A battle march, sort of

Since this is my first post here, I'll take the opportunity to introduce myself. Hello everybody!
I'm Greg (they would say Grzegorz in Poland, but I like the English version more :)), I'm 19, I play violin, piano, guitar and anything else that's unlucky enough to be around when I'm struck by a surge of creativity. However, what really intrigues me is the possibility to create my own music rather than just reproduce what others have thought of. I have decided to study composition in Cracow Academy of Music next year (or maybe somewhere else, but this seems like the most reasonable choice), and I believe I still need a lot of improvement to actually pass the exams... Well, stumbling upon this forum was exactly what I had wanted - a place where other composers might share some fresh ideas as well as give constructive feedback on my work.

Anyway, since this is Music Dissection, I guess it's time to be judged, hah.
The attachment I'm providing is my second attempt at a work for full symphonic orchestra. It's called "demo" cause it's not the whole piece - I've already scored it pretty much till the end, but I consider it very far from being polished, so I didn't even bother recording; plus I'm eager to hear a word or two on what I already have. You may consider it the A part of ABA' form. Both A's (minus the intro) are based on the vigorous theme first played by the flute, while B is built with different material, only to let the main theme through here and there. But all this - later, when I finish the work and record it; honestly, I don't feel like doing any more mixing anytime soon.
Ah yes, mixing. That's another aspect I'd like your opinion on, apart from the piece as it is. This is mainly because I've got interested in virtual instruments and such just recently, and the march I'm attaching is my very first attempt at using these combined with a sequencer. Samples are EWQLSO Gold, no additional processing done.

So... here we go. I will gladly hear any kind of feedback, so don't hesitate; if your advice is to quit composing immediately - go ahead, tell me. Well, I hope the piece is at least bearable to listen to :D

Praise be to Karras demo.mp3

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  • Welcome to the forum!

    Sounds pretty darn good! I know absolutely nothing about how to get a good mix, as one can easily tell by visiting my home page, so I have no suggestions there. As far as form, I have a couple of thoughts. The introduction seems to end kind of abruptly. I wanted more, maybe you could expand it a bit and build it up directly into the main theme? The ascending minor second motive that comes in around 2 minutes sounds kitschy to my ears, you may want to reconsider that. My only other moment of discomfort was a cross-relation between the re of the faaa-me-re-me-re-do melody and the bII chord beneath it.

    In any case, those are just my thoughts, do with them what you wish. The orchestration was nice and the melody is memorable. Good work!
  • Uh... i think its fantastic. jesus H Christ... if you go to any serious kind of music school... John Williams is going to get nervous, LMAO

    I love this guy... he says "oh, (blink, blink) I hope its bearable to listen to..." THEN, its like i'm listening to a preview of the next STAR WARS soundtrack, lol.

    Your only 19? Your going anywhere you want to in a few years, lol...
  • might remind me a little of... the planet suite? mars bringer of war, a little? *shrugs* and some kind of imperial march or something...

    this is good stuff, i figure. SOunds like good instruments, too.
  • Oh yes, Holst! So much thanks for mentioning him, the Mars theme (so to speak) has been ringing in my ears for the past few weeks and I couldn't figure where I had heard it. So simple yet powerful, isn't it.

    I'm worried about the minor second motive Tom mentioned though - it's like, I needed to get back to B minor, so I just sat at the piano, played something and it felt good! Especially since I'm trying to combine regular harmony, maybe slightly altered, with a little atonal (or maybe, distorted) stuff. Maybe it's just out of place in this case, I don't know...

    Thanks for the feedback, guys! I hope more people show up to give some insight, as rendering another piece (or finishing this one, time will show) will take forever, and I want to improve as quickly as possible ^^
  • I'm not nearly as learned as you so please keep that in perspective haha. I liked it very much, I loved the beginning but the transition there was very abrupt. In my limited experience transitions are keys to good music. Also, to my ear you use the triangle a little too much, did you ever think of alternative forms of percussion? Still it was very tense in an awesomely romantic sort of way, especially in the beginning. I love the first measures of timpani, I felt like there should have been an oar in my hands. I loved the horn lines throughout the main body of the piece. How long have you been composing/ learning how to? You are very talented.
  • Overall I like this piece.

    1) I like the way it starts kind of slow. The tension is holding just a little longer that you would expect before the shift at 00:51, this I like.

    2) The main theme that starts at 1:00 is nicely done and complements the rest of the piece. The instrument choice / sample used / the articulations could be better in my opinion; it sounds a little like a midi instrument, which is a shame as the theme is well written.

    3) At 02:15 I wish that the piece would open up more than it does now. Maybe giving it more volume and making that nice 6 French horns section that EWQLSO has stand out - could give the end more of a majestic feel. Some violins with a harder (short) attack could also be a possibility.

    I'm also new to a making working with a full symphonic orchestra, but I hope you can use my comments anyway. I'm looking forward to your next composition :-)
  • I'm amused by your piece, although I'd try to fill it a little bit more with some instruments 'battling' eachother, like some piccolo stuff doing a fast melody and having another instrument responding with another melody to it, u know what I mean ;-) and some more velocity/volume differences to emphasize some high points , it could give it some more 'bombastic' kind of feeling which would work out nice, I think.
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