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Spooky Town

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Hello Guys,

This is my entry for a competition. The task is to compose music about this image. Click here for the competition's details, if you are interested!

What do you think about my composition? I attached a sheet of music, but this isn't the final version of it.


Edited by olivercomposer
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I think the scoring can be arranged in a more standard form, i.e. from top to bottom woodwinds, brass, percussion, and finally string at the bottom, because I am not quite used to seeing the strings on top and woodwind at the bottom. I see in the video link therevis a arrangement of the orchestral scoring. Maybe yoi can follow that too. Or is it a spooky arrangement of scoring?

I love how you modulate to A flat minor for spooky effect. Modulating according to hexatonic modes is quite effectively spooky. Can it also modulate to b minor and d minor to be even more spooky?

Can some passage be used to describe what happen inside the carriage? Maybe inside the carriage is warm and comfortable, thus providing contrast to the overall spooky atmosphere, for example you can F major the tonic major or the A major, hexatonic pole to provide the contrast? That's just my depiction of the picture.

I love the overall atmosphere you created. Good Job!

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Just not to repeat criticism, I find flute rapid notes very nice and a bit underused (though this might be not the best case for extensive developments). The piece is, well, a bit short to my taste since it seems that something wants to begin around 1:20 but it doesn't; the piece ends instead, but since it is required by the competition not to be longer than 90 seconds I cannot really complain, you've done good with the time given.

Regarding the sound, it's solid and I really like it. May I ask what kind of software/libraries have you used for it? I'm very much used to writing my music in paper or using engraving software but it seems that achieving proper sounding for orchestra (without actually hiring one) requires much more than musescore or similar software can produce in terms of sound...

Kind regards and thank you for sharing!! Hope you get into the finalists group at the very least!

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Thank you for your kind words Omicrong9! I used Presonus Studio One as DAW software, Notion 6 as notation software and a bunch of Kontakt sample libraries for example:

Modern Scoring Strings

Cinesamples - Cinebrass

Cinesamples - CineHarps

Orchestral Tools - Berlin Woodwinds

Project Sam - True Strike

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey I did this guy's competition last time! I wasn't able to this time, but it looks like fun. Maybe I'll post my entry...

If it were me I would try to create more variation between the first time the melody is heard at m.13 and the second time it is heard at m.21. It looks like the accompaniment is the same both times... Maybe drop the staccato notes in the strings and woodwinds down an octave the first time? 

Overall good work, I hope you do well in the competition!

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  • 5 weeks later...



   I really enjoyed this piece!    The scoring was effective---varied, logical in form, and set a clear mood.  My kind of music!  The modulation was a stoke of brilliance and really enhances the atmospherics.


        A few things that struck me-

          I might drop the horns in the opening statement and add them a bit later.     I see how you build and I get your choice.  This is just a subjective take.  A little softer in the opening and the listener will LEAN IN.  Tremolo strings, somber woodwinds--clarinets and bassoon...?.. You know where you are going.  Take your time getting there.

         I like the brass, but had the thought that the strings carrying the melodic weight for the major portion, with brass punctuating might have been at least as effective, then letting loose with the brass in the final statements.    After all, strings can do SPOOKY really well.   Brass sounds sort of more villainous than spooky to me...

         Other pointed out the length-- you have something really good here, why not stretch it out with a b section or 2nd theme--a full on overture?  ( I see this is for a competition----in which case--well done.  That said, I think the piece deserves a bigger footprint!)


     As Omicron stated--the flute and harp flourishes are nice---but I think you use each in that roll once!    


                    All this aside, I loved the piece.  Congrats. Hope to hear more from you!



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