Hey! I'm Elizabeth. I'm new here, and still fairly new to composing. Here are some of the things I've done for review:

Adoration

Okay

Leitmotif--The Bespoken

I'm well aware all of these pieces are simple, but I'm sure I'll be able to do more complex pieces as time passes and I work on what I can do.

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  • Welcome Elizabeth!  Hope you're enjoying this forum.  

    I like your melodic ideas.  The chords fit well with them in terms of harmony, but there is more you can do to them.  For instance, you could try different voicings of harmonisation (which is what I was talking about earlier with voice leading and four part harmony).  Playing around with arpeggiation or alberti bass (see Mozart's C major sonata, K 545) could be nice as well.  

    Here's a few resources on theory, including four-part harmony:

    Kostka and Payne's book called "Tonal Harmony"

    teoria.com has some good resources, including ear training resources

    Aldwell's book "Harmony and Voice Leading"

    and, last but not least, studying Bach Chorales is also helpful for seeing this in action!

    Hope this helps!

  • Simple isn't necessarily a fault; the best pieces are sometimes the simplest ones.  But it also helps to know technique (and apply it where it helps).

    A simple recommendation (I also mentioned this in chat): in Adoration, you could have the LH do something interesting while the RH is holding a long note / pausing. It's a fairly common piano technique, and a rather effective and simple way to spice up something that sounds simple.

    Okay: nice pop-style chords.  Same recommendation, you could have the LH be "busier" when the melody is holding a long note. (Of course, the occasional dramatic pause on both hands is also effective -- just don't overdo it.)  Also consider arpeggiating some of the chords for better LH continuity.  The ending could have a little upwards-rushing arpeggio flourish in the piano part for a nicer conclusion, like tying the knot on a present.

    Leitmotif: it's a bit on the short side, though I like the theme. I think you could do interesting things with it. I was going to say fugue, because it does sound like a fugue subject, but that might be a bit challenging to work out.  But at least a little (more) development and reprise could do wonders to this neat little idea.

  • Hey Elizabeth!

    I agree with Lara here, I think she nailed the key point you should focus on -

    Your melodic ideas are quite good. Especially in the 3rd piece (Leitmotif--The Bespoken)
    However, now you need to develop them into full blown works. And believe it or not, the one idea you have in each piece is enough to build pretty much anything you want out of it. (Example - look what Beethoven did in the 5th symphony - a whole symphony built out of an extremely short, simple melodic idea)
    All you need is a good idea and run with it ! You have that here. Try and present your accompaniment in more elaborate fashions. Think of unique ways to break up the chord voice.
    And then take your melodic ideas and squeeze every drop of life out them, flip it this way, flip it that way!

  • I agree with what David said, except to point out that Beethoven's 5th symphony being constructed from just a single motif is probably a myth, albeit a widely-perpetuated one.

    There is certainly much more to the symphony than just the infamous 4-note motif that it opens with, and even within the first movement itself, there is the contrasting 2nd theme that isn't derived from the opening 4-note motif.  In fact, even the first subject itself is, arguably, not built from a 4-note motif, but an 8-note phrase. If you look at the earliest sketches of the first movement, you'll see that the 4-note motif never occurs by itself; the original idea started with 8 notes, with the repetition of the 4 notes a scale degree below the first 4 notes being an integral part of the musical idea. Donald Francis Tovey in his review of this symphony argues that the "seed" of the 1st movement really should be considered the entire 8-note opening phrase, rather than the common romanticised notion that the opening 4 notes spawned the entire symphony, which, taken to its (il)logical conclusion, has led to some outlandish claims about hidden internal connections with not only some others of Beethoven's works, but even other composers' works.



  • H. S. Teoh said:

    I agree with what David said, except to point out that Beethoven's 5th symphony being constructed from just a single motif is probably a myth, albeit a widely-perpetuated one.

    There is certainly much more to the symphony than just the infamous 4-note motif that it opens with, and even within the first movement itself, there is the contrasting 2nd theme that isn't derived from the opening 4-note motif.  In fact, even the first subject itself is, arguably, not built from a 4-note motif, but an 8-note phrase. If you look at the earliest sketches of the first movement, you'll see that the 4-note motif never occurs by itself; the original idea started with 8 notes, with the repetition of the 4 notes a scale degree below the first 4 notes being an integral part of the musical idea. Donald Francis Tovey in his review of this symphony argues that the "seed" of the 1st movement really should be considered the entire 8-note opening phrase, rather than the common romanticised notion that the opening 4 notes spawned the entire symphony, which, taken to its (il)logical conclusion, has led to some outlandish claims about hidden internal connections with not only some others of Beethoven's works, but even other composers' works.


    To avoid going off topic into another discussion about what was in Beethoven's head (anyone can argue 'what' he was thinking when, but, the unavoidable truth is a piece can be very far along, and we as composers know it can change to almost something completely Alien by the time it's done in another few months) And, one can't argue there certainly ARE reoccurring themes throughout Beethoven's later works. I recall two motifs off the top of my head that appear several times throughout different works- and the 'three eighth note end of a measure into a half step or minor third down' motif, seen in the 5th symphony is one of them.

    But regardless, the point is - All you may need is a melodic spark to write a whole piece.
    So I guess this is hello...
    Hey! I'm Elizabeth. I'm new here, and still fairly new to composing. Here are some of the things I've done for review: Adoration Okay Leitmotif--The…
  • Good start, you're already better than I am.  Doubly so if you can actually play it.  

    Question about the leitmotif piece, is there a certain character it is supposed to represent?  

  • Yes, there is a character that piece represents. An original creation of mine. "Adoration" is actually another character theme that I renamed. Thanks!

    Ryan Hofmann said:

    Good start, you're already better than I am.  Doubly so if you can actually play it.  

    Question about the leitmotif piece, is there a certain character it is supposed to represent?  

    So I guess this is hello...
    Hey! I'm Elizabeth. I'm new here, and still fairly new to composing. Here are some of the things I've done for review: Adoration Okay Leitmotif--The…
  • Hey Elizabeth,

    Don't worry that your pieces are 'simple'. No such thing really if the music is good.

    I liked Adoration and Leitmotif. Healthy harmonies, and nice melodic lines. Sometimes the cadences/pauses, were perhaps a little to long, and movement was needed.

    I suggest, If I may, that you concentrate on mastering composing for the piano. Once you have done that you can add other instruments to your arsenal of instruments available in your compositions.

    Best wishes and seeya.

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