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#1151874 - 07/02/07 09:02 AM Part one of my first piano sonata
Andre van Haren Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/01/07
Posts: 67
Loc: Sweden
Hello. My name is André van Haren, born in Holland and now living in Sweden. I studied classical piano and composition in the 1990's in Holland.

Recently I started working on a piano sonata and am happy so far with the results. I would love to hear some comments on it, so here is the link to the first movement:

Sonata 1 part 1

greetings,
Andreas van Haren, Sweden

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#1151875 - 07/03/07 09:21 PM Re: Part one of my first piano sonata
gaffster Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/18/06
Posts: 244
Loc: east central florida
Andre'
I really like it alot. It has a certain 'wildness' about it's theme...I could even see dancing in my mind..A Gypsie Dance

One thing I did notice. You probably shouldn't even care because it is really very silly, but at 1:42 I can hear the "jingle" or theme from the "Addams Family" TV show/movies "da da da dant".

I know it's hard enough to write music without worrying about Uncle Fester and other stuff like that, but very awsome work and keep on writing !!!
_________________________
-cheers!!!

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#1151876 - 07/03/07 09:56 PM Re: Part one of my first piano sonata
abnerpeabody Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/24/07
Posts: 11
Loc: Pine Ridge, Arkansas
Fantastic! Really well done!

Very symphonic.......sounds very much like a piano concerto.

And yes, at 1:42 is the Addams Family theme http://www.addamsfamily.com/sounds.html , Might want to change that?

Keep up the good work!

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#1151877 - 07/04/07 03:28 AM Re: Part one of my first piano sonata
Andre van Haren Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/01/07
Posts: 67
Loc: Sweden
Hi and thanks for the comments! The Addams family theme? I never thought about that during the writing. That part in my sonata comes straight from the main them starting in measure 1, but this time, I slowed down the note values. So it's still a real part of the piece itself. And it is very difficult now a days not to sound like something else, yes, because so much music is written already.

I finished the second and 3th part as well, the 4th though will still take a while. I will put those part up here on the forum today now I know that you like it!

Thanks again for listening, helps a lot to get comments.

greetings!
André,
Sweden

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#1151878 - 07/05/07 10:55 AM Re: Part one of my first piano sonata
8ude Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 2050
I listened to and quite enjoyed it. Great job. I heard the "Addams Family" theme, but it didn't jump out at me like others did - like you said, it is thematically linked to the beginning. And even so, it's such a standard way of going from V-I that I don't think you could really claim it's that theme in particular.

Very nice - looking forward to listening to the other parts...
_________________________
What you are is an accident of birth. What I am, I am through my own efforts. There have been a thousand princes and there will be a thousand more. There is one Beethoven.

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#1151879 - 07/05/07 02:33 PM Re: Part one of my first piano sonata
Steve Chandler Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2694
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
I listened to all (so far) 3 movements. I liked the 1st movement the best with the 2nd following closely. The 3rd didn't seem to quite keep pace in terms of ingenuity. Having said that there was nothing I heard that couldn't have been written in 1830.

You say you studied composition in the 1990s, what did that entail? Did you study any 20th century techniques? Did you study the various factions of 20th century composition? What aspects of your life are you expressing in these pieces?

I ask these questions because there is obvious skill in the writing of these movements, but the style is pre-industrial. That's a serious disconnect. If you're one of those composers who feels seriously born in the wrong century that's fine. Your music is good, but frankly not as good as the reams of fine piano music the masters of the past have already left us. OTOH, we'd (OK, I'd) be interested if you were to explore expressing your life in the present.

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#1151880 - 07/05/07 05:05 PM Re: Part one of my first piano sonata
8ude Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 2050
You bring up a very valid point, Steve. Obviously only Andre can answer those questions for himself, but I too find myself in a similar type of dilemma.

I studied composition at Indiana University (though ended up changing majors my junior year). I studied many different 20th century techniques, and (in my experience) what I ultimately found was that there is a big gap between what the modern-composition-elite find stimulating and what the average-joe-listener finds stimulating. There are many 20th century pieces that I found to be fascinating, but that others found incomprehensible. While I've studied and can understand/respect many of these 20th century techniques, I feel more comfortable with music that "makes sense" to the average listener, and that can be appreciated by the masses. Perhaps the modern composition contingent may look down their noses on me, but that's something I can live with.

Ultimately, in my experience, I fall into the category you list as "I feel like I was born in the wrong century". I write mostly romantic works, with splashes of impressionism and 20th century harmony thrown in, but ultimately trying never to stray too far from music that the "average-joe" would find enjoyable. I realize that the language I'm working in has been pretty fully explored already by much better composers than I'll ever be, but I do still think that there are things that can be said in those languages that people can appreciate.

Anyway, just my two cents on a very valid question/issue that you bring up. I'm curious what Andre has to say on that...
_________________________
What you are is an accident of birth. What I am, I am through my own efforts. There have been a thousand princes and there will be a thousand more. There is one Beethoven.

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#1175711 - 04/06/09 07:00 PM Re: Part one of my first piano sonata [Re: 8ude]
Andre van Haren Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/01/07
Posts: 67
Loc: Sweden
I only read these comments now! Sorry for the delay of mmm 2 years or so...

Yes, I studied all kind of music but never felt connected with the music of the time I live in. I love the 19th century music and don't think I will ever enter the non tonal musical area as a composer. I love however composers like Hindemith, even studied his Harmony system. Bartok is great! But still, I like to go into my inner silence world and write what my guts are letting me feel
and not write with my mind.

That having said, here is my second piano sonata! Piano sonata no. 2, in D flat Major, "Golden Anniversary" is written between December 2007 and February 2008. I wrote it specially for the 50th, Golden, wedding anniversary of my parents; this sonata is dedicated to them.

1. Moderato, molto espressivo:
http://www.box.net/shared/ha9meu74gc

2. Adagio:
http://www.box.net/shared/scfe5ju88s

3. Scherzo:
http://www.box.net/shared/l0z4w5vy8k

4. Rondo - Allegro:
http://www.box.net/shared/iuh1ntd0k4

And here is the website of the sonata: http://www.andrevanharen.com/pianosonatano2.htm

André


Edited by Andre van Haren (04/06/09 07:06 PM)

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#1202463 - 05/19/09 10:09 PM Re: Part one of my first piano sonata [Re: Andre van Haren]
Allazart Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 389
After listening to the middle movement I wanted to go back and listen to this.

However, following the discussion in the thread, I can certainly emphathise with the posters who are told they compose in an 'anachronistic style'.

I'm not a professional composer but I sometimes compose because I play and think music.
From my standpoint, the most fake thing I could ever do is claim to write something atonal, serial, twelve-tone etc.
I never hear such melodies in my mind so as to write them down on paper.

In fact, one seldom hears music in 'modern' styles during day-to-day activities unless one seeks it out whereas you can hardly escape tonal music if you want to (right now in the 21st century).
The alternative structures to tonality have not really emerged as dominant in the spontaneous/organic musical expression of our age.
So I think the imposition of non-tonal systems as the natural and expected style for new 'serious' compositions is a bit artificial but that's just my insignificant view.

I also don't believe that every piece of music has to be ground-breaking but by its very existence it brings something new into the world and can be appreciated as such.
Anyway, I'll see if I can listen to the music now!

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#1202544 - 05/20/09 01:24 AM Re: Part one of my first piano sonata [Re: Steve Chandler]
rrb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 212
Loc: Bend, USA
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
I listened to all (so far) 3 movements. I liked the 1st movement the best with the 2nd following closely. The 3rd didn't seem to quite keep pace in terms of ingenuity. Having said that there was nothing I heard that couldn't have been written in 1830.


When I was a kid some (much older) guy who knew me to be a classical music fanatic showed me a piece he had written. A quick glance prompted the response:
"But that's in the style of J.S. Bach."
His reply; "What's wrong with that?"
There followed a longish debate in which I attempted to convince him that a 'valid composition' needed to display originality in style. He just kept saying 'Why?' and I kept scratching my head, trying to find new arguments to illustrate my point. The debate ended inconclusively.

It was a very long time ago, but I do recall leaving that discussion unhappy with my own arguments. I haven't thought a lot about this since because the point seems to me 'self-evident'. This, however, is unsatisfactory, merely a fall-back position when one cannot come up with convincing arguments.

A 'thought experiment'. Suppose someone were to write a sonata in the style, say, of Robert Schumann. You, the listener, unaware of the composer's name, believe that you are hearing a previously unknown, but unquestionably genuine work of Schumann's. Is this a 'valid composition'?
_________________________
Rob

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#1203835 - 05/22/09 03:59 AM Re: Part one of my first piano sonata [Re: rrb]
Tar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 296
Loc: Munich, Germany
A very interesting piece Andre, and I personally think there's more to it than just classical emulation. I'd like to hear it played live smile

Rob has a point... I did that thought experiment, and an implication that stemmed from a conclusion I reached was that the concept of originality must necessarily mean that people who were born before us had more rights to certain styles than we do now. Once we remove the label of who wrote the music, each piece of music had as much right to its stylistic merits as another.
_________________________
Tar Viturawong
Amateur composer and pianist
Known on YouTube as pianoinspiration
verbis defectis musica incipit

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#1214944 - 06/09/09 08:41 PM Re: Part one of my first piano sonata [Re: Tar]
Andre van Haren Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/01/07
Posts: 67
Loc: Sweden
Thanks for all the comments. I of course, heard many times before that I sound like this and should write like that... but I don't understand why this is so important. I believe that everybody should write in a way that makes him feel good, no matter if it's like Bach or in a way that's not recognizable as music. I know my first sonata sounds like Beethoven and Brahms, but that my stage of expression at this moment and probably in my 10th sonata my dissonance level will be different because I will not feel happy any longer with that of Beethoven or Brahms. On other forums I read so many comments about this writing in "old style", and "be more original", but why take this so serious? It's just entertainment... serious for me, of course, something I cannot live without, but still only a way to feel good, not to change the history of music.

(ok, it's late here now and I just came back from my heavy job and I'm drinking my beer... probably tomorrow I wish I never wrote this!)

André

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#1215176 - 06/10/09 10:15 AM Re: Part one of my first piano sonata [Re: Andre van Haren]
Steve Chandler Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2694
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
Andre,

I think you're doing fine. Every composer puts a lot of thought into how their style fits with the present day. This is certainly an ongoing concern of mine. I don't believe anyone can just start to compose and display mature capability. Composing is a process by which we learn to write the next piece as we're writing it. Every new piece is an adventure of exploration for me. Yet I find myself at odds with those who believe that all new music should be experimental and/or avante garde. Go to this link and have a listen to the latest music. I know whenever I do I find myself thinking, "What's the point?"

http://netnewmusic.ning.com/

As a composer I try to forge an emotional connection with an audience. That usually means providing a melody, rhythm and form. Those same things will earn criticism in some circles. I believe in recent years there has been an acceptance that mostly tonal music is still a valid artistic expression. For myself I like to explore utilizing extended harmonies and modulating to unfamiliar tonalities. But, in the almost two years since my last post in this thread I've had a change of heart. It's not that I've really changed how I compose, but the realization I mentioned above that tonal music is still a valid artistic expression.

In other threads there is discussion about publishing one's music. That's one place where an individual composer's efforts meet the real world. I don't believe those avante garde types are getting the traction there that they may have in the past. They may put on concerts and there will always been some friends and family to attend such events. I'd like to reach a wider audience and that means expressing something a wider audience can relate to. So at this time my focus is to express myself in a way in which I am true to my own artistic vision and hopefully do so in a way that more than a few others can enjoy as well. Every new piece is a new discovery, a new artistic vision along my path as a composer. I hope it is likewise for you.

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#1215877 - 06/11/09 03:06 PM Re: Part one of my first piano sonata [Re: Andre van Haren]
nikole2819 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/31/09
Posts: 3
Loc: Bridgeton, NJ, USA
Wow, Andre!! BRAVO!! as a songwriter I find this as a very striking piece. it amazes me that people can write such things. I've been playing since I was eight years old but now i am a singer songwriter. I still practice my classicals of course however it is hard for me to write a classical piece. You have such a talent!! I am in awe! Continue in your work. God has blessed you very much! GREAT WORK!
_________________________
*Nikole

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#1215983 - 06/11/09 07:03 PM Re: Part one of my first piano sonata [Re: Steve Chandler]
Andre van Haren Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/01/07
Posts: 67
Loc: Sweden
Hi Steve,
My first piece were very different, yes, When I see them now I remember how much trouble I had figuring things out in form, Harmonie etc that I don't even are aware of now while writing music. As it as you said; every piece is a new writing experience and will be more mature then the previous one.

I never had any emotional connection with modern music, I did write some though to experiment with it, but it's not for me. I need to follow my own path no matter if it's already walked by many people before; in the first place, I write for myself. And I think this is how it should be.

My wife and my mother do love my music... cool

André

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#1215985 - 06/11/09 07:04 PM Re: Part one of my first piano sonata [Re: nikole2819]
Andre van Haren Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/01/07
Posts: 67
Loc: Sweden
Originally Posted By: nikole2819
Wow, Andre!! BRAVO!! as a songwriter I find this as a very striking piece. it amazes me that people can write such things. I've been playing since I was eight years old but now i am a singer songwriter. I still practice my classicals of course however it is hard for me to write a classical piece. You have such a talent!! I am in awe! Continue in your work. God has blessed you very much! GREAT WORK!


Hi, Nikole. Thanks for the compliment!

André

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#1216143 - 06/12/09 02:09 AM Re: Part one of my first piano sonata [Re: Andre van Haren]
Theowne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/06
Posts: 1099
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Andre,

I don't have anything to add to the debate here. However I find your music very enjoyable from beginning to end, which isn't always the case with amateur compositions (including my own).
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/Theowne- Piano Videos (Ravel, Debussy, etc) & Original Compositions
音楽は楽しいですね。。。

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#1216304 - 06/12/09 11:10 AM Re: Part one of my first piano sonata [Re: Andre van Haren]
nikole2819 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/31/09
Posts: 3
Loc: Bridgeton, NJ, USA
Oh you're quite welcome. I am so impressed. I can PLAY pieces like that but i can't WRITE them haha. It's truly a wonder, Mr. Van Haren.
_________________________
*Nikole

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#1217474 - 06/15/09 07:40 AM Re: Part one of my first piano sonata [Re: nikole2819]
Andre van Haren Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/01/07
Posts: 67
Loc: Sweden
Maybe it's interesting fr some on this forum to have a look at the score as well. Here is the link:

http://www.box.net/shared/j6vkgptzsx

It would be great if someone could use it in his or her repertoire!

André

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#1217560 - 06/15/09 11:05 AM Re: Part one of my first piano sonata [Re: Andre van Haren]
Allazart Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 389
Quote:

Andre,

I think you're doing fine. Every composer puts a lot of thought into how their style fits with the present day. This is certainly an ongoing concern of mine. I don't believe anyone can just start to compose and display mature capability. Composing is a process by which we learn to write the next piece as we're writing it. Every new piece is an adventure of exploration for me. Yet I find myself at odds with those who believe that all new music should be experimental and/or avante garde. Go to this link and have a listen to the latest music. I know whenever I do I find myself thinking, "What's the point?"

http://netnewmusic.ning.com/

As a composer I try to forge an emotional connection with an audience. That usually means providing a melody, rhythm and form. Those same things will earn criticism in some circles. I believe in recent years there has been an acceptance that mostly tonal music is still a valid artistic expression. For myself I like to explore utilizing extended harmonies and modulating to unfamiliar tonalities. But, in the almost two years since my last post in this thread I've had a change of heart. It's not that I've really changed how I compose, but the realization I mentioned above that tonal music is still a valid artistic expression.

In other threads there is discussion about publishing one's music. That's one place where an individual composer's efforts meet the real world. I don't believe those avante garde types are getting the traction there that they may have in the past. They may put on concerts and there will always been some friends and family to attend such events. I'd like to reach a wider audience and that means expressing something a wider audience can relate to. So at this time my focus is to express myself in a way in which I am true to my own artistic vision and hopefully do so in a way that more than a few others can enjoy as well. Every new piece is a new discovery, a new artistic vision along my path as a composer. I hope it is likewise for you.


I know this wasn't addressed to me but it was beautiful.
I initially read the bolded part as 'Those sane things' which probably goes far to underscore my feelings on the matter.
laugh

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#1217586 - 06/15/09 11:49 AM Re: Part one of my first piano sonata [Re: Allazart]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3710
Loc: Bay Area, CA
A very nice piece! Yes, of course it raises the old questions of composing music in an earlier style, which I think are deep and interesting questions that don't have easy resolutions. But this is a well-constructed, well-thought-out, surprising, exciting movement.

A quick question on the performance, and I apologize if the question is a little rude. Is this a human (i.e. you) performing it? If not, computer programs have made major strides in subtle emotional expressive power. On the other hand, if you really are playing it, boy, do you ever have superb rhythmic control! The execution of the rhythms sounded like Richter, which is about the highest compliment I can give.

Keep up the good work!
_________________________
Beethoven: op.109, 110, 111

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#1217765 - 06/15/09 07:04 PM Re: Part one of my first piano sonata [Re: beet31425]
Andre van Haren Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/01/07
Posts: 67
Loc: Sweden
Thanks!
Yes, I am actually playing all the movements. But it took me many (!) times rerecording to get it right and I had to do some cutting and pasting to straiten it out. I did study classical piano but am not a virtuoso. blush

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