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The Boy Who Wanted To Fly - My first small "symphony" with original story included

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In the last months I worked hard at my first small symphony. Spending some forgotten hours late at night to write notes in that marvellous app StaffPad. Slowly the story came to life. With this composition “The Boy Who Wanted To Fly” as an end result!

I really challenged myself this time. I wanted to compose a classical story. A symphonic story. One that takes you by the hand and feeds your imagination.

You have to know, I'm still a beginner. This is the second composition I wrote by hand. So any feedback, advise is much appreciated!

About the process, I wrote it by hand in StaffPad. Exported the STEMS and mixed and mastered in my beloved DAW Logic Pro. The music is available on Youtube with the short story in the video and on every major streaming platform. So when you enjoy listening to it, you could add it to one of your favourite playlists.

Link to the score: Score - The Boy Who Wanted To Fly

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  • 3 weeks later...

I listened to it once with the story then with the score.

I think I watched a short movie alike once, don't remember which one it was or it's name cause I watch dozens of short animated movies all the time.

I think that your piece could do very well as a soundtrack to one of those, but I don't think you should perform it.

Something about it just feels as if... you write for a computer, which is why the notation puzzled me.

I think that it feels so mostly for the fact that... it seems as if you put the specific sounds you want without really acknowledging the players?

Say, the piano, for example. Why have a pianist sit there for so long for such brief of a second? Same goes for many others which could be used on many other occasions.

If you want my advise, here's what, in my opinion, should be done-

1. I know it's hard for you as a composer because I've been through it a few times, but try to make a piano reduction of your score. That way:

-You can rethink your orchestration

-You can think more clearly on your melodic/harmonic material

-You will have to create interest and resemble the scene without the sound and texture aspect

2. Make notation all over the piano sketch with notes like "here I want that" and "a flute stacc, it must be!" or "here I'd want to make a sound the resembles the duck".

3. Lay out the main guidelines on an orchestral sheet, just the main notes you told yourself in advance.

4. Listen to it as is, with the piano lines that haven't been placed yet played by the piano, see if you're satisfied with it as a sketch.

5. Now give it some time to rest, say. a week.

6. Come back, take another listen, see if there's anything you see differently.

7. Once you have a result with main laid out guidelines:

-Fill the rest with spreaded harmony, voice leading for each, try to get to a result near what you have around 71 [although excellent, you could have the harp and pno accompanying, the Clt and Flt second voicing, maybe a third in the horns, string accompaniment that's not whole notes chords...]

-Make sure that it would make sense for each player on his own, that he'd be able to hear both the others and himself, etc.

-Listen to the final result and pet yourself on the shoulder.


Again, just my opinion, you may of course disagree.

I hope that was helpful, I'm going back to physics. 


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  • 1 year later...
On 12/30/2020 at 5:26 AM, Jehonathan Sher Lipschitz said:

Wow! Its a really nice and beautiful piece! Well done!

I wouldn't call it a symphony, I would call it a symphonic poem.

One thing, it's kinda stuck in one place. Maybe its the dynamics and automation but I think its more about the felling, which is kind of the same - which makes this piece "not by itself"


The music has no flaw.  The presentation @gh0stwrit3r, needs less sweat in brow and more confidence.  The felling does include the confidence in your work to allow your audience to create their own conclusions; allow for the presentation to include more information that there is nothing to hold your composition in anyway possible.

Edited by Vonias
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When it opened with just the choir I thought 'no, this isn't my music' but as it moved on with the story it became a most engaging production. The composition is very good, the scoring accomplished and the production excellent.

I liked the idea of the text narrative (which is itself good - succinct and articulate) rather than an attempt to turn it into a movie - it allows and flexes the imagination which a movie doesn't. 

The whole deal is excellent. Well done.

Edited by Quinn
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  • 2 months later...

Very nice work and very well produced and orchestrated. If I can add my five cents on the writing versus recording subject. I as well used to write my orchestration on the score window of the screen until I discovered the virtue of the real time orchestration and the blessing of the Piano Roll and control graphs window. I use a DAW such as Logic Pro (before I was using Cakewalk) and yes I can write music as if I was using Finale but writing a score is only 33% of your music. Then the concert master makes the mix and adjust the play, the nuances, the speed, etc. (another 33%) and then the musicians interpret the score and makes their instruments provide the best sound and play possible (another 33%). If I know in my head what the horn, the clarinet or the bassoon should play while the strings are playing the main part, why not play it on the piano keyboard and record the MIDI track with all the expressivity possible of the virtual instrument, which today are absolutely stunning. Playing the parts and adjusting the exact start and duration of the notes, the expression, the dynamic, the vibrato the legato and choosing the right articulation and mostly find the melody or orchestration by playing the real instrument allow to get a better grasp of the orchestration to my point of view. For sure 5 parts counterpoint is easier to play first on the piano and then split the parts among the instruments and it is usually my starting point. However, writing directly in Finale without testing the parts by playing the instrument on the piano keyboard with the instrument sound and expect the resulting performance to be natural is a total nonsense to me, which is why composing in a DAW allow for a better result when you want to get a natural recording of your work. I know many composer composing directly in Finale without a piano keyboard and it usually sound cold, raw and barely natural. Nevertheless, Logic Pro allow to print a decent and readable score should some day you get the 100K$ to record your symphony with the BBC Symphonic Orchestra. Cheers,

Edited by Syrel
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