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Dear Friends,

This is a fugue written with a 8-bar theme, which quite resemble Fuga from Bach's Violin Sonata No.3 (unintentionally lol). 

As you may have observed in my past works, I have been using a rather maximalist approach, trying to put many thermal material together in short excerpts.

Recently, I was trying to "compact" my musical writing lately, i.e. to express my musical idea in a "cleaner" and "clearer" way. And what's better than writing a fugue for efficient polyphony?

Previously, I was also using harsh chords and tons of polyphony with a hope to create richer textures. But here, I tried to keep the passages more harmonious and keep necessary inner lines only.

I don't mean to abandon my own style here, but I treat my recent work (including this one) as an experience.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy this piece! Much appreciated.

HoYin

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Hello,

I don't have much to say about the fugue itself, some disonant chords and transpositions to different keys is for me a bit unusual, but not necesarilly bad. My main remark is, that it is often almost or completely unplayable, good example is measure 24, whre it is physically impossible to stretch hands that much. I don't know how much are You familiar with harpsichord, but the thing here is that You don't have pedals to keep the tone sounding, so if You want the phrase to be going and sounding good and You need there to sustain some longer notes (so it'd "make sence in polyphonical way"), You must write it so the player can hold all keys needed, which here is, in some places, not accomplished. That's why there are often only 3 voices, when writing fugue for harpsichord; write it for four or more is of course possible but really hard to do properly and it is more common in organ playing, where You can use pedals as another voice.

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On 2/12/2021 at 8:01 AM, Bělásek said:

Hello,

I don't have much to say about the fugue itself, some disonant chords and transpositions to different keys is for me a bit unusual, but not necesarilly bad. My main remark is, that it is often almost or completely unplayable, good example is measure 24, whre it is physically impossible to stretch hands that much. I don't know how much are You familiar with harpsichord, but the thing here is that You don't have pedals to keep the tone sounding, so if You want the phrase to be going and sounding good and You need there to sustain some longer notes (so it'd "make sence in polyphonical way"), You must write it so the player can hold all keys needed, which here is, in some places, not accomplished. That's why there are often only 3 voices, when writing fugue for harpsichord; write it for four or more is of course possible but really hard to do properly and it is more common in organ playing, where You can use pedals as another voice.

 

certainly very reasonable remarks but upon encountering such, my mind always returns to an internal debate/discussion/AKA-the-usual-rambling that is continual in there as in others, re: in this day and age when so much music and things referred to as music can easily be created on a laptop with many many gigs of sample content and in view of the fact that it is at least possible that no one is ever going to come the length of a piano close to things i have concocted, i will be damned if i am going to wonder if someone somewhere is going to some day cramp out a pinky playing it while reaching for a b flat or even more, cramp out a pinky finger after NOT playing it like while, maybe, i dont necessarily know, buttering their piece of nice tasting albeit not all that nutritional butter and honey toast. ok, i am being a bit facetious here and hey, all that (previous drivel) is just me, i realize that, truly i do...but maybe you catch my drift? maybe not (oh the horror, the horror!)?

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1 hour ago, Advanced Blowhard said:

certainly very reasonable remarks but upon encountering such, my mind always returns to an internal debate/discussion/AKA-the-usual-rambling that is continual in there as in others, re: in this day and age when so much music and things referred to as music can easily be created on a laptop with many many gigs of sample content and in view of the fact that it is at least possible that no one is ever going to come the length of a piano close to things i have concocted, i will be damned if i am going to wonder if someone somewhere is going to some day cramp out a pinky playing it while reaching for a b flat or even more, cramp out a pinky finger after NOT playing it like while, maybe, i dont necessarily know, buttering their piece of nice tasting albeit not all that nutritional butter and honey toast. ok, i am being a bit facetious here and hey, all that (previous drivel) is just me, i realize that, truly i do...but maybe you catch my drift? maybe not (oh the horror, the horror!)?

Fair enough. I agree that today this endeavor might be a bit meaningless in some ways. And that music can be seamlessly composed in practically any way. But at least for me is music emotion/other possible stuff expression fundamentally; so personally I wouldn't compose something like this purposely because I don't like it but I respect it and understand, that someone can see it differently. However here at least I think that it is composed in a way that "it could perhaps be played eventually" so here the remarks seemed proper to me.

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2 hours ago, Bělásek said:

Fair enough. I agree that today this endeavor might be a bit meaningless in some ways. And that music can be seamlessly composed in practically any way. But at least for me is music emotion/other possible stuff expression fundamentally; so personally I wouldn't compose something like this purposely because I don't like it but I respect it and understand, that someone can see it differently. However here at least I think that it is composed in a way that "it could perhaps be played eventually" so here the remarks seemed proper to me.

 

oh, certainly proper and i dont really disagree with anything you said, i was just wondering out loud, the impetus for that being that i am these days concocting a fugue and i realized that parts of it would only be playable by someone with Rachmaninoff-sized hands, and do i fix it since i might only be the only person who will ever attempt to play it, let alone see it once it sees the light of day? maybe, after it is basically done as far as form and structure, i will revisit its playability. such revisiting might even perhaps lead me to put in notes not quite as objectionable and unmusical as those already present! 

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Just now, Advanced Blowhard said:

oh, certainly proper and i dont really disagree with anything you said, i was just wondering out loud, the impetus for that being that i am these days concocting a fugue and i realized that parts of it would only be playable by someone with Rachmaninoff-sized hands, and do i fix it since i might only be the only person who will ever attempt to play it, let alone see it once it sees the light of day? maybe, after it is basically done as far as form and structure, i will revisit its playability. such revisiting might even perhaps lead me to put in notes not quite as objectionable and unmusical as those already present! 

 

continuing...i find it intriuiging to consider the possibility that some works might only be able to reach the true heights for which they are capable if they are composed in such a way as they are actually unplayable. i am not talking about, for instance, works put together using synthesizers or related/similar approaches that cannot, by the virture of their very construction, be played. Would it be possible to modify a fugue from the Art of Fugue in such a way as it will then be considered not only unplayable  but also of a relatively greater musicality? I am sure Bach could have done it but surely not I. idea: it is easy and cheap to publish works on the net, perhaps it is time to start releasing both playable and unplayable versions. sounds kind of loony but also kind of a funny idea. this isnt going to work for actual sheet music, the market for purchasing unplayable music must be very small indeed regardless of its relative value!

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20 minutes ago, Advanced Blowhard said:

continuing...i find it intriuiging to consider the possibility that some works might only be able to reach the true heights for which they are capable if they are composed in such a way as they are actually unplayable. i am not talking about, for instance, works put together using synthesizers or related/similar approaches that cannot, by the virture of their very construction, be played. Would it be possible to modify a fugue from the Art of Fugue in such a way as it will then be considered not only unplayable  but also of a relatively greater musicality? I am sure Bach could have done it but surely not I. idea: it is easy and cheap to publish works on the net, perhaps it is time to start releasing both playable and unplayable versions. sounds kind of loony but also kind of a funny idea. this isnt going to work for actual sheet music, the market for purchasing unplayable music must be very small indeed regardless of its relative value!

 

That is more of rather a philosophical question to me (because there'd must be solved e. g. problem whether musicality has the piece automathically when composed, or if it's there only when performed, because what is the point of works on their biggest possible theoretical height, when it is impossible to actually hear them performed. Perhaps only by some computer generator, where the actual presence of the musical art is at least to me quite questionable). But here's another though; if You want just to improve the piece (fugue) from the "composers point of view" (like adding some engreatening elements that are unplayable) and keep it somehow playable at the same time it is still possible to simply add more instruments (I reckon there is still no fugue for 12 harpsichords 🙂).

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On 2/12/2021 at 6:53 AM, HoYin Cheung said:

Dear Friends,

I don't mean to abandon my own style here, but I treat my recent work (including this one) as an experience.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy this piece! Much appreciated.


And hello to you, new friend. This will only be a "drive by" for the moment as i can already smell this morning's bacon crisping up in the oven. Them's good eating.

Sometimes if you abandon your style you end up with a better style. Sometimes not in which case you have to run expectantly back to the original...or run maddingly away seeking pastures much different and beautiful. Just some random comments here, not a response to your work as presented here or elsewhere.

I did enjoy it, will revisit again as well as seek out more.

Bacon time, 'bout the only thing I can think of more important than organized tone.

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On 2/12/2021 at 9:01 PM, Bělásek said:

Hello,

I don't have much to say about the fugue itself, some disonant chords and transpositions to different keys is for me a bit unusual, but not necesarilly bad. My main remark is, that it is often almost or completely unplayable, good example is measure 24, whre it is physically impossible to stretch hands that much. I don't know how much are You familiar with harpsichord, but the thing here is that You don't have pedals to keep the tone sounding, so if You want the phrase to be going and sounding good and You need there to sustain some longer notes (so it'd "make sence in polyphonical way"), You must write it so the player can hold all keys needed, which here is, in some places, not accomplished. That's why there are often only 3 voices, when writing fugue for harpsichord; write it for four or more is of course possible but really hard to do properly and it is more common in organ playing, where You can use pedals as another voice.

 

I can definitely see the judgement there on the playability and musicality of moden-day compositions (especially of music like mine). Yes, there are some moments that are unplayable at first sight. But I truely believe, there are some ways such as broken chords to mitigate the problem, which can be assumed/adopted by the performer even it is not notated explicitly. And the main point here is to reserve the musicality as good as possible. It is not uncommon to see small-handed pianists/ string players to break down chords that are "unplayable", and I think that concept is analogous to normal players playing Rachmaninov work. 

12 hours ago, Advanced Blowhard said:

certainly very reasonable remarks but upon encountering such, my mind always returns to an internal debate/discussion/AKA-the-usual-rambling that is continual in there as in others, re: in this day and age when so much music and things referred to as music can easily be created on a laptop with many many gigs of sample content and in view of the fact that it is at least possible that no one is ever going to come the length of a piano close to things i have concocted, i will be damned if i am going to wonder if someone somewhere is going to some day cramp out a pinky playing it while reaching for a b flat or even more, cramp out a pinky finger after NOT playing it like while, maybe, i dont necessarily know, buttering their piece of nice tasting albeit not all that nutritional butter and honey toast. ok, i am being a bit facetious here and hey, all that (previous drivel) is just me, i realize that, truly i do...but maybe you catch my drift? maybe not (oh the horror, the horror!)?

 

I have to be honest here: I have not played Harpsichord before. But I did listen and watch harpsichord performance trying my best to comprehend the instrument. And without an access to harpsichord and performers I unfortunately fall into "midi composer" catagory you referred to. Despite this fact, I do cherish the sound quality of the harpsichord and I decided to write a work for it. I actually find it a bit prohibiting and I see it as a loss in my journey of creativity, if I cannot jot down my musical idea (perhaps not nutritious at all) just because I don't have access to my instruments. And it is always a dream to find a performer to realise my music, get feedback from him/her and fine-tune the work on a trial-and-error basis. It can be true, in general, when you are pursuing larger works like orchestral pieces. Therefore, I humbly asked for comments here to perfect my music. 

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10 hours ago, HoYin Cheung said:

I can definitely see the judgement there on the playability and musicality of moden-day compositions (especially of music like mine). Yes, there are some moments that are unplayable at first sight. But I truely believe, there are some ways such as broken chords to mitigate the problem, which can be assumed/adopted by the performer even it is not notated explicitly. And the main point here is to reserve the musicality as good as possible. It is not uncommon to see small-handed pianists/ string players to break down chords that are "unplayable", and I think that concept is analogous to normal players playing Rachmaninov work. 

It is possible to use broken chords indeed. I didn't mean to question whether it is "somehow playable", but whether within playing is it (or is not) possible to lead phrases throughout the polyphony properly. Because at some points (and especially in that tempo) it seemed to me like there wasn't possibility to do that in order it still sounds good. There is a kind of discusion within "academicians" (but also harpsichordists) whether shall we use historical instruments or modern instruments (and maybe even how modern harpsichords should be like). And I presume, that whereas on historical instrument the elements player would have to do will sound bad, on modern instrument it could be better. And I of course don't see Your deeper intensions in this work and how do You think about the structure of the piece, but in my view it seems that these elements that player shall have to do will cause kind of damage to the polyphony.

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15 hours ago, HoYin Cheung said:

Therefore, I humbly asked for comments here to perfect my music. 

 

Comments are good....maybe that is all that we have time for with our busy lives...but in depth study of a piece followed by detailed conversation would be better for learning, thinking and of course actual discussion. I only have one piece on YC at the moment, f,or piano perhaps we could do a discussion exchange? Actually I will soon post a new work (actually a new thing i stumbed upon, wasnt all that much actual work involved.

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On 2/21/2021 at 6:49 AM, Bělásek said:

Fair enough. 

 

Point of order: I admit that at least one small reason why I posted the two-messages back above was so that I could introduce and use - wow, both at the same time! - the phrase "cramp out a pinky finger". I will guaran-damn-tee that no one speaking at least a fac·sim·i·le of the English language has 
EVER said that before. So yeah, while I don't always tend to heap loads of praise on those musical works of mine that reveal most (read "all")  of my utter brilliance and musical bon vivant-edness, I do like to, on occasion brag on my ability to "turn a (new) phrase". Damn, talk about cramping out a pinky, I spent 20 minutes with Mr DuckDuck go figure out the spelling and proper use of those two!

Carry on.

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On 2/21/2021 at 6:49 AM, Bělásek said:

 music emotion/other possible stuff expression fundamentally

 

 

On 2/21/2021 at 6:49 AM, Bělásek said:

Fair enough. I agree that today this endeavor might be a bit meaningless in some ways. And that music can be seamlessly composed in practically any way. But at least for me is music emotion/other possible stuff expression fundamentally; so personally I wouldn't compose something like this purposely because I don't like it but I respect it and understand, that someone can see it differently. However here at least I think that it is composed in a way that "it could perhaps be played eventually" so here the remarks seemed proper to me.

 

I might not "compose" things that like that but I do sometimes stumble upon them. Japan in 2014 kept job from the states but had lots of spare time while my colleagues a half a day away worked away so noodled away into PianoTeq some notes and that software records everything you play and hey wonder what that would sound like if I played it back which i did while adding some reverb and delay and what not without any pre-thought to settings, later bringing the recorded midi into Sibelius Miss Sib as I call her mangled it or otherwise did not interpret it correctly wondered what THAT would sound like personally liked the original version of WhyDoesTheWindThroughWaterFlow and decided to combine the two which you can hear elsewhere in this forum - oh joy. 

To recap: noodled, added reverb/delay, let Miss Sib do her thing, combined the two, joy. 

Re: joy. I quite like the result of all of that aleatoric-ness, the cross rhythms, blending of harmonies, semi-jazzy-jaunty qualities and since I only noodled and added reverb, the result is more (or at least as much) due to chance than any other human-induced gestation, including myself. So, yeah, sometimes I get lucky - whether or not someone else might feel lucky to hear it is up to themselves, of course.

Oh, btw...why does the wind through water flow???

 

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On 2/12/2021 at 6:53 AM, HoYin Cheung said:

quite resemble Fuga from Bach's Violin Sonata No.3 (unintentionally lol). 

 

So this fugue of yours adopted the style of Bach perhaps of its own accord? 

It is certainly true that fugues have the ability to go off of the rails into territories perhaps better left unnavigated. Of course that is also true of works written to embody the style and design of other forms but given the stark nature of the basic fugal form, any rails-off-going is much more noticeble than in a piece written in, say, sonata form where such flights of fancy are sometimes expected - and apparently in the mind of some composers to veritably encourage them to the utter chagrin of at least one person in the listening sphere; I am of course referring to various piano sonatas in Beethoven's middle period and my reactions to same. Oh, but enough about me, lets discuss about you.

You seem to be trying to direct your style in a specific direction, something that is often a good process in which to engage. I wonder if in this endeavor that you endeavor a specific style or are you completely, or almost, concerned with only the characteristics of the piece, its specific harmonic choices, melodic direction, rhythmic interest, etc etc into those other things that constitute musical interest and then you let whatever style emerge that does emerge?

This fugue as written reveals that you have good command not only over the fugal form that it embodies but also over its various constituent parts such as those I mentioned above. What it does not seem to have to my listening ears is your own specific personality unless you be a person of middle 1700s descent now beamed into the modern age trying to deal with musical elements that you theretofore had not encountered but doing so competently. Not necessarily anything wrong with that, it gives your piece a nice baroquey feel with an aura of modernism overlying it. But does it cause me to want to put it on my turntable instead of Bach? Maybe that is unfair, not many of us would come out "ahead" there.

If I were to find myself in the position that you appear to me to be in, then I would try to rectify that by getting in touch with my own inherent musicality first and only then move on to the actual selection of constituent parts. I am not saying that you are not in touch with all that but only that that is what I would do. Which texts, treatises, scores did you consult in learning the contrapuntal elements? I used to have a whale of a time attempting canons, often perfect one at various interval levels after studying Fux.

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