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What is your composition style and who inspires you?

The composer that influenced me the most is definitely Claude Debussy. I compose in an impressionistic style, which means that my pieces evoke imagery and a sense of story when listening, with some unique chords and controlled dissonance.

Some other compositional styles (not all of them, but some general ones):

Baroque - very structured, rule-abiding, very much single note voices, court dances.
Classical - sonata, orchestral pieces, structured and with set phrases, repetition and controlled expression.
Romantic - feeling-evoking, dramatic, freedom of expression, strong and contrasting note choices.
Impressionistic - image-evoking, a flowing and free tone, more dissonance, more chord choices.
Contemporary, modern, post-modern - jazz, blues, rag, that kinda music, lots of dissonance
Popular/good sounding - repetitive chord structure, very easy to listen to
Technical - compose for the purpose of exercising the fingers

Making a convincing plagal cadence, how?

I am nearing the end of composing the first movement of my suite. And I plan to end the movement using a plagal cadence. But I know that a plagal cadence can be hard to make sound convincing, I mean after all, it is a subdominant to tonic motion. And most of the time if anything, the subdominant moves to the dominant for your classic IV V I or a slightly embellished version of the same cadence such as IV V vii°7 I

I know that part of making a plagal cadence sound convincing is to slow it down. V I could easily be convincing at quarter note speed. Not so easy for IV I to be convincing at that speed. But as you slow it down, IV I becomes more convincing. Another thing that makes the plagal cadence more convincing is having the upper voice move between scale degrees 5 and 6, implying a second inversion subdominant chord. 

Second inversion is the least stable form for any major or minor triad. And scale degrees 6 and 4 naturally want to move downwards. This leads to a convincing tonic resolution from the subdominant. Repeating the chords in a pattern like this


as it is in the Messiah Chorus, makes the cadence even more convincing.

But do I need to do anything else to make the plagal cadence convincing? Would a leaping bass make it more convincing like it does for an authentic cadence?

Using grace notes with swing?

I'm transcribing a piece for jazz trio, but I have run across a slight problem. The piece is in swing time, with a 67% eighth note ratio. If I add an acciaccatura (or any other grace note that comes before the beat, as far as I can tell) onto an off-beat note, the grace note is played far too early. It's almost as if it's playing a grace note for the straight eighth, rather than the swing eighth. The grace note works fine if it's on the on-beat. Can anyone give me some advice for how to fix this?

Country Music?

Do any of y'all like country music? If so, who are your favorite country musicians? Favorite song(s)?

Personally, I like George Strait, Johnny Cash, John Denver. For the most part, I prefer the music of the '80s, so I also like Keith Whitley, George Jones, Hank Jr., Alan Jackson, and so on.

Rondo giocoso for violin and orchestra

This is a very Paganini-inspired piece which I wrote, learned and eventually performed as my senior solo at my last high school orchestra concert. I used many Paganini-esque idioms like a B theme in parallel tenths and a lyrical middle section with extensive use of harmonics. But I also injected some Tchaikovsky at the end to deliver maximum energy!

Use the custom audio (don't have Pro yet so I can't set it as the default).