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Quasi-Atonal Xenochant... thing.


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My first ever (quasi-, though) potentially atonal composition! I think I probably should be more excited about it than I actually am. Still, I would really appreciate to hear any kind of criticism on this piece's regard, as that will help me discern whether I should continue some time with (quasi-)atonal music.
Also, innumerable apologies if this appears not to fit that well on Choral, Vocal: there's a choir involved in one part yes, however both other voices are instruments: strings and some ill-begotten soundbank I found among my files called "Synth Calliope", whose timbre I really like here.

Countless thanks in advance for taking the time to listen to it! (In case you have bothered to. Otherwise I can't blame you much since atonal music is not a particularly majoritary forte that I know of, somewhat ironically, even nowadays).

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Well - it ends on a C minor chord and the key signature suggests G# minor which you touch on in the middle of the piece.  But I think with a piece that's this chromatic you would have been better off without a key signature at all and just using accidentals and spelling your enharmonics as logically as possible to the need of the moment.  As far as musicality is concerned I really like it!  It would sound good played really quietly in some kind of horror movie maybe.  That's cool that you are branching out into a more experimental harmonic language.  Always glad to see that composers keep an open mind to what can be musical and affecting.  Great job!

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Regardless of the type of music you did, which is always a choice.... What does quasi-atonal means? Does it mean it is tonal, in the end?

It sounds chromatic but with a tonal center in C (B#).

In this environment, writing the simplest notes is better, avoiding double sharps and B#, etc.... If there is no hierarchy, you don't need them.

The music itself is effective, in a sort of counterpoint.

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Countless thanks to both of you for your constructive criticism! I honestly was expecting way more severe reviews as this is my first contemporary piece ever. Thankfully it gets to be somewhat succesful on your opinion's regards.

Here's the new version, following the advisement from both of you.

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It sure looks cleaner!  But I think you could still spell your notes more logically like for example the D#'s in the beginning should be Eb's.  In the first measure there are no E's which is really the only reason to use a D# (as a leading tone to E).  Using Eb's in that measure makes it more clear that there is a half-step motion from Eb to D in measure 2.  Also the lower voice in the 1st measure would be more clear with an Eb to make the whole step between F and Eb more clear.  Later on in measure 4 you do in fact use the D# as a leading tone to E so that's fine.  Unfortunately I don't have time to check the whole piece for these kinds of mistakes.  😕  But do you get the idea though?

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@PaperComposer  Hi, I don't agree with you. It seems you're trying to fit a supposedly atonal part into tonal schemes. I find the score very clear.

If you go to any score by Schönberg or whoever, you'll find this kind of writing. Whenever it is clear and at the composer's convenience... that's the "rule".

Of course, it could have been written using Eb instead of D#, but there's nothing wrong with D#, since he's not working with a tonal scale.

 

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On 1/27/2021 at 9:30 AM, PaperComposer said:

I've always been taught that psychologically, sharp's are used in ascending sequences and flats in descending ones, but I guess it's ultimately up to the composer (and performers) about what they prefer.

 

Sure, that's perfect in tonal music where scales are important.

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