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Three-Part Canon at the Octave in G Major for Brass Trio


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Hello everyone!

I just finished a canon at the octave for three voices which I composed for practicing counterpoint. I did it for practicing three part counterpoint without having to spend to much time thinking about the melodic contourn for each voice. As an exercise it was really interesting and fun to compose. I composed it without instruments in mind, I just chose the brass trio because it sounded the most beautiful to my ears. Therefore, I am not sure whether some things might be unplayable (specially the highest notes from the trumpet).

The canon is strict for the whole piece except for the B-C-D-E ascendent scale going to the EM chord chord (V of ii) in bars 11, 15 and 19, which goes through the natural, harmonic and melodic minor versions. Besides that, the only moment in which the canon is broken is on the last measure.

Composition-wise, I felt really restricted because of the canon rules so I am really interested about the different techniques that could be used for adding interest to such strict pieces. Also, the strict canon made everything harder so probably there are many parallel octaves and fifths I did not see :S.

Any comment or suggestion is welcome. Thank you for listening!


Edited by JorgeDavid
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  • JorgeDavid changed the title to Three-Part Canon at the Octave in G Major for Brass Trio
19 hours ago, jejrekmek said:

I liked this! The beginning sounded a bit familiar. i actually liked the dissonances.


Thank you so much jejrekmek, I am really glad you liked it! 🙂 As for the beginning, I did not consciously based myself on anything but I came up with those first four bars main melody really fast so it would not surprised me that I unconsciously got it from somewhere. I kept modifying and improving the piece quite a lot and I also changed the instrumentation to a brass trio. It sounds a lot better now so check out the new version if you have time!

Thank you so much for commenting!

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So what made you change this from a wind trio to a brass trio?  As far as I am aware it seems like there was no problem with playability in the woodwind trio version but in this version the trumpet has to play up to a high F# above high C which is ridiculously high! (assuming that a Bb Trumpet will play the part which is more likely than finding someone with an actual C Trumpet)  I played trumpet before and getting my chops up to the point where I would be able to play just a regular high C took quite some time so you're asking quite a lot of the performer to be able to play those notes.  The piece is nice and was nice also in the woodwind trio arrangement.  Thanks for sharing!

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@PaperComposer Thanks for commenting PaperComposer! I ended up changing it because I like the sound better and I feel that the brass sound give the piece the character that I originaly intended. I am aware some of the notes are high particularly that concert E). As far as I know, anything above high C is considered quite high and hard to play. I am unexperienced on the trumpet but I have seen some classical pieces that hit the high G concert pitch, so I figured the E might be somehow possible (I have to admit that since I do not expect anyone to perform my pieces I might put difficulty aside when composing 😅). I guess, in the worst case, that high concert E could be changed (it is actually one of the last notes I added to the piece). However, as I said, instrumentation is not so important and the choices were made mostly by considering the midi sound.

Thank you for pointing that out! I will try to keep learning about the trumpet. Sometimes I feel like I only know about the cello now, after so many cello pieces hahaha.

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