Music Composers Unite!
I wrote this piece about a month ago. My thoughts on it have gone back and forth so many times I don't really know what to think about it anymore. What do you think? Frankness is appreciated! Thanks!
(P.S., I tried posting this before, but it never seemed to finish loading and I closed to page, sorry if this is a double-post.)
Welcome to the CF! (that's what us old folks call it ; )
To me, this sounds like a student trying very hard to write a piece in sonata form. To show what I mean by that, here is an imaginary internal dialogue of an imaginary student:
"Ok, first theme done, now I need a second theme in a different key. Okay let's modulate! Chord here, chord there, another chord...wallah! New key reached! Ok, now for a development, let's move around a bit and make it sound mysterious." and so on.
I think that way myself from time to time, maybe I'm just projecting. But I truly did not find the modulations in any way convincing, many of the melodies seem awkward (odd dissonances, forced, unnatural, melodies). The part toward the end of the development with the dramatic pauses are not as dramatic as you intended, the texture is too simple there to achieve what you wanted (what I think you wanted). To be frank, per your request, the problems I am pointing out are just examples, I see the piece as fraught with difficulties. Seems like you are taking the text book definition of sonata form and viewing it sort of as sections to be filled up with notes. The good news: I think that you sense some of this yourself (hence the "going back and forth" about it). Listen to that critic in your head, don't listen to the piece until you figure out a way to like it. What I like to do with my own music is go through and take notes on what negative thoughts i have about it and think about solutions to those problems, maybe that would work for you. In the end, be honest with yourself about your own work and you'll start producing much better music.
I listened to the piece and I thought that the above criticism was a little harsh maybe.
I can see where you are coming from with the dissonances and the general form and harmony of the piece. I just think that with experience some of your ideas will be better shaped. I would also say that the score could do with more detail (eg phrase marks) and systems not crashing etc. I would definitely say that you need hairpin crescendos - eg the intro and the chromatic ascent - and also accent marks (into again). Also I would try alberti bass more for the LH rather than arpeggios. Play the piano more to help you get a feel for left hand patterns.
So I would say - good start and keep at it.
I'm sure you are a good enough musician to imagine what it would sound like if rendered properly - either by VST instruments or real instruments.
If the score is better (ie with enough information to make it clear what is intended), there is more chance of somebody playing it.
Thank you all.
"Ok, first theme done, now I need a second theme in a different key. Okay let's modulate! Chord here, chord there, another chord...wallah! New key reached! Ok, now for a development, let's move around a bit and make it sound mysterious."
That's actually remarkably accurate, especially with this piece and other sonatas I've written. I didn't feel like I was forcing the melody, it actually felt pretty natural, but I still appreciate your remarks. It's good to keep it in perspective. Thanks!
"What I like to do with my own music is go through and take notes on what negative thoughts i have about it and think about solutions to those problems, maybe that would work for you." I do that too, it's just that after a certain point I feel like I'll never actually get the piece into proper shape and just leave it with some flaws so I can move on. I'm going to try re-vamping my notes though and see what happens. Thanks again!
@Adrian I have the same feeling, about experience. I think part of it too is that I do not have much experience with piano. I would imagine it would be easier for me to work with the melodies or texture if I had a big piano repetoire under my belt, but there's not much I can do about that now. Actually, I was trying to avoid alberti bass and left-hand patterns. The simplicity of the bass-line was the thing that had me most frustrated about this piece in particular.
And about the score, I completely forgot to make the dynamics more normal before posting it. Originally, I used extra dynamic markings instead of crescendo's and style markings to make the MIDI a bit more natural. I had planned on making a normal version, but never got around to it. Thanks for the input!