Composers' Forum

Music Composers Unite!

     This piece has two good ideas taken not from Holst, but from members of the forum.  Bob reminded me of why I liked the sound track to 2001 A Space Odyssey,  the opening fanfare of Richard Strauss's Zarathustra.  The rest of the movement has a theme which contains all twelve notes of the chromatic scale.

     Another member, whose name I can't remember, the guy with the saxophone, posted a nice piece in 7/8 time.  So the main theme of this piece played by the horn, contains all twelve notes of the chromatic scale and is in 7/8 time.  Actually I put it in 7/4 time to avoid using 64th notes.  The former piece had 7 even beats.  This piece has the standard 3 beats followed by 4 beats.

     It depicts Curiosity Rover the robotic jeep that was launched by NASA in 2012 and is still making tracks in the red dust of Mars. The recurring theme represents Rover facing adversity yet plowing through onward and upward.  It keeps on going and going and going longer than the energizer rabbit.

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      You seem to be saying that musicians will change your score over your dead body.  I always wondered why Mozart died at age 34.
Dave Dexter said:

Personally, the concept that musicians have veto over my own intent in a piece is pretty destructive. If I've got something wrong, sure. If I can benefit from their experience, sure. If they're giving up their time, or if they've acquired the music to play at a concert, whatever, I can't complain. But if, in-session, they will actually ignore me because they think their interpretation is more accurate, valid or plain better? Well, there are plenty more session musicians.

Most of the examples of pieces played differently don't really fit this scenario - established pieces, often with the composer dead, far more freedom to approach as desired because so many recordings already exist. If I write a piece today to be played tomorrow, especially if it's for a specific purpose, I want it done as I intend. It's not vanity and it doesn't inhibit creativity.

Bob Porter said:

So, then you say that the answer is for the composer to mark his scores as much as he can so that the players will know how his music should be played. To me that is the height of vanity and a destroyer of creativity. I have heard many versions of the same piece of music, both live and on recordings, that, while they differ greatly, are still great to listen to.

Haha! So Mozart died because somebody tried to change his score? Never heard that one before. Good one! :-P

As for my comments / nitpicks on your score -- I'm coming from the angle of scoring for symphony orchestra; if you're scoring for band, then many of my comments wouldn't be applicable. Also, it seems clear that your score wasn't intended to be the final product, but a sketch or draft which you'd adapt to various different instrumentations depending on the ensemble that will be performing it. So my comments about the exact numbers of instruments wouldn't apply either. I was coming at it from more of the mindset of writing for a symphony orchestra with a more-or-less fixed set of instrumentations, which therefore entails more precise handling of timbre / instrument balance by controlling exactly which and how many instruments play what.

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