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6 mins approx.

A recent effort, having taken note of comments on my more extended stuff. I'm no symphonist and it’ll probably end up the first or last movement of a Suite.

Andante - poco mosso - strepitoso e brilliante

It’s modally diatonic (mostly, but I change key a fair bit and – ok – there are a few discords dotted about). 

https://soundcloud.com/acitore/symphony-for-strings-working-title-f...

 

As the work is all strings here’s a short score lifted from the DAW. Such scores are so literal I had to do a lot of work to get it (hopefully) readable. However, it isn’t perfect. It doesn’t intelligently deal with accidentals and I haven’t typed in all the dynamics and things. Unfortunately much is beyond my control and once it breaks into 1/16th notes/semiquavers, they all get crammed together in a pdf making them nigh impossible to read. The gist should still be apparent though.

Your comments good or bad would be sincerely appreciated and many thanks if you can give it a listen.

Cheers, Dane

score (as per attachment):

 

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Hi Dane,

Interesting piece, perhaps the most interesting of the things I have seen you post here. It starts off reminiscent of Barber's Adagio for Strings, and then departs into other realms of sharp angles and unexpected soft harmonies.

I can see you striving for a serious type of music as I have listened to your posts here, and have a suggestion. Without getting into any arguments about which is better, I believe you might benefit from getting a notation program and starting to take some of these compositions into it. Yes, they have their learning challenges. But there is a precision of composition about them which I don't think is attainable outside of them, and I think your music would benefit from that precision. Also, if you have any interest of having your work performed by others, precise notation is a must. I could say more about why I think this would suit you in particular, but I don't want to clog up your post. If you have any interest in talking about this, perhaps we could have a conversation on the side.

And if not, then perfectly fine and thanks for posting!

Gav

Gav, thank you for your kind comments. 

I too know I have to get involved with notation software. Writing out a score isn't so much trouble - I don't know how it would equate time-wise but as long as it does what I believe I need. I'm unwilling to pay for a subscription and don't like the idea of £500+ for Sibelius, the version that allows freehand additions. Some programs really aren't up to "modern" music. (I'll try to photograph a score I did for a contemporary piece shortly.) But the real handwriting pain is writing out parts - this isn't the reason I write for limited ensembles though that helps! It also lets me put in as many cue lines as I need. 

The piece I posted here is one I'd like to submit and would be the second this year for which I'll be writing the score but it needs extra movements. If I make a decent amount of progress I'll think about notation software. Fact is, it isn't a complicated piece notation-wise so almost anything that can cope with 9 parts-plus would be ok. Is musescore worth a try? And can it be presented without its integral sounds? 

Thank you anyway and I'd be happy to engage in discussion once I really get going on this piece.  

Hi Dane,

Look for a pm from me on this -

Gav

Imbued.  To me it sounded more like a second movement of a symphony at least 30  min. long. 

Shostakovich's first Symphony is an interesting reference.  Also Dvorak First Symphony is interesting besides its brilliant orchestration.  By the way for every composer their first Symphonies are far smaller and simpler than their later works.
Please do not let the brilliant future kill the existence of now.  Write a first movement a lively fanfar or whatever.
I wrote my first using Musescore.  No problem at all.(30 min.)

Hi Dane, as always I like your sound and ideas, this is a good listen.  I don't really know what to tell you about the form/length issues, I guess this is 'through composed' which gives it a spontaneity and flow that I like, but perhaps that makes larger forms more difficult?

I appreciate that you have given us a score, that helps me to better understand your approach. Since I'm unlikely to attempt to sight read this the jumbled parts are close enough to let me understand the concept which is fine.

Good work!

Many thanks for your commentary, Riza. I have to agree about Dvorak's orchestration. His 8th Symphony is among my favourites! However, I opted just for strings for the homogeneity of sound to help it hold together. I doubt it'll become a symphony but I need several more movements for it to become a suite.  I'm working on a slow movement at the moment.

I deliberately avoided listening to any extended symphonic-styled music while writing this. Some was thought up in hospital where I had no access to any instrument nor music paper and had to rely on blank paper and pencil. All rather fun in a way!

Cheers,

Dane

Ali Riza SARAL said:

Imbued.  To me it sounded more like a second movement of a symphony at least 30  min. long. 

Shostakovich's first Symphony is an interesting reference.  Also Dvorak First Symphony is interesting besides its brilliant orchestration.  By the way for every composer their first Symphonies are far smaller and simpler than their later works.
Please do not let the brilliant future kill the existence of now.  Write a first movement a lively fanfar or whatever.
I wrote my first using Musescore.  No problem at all.(30 min.)

Sincere thanks for your comments, Ingo, and pleased that you made some sense of it. From remarks about previous attempts at formal structure I tried to keep it succinct. 

It isn't quite through-composed. The opening theme is repeated several times and, worried about overusing it, I inverted it in the reprise. The staccato motif was a second theme that broke into the middle part of the opening one. The problem to me was the mode itself allows no traditional cadence or resolution which may have added to the sense of through-composed.

Again, thank you. Much appreciated. 

 

Ingo Lee said:

Hi Dane, as always I like your sound and ideas, this is a good listen.  I don't really know what to tell you about the form/length issues, I guess this is 'through composed' which gives it a spontaneity and flow that I like, but perhaps that makes larger forms more difficult?

I appreciate that you have given us a score, that helps me to better understand your approach. Since I'm unlikely to attempt to sight read this the jumbled parts are close enough to let me understand the concept which is fine.

Good work!

Hi Dane, I've listened again to this piece and it holds up well.  I see what you mean about this work making liberal use of the main theme which certainly works well to my ear, and I don't miss a traditional cadence at all, I'm just not that well schooled!

I thought that the term 'through composed' was used to describe works that don't follow a traditional ABA repeating type form, could it also then desribe a work that doesn't use much thematic development?  Not debating here, just wanted your thoughts if you're inclined.

Yes, through-composed is a flow without repetition. The best example coming to mind is Schubert's The Earl King (Erlenkoenig); second best is Villa-Lobos' Wind Quintet "Quinteto em forma de choros" / Quintet in the form of a choros. 

So, dead on, it doesn't follow the ABA structure and wouldn't therefore include much melodic development. 

I'm not well schooled either particularly in melody writing, hence my recent attempts to try! 

Many thanks for these additional comments, Ingo. All the best.  

I liked the gathering forces toward the end, which brought things to a climax, followed by a satisfying resolution. To me, the piece has a kind of finality to it. I think it could easily stand alone. An entire suite of music of this modernist style would be a bit much for me; however that is an idiosyncratic reaction and should not be construed negatively.

As for through-composing, I've been doing it for years, and it works fine, hasn't made me blind or anything.

Many thanks, Michael, for your comments. You highlight a problem indeed. Another movement has been composed but in the same mode (and more true to the mode as well). which would frustrate variety if I made it a "second movement". I seem to have a knack of writing movements that don't link to an already-written movement without trouble. Not that I write in a hurry or have a deadline to meet, just how it happens. But...as you suggest, these could be stand alone. 

I just have to do what contemporary composers seem to do and come up with some obscure title that sounds good but says nothing!

Thanks again.

Dane

Hi, Dane,

it has a nice overall sound. What I find strange in places is the mix of consonances and dissonances you use. F.ex. the whole beginning and especially m. 6 sounds very consonant, so that the chord in m. 15 is really a surprise and to my ears sounds a bit harsh.

Secondly you comment on soundcloud: "it starts calmly enough but builds up to a strepitoso ending."

That is true but in my view, you could have prepared the ending a bit more as most of the piece has a very flowing, very quiet character.

I think it would be a good 2nd movement as it is rather slow, but that may be traditional thinking?!

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