In country and rock music a theme may be repeated several times and only the words change.  Sometimes a chorus or refrain is added between verses.  Usually these songs last only 3 to 5 minutes.  In classical music themes may be repeated but rarely are they unchanged.  Consider one of the most repeated pieces in classical music, Ravel’s Bolero.  Ravel introduces a theme in C maj., repeats it with a new instrument, then introduces a counter melody in A min. and repeats it.  He follows this pattern several times all the while adding instruments with each repetition.  Then towards the end he plays the major theme followed immediately by the minor theme then ends with a completely different melody.

     In this piece, the main theme begins with the trombone, is repeated up a step with the trumpet and new orchestration,  then there is an interlude.   At measure 184 it returns with the woodwinds.  There is another interlude.  Then it appears as a three part fugue, followed by another interlude.  Then it reappears at the end with full orchestration. 

     Although listeners like to hear a familiar tune, classical composers are well advised to keep two axioms in mind.  “Never bore.” and,” Variety is the spice of life.”

Western Horizons gpo.pdf

Western Horizons 2nd half.mp3

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  • Needs percussion,

  • There are a number of points where you ask solo wind instruments (Piccolo1, Flute 2, Bass Clarinet, Trumpet 1, Trumpet 2, for example) to simultaneously play two note chords.
  • Rodney,

         There is quite a bit of timpani.  Do you mean it is too soft.  I would like to add  snare drum, or slap stick but my Garritan Personal Orchestra does not have those sounds.  Thanks for the input.

    Lawrence
     
    Rodney Carlyle Money said:

    Needs percussion,

    "Western Horizons" second part
        In country and rock music a theme may be repeated several times and only the words change.  Sometimes a chorus or refrain is added between verses…
  • Lots of Aaron Copeland in this piece, which is certainly fitting given the title. I think the repetitions are sufficiently varied to carry it off. As always, with music that is not made with the best sound technology, I listen extra hard to imagine it on real instruments, and I think this would be successful. As for percussion, I have a hard time with it myself. But I have to agree with David, a bit more would add some sparkle, especially things like triangles and cymbals, which add the high frequencies.

  • Michael,

       I may be too close to Copland on this movement as I was trying to get the western feel.   Not big on cymbals, but triangle is an excellent idea, and I think that sound is in the repertoire.  Thanks for listening.

    Lawrence


  • Not big on cymbals? A gong, or tam tam, can produce some of the most ominous sounds when play softly and one of the most dramatic sounds when played fully. You are not one of those people who faint when they hear loud crashes are you? Just picking on you. But you do need to add more percussion such as snare, bass, mallets, triangle, woodblocks, cymbals, etc. for color. Last time I checked, GPO4 does have those sounds.
    Lawrence Aurich said:

    Michael,

       I may be too close to Copland on this movement as I was trying to get the western feel.   Not big on cymbals, but triangle is an excellent idea, and I think that sound is in the repertoire.  Thanks for listening.

    Lawrence

    "Western Horizons" second part
        In country and rock music a theme may be repeated several times and only the words change.  Sometimes a chorus or refrain is added between verses…
  • Mahler would be proud.

    Although he would probably cringe at the notion of giving the trombonist double stops every second line. Before someone mentions it's probably two trombones - the score calls for a single one.

    By the way, "mf © 2013" is such a great idea concerning the interpretation of dynamics. Imagine Haydn notating "f © 1780" in one of his late symphonies. Noone would ever dare question the date included and attempt to bring out an early romantic forte instead.

    edit

    I'm a terrible person. Fun piece anyway, good job.

  •      Rodney,

         Twentieth century music needs more percussion.  I'll have to work on that.  Percussion is the last thing composers think of.  Except for John Williams.  He probably writes the cymbals part first.
     
    Rodney Carlyle Money said:


    Not big on cymbals? A gong, or tam tam, can produce some of the most ominous sounds when play softly and one of the most dramatic sounds when played fully. You are not one of those people who faint when they hear loud crashes are you? Just picking on you. But you do need to add more percussion such as snare, bass, mallets, triangle, woodblocks, cymbals, etc. for color. Last time I checked, GPO4 does have those sounds.
    Lawrence Aurich said:

    Michael,

       I may be too close to Copland on this movement as I was trying to get the western feel.   Not big on cymbals, but triangle is an excellent idea, and I think that sound is in the repertoire.  Thanks for listening.

    Lawrence

    "Western Horizons" second part
        In country and rock music a theme may be repeated several times and only the words change.  Sometimes a chorus or refrain is added between verses…
  • Greg,

         I wrote " all parts divided" at the beginning of the score so I wouldn't have to write it in all of the parts.  Mahler?  I don't know about Mahler.  If I ever studied Mahler, I wouldn't tell anyone.  It would be with the intention of "fixing" his music, and what could go wrong with that?

    Lawrence
     
    Greg Brus said:

    Mahler would be proud.

    Although he would probably cringe at the notion of giving the trombonist double stops every second line. Before someone mentions it's probably two trombones - the score calls for a single one.

    By the way, "mf © 2013" is such a great idea concerning the interpretation of dynamics. Imagine Haydn notating "f © 1780" in one of his late symphonies. Noone would ever dare question the date included and attempt to bring out an early romantic forte instead.

    edit

    I'm a terrible person. Fun piece anyway, good job.

    "Western Horizons" second part
        In country and rock music a theme may be repeated several times and only the words change.  Sometimes a chorus or refrain is added between verses…
  • "All parts divisi" is a lie, though. You clearly split flutes into Picc. / Fl 1 / Fl 2, which shows exactly how many flutes there are. And then the single piccolo gets double stops anyway. Also there is also clearly a single trombone (because it doesn't say "2 trombones", it says "trombone") and then you give it double stops too. Contradictory messages all over.

    Btw "divisi" is a term used mostly for strings. Some woodwinds probably won't even know what the word means :)

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