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This is an orchestration of a little something I wrote or piano. Pretty much the same 8 measures over and over.

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Bob, I liked this a lot.  I am a big fan of the descending chromatic circle of fifths progression and have stolen it myself on occasion...  Are you looking for specific feedback on this?


I think general impressions are fine. Unless, of course there is something, other than the score, that bothers you. As is usual with me, this is not the score I would hand to real players. Indeed, there are almost no articulations, as they don't always work in my software.

There are lots of things I could say about this piece. I feel it is much more successful as an orchestral piece. Piano is much too limiting for me. Not that my ideas are very good. 

But what I think doesn't really matter. I can explain my choices if you like. Mainly I'm happy you apparently didn't throw up. Another goal meant.

Thanks for listening

Hi Bob,

A few first impressions.

I like it! Very evocative beginning.

The beginning harmonic sequence and melodic fragments reminded me of Beethoven's 7th (Allegretto), which is one of my best Beethoven moments, but you do something quite different with it. I like the change to 6 flats/tempo change in bar 29 and to 1 sharp in bar 33 while the accompaniment takes momentum moving in quavers. Well-conceived!

When the voices come enter in bar 33 are not very audible. As there is only one melody moving in 8ves I would like to ask if you mean them for sopranos/tenors(?)

In bar 40 by using the imperfect cadence in Em, I think this tonality is fully and well established.

The instrumental section starting at bar 41 is a nice change providing contrasting lighter mood and I like the slowing down (b 44) before the tutti enter again with the choir and the first harmonic idea but accompanied with the faster figurations (semi-demi quavers - 32 notes). Since the choir takes up its harmonic function here, I would prefer it written in two voices per staff with up and down stems, as per normal usage.

It is not possible to comment any further at this stage. For all vocal pieces to me the text is of paramount importance. What is it all about? I think here the choir sample should be given much volume cause it is where the main interest should be and at present is struggled by the accompanying orchestra.

Of course the sound of wind and strings, I believe, would benefit enormously (whatever the playback resources) from articulations been clearly considered and given to the parts. So, I'd say, work towards that as a priority, before developing the composition any further. I liked the ending returning back to the first slower mood with the bells, but different in context.

All in all, the music is good and the stage achieved so far sounds very promising. Keep at it, you are into something very good!

Thanks, Socrates. Can I assume you didn't throw up,either?

Drat! I forgot about the choir part. It was a copy and paste from the original piano part. The transpositions were also an afterthought. Pretty sure there are sloppy accidentals as a result. You also probably don't want to know that I write viola parts in G clef, then change it afterwards. I'm too lazy to remember alto, or tenor for that matter.

There are no lyrics. The choir is an effect. I had some trouble balancing the choir with the orchestra. Trouble I didn't really overcome. There is too much going on at the same time, and a louder choir covered up the orchestra. A better solution might be a re-write.  

Sibelius reads many articulations, but not always slurs in every instrument. This is what I would most want. Horn slurs are read but not so strings. There is a legato release setting in the mixer that I probably need to work with.

What is this piece about? Don't know. I came up with the second 4 measures first just fiddling at the piano, which is something I never do. Then came the first for measures. Then I started with a piano in Sibelius. There is no story, as such. It will say something different to each of the four people who will listen to it.I had not intention of repeating the eight measures over and over. It just happened. 

I was going to use the original version in a video, but that fell through. I have no idea if I'll do more with this or not. I usually write something, and save it for later use, or not. 

Since the first few minutes sound methodical and labored to me but progressively gives way to a more natural flow within the 4th minute, I imagine the story to be about an orchestra of robots slowly becoming human. The only thing that bothered me was the subdued ending. I had expected it to end on a sudden big and dramatic chord.
Ah, I can see your point using the choir just for the beauty that human voices would give to the piece. In this context indeed no text is required and I'm all for it.
Regarding articulations, and since you are mainly a Sibelius user like me, I think that you would never use Sibelius sounds again if you had Note Performer as a playback option.
I followed/participated recently in a discussion about Sibelius vs NP playback. Not one user was in favour of Sibelius. NP is a liberating experience for people like us with no much in the way of fancy sound libraries.
You can follow the discussion here if you want.


I really like things that come full circle.


I visit the NP website every once in awhile. I must say that I dislike their algorithm. for realizing scores. But that might be just me. They tend to swell on notes of longer than a half note.  When I first listened to their samples some years ago, the trumpet sound on a Baroque trumpet concerto, was a very un-baroque jazz sound. Now if you listen to the same concerto, the trumpet is very dead and dull. If those are the best they can come up with..... What else have they skimped on. Sibelius sounds, on the other hand are very versatile. They are made to adjust to your liking. Most folks don't get it. The fact that Sibelius doesn't read slurs in all instruments I think is more a software problem and less a sound library problem. I have no issue with the sounds themselves. If you can realize one of my pieces in NP to my liking I could change my mind. Probably not enough to buy it. But who knows. 

Ok Bob, I don't mind giving it a go. I'll stick to your dynamics and i'll add articulations. It should be fun.

Just send me here a XML of this piece that I can re-load on Sibelius.

Hi Bob,

While I liked the concept and the progression, (reminded me of Beethovens 7th), I personally found some  issues with the scoring. For example, the octaves between clt and bsn at B16 and in similar fashion at b 24 between vla and vc, are weak in my view and might be better served with (at b16 say) the clt playing an f minim and e below the a flat. This would help clarify the harmony and fill the hole. Other options for the notes are also possible of course, but the octave is the worst imo. Whilst on that, the a flats should be a g sharp.

I also felt that at b21, one could give the wind a break and let the string tone take over to provide a welcome contrast. The tutti at b33-36 sounded cluttered and  lacking in clarity to my ears and I wondered if you had considered giving the brass a more holding role perhaps. The low horn quavers in particular don't feel right to me. Remember, one does not have to duplicate every available octave at climactic points. 

B 41 and following was really, really great and imaginative and a welcome development and I liked the soft ending.

It'd be interesting to see how you mark the score for players too, perhaps you could post it.

Just a few immediate observations for you to ignore at your leisure if you wish.


I always value your input. You can "let me have it" any time. As soon as I wrote the second 4 measures, I knew it sounded familiar. But I went ahead, anyway.  I admit to this being a copy and paste exercise. I did spend a little time trying to mix and match instruments and ranges, but I really didn't rewrite any parts. I did add the horn melody near the beginning. Other than that, it's pretty much straight from the piano original. I agree, too much doubling and not enough original working parts. I don't know if I'll do more with this or not. It will probably just sit until I want to use parts of it. Yup, G#. Actually the original had no key, or modulations. I have to say that had I originally written this for orchestra, it would have been a different piece in just about every way. Of course, the WWs and strings would not articulate every note in the second half. Although I'd have to do some thinking about just what I would do. As this piece will never see the light of day, I'm not really worried about it. I've never worked in this order. Piano to orchestra. I always just start with whatever the final group is to be.

Thanks again. 


Here ya go.


Thanks, Steven. Actually there is no counterpoint or development.


I spent years in college learning to write four part harmony with proper counterpoint and voice leading. I can do it all day long. 

In this piece there is no intentional counterpoint, harmony, or any of the devices we expect Only two unrelated motifs I had to fit chords to what I had written after the fact. It was originally written without a key signature, even though it is clearly in D minor. It might be a canon. It might be, who knows what. I'm not interested in categorizing it. I had no goal in mind. I had no idea that it would turn out the way it did. 

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