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Thread: Quint Quart fourth movement

  1. #1
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    Default Quint Quart fourth movement

    https://soundcloud.com/larya/quint-q...ourth-movement

    This is the last movement of a four part musical sonnet. It is constructed with primarily quartal chords, chords whose notes are separated by an interval of a fourth. There are a few quintal chords, separated by a fifth. Whole tone scales work well with quartals of which there are many in this piece. I spent a few hours writing in all the accidentals for this sonnet which runs about 30 mins. I asked the question, why not have a key signature for whole tone scales.

    There are two whole tone scales, the one containing C natural whose key signature would be F#,G#,A#. and the other one containing C# whose key signature would be C#,D#. Not only would these key signatures facilitate composing but they would make a score like this neater and easier to read. Whole tone scales are no longer sole property of jazz but should become main stream in the symphony orchestra.

    In addition, if a director looks at my score and sees all the accidentals, he thinks, atonal, avant garde, modern and weird. But nothing could be farther from the truth. This piece is pretty conventional sounding. So I urge anyone using whole tone scales to use the alternate key signatures for better truth in labeling and to bring the symphony orchestra into the 20th and 21st century.

    Your thoughts and critique are appreciated.
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    Senior Member tdc's Avatar
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    Lovely piece of music, thanks for sharing. You are right it sounds more or less conventional but the whole tone scale harmonies give it a certain freshness. To me it sounds essentially like a hybrid between Russian Romanticism and Impressionism.
    Last edited by tdc; Oct-11-2017 at 05:32.

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    Senior Member Vasks's Avatar
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    The piece is simple and straight forward.

    Your score has some quirky things. First, everything is too cramped. Have the like pairs of instruments share a staff. Second, why two Contrabass parts? You can divide them on one staff if you need it. Third, you don't have a single slur for any instrument. That suggests you are not thinking about legato situations. Finally, when you introduce a new key signature use a double bar.
    A conductor is a musician who's adept at following many people at the same time.

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    Senior Member Torkelburger's Avatar
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    I ended up liking the way the diatonic scales worked with the quartal chords, better than the whole tone scales. BTW, whole tone scales have been a part of classical music for over a century now. Debussy, Bartok, Stravinsky, etc.

    This is good overall. The score is really sloppy, though. Some articulations can’t be deciphered, it is not clear which dynamics go with what music and they appear on the wrong staff, and music that is high or low appears on the staff above or below where it belongs. Proofread! For example, accidentals and ties. And you have tied quarter notes where a half note would suffice. There are serious spacing issues. A computer-generated score should not be this sloppy. For someone worried about what a conductor might think when looking at the score, you should be worried about how clean it looks. Generally, a messy score is assumed to have errors in it. And it is also assumed that it will take rehearsal time to clean up, fix notes, and decipher notes, etc.

    As Vasks noted, you are missing articulations throughout most of the score. You must tell the conductor and the performers how to articulate the music or they may do it wrong and it can ruin the performance. As it is, the woodwinds will articulate every note. You don’t want that, do you?

    There is a part where Flute 2’s part is higher than Flute 1’s part unnecessarily. That is unorthodox and should be changed.

    Write the word “divisi” in the strings when a string part is divided in two (for example the basses at the beginning) and write “unis.” when they return back to one part. This rule is not optional.

    The celeste part towards the beginning would be a lot smoother and easier to play if written for two hands instead of the one.

    Always, always proofread for instrument ranges. The piccolo is out of range in bars 65 and 90 (the high D) and bar 179 (the notes below D). And the double basses usually can’t play below the low E below the staff. I know, some have the low C extension but I haven’t seen many in community orchestra situations.

    The orchestration of the piece seemed limited to me and I would have liked to have seen more variety in doublings, colors, etc. One example of many is your use of flutes and oboes in unison against string chords. I would have also liked to have had more transposition in the piece. There was one brief moment of transposing the opening few bars up a step, but then the opening repeated exactly later. And there was the material based on E that I thought could have transposed. It is a short piece, but I still think it could have used some transposition.

    I wrote a lot, but again, overall it is good. I like the language of the piece and the writing for the instruments and overall composition of the piece is quite good.

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    Your score has some quirky things. First, everything is too cramped. Have the like pairs of instruments share a staff. Second, why two Contrabass parts? You can divide them on one staff if you need it. Third, you don't have a single slur for any instrument. That suggests you are not thinking about legato situations. Finally, when you introduce a new key signature use a double bar.[/QUOTE]

    Vasks,
    This score is unfinished, for what ever reason, just absent mindedness. Here is a finished version. The two lines of bass and cramped condition are due to cheapo Print Music. I need to upgrade to whole Finale. Top bass line is arco, bottom pizz.
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    Last edited by Larry; Oct-11-2017 at 22:02.

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    I don't know why I didn't finish this score. Looked over the previous three movements and they were finished. I usually write, "all parts divided" at the beginning of the string parts. Looking back I did use flutes and oboes together too often. Part of the sonnet idea was to match musical sections to rhyming scheme i.e. ABBA ABBA CDC CDC. The last section was meant to match the beginning though bringing it back in another key is a good idea.
    Thanks for the input. Now I'll have to be more careful.
    Thinking of Debussy, he had a pentatonic scale, one note short of the whole tone, right?

    I've figured out why the score was unfinished, because I've lost the finished file somewhere in the computer, or it was deleted. This score now has no ending, so I will have to rewrite the ending by listening to the mp3 which is complete and made from the lost score a few months ago. I can't find it in backups or deleted files. Computers can be a boon or a pain in the patuti.
    Last edited by Larry; Oct-12-2017 at 00:39.

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    Thinking of Debussy, he had a pentatonic scale, one note short of the whole tone, right?
    Debussy used the complete whole tone scale. The best example would be “Voiles”, the second prelude from Preludes, Book 1. See 3:33 here:



    He also used pentatonic scales. See “Nuages” from Nocturnes. 4:19 here:



    You may also want to buy a score and recording to La Mer.

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    All beautiful music. I've played quite a bit of Ravel and some Debussy on piano. A couple years ago I wrote a piece based on Debussy's La Mer. I could listen all day and not get any composing done, so back to the grind. Here is the finished score incorporating some of your ideas. Two months ago I saved the score and pulled it up Monday. Not only did I not get the score or backups but instead a file from three or four days prior. How is that even possible?
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