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Hi guys

This is my first attempt at a string quartet. My plan is to hire a quartet to give this a play through, but before I do that I need to iron out some stuff that doesn't work or could be done better. Can you please give it a listen and a look, to see where I'm totally off and what can be improved. How about the triple fermata in the end, for instance? How do I notate that better?

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Hi Lennart– I like the energy level you maintain throughout.  Just looking at the sections, it looks like you have different sound colours in mind for different sections (or maybe I'm just projecting, ha).  For instance, in the beginning, I have a strong tutti in mind, and when it's just cello, the sound will be lighter.  There are ways of emphasising different colours with different bow types (and pizz), ex. spiccato, flautando, as well as playing types like leggiero, legatissimo, etc.  I think thinking about those would help you and help the players play this as you want them to. 

In general, I think you could be more precise with your notation– I'm not saying to go and write dynamics and articulations for each note, but a bit more frequently than you have now.  For example, with the solo cello line, it would be good to remind us on the score that this is piano instead of me having to go back and look for it in the score.  A few other things that could help with articulations are different staccatos, more specification with slurs (or detaché if you just want separation).  It's not wrong per se, what you have, I'm just saying you could be more precise and this would save you time when working with musicians.  

Now, just a few nitpicks:

m 25– the mf in the violins should be further to the right, where the violins come in

m 27– purely cosmetic, but the viola's mf is colliding with the cello part

m 53– that violin line– sometimes you've written articulation for iterations of this line, and sometimes you haven't.  If you mean for these to be different, I'd differentiate them more (perhaps writing detaché or showing tentutos)

m 66– the flag of the last eighth note in the first violin part touches the next bar

Also, in bar 78, I'm not sure what you want- you have an upbow and downbow under the same slur, which is confusing. 

As for the fermatas on the end, you'd need to have those in every part so the group stays together (so also 3 fermatas for vln 2, via, vcl).  

Looking good!

Thanks Lara for that valuable input! I will look over the dynamics. The up and down bow markings is just to get the computer to play it the way I want it. I will take those out before handing the part to a musician. I'm saving your points to go over them in detail at a later stage. Thanks again!



Lara Poe said:

Hi Lennart– I like the energy level you maintain throughout.  Just looking at the sections, it looks like you have different sound colours in mind for different sections (or maybe I'm just projecting, ha).  For instance, in the beginning, I have a strong tutti in mind, and when it's just cello, the sound will be lighter.  There are ways of emphasising different colours with different bow types (and pizz), ex. spiccato, flautando, as well as playing types like leggiero, legatissimo, etc.  I think thinking about those would help you and help the players play this as you want them to. 

In general, I think you could be more precise with your notation– I'm not saying to go and write dynamics and articulations for each note, but a bit more frequently than you have now.  For example, with the solo cello line, it would be good to remind us on the score that this is piano instead of me having to go back and look for it in the score.  A few other things that could help with articulations are different staccatos, more specification with slurs (or detaché if you just want separation).  It's not wrong per se, what you have, I'm just saying you could be more precise and this would save you time when working with musicians.  

Now, just a few nitpicks:

m 25– the mf in the violins should be further to the right, where the violins come in

m 27– purely cosmetic, but the viola's mf is colliding with the cello part

m 53– that violin line– sometimes you've written articulation for iterations of this line, and sometimes you haven't.  If you mean for these to be different, I'd differentiate them more (perhaps writing detaché or showing tentutos)

m 66– the flag of the last eighth note in the first violin part touches the next bar

Also, in bar 78, I'm not sure what you want- you have an upbow and downbow under the same slur, which is confusing. 

As for the fermatas on the end, you'd need to have those in every part so the group stays together (so also 3 fermatas for vln 2, via, vcl).  

Looking good!

I like this very much. Full of vibrancy and freshness, and has an attractive main theme. I liked the contrasting moods in the various sections.

However I did find the G# in m.42 somewhat out-of-place... looking at the surrounding music (esp. m.46) I see what you're trying to get at, but somehow the spacing of the chord seems off, and it doesn't quite come through. My guess is that the D in the cello might be the cause of the trouble. I don't know how to fix it, though.

I find the harmony in mm.49-62 a bit odd... the first 12 or so measures sound unstable, like it can't decide which key it wants to be in, and furthermore the chord spacing sounds very open for some reason, even though I can't seem to identify the problem from the score. I don't know if this is an actual problem or merely an artifact of computer rendering.

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