Air from an orchestral suite

I wrote this air last week for an orchestral suite I've been working on.  I'll post the whole suite for critique when it's done, but I'm curious to hear any comments or feedback on this movement.  It might be a bit on the schmaltzy side.  Obvious influence from the air from Bach's 3rd orchestral suite.

Orchestral suite - air.pdf

Air - preliminary.mp3

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  •  I've nothing against schmaltz -- nice tunes are all too rare these days and this is most attractive. It's just the accompaniment which starts to wear thin after a while - just repeated chords over and over again with virtually no rhythmic variety

    • Yeah, I kept it simple intentionally, but I may have gone too far.  Maybe I'll change the accompaniment pattern to arpeggiated chords or something for the sections where the oboe has the melody.

      • yes, that sounds like a good plan. Will be interesting to hear the whole work when it's finished.


      • I'm having difficulty enjoying this, because of the simple accompaniment. There's more to music than a melody + chords as accompaniment. Perhaps one of the self-taught composers can tell you how to make a more interesting score and where to find educational material.

        About the melody, the MIDI editing could do with a bit of retouching. It sounds a bit hasty. I know midi editing isn't easy, but it helps if you hum or sing the melody and pay attention to the breathing.

        Nice melody, though. There's nothing wrong there.

        • I appreciate the advice, though I assure you I'm aware that there's more to music than a melody plus chords.  This movement was intentionally written in a very simple style.  But you're quite right that it probably goes too far in that direction.  I think I'll revise it to add a little more variety to the accompaniment.

          As for the MIDI, this is just Finale's output via NotePerformer, so there's a limit to how much better I can make it sound.  But it's probably worth thinking carefully about all the articulations and dynamics.


  • While I understand Rowy's and David's feedback and their gripes, it's also important to recognize that there are instances in music where simplicity can be a virtue rather than a limitation. The music meets your expressed intentions very well, and for this piece, it wouldn't require intricate rhythmic patterns or complex accompaniments. The melody and occasional counterpoint hold it all together just fine, for me at least. The repeated chords and lack of rhythmic variety in the accompaniment provide a consistent harmonic backdrop that amplifies the impact of the melody, in my opinion.

    I also feel the handling of voicing in this composition is pretty considered, which also helps the light atmosphere you're going for. No complaints from me; I enjoyed it, but what you do with it is entirely up to you, of course.

    • To brush up on my English, is "voicing" the same as "voice leading"?

      • Hi Rowy;

        Yes, that is part of what I meant. Along with considered voice leading principles, I was also referring to the range each instrument is playing in, spacing, what chord tones are assigned to each instrument, doubling, clarity and balance, etc. A generalized broad statement. 


        • Okay, thanks. So voicing is more than voice leading? That explains it. I couldn't find any reasonable voice leading in this composition. The rest, I call orchestration. 

          • You can't? That's interesting. 

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