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#1186580 - 04/24/09 03:19 PM Writing a Cadenza
agent3x Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/24/08
Posts: 147
Loc: United States
Cadenzas are generally free in time, meaning there are no barlines, right? So I'd have something like a page of just one large measure? Also, are the noteheads smaller than normal? How would I write this in Sibelius?

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#1186594 - 04/24/09 03:32 PM Re: Writing a Cadenza [Re: agent3x]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Aww, dang. I could help you if it was Finale. frown
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1186610 - 04/24/09 03:51 PM Re: Writing a Cadenza [Re: Horowitzian]
steinwaymaster Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 52
Loc: New York City
Horowitzian, I use Finale Allegro. I'm not writing a cadenza now, but I would be grateful if you could show us. I bet most people are curious anyway.
_________________________
“Music . . . can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable.”
- Leonard Bernstein

-Middle School music teacher
-Private Piano Teacher
-Amateur composer (hobby)

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#1186611 - 04/24/09 03:51 PM Re: Writing a Cadenza [Re: Horowitzian]
agent3x Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/24/08
Posts: 147
Loc: United States
Originally Posted By: Horowitzian
Aww, dang. I could help you if it was Finale. frown


That's OK. smile

Maybe you (or anyone) could help with this, though.

I've been looking through cadenzas from Beethoven's first four piano concertos (concerti?). (The score is a collection of all of them, from IMSLP). I noticed that there are, in fact, barlines. I've been searching around Google, but I can't really find any 'rules' as to when barlines are OK, and when they're not needed.

Lastly, I want the performer to have the option to improvise his own cadenza. How do I write this officially? I know the performer, so I was just going to hand-write, "or improv. if you want."

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#1186652 - 04/24/09 04:57 PM Re: Writing a Cadenza [Re: agent3x]
Tar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 296
Loc: Munich, Germany
Originally Posted By: agent3x
I noticed that there are, in fact, barlines. I've been searching around Google, but I can't really find any 'rules' as to when barlines are OK, and when they're not needed.

A cadenza isn't that different from non-cadenzaic passages in that if it's in time (even though it's improvisational in nature) then you assign it a time signature and give it proper barlines. Some cadenzas don't fall into that constraint and make more sense without. It's really up to how you want your music interpreted.

Originally Posted By: agent3x
Lastly, I want the performer to have the option to improvise his own cadenza. How do I write this officially? I know the performer, so I was just going to hand-write, "or improv. if you want."

ad libitum?
_________________________
Tar Viturawong
Amateur composer and pianist
Known on YouTube as pianoinspiration
verbis defectis musica incipit

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#1186654 - 04/24/09 05:04 PM Re: Writing a Cadenza [Re: steinwaymaster]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: steinwaymaster
Horowitzian, I use Finale Allegro. I'm not writing a cadenza now, but I would be grateful if you could show us. I bet most people are curious anyway.


Lemme piece it back together (been a while since I did one), and I'll start a thread on the subject. smile
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1186716 - 04/24/09 07:37 PM Re: Writing a Cadenza [Re: Horowitzian]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13836
Loc: Iowa City, IA
You use barlines when there is a clear metric structure. If there isn't, then you dispense with them.

The only "rule" where cadenzas are involved is that the word "cadenza" comes from the word "cadence." A cadenza is nothing more (and nothing less!) than a way to finalize a return to tonic.

In the classical period, this was typically done towards the close of the first movement and was often improvised or composed by the performer, but there are other options. The Barber concerto, for example, begins with a cadenza that serves as an introduction to the orchestra's entrance in the tonic key of e minor. The piano flourish at the beginning of the 2nd Rachmaninoff concerto might also be described as a cadenza that helps with the modulation to c minor from the 2nd movement's E Major. In Prokofiev's 5th piano concerto, there is a cadenza of sorts that sets up the climax of the slow movement.

As for instructing the performer, I'd opt for plain English. Stick an asterisk at the beginning of the cadenza and write a note at the bottom of the score:

* the performer may substitute a written or improvised cadenza of their own for the one provided by the composer
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#1187272 - 04/25/09 05:00 PM Re: Writing a Cadenza [Re: Kreisler]
agent3x Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/24/08
Posts: 147
Loc: United States
Great! The replies were really helpful. Thanks, all.

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#1187278 - 04/25/09 05:07 PM Re: Writing a Cadenza [Re: Horowitzian]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: Horowitzian
Originally Posted By: steinwaymaster
Horowitzian, I use Finale Allegro. I'm not writing a cadenza now, but I would be grateful if you could show us. I bet most people are curious anyway.


Lemme piece it back together (been a while since I did one), and I'll start a thread on the subject. smile


Steinwaymaster, I won't be able to get to it till next week, but I promise I'll get to it. smile
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1187302 - 04/25/09 05:53 PM Re: Writing a Cadenza [Re: Horowitzian]
steinwaymaster Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 52
Loc: New York City
Horowitzian,, that's okay. I don't need it anytime soon. I was just curious. Take you time, we're all busy. But thanks for helping.
_________________________
“Music . . . can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable.”
- Leonard Bernstein

-Middle School music teacher
-Private Piano Teacher
-Amateur composer (hobby)

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#1187578 - 04/26/09 08:58 AM Re: Writing a Cadenza [Re: agent3x]
sudoplatov Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/08
Posts: 78
Loc: Near Dallas Texas

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#1187619 - 04/26/09 11:06 AM Re: Writing a Cadenza [Re: steinwaymaster]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: steinwaymaster
Horowitzian,, that's okay. I don't need it anytime soon. I was just curious. Take you time, we're all busy. But thanks for helping.


No problem! smile

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. cool
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1187636 - 04/26/09 11:56 AM Re: Writing a Cadenza [Re: steinwaymaster]
Tar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 296
Loc: Munich, Germany
We had a topic on writing music without time signatures and/or barlines a while back. It has a solution applicable to Finale (and hopefully Allegro, too). Might be worth checking out.
_________________________
Tar Viturawong
Amateur composer and pianist
Known on YouTube as pianoinspiration
verbis defectis musica incipit

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#1187638 - 04/26/09 11:58 AM Re: Writing a Cadenza [Re: Tar]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: Tar
We had a topic on writing music without time signatures and/or barlines a while back. It has a solution applicable to Finale (and hopefully Allegro, too). Might be worth checking out.


Thanks, Tar, for remembering that! I had forgotten about it already. blush
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1188333 - 04/27/09 01:03 PM Re: Writing a Cadenza [Re: agent3x]
RogerW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/08
Posts: 441
Originally Posted By: agent3x
Also, are the noteheads smaller than normal? How would I write this in Sibelius?

In cadenzas, fast notes without a metric structure are often written with small noteheads. To do this in Sibelius, select the notes, go to the second tab of the keypad and press "Cue size (on/off)". At least that's where it's located in Sib 4, don't know if they've chaged it in Sib 5. If they have, search the reference guide for "cue notes" and you should find out how to do it.

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#1194671 - 05/06/09 06:42 PM Re: Writing a Cadenza [Re: RogerW]
Nigel Keay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/04/08
Posts: 139
Loc: Paris
My daughter wrote her own cadenza for Mozart's 5th Violin Concerto along with a dissertation on the topic. There's a very brief explanation of how she approached it on her webpage where it's possible to have a look at the score of this particular cadenza.
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