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Symphony no. 2 introduction


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This is what I have so far of the introduction of my second symphony. The whole symphony is going to be in one movement. Feedback is greatly appreciated 🙂

 

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Kickstarter Project for Music Jotter begins May 10th. Write music on the web or desktop computer.
Has Midi Scrubbing & Easy Tuplet Entry.
Get BIG discount as a Kickstarter supporter. No monthly subscription fees. Follow the campaign today!

Hey man,

Pretty cool intro you have here. I find it kinda hard to comment on an introduction though; it's hard to say I like this or don't like that when I can't explore the whole vision. But as it stands, here's some thoughts:

I like the sense of drama you're creating. You have some moments that are lush and striking, like when you added the harp texture with the violin melody, soon to be taken by the winds. I also like how you're taking advantage of different colors the orchestra has to offer, like when the trumpets played with the opening triplet motif in the waltz section. 

Your piece also felt cohesive. You transitioned pretty well to different sections, as it never felt like a mash up of ideas. 

However, overall I felt like you took your ideas and just repeated them into the ground. The section at bar 20 felt obnoxiously long, and even though you did change the chords they were playing, it wasn't until bar 46 that we got some reprieve with the added suspense with the trombones (cool touch though). Same with the theme I mentioned with the harp and string melody. I love the progression, the descending bass was really powerful. I just think you stay too long on an idea without giving it variation. The overall vibe of block chords can be tiresome to the listener, so maybe think about how you'd like to make your already nice chord progressions a bit more varied from block chords. You've got the whole orchestra!

You do afterwards present that theme in an almost double time fashion which was nice, and then I liked the major key that followed, but we were yet again met with more block chords. I feel like you could maybe get away with that, but with the full color palette of the orchestra at your disposal, some variation in tone color would help. I wasn't too into the waltz theme, but like I mentioned earlier, hearing snares and trumpets play over a lighter tonal character was pleasant.

The brooding dark string chords at the end were awesome. It definitely was a suspenseful cliffhanger and a very fitting end to what I'm excited to hear next. 

In general, I think your themes were present throughout and made use of compositional technique, but just reconsider how you're using repeated sections. Great start so far, it's daring to try your hand at using a full orchestra. 

On 1/30/2022 at 7:13 AM, Tom Statler said:

Well, hats off to you for having the determination to complete a full 4 movement work, and the courage to post it here for comment and feedback. It’s too bad that the first commenter felt free to snipe at your effort without even listening to it; that’s not typically a way to earn respect for one’s opinions.

I did listen to your entire symphony. That said, I’m not going to listen a second time. It’s clearly a beginner’s effort and a learning exercise. My advice would be to call it done (I agree with your decision not to make changes), set it aside, and begin to work with smaller forms to develop your skills. Here are some things I’d suggest you work on:

1. How to craft a melodic line. With a couple of exceptions, your melodies are just little patterns that don’t go anywhere. If your intent is to write in the classical-romantic tradition, you need to figure out what makes a melody and what makes a developable theme.

2. Types of polyphony other than melody-and-accompaniment. The vast majority of your symphony consists of little melodic-like-patterns against a block-chord accompaniment. This just gets tiresome.

3. How to develop a musical idea. A symphonic movement is long because it takes that long for the material to be developed and for the composer to say what needs to be said. Your symphony has, to my ear, about 8 minutes of content stretched out to 47 minutes by repetition. Repetition is NOT development.

4. An awareness of what real instruments, played by real humans, can and can’t do. Your second movement scherzo has some potential, but your tuba player has died of hypoxia before it’s half done. The rest of your brass section expires in the finale. You don’t gain credibility by being that conspicuously unaware.

I don’t want to pile on any more or be discouraging. I also once tried to write a symphony, long before I knew what I was doing. I finished the opening movement and a little bit of a scherzo. The experience taught me that I had a lot to learn about symphonies, but that it was learnable. It’s possible that I know what I’m doing now, but I actually don’t think I’ll ever write one, mainly because the expectations of audiences have changed so much. 

Also, I echo Mr. Tom. I think writing smaller pieces to practice counterpoint and what the instruments are fully capable of is paramount in getting better at your craft! Keep up the good work

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