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Alan MacRae
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Thoughts, please

Started this discussion. Last reply by H. S. Teoh Apr 26, 2015. 13 Replies

Hi all.  I thought I'd share something with you.  This piece was written for our County Youth Orchestra when they did a concert tour in China.  It was well received by both orchestra and…Continue

 

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Alan MacRae replied to H. S. Teoh's discussion March of the Puppet Army (initial segment)
"First, let me say I really like this.  It has something of Gounod's Funeral March of a Marionette about it. Orchestrating for winds - Tim is correct.  Only specify voice 2 when you want them to play 2 independant lines, otherwise…"
Apr 26, 2015
H. S. Teoh replied to Alan MacRae's discussion Thoughts, please
"I'm rather illiterate in Chinese music, despite being ethnically Chinese myself, but from the little that I know, polyphony is something quite unique to Western music. (That is, polyphony the way we understand it today, as in two or more…"
Apr 26, 2015
Bob Porter replied to Alan MacRae's discussion Thoughts, please
"H.S. I re-read my post. I didn't think I came down on you. Sorry if you felt that way. It would be interesting to learn if there are a lot of unisons in Chinese music. We are so used to polyphony. Yes, the score needs to be clear, but even…"
Apr 25, 2015
Tim Marko replied to Alan MacRae's discussion Thoughts, please
"Alan, It seems you've written a lot of unison for the wind voices.  Explore using them for some harmonic development as well.  The G centric is not the problem to me, it's the lack of timbral variance.  You have a number of…"
Apr 25, 2015
H. S. Teoh replied to Alan MacRae's discussion Thoughts, please
"Bob, I didn't mean to come across as despising electronic playback in any way; if I did, I apologize. Especially, since I myself would have been almost completely incapacitated when it comes to orchestral composition, had I not had the means to…"
Apr 25, 2015
Alan MacRae replied to Alan MacRae's discussion Thoughts, please
"HI all.  Thanks for all the comments.  I'll try to give my reactions to each. Socrates - Agreed about score appearance.  I thought I'd sorted all that out previously.  This was written on a previous version of Sib (5…"
Apr 25, 2015
Bob Porter replied to Alan MacRae's discussion Thoughts, please
"Actually, I think electronic playback, poor or not, is what allows more people to try their hand at composition. It's one way to find out if you are cut out to compose. In the past, writing music was one of those mysterious arts. And you had to…"
Apr 25, 2015
H. S. Teoh replied to Alan MacRae's discussion Thoughts, please
"Hi Alan, I think there is enough variety to go around, not every piece needs harmonic variety. Having said that, though, I felt the passage starting at H was a bit anticlimactic; it should be building up toward a climactic ending, but somehow it…"
Apr 25, 2015
Bob Porter replied to Alan MacRae's discussion Thoughts, please
"Alan, Thanks for posting this. I believe that modulation is a function of Western music, not Eastern. So I think staying in the same key is appropriate in this case. And yes, there is enough variation in the piece. I have on occasion skipped ahead…"
Apr 25, 2015
Socrates Arvanitakis replied to Alan MacRae's discussion Thoughts, please
"Hi Alan, just some quick thoughts on a first listening and reading through the score: I think that the appearance of the score needs some improvement cause I see some dynamics hairpins  and other marks obscuring some notes and look as they are…"
Apr 25, 2015
Alan MacRae replied to Alan MacRae's discussion Thoughts, please
"Thanks for the comments, Gav.  It hadn't occurred to me at the time that keeping everything centred around a G tonality would have this effect.  I thought I had sufficient variance in tempo and style to get away with it, but point…"
Apr 25, 2015
Alan MacRae replied to Bobby Popolla's discussion 3.4.0 (Where to go from here?)
"I spent more time looking at the score than listening, so these comments are mainly structural, but that may help you on where to progress to. 1st 4 bars, consider as theme a.  Next 4 bars are like a repeat, with variation - a' - with bars…"
Apr 25, 2015
Gav Brown replied to Alan MacRae's discussion Thoughts, please
"Hi Allen,While this is not unpleasant to listen to, I found I didn't get through it because it seemed too monochromatic to me. The same sounds and melodies kept occurring over and over, when I wanted to hear some contrast and variety in mood,…"
Apr 24, 2015
Alan MacRae replied to Alan MacRae's discussion Thoughts, please
"Trumpets are used to top Cs Ds and Es these days - even higher on occasions. The particular trumpet player this was performed by had no trouble, and regularly plays far higher in jazz groups. Horn admittedly struggled, but coped."
Apr 24, 2015
Rodney Carlyle Money replied to Alan MacRae's discussion Thoughts, please
"So you are saying that this piece got performed live? Then what did the horn and trumpet players think of their high D's?"
Apr 24, 2015
Alan MacRae posted a discussion

Thoughts, please

Hi all.  I thought I'd share something with you.  This piece was written for our County Youth Orchestra when they did a concert tour in China.  It was well received by both orchestra and audiences.Just to set the background Wong Fei Hung was both a Chinese medicine practicioner and martial arts master.  The piece depicts his birth in the Pearl River delta, his childhood (A), mastery of the martial arts (C), his renunciation of martial arts and medical practice (E) where the flute represents air…See More
Apr 24, 2015

Profile Information

What have you composed for? Or what medium do you work around?
Orchestra, Small Ensemble, Big Ensemble
What is your favorite genre or style of music?
Orchestral or Brass Band
Is music your main income source?
No - Not at all.
Where do you live?
Corsham, Wiltshire, UK
About Me (Must include biographical information about you as a composer):
I've been a brass player all my life, conductor for many years, and more recently composer and arranger. Highlight so far was composing a piece for the Wiltshire Youth Orchestra to play on their 2010 concert tour of China and Hong Kong, and conducting them intheir performance in the Nanhai Opera House. Currently Musical Director of the Royal Wootton Bassett Orchestra, for whom I have arranged, transcribed and written pieces. Many of my pieces have been published in the UK by MMI Music
Website:
http://www.mmi-music.co.uk/

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