this is a piece i wrote recently. it's title is mentioned above. and for those of you who do not know what Tartarus is, it's a place in Greek mythology that is deep below Hades. it's a dark place. any tips or ideas for the piece would be absolutely fantastic. this is my first piece written for a full concert band. thanks.

Entering Tartarus.wma

You need to be a member of Composers' Forum to add comments!

Join Composers' Forum

Email me when people reply –


  • I like it. What samples did you use? I think better samples would get a better result sonically.

    Composition-wise, I think it's good, but maybe it could be a little bolder in the middle. And the end seems a little too hopeful, like it should be 'leaving Tartarus'. Overall though, I think it's good

  • i just took a recording from my computer off my Finale 2009.

    alright. thanks. I'll look into fixing those. the end especially. thank you

  • Brian:

    I assume you were going for “Abandon hope, all ye that enter here” with this piece. If so, you thoroughly succeeded, in my opinion. 

    I found the musical images compelling and powerful. 

    This has been one of the neatest experiences of my 60+ years of enjoying the gifts of music. 

    I can’t remember listening to a piece that so quickly created  vivid mental images of the  intended scene. I was truly carried to Sub-Hades. I felt as if I was approaching, then walking, step by step,  toward  its gates .   Then through them.

    Once  through , a quiet reality set in. I realize that I will never hear the toll of the  distant bells again. Then the environment began to overwhelm the chimes, the memory of them, to be heard again only once, at the finale. 

    The musical passages in the  last section created a feeling in me that after “entering” I must have come to a realization and commitment to the reality of where I was.  

    I guess I made my peace with Beelzebub, (who shows up just before the final quiet  singularity and recalled chime.)    Then I just faded into the doom.


    That was MY musical journey.   I could write paragraphs about the images that this piece created in me. I do not remember ever being so quickly transported into a musical scene before.

    It was a truly awesome experience for me.   No kidding.


    Thanks for the heads up on the meaning of “tartarus.” 

    The narrative above would not have been possible for me  without the knowledge of where this journey begins. I would not have been so moved. 

    For the audience’s journey , you MUST  convey to them where they are beginning their musical adventure.   Maybe in a sub-title or something. I know you used “’til death do us part” but maybe “At the gates of Hell” or poetically, “Abandon hope all ye that enter here” or some other allusion or reference as to where we stand as we begin to listen. 


    BTW:  I had my wife listen to it. While not a musician as such, she has a fine ear and appreciation for great music. She was not particularly interested in your piece at first listening. Then I gave her a reference of the title’s meaning and where to begin the visualization. She came up with a narrative very similar to mine, plus many other really strong impressions. (She did not know of my thoughts ahead of time.)


    I am a choral guy myself, so I cannot comment on the technical aspects of your work. 

    But this "hellish" piece moved me -- somethin’ fierce.


  • wow! thank you. that really means a lot. this is one of the pieces i plan on sending in my portfolio of compositions for when i go on to college next fall. your comment really does mean a lot to me. it means i may actually have a decent future in composition later on in life. as long as someone other than me enjoys what i write. I'm currently working on a new subtitle like you suggested to help portray the meaning of the piece. thanks again

    -Brian C. Herald

  • at about 1:50 I'd like more sound, more thickness, I want the brass to rip my head off!

    As a music piece it's fine, has contrast, and a cinematic feel. However, when heard with the title in mind, some issues arise.


    A bit more specifics on tartarus and Hades in general: Hades or Pluton was the god of the underworld, yet the word Hades often is used to describe the underworld, instead of "the realm of Hades". There, all the souls go, good or evil, and are judjed. 

    This is supposed to be deep into the earth, while tartarus, as you already said, is even deeper. A dark, gloomy pit, where the titans are imprisoned (not all of them), and the place where souls judged evil go and are punished, much like hell. So it was a place of evil, torture, despair and dangerous inhabitants. 

    I did not listen this here. No torture, evil, "screams" and so on, and on top of all that you have a theme full of hope in the end. It is dark and gloomy at first, but I'd like more.

    In my opinion, tartarus is not the place for promises like the subtitle. People in tartarus were purely evil (see Sisyphus for example), the chances of such promises are very slim.

This reply was deleted.