1. Didja accidentally blow through the whole, "We're using our real names" thing on registration? No problem, just send me (Mike) a Conversation message and I'll get you sorted, by which I mean hammered-into-obedient-line because I'm SO about having a lot of individuality-destroying, oppressive shit all over my forum.
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Exercise in predictability

Discussion in 'Critique & Feedback' started by Bjarke Tan, Jan 12, 2020.

  1. Hey. I hope I can get some feedback on a new piece I composed.
    My goals for this piece was:

    1: Practice predictability.
    Usually, I have a hard time trying to compose something where everything in the piece feels connected so I tried to improve that here.

    2: I tried to practice counterpoint.
    I have been told that I sometimes make to many repeating notes which seems a bit boring in itself so my composition teacher suggested that I should practice counterpoint.
    I have some trouble adding more voices than 2 when it comes to counterpoint does anyone have any tips or know some books that goes into detail on how to write for more than 2 voices?

    The piece is in it early stages as a piano version my goal is to turn it into orchestra but I would like to know what to improve before that.

    Feel free to come with feedback on anything that you feel like could be improved.

    Sheet music:


    Thanks in advance.

  2. I just wanted to let you know I looked over your counterpoint exercises and listened to this piece. I am going to make a video response for you.

    it' will just be a day or more until I have the time to go thru it properly.

    Just know it's on it's way
    Martin Hoffmann likes this.
  3. Not sure if this is the place for it, but what do people mean by "predictability", in a highly specific way? I generally dislike predictable music, but I suppose it depends what one means. What I gather Mike and others mean is that, if we're writing "predictably", we mean a matter of flow and logic, with going an "unexpected" route still being connected to the original idea.
  4. Rohann van Rensburg likes this.
  5. During first-time listening to some pieces in the unleashed masterclasses I sometimes get an involuntary confused frown and I think "What?!". Those moments of frustrating confusion are when I would say something is definitely not predictable enough. Surprise and confusion aren't the same thing in that context. A surprise is when I think "Oh, cool!".

    If you've listened to something often enough, you can stay oriented in anything. E.g. this album here I've somehow managed to listen to often enough that it became predictable to me. But I don't think I like either the band or genre in general. I never managed to get into a single other album in that style:

    I'm 8 minutes in, how long can you listen to that before you wanna turn it off?
  6. Yeah that makes sense. I think effective "unpredictable" music effectively makes use of knowing where their audience is and the twists and turns are deliberate -- the path may not be known to the listener, but there is still a discernible path. I suppose it again depends on what one is going for -- with score or orchestral pieces of music you kind of have one opportunity to get people hooked in right away. For i.e. Mike's jazz album he talked about making in the jazz class, he talked about more "difficult" tracks that would become peoples' favourites after a few listens because they start to "get" it. With score pieces there's more of an obligation to present the whole picture sooner, as the nature of long-form orchestral music you can hide a lot of cool stuff in there that can be discovered later. I'm not sure other genres have as much of an obligation in that regard; sometimes all you need to give the audience is a very thin thread to follow.
    Also like Mike says, the more "difficult" an idea it is, the more you need to re-capitulate and repeat that idea to make it digestible.

    Not a big fan of the genre more than anything, but good point re: familiarity.
  7. One thing about Redbanned that surprises me, and I think is wonderful, is how many people there are from outside
    North America (do we count Canada?) and are English Second Language (or more).

    I think it's incredible that people can learn 2 or 3 or more languages.

    I'm going to take a wild guess that Bjarke is not from Pilly.

    Everyone here is trying to make their music more persuasive. Aka intrigues the listener's ear enough that pays more and more attention until immersion.Then create the desired emotional affect. Lastly that by being able to do this, and do it well, it creates people who want and need your music.


    @Rohann van Rensburg

    Did you have a any questions over that piano except?
    Rohann van Rensburg likes this.
  8. @Doug Gibson
    That’s right I am not from Pilly but i am from Denemark.
  9. I highly recommend Walter Piston's Counterpoint. I went through it very slowly last year. The exercises are rather difficult as they often are without harmonic information, so I would just choose a favorite melody that has chords you already know to start.

    What is great about Piston's book is that it goes through all the different classical techniques for counterpoint. Even just a read through will put a number of these techniques in your composition "toolbox."

    Recently I've been studying jazz compositional techniques, and it is fascinating how different they are, particularly in rhythmic aspects, compared to classical ones.
  10. @Noah Horowitz
    I Already have walter pistons books. Harmony, counterpoint, and orchestration. I am currently going through the harmony book one chapter each day. It’s one of the best Music theory books i have read he talks about everything you need and is easy to understand at the same time. I am probably going to start the counterpoint immediately after I finish the harmony.
  11. I've heard Mike say it too (I think), but I like the idea of persuasive. You shouldn't know exactly what's going to happen, but you should be able to follow it and it should be logical the whole way through, as well as affecting in you what the composer wants to. Well said.

    The piano excerpt here or in the other thread? Working on that now, been busy with a newborn the last two weeks!

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