Hello everyone! I've been taking to heart lots of the comments I've been getting on my fugal counterpoint, and I've returned with a new imitative piece that I'm quite happy with.

This piece is called 'The Migration of the Ants'. It's a fugue-like composition for 2 pianos, written as program music to evoke the image of ants frantically moving about from one place to the next.

My main goal was to write a clearer exposition then I had last time, one which lends itself better to modulation and a clear tonality. The piece is structured beginning with an exposition of the 3 voices featuring tonic/dominant modulation and some stretto, before modulating to the relative minor and exploring and developing melodic ideas there. Finally, the piece returns to an identical recapitulation of the exposition, and ends with a brief coda. I freely break from counterpoint at certain points to highlight melodic moments, such as the parallel thirds that end the development section.

Do you like my exposition? Does the piece seem to flow and progress smoothly, while maintaining the essence of the subject? What do you think about my handling of modulation, as well as dynamics? Also, does the piece inspire in your mind the image I was going for?

Thank you ahead of time for your advice, it's all been so very helpful to me in progressing to this point in the first place.

SCORE: http://imgur.com/UHDRTl7

The Migration of the Ants.mp3

The Migration of the Ants - Full Score.pdf

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Replies

  • Well I like this. Whatever it is classified as.

    Love the humour in it.

    Not sure how many three handed pianists are out there. Your challenge might be to reduce it to two hands but still playable.
  • Thank you for your kind words.

    As for the playability, I had mentioned that it's intended for 2 pianos.

    Michael Lofting said:

    Well I like this. Whatever it is classified as.

    Love the humour in it.

    Not sure how many three handed pianists are out there. Your challenge might be to reduce it to two hands but still playable.
    Back with another Fugue-like composition
    Hello everyone! I've been taking to heart lots of the comments I've been getting on my fugal counterpoint, and I've returned with a new imitative pie…
  • Two pianos. Sorry, missed that.

    It is three voices so you could add the extra bass voice.

    One of my favourite fugues is the last movement of Bach's double harpsichord concerto in C
  • You're absolutely right, I had meant to bracket the 3 staves off differently to indicate that they were 2 separate parts, I guess I forgot.

    And yes, the double harpsichord concerto is one of my favorites! As far as counterpoint goes, there is no one else like Bach.

    Michael Lofting said:

    Two pianos. Sorry, missed that.

    It is three voices so you could add the extra bass voice.

    One of my favourite fugues is the last movement of Bach's double harpsichord concerto in C
    Back with another Fugue-like composition
    Hello everyone! I've been taking to heart lots of the comments I've been getting on my fugal counterpoint, and I've returned with a new imitative pie…
  • Oooo yes!  Very nice Sam.  I love your subject, and exposition - very clear. I never lost my "subject" bearings, and to me the piece moves and flows very organically through itself.  As well, your modulations seem very apt and fluid.

    I don't fully get the ant imagery, or consider this program music, but that doesn't matter, as it's just my perception and experience, and you're the composer. I'm on a big imitative counterpoint trip these days, and after 3 listenings, this perpetual student finds your piece pretty darned inspiring.  Nice work, Sam!  Enjoy your weekend.

    D

  • Thank you so much, Dave! It's always nice to hear from other imitative composers.

    Dave Ostrowski said:

    Oooo yes!  Very nice Sam.  I love your subject, and exposition - very clear. I never lost my "subject" bearings, and to me the piece moves and flows very organically through itself.  As well, your modulations seem very apt and fluid.

    I don't fully get the ant imagery, or consider this program music, but that doesn't matter, as it's just my perception and experience, and you're the composer. I'm on a big imitative counterpoint trip these days, and after 3 listenings, this perpetual student finds your piece pretty darned inspiring.  Nice work, Sam!  Enjoy your weekend.

    D

    Back with another Fugue-like composition
    Hello everyone! I've been taking to heart lots of the comments I've been getting on my fugal counterpoint, and I've returned with a new imitative pie…
  • I like your subject, it has a very distinctive rhythm that makes it instantly recognizable throughout the piece. I also didn't get the "ants" imagery, but I certainly enjoyed the humor in the piece, almost like it doesn't take itself too seriously. The ending made me smile.

    I did find the repetition in bars 20-21 / 22-23 a bit out-of-place... it's almost as if the music wants some variation in the second repetition to make it more interesting. Maybe shifting the motifs to a different voice / register would help it not be just a verbatim repetition.

    The long pause in bar 29 also seems a little sudden... I'm not sure if this is an artifact of computer rendition, which tends to sound mechanical and dry; I suppose human performers could somewhat slow down toward the end of the 16th note passage in bar 28 to make the long note less sudden. One idea would be to repeat the ascending figure in bar 28 solo (or continue the ascent with the same figure, solo), to give an impression of dying away, before ending on a long note. Another (wild) idea is to shorten the note value to a 16th note and make it sforzando, followed by silence, as a deliberate sudden stop before the recapitulation.

  • Thank you for your kind words!

    Susan Partlan said:

    I listened twice. An excellent rendering of the subject idea. I could defnitely picture ants moving around, with some going off every which way, then regrouping to get back to the business at hand: finding the sugar bowl :). It flows beautifully holding interest throughout.

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