Composers' Forum

Music Composers Unite!

Originally this was composed for Spanish Guitar with Castanets accompaniment. Receiving feedback from a CF expert (i.e. Socrates) it seems that the guitarist would have to grow another couple of fingers or so to play it. So here it is for piano - it's clearly supposed to have a very Spanish feel about it, hence the complex rhythms and choice of harmonic structure - can anyone make any recommendations as to how it might be orchestrated? Maybe it sits OK as it is - or it could be arranged for two or more guitarists or solo violin with lower strings accompaniment or whatever.

Comments, criticisms, advice - all would be welcome.

Many thanks for taking the time out to listen.

Adios! La Alcaidesa

Adios%21%20La%20Alcaidesa%20Piano%20-%20Piano.pdf 

Views: 162

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

It's a pleasant and listenable piece of music, but I really got the impression it should have been played on guitar -- I suspect even if you hadn't told us it was originally scored for guitar I would have asked, "Why isn't a guitar playing this -- it sounds like a piano trying to sound like a guitar."  And it cries out for castanets.

By coincidence I'm currently having a similar problem -- working on a song for which I wanted a simple chord-strumming guitar accompaniment, but since I don't play guitar, I don't know what chords are possible.  When scoring for a string instrument I can consult orchestration books to see what multiple stops are (at least theoretically) possible, but all the specifications I can find for possible guitar chords use the numbered-finger diagrams, and I don't have the knowledge to translate these into standard notation  with any confidence.  So I too gave up and scored it for piano.

Sadly I don't have the time available to study classical guitar to a level that will enable me to write for it comfortably. I'm hoping that a kind soul with sufficient knowledge might pop out of the woodwork and offer to do it for me!

The original with castanets sounded like a one-legged donkey trundling aimlessly around a courtyard - all a bit pastiche for my liking.

The people for whom I wrote it all seem fairly pleased and tell me they have danced to it around the clubhouse post-golf - so probably under the influence.

Job done then.

The resident CF expert on guitar is Socrates Arvanitakis - if he can find time I'm sure he'd advise you.

So little to be commented upon, Stephen. It goes along at a brisk, bright pace, panache, probably isn’t easy to play…there’s some tricky fingering there to play it with verve – thank you for presenting the score so I could see what’s expected! You’d also need pretty nifty wrist staccato!

Another accomplished work commanding attention – classical, might I suggest from the development you include?

Nice if you could arrange it for guitar. Has the vivacity of some of Moreno Torroba, Albeniz and the like but as your commenter says, not easy to play. Now, if Liszt had tried his hand at guitar….!

A pleasure to listen to. Thank you.

.

 

Liszt of course had fingers the length of the average lamppost and the dexterity of ummm - well, Liszt I suppose. Thank you Dane for your kind comments (again), I'm very pleased that you like the piece.

Dane Aubrun said:

So little to be commented upon, Stephen. It goes along at a brisk, bright pace, panache, probably isn’t easy to play…there’s some tricky fingering there to play it with verve – thank you for presenting the score so I could see what’s expected! You’d also need pretty nifty wrist staccato!

Another accomplished work commanding attention – classical, might I suggest from the development you include?

Nice if you could arrange it for guitar. Has the vivacity of some of Moreno Torroba, Albeniz and the like but as your commenter says, not easy to play. Now, if Liszt had tried his hand at guitar….!

A pleasure to listen to. Thank you.

.

 

Guys. May I suggest that if you don't know the instrument, don't write for it. 

I feel this piece would be successful as a full on piano piece. But not in this present form.

Jon, a guitar can play any chord you can think of, as well as some you can't think of. But if you want it to sound authentic, you can't just write a triad. You need to know what order and inversion is possible. If you are writing for real players, all the guitar player needs is the chord names if the part is accompaniment.

Thanks for the advice, I'll keep it in mind for my revisions.

What form do you suggest Bob? Is it fair for me to assume you're a pianist as well as a guitarist? I must admit I know nothing very much at all about fretted instruments but couldn't resist trying. It wasn't until Socrates commented that I came to realise guitarists' have only a mixture of ten fingers and thumbs just like the rest of humanity.

Bob Porter said:

Guys. May I suggest that if you don't know the instrument, don't write for it. 

I feel this piece would be successful as a full on piano piece. But not in this present form.

Jon, a guitar can play any chord you can think of, as well as some you can't think of. But if you want it to sound authentic, you can't just write a triad. You need to know what order and inversion is possible. If you are writing for real players, all the guitar player needs is the chord names if the part is accompaniment.

Nothing wrong with giving a guitar piece a shot. Did you happen to watch some players, or look at some guitar music first? 

Your piece could be for whatever instrument you want. I don't believe that music has to be flashy or complicated to be good. But it does have to fit the instrument and be well written.

Take the Moonlight Sonata. It is within the reach of an intermediate player. Yet it is one of the most beautiful pieces ever written. 

Computers give us the ability to do things previously impossible. That's a good thing. But the responsibility is still ours to write good music.  

Guitar was the instrument I know best, but even so if I decided to write for it, I would have my guitar in hand as I did so, to make sure the music was playable, not to mention interesting. I once did write songs, which I played on my guitar, but have never attempted "classical" work with it. I did attempt at one time to teach myself classical guitar, but gave up after awhile. A consequence of being a "natural" (that is, left-handed - lefties like to just pick things up as they go. The tedium of practicing made my head feel like it was going to explode.).

I used to try to make sure my harp parts were playable, but lately I have become slack in this, figuring that professional harpists, like other instrumentalists,  can do pretty much anything. This of course is not true. And in the unlikely event of that my music actually gets performed, I would of course get feedback and adjust accordingly. In the meantime, I just write what I hope is correct and sounds good.

The main issue with the guitar is that there are many ways to form a chord. you can do it "open," or with no "barring," at the bottom of the fingerboard. You can also form the same chord in several places higher up on the fingerboard, using your index finger as a bar, to give you the same chord but in different octaves and inversions, as Bob suggested. There are chord books that list literally hundreds of different chords, as complex as you want. Every kind of altered, augmented and diminished, 7th, 6th and so on that is possible to conceive of and play. Then there are harmonics...It's an extremely complex instrument. Those six strings and the huge range create almost infinite possibilities. So, to write well for it would require rather exhaustive knowledge of it. Failing this, it would be best to use it as a colorisitc instrument, strumming along in the background.

     Guys. May I suggest that if you don't know the instrument, don't write for it ... 

Interviewer: Doesn’t it embarrass you to see Bobby trying to learn how to play slide on stage?

Jerry Garcia: Um, yeah. But the point is, it doesn’t embarrass him.

I tried adding to my comment but it didn't save. Just wanted to point out that everything I said about guitar technique was in reference to the left hand (or right hand, if you're Bob Porter, Jimi Hendrix or Paul McCartney). But the hand that puts the strings in motion is also important, obviously. While untrained guitarists mainly strum, pick and finger-pick with two fingers plus the thumb, classical guitarists use three fingers plus the thumb, and maybe even the pinky. Personally, I used three fingers, one for each of the three nylon strings, and the thumb for the three lower strings. So, you have to think about both hands and at least 19 digits. Pianos are much easier, they're nice and linear. Guitars have that added dimension to deal with. both length and width, so to speak. Pianos just have length. If that's not excessively abstract, like my post about horizontal and vertical music. If it is just disregard as the nonsense it probably is.

anyway, nice music Stephen, although it is admittedly hard to aurialize it on the guitar. But it has hints of the Spanish style, especially in the triplets (although I thought they were somewhat excessive).

Ah yes, my avatar. I forgot. I am right handed. The photo is flipped around because I liked the composition better. As a matter of interest, though probably only to me, that guitar is one I built. What a hoot. But I don't write for guitar, nor would I profess to be very good at playing it. But I do know a bit about it. Michael, the only question I have about your harp parts being playable is that what if someone picks up your piece 50 years from now and finds it to be a head scratcher? 

I grew up as a instrumentalist in band and orchestra. Those are the instruments I know how to work with. Even so, I seldom write anything very difficult. Not so that lesser musicians can play it, but so that better musicians can make real music of it. Any hack, such as myself, might be able to play a chord progression, but a real player can play that same progression and make us weep. 

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Sign up info

Read before you sign up to find out what the requirements are!

Store

© 2019   Created by Gav Brown.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service