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I was just listening to some of the dances I've composed when I realized that I don't yet have a Sarabande written so I decided to write one!  I wrote this in basically like two days on paper.  A Sarabande is a slow dance originating in Spain.  It's usually in binary or variations form, without any pick-ups, in 3/4 or 3/2 meter and stresses the 2nd beat.  I hope you enjoy this one as I had fun writing it!  I've been told it modulates somewhat unexpectedly sometimes - but I didn't intend to keep it strictly Baroque by any means.  I just wanted to preserve the dance rhythms and write something that could actually be danced to.  Thanks for listening and I'd appreciate any feedback you're willing to give!

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Very elegant! It's a lot like when romantic composers dabble in baroque forms, producing very interesting results. I like it. I just wish it had some more diverse dynamics than just mf-f, but perhaps you were planning on adding more later?

Anyway, nice piece! I enjoyed it very much!

Edited by Theodore Servin
"introducing results"?
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5 minutes ago, Theodore Servin said:

Anyway, nice piece! I enjoyed it very much!

Thanks!

5 minutes ago, Theodore Servin said:

I just wish it had some more diverse dynamics than just mf-f, but perhaps you were planning on adding more later?

No - unfortunately I just didn't write any dynamics into this piece besides the obligatory balance of the various voices.  I'm somewhat happy with how the piece turned out even without dynamics.  I think I am used to not necessarily having dynamics in these dances because the dynamic range of various instruments that would usually perform them was either non-existent or miniscule (such as the lute and harpsichord for example).  Although I guess I could have given some of the phrases more meaning by including crescendos or decrescendos.  I know my Gavotte in C does have dynamics and it's much improved thanks to them so I should probably have thought about dynamics when writing this piece.  Anyways - thanks for listening and for your comments!

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Really enjoyable! The piece is indeed a good one to dance to! The unexpected modulations did not bother me at all and I think the whole piece flowed really nicely. In my case, instead of variety on the dynamics, I missed  some variety in the rhythm during the second part (like some few bars in which tension was created by an instrument playing consistently in 32nd notes). Really nice and impressive that you composed it so fast! 

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11 minutes ago, JorgeDavid said:

Really enjoyable! The piece is indeed a good one to dance to! The unexpected modulations did not bother me at all and I think the whole piece flowed really nicely.

Thank you for your kind comments!

11 minutes ago, JorgeDavid said:

In my case, instead of variety on the dynamics, I missed  some variety in the rhythm during the second part (like some few bars in which tension was created by an instrument playing consistently in 32nd notes).

You're right that Sarabande's being usually so slow, include much more written out ornamentation using 32nd and sometimes even 64th notes but that usually happens in the instrumental versions of the dances that don't try to preserve the dance rhythms and instead use the dance forms to create new pieces for a given instrument that don't sound very dance-like (at least in my experience).

18 minutes ago, JorgeDavid said:

Really nice and impressive that you composed it so fast!

What I didn't mention is that I spent the last 2 weeks searching aimlessly and with a dearth of inspiration for the next thing that I might compose.  I am glad that I have a large variety of different dances to fall back on (there's also plenty of dances one could compose that aren't part of the traditional Baroque Dance Suite such as the Tango or the Equadorian Pasillo ... and then there's the more ancient dances like the pavane, galliarde etc.)  One could also try to modernize the old dances somehow .. ???  Anyways - I'm glad I just found something to compose!

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Hi, Peter. I like your Sarabande. The surprising modulations are cool. At times the bass moves parallel to the melody which obscures its independence imo. I took a closer look at the theme and reduced it to see more clearly the voice directions and came up with two alternatives. I wonder what you think,maybe the parallel motion was on purpose to help give the music that character of shifting register and modulation?

Peter_20210404_105616_(001).jpg

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17 hours ago, Papageno said:

I wonder what you think,maybe the parallel motion was on purpose to help give the music that character of shifting register and modulation?

No I didn't intend there to be parallels (I assume you mean the parallel 5th's?) - I didn't notice that when I was composing/listening to it.  Later on there are some parallel octaves between 1st violins and violas in measure 9 and 10 which I think still sounds fine (that I did intend).  I think parallel 5th's aren't as serious an infraction though especially since it happens so momentarily.  Actually there's parallels scattered all over the piece now that I'm taking a look at it more critically LoL.  In measure 4 beat 2 there's hidden parallel octaves between the 1st violins and violas.  I definitely didn't intend the piece to be a perfect specimen of counterpoint - I'm not even sure if I'm deliberately making it Baroque - I just wanted to write something that is in the character of a Sarabande and could actually be danced to although my harmonic language does still seem like it leans heavily on the Baroque era.

I think both your alternatives are pretty good as far as avoiding those parallels goes - have you ever written for string orchestra?  Measures 13 and 14 would still have parallel octaves between the bass and the 2nd violin part and measures 21 and 22 would have parallels with the 2nd violin and viola part - still only momentary though.  If you want to play around with it some more - be my guest!  I try to not second guess myself too much though although it's possible that there could be a more "perfect" version of it possible to be found if I decided to revise it.  I think for me it's important during the process of composition to put the "rules" in their place and just compose with an abundance of inspiration.  Anyways - thanks for your time and I hope you compose some other Baroque dances besides the minuet!

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Great work! I love baroque dances and suites, when they are treated in the baroque way, but also when it is seen from a contemporary prism. 

Sarabande in Spanish is Zarabanda. I did some research because I wanted to write a Spanish Baroque Suite, and apart from popular dances taken by the great composers, there are many others (Zorongo, Fandango, etc...).

Your piece seems to go a bit quick but I think it's OK. Regarding dynamics, I also think it's right, because in the baroque crescendo and diminuendo were not invented yet. I haven't analyzed it exhaustively but if there are parallels, they don't bother at all. In fact, the first part seems to use heterophony  ("a type of texture characterized by the simultaneous variation of a single melodic line. Such a texture can be regarded as a kind of complex monophony in which there is only one basic melody, but realized at the same time in multiple voices, each of which plays the melody differently, either in a different rhythm or tempo, or with various embellishments and elaborations". In this context, even the bass and the upper voice can be seen as doubling voices.

The most famous Zarabanda in those times was the Spanish Folia..., with a fixed harmonic pattern. This has been used even in the 20th century (Rachmaninov, Ligeti).

Greetings.

Luis.

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