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Wrote a String Quartet. Would love some feedback and comments :)

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Saul just say "I didn't like the music" instead of trying to seat this dislike within some wider authority and vague philosophy. Its so much easier. Just imagine if someone tried the same thing on you!

Awesome thanks for the help. I'll definitely change that :)

Greg Brus said:

Hah. I knew you'd be a pianist. I checked, just to be sure... bingo!

What gave it away is the slurs, which you use exactly like they're usually used in piano parts - big picture phrasing. Adler's Study Of Orchestration gives a great example of Liszt, I think, falling for this very same pitfall in his scores. You should probably get Adler's or an equivalent, anyway, but a 5 minute explanation:

String instrument parts generally don't have phrasing marks, and slurs are instead used to show bowing. Many of your slurs are either extremely impractical or just flat out impossible to play, so the players will just delete those and add their own bowing marks. While your current usage of slurs *is* in fact better than leaving everything completely unmarked (because you convey at least some of the intent now), you're missing out on a large field of creative possibilities where it comes to small-scale phrasing - a change in bowing direction is a small hiccup in a longer phrase, like a comma in a sentence. And the changes *have* to happen somewhere. May as well learn exactly how to place them well and let your music benefit greatly from it. It's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the bowing capabilities of strings and use the knowledge to your advantage.

Nicely put OscoBosco - you're clearly a very bright fellow.

OscoBosco said:

Thanks a lot to everyone who has come forward and shared their opinion on my music. I appreciate this space and I didn't know that my composition would cause such a debate both addressing the technical and philosophical. Everyone who have graciously commented seem to me like great individual musicians in their own right––as it should be. I have thought about all your comments and feel as I've grown as a musician trying to wrestle with everyone's distinct beliefs. I did consider each comment with the utmost respect but feel as though there is no reason to argue and debate, and therefore have tried to keep myself out of the discussion. Now with the misinterpretation of my need for "praise" lacking regard and appreciation for critical viewpoints, I must step in and clarify myself. I read everyone's comments and I appreciate the support both for the music and for the art of composing itself. I really just wanted to share something that was very personal to me and that means the world to me: this music gives me great joy and I just wanted to share it with you guys. I could endlessly debate and quarrel with each of your comments but I honestly don't think I'm qualified enough with everyone's experience in the matter. I value your guys' opinions and I hope this is not taken in the wrong way. Many thanks to all who enjoyed it and I'm glad you enjoyed it. Many thanks to those who offered amazing criticism––I have a lot of things to consider. 

Oscar 

Saul I think you are similar to myself. I'm a writer of sorts and can fill pages quickly. I seen this in you right away. You were simply translating deeper issues to yourself and rendering it here. I do it all the time. Some thread deviations can be interesting.

I'll try and start a thread here on this subject when I get a chance unless someone else beats me to it.

The person who doesn't venture, doesn't gain. The more we venture in type, the more we open ourselves up to speculation from others. Writing is a form of expression that should not be flagged unless it personally belittles someone IMHO. 

I think sometimes people are afraid to tell us what they really think for fear of not fitting into some imagined online buddy system. The people I see as holier than thou are the ones who tell us what we should say or should have said and how we should have said it. True, we all make written blunders that result in misunderstandings, especially so online. And TBH some people are very easily offended.

It's all good Saul. This is a small thread in a small forum. This is how I see it. Not to say I think it isn't great that Gav made this available. It's nice to touch bases with other and agree/disagree respectfully.


Attracted to the string quartet medium I spotted this down the list. I haven't read all the exchanges as they seemed to veer away from the music itself. Frankly I thought it was fine. Regarding certain comments, the work seems to me no more frenetic or complex than, say, some of Bartok's quartet movements nor even late Beethoven, like the Scherzo in the Op 131 or that in the Op 135. It works fine. The rhythmic inflexions are exciting especially in contrast to the calmer episodes. Easy to visualise it being performed. The players will be kept on their toes all right.

My only concern was that in this particular production, the 1st violin line was a little understated. I've assumed you're au fait with how chordal stops work on strings. 


Very nice. Glad I listened.

Many thanks! Glad you liked it, and I appreciate your thoughtful feedback. I'm a pianist so I'm still learning how to write string music properly but I'd gladly appreciate your input :)

Dane Aubrun said:


Attracted to the string quartet medium I spotted this down the list. I haven't read all the exchanges as they seemed to veer away from the music itself. Frankly I thought it was fine. Regarding certain comments, the work seems to me no more frenetic or complex than, say, some of Bartok's quartet movements nor even late Beethoven, like the Scherzo in the Op 131 or that in the Op 135. It works fine. The rhythmic inflexions are exciting especially in contrast to the calmer episodes. Easy to visualise it being performed. The players will be kept on their toes all right.

My only concern was that in this particular production, the 1st violin line was a little understated. I've assumed you're au fait with how chordal stops work on strings. 


Very nice. Glad I listened.

Thank you. Unfortunately I'm not a "quartet quality" player (I play viola at a fairly elementary level) but have studied a few quartets and talked to players. I can't see anything unmanageable or outrageous in your score for quartet players though they'd have to be pretty adept what with string jumping (moving swiftly from one string to another, missing an intervening string e.g. from the D to the E string and still holding a legato) and the speed. There's nothing above 5th position. The multiple stops are all manageable and your cello double-stopping is wisely cautious. 

By the way, when I said "this particular production, the 1sts are understated", just to clarity, I didn't mean the material itself but the means of producing the result. if it was a midi rendering it came across rather quiet while the lower parts were sometimes more strident.  

If I may say so you appear to have studied string technique to quite some extent.

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