Two short piano pieces

I've been listening to quite a bit of dark cabaret lately and have been trying to bring some of that flavour into my own works, in the first piece "Paper and Ink" there wasn't much considerations taken for the accompaniment besides having something to hang a melody on and giving it the feel of a staggered waltz, the second piece "Nacht Tanz" was my attempt at remedying this by varying the accompaniment a bit but still trying to keep a steady beat for a dance piece. I haven't worked much with dance music before and may need a bit of guidance so any feedback would be much appreciated, thanks.

Paper and Ink.mp3

Nacht Tanz.mp3

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  • I think the simple accompaniment of the first piece, Paper and Ink, allows the melody and chord progressions to be more in focus; and, there is something familiar yet slightly unusual about the music's melodic/harmonic movement that kept me interested throughout. The ending, to me, felt a little too fast--perhaps slowing down the speed of the final chord progression might help, e.g., by allowing the melody and harmony to linger on the same note for more beats or measures.

    I like the moody chords in the second piece, Nacht Tanz, which indeed has a more varied accompaniment. It's effective in a different way, I think, in that the greater complexity created by the contrasting motifs (notes sounding singly vs. together) and expanded range (bass uses more low notes) of the accompaniment adds to the music's brooding temperament. I would have liked to have heard a return of the type of accompaniment heard around 0:33 at some later point in the piece; it is such a great contrast to the opening accompaniment, and the added density of consecutive simultaneously sounding notes create nice peaks and valleys in the shape of the music. I had similar feelings about the ending as I did for Paper and Ink--that it seemed to end too fast. The same treatment (slowing down the speed of the final chord progression) might be interesting to try.

    These are great pieces!

  • Out of the two, Nacht Tanz is definitely comming off as my favourite.

    Both are great forays and are resolutley 'dark cabaret'


    Paper and Ink

    Absolutley what you said about the LH accompianment, it is faily uneventful and you need to find different ways of keeping the "oom-paa-paa" feel of the style without muddying the sound (Jong Kim is right, the transparnecy of this piece is a strong point); a challenge, no doubt! The melody was pleasing to me, and it moved both individually and in tandem with the progressions and kept the cabaret feel, bravo!

    The ending wasn't as much of an issue for me as it was for Jong Kim, with proper playing expression it wouldn't be hard to announce the ending and make it feel like the piece was finishing.

    Nacht Tanz

    The moodier of the two, this fantastic little piece often made it difficult for me to discern melodic phrases. I'll chalk that up to a bad musical ear, but the effect was postive on the feel of the piece.


    The LH acompianment at 0:33 was invigorating and Jong Kim is right: you create peaks and troughs instantly - this is something I would want to continue in my composition if I were you.


    One thing that bugs me as a pianist: Both wouldn't be the most exciting pieces to play. Sublte rhythmic variations and dynamics here would be my suggested answer. Although this is a dance, the accompianist needs to be able to find energy in the piece to translate into performance.

    Overall, neat job. I enjoyed listening to them!

  • Thanks for the feedback, I would have brought back the accompaniment at 0:33 later on but since I was trying to keep the piece fairly small (for fear of it getting a little stale) and a short continuation after it would probably have sounded disjointed I never really found the opportunity to reintroduce it, it's certainly something I should have considered much earlier on. I agree the endings are a bit too abrupt, even a simple rit. would have went a long way.

    All in all it's given me much to think about in my next piece especially concerning the performer, which is an area I seem to overlook all too often. 

  • not sure if this is compliment or criticism, but when i listen to paper and ink i feel like im being chased by a tormented clown. Very cool, kinda creepy

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