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Thread: Lily

  1. #1
    Senior Member MarkMcD's Avatar
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    Default Lily

    Hi all,

    It's a long time since I've been here, been working on other things, but also still composing.

    This is a piece I've been working on recently. It's a short piano sonata inspired by one of my cats "Lily".


    I'm more or less pleased with how it sounds so far. I'm considering it finished, although there is always room for editing, but the bones are there.


    As always, I would welcome any constructive criticism, I'm always open to suggestions on what may or may not be working and on how to get it working.

    Hope you enjoy it. I know that my style is not to everyone's taste being that I consider it classical, tonal music, but I hope that at least you can appreciate it at least for what it is.

    Thanks in advance for any comments.

    Best regards
    Mark

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/0qacks2bowpnazr/Lily.mp3?dl=0

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/ypn6x9ho6n...Score.pdf?dl=0

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    Senior Member Phil loves classical's Avatar
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    You have a good sense of harmony. My Romantic era knowledge is rusty, but it is in the style of Liszt or Chopin, isn't it? It has a lot of intrigue. I feel you are overusing the combination of minor 6th, and minor 7 chords.
    "Forgive me, Majesty. I'm a vulgar man. But I assure you, my music is not.“ Mozart

  3. #3
    Senior Member MarkMcD's Avatar
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    Hi Phil,

    Thanks for you comments and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    I suppose it has an air of the romantic era although I try not to be in the style of anyone else. Ultimately, if you're going to write conventionally classical, tonal music, then it's very hard not to be compared to other composers.

    I assume you're talking about the 1st movement when you suggest an over use of the minor 6th/7th combo, and possibly you're right. I like the effect, but it's easy to get bored if something remains unchanged for a long period, although it would be hard to change as the harmonies and the general flow and feel of the movement would be altered too if I were to change the odd one here and there, but I will look at it further, keeping that in mind.

    Whilst it's always nice to know that people like what you do, the main reason I post my work is because by the time I get to this sort of "pre-finish line" I've heard the piece a million times, and a fresh set of ears is always a good idea, to point out things that often pass me by, due to over familiarity with the piece. So thanks again for your comments.

    Best regards
    Mark

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    Senior Member MarkMcD's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    I'm giving this thread a little bump in the hope that someone might have something to say. I didn't think it was so as to not warrant anyone's thoughts, but if so, then fair enough.

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    Senior Member Vasks's Avatar
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    I can't speak for others, but Dropbox would not let me just play it; instead I could only download it and even then it still would not play.
    "Music in any generation is not what the public thinks of it but what the musicians make of it"....Virgil Thomson

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    Senior Member MarkMcD's Avatar
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    Ah, ok. Thanks Vasks. Even when I play it through the link, it takes about 20 or 30 seconds to start, not sure why, but I'll have a look.

    Just had a look and it seems to working for me. Here's a second link just in case.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/0qacks2bowpnazr/Lily.mp3?dl=0
    Last edited by MarkMcD; Jun-03-2018 at 16:07.

  7. #7
    Junior Member tvparty's Avatar
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    No issues for me personally on playback on your link Mark, initially it throws up a Dropbox link box but I was able to 'x' it out & it streamed fine. Tremendous work, fella! The slower part that starts around 4:15 is quite lovely. Some background Con Sordino strings would compliment that part well.

  8. #8
    Senior Member MarkMcD's Avatar
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    Hey Tvparty, thank you. I do agree with you about the string accompaniment, and if it were a stand alone piece then I would have given it some strings. As it's the second movement of a piano sonata then it would be odd to suddenly have another instrument added, that's the only reason I left it alone.

    Thanks again, I'm glad you liked it.

    Kind regards
    Mark

  9. #9
    Senior Member Vasks's Avatar
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    A couple of pointers for notating the score better:

    m. 1 - You can make the rhythmic writing more simplistic by realizing that you are requiring the use of the sustaining pedal throughout the entire measure. Therefore on beat 3 you can have a LH quarter note “G” (instead of an 8th note) so as to eliminate the rest that can not exist due to pedaling. But I would go a step farther if your notation program allows for cross staff beaming.
    With my Sibelius I would make beat 3 (LH & RH) all 16ths beamed together. The LH would be a 16th “G” and then cross staff beamed to the final 3 16ths of the treble clef RH.

    With that in mind, can you see how I’d fix the first beat of m.2?

    m.7 - There’s no good reason for the RH to switch to the bass clef for the half note chord. The fewer clef changes a player has to do, the easier it is to read and play. Go through the piece and see if you can get rid of some more clef changes.

    m.11 - Rhythm of RH! You have stated that rhythmic notation is not your strong suit and here’s a place where there needs to be a better way. A general rule is that you do not place large note values starting off the beat (there’s always some exceptions, but they must be standard practice). So the half note chord you placed on the second half of beat one needs to be re-written. The chord should be written as first an eighth note that then ties into a dotted quarter (there’s your full two beats)

    m.15 - I was at first puzzled to the B-naturals because in C minor they are found in dominant (G-B-D) and leading tone chords (B-D-F). But the chord appears to be A-flat which then hit me that you need to make the B-naturals C-flats so the chord is an A-flat minor chord. This is one of those places where an amateir composer’s lack of good theory training gets exposed. Now go through the rest of your c minor section and except for dominant (G-B-D) and leading tone chords (B-D-F) most likely your B-naturals need to be C-flats.

    mss. 43-48 is visually messy. Cross-beaming is needed. Also, instead of breaking each half beat into a 16th triplet make it the whole beat a sextuplet. Do these two things and it will look great. If you do not understand what I’m getting at, I’ll make you an example and post it.
    Last edited by Vasks; Jun-05-2018 at 22:30.
    "Music in any generation is not what the public thinks of it but what the musicians make of it"....Virgil Thomson

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    Senior Member dzc4627's Avatar
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    Very lovely! Perhaps the best compliment I can give to you is that it sounds like music. The phrases are well structured and balanced without being uninteresting, the harmonic progression natural and following rules respected by the romantics, the tonal landscape one of modulation as it would be if written by a Schumann or Liszt or Chopin. The textures were very "pianistic" again in the way that one would expect a piece by one of the mentioned composers to be.

    While there is nothing "groundbreaking" about this music, it shows a truly masterful grasp on what music was expected to sound like for hundreds of years... I don't mean style, I mean a sense of cohesion and alignment to the human breath-span. It has a certain wit and conviction that I don't hear often in music written nowadays. I am very grateful to have your praise on my own piece "Prelude for Orchestra in E major" after hearing this music! Bravo.

  11. #11
    Senior Member MarkMcD's Avatar
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    Hi Vasks,

    Thank you so much for your very detailed help, I really do appreciate it. I'm going to go right back to the score and implement everything you've given me and see if I can carry on those principles throughout the piece.

    I have to confess to being lazy when it comes to the score. I know it certainly is not the case, but when I'm writing, the score is secondary to the music, and then it gets too long and complicated to go through and have it all make sense, as often I don't know what to do to have it all make sense, which seems silly since I can read music perfectly well, but someone else scribbled it all, not me.

    Anyway, I think I understand what you've explained and once again I thank you very much for it.

    Kind regards
    Mark

  12. #12
    Senior Member MarkMcD's Avatar
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    Hi dzc,

    thank you very much, I'm so pleased to hear that you think it has musicality and cohesion. It's the first time I've worked on something like a multi movement piece, and to keep a sense of cohesion throughout was something that I really tried to achieve.

    I know there's nothing ground breaking about it, I personally feel that I don't yet have the skill for that, and that the pieces I write now are in some way, training and practice for what I might be able to achieve in the future. None the less, I still want them to be musical and enjoyable.

    Once again, thank you for your comments, I really appreciate it.

    Kind regards
    Mark

  13. #13
    Senior Member MarkMcD's Avatar
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    Recently someone told me they would like to download and learn this piece, which I took as a great compliment. However, the score was quite a mess. So, with the help of Vasks, I have tried to tidy up the score as best I can. I'm sure there are still mistakes, but it does look a lot cleaner and much easier to read. So here's the new link.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/k4x3bpq39wt83tb/Lily.pdf?dl=0

  14. #14
    Senior Member Alkan's Avatar
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    I like this composition. The 3rd movement works best for me, but I am also particularly attracted to the part of the 1st movement where it goes into Db major and sextuplets. Excellent job!

  15. #15
    Senior Member MarkMcD's Avatar
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    Thank you Alkan,

    The modulation to Db major in the 1st mvt. is also one of my favourite parts, and the 3rd mvt. is quite playful, I like it a lot too, the playback doesn't quite do it justice.

    Regards
    Mark

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