Here is the entire theme called “Hymn” which is from the 2nd movement of my requiem “In Remembrance,” and once again I ask for your opinions. Should this stay for brass? Or would you score the work for band or orchestra instead? I am also thinking of adding more percussion especially in the Andante section when the work moves a little faster. I would love to hear your thoughts. This part of the requiem is in memory of my grandfather the Reverend Walter R. Burgess. Since he was a pastor his entire life I composed the work with the number 7 in mind which tends to be considered by most a sacred number. For example, the hymn is exactly 77 measures long, both the intro and ending are 14 measures long, and the work itself is almost 7 minutes depending on the performance. Thank you for listening and commenting.

~Rodney

Hymn Audacity Brass Sound.mp3

Hymn Score.pdf

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  • I always enjoy hearing what people are listening to so I thank you for that! I know exactly what you are talking about concerning popular music. Listening to rock and heavy metal for example can be a huge inspiration concerning power, flow, technique, melody, and form. A couple of bands that I really enjoy are The Killers and Avenge Sevenfold. Have you ever heard the song "A Little Piece of Heaven" by Avenge Sevenfold? It is well worth checking out, but just to warn you it's a "little" dark.

    ~Rodney
     
    Gav Brown said:

    I listen to progressive rock, jazz, heavy metal, ragtime, broadway, some classical (big fan of Copland lately), 60s-80s pop, and electronic chill to name a few. I like music from most genres. No, wasn't hearing Britney in your work, but it reminds me of ballad movie music of recent decades, much of which uses sounds that owe something to soft pop. I also mentioned the 16th-dotted 8th melody device you use, which is a convention found in lots of top 40 pieces. I can also hear the Bach in your work too. BTW I will stand up and defend rock/pop/other forms of radio music (including Britney) as an underrated source of inspiration for classical compositions. There is often a charming melody or pleasant chord progression in this music - and it can bring fresh ideas to me which is what gets my brain thinking about composing. Composers from the past often drew from the popular music of their time. Just because today's popular music is not a bunch of musicians playing peasant dances on acoustic instruments does not make it a legitimate form of expression.

    "Hymn" from the Requiem "In Remembrance"
    Here is the entire theme called “Hymn” which is from the 2nd movement of my requiem “In Remembrance,” and once again I ask for your opinions. Should…
  • Hello Rodney - I have not heard of either band you mentioned but I will look them up. Rock and Heavy Metal are powerful influences on me and I am glad to hear from you of new groups to look at. Tony Iommi, the lead guitar player for Black Sabbath for many years, I consider to be one of the finest of modern composers. Loud, rude, distortion guitar music is some of the most powerful composition which has taken place in the last 50 years IMO. It so happens that I am am looking for an obscure Dave Brubek Album (Jazz Impressions of Japan) and will be visiting my local super-CD shop soon, so I will look for the Killers and Avenge while I am there -

  • Dear Rodney,

    Great work you have. Please do not change the orchestration of the brass choir (And this is coming from a woodwind!). It is perfect and fitting. There doesn't need to be any change, at least to me. However, I did notice something that trouble me. At the "Andante" section, the melody seemed to be strung apart too many instruments. The melody seems to be in parallel chords (like 3rds or fifths). I feel as though you could add a countermelody (obbligato?) in that part to contrast with the melody. I understand that it needs to be loud, but adding too many instruments to the same melody or something very similar to it is very dangerous (or so I'm told). But the rest of the work is just so good, I cannot describe how great it was. I really just want to give this to the local brass band (they have been top in the nation in the NABBA contest for 4 or 5 years recently) and force them to play it.

    Great job and I am looking forward to more pieces from you!

    ~Taduhi N. Thetch (Ethan)

  • Thanks Ray!

  • Thanks for the response Ethan. Great to hear from you! I would place a counter-melody in the andante section but there is already a counter-melody section in the section right before it with the euphoniums and horns and after it a little later in the horns. Don't always listen to things that you are told. Sometimes too many melodies at one time can actually thin the texture and when used correctly parallel 5ths and 8vas are fine because they work as one sound creating a modern rich texture, but I may go ahead and experiment with a counter-melody in that section just to see what would happen. Thanks for the suggestion. That section would actually made more since if the conductor took it a little faster and if the tubas did not decide to play so legato but more articulated.

    ~Rodney
     
    Ethan Hitch said:

    Dear Rodney,

    Great work you have. Please do not change the orchestration of the brass choir (And this is coming from a woodwind!). It is perfect and fitting. There doesn't need to be any change, at least to me. However, I did notice something that trouble me. At the "Andante" section, the melody seemed to be strung apart too many instruments. The melody seems to be in parallel chords (like 3rds or fifths). I feel as though you could add a countermelody (obbligato?) in that part to contrast with the melody. I understand that it needs to be loud, but adding too many instruments to the same melody or something very similar to it is very dangerous (or so I'm told). But the rest of the work is just so good, I cannot describe how great it was. I really just want to give this to the local brass band (they have been top in the nation in the NABBA contest for 4 or 5 years recently) and force them to play it.

    Great job and I am looking forward to more pieces from you!

    ~Taduhi N. Thetch (Ethan)

    "Hymn" from the Requiem "In Remembrance"
    Here is the entire theme called “Hymn” which is from the 2nd movement of my requiem “In Remembrance,” and once again I ask for your opinions. Should…
  • What I meant by the counter melody ( I did know that there was one in the score) was empasize it a bit more. Other wise, the piece was REALLY good. Thanks for sharing it!
     
    Rodney Carlyle Money said:

    Thanks for the response Ethan. Great to hear from you! I would place a counter-melody in the andante section but there is already a counter-melody section in the section right before it with the euphoniums and horns and after it a little later in the horns. Don't always listen to things that you are told. Sometimes too many melodies at one time can actually thin the texture and when used correctly parallel 5ths and 8vas are fine because they work as one sound creating a modern rich texture, but I may go ahead and experiment with a counter-melody in that section just to see what would happen. Thanks for the suggestion. That section would actually made more since if the conductor took it a little faster and if the tubas did not decide to play so legato but more articulated.

    ~Rodney
     
    Ethan Hitch said:

    Dear Rodney,

    Great work you have. Please do not change the orchestration of the brass choir (And this is coming from a woodwind!). It is perfect and fitting. There doesn't need to be any change, at least to me. However, I did notice something that trouble me. At the "Andante" section, the melody seemed to be strung apart too many instruments. The melody seems to be in parallel chords (like 3rds or fifths). I feel as though you could add a countermelody (obbligato?) in that part to contrast with the melody. I understand that it needs to be loud, but adding too many instruments to the same melody or something very similar to it is very dangerous (or so I'm told). But the rest of the work is just so good, I cannot describe how great it was. I really just want to give this to the local brass band (they have been top in the nation in the NABBA contest for 4 or 5 years recently) and force them to play it.

    Great job and I am looking forward to more pieces from you!

    ~Taduhi N. Thetch (Ethan)

    "Hymn" from the Requiem "In Remembrance"
    Here is the entire theme called “Hymn” which is from the 2nd movement of my requiem “In Remembrance,” and once again I ask for your opinions. Should…
  • Ah yes! Me too my friend, me too. During the live recording I am guessing that there were no mics near the 1st horns or they they simply did not perform the passage loud enough. Maybe I just need to give the passage to the entire horn section next time.

    ~Rodney                                                    
     
    Ethan Hitch said:

    What I meant by the counter melody ( I did know that there was one in the score) was empasize it a bit more. Other wise, the piece was REALLY good. Thanks for sharing it!
     
    Rodney Carlyle Money said:

    Thanks for the response Ethan. Great to hear from you! I would place a counter-melody in the andante section but there is already a counter-melody section in the section right before it with the euphoniums and horns and after it a little later in the horns. Don't always listen to things that you are told. Sometimes too many melodies at one time can actually thin the texture and when used correctly parallel 5ths and 8vas are fine because they work as one sound creating a modern rich texture, but I may go ahead and experiment with a counter-melody in that section just to see what would happen. Thanks for the suggestion. That section would actually made more since if the conductor took it a little faster and if the tubas did not decide to play so legato but more articulated.

    ~Rodney
     
    Ethan Hitch said:

    Dear Rodney,

    Great work you have. Please do not change the orchestration of the brass choir (And this is coming from a woodwind!). It is perfect and fitting. There doesn't need to be any change, at least to me. However, I did notice something that trouble me. At the "Andante" section, the melody seemed to be strung apart too many instruments. The melody seems to be in parallel chords (like 3rds or fifths). I feel as though you could add a countermelody (obbligato?) in that part to contrast with the melody. I understand that it needs to be loud, but adding too many instruments to the same melody or something very similar to it is very dangerous (or so I'm told). But the rest of the work is just so good, I cannot describe how great it was. I really just want to give this to the local brass band (they have been top in the nation in the NABBA contest for 4 or 5 years recently) and force them to play it.

    Great job and I am looking forward to more pieces from you!

    ~Taduhi N. Thetch (Ethan)

    "Hymn" from the Requiem "In Remembrance"
    Here is the entire theme called “Hymn” which is from the 2nd movement of my requiem “In Remembrance,” and once again I ask
  • Hello Saul and thank you so very much for your comments. I always enjoy your posts on this forum. I appreciate you and appreciate your concerns. I pray now that I can give you some insight in why I composed this particular work in its style and hopefully shed some light concerning its originality. I take pride in the thought that it was though you were listening to a soundtrack because you were. The music represented the soundtrack of a person’s life. Since you refer to music for film, it delights me in knowing that the music presented you with a vast amount of visuals within your own head because that was the intention. This music was not written for the quest of the musical unknown, but was written by an American to sound American for an American soldier who devoted his life to God, family, and country. I still remember the tears in his eyes as he watched the news concerning 911. He turned to me and then looked up saying, “My God, my Lord, what is happening to this country, this world?” When my grandmother passed away, his wife of over 60 years, I performed “Taps” and “Amazing Grace” at her gravesite, and he told me after the ceremony, “Rod, that’s exactly how I want it also.” 6 months later I was playing the same hymn at his grave as the shots fired off and volleyed in the air.

     

    If you are looking for originality, I ask of you that you look into the way the composition was conceived. I will not analyze the entire work, but I will highlight some of the key techniques that I used. Like I mentioned in the original post, my grandfather devoted his life spreading the word of God surrounding his life with the hymns that sung of a promise of salvation and an inheritance from our heavenly Father that no man can comprehend until we are called up into His glory. So in taking his life into account, only a hymn could serve as the soundtrack to this devoted servant of God, for he was also in the American armed forces so I composed an original hymn that resounds in Americana patriotism.

     

    People who live by the Word find meaning in numbers also. For example, the number 3 stands for the Holy Trinity, 7 is perfection, and 1 stands for unity or God. The introduction and conclusion theme, or chord progression if you prefer, was not merely composed because it simply sounded pretty, but was based on the numbers 7 and 3. There are exactly 14 measures in this theme which is 7+7, after the fundamental pitch is established by a single tuba on G representing God, 7 staves start the work and then 3 enter later, and now please take a look in the theme played by the trumpets. The individual notes played are in this order: 3, 3, 7, 3, 3, 7, and then the actual score is in 3’s and 7’s: 3 trumpets, 3 horns, 3 trombones, and 3 low brass. You can also see on the first title page that the staves are arranged in 7 (trumpets to trombones,) and 3 (low brass: bass trombones, euphoniums, and tubas.) This work itself is around 7 minutes long also. When this theme is sounded in the conclusion its notes are played as 3, 3, 7, 3, 3, 7, and 1. The 1 stands for my grandfather’s spirit becoming one in the Lord’s after the suspension of life is resolved. That’s suspension was written purposely as a 4-3 suspension sounding similar to a plagal cadence’s “Amen,” and also giving homage to Mahler’s 4th movement of his 5th symphony representing resolved love. So now we can hopefully see that each note, rhythm, and chord were thoughtfully considered and not just written down for aurally pleasing aesthetics and that is simply analyzing the first and last 14 measures.

     

    Bach’s esoteric symbolism in numbers was a great influence in this work. Bach believed that numbers showed that his music worked in the perfect order preordained from God. Since this work is about devotion to the work of God, I used Bach’s influences to establish that perfect order through the use of numbers, counter-point, and proper voice leading. Bach’s individual lines had their own melody even when used in a choral setting. I represented his technique also by not just establishing an alto or tenor voice, but letting that voice sing its own unique melody within the homophonic texture. I almost enjoy the tenor line more than the melody itself, and the melody is only complete by the illusion it creates when the soprano and alto line are played together. I also quoted Bach’s “Aria” or commonly known as “Air on the G String” in the tuba part to represent my 2 week-old daughter named Aria who will never know her great-grandparents on this Earth. In its own unique little way it brings them together when the melody joins the bass line.   

     

    Saul you say, “The entire pillar of the melody rests of a familiar tune.” I say thank you so very much for the compliment, and I can go further on to say that it rests on 4 familiar tunes that are instantaneity gratifying! I chose not to go through cliche modulations to develop the work because I wanted the piece to stay pure and use only the 7 notes in the key of G Major. I chose that key because G represents God, and it’s the 7th key when you say A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. So to develop the work I relied on form, orchestration, register timbre, and pleasing melodic writing. Popular cluster chord composer Eric Whitacre once told me that he wished he had my talent of writing melodies. He went on to say since he has to rely mostly on chords that’s why his music tends to sound the same. Even Brahms once said that he would give anything to have written the melodic waltz “The Blue Danube.” So I will always take my melody writing as a compliment, and to quote Irving Berlin, “Popular music is popular because a lot of people like it.”   

     

    Saul, you want to listen to something that was never written before. That’s wonderful. We should always strive for new inspirations, but as composers we must also know how to write for appropriate times of reverence and reflection relying on influences of our past and culture. I feel your words are a direct reaction to Gav’s words concerning your own works as pieces that are in a style that’s already been written. Since this came from a recent topic I completely understand that his words are still reverberating within your soul and now you are listening to other’s works with the same intelligent analytical technique that Gav bestowed upon you, and I thank you and him for that. I have many works, my friend Saul that can help you achieve your goal of the new, but with “Hymn” the goal was to compose a patriotic, reverence, melodic, Bach influenced hymn haloed in the American spirit, and I personally believed that the work achieved its goal.

     

     If you wished to hear something you have never heard before, please take a listen to my post “Sins of the Old Testament” written for violin, clarinet, bassoon, tuba, and percussion. The work uses set-theory in a tonal setting. Or I have other works that I have not posted that I feel could achieve you ultimate goal of the new including a 12-tone trumpet fanfare that makes fun of the technique instead of celebrating it, a piece written for harpsichord that one movement uses pivot chords to modulate every measure and then the next movement is derived of fully diminished 7th chords. I have a work based on African-American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar’s “We Wear the Mask” scored for an unusual orchestration of celesta, vibraphone, 2 marimbas, cello, and tenor. And I also have a work entitled “Boomwhackalacka!” which is the very first original work scored just for boomwhackers that features the entire set of tubes. So Saul, which one would you like for me to post in the listening area next?       

     

    I personally feel that “Hymn’s” originality lies within its simplicity just as the music of Satie in the midst of serialism, but I assure you that the technique and thought involved in perceiving this work is far more complex than the music shows. Even the form is a direct basis of the number 7 in its 7 parts: A (intro) B (Hymn) C (Bridge) B (Climax) D (Reflection) B (Prayer) A (Coda.) In a time where I fear composers have lost their voice of melody, I will always take it as a complement when someone refers my work as melodic. Maybe the irony is in the requiem’s title itself, “In Remembrance,” and in that essence I supposed it should remind us all of something.     

    ~Rodney



    Saul Dzorelashvili said:

    The music's weakest point is originality. It sounds as though I'm listening to a soundtrack of some film, and there is nothing new there. The entire pillar of the melody rests on on a familiar tune. I want to listen to something that was never written before, that doesnt remind me of any other melody. This is very difficult to achieve, cause many composers compose in the style of 'film soundtrack' and without even noticing, they get extremely influenced of things that they have heard before in film, and then they incorporate it into their own works, most of the time it is done innocently, and without even knowing the degree of influence they get from film music. So, on a technical level it all sounds good, nicely done, nice instrumentation , but there is nothing new here, no originality.

    "Hymn" from the Requiem "In Remembrance"
    Here is the entire theme called “Hymn” which is from the 2nd movement of my requiem “In Remembrance,” and once again I ask for your opinions. Should…
  • Thank you, my friend.

    ~Rodney
     
    Saul Dzorelashvili said:

    Hey Rodney, I will read and reply to your post later on, let me just say that you took such great effort to write such a long response. Just by this, it says one important thing about you, and that is that you take music very seriously and it is a major part of your life...

    Kudos to you,

    "Hymn" from the Requiem "In Remembrance"
    Here is the entire theme called “Hymn” which is from the 2nd movement of my requiem “In Remembrance,” and once again I ask
  • Perfect just like it is for a big open acoustically live space and a solemn occasion. You kept it simple. That's what you want here. You have a general audience who wants to think about the person, the occasion, and the ambience while the music plays. I think you got it right.

This reply was deleted.