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This is short because I spent most of the week setting up and trying to use a notation program with Kontakt sounds. Still haven't got it right hence the mp for the staccato and back to f in measure 15.

I would like comments on the orchestration aspects please.

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Hi

Very nice. The 2nd last bar on the oboe doesn't quite work (for me at least) - six fast notes on A sounds a bit messy and unclear. How about doubling the flute with the English horn in places at the octave? No piccolo?

Colin

Thanks Colin. I am still fiddling with the program to get the sounds and balances right as well as the key switching so that is where my focus was. I will try and write something more substantial  this week. I like your suggestions and will see what I can do.

Hi Stanley,

You've escaped from the bedroom cupboard again I see.

A pretty tune in the Oboe but I'm unconvinced by the harmony and orchestration aspects: to my ear the Eb Clarinet part seems a bit aimless and isn't cohesive. Part of the problem is your choice of harmony - 3rd beat of bar 2 is a case in point - G/Bb in the bass, A in Eb Clarinet, C/Eb in the oboe - I guess the A can be construed as a passing note and the C/Eb as decoration of the D - theoretically plausible but to my ear a bit unmusical. Also, on the 4th beat you have the Bass Clarinet playing a G below the Bb in the bassoon - in that register a minor 3rd interval is not a happy bunny (unless for special effect, which this clearly isn't). There's also confusion between the Bassoon and Bass Clarinet in the bar before the pause.

I presume you'll engage the Bb Clarinet and Cor Anglais later in the piece.

What's the notation programme you're using? Good luck with trying to integrate it with Kontakt Sounds...sometimes a very trying process but well worth the effort.

Incidentally, I agree with Colin's comments and suggestions too.

Stephen

I could go into depth on what I felt didn't work musically if it's helpful but themore positive side is that overall I enjoyed it, it had a medieval folk feel. I also applaud writing for a woodwind ensemble which is much less forgiving than strings which can smear the brushstrokes so to speak. The downside is that the harmony and intervals have to be very carefully considered to blend well and theres areas as Stephen pointed out that don't quite work. Since you sound to be going for a tonal feel the jarring notes seem like mistakes rather than a conscious attempt at idiosyncrasy.

Thanks Stephen. This is the kind of crit I need. Of course I agree with all your comments. With regard to the A, C Eb and G in the base I didn't want to go to the diminished chord so I left the base on Gm chord. I definitely should have spotted the 3rd base interval. Not an excuse but I was more focused on the notation program.

I am "trying out" Finale V25 but it is a frustrating program when it come to the playback controls! Also I don't know a way to adjust individual notes for a better more real blend. For example the quarter note A in the second bar that the flute plays is lost and needs to be a bit louder but I can't do that!

Thanks Charles. If you have the time and patience please feel free to decompose my composing :D

My title Accidental composition is intentional. I compose by accident not by intent at the moment. I am hoping to learn to create harmony and rhythm intentionally to suit what I am trying to portray.

Hi Stanley

I use Dorico and what you describe can be done in the piano roll editor via the note velocity lane - it isn't actually implemented yet but the same thing is (I believe) already implemented Finale. Just grab the note and you can adjust its velocity (volume) value via the controller lane.

Colin

Stanley King said:

Thanks Stephen. This is the kind of crit I need. Of course I agree with all your comments. With regard to the A, C Eb and G in the base I didn't want to go to the diminished chord so I left the base on Gm chord. I definitely should have spotted the 3rd base interval. Not an excuse but I was more focused on the notation program.

I am "trying out" Finale V25 but it is a frustrating program when it come to the playback controls! Also I don't know a way to adjust individual notes for a better more real blend. For example the quarter note A in the second bar that the flute plays is lost and needs to be a bit louder but I can't do that!

You're using extremely simple harmonies here. This could be a dance movement from a baroque composer (minus the instrumentation of course) so the couple of violations of these harmonies stand out. For instance at 0:20 the bassoon has already arrived at the tonic chord while the rest is still hanging on the dominant. If you want that G bass note, let the bassoon play 8th notes G-C-D-F# or something to clearly set the tonic/dominant dichotomy.

Yep I see it now. I probably would have used A,C,D,F# .

Thanks for the valuable input.

Well, you could combine the G bass with a D7 chord. Bach uses that quite a bit. It was outlining the full chord that jarred for me.

As to the flute "A" problem, such is life with virtual instruments (and recordings in general). It's not that it needs to be louder, it's that its harmonics are being canceled out by something else going on. That's the weakest note of the phrase, and the end of a slur. Perhaps cutting down reverb or just changing the panning, would help. I notice that in the very next measure the notes aren't played the way you have them marked anyway. With notation software, it's not unusual to have two scores: One marked the way you would hand it to real players, and the other marked the way you need to get the software to play it like you like. Just for the fun of it, end that long phrase on the Bb instead. And pan the flute differently. Both just to learn how things work. There probably is a way to make that note louder, but you don't want it to sound unnatural. There's some kind of waveform canceling going on and you don't want to mess up something else. 

I wouldn't say anything normally, but since you are trying out Finale, the strings seem a little harsh to me. I won't say more because strings are tough in any software. And it doesn't have as much to do with the composition as writing good notes does. Tone quality seems to be more of a finishing touch kind of thing.

I don't know why it plays the next  video I must have embedded the folder not the video. Thanks for your input, I have much to learn. As you can see from my next post I have bought Notion 6 and loving it.

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