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#1203763 - 05/22/09 01:12 AM Piece for Clarinet and Piano(Need criticism stat!)
Pumpkinhead Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/02/04
Posts: 152
Hello all,
Here is my first composition. I know that it's a bit rough, but I'm pretty proud of it. I hope to get a lot better over the summer! However, I know that the best way to improve is to get a second opinion, so if you are willing, I'd love to hear some criticism from you guys. You have always been helpful in the Piano Forum (hell, you guys basically programmed my Audition Repertoire), so I certainly trust your criticisms. Thanks again! It's posted as an attachment in a Composer's forum. Enjoy!!


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#1203978 - 05/22/09 12:01 PM Re: Piece for Clarinet and Piano(Need criticism stat!) [Re: Pumpkinhead]
musiccr8r Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/08
Posts: 270
Loc: Denver
I loved this. Seriously, esp. for a first composition, I was way impressed.

Criticism? My only thoughts as I went thru it were, one section about 2/3 of the way thru the clarinet was just playing single notes for awhile, and I wished there was more. But of course that was most likely an artistic decision to change the texture or feature the piano more, so no major issue. I was also hoping you'd let it hang unresolved at the end, with the octaves chiming in the piano, maybe a couple more meaures of that with some melodic fragments in the clariet added, fading out just a bit. ?? I dunno if you'd want to try that just for kicks, and leave off the last three chords (or however many there were) that actually resolved it. Usually I like things wrapped up neatly in a package, but every once in a while (and I think this piece is one where it would be effective), it is fun to just "leave 'em hanging". ?? Just some random thoughts. But, very very good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#1204343 - 05/22/09 10:47 PM Re: Piece for Clarinet and Piano(Need criticism stat!) [Re: musiccr8r]
Pumpkinhead Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/02/04
Posts: 152
Thanks a lot Musiccr8r. I completely agree about the ending, and I wish that there were a way to fade out before those last three chords finish the piece. The final resolution just seems a bit redundant now...

As for the simplicity of the Clarinet part 2/3rds of the way through, that was intentional to give the transition to the B section an even bigger "wind down." But perhaps it was too long or abruptly simple or too slow...

Does anyone else have any thoughts? This is all greatly appreciated. This is my first venture into composing so it's great to view the music from a critical perspective right from day one. Thanks a lot you guys!

#1204486 - 05/23/09 07:26 AM Re: Piece for Clarinet and Piano(Need criticism stat!) [Re: Pumpkinhead]
knotty Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 3001
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
i thought this was awesome.

#1204779 - 05/23/09 06:23 PM Re: Piece for Clarinet and Piano(Need criticism stat!) [Re: knotty]
Pumpkinhead Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/02/04
Posts: 152
Thanks Knotty, that means a lot. Do you have any criticisms for me? I really want to improve.

#1205143 - 05/24/09 03:47 PM Re: Piece for Clarinet and Piano(Need criticism st [Re: Pumpkinhead]
Tar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 296
Loc: Munich, Germany
I like this very much Pumpkinhead! A lot of very nice harmony, imaginative melodies, interesting interplay between the piano and the clarinet, varying textures (especially loved the triplet section). All in all hugely inspirational, thank you so much for sharing it!

I'd like to see it build a little more. From a listener's point of view the the piece was pretty much mp from start to about 3/4 of the way through the piece. The burst of energy there was well worth it, and I would personally like a little more of it - it was getting so exciting! This might actually be able to be achieved without changing a single note, but rather working on the delivery of the piece (which is as important as the jotting down of musical ideas). I think it will end up being great music with a little more work on which of the many rich musical features you want to impress your audience with.

Once more, it's totally inspirational, thank you so much. Are you a College music student by any chance?

Edited by Tar (05/24/09 03:49 PM)
Tar Viturawong
Amateur composer and pianist
Known on YouTube as pianoinspiration
verbis defectis musica incipit

#1205308 - 05/24/09 11:43 PM Re: Piece for Clarinet and Piano(Need criticism st [Re: Tar]
Pumpkinhead Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/02/04
Posts: 152
Wow, that is such a compliment Tar! I have played the piano since I was five or six. and am majoring in Piano at a University at the moment, but would like to double in Composition. I was very methodical in my learning of composition, having read a few books on the subject (like Schoenberg's Fundamentals of Music Composition) and analyzed a great deal of music (mostly Debussy, Rachmaninoff, and the early Beethoven Sonatas) before I wrote down a single note. To be honest, this is what helped me the most in composing this first piece. It feels as if I started with a strong foothold, so to speak!

Well thank you guys so much for your encouragement and advice. I'll definitely be incorporating your input, though I've already learned a lot from this experience. Thanks guys!

#1207301 - 05/28/09 08:18 AM Re: Piece for Clarinet and Piano(Need criticism st [Re: Pumpkinhead]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Very nice. I want to learn to compose and am a clarinet player and beginning piano player. I love the sounds of wood winds! I don't really think I have any crits. Great job on building to the tension and then resolving. Maybe a bit more work on the final notes? Hold a bit or ??

This is great.
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

#1207357 - 05/28/09 10:17 AM Re: Piece for Clarinet and Piano(Need criticism st [Re: kennychaffin]
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2838
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa

Overall that's a very nice piece of music. You managed to hold my interest throughout. As a first piece it's a real surprise with just how good it is.

You've asked for suggestions to make it better and there have been some already. I agree with the observation that it stays pretty much mezzo piano for too long. I also find the ending a bit perplexing, as it is it needs either more resolution or make it more abrupt and leave us hanging. The principal theme is good, but could be improved. All it may need is some rhythmic spice, consider some dotted rhythms or hold some notes a bit longer. Dotted rhythms add a sense of propulsion, holding a note can add tension or relaxation depending on what the accompaniment does. Adding these features will make your motives more recognizable so that you can craft a more effective ending.

So to reiterate, your piece is lovely and shows some real talent and craftsmanship. It has room for improvement and my ideas are simply my opinion. Consider them and if they resonate with you I hope they're helpful in making your piece better.


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