Composers' Forum

Music Composers Unite!

Hello Colleagues,

In the past couple of years I've been working with traditional classical instruments, something which is new for me, I mostly write progressive-rock- and jazz- influenced piano music. Here is my latest venture along those lines. It is altogether a different prospect writing for an ensemble I have found than writing for a solo instrument, how one handles the interplay between instruments, the building of harmony, even the approach to melody, and I'm sure long-time composers of an orchestral bent could add to that list. In Blossom, I also was looking for a chance to test Finale 26 and NotePerformer 3.1, both about a couple of weeks old, and I composed the entire piece using those two programs. Unlike most of my compositions, which begin at the piano, this one began and ended at the computer, I don't think I could have done this before I started using NotePerformer, which creates in my estimation such a vastly improved output file that it gives me the kind of audial feedback I need in order not to have to resort to the piano to resolve anything. This piece also touches on a recent conversation here about AI, which since I didn't have anything to say pertinent to the thread, didn't comment on. I think the debate about AI touches on one aspect of how the computer has become part of our toolkit, not only in the realm of AI, but also in the realm of "Assistance," which is a lesser level of computer use than AI. In this piece, the viola is in the C Clef, but when I composed it I used the G Clef (Treble) and then just converted it to the C Clef. This way, I could compose using a familiar clef, and the computer assisted to move everything over to the expected clef. While AI is debatable, this is a more utilitarian/mechanical use of the computer which does not involve the computer making any decisions, and just made life easier. Score in the attached youtube and comments as always invited -

Views: 252

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

This is a wonderful first experiment Gavin. You seem to have mastered the two programs very well. You are ahead of me in that I'm just now beginning to get into the notation end of things as it pertains to classical music. 

You mention the interplay between instruments.  One almost needs to pre think that interplay. I doubt most of us have intricate interwoven parts dancing around in our imaginations all day. Maybe a few here do.I would be curious what your initial directives were here? Did you determine the mode you would make this in first? I like to at the very least have an idea and a mode on mind. Everyone seems to do things just a bit differently.

The video is a great addition to the music and really clarifies what's going on. Well done! 

With regard to AI. I guess it's all up to the composer. I personally see nothing wrong with utilitarian functions to make a job easier. You still made the song the way you wanted to make it. JMHO.

Thanks so much for listening Timothy and glad you enjoyed! I started out with the inspiration of "Astronomy Domine," which is on Pink Floyd's first album, "Piper at the Gates of Dawn." It begins with a single repeated note like I did. Other than that, I let the piece come forth naturally, as it made sense to me. As far as mode, I started off with a Black-Sabbath-like heavy metal sound, but the direction of the piece largely went elsewhere, though it does have the whole tone progressions common in rock music (e.g. Ab -> Bb -> C). I didn't pre-plan the interplay of instruments, just wrote in the moment. I also ran it by some composers more familiar than I am with strings and they had some great suggestions about getting the instruments to interact with each other more effectively. The video took a bit of effort. There's no way to create it from Finale, so I used a built-in video/screen cap function of the Macintosh. Thanks again for your comments!

Gav

Very Nice Gavin,

Reminds me of this Scarlatti (after the intro, begins at 1:36)

Thanks Saul! I like the link you posted!

You're Welcome, Gavin.

Keep up the good work...

Hey Gav, this is a cool blend styles to my ear, I hear classical figures and contemporary melodies and progressions in a nice mix.  Sound is good too!

Thanks so much for listening and your comments Ingo! I could never have produced that sound without NotePerformer, what a difference!

Gav

I loved the whole composition, it was consistent throughout.  Especially liked the marcato repeated note opening, it drew me right in.  Also, starting at M. 42 the whole note melody in the 1st violin on top of changing, surprising harmonies underneath threw me in a pleasant way, then resolved nicely.  

I'm impressed with Note Performer; listened to some comparisons online between NP and regular Sibelius (unmixed).  I never write in score myself, having traveled many years down the DAW path, but I can hear what a big difference it can make for score writers.

I noticed what I assume is a mistake around 41-48 in that the cello when arpeggiating a Cm is playing Enat instead of Eb. Unless you intended for the cello to clash with the higher strings which are unambiguously minor.

Hi Emily, thanks, glad you liked! I do like to approach harmony in unconventional ways, ways which might stretch the idea of consonance. It's something I mostly picked up from jazz, where just about anything seems possible through extended chords. I am myself fairly new to NotePerformer, having used the default sounds that come with the Finale notation program for years, and NP is head and shoulders above that. It's actually helping me to be a better composer! Thanks again for your comments -

Hi Charles, nope, not a mistake, was intentional to run C against Cm. The cello is far enough away from the other instruments in register that the clash I hope will be perceived as I intended - that there are two separate sound streams going on at the same time, and that the overall effect is pleasant even if it stretches the idea of what is consonant. Whenever I do things like that, I realize not everyone may agree on whether or not it's a good idea. Thanks for your comments -

Gav

Yes, it is certainly amazing what a computer can do. Who could have expected that a few decades ago. And the development continues, we are not ready yet. What will come next, what is still missing? Would be very interesting to hear your opinions.

And this quartet, Gav, is also amazing, very nicely written with a lot of articulations which the computer so nicely reproduce. Of course we all want our music to be performed but it is not for certain that it would sound better. The state of art for digital music is today very high as is so nicely demonstrated here. And for a listener the experience may be just as great, depends heavily on the musicians of course.

Well done Gav.

Kjell

Hello Kjell,

Thanks for listening and for your comments. As to my opinion as to what is still to be developed, I am hard-pressed to come up with an answer. NotePerformer is such a dramatic improvement to Finale that it has enabled me to do things I couldn't do before. For example, I composed this entirely at the computer, where in the past I would have had to resort to the piano to be sure I am getting the sound I am looking for. I've also sped up as a composer because of this. In the week past posting this, I composed another quartet, which I'll post here eventually, and am working on a third one! I think humans will always sound better in the end, but as far as composing is concerned, this is already good enough!

Thanks again for your kind and thoughtful comments -

Gav

Kjell Prytz said:

Yes, it is certainly amazing what a computer can do. Who could have expected that a few decades ago. And the development continues, we are not ready yet. What will come next, what is still missing? Would be very interesting to hear your opinions.

And this quartet, Gav, is also amazing, very nicely written with a lot of articulations which the computer so nicely reproduce. Of course we all want our music to be performed but it is not for certain that it would sound better. The state of art for digital music is today very high as is so nicely demonstrated here. And for a listener the experience may be just as great, depends heavily on the musicians of course.

Well done Gav.

Kjell

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Sign up info

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

Store

© 2018   Created by Gav Brown.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service