Replies

  • Wow!  Knock my socks off.  Is this your first post on this forum?  Tell us about yourself.  Great piece.  I liked all the rhythms, seem like they come from jazz and stage band. Is this the new trend in orchestration?  The bulk of the orchestra is brass and percussion, not a violin to be heard.  And this is the slow movement.?

  • Hey Brandon-

    Congratulations on a well-written piece that catches the audience's attention immediately!  I did hear several places where the audience might think it's over - and then it revs up again. It's not easy to keep listeners engaged for 6 minutes, but you've done it.  Lots of good contrast, along with all the good continuity.

    One of my middle school students plays in and writes for an honors concert band, with pretty much the same instruments you used in this piece.  He will be thrilled to hear your piece - he loves brass and percussion and pieces that go pow!   He's working on a piece right now with a structure and overall feeling similar to yours, so I imagine he will be studying your score pretty closely, if that's all right with you.

    By the way, how expensive is NotePerformer 2.0?  How does it work with Sibelius?  I'm a Finale user, and don't really keep up with Sibelius, but the aforementioned student uses Sibelius and would like a better sound.  Any suggestions you can give would be greatly appreciated.

  • I can't help but imagine the woodwind choir going purple in the face before they're even halfway through the piece. Let them breathe!

    Question about keys notation. Where I have been taught, it is considered good practice, for some reason I can't really remember anymore (something historical I bet), to notate trumpets and horns without key signatures - the "key" on those staves is always C major and all accidentals appear next to notes. Since you clearly don't do it this way, the question is: have you heard of this practice, and if you have, do you have specific reasons (learned or reasoned out) for sticking with the more intuitive default method?

    The piece is fantastic, by the way. But you already know that :)

  • Thank you for your kind words. This is a stand-alone piece that started off as a fanfare. 

    Lawrence Aurich said:

    Wow!  Knock my socks off.  Is this your first post on this forum?  Tell us about yourself.  Great piece.  I liked all the rhythms, seem like they come from jazz and stage band. Is this the new trend in orchestration?  The bulk of the orchestra is brass and percussion, not a violin to be heard.  And this is the slow movement.?

    Blastoff - Brandon Schwab
    With Elon Musk's recent rocket launch I figured it was a fitting time to finish up this space exploration themed piece. Link to youtube video - https…
  • NotePerformer is a Sibelius users best bet. Because Sibelius is a notation software and not a DAW like logic or fruity-loops, it is difficult to find a good sample pack that integrates well with it, and NotePerformer actually does it all for you. Once you install it in the right spot, the pack automatically pops up in the configuration tab in sibelius itself, whereas vsl or kontakt needs to be installed and adjusted to playback in the actual .sib files. 

    Julie Harris said:

    Hey Brandon-

    Congratulations on a well-written piece that catches the audience's attention immediately!  I did hear several places where the audience might think it's over - and then it revs up again. It's not easy to keep listeners engaged for 6 minutes, but you've done it.  Lots of good contrast, along with all the good continuity.

    One of my middle school students plays in and writes for an honors concert band, with pretty much the same instruments you used in this piece.  He will be thrilled to hear your piece - he loves brass and percussion and pieces that go pow!   He's working on a piece right now with a structure and overall feeling similar to yours, so I imagine he will be studying your score pretty closely, if that's all right with you.

    By the way, how expensive is NotePerformer 2.0?  How does it work with Sibelius?  I'm a Finale user, and don't really keep up with Sibelius, but the aforementioned student uses Sibelius and would like a better sound.  Any suggestions you can give would be greatly appreciated.

    Blastoff - Brandon Schwab
    With Elon Musk's recent rocket launch I figured it was a fitting time to finish up this space exploration themed piece. Link to youtube video - https…
  • And id be flattered if your student studied my score. Be sure to send me an mp3 file of what he comes up with later in the school year!

    Julie Harris said:

    Hey Brandon-

    Congratulations on a well-written piece that catches the audience's attention immediately!  I did hear several places where the audience might think it's over - and then it revs up again. It's not easy to keep listeners engaged for 6 minutes, but you've done it.  Lots of good contrast, along with all the good continuity.

    One of my middle school students plays in and writes for an honors concert band, with pretty much the same instruments you used in this piece.  He will be thrilled to hear your piece - he loves brass and percussion and pieces that go pow!   He's working on a piece right now with a structure and overall feeling similar to yours, so I imagine he will be studying your score pretty closely, if that's all right with you.

    By the way, how expensive is NotePerformer 2.0?  How does it work with Sibelius?  I'm a Finale user, and don't really keep up with Sibelius, but the aforementioned student uses Sibelius and would like a better sound.  Any suggestions you can give would be greatly appreciated.

    Blastoff - Brandon Schwab
    With Elon Musk's recent rocket launch I figured it was a fitting time to finish up this space exploration themed piece. Link to youtube video - https…
  • Brandon,

         Have you had a piece like this performed by a real orchestra?  I think some of it is on the edge of being unplayable, especially at this tempo.  I think the brass players would be blue in the face as well.  I would like to hear an opinion from someone who has experience with a live orchestra.  Mike H.?

         You have all the parts on separate staves which makes it hard to follow.   Some condensation is necessary for a conductor.

         This is the kind of new music that should be performed instead of music adapted from a movie score, i.e. John Williams, or some avant garde work.  The only semi-excuse for not performing this would be that there are no strings.  You might write in some strings on the softer slow sections.  The this piece must be performed.

  • Lawrence, Brandon can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe he has written this piece for concert band, which has exactly the instruments he uses and never includes strings.  I also believe that in a concert band, the various wind players often stagger the parts to be able to breathe, although I still advocate giving everyone time for a breath, including the audience!

    Brandon, I don't know if you're in school anywhere, but based on your age I thought you might be.  If so, you might be interested in this competition, which is exactly asking for what you've written. 

    https://nafme.org/wp-content/files/2015/12/2018-Student-Composers-C...

    Prizes include a performance of your piece, and feedback from some pretty impressive people!  The time limit is 5 minutes, but I think you could take out some sections here and there and have an even better piece.  It might be worth a little editing to possibly win an outstanding performance!   Thanks also for the info on NotePerformer.  I'll pass that along, and definitely send you an mp3 of his piece.

  • Brandon,  BRAVO!!!  This is a wonderful piece for Concert Band/Wind Ensemble.  It uses the forces and instrumentation of this ensemble very well.

    Greg, concert band scores are written as transposed scores and up until recently, in the key of the instrument.  This is different than orchestral scores.

    Lawrence,  for a grade 4-5  concert band, this is entirely playable.  As Julie stated, in this idiom, players often stagger the parts.  You need to understand, in an average concert band, there will more than likely be many players on a part unlike orchestra.  4 flute players could easily stagger the breathing to allow this to happen.

    As to the score, concert band literature is often notated with each part broken out to a single line.  Current (and often older,) practice has a few of the parts combined, ie: clarinet 2-3, cornet/trumpet 2/3.  This simply reduces the number of staves on each page allowing for a nicer score presentation.

    My only comment for you Brandon would be to explore your key.  Gb is certainly possible for the level of this piece, it does push the edges.

    Again, Bravo!

    PS  I've been exploring "Note Performer"  and so far, it's been the best I have found for concert band reproduction with a notation program.  The current cost is about $130 US.  It also is very good at reproducing small ensembles,ie: WW quintet, brass quintet, etc.

  • Tim,

         Ah, concert band, I played trumpet in it for seven years in jr. high, high school and college, and we never played anything nearly as difficult as this. Look at the instrument ranges, trumpets hitting high C's all over the place and an Eb, horns hitting A's and B's, truly the ranges for pros.  The 5/8 time signature is tricky enough but it is interspersed with 2/4 just to throw you off. Then the articulation for brass requires double and triple tonguing at super speed.  Then as you pointed out the key signatures are no walk in the park.  There comes a point where computers can play music far beyond the human capacity.  Just because we can write 64th notes doesn't mean we should.

         Maybe kids are more advanced than we were some 40 years ago.  I looked up the program from my high school graduation and we performed Gershwins American in Paris, definitely easier than this piece.
     
    Tim Marko said:

    Brandon,  BRAVO!!!  This is a wonderful piece for Concert Band/Wind Ensemble.  It uses the forces and instrumentation of this ensemble very well.

    Greg, concert band scores are written as transposed scores and up until recently, in the key of the instrument.  This is different than orchestral scores.

    Lawrence,  for a grade 4-5  concert band, this is entirely playable.  As Julie stated, in this idiom, players often stagger the parts.  You need to understand, in an average concert band, there will more than likely be many players on a part unlike orchestra.  4 flute players could easily stagger the breathing to allow this to happen.

    As to the score, concert band literature is often notated with each part broken out to a single line.  Current (and often older,) practice has a few of the parts combined, ie: clarinet 2-3, cornet/trumpet 2/3.  This simply reduces the number of staves on each page allowing for a nicer score presentation.

    My only comment for you Brandon would be to explore your key.  Gb is certainly possible for the level of this piece, it does push the edges.

    Again, Bravo!

    PS  I've been exploring "Note Performer"  and so far, it's been the best I have found for concert band reproduction with a notation program.  The current cost is about $130 US.  It also is very good at reproducing small ensembles,ie: WW quintet, brass quintet, etc.

    Blastoff - Brandon Schwab
    With Elon Musk's recent rocket launch I figured it was a fitting time to finish up this space exploration themed piece. Link to youtube video - https…
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