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This is the first movement of the piece I have recently posted. I'm home today with a bad sprained ankle, so I took some of the ideas about dynamics I got from everyone here and edited the score. This whole piece started with the opening melody in the first violins, which I had written for piano a decade or so ago (just the melody, no harmony). I didn't have the original score, but I remembered the  melody one day and decided to try writing it for strings. I wrote the viola counter melody, and that became more of the main melody sorta on accident.

I'm specifically interested in overall comments and anything you have to say about the dynamics, whether it's working or not, but I also welcome any comments that come to mind.

After I get this movement more polished I plan to post the third and final movement for review.

Thanks for taking a look!

Matt

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Well done!
Basically a nice composition and from looking at the score it would sound lighter and airier when played live. Nice that you give the double bass some independence.

I had a small problem with the way you laid out the chords (vertically) but this is a matter of taste. It's where the cello and bass are playing notes close to each other. It inevitably sounds muddy. As for example in bar 4 where the cello plays b to a and the bass plays g to e, just a 3rd and 4th apart. You might just like the effect; in which case please disregard the comment. But it does take some of the lightness and bounce away.

Just a suggestion for future reference - move the cello notes of  bar4 (and elsewhere) up an octave. You also have a similar arrangement on the first chord of bar 3 - the b on the cello could double the double bass on the g - you have 3 3rds in that bar - which again if you like the effect, fine.

That rhythmic figure on the bass in bar 9 might be lighter played by the cello. Just a thought.
Otherwise the tune is fine and happy and the harmony works well.
Great job.

Thanks, Dane, both for your comments and for taking the time to listen.

Throughout the whole piece, I tried to give players parts that I think I'd have fun playing. I bought a viola last summer because I wanted to learn how to play it (I play guitar, but nothing in the violin family). I chose to get a viola, over a violin, because I like the sound, but I really like them philosophically--what their role is in the orchestra, tying things together, unsung heroes, that sorta thing. When I wrote this piece, I had in mind, "What would be a fun part for the viola?" hence so many lead melodies going to that instrument in my piece. I had similar thoughts about the bass; I wanted more than just root and fifth. I tried that rhythmic part on the cellos and while I think you're right, it does sound more airy, I like the octave of the bass for that part better, so I left it as is.

I left the three B's in bar 3 because I liked how it started off that two-bar phrase. I did take your advice in bar 4 and jumped the cello part up an octave. I also applied that to other parts: In bar 52, there was a part in the harmony where the viola had a lower note than the cello. Flip, flop, floop, they switched to a more sensible arrangement. In bar 55 or so, I did keep the close spacing of the cello and bass because it's a heavier part of the piece, so I think it works there.

Thank you again for your thoughtful feedback!

Matt

Dane Aubrun said:

Well done!
Basically a nice composition and from looking at the score it would sound lighter and airier when played live. Nice that you give the double bass some independence.

I had a small problem with the way you laid out the chords (vertically) but this is a matter of taste. It's where the cello and bass are playing notes close to each other. It inevitably sounds muddy. As for example in bar 4 where the cello plays b to a and the bass plays g to e, just a 3rd and 4th apart. You might just like the effect; in which case please disregard the comment. But it does take some of the lightness and bounce away.

Just a suggestion for future reference - move the cello notes of  bar4 (and elsewhere) up an octave. You also have a similar arrangement on the first chord of bar 3 - the b on the cello could double the double bass on the g - you have 3 3rds in that bar - which again if you like the effect, fine.

That rhythmic figure on the bass in bar 9 might be lighter played by the cello. Just a thought.
Otherwise the tune is fine and happy and the harmony works well.
Great job.

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