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#2179673 - 11/09/13 04:14 PM What's cooking?
larryz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/11
Posts: 103
Loc: sweden
Every now and then I manage to come out of the vacuum that is the non musical world. This weekend have been really productive.

I thought it would be proper to start an achivement-of-the-week thread, were we could post our progress.
Mostly I see finished opuses posted on this forum, and equally often I wonder how the composer got from a blank page to that wonderful result.

Anyway I'll start with what I've come up with today. It's based on memory, with ingredients of summer and love smile



So far I've captured the melody in form of two themes. I guess the bass also carries emotions, but this is a start, a memory note.
My plan is to work out the bass. See if I discover anything. Then the next step is to try to create a few variations on this.
Hopefully, as a beginner, I have not chewed off to much in one go laugh
,love

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#2180069 - 11/10/13 12:06 PM Re: What's cooking? [Re: larryz]
stalefleas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/16/13
Posts: 249
I like this idea of postings works in progress... However it has been done before in other threads and it is still indecipherable for most of us to just see notes. Unless you're Polyphonist, in which case, the actual music will just get in the way.

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#2180094 - 11/10/13 01:07 PM Re: What's cooking? [Re: larryz]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11805
Loc: Canada
I turned on my old sight singing way of reading and was happily humming along. Could you number your measures in the future, so that it is easier to refer to them? I should mention that I'm still at the student stage myself.

M. 1 - 8 feel like a complete unit with two phrases that reflect each other nicely - actually 1 to 2 + 3 to 4 as well, and ditto for the next pairs. Then when 9 - 12 come along it feels like you're about to take off on a variation and then we have THE END! Still, it's a good beginning. Why not play with the chords you've written down as block chords, and then play around with the notes and rhythms and see what you come up with?

What is your process? Are you starting with the progressions and coming up with melody patterns? Are the melodies coming to you first and then you find the chords? Is this music you hear in your head, try out on the piano, or put together more intellectually?

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#2180102 - 11/10/13 01:22 PM Re: What's cooking? [Re: stalefleas]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7707
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: stalefleas
I like this idea of postings works in progress... However it has been done before in other threads and it is still indecipherable for most of us to just see notes. Unless you're Polyphonist, in which case, the actual music will just get in the way.

What? What do you mean by the "actual music"?
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2180179 - 11/10/13 04:30 PM Re: What's cooking? [Re: keystring]
larryz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/11
Posts: 103
Loc: sweden
stalefleas: youtube for you here: laugh LM

keystring:

Very good advice of numbering the measures. Updated!

Thanks for your insighted analysis. Didn't think of that they reflect eachother, twice.
This, togheter with that the tune was singable in a happy fasion, I take as a good sign, and should keep these measures letting them be the "ground" for further work.

... you read me like an open book smile
The melody in measures 1-8 came to me, when that memory flooded me again. Then I gently added the chords by the help of the piano.
After done this, I, as you said, intellectually came up with the measures 9-12. Which I agree sounds "bolted on".
My thinking was that measures 1-8 goes from I to V. And because of that I should have an other section that goes from I to I.

How can I get out of this fiasco? Repeat 1-8 and end on I?
Or maybe try to insert more stuff before M9?
I'll try your advice to play the M1-8 chords on the piano. If done quietly enough I still should be able to hear the melody in my head, and try to feel it.

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#2180259 - 11/10/13 06:44 PM Re: What's cooking? [Re: larryz]
stalefleas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/16/13
Posts: 249
That I chord at the end does not sound right... I think you could go somewhere else. Otherwise it is nice overall, certainly a start, I'm assuming you have really decided on the chord voicing a for the accompaniment yet.

And Polyphonist, I am referring to the fact that you can, as you put it, hear virtually any tonal score in your head just by looking at it. Thus for yourself recordings are unnecessary and you even mentioned in another post that sometimes you wish people would send you the score instead of recordings. Hence I joked, the actual music would get in the way. By this I mean a recording, since a recording is, well, audible.

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#2180310 - 11/10/13 08:23 PM Re: What's cooking? [Re: larryz]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11805
Loc: Canada
Actually, I'll bet that when you did your m. 9 - 10, what you wrote in the beginning was still in your head. Because if you really look at it, those two measures are actually a variation of m. 1 - 2, but at a faster pace. Take out the extra notes and you get this "E thing goes to an ending of E,D - C thing goes to C,B" - and that is what you have both times. But you want to finish it so you stick in a sudden cadence.

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#2180322 - 11/10/13 08:32 PM Re: What's cooking? [Re: stalefleas]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7707
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: stalefleas
Hence I joked, the actual music would get in the way. By this I mean a recording, since a recording is, well, audible.

I would argue that the "actual music" is the score, and a recording is an interpretation of that. It all starts with the score. So the score is more important, and thus, that's what I want to see.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2180383 - 11/10/13 10:04 PM Re: What's cooking? [Re: larryz]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11805
Loc: Canada
I just played around with your score - just for ideas
ideas recording

When I did my first formal exercises in theory and composition, they kept it simple. I don't have a good reason for changing the conclusion to m. 7 by changing m. 8 and then adding another pair - it just went that way. But the problem you had was in finishing it, which is how you ended up with that abrupt ending. So in the 2nd part I played with the idea of repeating what you just did but an octave lower. Then starting at the repeat of m. 5, having it drive toward the conclusion. It's really simplistic because there is so much repetition and copying the patterns that are already there - does it give you any new ideas? I saw from your other posts that you are looking for a balance between creativity and structure.

You really have a nice musical idea there! smile

As notation

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#2180542 - 11/11/13 09:44 AM Re: What's cooking? [Re: keystring]
larryz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/11
Posts: 103
Loc: sweden
Stalefleas, yes, I think you have reach the same conclusion as Keystring, it feels forced to go so suddenly to
'I' and finish. It never occured to me that was one of the problems. Thanks!

Keystring, thank you for your lovely answers.
Unfortunately I'll be in the vacuum most of the time until next weekend.
Though I'll definitly try to make some time to play through your score, and get acquainted with it until then.

Meanwhile, I would love to see some other participants work going here.
Bonuses for handwritten scores ;D

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#2180603 - 11/11/13 11:46 AM Re: What's cooking? [Re: larryz]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11805
Loc: Canada
larryz, I thought later that it might look like I was taking over with your composition. I was going by instinct yesterday, and it's for giving you some ideas. I read another post of yours, and it seems that you are feeling your way in. I'm kind of half way to somewhere in this.

You're doing one thing that I can identify with from my past: there are "subconscious structures" in what you wrote. There are existing patterns, the call-answer thing, but you didn't do it deliberately. I'm thinking that we pick up parts of the structure of music just like we pick up patterns in language. Preschoolers speak in sentences, which means they have a feel for grammar and syntax long before learning them. I think the same can happen in music, esp. when we remain untaught for a period (as I was). That's the first thought.

I started studying theory a few years ago, with some rudiments that go toward composition. A few times it was like "Hey, I was doing that!" You recognize the structure that is already in your music. Or you discover that you have the snippet of something, and as you learn more, you realize where your instinct was taking you. I saw things like that in what you wrote, and have pointed out some of them. Thought 2.

Then going into music theory, you realize that they also use deliberate patterns and things (I can't find a good noun). You alluded to that in your other thread - the bit that is inspiration, and the bit that is constructed. That part helps you shape your music, so that your not drifting only in inspiration-mode from one idea to the next, and then say "how do I end this thing?". --- Another concept that blew me away when I first discovered it, is that composing is also a "backward" thing. That is, you may be thinking of the ending when you are at the beginning. In the case of your piece: "How do I end this? What is it moving toward?" You don't necessarily go m. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.... 110 in that order as you work. I found this helped me a lot.

I used these things in my "version" - chiefly to show you the things that can be used. You can come up with something much better. It's there so something can be there.

So the first thing is that you had two things that I could call A and B. The A goes from m. 1 - 4 in yours. There are two mini-phrases that complement each other and complete each other, and they have the same rhythm. Then B goes from m. 5 - 8. There is a new rhythm and pattern which repeats itself in 2-measure bits. I took your B, changed it a bit so that m. 8 mirrors m. 6, and then added two more measures that again mirror the same pattern. I think this is called a "sequence". Then I ended that section with m. 11 & 12 which are an exact repeat of m. 3 & 4 which end your A.

One of the easiest structures is to have two sections that are the same but end differently. There is a series of exercises in the RCM rudiments book that let you practice that. Basically that is what I did in the 2nd part. If we had A and B in the first part, we can call this one A' and B'. The A' is identical, but an octave below. B' starts identical but at the * asterisk, the conclusion of the 2-measure phrase is different. And we have another sequence of 3 phrases which magically bring us to a "finish". Not so magical, because in processing it, I did the "backward thing" - first playing around with how it should end, and then bringing it there through the sequence.

They aren't brilliant tricks, and I'm sure a lot of people can do better. But these are things that I learned so I put them out in case they are helpful or give new insights. For all that I know, you may know all of these things and more.

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#2181788 - 11/13/13 04:50 PM Re: What's cooking? [Re: keystring]
larryz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/11
Posts: 103
Loc: sweden
Keystring, I'm very grateful that you're helping me in my composition struggles.
These advices like yours I value very much. Thank you!

What you've given me is a device I can use to move forward when stuck for example.
I usually come up with ideas that ends up in around 4 bars maximum. With your advice it seems I could, if done carefully expand my productivity threefold laugh
Ofcourse it is not about quantity. But rather taking that four bar idea and trying to gently lower it into a fitting structure. A way forward so to speak.

I guess you would have to balance using these type of technical devices and trying to hear the musical overall picture.

I've played through your piece. And in the picture below I've added chords, to show how I interpret it. If you dont mind, I made the rythm implicit by removing it from the score, easier analysing and sight-reading (for me).

I'm unsure about what should follow the IV at M10, all other bars similar to this goes to another chord in the second downbeat, I've left that chord out here. Though continuing on IV gives a floating feeling.

Then I didn't manage by chords to get a feeling of semi/half cadence when reaching measure 12.

Anyway I'm going to continue working with your answer and try to come up with sequences myself. Yes I've read about those very recently, and have actually made an attempt the other day at it that ended in pure horror!

Going abit ahead of myself I have begun working on my first variation smile Though I can only variate M1-8 because the rest of thema is still uncomplete.

I wonder if you can guess from where I'm drawing my inspiration ;D


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