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New to redbanned - First post

Discussion in 'Critique & Feedback' started by Luis Moral, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. Hi all,

    New to this form an after taking composition 1, orchestration 1 and counterpoint, I would love to get your feedback. This is very basic composition trying to get pattern repetition and bsic development.

    My dilemma is how to make the idea clear in a slow piece without getting to repetitive and boring.

    Thanks for your comments.
  2. Hi, Luis. First of all, welcome! And thanks for sharing your piece. I listened to the whole thing, but it was a bit hard to follow. I admire the work involved in putting together such a lengthy piece and taking it different places. Regarding the parts I struggled with it may help to focus on formulating your repetition work into idiomatic phrases. For example, the opening idea was clear and your rhythmic and shape repetition of the idea was clear. But it came together as a kind of run on sentence that didn't feel like a natural phrase that a wind player would have. Sounded like one instrument (bassoon?) with relatively constant dynamics on one phrase from 0:12 - 0:44. You could either break these into smaller repetition sets with breath/pause between, or start passing the line between different instruments. I'm not sure if my description is making sense. I think getting clarity around the phrasing of the ideas presented may help provide some clarity around how the ideas related to each other across the span of the piece.

    Also, I really enjoyed the harmony of 3:05 - 3:30. As I was listening to that part I found myself hoping that the first idea was going to come back right at 3:32 to tie it together, but alas it went a different direction.

    Hope this helps.
  3. Thanks for taking the time to listen to my piece and for your feedback.

    Very good point on the bassoon phrasing not being very natural, I can do much better. I like the idea of diving the whole phrase into smaller parts and move it around with other instruments although I need to think which ones will be suitable at this range while keeping a warm sound (I can try with clarinet and english horn, perhaps alto flute).

    I see your point to come back to the main melody at 3:32 before taking the piece to another place. It is indeed a good place to bring people back to the main idea.

    Doesn’t sound thin and lacking overall bass? I was tempted to put a compressor but symphony orchestras don’t use that. Any ideas on how to make richer? Or is because the way I have orchestrated the piece? May be, it’s just me.

    John Eldridge likes this.
  4. Hey Luis,


    That's a quite an undertaking, thanks for sharing that. Here are my first impressions based on the first listen. I may notice more things if I listen to it a few more times and I'm happy to follow up later.

    The slow and boring that you mention is, I feel, largely due to lack of either rhythm or expression. Rhythm would help keep it going, and expression would help keep it engaging (in one way). Ideally, you'd have both. Right now it feels like somebody is speaking in an even tone throughout, and without a really clear rhythm. That being said, do you have a playable piano version of it? Can you try and do one? Can you make it work on a piano alone (or on a single instrument), so that the meat of it is the sole focus?

    In tackling expression with virtual instruments, there is no better practice than trying to recreate a recording. Focus on expression, not the sound. Pick a piece you like. Hal Leonard and SheetMusicPlus have plenty of film music scores if you're into that, and IMSLP has tons of free sheet music for classical pieces. Pick a piece, pick a recording, find the score and get to work. If you do your damnedest to get as close as possible to the expression of the original, you'll have learned a lot just by doing a single piece.

    There's really a lot we can talk about in your piece, but it somehow reminded me of Mov. 2 from Mozart's Piano Concerto no. 21.

    I would suggest taking the time to transcribe it and/or (preferably and, not or) check the music sheet. I also feel that a lot of your questions will be answered by this one action.


    I may have more to say on subsequent listens/replies here, and I'm sure someone else will chime in to help you out.
    John Eldridge likes this.
  5. Thanks Aaron for your feedback and taking the time to listen to my piece.

    Excellent points and in line with John’s comment about the lack of expression. It supposed to be “espressivo” but it is far from being. I also agree about giving it more rhythm and drive. Mozart’s example is indeed a nice one to learn about expressive melody and the rhythm to drive the whole piece interesting.

    Unfortunately, I am not a piano player, I am a jazz guitar player so I have to first do my harmic development on guitar. However, I take your point about transcribing and I am doing it with Princess Leila’s Theme right now. This is a very expressive melody and a slow piece but JW did a fantastic job there to keep it very interesting until the end. It is tougher than I original thought as I am able to transcribe well all the exposed solos with expression but there are background chords and pads that are still difficult to get for me.

    Most important thing now is to learn and absorb by doing as much as I can.

    This is very helpful!!

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