Hi there everyone.

First, let me introduce myself. I am Erwin, a Dutchman, and shortly I have desided to start writing out the tunes stuck in my head. It has gone a little bit further then that, and I do have a few questions about duration and some tricks. Don't know if I am in the right area for that...

I am a newbie here, and I am a rookie in writing. Although I have asked some people in my direct surroundings to listen, they cannot help me out there were I got stuck, so here are my few questions. If it is placed wrongly, please move it to the right area, feel free... :)

Gonna ask anyway...

The first question may sound strange, but here it is. I am currently writing a concerto for Choir SATB, flute, oboe, horn (g), violins 1+2, violoncellos and contrabasses and the duration of the whole 15-piece concerto will be around a full hour. How's that, too short?

Question number two is in the same cathegory. I also am working on a piece (andante, allego, allegretto, adagio) for an alto clarinet (with strings). Since my fantasy for that piece is not over yet... :P ... how long may such a concerto take, I suppose 15 minutes for four pieces is a little short, right?

Last question: how do I (preferably with strings) imitate rain?

Well, hope you can help me out. Will post more later... ;)

Thanks in advance for helping me.

Kind regards,

Erwin

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

Join Composers' Forum

Email me when people reply –

Replies

  • A concerto lasting upwards of a full hour? That's certainly not too short, but for a rookie, I think you've set yourself a quite formidable task there, Erwin, I have to say. Not saying it can't be done, but the total dedication you're going to need, and the mental fortitude to eventually find the solutions by which to leap over the walls I think you'll inevitably run into are things you're going to need to be prepared for. How well would you say you can handle frustration whenever it crops up? Because in a piece of that length I feel pretty sure it's going to be hanging around almost like a shadow, just waiting to throw a pall over some of your decisions, making you doubt some of your choices. If all this comes off a little depressing to you, I really don't intend it that way, believe me, and I wish you the best of luck in your efforts to accomplish it.

    15 minutes would be considered a little short, yes, especially for four movements, but I definitely think it could be made to work just fine.

    About the rain question done with violins... That's kind of a tough one, for me, anyway, as I've never even considered it. Maybe you could employ some lightly descending pizzicatos? 

  • Hi Paul,

    To start with the first one... It is a vocal / instrumental about Genesis 1, the Creation. I have done already some 40 minutes and I am in the closing stages ( day 7 that is and a Praise God and Amen ). It needs refining, for sure, absolutely...

    The clarinet, I am just working on it and in good spirit... Not intending on finishing it, just keeping writing it...

    About the rain, that is an idea. I tried earlier something with staccato's, eihghts with equal length pauses, in terts-jumps. It could well be that the descending pizzicato's / staccato's could be working better.

  • Good subject matter, in my opinion. :)  And I'd say that if you've got 40 minutes in already, well, it would seem you're possibly pretty well over the hump, so to speak. That conundrum about the rain fiddles, though... I wonder if it would somehow be possible to use, in some way, some combination of your other instruments to make it clear what the violins are meant to be depicting? I'm not at all really sure how I would go about trying to solve that problem, unless you could use the vocals to augment it?

    Erwin van Delft said:

    Hi Paul,

    To start with the first one... It is a vocal / instrumental about Genesis 1, the Creation. I have done already some 40 minutes and I am in the closing stages ( day 7 that is and a Praise God and Amen ). It needs refining, for sure, absolutely...

    The clarinet, I am just working on it and in good spirit... Not intending on finishing it, just keeping writing it...

    About the rain, that is an idea. I tried earlier something with staccato's, eihghts with equal length pauses, in terts-jumps. It could well be that the descending pizzicato's / staccato's could be working better.

    Some questions from a rookie and newbie
    Hi there everyone. First, let me introduce myself. I am Erwin, a Dutchman, and shortly I have desided to start writing out the tunes stuck in my head…
  • A piano would be a handy instrument to use for evoking the idea of rain, IMO.

  • Wow, hadn't even thought of that... I think you may well be onto something there.

    H. S. Teoh said:

    A piano would be a handy instrument to use for evoking the idea of rain, IMO.

    Some questions from a rookie and newbie
    Hi there everyone. First, let me introduce myself. I am Erwin, a Dutchman, and shortly I have desided to start writing out the tunes stuck in my head…
  • "I suppose 15 minutes for four pieces is a little short, right?"

     

    15 minutes total cannot be too short for such a work.

     

    I have been listening to Darius Milhaud's earliest symphonies, and some of these were only six or seven minutes long, which was not too short, really, given what he was trying to achieve. The movements in these symphonies were often only one or two minutes long.  On the other hand, Mozart's Magic Flute lasts about 2 hours, which is (almost) too short, given the full content of the work.  

     

    So I would suggest something in between 5 minutes and 2 and 1/2 hours long, for any of the works or movements you describe.  However, I DO want to stress THIS most emphatically:  Make sure the piece you have in mind is EXACTLY between 5 minutes and 2 and 1/2 hours, and not just roughly between 5 minutes and 2 and 1/2 hours in duration. If you go down below 4 minutes, or above 3 hours, you may be inviting trouble, if we view the matter from the standpoint of aesthetics (or even from the perspectives of ethical, moral and/or political philosophy).

     

    You probably do not want to end up causing a riot, as Stravinsky did, when he tried to concentrate several thousand years of pre-historical material into one piece of music which was barely 30 minutes long.

     

    Richard Wagner was probably mistaken when he made his opera Das Rhinegold about 20 minutes shy of three hours.  It could have easily been three hours or more.  Fortunately (some say), he compensated when he wrote the remainder of the Ring Cycle, making each of the three additional operas considerably longer than the first, which now counts now only as a sort of "Prelude." Solti's version of fourth and last opera in the cycle, Götterdämmerung, lasts about four hours and 16 minutes.  Personally, I think that's a little bit too long.  Siegfried is about right, at four hours, give or take a minute or two.

     

  • .

    .

    Darius Milhaud

    Chamber symphony No.1, Op.43 (1917)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJKziU8yEt4

    .

    .

    It's only three and a half minutes long.  

    .

    .

  • Hi guys,

    Thanks for the replys. I am going to let it sink in, read it again, and later give a reply for explanation or questions.

    Thanks again.

    Kind regards,

    Erwin.

    BTW Here is what I tried with the rain. The violins continue like that the whole part, the cellos and basses alter and go with the flow, to say so.

    Naamloos.png

    https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/8608233255?profile=original
  • What do you mean by that, if I may ask?

  • @ Paul Smith
    I have been relistening to the part with the 'raining violins' and to be honest, it sounds quite good, even though I say so myself... What I mean is that it is staccato and gives that little extra I was looking for, so I think I leave it that way. If I may need it later, I can always use the option you gave me.

    @ H. S. Teoh
    To be honest, I don't know how to write properly for a piano, so I better not... Will be working on that. (besides, I hate piano...)

    @ Fredrick zinos
    #1 I understand what you mean.
    #2 So in that, I was on the right way to do so. About that clarinet, I don't know nobody playing any clarinet. And just changing the alto into a bass clarinet, it doesn't seem to work as the sound of the alto is somewhat louder. The bass is swallowed up by the strings.

    @ Ondib Olmnilnlolm
    My mistake was here - I guess - to want to turn it into a full concerto and could have made it better into a symphony. That is what I have done now, and it is better that way, so thanks for that good advice. For the rest, I didn't think about that, so thanks for the clear explanation.

    @Fredrick zinos:

    As I look at my score, the order is as you gave me... Flute, oboe, horn, violins, celli, contrabasses... you want me to add the instruments I don't use or don't I get it? Sorry, it could just be the languageproblem... Don't get mad at me for not understanding... About the violins, I am going to fix that into 'violins tutti', good idea!

This reply was deleted.