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#2170792 - 10/23/13 06:33 PM Fantasise over a theme, howto?
larryz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/11
Posts: 91
Reading the thread writing away from the piano. How do you hear faster notes, especially when those are in combination, when it is more about texture than a single note?
This thread is about a similar issue, how do you write if you are away from the piano? Cognitively away that is.
I feel a chicken and egg problem in this.
It seems the more little I learn to play the piano the more I discover compositional tricks and devices. Does those two skills go hand in hand?

Here is some work in progress:

I dont call this fantasising over a theme, or improvising. That is ofcourse way too much beyond my capabilities.
But atleast this score is at a level where I can hear it in my head as good as I can play it on the piano. Not a particular useful level? It requires much work to take it further from here. And the piano can't help me further. On the contrary, as soon as I hear the piano, my head goes silent. I seem to get into a listening mode.
If I were to "fantasise" on this, I would need to go for a walk or something and let it bounce around inside my head. Thats the only way I know of going forward. Then gently trying to extract it keeping as many notes as possible..

Sorry about the piece being very repetive, I'm trying to feel and work out where it wants to go. Hopefully I can flesh this out someday to something more enjoyable laugh

Btw, where did schubertslieder go? I really miss his sympathetic comments cry

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#2170891 - 10/23/13 10:17 PM Re: Fantasise over a theme, howto? [Re: larryz]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7573
Loc: New York City
Just what does it mean to fantasize over a theme?


#2171151 - 10/24/13 09:59 AM Re: Fantasise over a theme, howto? [Re: larryz]
stalefleas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/16/13
Posts: 249
I think the OP means to elaborate or improvise on the theme. At the piano this is difficult, maybe going for a walk the OP could invent some ideas mentally, literally "fantasize" about how the theme could develop.

#2171155 - 10/24/13 10:06 AM Re: Fantasise over a theme, howto? [Re: larryz]
stalefleas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/16/13
Posts: 249
Larryz, is that a harpsichord?

Also I like the melody you have constructed. It was difficult for me to make sense out of the notation you wrote but then again I didn't pay it too much attention. I just noticed there were ten dots in one measure and no way to discern rhythmic values but I am sure you understand your own notation.

Once you learn a bit of theory, adding stuff to your compositions won't be too terribly difficult. If you know what key you are playing in, for instance, you will know some options for embellishing your melody or providing accompaniment. If you learn about harmony and chord changes, you can identify what sorts of chords will sound good accompanying the melody, and where to put them, and so on.

Anyhow thanks for sharing your work and your thoughts. I found your theme to be reflective and relaxing, and I enjoyed the harpsichord (if that's what it is).

#2171184 - 10/24/13 10:51 AM Re: Fantasise over a theme, howto? [Re: stalefleas]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7573
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: stalefleas
I think the OP means to elaborate or improvise on the theme.

I know what he means; I'm trying to get him to think about correct terminology.


#2171301 - 10/24/13 02:16 PM Re: Fantasise over a theme, howto? [Re: larryz]
larryz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/11
Posts: 91
Sorry if I'm using a sloppy terminology. I guess there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to music, but that is ofcourse no excuse to use poor communication deliberately.
Fantasise in my original post was ment to mean: given a theme, apply on it your fantasy(imagination?) and try to come up with something new. I may be understanding totally wrong here?

Polyphony, could you please give some insights on my first question in my first post. I'm quite lost when it comes to reading and trying to hear those complex patterns. Ofcourse anyone is welcome to answer, but I just saw your in-depth reply in the other thread, and would love some elaboration on the subject.

Stalefleas, thanks for taking the time for your thoroughly analysis, despite the limited material at hand.
The score is more or less the melody quickly written down (before it vanishes). I always assume common time and treble clef so I dont write those down. The rythm I work out afterwards, but didn't do it in this case.

It warms my heart, that you, by finding it reflective and relaxing, I was able to evoke those emotions, especially when I'm playing this by hand.
I'm using a harpsichord soundfont (the small italian, which has a nice license) together with fluidsynth. Audacity for mastering and kdenlive for converting it all to a movie.

#2171330 - 10/24/13 03:14 PM Re: Fantasise over a theme, howto? [Re: larryz]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7573
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: larryz
The score is more or less the melody quickly written down (before it vanishes)..

Huge red flag here. If you can't remember your melodies they are not good enough to write down.


#2171551 - 10/24/13 11:13 PM Re: Fantasise over a theme, howto? [Re: larryz]
stalefleas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/16/13
Posts: 249
I almost never write anything down but I actually disagree. Given your extensive musical history I think you are underestimating your own learned skills. Beginners and non musicians do not have tremendous powers to memorize even catchy melodies. Nobody forgets the melodies to songs like happy birthday in part due to their simplicity and also in part due to their being heard ten thousand times.

If all "worthwhile" music was so easily remembered that it should never be written down, piano teachers would be out of business, or at least, would just teach accompaniment. People would just hear these unforgettable melodies and learn them all by ear. I have difficulty memorizing the melodies of a lot of Chopin's and Bach's music and it isn't because the melodic content isn't good it's because it's just not that simple to remember.

#2172484 - 10/26/13 06:21 PM Re: Fantasise over a theme, howto? [Re: larryz]
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2728
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
Part of learning music theory is ear training. This means learning what a major and minor scale sounds like and the intervals within them. In addition one should learn what rhythms sound like and how to notate them. This will give you some understanding of the function of chords within the scale and what appropriate harmonies should sound like for a melody.

For me it was drilling of solfegge using a moveable Do (that's as in the song "Doe, a deer, etc." That way every degree of the scale has a particular vowel and/or syllable associated with it. When you get to that level of familiarity then Do sounds like tonic (1st degree of the scale) and so sounds like dominant (5th degree of the scale).

If all of that sounds like gobbledygook to you then learning theory and getting ear training will be beneficial to you.

Good luck!


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