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I thought it might be interesting to write a 'group piece" - where we all write a variation on a theme presented.

Regarding the theme:  Anyone can submit a theme as the subject.  I think it should be at least 16 bars long.  It should start on any beat of the measure except the first.. If it is sensed as an upbeat, the next measure would be considered the first of the next 16 written.  It can be in any time signature. There should be no indication of key signature, so that there is not an immediate harmonic bias  - (at least at first glance).  There should be no tempo or dynamic indications...

Once the theme is chosen (by vote), we can get started with the variations to that theme.  

 Regarding the Variations:   if one wanted to employ various devices to the theme- inverted, or retrograde, --etc.  that can be allowed.  Mostly, i would say, work with the shape of the theme  as you would with any raw material…  Also - the melodic line can be transposed anywhere.  Passing tones are allowed.

Also, there can be any time signature applied to the theme, with rhythmic expansion/contraction employed as one sees fit.

How much Freedom afforded  within these parameters is up to each composer.  

I believe these parameters would allow for interesting possibilities  - with great variation.  

If 2 or more are submitted, perhaps we can vote on them… OR even starting another thread with other themes to be tried.

What do you guys think?

Gregorio

Here is one possible theme i just wrote:

IMG_20150916_183721998.jpg   

(the D# - first measure, 2nd stanza, should be a half note; not dotted)

I think that this theme allows for a wide interpretation of harmonic possibilities, and can accommodate  various stylistic tendencies.  

I hope you like it. 

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There's no need to be ashamed of "emotional baroque"; that's your unique voice, your trademark, what separates your music from the crowd of others out there.

Dr. Google says that there's a script for converting xml to LilyPond format, so I might try this at some point. However, I'm almost certain the MIDI instrument assignments won't be preserved, so I'll have to manually fix that.  Moreover, the instrument patches I use are in all likelihood different from yours, which may or may not be a good thing.  Perhaps you might have better luck asking someone who uses the same software as you do?

I'm (perhaps shockingly so) quite unconcerned with how I'm addressed.  In my hometown people address me by my chinese name (and my former highschool classmates call me by various borderline pejorative nicknames which people here are unlikely to understand :-P); my friends in Canada call me Teoh, some of my colleagues use my literal first name (which sounds weird 'cos it's actually only half of my given name), and people on this forum generally use my initials.  I don't really care as long as I know I'm being addressed. ;-)

Thank you for clarifying the "address" question, Teoh.

I'm not ashamed of the "emotional baroque" style, no, not at all.  Of course I like my own style!  But it does surprise me the way it jumps from behind the bushes at any time I try to take a new path.

I could also send you a MIDI, since the Notion software I use can also output that.  Though I can honestly say I have no clue whatsoever what "MIDI" actually is.  I'm sure I'll eventually go online to learn about it and thus close this huge knowledge gap.

Or I could ask somebody else to do this who'd have an easier time with my xml file.  Maybe one of the participants here would do it?  All I need is to replace the xylophone with a vibraphone...  Anyone?


H. S. Teoh said:

There's no need to be ashamed of "emotional baroque"; that's your unique voice, your trademark, what separates your music from the crowd of others out there.

Dr. Google says that there's a script for converting xml to LilyPond format, so I might try this at some point. However, I'm almost certain the MIDI instrument assignments won't be preserved, so I'll have to manually fix that.  Moreover, the instrument patches I use are in all likelihood different from yours, which may or may not be a good thing.  Perhaps you might have better luck asking someone who uses the same software as you do?

I'm (perhaps shockingly so) quite unconcerned with how I'm addressed.  In my hometown people address me by my chinese name (and my former highschool classmates call me by various borderline pejorative nicknames which people here are unlikely to understand :-P); my friends in Canada call me Teoh, some of my colleagues use my literal first name (which sounds weird 'cos it's actually only half of my given name), and people on this forum generally use my initials.  I don't really care as long as I know I'm being addressed. ;-)

I felt ashamed after having excused myself from even looking at your xml file, and that with a lame excuse disguised by technicalities I know non-techies don't understand...

... a cursory at the xml file (and yet another consultation session with Dr. Google) suggests that I might be able to remedy the problem by editing the xml file directly. (After all, xml is but a text file, and someone like me ought to be able to read it and have some notion (ahem) as to what's going on.)

So here's the result (attached). I have no way of actually testing this, of course, so it may or may not work. But it might be worth a try.

Attachments:

Teoh,

Thanks so much for the trouble.  But the issue is not with editing the file to include a vibraphone (I can do that too, either as you did or by using the Notion software).  The issue is with getting a sound recording out of it that has the vibraphone sound in it.

Mariza

H. S. Teoh said:

I felt ashamed after having excused myself from even looking at your xml file, and that with a lame excuse disguised by technicalities I know non-techies don't understand...

... a cursory at the xml file (and yet another consultation session with Dr. Google) suggests that I might be able to remedy the problem by editing the xml file directly. (After all, xml is but a text file, and someone like me ought to be able to read it and have some notion (ahem) as to what's going on.)

So here's the result (attached). I have no way of actually testing this, of course, so it may or may not work. But it might be worth a try.

As for what MIDI is... the precise meaning is "Musical Instrument Digital Interface", which is a technical standard describing a common protocol by which different electronic instruments / devices from different vendors may exchange information pertaining to a musical performance, such as tempo, the beginning and end of notes, pitches, volume, etc.. The protocol is tied to a specific binary encoding, so one may, with some appropriate adaptations thereof, store the data thus transmitted into a file, conventionally with a .mid or .midi extension, from which the stream of messages between the communicating devices can be replayed, thereby achieving playback.

Of course, being performance-centric, the MIDI standard itself does not contain a lot of ancillary information, such as those that pertain to notation: slurring, articulations, etc., are not represented as entities of their own, but rather are realized as the change in the length / velocity / etc., of the notes, or a program change (in MIDI parlance, a "program" refers to a specific instance of a virtual instrument, for example marcato strings, encapsulated as a self-contained module either in hardware or in software that's responsible for generating the actual soundwaves -- due to the very simplistic interface provided by MIDI, different articulations of a single real instrument are usually implemented as multiple virtual instruments, each responsible for creating the soundwaves for one articulation -- MIDI itself does not have a concept of "articulation").  Because of this, there is often not enough information in a MIDI file to reconstruct a human-readable score. Such reconstructed scores tend to be missing many of the markings that the score would require in order for musicians to faithfully reproduce the original performance.  The MIDI standard does allow for extensions which may capture some or all of this missing information; however, these extensions are generally incompatible across vendors, and thus of limited utility.

Thus, when exchanging music that are based on notation, it's usually wiser to use a common interchange format like xml rather than midi.

Mariza, I only mentioned the vibraphone  because i thought it might be easily try-able.  I am sorry, as i sense a concern here. I didn't wish to cause a problem.    I truly appreciate your attempt at following thru with the idea, but it is also fine and quite wonderful if your piece just stands as it is.   

Thanks for thinking about this Mariza.

gregorio

 

@peter: we've been hinting to her that she should write a piece with more than 2 voices. I think the day she does a quintet will be the day we all rejoice, for we shall see the genius of how 5 voices of equal importance may interact with each other -- emotional-baroque-style.

You are CORRECT.

Peter Brown said:

Mariza,

A whole universe of capabilities awaits you in the MIDI domain. You're such an expressive individual and deserve to take advantage of how MIDI works so you can 'grow your garden' of emotional baroque themes. Have a cellist in your living room. A violinist at your diner table and a saxophone in your bedroom. Virtually that is..

You have a great mind for melody and giving those melodies to virtual instruments can only open the possibilities of expression. Please forgive me. I'm selfishly curious as to how you might use a virtual quintet with your melodic strains.

Just saying..

You are NUTS.

But you are also NICE.



H. S. Teoh said:

@peter: we've been hinting to her that she should write a piece with more than 2 voices. I think the day she does a quintet will be the day we all rejoice, for we shall see the genius of how 5 voices of equal importance may interact with each other -- emotional-baroque-style.

You UNDERSTATE THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR SUGGESTIONS.

gregorio X said:

Mariza, I only mentioned the vibraphone  because i thought it might be easily try-able.  I am sorry, as i sense a concern here. I didn't wish to cause a problem.    I truly appreciate your attempt at following thru with the idea, but it is also fine and quite wonderful if your piece just stands as it is.   

Thanks for thinking about this Mariza.

gregorio

 

You are VERY INFORMATIVE.

Thank you.  I shall read it at bedtime.



H. S. Teoh said:

As for what MIDI is... the precise meaning is "Musical Instrument Digital Interface", which is a technical standard describing a common protocol by which different electronic instruments / devices from different vendors may exchange information pertaining to a musical performance, such as tempo, the beginning and end of notes, pitches, volume, etc.. The protocol is tied to a specific binary encoding, so one may, with some appropriate adaptations thereof, store the data thus transmitted into a file, conventionally with a .mid or .midi extension, from which the stream of messages between the communicating devices can be replayed, thereby achieving playback.

Of course, being performance-centric, the MIDI standard itself does not contain a lot of ancillary information, such as those that pertain to notation: slurring, articulations, etc., are not represented as entities of their own, but rather are realized as the change in the length / velocity / etc., of the notes, or a program change (in MIDI parlance, a "program" refers to a specific instance of a virtual instrument, for example marcato strings, encapsulated as a self-contained module either in hardware or in software that's responsible for generating the actual soundwaves -- due to the very simplistic interface provided by MIDI, different articulations of a single real instrument are usually implemented as multiple virtual instruments, each responsible for creating the soundwaves for one articulation -- MIDI itself does not have a concept of "articulation").  Because of this, there is often not enough information in a MIDI file to reconstruct a human-readable score. Such reconstructed scores tend to be missing many of the markings that the score would require in order for musicians to faithfully reproduce the original performance.  The MIDI standard does allow for extensions which may capture some or all of this missing information; however, these extensions are generally incompatible across vendors, and thus of limited utility.

Thus, when exchanging music that are based on notation, it's usually wiser to use a common interchange format like xml rather than midi.

Hello,

I'm a bit late on this thread, but I discovered it a few days ago and decided to give it a shot. I did a harpsichord-cello-flute arrangement, with the theme on the flute. There's a short introduction which doesn't relate directly to the theme, but felt appropriate.

https://soundcloud.com/deuterion/variation-on-gregorios-theme

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