Composers' Forum

Music Composers Unite!

Gav brought this up in his ballad thread. I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on this, and expand it beyond his piece.

A few ground rules.

1. I'm kind of tired of my topics going to the "Useless Drivel" pile. A few of you that are still here think you know why that happened, but you are dead wrong. If things go south, I'll pull the plug myself, and file a major complaint.

2. If you think this question is too broad, too bad. 

3. I know everyone has interesting things to say about this, so feel free to speak your mind, about this topic, that is. I have no problem with spirited back and forth. But please, put on your Big Boy pants.

I'm actually more interested in what other people have to say about this than sharing my own views, but I'll start things off, anyway.

We are all here for different reasons, and we have vastly different interests and skill levels. A million years ago I studied music ed and composition. I never used either one in real life. I bought Sibelius in 2007, and picked up composing, again, but this time just for the fun of it. And it is fun. Even when this forum tries to rob me of it.

Just because I compose for fun and have no plans to make any money from it, doesn't mean I don't take it very seriously. 

I think it is hard to write any music, fast or slow. That's not a cop out. That's a fact. If you thinks it's hard to write slow music, I think it has more to do with the fact you may just like fast music better. Maybe that's what you listen to most, so that's what makes sense to you. Maybe you think slow music is boring, so of course you might not think you have the tools to work with it.

Maybe you prefer a good chorale. There's just too many notes going by in a presto.

For me, the quality of a piece has nothing to do with the tempo, except that the music has to be crafted for that tempo. Good music is about putting down a note in what ever medium you choose, and then following it with not just any note, but a note that gives the first note meaning, and makes it interesting. The second note must breath life into the first note, and prepare the way for the third note. This is not easy at any tempo. I don't believe that you can just plop a note down an expect the listener to become engaged. The listener wants to listen to your music, but you can't rely on that alone. You have to caress the listener, convince them that they want to hear your whole piece. You can't let down for an eight-note, or semiquaver(...no wait.. that's a sixtee...no....oh never mind).

Personally I tend to prefer something that starts out soft and slow, then builds in volume or tempo or both. Music that has a goal, and we know when it gets there.

What do you think?

Good luck.

Views: 748

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

We often make the wrong choice over and over, and must repeat until we get it right.  Haven't you seen Ground Hog Day?
 
roger stancill said:

L.A.,       If this is true

              and choice is Time's glue

              then how would you

              Explain Deja  Vu
 
Lawrence Aurich said:


The  choice we make removes the subsequent events from the realm natural occurrence.  The choice eliminates all the other possibilities.  Creativity is the antithesis of randomness.  By creating we alter the natural occurring forces of the universe.   The result is something new, and different which signifies design and premeditation.  Man and God are the only beings we know of, capable of altering the course of nature.
roger stancill said:

 .  As for the notion that 'nothing in the universe happens by chance'... I must disagree.

The next piece of music you write will be written in a key that you chose, of your own free will. It is not 'destined' and you

could just as easily chose to go bowling instead of composing. What are the chances of that? 
 
 

It's Deja Vu all over again.
 
roger stancill said:

chuckle X 2    
 
Mike Hewer said:

L.A.,       If this is true

              and choice is Time's glue

              then how would you

              Explain Deja  Vu

John,

As I don't play piano, it is pointless for me to sketch out music on a piano score first. Besides, I want things to happen using particular instruments, so I do my sketching in the full score using the basic sounds I want. Then I go back and fill out the score. I use a mouse to input notes, a very slow process,indeed. 

Before I started writing using a computer, I did write at the piano. I found it very limiting and required extra steps. 

One of the many weaknesses of my music is that I don't always do a lot of development. Isay some things, and then move on. I try to keep things related, but not always developed. 

I used to map everything out on paper in the B.C. era (before computer), but now it is so easy to add or subtract, which makes composing a more free flowing process.  Whatever I've composed for the day, I add to the previous, make an audio file and play it over and over so I can hear what needs to be elongated, truncated or scrapped.  You can add 4 or 8 measures to develop a theme or subtract as many if it is overwrought or repetitive.  I tend to edit more by feel than by plan.  You can feel if a crescendo needs to be longer or a climax elongated or shortened.  We have a tremendous advantage over composers of the past in that we have immediate replay.

Hey Bob, I didn't mean I wrote a piece for piano.  Just that I sketched down the notes/voices/lines on 4-6 staves, with piano playback for simplicity's sake--it actually wouldn't work very well for piano!

Bob Porter said:

John,

As I don't play piano, it is pointless for me to sketch out music on a piano score first. Besides, I want things to happen using particular instruments, so I do my sketching in the full score using the basic sounds I want. Then I go back and fill out the score. I use a mouse to input notes, a very slow process,indeed. 

Before I started writing using a computer, I did write at the piano. I found it very limiting and required extra steps. 

One of the many weaknesses of my music is that I don't always do a lot of development. Isay some things, and then move on. I try to keep things related, but not always developed. 

Four years ago when I first started writing for full orchestra I had zero experience in writing slow movements, so I struggled.  Now I feel more confident and would say slow or fast is about equally difficult.  Except now I am working on a slow movement which may be the most complex piece of music I have ever attempted,  I just want it to be over except I keep finding mistakes and inconsistencies.  I think slow or fast can be difficult depending on how much work you put into it.

John,

I think that I may have meant that I need to think in terms of the sound of the instrument I want to use. As you hinted, what works on piano might not work for other instruments. I don't feel that I can write out stuff using a piano sound, and then assign tose notes to just any instrument. But that's just me.  BC (as Lawrence says, before computer), I would at the piano and maybe make simple orchestrations like tiny ensembles. But since they would never be played, I never really knew what they sounded like. Now, AC, I can write for anything and have at least some idea of how it all works.

Lawrence,

" I think slow or fast can be difficult depending on how much work you put into it."

This an interesting statement. I try to put as much work as I can into everything I write. If I find I am coasting through something, then I have to stop and think about If I'm doing the piece justice. Easy for me to say because I write for the fun of it. So Lawrence, what was hard about slow movements for you?

This is probably an example of how not to write a slow movement. I think Mike mentioned that a good slow piece has a pulse for the accompaniment like Beethoven's second movement to his sonata Pathetique. https://youtu.be/1FP7NosLxkw Bach goes one step farther in his Italian concerto second movement in that his pulse has a pattern.
https://youtu.be/CUToTKjD3LY I tried to one up Bach by putting the pattern in 6 played against a melody in 4. Then to complicate things in the second half I am adding some embellishment with running 16th and 32nd notes like Ravel in his concerto in G second movement https://youtu.be/NRTWLQ4nI6Q. The runny part comes toward the end.
Trying to fit three ideas together has pretty much turned into a train wreck. I've worked on editing all week and probably next week too. Kids don't try this at home. Leave the big screw ups to the professionals.

Two renditions of Pathetique,  Baronboim https://youtu.be/vGq3-Fi_zQY, and Ashkenazy https://youtu.be/1FP7NosLxkw  two great pianists.  Baronboim plays it pretty straight, Ashkenazy with more rubato.  I played it more like Ashkenazy.  Beethoven was reported to be an excellent pianist.  How did Beethoven play Beethoven?

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