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I am a newly hatched composer and posting this short piece of music I made with Finale software.

Any thoughts? 

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Interesting indeed
Kind of in a pointillism style, like Webern almost, but tonal.
I would like to see the sheet music to really see what you are getting at. Only suggesting I would say is to loose the percussion, or refine them. They seem more of a distractions then being a part of the piece.
My first question on hearing this piece is, "What was the intent behind this piece?"

You have entitled it "Experiment" and it does indeed sound like someone experimenting. What I mean is that it sounds very random, lacking direction. It jumps around from idea to idea, without ever really developing into anything.

I don't personally think the percussion helps the piece much, especially with the samples you've used in Finale.

Now, the two things that I find the piece lacking most are depth and aesthetic appeal.

Depth: You haven't built any significant layers or counterpoint. The result is a strictly horizontal and linear motion with no expansion or divergence. Now, if you are going for something minimalistic, then your approach makes sense. The downside to this approach is my next point...

Aesthetic appeal: I know that the modern conception of "art" is primarily one of self-expression. (I'm not saying that this is your own approach.) But we must remember that art, classically, was intended to create something of beauty. It should draw us in and attract us. It should seduce us, or in some other way make us want more. It should call us back for another viewing (in the case of a painting or sculpture) or listening (in the case of music).

Your piece, in its current state, doesn't offer much to draw the listener in. This is due to a number of factors, including

- sample set
- layers (depth)
- variation / modulation, and
- instrumentation.

I don't mean any of this to discourage you, but rather to help you as you move forward. My hope is that you'll be aware of these things as you move forward in your compositions.

Now, let me tell you what I see as the primary strength of this piece, namely, the chords. Harmony, as you know, is one of the main ingredients of music. The harmonies you've chosen for this piece are quite good. They offered the most interesting moments for the listener. You're willing to try things out, which is great. Many new composers limit themselves to standard major and minor triads and I-IV-V sort of motions. The harmonies you've chosen have some meat to them. And where the rest of the piece lacks layers, the chords stand out as something of interest.

So there you go! Keep listening to other composers, and learning everything you can about theory and composition!

On an unrelated note, this kind of post would fit better in the Music Dissection forum, I think.
Hi Tyler. Thanks for the positive critique. :)
I will post the notation file (Finale) here. If you can't open it please let me know.

Tyler Hughes said:
Interesting indeed
Kind of in a pointillism style, like Webern almost, but tonal.
I would like to see the sheet music to really see what you are getting at. Only suggesting I would say is to loose the percussion, or refine them. They seem more of a distractions then being a part of the piece.
Attachments:
Hi Timothy. Wow, this is a huge meaty critique. Now I must come clean about my intentions for this piece. :)

I was thinking about composing something in the vein of "eigth blackbird", but I know that it didn't come close so I gave it a casual name of experiment.

I agree with you that the piece is thin and needs more.

I will be studying both of your critiques. Thanks Tyler and Timothy!

Timothy Pinkham said:
My first question on hearing this piece is, "What was the intent behind this piece?"

You have entitled it "Experiment" and it does indeed sound like someone experimenting. What I mean is that it sounds very random, lacking direction. It jumps around from idea to idea, without ever really developing into anything.

I don't personally think the percussion helps the piece much, especially with the samples you've used in Finale.

Now, the two things that I find the piece lacking most are depth and aesthetic appeal.

Depth: You haven't built any significant layers or counterpoint. The result is a strictly horizontal and linear motion with no expansion or divergence. Now, if you are going for something minimalistic, then your approach makes sense. The downside to this approach is my next point...

Aesthetic appeal: I know that the modern conception of "art" is primarily one of self-expression. (I'm not saying that this is your own approach.) But we must remember that art, classically, was intended to create something of beauty. It should draw us in and attract us. It should seduce us, or in some other way make us want more. It should call us back for another viewing (in the case of a painting or sculpture) or listening (in the case of music).

Your piece, in its current state, doesn't offer much to draw the listener in. This is due to a number of factors, including

- sample set
- layers (depth)
- variation / modulation, and
- instrumentation.

I don't mean any of this to discourage you, but rather to help you as you move forward. My hope is that you'll be aware of these things as you move forward in your compositions.

Now, let me tell you what I see as the primary strength of this piece, namely, the chords. Harmony, as you know, is one of the main ingredients of music. The harmonies you've chosen for this piece are quite good. They offered the most interesting moments for the listener. You're willing to try things out, which is great. Many new composers limit themselves to standard major and minor triads and I-IV-V sort of motions. The harmonies you've chosen have some meat to them. And where the rest of the piece lacks layers, the chords stand out as something of interest.

So there you go! Keep listening to other composers, and learning everything you can about theory and composition!

On an unrelated note, this kind of post would fit better in the Music Dissection forum, I think.
Unfortunately I can not open that MUS. file.
Do you have a PDF version fo the music?

Ann Rodela said:
Hi Tyler. Thanks for the positive critique. :)
I will post the notation file (Finale) here. If you can't open it please let me know.

Tyler Hughes said:
Interesting indeed
Kind of in a pointillism style, like Webern almost, but tonal.
I would like to see the sheet music to really see what you are getting at. Only suggesting I would say is to loose the percussion, or refine them. They seem more of a distractions then being a part of the piece.
Hi Tyler. I am not sure so I will check tomorrow. :)
Hi Ann--

FWIW--my own opinion--

In regard to Tyler's, and Timothy' replies, Im at a loss as to what the score might show someone whats going on that can't easily be "seen" by listening--
and the longer review here I really think is unnecessary, and overdone...and I dont find much to agree with in it.

Again, only my opinion.


I think its a really good little piece, or part of a piece--an idea that needs some minor cleaning up in spots--but you should be very proud of it:)

You write you were going for an "eight blackbird' sort of thing--well then really look into WHAT makes them who they are, and what you like about them..listen to them, analyze, and read about them, etc..and extract the essence of that, and filter it thru your own musical voice.

Id suggest having a definite piece or two of theirs that you really like, and listen to them a lot...play yours before and after them, and theirs during breaks from your composing--basically, to see if yours is "in the same ball park", (I know its hard with the samples youre using, but use the best samples you can , and also LOTS of imagination:).

I find this works VERY well, as without it, and going only by musical memory, you cant really tell. Again, get to the essence of what theyre doing-not the same chords melodies, scoring etc,, but the characteristics of these.

Finally, for myself, I really question the wisdom of posting on forums for a "dissection" of one's music--if you really want to go that route, Id find a private teacher or class with someone who you REALLY respect musically, prior to going there-like eight blackbird!!--and be clear as to what you want hope and expect to do, andn build up a learning relationship from there.

But all in all, write music that pleases YOURSELF, and NOT takes others opinions of it, and change things to please them..Ive seen too many problems come of this.
(and this includes MY opinions here also..LOL)

Just my thoughts Ann--keep up the EXCELLENT work:)

Thanks, Bob Morabito
Generally I do not post negative and non-constructive critiques. Here is an exclusion. I think you presented a joke, consisting of several random mouse clicks using Finale program. Sometimes such aleatoric experiments provide good results, but only in case there is something else in the music or in the environment (e.g., specially prepared orchestra). Here I found nothing. It is an experiment; what you would like to achieve?
Well Andrew, you're right about one thing..your reply IS non-constructive, and negative... and really not needed.

Let me ask you what you ask Ann--what would YOU like to achieve with such a reply?
I've seen new composers STOP composing due to such horrible replies as yours..

We all at times can use CONSTRUCTIVE criticism, from those knowledgeable, and caring enough to give it--
but IMHO what you've done here, calling a piece of music "a joke" is really unfortunate.

Bob Morabito



Andrew Gleibman said:
Generally I do not post negative and non-constructive critiques. Here is an exclusion. I think you presented a joke, consisting of several random mouse clicks using Finale program. Sometimes such aleatoric experiments provide good results, but only in case there is something else in the music or in the environment (e.g., specially prepared orchestra). Here I found nothing. It is an experiment; what you would like to achieve?
Well, probably you are right Bob, and my reply is not needed (although it contains some constructive info too). Of course we should encourage young people to compose and experiment, We are asked for thoughts about this specific experiment. Does Ann need non-honest replies? Was young Beethoven always praised for every bar he composed?
Sorry--I didnt find any constructive info there, in your reply--YOU, yoruself said it was non-constructive--
can you point it out to me?

Thanks...

And yes, you're asked for your thoughts, but to call something a "joke"--when it could have been put a THOUSAND other ways, constructively-and even kindly-and still gotten your points across, is just not cool.

Honest replies, yes, but NOT degrading, mean ones.
Constructive NOT destructive.

As for Beethoven, I dont know as Im not privy as to what went on then, as neither are you--

but had someone like you called HIS music a joke then, I would have hoped someone else-as well as Ludwig himself!-- would have taken you to task for it.

A little kindness goes a LONG way...say what needs to be said, but do so in a respectful constructive way, ESPECIALLY in public forums.

Thanks

Bob Morabito

Andrew Gleibman said:
Well, probably you are right, and my reply is not needed (although it contains some constructive info too). Of course we should encourage young people to compose and experiment, We are asked for thoughts about this specific experiment. Does Ann need non-honest replies? Was young Beethoven always praised for every bar he composed?
Bob, it was about aleatorics and preparing environment for experiments.

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