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Good evening everyone! I'm ready to present a new piece I have been working on for the last couple of months or so: Adagio for Orchestra. It’s a relatively short piece, not as large in scope as some of my other works I have posted here. Admittedly I’ve had a little bit of writer’s block recently, so I toned things back quite a bit and instead focused on simple themes and experimenting with an expanded orchestra, including Euphonium and Saxophone with the usual instruments. I'm interested in any and all constructive feedback.

I had a few goals in mind as I composed this, feel free to chime in on how well I accomplished them:

  • Focus on simple, memorable themes.
  • Experiment with orchestration, using auxiliary instruments to create some unique textures.
  • Integrate Euphonium and Saxophone with the rest of the orchestra.
  • Write something that would work as a middle movement of a larger work, such as a symphony.

The piece is loosely structured in a binary form with repeat (ABAB).

  • (0:00 - 1:09) – Introduction. Euphonium solo that is passed between and elaborated by other members of the winds, punctuated by sweeping string lines. Most of the thematic material from the piece is extracted from this opening solo.
  • (1:09 – 2:41) – A Theme. A melancholy dirge carried by a bell-like ostinato played by harp, celesta, and piano, with rustling tremolo in the strings and an eerie chant in the winds.
  • (2:41 – 5:00) – B Theme. A floating theme first presented by the oboe then embellished by the strings to the first big outburst of the piece. Material from the A Theme is elaborated here, then the strings carry the oboe theme to a new momentary high, before settling back into the recap.
  • (5:00 – 7:11) – A Theme recap. The dirge returns, this time building to a euphoric climax, then drifting away into the upper register of the woodwinds and strings.
  • (7:11 – 8:13) – B Theme recap. This time the clarinet sings the theme. I experimented with some polytonality/polymodality/whatever-you-want-to-call-it with the chords in the horns, trumpets, flutes, keyboards, and harp. I’m curious how well I pulled this off.
  • (8:13 – 8:38) – Coda. Return of the Euphonium solo, this time drifting off into silence to end the piece.

As usual, I have few specific questions I would like specific feedback on. Feel free to answer as many or as few as you wish:

  • What effect does the music have on you? Does in conjure up an image? Or an emotional feeling? Does it tell you a story? This can be the piece as a whole, or a specific part or parts.
  • What was your favorite part? What was your least favorite part?
  • Do you have any comments or critiques on technique, e.g. harmony, melody writing, counterpoint, orchestration, voice-leading, etc.?
  • How do you feel about the overall form? Is it effective?
  • How well do you think the euphonium and saxophone are integrated with the rest of the orchestra?
  • How do you feel about the harmony in the B theme recap (the nondiatonic chords against the melody in the clarinet)? Is it effective?
  • Do you have any comments of the quality of the performance in the audio file? I really want this to be a decent representation of how the piece would sound if it were performed live, since it is unlikely it ever will be. Feel free to put your "conductor hat" on and critique the "orchestra".
  • I have included a score and welcome any constructive feedback on its presentation. And if you're like me it's a lot more fun to follow along with the score.
  • Are there any composers this reminds you of, that I might enjoy listening to?

Sound libraries:

  • Spitfire Symphonic Orchestra and Spitfire Percussion
  • VSL – Eb clarinet, Bass clarinet (in the intro only), Alto sax, Bassoon (for the solo only), Bb Trumpet (for the solos only, and some reinforcement in louder sections), Euphonium, Piano

Thanks for listening, I hope you enjoy! If you liked something I did and want me to explain how I did it, feel free to ask as well.

-gmm

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This piece gives me Tchaikovsky Symphony No.2 vibes (EDIT: I actually meant to refer to Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 1) especially in the introductory euphonium solo and when it's followed by the clarinet soli.  Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 2 (No. 1) is subtitled "Winter Wind" ("Winter Daydreams") and that association holds true for this piece as well at least in my mind in the beginning.  Later when the piece develops it doesn't sound quite as wintry.  The string tremolos in the beginning feel "chilly" to me.  I like how when the dirge returns and builds to a climax it still sounds mournful.  I think you pulled off the polychords in the B theme recap really well!  The way you sustained those juxtaposed polychords gave me "Back to the Future" vibes though - don't know if that is something you might want to avoid.  The first time the B theme bursts through (3:29) makes me think of some great nature documentaries like "Planet Earth" - it could be used to great effect to accompany images of panning up a mountain range and finally breaking through over the precipice to witness the landscape exposed below.  The slow builds in this piece are exquisite and the harmony is constantly fresh.

On 3/20/2021 at 9:41 PM, gmm said:

What effect does the music have on you? Does in conjure up an image? Or an emotional feeling? Does it tell you a story? This can be the piece as a whole, or a specific part or parts.

The music makes me think of nature and natural landscapes such as sheer overgrown rock faces and trickling waterfalls.  The introduction and B theme are especially apt for that.  I can imagine the A theme as accompanying someones slow and laborious climb up a giant cliff/mountain.  Either that or it could portray the struggles of an animal as it searches for food.

On 3/20/2021 at 9:41 PM, gmm said:

How do you feel about the overall form? Is it effective?

I think the form works really well and the polychordal section is really well placed and creates a sense of wonder/puzzlement before ending the piece.

Even though I have looked at the score when I first heard this piece - the above remarks were all pretty much made without the score as I focus better on how the music makes me feel without looking at the score.  That is pretty much it for now although if something else comes to mind I'll make sure to chime in!  Thanks for sharing and great job!

Edited by PeterthePapercomPoser
Fixed Tchaikovsky reference
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I love this so much.

A lot of the members here could learn a lot from you with how you develop thematic material. I can't remember the last time I heard thematic development executed so clearly at this site. Not one single note felt out of place, as the opening theme was stretched and manipulated and bent with your fine compositional craftsmanship to fill the entire orchestra. You're a master at taking a fragment of music and giving it a metamorphosis into something otherworldly. There are loads of color throughout; no instrument felt like it was more important than the others. Lovely execution of the sax and euphonium, I'd say their inclusion was an experiment of success.  

The polytonality was a treat too. It needed that, as it gave your music the sense of wonder and dissonance I felt was necessary. The low brass and low strings to start the two A sections were probably my favorite spots; they gave a touch of darkness or something like that to balance the romantic/pastorale feel. The melody seemed to float above the orchestra in the winds, and the harp/piano/celesta trio was gorgeous underneath all the interplay of melodic evolution. The lush chords were superb, and the climactic spots were perfect. 

I know you weren't going for a stand alone piece, as it definitely felt like a middle movement of a symphony, and reminded me of Beethoven. Not in compositional style or material, but to me he had a gift of creating exciting outer movements while filling in the middle with something majestic and sublime, even with hints of the foreboding to capture a unique and wholesome beauty. Your attention to detail is admirable, and the artistry you provide us all for free is something I'm very thankful for. 

I tried hard to find something critical to share, as I gave this multiple listens to find something I could offer as "advice for future compositions." If there is anything, and as cool as the rhythmic section was at bar 22 and elsewhere, I felt maybe you could have explored a variation in the kind of pulse it gave. It's hard to say though, as I hope you attach a 1st and 3rd movement to this. Also, I know you went through tons of development with the melody by tossing it around the plethora of instruments you have, but the b6-5-1-b3 theme to me was the glue of the melody, and possibly giving it a sharper rhythmic twist might be something that would work. For instance, maybe those four notes as eighth-dotted quarter, eighth dotted quarter. Or maybe take the three grace note type rhythm and tinker those notes with that a bit more. Again though, with your intention of this being a middle movement, it would depend on what you're doing with outer movements. Maybe the static pulse is just what the listener needs, and as is, works just fine the way it is. Honestly, I just didn't want this comment to be me gushing over how much I've enjoyed this. 

Overall, you continue to capture my attention with each composition you give us, and surely deserve a standing ovation of praise. As always, I look forward to your future works, and consider your music to be the bar when I tackle the orchestra. It's rare that I search for members music to listen to out of enjoyment, as if this is some kind of Spotify where I'm lucky enough to be able to chat with the artist that moved me, but you're one of the few. Congratulations on a work well done, and thanks for sharing. If you're ever able to publish your music, let me know so I can be the first for my signed copy. :grin:

- #1 gmm fanboy

 

Edited by Thatguy v2.0
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I love it. I absolutely love it. I am consistently amazed at the quality of your music, and this Adagio is no exception. The way you put this piece together is really something special, the balance between proportion, emotion, and musical inventiveness is just perfect. I've listened to this piece about 5 times now, and I'll listen to it 100 times more! Count yourself as one of the top composers on this site!

On 3/21/2021 at 12:41 AM, gmm said:

What was your favorite part? What was your least favorite part?

In general, my favorite part was the first B theme section. I'm in love with it all: the melody, the textures, and harmonies were just gloriously used, especially at bars 52-55. It was an eargasm I was experiencing, as they say lol. I absolutely love the arpeggios in the piano and harp, such an underrated texture, that I'm shocked hasn't been historically used more often. I don't really have a least favorite part in this piece.

Oh, and I also liked the solo string lines in the recap of the A theme, that is quite a beautiful moment.

On 3/21/2021 at 12:41 AM, gmm said:

Do you have any comments or critiques on technique, e.g. harmony, melody writing, counterpoint, orchestration, voice-leading, etc.?

If there's anything I would add, I might put in bars 69-70 a large arpeggio in the piano and harp, a bigger one than the previous arpeggios , as a sort of "grand close" for that section, because I think that would make the closure of the B theme even more satisfying, at least it would for me personally.

On 3/21/2021 at 12:41 AM, gmm said:

How do you feel about the overall form? Is it effective?

I thought it worked well, especially as a slow movement for a symphony, like you were suggesting. In particular, I can imagine the opening introduction work as a sort of reference to a theme or motif that could (hypothetically) be used extensively in the first movement. And of course, the overall form worked well proportionately speaking. Nothing felt out of place at all.

On 3/21/2021 at 12:41 AM, gmm said:

How do you feel about the harmony in the B theme recap (the nondiatonic chords against the melody in the clarinet)? Is it effective?

It was quite beautiful, to my ears. It's a very creative way to harmonize melodic lines, and you utilized it beautifully in the ending of the piece. I'm trying to utilize it a bit in my own music, it's a useful tool, great for emotional mystery. So yes, I would say it's quite effective, and especially against the clarinet 😄

On 3/21/2021 at 12:41 AM, gmm said:

How well do you think the euphonium and saxophone are integrated with the rest of the orchestra?

I liked how you used those instruments. The saxophone used as a melody was special, like how when an English horn is used in a symphony for a lyrical line -type special. I think those are great instruments to use in an orchestra. I always think of the first movement of Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances when thinking about saxophones in an orchestra.

As a bonus, and I know you weren't asking for commentary on this, but I also liked how you used the celesta. It was a very unique and exotic sound it produced when used in this manner. It was beautiful and mysterious.

On 3/21/2021 at 12:41 AM, gmm said:

Do you have any comments of the quality of the performance in the audio file? I really want this to be a decent representation of how the piece would sound if it were performed live, since it is unlikely it ever will be. Feel free to put your "conductor hat" on and critique the "orchestra".

I thought it worked out well. I could easily imagine a real orchestra performing this as I was listening to your MIDI rendition, you do a great job of balancing the volume levels of the melodic lines and harmonic ones!

On 3/21/2021 at 12:41 AM, gmm said:

Are there any composers this reminds you of, that I might enjoy listening to?

This reminded me a lot of Ottorino Respighi, as I thought a lot of the brass textures (as well the use of the contrabassoon), were quite similar to how he orchestrated his "Pines of Rome" and the "Church Windows", particularly the last movements of both. Even the melodic shape of the A theme has as a similar solemnity to those Respighi movements. I'm also reminded of the "Winter Daydreams" Symphony by Tchaikovsky, in the introduction like @PeterthePapercomPoser said, but also in the B theme, particularly the use of the cellos having the melodic line, which Tchaikovsky uses in the 2nd movement; that's actually one of my favorite pieces of all time.

I'm also reminded of "national school" Russian composers like Lyadov and Ippolitov-Ivanov, who both have some very atmospheric works for orchestra, like the "Melancholy Song" of Lyadov's 8 Russian Folksongs and the "In the Village" movement of Ippolitov-Ivanov's "Caucasian Sketches" suite no. 1. Also, the trills remind me of this Myaskovsky symphony movement:

But don't let my many comparisons detract from the fact that your creative originality is present all throughout this Adagio. Your style is very beautiful and recognizable, and I love it!

Also, if @Thatguy v2.0 is the #1 gmm fanboy, then please count me as the #2!

Edited by Theodore Servin
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@PeterthePapercomPoser thanks for your kind words and review!

On 3/21/2021 at 5:24 PM, PeterthePapercomPoser said:

This piece gives me Tchaikovsky Symphony No.2 vibes (EDIT: I actually meant to refer to Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 1) especially in the introductory euphonium solo and when it's followed by the clarinet soli.  Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 2 (No. 1) is subtitled "Winter Wind" ("Winter Daydreams") and that association holds true for this piece as well at least in my mind in the beginning. 

Thanks for the comparison! Admittedly I'm not nearly as familiar with Tchaikovsky's Symphonies as I should be, this makes me want to check them out.

On 3/21/2021 at 5:24 PM, PeterthePapercomPoser said:

I think you pulled off the polychords in the B theme recap really well! 

Thanks, I'm glad you thought so!

On 3/21/2021 at 5:24 PM, PeterthePapercomPoser said:

The first time the B theme bursts through (3:29) makes me think of some great nature documentaries like "Planet Earth" - it could be used to great effect to accompany images of panning up a mountain range and finally breaking through over the precipice to witness the landscape exposed below.  The slow builds in this piece are exquisite and the harmony is constantly fresh.

Great, I'm glad it painted such a vivid image!

 

On 3/21/2021 at 5:24 PM, PeterthePapercomPoser said:

I think the form works really well and the polychordal section is really well placed and creates a sense of wonder/puzzlement before ending the piece.

That was the idea: create a bunch of dissonant tension before the nice relaxing chord at the end.

Thanks again for your thoughtful review! Your tireless listening and feedback are a large part of what makes this site a great community for budding composers.

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@Thatguy v2.0 hey Vince, thanks for the listen, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

18 hours ago, Thatguy v2.0 said:

A lot of the members here could learn a lot from you with how you develop thematic material. I can't remember the last time I heard thematic development executed so clearly at this site. Not one single note felt out of place, as the opening theme was stretched and manipulated and bent with your fine compositional craftsmanship to fill the entire orchestra. You're a master at taking a fragment of music and giving it a metamorphosis into something otherworldly. There are loads of color throughout; no instrument felt like it was more important than the others. Lovely execution of the sax and euphonium, I'd say their inclusion was an experiment of success.  

Thanks for noting the thematic development, that's something I'm trying to work on alot. I'm glad you like the sax and euphonium as well.

18 hours ago, Thatguy v2.0 said:

The polytonality was a treat too. It needed that, as it gave your music the sense of wonder and dissonance I felt was necessary. The low brass and low strings to start the two A sections were probably my favorite spots; they gave a touch of darkness or something like that to balance the romantic/pastorale feel. The melody seemed to float above the orchestra in the winds, and the harp/piano/celesta trio was gorgeous underneath all the interplay of melodic evolution. The lush chords were superb, and the climactic spots were perfect. 

Thanks! I'm glad you liked these things.

18 hours ago, Thatguy v2.0 said:

I tried hard to find something critical to share, as I gave this multiple listens to find something I could offer as "advice for future compositions." If there is anything, and as cool as the rhythmic section was at bar 22 and elsewhere, I felt maybe you could have explored a variation in the kind of pulse it gave. It's hard to say though, as I hope you attach a 1st and 3rd movement to this. Also, I know you went through tons of development with the melody by tossing it around the plethora of instruments you have, but the b6-5-1-b3 theme to me was the glue of the melody, and possibly giving it a sharper rhythmic twist might be something that would work. For instance, maybe those four notes as eighth-dotted quarter, eighth dotted quarter. Or maybe take the three grace note type rhythm and tinker those notes with that a bit more. Again though, with your intention of this being a middle movement, it would depend on what you're doing with outer movements. Maybe the static pulse is just what the listener needs, and as is, works just fine the way it is. Honestly, I just didn't want this comment to be me gushing over how much I've enjoyed this. 

Thanks for the feedback, rhythm is definitely something I want to experiment with more. I will keep this in mind going forward.

18 hours ago, Thatguy v2.0 said:

Overall, you continue to capture my attention with each composition you give us, and surely deserve a standing ovation of praise. As always, I look forward to your future works, and consider your music to be the bar when I tackle the orchestra. It's rare that I search for members music to listen to out of enjoyment, as if this is some kind of Spotify where I'm lucky enough to be able to chat with the artist that moved me, but you're one of the few. Congratulations on a work well done, and thanks for sharing. If you're ever able to publish your music, let me know so I can be the first for my signed copy. :grin:

You're far too kind, I'm just happy to share my music with other like-minded musicians. I'm glad you enjoy it!

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18 hours ago, Theodore Servin said:

I love it. I absolutely love it. I am consistently amazed at the quality of your music, and this Adagio is no exception. The way you put this piece together is really something special, the balance between proportion, emotion, and musical inventiveness is just perfect. I've listened to this piece about 5 times now, and I'll listen to it 100 times more! Count yourself as one of the top composers on this site!

@Theodore Servin thank you very much, that's very nice of you to say!

18 hours ago, Theodore Servin said:

In general, my favorite part was the first B theme section. I'm in love with it all: the melody, the textures, and harmonies were just gloriously used, especially at bars 52-55. It was an eargasm I was experiencing, as they say lol. I absolutely love the arpeggios in the piano and harp, such an underrated texture, that I'm shocked hasn't been historically used more often. I don't really have a least favorite part in this piece.

Oh, and I also liked the solo string lines in the recap of the A theme, that is quite a beautiful moment.

Thanks, I'm glad you like all of those parts!

18 hours ago, Theodore Servin said:

If there's anything I would add, I might put in bars 69-70 a large arpeggio in the piano and harp, a bigger one than the previous arpeggios , as a sort of "grand close" for that section, because I think that would make the closure of the B theme even more satisfying, at least it would for me personally.

That's a really good idea, that makes me want to go back and add this actually. Thanks for the suggestion!

 

18 hours ago, Theodore Servin said:

It was quite beautiful, to my ears. It's a very creative way to harmonize melodic lines, and you utilized it beautifully in the ending of the piece. I'm trying to utilize it a bit in my own music, it's a useful tool, great for emotional mystery. So yes, I would say it's quite effective, and especially against the clarinet 😄

Thanks, I'm glad it works well! I'm trying to use it more as well. I've never been a fan of the more extreme styles of dissonant music, but I'm finding using it in moderation is a useful tool for the toolbox.

 

18 hours ago, Theodore Servin said:

I liked how you used those instruments. The saxophone used as a melody was special, like how when an English horn is used in a symphony for a lyrical line -type special. I think those are great instruments to use in an orchestra. I always think of the first movement of Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances when thinking about saxophones in an orchestra.

As a bonus, and I know you weren't asking for commentary on this, but I also liked how you used the celesta. It was a very unique and exotic sound it produced when used in this manner. It was beautiful and mysterious.

Thanks, I definitely drew some inspiration from Rachmaninov on the saxophone. And for the euphonium I found it helpful to think of it as an extra tuba, when not using it as a solo voice. 

I'm glad you liked the celesta too, I wanted to experiment with using it in the lower register, since it is often used to add color to higher woodwind and string lines.

18 hours ago, Theodore Servin said:

I thought it worked out well. I could easily imagine a real orchestra performing this as I was listening to your MIDI rendition, you do a great job of balancing the volume levels of the melodic lines and harmonic ones!

Thanks, I'm glad it was convincing!

 

18 hours ago, Theodore Servin said:

This reminded me a lot of Ottorino Respighi, as I thought a lot of the brass textures (as well the use of the contrabassoon), were quite similar to how he orchestrated his "Pines of Rome" and the "Church Windows", particularly the last movements of both. Even the melodic shape of the A theme has as a similar solemnity to those Respighi movements. I'm also reminded of the "Winter Daydreams" Symphony by Tchaikovsky, in the introduction like @PeterthePapercomPoser said, but also in the B theme, particularly the use of the cellos having the melodic line, which Tchaikovsky uses in the 2nd movement; that's actually one of my favorite pieces of all time.

I've actually been studying the middle movements of Pines of Rome recently. I've never heard of "Church Windows" though, I will have to check it out. And as mentioned above I'll look into the Tchaikovsky symphonies as well.

18 hours ago, Theodore Servin said:

I'm also reminded of "national school" Russian composers like Lyadov and Ippolitov-Ivanov, who both have some very atmospheric works for orchestra, like the "Melancholy Song" of Lyadov's 8 Russian Folksongs and the "In the Village" movement of Ippolitov-Ivanov's "Caucasian Sketches" suite no. 1. Also, the trills remind me of this Myaskovsky symphony movement:

Thanks for the suggestions! You always have recommendations for really good, but lesser known composers. I will check these out!

 

18 hours ago, Theodore Servin said:

But don't let my many comparisons detract from the fact that your creative originality is present all throughout this Adagio. Your style is very beautiful and recognizable, and I love it!

Also, if @Thatguy v2.0 is the #1 gmm fanboy, then please count me as the #2!

Thanks man, you're very kind! I always appreciate your thorough reviews and insightful feedback.

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2 hours ago, Advanced Blowhard said:

so how did you do it...no, no, no...i don't mean all that...what i want to know is...how. did. you. do. IT? From where and how did it come? This mystery of music, this mystery of life?!?!?

Well, one day the opening euphonium solo popped into my head, so I wrote it down. From there I just tried to build the rest of the piece off of material and motives from that opening solo.

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55 minutes ago, gmm said:

Well, one day the opening euphonium solo popped into my head, so I wrote it down. From there I just tried to build the rest of the piece off of material and motives from that opening solo.

 

the one piece that i ever thorough composed was done in that way, my fugue becomes Three Part Invention piece here somewhere on YC. come up with a short theme, hmmm, what is a nice counter subject? add that in, next we know the second entry comes in at (this time) a fifth below - was not necessarily try to follow an exact fugal recipe although did that at times - now an interlude before third entry which we  know will be back in the tonic, all the while not throwing in any out of place dissonances or rhythms and then play back what i have so far, either in my head or on audio and hmm...what do i hear in my head now as next continuation and so and so forth until the piece was done, astonished to find out that some of the rhythms of the theme appeared in later passages without my knowledge but had stuck with me to come back later. i lay all of this out in order to ask you if you followed a similar "method", not that there is anything methodical in your Adagio. i suppose many composers follow such a process at times but many of them have ideas about what they want to do throughout a piece, i, due to limited experience, would not have been able to architect all that out anyway.

i wish there was a forum here on YC whereon YC-ers would describe their compositional process  in full, would be nice to have a lot of that in one place and not just spread out all over the YC "stacks". i always find that subject fascinating and helpful to boot as far as being able to *compose* music instead of  noodling it all out on a keyboard, not that there is anything wrong with that - I actually resemble that remark.

All YC-ers, in  lieu of said form, perhaps post here instead. just a thought.

 

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3 hours ago, Advanced Blowhard said:

i lay all of this out in order to ask you if you followed a similar "method",

I'll try to lay out some of the creative/thought process. Below is the Euphonium solo with several important motives indicated.

image.thumb.png.af3596173a01b693cb385d8de59e93c6.png

The first idea I extracted from this is indicated by "C", which is used to generate the sweeping string runs:

image.png.d12af852c0b3d97b14a987f40ccf49c0.png

The clarinets mimic the opening solo, but embellish it differently at the end.

The trumpet and trombone use motive "A", but inverted, (steps up become steps down, and vice versa), but instead of an exact inversion I maintained the shape while staying in the mode.

image.png.3e597d48884b8d63540af22160435cec.png

I used each of these motives to generate the next section, with the harp/celesta/piano ostinato, the "growls" on the low voices, the melody in the flute, and response in the bassoons.

image.png.4219ea8ce659a8297b439f69360be952.png

image.png.c3069dfd8e0d102d5f705689eae71ff7.png

 

This gave me enough material to develop the A theme. For the B theme, the oboe introduces an inversion of Motive "A", similar to the trumpets/trombones above:

image.png.84f56319c4db474ebfcb1869c7bf67a3.png

Which I embellished to develop the B theme. There are also references throughout the B section to the above motives that further the connection between them, for example:

image.png.6ad1871dd09df4b9d31b72163504f66d.png

Does the above make sense? This is a methodology I've been working on for a year or two now. The idea is to keep all of the ideas connected, while also giving a few techniques to generate new ideas, in order to avoid the "what comes next?" problem we all encounter.

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11 minutes ago, gmm said:

Does the above make sense

yep, sure does. i have not thought about this sort of process in any great detail but I know or seem to know that many composers do this type of thing with varying degrees of awareness. done well and this type of motivic development can result in similar but different passages throughout a piece and give it a cohesiveness that is either explicitly felt or subconsciously noticed. 

hey, maybe anyone and everyone who does this sort of thing could form a club called "Beethoven's-Be-Us", this appellation a tribute to that master of motivic development, good old Ludwig Van as that guy from A Clockwork Orange called him.

regarding the inversions, that is a method that might stretch the similar but different idea to a point where it isn't at all usually explicitly noticed but obviously that is ok. i have a Novation Launchpad which is often, I think, used by dance DJs to fire off various beats, songs, what have you with the push of a button on the pad. I have long entertained the idea of taking a given them, putting it onto a track and then create inversions, diminutions, retrogrades, etc. and fire them off on the fly but not only as individual melodic lines but instead also firing off things simultaneously in the context of invertible counterpoint. But as usual, I don't seem to have enough time for that. 

(one thing i also have apparently not had time for is to learn that the proper term is diminutions and not dimunitions; i have always thought of it as the latter when apparently it is the former. dim-min-yoo-shyuns, dim-min-yoo-shyuns...it just don't sound right!)  

the usage of motive C as little grace note ornaments: did you consider whether or not they would be explicitly noticed or not?

as far as planning out a movement (which you described to me elsewhere, I believe) the only thing i have tried in that regard is when writing a fugue: i always hope to be able to work in a stretto passage or two. sometimes you want all stretto entries to follow identical interval sequences but sometimes that isn't possible due to undesirable harmonic clashes so you need to make modifications leading to another similar but different scenario and perhaps sometimes more interesting than exact intervals.

gmm, thanks for laying out one of your plans of attack, i may have to try it one day in a piece if ever i have enough time.

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24 minutes ago, Advanced Blowhard said:

the usage of motive C as little grace note ornaments: did you consider whether or not they would be explicitly noticed or not?

It is a little subtle, but I think it's made easier to notice since the first time it occurs immediately after the solo. The violas echo the last notes of the euphonium, so the proximity should help make it more noticeable:

image.thumb.png.b2167623504ac09f54dbda4499ad2541.png

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after you finished it, when you went back to listen to it, did you notice things about it that you had really not heard before or perhaps even know existed? for instance a rhythmic similarity between two separate phrases or a million other possible things? Or perhaps the feel of certain sections is not something you had noticed at first, actually more specifically the feel of smaller moments, but that you picked up  on later. in my limited experience composing such ideas have sometimes occured to me. i suppose the number of possible associations of the notes in a given work is the factoral of the number of all notes, a very high number (maybe my formula isnt quite the right one) not all combinations are always noticeable, no one could possibly pick up on all of them but they can appear later; this is what have thought for some time but never really sat down and thought if it true or instead  just more of my drivel. I refer to the idea expressed in this drivel, if drivel it NOT be as "The Mystery in the Work", if it is drivel then we can just call it a bunch of crap!

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6 minutes ago, Advanced Blowhard said:

after you finished it, when you went back to listen to it, did you notice things about it that you had really not heard before or perhaps even know existed? for instance a rhythmic similarity between two separate phrases or a million other possible things? Or perhaps the feel of certain sections is not something you had noticed at first, actually more specifically the feel of smaller moments, but that you picked up  on later. in my limited experience composing such ideas have sometimes occured to me. i suppose the number of possible associations of the notes in a given work is the factoral of the number of all notes, a very high number (maybe my formula isnt quite the right one) not all combinations are always noticeable, no one could possibly pick up on all of them but they can appear later; this is what have thought for some time but never really sat down and thought if it true or instead  just more of my drivel. I refer to the idea expressed in this drivel, if drivel it NOT be as "The Mystery in the Work", if it is drivel then we can just call it a bunch of crap!

 

Yes I have moments like this from time to time. Where I go back and find that I actually used a motive in a place I didn't notice before, but also works very well creatively. I don't think I had any big moments like that when I was writing this. But I did notice that I used the triplet grace note motive to ascend upwards and build tension throughout the piece, while in the last few bars the clarinet uses it descending as a punctuation to end the whole piece. I didn't notice that as I wrote this, but I think it's kind of fitting that the same motive used to create tension throughout the piece is used to release tension at the end.

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28 minutes ago, AKAChristopher said:

can you print this PDF on your end?

it exceeds the page width over here.

anything special about its format?

enquiring score analyzer wants to know and also to print out the darn beautiful thing.

 

It's set up as concert size (9" X 12"), so I actually can't. I couldn't get everything to fit neatly on 8.5 X 11.

You might be able to just scale it to "fit to page", not sure how readable it would be though.

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