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So my school is trying out a new program this year based off of a suggestion I brought forward, by starting a jazz choir. I figured I'd help cement it a little bit by bringing some arrangements and compositions forward so that they'd have something to sing. Tl;dr, here's my first choral composition, any constructive feedback is greatly appreciated!

https://musescore.com/user/23555571/scores/5669696

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Hi Austin,

Thanks for posting, I've briefly looked over the score and like it very much - good fun to sing. Maybe (just maybe) for completion sake you could add a bar at the end with a slow sliding 'Doo-wah'

Best,

Stephen

Hi Austin,

There is nothing wrong with your tune, although it strikes me more as rock than jazz. Is this the complete piece? It seems to end rather abruptly.

Gav

It's a nice catchy tune, but I agree that the ending is too abrupt.  It needs some kind of conventional ending marker, like slowing the tempo and/or raising the voices.

The notation needs work.  There should be dynamics and preferably expressive instructions, like "Cheerily." There should be a tempo mark at the beginning, syllable lyrics extending over two or more tied or slurred notes should have underscores after them, and there are probably other things that should be done.  I'd recommend going over it with a standard musical notation guide/

I like the ending. Fun and unexpected. This is not a serious traditional piece. I get it.

There's only one place where underscores might be needed. Not a big deal. You mix up staccato and short notes. This can be a problem in notation software because sometimes staccato playback is what you want, and sometimes shorter note playback is what you want, depending on the font. For real singers, consider one or the other. 

Ha! It's brilliant, I must disagree with some of my fellow composers about the ending. Any longer and it would sound like it's taking itself too seriously. However, may I recommend that you split the tenors and basses from the altos and sopranos on the last note and give them a F instead?

Thanks! I wasn't entirely sure how to end the piece, because I'm not exactly familiar with a lot of choral work, but I'll definitely take that into consideration. In the end, I think it's going to be decided by the singers and how they prefer the ending.

Austin

Stephen Lines said:

Hi Austin,

Thanks for posting, I've briefly looked over the score and like it very much - good fun to sing. Maybe (just maybe) for completion sake you could add a bar at the end with a slow sliding 'Doo-wah'

Best,

Stephen

Hi Gav,

The piece is meant to feel a bit more pop-rock like than jazz, just for variety's sake, because the other songs we've put together are arrangements of jazz classics and standards. I'm not entirely certain if it's complete yet, simply because I was thinking of adding a bit of a solo section for any interested members, but until the group meets I'm keeping it out of any drafts.

-Austin

Gav Brown said:

Hi Austin,

There is nothing wrong with your tune, although it strikes me more as rock than jazz. Is this the complete piece? It seems to end rather abruptly.

Gav

Jon,

Thank you for the reminder. I'm kind of embarrassed that I didn't consider putting expression marks and dynamics in at first, and I ran to do so when I read your comment. So far for the ending, I'm planning on doing two different version of the song, with and without a traditional ending, and I'm planning on letting the group decide. Thank you again for the reminder about basic notation stuff!

-Austin

Jon Corelis said:

It's a nice catchy tune, but I agree that the ending is too abrupt.  It needs some kind of conventional ending marker, like slowing the tempo and/or raising the voices.

The notation needs work.  There should be dynamics and preferably expressive instructions, like "Cheerily." There should be a tempo mark at the beginning, syllable lyrics extending over two or more tied or slurred notes should have underscores after them, and there are probably other things that should be done.  I'd recommend going over it with a standard musical notation guide/

Hi Bob,

For right now I have staccatos in the notation software to get the right kind of sound, just for playback purposes. I'm planning on going over the piece with the vocalists to see if that notation is right for the piece or not. Thanks for the feedback!

-Austin


Bob Porter said:

I like the ending. Fun and unexpected. This is not a serious traditional piece. I get it.

There's only one place where underscores might be needed. Not a big deal. You mix up staccato and short notes. This can be a problem in notation software because sometimes staccato playback is what you want, and sometimes shorter note playback is what you want, depending on the font. For real singers, consider one or the other. 

Hi Claude,

Thanks for the vote of confidence in the ending! I'm not entirely sure about splitting the parts, as the unison gimmick was kind of what I was going for, but rest assured that I'll test it out and get some feedback from potential members of the group on what they like best!

-Austin

Claude Werner said:

Ha! It's brilliant, I must disagree with some of my fellow composers about the ending. Any longer and it would sound like it's taking itself too seriously. However, may I recommend that you split the tenors and basses from the altos and sopranos on the last note and give them a F instead?

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