This is a bit different, but here's a piece I finished last year and have been revising a little bit recently.  The idea is that it's sort of a progressive rock piece in the form of a Classical symphony. It's all done with virtual instruments, of course, so how tolerable the audio sounds will be a bit subjective.  I provide a score transcription as well, even though the piece wasn't really written with real players in mind, so some stuff is undoubtedly difficult or unidiomatic. 

If anyone cares to listen to some of this, I'd love to hear your comments or criticisms!

1. Maestoso - Allegro moderato.pdf

2. Adagio con espressione.pdf

3. Scherzo.pdf

4. Molto allegro.pdf


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  • Hi Steven

    It's best if you feature only 1 music link per post, please bear that in mind for future posts. No need to change anything on this post. 


    CF Site Manager

    • I'm sorry, I guess I should have just asked for comments on one movement.  I'll avoid posting multi-movement pieces as multiple links in the future.


  • This is very impressive work Steven, you have set lofty goals for yourself here and I think you have largely succeeded.  To write anything of 40 minute length that makes sense is very challenging. I have only listened to the first movement, as Gav has mentioned it is pretty difficult for most of us here to devote a lot of time to making any kind of meaningful comments on short pieces let alone a full symphony

    That said I'll try and make some points. Progressive rock is a style that invites adaption to more traditional styles of  long form art music using symphonic structures and orchestral instrumentation but the few pieces I have heard seem to have problems making all that work together.  That's a long discussion in itself. You have avoided a lot of those problems by not using an orchestra and by using electronic versions of the instruments you do have here which helps make your sounds blend very well. That's a clever helpful way of getting around a lot of orchestration issues and it does work but it is also very limiting.

    Orchestras grew large and pieces grew longer for good reasons, you need lots of colors and sound variations to hold listener attentions for long periods. So in your work you have themes and development, variations in texture, dynamics, tempo and form all of which is very well done. And your synthesizer can certainly get lots of different tones but I question if you can really get "orchestral" with what you've got here.

    So the bottom line is, what are you going to do with this? Try and find a group to perform it, or redo the mockup with high quality libraries, maybe hire a guitarist to do the guitar parts since I don't know of a decent virtual electric guitar library?  I'm not criticizing here, you've done a great job with this musically but I don't think it will hold my attention for 40 minutes as you have it now.

    • Thanks very much for your comments!  I really appreciate your taking the time to listen to some of this and give me such a thoughtful reply.

      As for what I'm going to do with this, I suppose the answer is nothing.  I don't have the means of finding anyone to play it (much less for the nine parts required!), nor do I currently have access to higher quality libraries (and anyway, redoing a mockup with different libraries would be a pretty substantial project in itself).  It will have to remain what it is, a mostly failed experiment.

      • Steven I don't think it's fair to call this a mostly failed experiment. IMHO society is a horrible judge of music; some works and composers are lionized and others ignored for arbitrary reasons so I think our (all of us) capacity for judgement is unreliable. I don't think this work has had a fair chance yet, there's a lot of good stuff here.

        I wanted to ask what sound source are you using here? I think you should work with one movement or maybe just a section of one movement and explore some possibilities, unless you are determined to just move on from this.


        • I'm using the Reason Factory sound bank from a rather old version of Reason (3.0).  I'm hoping to get myself a new DAW someday soon, but the process of transferring everything from Reason seems like it would be quite time consuming.  I don't know, maybe if and when I do scrape together some money for a new DAW, I'll try mocking up a section of this and then decide if it's worth redoing the whole thing.

          Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to listen to some of this!


          • I don't see a notation software in Reason. If you use Sibelius, Finale or Dorico you can purchase NotePerformer for about $130 USD which is a plug in that a number of us here on CF use. It doesn't require all the adjustments that standard libraries use or a DAW and it has a pretty good sound which you can hear on CF. Big savings in time and expense over standard libraries. If you use MuseScore there are some decent sounding patches that are free. Just a thought.


            • Thanks for the suggestion!  I do use Finale, so perhaps I will try out NotePerformer.

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