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I've starting composing a religious piece of music. I'm still has to be completed but I really enjoyed creating this today. I have tried to keep a sense of continuity in the piece by using a lot of repeating rhythms much like Vivaldi does in his sacred vocal works. The chords are not accurate but you still get an idea of where I am going with this piece, I hope! i would learn harmony if I had time, I wish i could use 7th chords properly.

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It's supposed to start with God then turns to the Devil at the modulation, he is like a trickster and very persistent - the baseline rhythm represents his continual persistence to turn one to do bad sins. The ascending B, F#, C# and B arpeggio tells us that the Devil tries to destroy everything good in this world...The modulation is fast and unexpected because emotions are very fluid and one can easily change from good to bad very quickly. However God's power overrides that of the Devil and wins the battle when the piece returns to D major. I am an atheist but I do like Sacred music even if I don't understand it's meaning/purpose.

Fredrick zinos said:

What sort of "religious" mood are you trying to invoke?

You mean to say there is a lot of cliché in my piece? Some may say Vivaldi's music is fluffy and naive. I agree with your criticism but I think if handled correctly, this piece has potential. The rhythmic motif in the bass at measure 12 is repeated throughout the piece, which gives the piece a sense of cohesion, unlike most of my other attempts. I think that the sudden transition from D major to B minor could be very effective if handled carefully, especially the  ascending F#, B, F#, D, F#, F# motive because it fits well with the reoccurring bass motif by juxtaposing God and the Devil, which is what my piece is intended to do.

I'm not as intent on creating a Baroque pastiche as I once was, partly because of my lack of understanding for its counterpoint. I enjoy composing music, but for some reason, I can't compel myself to sit down and learn the theory because I think it's too mundane a task. I am however, starting to think that I should at least familiarise myself with the basics but I feel this would be a constraint to me. There are so many rules to take into account, it would be very difficult to actually create something because one measure of music might be flawed, but what if you LIKE it nonetheless.

There are many different reasons which could explain why parallel seconds are needed. One of which is the idea that anything other than parallel seconds would imply perfection exists, or at least tries to, which would be lying. Throughout the piece, the harmony is close to being functional and that it cannot be for this reason. Had I chosen notes of the triad, the music would sound as though God himself had written it. I think it is important that, as human beings, we recognise that to have such divine sounding music, we must be alongside God in heaven, and that we are not. So I think to have these imperfections makes the music a shattered reflection of what it should be and Earth is a shattered reflection of heaven. Music like this is intended to be a sacrament or offering to God, communing that we recognize that we are lesser minions of God vacating his dominion: Earth. From what I hear in Vivaldi's music, there is an underlying 'need' or yearning, yet there is an overwhelming recognition of our place in this world. Vivaldi, unlike Bach, realises that we are lesser beings of God and nothing can change this, despite an 'insatiable need to' but Bach tries to elevate us onto the same standing as God with the assumption that a route to the divine is possible. I think this is due to Vivaldi's use of 7th chords and counter melodies, and Bach's crystalline counterpoint.

I like the dissonance in this piece because you would expect to hear crystalline counterpoint, but you don't and instead you hear something that is not perfect in the Baroque sense. This flawed harmony tells me that although God is divine and such, he himself is not perfect, as much as Sacred music tries to depict, especially Bach's music. One could say that Bach was mocking God by trying to be of the same standing and in fact, Bach was known to have problems with authority because of his antagonistic behaviour. On one occasion he got himself into a brawl with a Bassoonist because one particular measure was too difficult for them to play, perhaps impossible to play even. Bach's life was littered with event such as this. In his old age, he was aghast when a headmaster of a local school attempted to eradicate music from the curriculum and so Bach called him 'Drektor' which is a pun on 'Rektor' meaning 'dirty ear'. So although I appreciate the magnificence of Bach's music, I think that his music tells me that he aspired to sit on the throne of the Divine, alongside God in heaven, which no human being can do, nor has the right to do because we are God's puppets and he our puppeteer. The difference is, Vivaldi's recognises this whereas Bach does not. In other words, Vivaldi knocks on the gates of heaven, awaiting an answer from God, yet never receives one. Bach, however, arrogantly strides through the gates, thinking he is God's equal and therefore, takes the leap of faith Vivaldi could never take. I'm an atheist and religion isn't something I know about, but their sacred music is still enjoyable to listen to given its uplifting spirit.

What is perfect music? I don't agree with the widely believed notion that harmony and counterpoint should be adhered to at all times because I don't think that they are necessary in creating effective music. People's idea of music is subjective but I recognise that the most popular way to convey musical ideas is through the medium of harmony/counterpoint.

Part of the excitement comes from not knowing any rules of theory and just hoping that everything fits together as it should, though in this piece, because of its intended complexity, I have failed for the reasons you put but I also had these thoughts at the back of my mind but the excitement of creating the music suppressed any kind of rational criticism like this, which is why forums like these are very valuable.

 That said, this piece reminds me of music you'd hear in some Slovakian fairground. It reminds me of a merry go round. 



Kristofer P.D.Q. Emerig said:

Although a cheap and dirty method of making a piece sound artificially good, like there's actually content, I have a few reservation excessive arpeggiation, unless handled masterfully.

First, it usually results in music which sounds fluffy and naive. Second it's a fertile bed for some of the most atrocious contrapuntal blunders imaginable, if not handled thoughtfully.

Just a few examples of the myriad possible glitches which could be addressed: m30 three consecutive parallel 2nds, then leaping to a perfect interval. Consecutive parallel octaves such as those in m35 abound. I could on, and comment on each measure, but the commentary would be lengthy and tiresome. This is not counterpoint in any Baroque sense. No rule against that, by the way, but you seem fixated upon simulating that historical style, or, perhaps not.

I like the energy. The harmony could move a bit more.

I could envision long tones held while the melody moves around.

There's a burning in there you have to bring out, I think.

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