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My first go at making a video...

Text by Louise Bogan

Before I saw the tall man
Few women should see,
Beautiful and imposing
Was marble to me.

And virtue had its place
And evil its alarms,
But not for that worn face,
And not in those roped arms.

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Very nice piece. Very good text setting and harmonic language. The music fits the text very well. 

My only criticisms is that I felt that the piano was almost to climax more satisfyingly than the vocal line. When the piece was finish I was just kind of wanting more. The other one is that I felt the opening didnt really fit with the rest of the piece. 

Other than that this is a fantastic piece. Great Job. 

Driscoll, this is a beautifully haunting piece.. (I am reminded a bit in flavor - of the Villa Lobos Vocalise, which i love.)

I wasn't sure about the intro either.. (unless preceded by another vocal piece, and it works as more transitionary material..)

 Thank you for posting!


This is quite a lovely song. The harmonic progressions and text setting have a seemingly effortless flow to them. Classical song ("art song"?) is a very underrated genre, and I wish there were more songs like this on this site.

I share both of Tyler's concerns, and I think these two concerns are actually related: part of why the ending feels so unsatisfying is because the piece started with such a firm sense of motive and tonality. When you don't bring this back later, it creates an imbalance. Although you bring the arpeggio idea back at the end, the repeated C major thing feels extraneous to the piece.

Given the nature of the poem, I understand why you don't resolve the last chord, but it still feels like it needs something else--maybe just a few more repeated echoes of the arpeggio motive or another chromatic chord--to really let the unresolved sensation sink in.

Other than that, great work!

Thanks for the feedback, all.  Given its age, I am probably not going to revise this song further, but at some point I will combine it one or two others in a set.  I think that may help address some of the issues you've brought up.

Giving its age? Is it published? Has it been performed? Then it hasn't even been born.

I totally disagree with that perspective, Rodney, but don't have the time to spend getting into it with you.  Thanks.

Come on, let's here what you have to say. That's why we post music on an open forum.
LOL. hear not here. I love autocorrect.
Let me tell you how it works in the real world. For example, I have two of my vocal pieces, one called "The Garden of Love" text by William Blake and the other one "We Wear the Mask," text by Paul Laurence Dunbar that were literally composed a week from each other back in 2003. Both started out as vocal solo works with accompaniment and both have been performed live on several occasions, but in 2005 I turned "The Garden of Love" into a work for SSAA instead of solo and let it get published by Alfred Publishing. Now "The Garden of Love" has been performed from America to Europe to Asia and featured on NPR's "All Things Considered" while "We Wear the Mask" sits in my computer waiting for my decision over her fate. Since I let "The Garden of Love" get published I have to ask for permission if I want to change anything from my publisher and they might tell me then, "Giving it's age, it's probably best to keep it how it is." Now, I can do what ever I want to, to "We Wear the Mask." I can turn it into a piece for SATB, woodwind quintet, or even a marching band chart, but it's birth will happen the day it is published and not in 2003. Even if a piece has been performed live you can still change your work.
My friends, I guess we have another example of a new member who wants us to "marvel" at his composition instead of analyzing and critiquing it. I have a way of finding these people, don't I? You had a vocal and composition major working on his PHD, a choir director, and someone who gave you the exact same intelligent advice as a professional editor give you wonderful advice and you simply said, "Given its age, I am probably not going to revise this song further.." Next time you either need to place your music in a blog or state the purpose of presenting your music and what type of feedback you are looking for. Was your purpose to see if you could make a video? Congratulations then, you did it! Great job. I guess we are done with this discussion unless someone has a question on how to make a video.

While I very much appreciate all the feedback, none of the comments were technical, but were reactions to an imbalance in the structure/shape of the song that was wholly intentional.  

I read the comments, thought about them and realize the issue.  Moreover, I plan to address it.  But my solution is to write/finish the few other songs that will live with it, not revise this particular song.  Sorry if that's not the decision you (someone who never offered any actual feedback on the song) were looking for...

One final point: I do in fact live in the real world.  This means my time is valuable and I need to prioritize my use of it.  It's also why this will be my last contribution to a "conversation" that is pretty much now about you.

You received plenty of technical advice especially from Nicholas including your C Major arpeggios do not work in the beginning, unless your intent was comedy. The only time you hear something like that is so a choir can receive their pitches to start, but then you started a solo, so if that was you whole intent then bravo it was a hilarious musical joke that both Mozart and Hayden would've loved. The band equivalent would be playing a Bb concert scale with arpeggios at the beginning of a piece. Feel free to use that in your next work for band. I know at least 3 out of the 4 people who responded to your piece have performed and composed vocally so if we see that your piece doesn't technically work, then maybe you should technically fix it. You can write all of the songs you want to "live with it," but even if a section needs work it still needs to be revise and not rely on the support of other more complete works.

Concerning "Someone who never offered any actual feedback on the song," I gave you the best advice ever, complete it, make it alive, so others can perform it, and not let it die in your computer or when your piece fades from memory from this forum. I live in the real world of music and I know how it works. If you just edited your music, the piano has issues also by the way (if you see that I am actually trying to help you then I will offer those suggestions) you could get this art song published, make an extra $500-$1000+ every January for the rest of your life, if you get a commission out of this piece you could make another $1000-$5000 from a person or group that loves and discovers your style (my own groups could commission you, for example for around $1000-$2000 easily.) This is the real world, my friend, and I value my time just as much as you do. If I did not find value in your work I would've not spent half of my day responding to you.

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