Here is a piece in a style that I started calling "emotional baroque". I know these two words are not traditionally supposed to go together, but... let me know if you think the label is granted in this case!

I have a couple other pieces that I classify under this label as well. This is the short version of the piece, called "emotional dialog between loved ones". I had promised Dave Ostrowski I would try not to write too much about each piece, so as not to bias the listener from the onset, so I won't. Although the title itself is already suggestive... In the long version of the piece, the emotional dialog is interrupted by reminiscences.

I can post that version later - it is over 5 minutes long and I didn't want to try your patience.




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  • I don't know where the idea came from that baroque music cannot be emotional, but I call BS on that (listen sometime to the 2nd movement of Bach's BWV1052, for example). Baroque music can certainly be emotional... and I think your music fits right in! :-)  But anyway, that's beside the point...

    Your piece seems to have a bit of Chopin's flavor, but in a baroque-like style. I like it! I would like to hear the 5-minute version of this, actually. I'm curious how you'd handle the material in extended form. :-) Your style is clear, and the various melodies and countermelodies come through very nicely. I think I need to learn from you and thin down the textures in my music -- I tend to think mainly in terms of chords and have an obsessive compulsion to fill in all the notes, so my music tends to be thick and heavy. Yours, in contrast, is light and pleasant to listen to, yet nonetheless not lacking in expressiveness in any way. I'd love to hear more!

    The score was really hard to read, though. It didn't seem to have scanned properly, so there are large white bands that make it almost unreadable. The contrast is also too low, so the notes were too faint. I gave up trying to decipher it, and just listened to the audio instead.

  • H. S. Teoh,

    Thank you so much for the comments.  BTW, by what name do you want to be addressed?  Just your first initial?  Or?

    I actually do agree with you that traditional baroque music can be, and often is, emotional.  I may have picked the wrong word.  Here's what I was trying to get at:  Traditional baroque to me evokes greater realities, such as a greater society, an emergent order in the world, the cosmos, or God.  Those realities can be expressed with great emotion.  And the emotion is expressed in the notes themselves, without need to bring them out through "emotional interpretation".  That is something I absolutely love about the baroque style, by the way. 

    In contrast, this piece I wrote is personal.  I think you felt this distinction as well, because you mentioned Chopin.  If you think about it, what I wrote does not really sound like Chopin, however it is in the same spirit of Chopin (you used the term "Chopin's flavor") in that it expressed individual, personal experiences.

    It is funny you wrote you need to learn from me, because I most definitely need to learn from you.  I would love to be able to add some sonority and instrumentation to my music.  However, I don't think I will ever be able to find the time to learn how to do it, something I regret.  From what I heard so far, you are very good with the instrumentation indeed.

    Sorry about the score.  I will try to upload a better version soon, but today that's not possible.  I will also try to upload the 5 minute version of this piece soon. 



  • I usually go by my last name.

    I see what you mean by being more personal; it's less of the idealistic uniformity stereotypical of baroque music, but more of the personal voice and personal experiences. In any case, I like it.

    As for instrumentation and/or orchestration, I feel actually that I'm a mere beginner, since I never had the opportunity to work with real-life ensembles, and therefore have to settle for inferior sources of information, namely imperfect recordings and textbooks. I'm constantly fighting with the possibility that what I hear from the computer is far removed from the sound of a real ensemble, and that my instrumentation has fallen into the trap of being written to sound good on the computer, which is not the same thing as sounding good in a real ensemble. So I have much to learn yet.

    In any case, learning from each other is really the whole point of this forum. In my delusions of grandeur I forget that sometimes the most effective way to convey a musical idea is the simplest way -- a plain solo melody, or a pair of contrapuntal melodies, as opposed to a thick texture of too many things going on that produces a muddle rather than clarity. I think I have much to learn from you in how to express things in a simple, yet clear and effective way.

    And there's no need to hurry, I don't always have the time to review pieces posted on this forum immediately; as long as you post it sometime I'll eventually get around to it.

  • Teoh,

    I appreciate your sentiment that learning from one another is the whole point of this forum.  I didn't know you were "a mere beginner" with instrumentation in the sense that you never worked with real-life ensembles.  I only know I found your instrumentation of the Puppet Army piece to be highly appropriate for that piece and extremely satisfying.  Maybe you need to focus on other aspects of your music making as well, but you should at least feel good about the type of sound you are achieving with the different (synthetic) instruments.  Anyway, I think your attitude that you "have much to learn yet" is just a healthy one.


    P.S. A quote from Chopin:

    "Bach is an astronomer, discovering the most marvellous stars. Beethoven challenges the universe. I only try to express the soul and the heart of man.”

  • Gosh, now I'm even replying to my own posts...

    I wanted to comment on Chopin's quote "Bach is an astronomer, discovering the most marvellous stars. Beethoven challenges the universe. I only try to express the soul and the heart of man.”

    The soul and heart of man in Chopin's time was, I suspect, much different than the soul and heart of man in Bach's time, and that in Beethoven's time. I suspect that in Bach's time God and His universe were very much embedded in the soul and heart of man.  While in Chopin's time, the heart of man was far less rooted, far more insecure and adrift.  Maybe all three of these men were expressing their hearts. 

    Sorry for the philosophical digressions, but I gather this forum is at least partly about philosophy...


  • Hmm. If Bach was an astronomer, Beethoven challenged the universe, and Chopin expressed the soul and heart of man, then I would be a child in a toy shop admiring a beautiful new toy and inventing a story in which it played the starring role.

  • Bob,
    Maybe I confuse the terms - I am not currently clear about the distinctions between "baroque" and "polyphonic" (which I believe means the same as "counterpuntal"). I probably can clear this up with a visit to wikipedia, but right now it's time for the evening "tusks" (Ondib would know what I mean).
    However, once I get a chance to post the same piece where this dialog is interrupted by reminiscences, you might change your mind, since at least one of the reminiscences is probably squarely baroque.
    Anyhow, I'm just glad you thought the piece was delightful and touching, and I am grateful principally that you listened to it.
    Thank you so much, and excuse me if I sound like I had too much wine at dinner (who, me?)

    Bob Porter said:


    Thanks for posting this piece. It is really quite delightful.

    I'm not sure I understand you dilemma of what style this music is. Of course, everyone will have their own opinion. but I find nothing Baroque about this piece. Well, unless you want to classify it as a two part invention. But I find it clearly and hopelessly romantic in nature. It is pensive and thought provoking. Very touching.

    Well done.  

  • IMO, what is written on the page is but the vehicle for conveying the real music. If one were to only read the page without reading the music conveyed by the page, the result will only be a dry, mechanical performance lacking in true musicality -- such as one produced by a computer reading off notation. True music is when the performer receives the communication of the composer's thought through the medium of the page, and thereby becomes able to retransmit this thought through his instrument to the listener.

  • The music I write resides "in the notes".  Speed, expression, etc, are all completely open.  There is a huge variety of possible ways to play these notes that are all valid.  In fact, I am certain that my own renditions are quite poor relative to what other people might do with the same notes.

    This piece in particular ("Emotional Dialog Among Loved Ones"), I feel there's almost no wrong way to play it.  That's my favorite aspect of this piece, in fact.


  • Well Mariza, This is absolutely lovely.  I really enjoy your style and your approach to counterpoint.  There’s a freedom and lightness to it, and your interpretation, as mentioned, provides a more romantic feel.  It’s like loosely intertwined vines.  I too am learning tremendously from your music. It’s relaxed, yet purposeful, and vulnerable, and so less busy than mine.  Everything fits nicely in its space, and you created a beautiful space here.  Yes, it has Baroque motif’s, and I understand your distinction between personal and “lofty” emotions.  I have found Bach and others to have written some pretty playful stuff, and yeah, there’s a stateliness to it all, just the same.  Must be those rules. ;p   I knew a guy who liked to play tear jerking interpretations of Bach inventions, so there we go.  It would be interesting to hear your piece played straight.  Can you even do it?  No?  Good. Don’t ;) 


    You know what happens? Now that the pressure is on, I can’t come up with anything more than that this represents the same 2 lovers from offbeat romance, and explores how they relate one another in adversity - which you pretty much already said.   How’s that for a cop out? 


    Beautiful piece, Mariza.  When do we get the full version?  


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