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#2073723 - 04/29/13 07:06 PM New composition v2.0
Mark Gordon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/13
Posts: 53
I took everyone's suggestions on the piece I had started working and incorporated everything that I could. I varied the straight eighth notes on the main theme and broke them up with dotted notes and sixteenths where I thought it would help. I also cleaned up the misspellings. Before I had allowed Sibelius to choose the spellings at random as I entered each note via keyboard and didn't bother going back a really fixing those things. I used key signatures where I could establish a key and I also went through each measure and made sure that the runs were playable and practical; I was able to play each measure at full speed without falling all over myself. I still have some fine tuning to go but I hope that this will show an improvement on the very rough draft that I presented last time. Lastly I dropped the Sonata title as i never planned it as a sonata in the first place but just haphazardly stuck it on.

I had a lot of dumb mistakes in the first draft, but I learned.

Let me know what you think.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/93161902/fantasie.pdf

I will post a reply of this a little later. Maybe I'll play it myself.....eventually.

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#2073810 - 04/29/13 10:09 PM Re: New composition v2.0 [Re: Mark Gordon]
Conner_36 Offline
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Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 102
Loc: Pennsylvania
Hey, looks interesting. You have a midi or mp3 I can listen to?
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#2073816 - 04/29/13 10:14 PM Re: New composition v2.0 [Re: Mark Gordon]
Charles Peck Offline
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Registered: 04/03/13
Posts: 50
Loc: Minneapolis, MN, USA
I'd recommend you turn off the magnetic layout in Sibelius. The rests, dynamics, certain accidentals, tempo markings, and cross staff beamings are a bit all over the place. It is still not at a point where you could give it to a pianist. They can read it, but it would be very cluttered and frustrating.

If you know this already, no worries. If not, I'd be happy to point you to certain measure numbers to take a look at.


Edited by Charles Peck (04/29/13 10:14 PM)

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#2073822 - 04/29/13 10:34 PM Re: New composition v2.0 [Re: Charles Peck]
Mark Gordon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/13
Posts: 53
Originally Posted By: Charles Peck
I'd recommend you turn off the magnetic layout in Sibelius. The rests, dynamics, certain accidentals, tempo markings, and cross staff beamings are a bit all over the place. It is still not at a point where you could give it to a pianist. They can read it, but it would be very cluttered and frustrating.

If you know this already, no worries. If not, I'd be happy to point you to certain measure numbers to take a look at.


I can use all the help I can get. If I did this by hand there would certainly be a different result but this is part of the learning curve I guess, trying to get the computer to do what you want. If you have time to point out the measures that would be great. I'm still trying to figure out how to get things to space evenly. e.g.measure 61 where some notes have too much space between them and some have too little. Also I have seen manuscripts where the composer was able to put the accidentals directly over the notes when the measure got too crowded. Sibelius still won't let me do that. Or is that part of the magnetic layout thing? I have had a lot of trouble trying to figure out how to line things up in Sibelius. I'm pretty savvy with graphics programs but this has been a tough one for me.
thanks


Edited by Mark Gordon (04/30/13 01:09 AM)

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#2073826 - 04/29/13 10:38 PM Re: New composition v2.0 [Re: Conner_36]
Mark Gordon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/13
Posts: 53
I'll try to have one for you soon. I have to add in some metronome marks to make sibelius play it somewhat correctly
Originally Posted By: Conner_36
Hey, looks interesting. You have a midi or mp3 I can listen to?

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#2073828 - 04/29/13 10:44 PM Re: New composition v2.0 [Re: Mark Gordon]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7707
Loc: New York City
Just a tip, Mark: it's customary to put the post you're quoting first, and then your response. smile
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#2073872 - 04/30/13 01:03 AM Re: New composition v2.0 [Re: Conner_36]
Mark Gordon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/13
Posts: 53
Originally Posted By: Conner_36
Hey, looks interesting. You have a midi or mp3 I can listen to?


Here is the latest midi recording in all it's computer robotic playing glory! But it's not too bad for a demo.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/93161902/Pianofantasie1.MP3

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#2074515 - 04/30/13 09:04 PM Re: New composition v2.0 [Re: Mark Gordon]
Charles Peck Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/03/13
Posts: 50
Loc: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Mark,

I use Finale, so I'm afraid I can't be too much help in making adjustments to the score in Sibelius. I'm sure there forum has the answers you are looking for though. I can point out some things to improve.

With regards to accidentals - do not put accidentals above the note. This is only done in some extreme circumstances and is not fun for players to read. You can however move them left or right, as in closer to the note if need be.

I think there is a bit of confusion with the accents you have written under slurs also. If you want them attacked then the slur should be broken. i.e. measure 77, 79, 31 etc.

Measure 71, RH - this is a very confusing way to notate the rhythm. Rewrite it so that it outlines where the beats are. That applies everywhere. The beamings and rests you write in must outline the beat.

Measure 59, LH - not sure what is going on with the rest here. I'm not sure what their purpose is. This happens frequently in the fast sections (m. 56, m. 51, 49 are just a few). Most times this is an issue because you have multiple lines happening on one staff. This is fine, but you need to make the lines clearly distinct. Really look at all of these rests and decide whether you need them or not and if so make sure it is clear which line they are associated with.

Measure 79, LH - the groups of triplet eighths should not be beamed together. Same concept with the sextuplets starting measure 70.

Measure 83, LH, beat 1 - the accent over the low g should be above the staff, not in the middle of the ledger lines

Measure 11 - the a tempo should be above the first beat of the measure unless you want it to start later. Not a big deal, but it is ambiguous.

Measure 61 - the 9 on the 9lets should be right under the beam that is in between the staves.

As an overarching rule - make sure things to run into each other. This is sometimes unavoidable, but only in very rare situations. Also try to horizontally line up anything that is related, i.e. dynamics, tempo changes, etc. It will help the score look more professional.

Hopefully, this is a good start. It will take a while, but it is an important step when finalizing a piece. If it doesn't look professional and easily readable, then performers will not respect it like they should.

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#2074587 - 04/30/13 11:22 PM Re: New composition v2.0 [Re: Charles Peck]
Mark Gordon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/13
Posts: 53
Originally Posted By: Charles Peck
Mark,

I use Finale, so I'm afraid I can't be too much help in making adjustments to the score in Sibelius. I'm sure there forum has the answers you are looking for though. I can point out some things to improve.

With regards to accidentals - do not put accidentals above the note. This is only done in some extreme circumstances and is not fun for players to read. You can however move them left or right, as in closer to the note if need be.

I think there is a bit of confusion with the accents you have written under slurs also. If you want them attacked then the slur should be broken. i.e. measure 77, 79, 31 etc.

Measure 71, RH - this is a very confusing way to notate the rhythm. Rewrite it so that it outlines where the beats are. That applies everywhere. The beamings and rests you write in must outline the beat.

Measure 59, LH - not sure what is going on with the rest here. I'm not sure what their purpose is. This happens frequently in the fast sections (m. 56, m. 51, 49 are just a few). Most times this is an issue because you have multiple lines happening on one staff. This is fine, but you need to make the lines clearly distinct. Really look at all of these rests and decide whether you need them or not and if so make sure it is clear which line they are associated with.

Measure 79, LH - the groups of triplet eighths should not be beamed together. Same concept with the sextuplets starting measure 70.

Measure 83, LH, beat 1 - the accent over the low g should be above the staff, not in the middle of the ledger lines

Measure 11 - the a tempo should be above the first beat of the measure unless you want it to start later. Not a big deal, but it is ambiguous.

Measure 61 - the 9 on the 9lets should be right under the beam that is in between the staves.

As an overarching rule - make sure things to run into each other. This is sometimes unavoidable, but only in very rare situations. Also try to horizontally line up anything that is related, i.e. dynamics, tempo changes, etc. It will help the score look more professional.

Hopefully, this is a good start. It will take a while, but it is an important step when finalizing a piece. If it doesn't look professional and easily readable, then performers will not respect it like they should.


This will be a great help! There is one thing I am confused about with regarding rests, especially involving crossbeams. I any other piano score I have studied where there are crossbeams in a glissando-like sweep or just cross beams in general, there is no rest on either staff. The way Sibelius does it is you write the passage in one clef and then crossbeam it to the other, (that is the method I know of anyway) So what happens is that Sibelius does not figure out that notes are shared between the two lines and simple the one line have rests as if nothing is there. So in my case the base clef is the starting point and it rises into the treble clef. Even though notes are in the treble clef it does not recognize them as part of it and counts them as just part of the base clef. I wonder if there is another way to do it.

Also if I have a note that is pedaled or just held over other voices, the way I figured out to make that work (without having a bunch of tied notes) is to have one voice as voice 1 and the held note as voice 2. That opens up a can of worms where now there are rests associated with the voice two. I was told by one Sibelius user that I should keep those rests there but make them more visible. This is another situation where I have never seen anything notated in this manner in any piano manuscript. These are just two examples that thoroughly confuse me. What do you do in these situations. Is Finale more forgiving for piano music?

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#2074680 - 05/01/13 01:43 AM Re: New composition v2.0 [Re: Mark Gordon]
Conner_36 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 102
Loc: Pennsylvania
A very different piece of music! I thought that the music flowed better after the exposition. But it had a focusing effect that was very beautiful. It's way beyond my current skill level.

I would try and add another "melody" staff starting bar 44-79 (not really sure what it's officially called when you have another set of 4 lines in addition to the ones already there), It was hard to follow the sounds and the notes while keeping the parts distinguished in my head.
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#2074685 - 05/01/13 01:53 AM Re: New composition v2.0 [Re: Conner_36]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7707
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Conner_36
I would try and add another "melody" staff starting bar 44-79 (not really sure what it's officially called when you have another set of 4 lines in addition to the ones already there)

It's not officially called anything. Why would you make a staff with 4 lines instead of 5? grin
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Polyphonist

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#2074755 - 05/01/13 05:37 AM Re: New composition v2.0 [Re: Mark Gordon]
Charles Peck Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/03/13
Posts: 50
Loc: Minneapolis, MN, USA
With crossbeam stuff, yes you can hide the rests in the measure. If the rhythm is simple enough it is easier to just hide the rests. I have left them in though occasionally when the rhythm is more complex. I would imagine you should be able to hide rests in Sibelius as it is a commonly needed function.

If I understand you correctly about the multiple voice layers, then I think the person who you spoke to is right, though it could depend on the situation.

In this example, you don't need rests because the rhythm is still clear - http://www.finalemusic.com/usermanuals/finale2012mac/content/image/TutEx2-15_373x118.png

But in this example, you need the rests to make the rhythm of the separate voices clear. Note here how the rests are raised or lowered so it is clear which voice they belong to. - http://forum.makemusic.com/attach.aspx/4300/goatherd.gif

Hopefully that helps answer your question.

The Finale/Sibelius debate is loaded, but I personally prefer Finale. The unbiased consensus is that Sibelius is easier to use, but Finale looks better. As a long time user and engraver, I know Finale well and find it pretty easy to use. But to answer your question, probably not. Writing complex rhythms and multiple layer stuff is always a bit of a pain, but worth it in the end!

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#2074879 - 05/01/13 09:53 AM Re: New composition v2.0 [Re: Mark Gordon]
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2779
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
Big picture, I like this piece. It's definitely better. The rhythmic shifts make it easier to stay engaged.

As for the score that needs improvement. You may have to develop two scores, one for the proper midi output and the other for real musicians. As a pianist look at your score and pretend you didn't write it, where would you think the composer was just messing with you? Would it be possible to replace some of those tuplets with compound meters to make the rhythms easier to grasp? Just a thought. Good luck and the music is definitely improved.

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#2075312 - 05/01/13 10:33 PM Re: New composition v2.0 [Re: Charles Peck]
Mark Gordon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/13
Posts: 53
Thanks Charles, for all your time and sharing of your expertise. I'm working on it now. Also, I finally got a note from the teacher with whom I started this piece. He suggested that I cut measures 90 - 94 because they were superfluous and bogged down the pacing. I wrote him back and proposed a compromise. I needed that transition for the subdominant Bb to Eb so I had to keep that but I instead wrote that I was going to cut the 13/8 measure and turn the 6/4 measure into a 4/4 and finally cut one of the 4/4 measures before the Eb key change because the fermata on the whole note was probably enough of a pause. What do you think?

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#2075315 - 05/01/13 10:35 PM Re: New composition v2.0 [Re: Steve Chandler]
Mark Gordon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/13
Posts: 53
Steve, thank you for your suggestions. I was worried at first that varying the melody in the beginning might throw a monkey wrench in the whole piece but as I looked further into the piece I found I was already doing that and it actually, I think, helped connect the later parts to the first part. It also worked better to make the melody more distinctive. Thanks again for your help.

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#2075557 - 05/02/13 02:25 AM Re: New composition v2.0 [Re: Mark Gordon]
Mark Gordon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/13
Posts: 53
Here is the progress so far. I still have a little bit of moving around of items to do but I made a lot of changes. I haven't dealt with measures 90- 94 yet. I have to play through that to see what works best.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/93161902/fantasie.pdf

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#2078675 - 05/07/13 06:47 AM Re: New composition v2.0 [Re: Mark Gordon]
Medium Heights Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 64
Loc: Banned
I'm too much of a noob to say anything more than even a basically tone-deaf adult-beginner like me can enjoy it, so you must have got something right. I wish I were one tenth as good as you in terms of raw musicality. I especially enjoy the beginning.

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#2080321 - 05/10/13 12:41 PM Re: New composition v2.0 [Re: Medium Heights]
Mark Gordon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/13
Posts: 53
Originally Posted By: Medium Heights
I'm too much of a noob to say anything more than even a basically tone-deaf adult-beginner like me can enjoy it, so you must have got something right. I wish I were one tenth as good as you in terms of raw musicality. I especially enjoy the beginning.


Thanks for the encouragement!! It is important to me that as I compose pieces, that the general audience will enjoy them as well. I could even say that it is more important. I would hate to compose something that is academically sound but finds no audience except for a few interested in niche music. So thanks very much!

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#2080481 - 05/10/13 07:06 PM Re: New composition v2.0 [Re: Mark Gordon]
Charles Peck Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/03/13
Posts: 50
Loc: Minneapolis, MN, USA
In response to your last comment. I must I admit, I fully agreed with this comment when I started composing, and in some senses I still do.

Writing music that really connects with people is one of its great rewards and should not be cast aside. But I believe that the more you compose, the more you will look to find something new and unique to yourself. There is an enormous history of tonal music and so much of it is beautiful and well-crafted. But I think one of the most important objectives of composers is to feel like you are contributing something that is really unique to the time period and culture that you have been born into. In every piece strive for something that you haven't really heard before.

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#2080872 - 05/11/13 02:11 PM Re: New composition v2.0 [Re: Mark Gordon]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7707
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Mark Gordon
Here is the progress so far. I still have a little bit of moving around of items to do but I made a lot of changes. I haven't dealt with measures 90- 94 yet. I have to play through that to see what works best.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/93161902/fantasie.pdf

Link is not working.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2081387 - 05/12/13 01:11 PM Re: New composition v2.0 [Re: Charles Peck]
Medium Heights Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 64
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: Charles Peck
There is an enormous history of tonal music and so much of it is beautiful and well-crafted.


The vast majority of that beautiful and well-crafted common practice period music lacks the kind of uniqueness or character that Beethoven at his best or Wagner at his best brought to it. I think there's a whole universe of tonal pieces of music one can compose to fill the void left by Beethoven's and Wagner's deaths in particular.

I don't mean that you should imitate them, I just mean if they had lived longer they would have proved again and again that very new, very unique stuff is still waiting to be discovered in the tonal universe.

You can discover some of it using your own voice, so why wouldn't you?

You can't discover it if you have this strange notion that tonal music can't be new or original just because there was a brief period in history when very sophisticated composers completely avoided tonality .... an already closing era, due to the smallness of the atonal universe. I think Bartok was the best atonal composer and most of the rest of that kind of music is not something that can be deeply appreciated even by most musicians, due to lack of character in the music. I don't mind ugly music if it sounds unique, like Bartok's pieces that were used in The Shining (Music for strings percussion and celesta). But if it's just pretty music that happens to be atonal, why even bother? Of course, the same can be said of tonal music, if it's just pretty tonal music that some people happen to like, why bother? As you said, there's so much of it (as there is of atonal music these days).

The point here is that you have a false opposition between tonal and atonal music. All that really matters is whether the music is unique, not whether it happens to coincide with the expectations of a fractured musical culture in a world where the weight of tradition has become so great that it has broken and no longer matters as a whole, because it can never, even in principle, be assimilated by one person and experienced as a whole. You can't hear Mozart in the way that Mozart heard Mozart, unless you limit your musical experiences to pre-Beethoven stuff, so this already makes it illogical to speak of one culture as something that truly exists today.

Many people do something of that sort -- limit what they listen to -- even if not that extreme. They don't require very dissonant music to get the same effect as someone who listens to atonal music a lot. They might even be physically unable to listen to very dissonant music due to finding it nauseating. This would mean they are missing something, but it would also mean they are getting something you aren't when they listen to older, less dissonant stuff.

I personally think it's a richness, that we now have an age where all these different musical backgrounds are possible. It's great. And it's great that so many are composing excellent tonal music again.

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#2082012 - 05/13/13 05:27 PM Re: New composition v2.0 [Re: Medium Heights]
Charles Peck Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/03/13
Posts: 50
Loc: Minneapolis, MN, USA
"I personally think it's a richness, that we now have an age where all these different musical backgrounds are possible."

I am emphatically agree with this comment.

But I think you are largely misinterpreting my other comments. I was not suggesting that he or anyone should abandon tonality to pursue atonality. Nor am I suggesting that one is better than the other. In fact, I do not really compose atonal music ever myself. I do, however, write in the post tonal style. But regardless, I do not suggest there is an opposition between the two styles. And I embrace how many different interests there are. And again I agree with your comment saying the uniqueness of the music is what is important.

What I took issue with was the idea of composing music so that the masses will love it. I think every composer should strive for something that is fresh and unique to themselves. And by restricting yourself to music that would appeal to anyone, you may be ignoring other parts of your musical self. We live in a time when we hear a number of styles and it would be natural for those styles to influence us however subtly or intensely. It is also our prerogative to reject those styles if they do not resonate with us. My point is that you should write for yourself and not for the masses.

"The vast majority of that beautiful and well-crafted common practice period music lacks the kind of uniqueness or character that Beethoven at his best or Wagner at his best brought to it."

I would definitely have to disagree with this. There are many other gifted composers from this period and they each had there own style. I don't feel like debating this though.

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#2082120 - 05/13/13 09:08 PM Re: New composition v2.0 [Re: Charles Peck]
Medium Heights Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 64
Loc: Banned
Hmm, OK. That's a bit more difficult to argue against. However, it's good to remember that while we are creating something, we often hear more in it than others ever will, more than even we ourselves will after a while. Even when we never stop loving the product, it can still be a sort of blindess on our part that comes from being too close to the work to experience it in context. I think this is what happens to me with some of my improvisations.

So I don't think it's enough that you compose music that appeals to you personally, I mean if you want to be a great composer instead of a great hobbyist. You need to compose something that will appeal to a certain audience, whether it's your mom or "the masses" really makes no difference, except in terms of how ambitious you want to be.

I think Beethoven was able to compose some music that almost anyone can enjoy a lot, and that's to me the greatest of all achievements in music: to compose very deep music but something that's at the same time very accessible.

Others have done that too: Mozart, J.S. Bach, and Wagner at least.

Of course, there is nothing stopping you from alternating between the two approaches: composing both for yourself and for the masses. A lot of composers have composed difficult works meant for the few as well as more accessible works meant for a greater audience, instead of attempting a synthesis or focusing only on one or the other.

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#2082137 - 05/13/13 09:51 PM Re: New composition v2.0 [Re: Medium Heights]
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2779
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
Originally Posted By: Medium Heights

So I don't think it's enough that you compose music that appeals to you personally, I mean if you want to be a great composer instead of a great hobbyist. You need to compose something that will appeal to a certain audience, whether it's your mom or "the masses" really makes no difference, except in terms of how ambitious you want to be.

To thine own self be true. Think about it all perception is within our own minds so even when we try to appeal to the masses what we end up doing is appealing to what we perceive the masses want. The advice I've always heard whether it was in business or the arts was, "Be the best you you can be." When we try to appeal to what we think others want are we being the best of ourselves? For some people writing popular music comes naturally, but others have a different muse. Would you tell Cindy Lauper to sing like Celine Deon? Or to use composers you know would you have told Scriabin to sound more like Wagner? I don't think so. When I compose something I'm happy if my music makes me happy. There really is no one else to please.

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#2082146 - 05/13/13 10:12 PM Re: New composition v2.0 [Re: Steve Chandler]
Medium Heights Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 64
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
Originally Posted By: Medium Heights

So I don't think it's enough that you compose music that appeals to you personally, I mean if you want to be a great composer instead of a great hobbyist. You need to compose something that will appeal to a certain audience, whether it's your mom or "the masses" really makes no difference, except in terms of how ambitious you want to be.

To thine own self be true. Think about it all perception is within our own minds so even when we try to appeal to the masses what we end up doing is appealing to what we perceive the masses want. The advice I've always heard whether it was in business or the arts was, "Be the best you you can be." When we try to appeal to what we think others want are we being the best of ourselves? For some people writing popular music comes naturally, but others have a different muse. Would you tell Cindy Lauper to sing like Celine Deon? Or to use composers you know would you have told Scriabin to sound more like Wagner? I don't think so. When I compose something I'm happy if my music makes me happy. There really is no one else to please.


Well, I agree with you in part. I agree that writing popular pieces isn't for everyone. At the same time, I can't know who those people are before they have become famous in some sense, or at least known. So my idea is simply that people should explore, try different things, find out what they can become and what they want to become.

I think there have been composers who could have been great in the sense of both popular and elite, in the sense of a Mozart, if their friends and critics hadn't expected one or the other but a synthesis or alternation.

Some composers who are elite are trapped in being popular. Some who are popular are trapped in being elite. And some who have potential for a synthesis are stuck in "being themselves", not realising they can change what they are if they try hard enough.

Maybe.

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by Panpiano
11/26/14 06:28 PM
Wanted to say hi
by patty5sewing
11/26/14 05:43 PM
Price of Knabe WMV-121?
by blackjack1777
11/26/14 04:36 PM
Audiobox USB vs Audiobox 22VSL
by mitzysman
11/26/14 04:33 PM
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