, yet another quintessentially French composer.

3 hours ago, Vogel said:

I'd be interested in hearing these pointers. Personally, I had no issues following the score, but then, I'm not a conductor.

I'm no conductor either, but I'll put my suggestions together for the benefit (or detriment) of all.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, lots of great tips from everyone. I listened to this last night but wanted to wait a bit to review since it was so long, but it seems like a lot of what I would of said has been said. You say you've moved on from this one, so I won't beat a dead horse. 

Instead I'd just like to show my admiration for a work of this magnitude. I think you did a brilliant job here, and that was a great introduction (at least for me) to your music. I'll always look out for your name, I really dig your style. Keep me posted about your future works, I'm interested to see how such a great and unique voice evolves.

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, Thatguy v2.0 said:

Wow, lots of great tips from everyone. I listened to this last night but wanted to wait a bit to review since it was so long, but it seems like a lot of what I would of said has been said. You say you've moved on from this one, so I won't beat a dead horse. 

Instead I'd just like to show my admiration for a work of this magnitude. I think you did a brilliant job here, and that was a great introduction (at least for me) to your music. I'll always look out for your name, I really dig your style. Keep me posted about your future works, I'm interested to see how such a great and unique voice evolves.

 

 

Thanks will do! If you think of any feedback feel free to share.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, here's my take on score improvements.

To start with, it's generally wise to indicate whether the score is CONCERT or TRANSPOSED. You can put this in the top left corner of the score. (Yours appears to be transposed.)

I notice in measure 1 you have a poco cresc that appears to crescendo to "pp" from "pp." If the dynamic is a sudden departure from what's expected, you should probably notate "pp sub" or "subito pp" or something like that. This lets the players know that the dynamic is different from what they were previously playing.

I'd be careful using simile in the era of copy and paste. Handwritten scores and manual typesetting is one thing, but it's less ambiguous to simply write out what you mean rather than use the simile shortcut—and it's very fast and easy to do nowadays.

It's nice if the bar numbers are notated below every bar. If I were a conductor, I don't want to have to count 4 bars from measure 15. It'd be much easier if I could just look immediately below and find the bar number.

In a similar vein, you don't have to hide unused staves. It's far easier to follow along with a score if the instruments appear in the same line of sight on each page, even if some instruments don't play for several more pages.

You might split the horns out into 2 staves the whole time.

Measure 36 begins an arco passage immediately preceded by a pizz passage in the celli. I question how feasible that is.

No need to write solo (as in m. 42). Just indicate which part is playing using the appropriate number.

In some cases, like in m. 52, you indicate which part plays what even when there are only 2 parts in the stave and two notes are being played. You should omit the parts' numbers altogether as it's understood which part plays what.

Which brings me to another point. Even on the instrument short names, it's good practice to indicate which parts are assigned to the stave. See below as an example.

image.png.957696619f3507430cdc07af406ad74d.png

Don't use dangling hairpins/cresc./decresc. Make sure to put a dynamic at the end of each one, unless you use a descriptor word like molto cresc. or poco cresc. You can get away with that, even though it's still not a bad idea to punctuate it with a dynamic marking.

Rapid notes in percussion (timpani rolls, triangle rolls, etc.) are now indicated with tremolos and not with trills.

Well, I think that's enough for now. Remember, these are just tips to help make your score more user friendly. As far as I know, there isn't an MLA format (so to speak) for score arranging, so I would evaluate each of these on a common sense basis to see if they truly work for you and what you're going for.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Tónskáld said:

Okay, here's my take on score improvements.

To start with, it's generally wise to indicate whether the score is CONCERT or TRANSPOSED. You can put this in the top left corner of the score. (Yours appears to be transposed.)

I notice in measure 1 you have a poco cresc that appears to crescendo to "pp" from "pp." If the dynamic is a sudden departure from what's expected, you should probably notate "pp sub" or "subito pp" or something like that. This lets the players know that the dynamic is different from what they were previously playing.

I'd be careful using simile in the era of copy and paste. Handwritten scores and manual typesetting is one thing, but it's less ambiguous to simply write out what you mean rather than use the simile shortcut—and it's very fast and easy to do nowadays.

It's nice if the bar numbers are notated below every bar. If I were a conductor, I don't want to have to count 4 bars from measure 15. It'd be much easier if I could just look immediately below and find the bar number.

In a similar vein, you don't have to hide unused staves. It's far easier to follow along with a score if the instruments appear in the same line of sight on each page, even if some instruments don't play for several more pages.

You might split the horns out into 2 staves the whole time.

Measure 36 begins an arco passage immediately preceded by a pizz passage in the celli. I question how feasible that is.

No need to write solo (as in m. 42). Just indicate which part is playing using the appropriate number.

In some cases, like in m. 52, you indicate which part plays what even when there are only 2 parts in the stave and two notes are being played. You should omit the parts' numbers altogether as it's understood which part plays what.

Which brings me to another point. Even on the instrument short names, it's good practice to indicate which parts are assigned to the stave. See below as an example.

image.png.957696619f3507430cdc07af406ad74d.png

Don't use dangling hairpins/cresc./decresc. Make sure to put a dynamic at the end of each one, unless you use a descriptor word like molto cresc. or poco cresc. You can get away with that, even though it's still not a bad idea to punctuate it with a dynamic marking.

Rapid notes in percussion (timpani rolls, triangle rolls, etc.) are now indicated with tremolos and not with trills.

Well, I think that's enough for now. Remember, these are just tips to help make your score more user friendly. As far as I know, there isn't an MLA format (so to speak) for score arranging, so I would evaluate each of these on a common sense basis to see if they truly work for you and what you're going for.

 

Thank you very much for taking the time to read through the score and provide these suggestions! I'm still pretty new at making scores, so these pointers are very helpful. It may take me some time, but I will try to work these into the score, and into future projects.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey!  Now that's what I can introduction!

I really enjoyed this piece.  I really hope this piece gets performed live someday.  It's something musicians would definitely enjoy.

Ok, the only constructive criticism, I could give, and this is really hard because I dig everything... maybe experiment in some more daring modulations when you recap your themes.  But I'm only saying this because you gave me no choice.

You are so evoking Ravel in your orchestrations, which I dig.  

I loved, loved, loved your harmonic choices and I found your melody writing has a strong sense of direction, and everything really linked together exceptionally well.  My least favourite part, hard to say, but given no other option, hell I can't think of anything.  This is just gorgeous.  I hope that's constructive.

Bravo!  

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Monkeysinfezzes said:

I really enjoyed this piece.  I really hope this piece gets performed live someday.  It's something musicians would definitely enjoy.

Thank you, that's very kind of you to say! I hope so to, that would be pretty cool! 

7 minutes ago, Monkeysinfezzes said:

Ok, the only constructive criticism, I could give, and this is really hard because I dig everything... maybe experiment in some more daring modulations when you recap your themes.  But I'm only saying this because you gave me no choice.

Could you perhaps clarify what you mean here? I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "daring modulations"? Or are you just saying the recaps could have been more varied from the Exposition?

9 minutes ago, Monkeysinfezzes said:

You are so evoking Ravel in your orchestrations, which I dig.  

Sadly I haven't listened to Ravel as much as I would have liked. I actually stumbled upon "Daphnes and Chloe" during the process of writing this, and I tried to emulate part of the climax of "Lever du Jour" in the Resolution of my piece.

12 minutes ago, Monkeysinfezzes said:

I loved, loved, loved your harmonic choices and I found your melody writing has a strong sense of direction, and everything really linked together exceptionally well.  My least favourite part, hard to say, but given no other option, hell I can't think of anything.  This is just gorgeous.  I hope that's constructive.

Bravo!  

Thank you so much, I'm glad you liked it! That means a lot coming from an "Old" (or would you prefer "experienced"... only joking of course!) Member such as yourself.

Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, gmm said:

Could you perhaps clarify what you mean here? I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "daring modulations"? Or are you just saying the recaps could have been more varied from the Exposition?

It's your art, maybe you prefer less varied recaps.  For me, I like variety the more the merrier.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...