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Thread: Creating a sense of being lost

  1. #1
    Senior Member caters's Avatar
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    Default Creating a sense of being lost

    I'm composing a piece in E minor that I want to sound like you are lost. I already start getting that feeling just by being in E minor. Here are some things that I have decided on.

    Instrumentation - Flute Piano Duet

    Tempo - Lento espressivo(slow and expressive)

    Starting harmony - F#°7

    Resolution chord in second measure - E minor

    I was thinking that if I want my piece to sound like you are lost, then maybe I should concentrate on the lower register for both the flute and the piano. As such, the piece would be more dynamically reserved, so as to not be impossible for the flutist(a true forte in the low register of the flute is impossible). I was also thinking of having more minor than major harmonies in it. Minor harmonies would reinforce that lost feeling. Major harmonies on the other hand would try to turn it around. Of course, there has to be some major harmonies, otherwise it will feel like constant modulation.

    Chromaticism would also help reinforce that lost feeling. I usually don't go all that chromatic but I might want to with this piece. Speaking of modulation and chromaticism, I was thinking of not modulating until some chromaticism hints at a new key. For example, if Eb appears more often in a phrase than previously, I might then use that Eb to modulate to C minor. Would anything else that I haven't thought of help get across the feeling of being lost?

  2. #2
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    Don't forget rhythm. Playing one against another can induce a very literal feeling of disorientation.

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    Senior Member SONNET CLV's Avatar
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    Of course, form is meaning. I would think that if you center the piece in E minor, then drifting away from this key to more remote keys with occasional stabs back towards the feeling of E minor if not exactly E minor would provide a real sense that one is lost. Since I know absolutely nothing about music I could easily jot down a piece in E minor (what is that? One sharp, I think.) and know that by several measures in I would be completely lost as to what I was doing. Perhaps your piece won't display such desperation. But you might consider taking a look again at the ol' "circle of fifths" chart (somebody told me about that once) and consider what keys are most distant (lost) from E minor. I don't suspect it's G Major (though a major key generated out of the minor mode might provide another sense of being lost!), but, again, I know nothing about music. Still, if one were drifting through key modulations on a search for the home key of E minor, one might communicate to a listener that one were lost. But I wouldn't probably understand, 'cause I don't even know what a home key is. I think I probably even shouldn't have answered this thread. Sorry.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bwv 1080's Avatar
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    A typical technique would be to erode the sense of a tonal center with extended diminished or whole tone passages

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    Senior Member isorhythm's Avatar
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    Maybe play with the diminished seventh chord's ability to resolve in different ways as you develop the piece. That could follow naturally from your opening gesture.

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    Senior Member mikeh375's Avatar
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    +1 with Bwv1080 and IsoRhythm. Remember that each note in a dim7th can be a 3rd, a 5th, a 7th, or a 9th, depending on the bass, which should not be a chord member. I.e., for a dim7 of f sharp, a, c and e flat. you can use any of these as a bass....f natural, g sharp(a flat) b natural and d natural. Add in enharmonic practice and any key is available and in easy reach. That should help you get lost ...
    New website and some new music......www.mikehewer.com

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  8. #7
    Junior Member MAXSWAGGER's Avatar
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    Experience the emotional state rather than trying to artificially create it.

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