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CCC#1 - "The Watzmann" and Admin/Judge

The wait is over! The first competition is here!

That didn't take long! Thank you to everyone who has joined the group in the last 24 hours or so. :D

So, I have a couple of things to talk about, the first is announcing the competition, the second is regarding Admins and Judges etc, so I want to quickly apologise for the lengthy post.

But let's start with the fun bit!

CCC#1 - "The Watzmann" by Caspar David Friedrich.

"The Watzmann" is a painting by artist Caspar David Friedrich, made in the mid 1820s. It is a fantastic landscape painting, and although I know nothing about art, I absolutely love this painting.

This challenge was inspired by a composition task I was given at school, where we had to write a piece of music inspired by a painting. I chose a different painting by Caspar David Friedrich, which inspired me to look up some more of his art to use for this competition.

So, the challenge is fairly simple: Write a piece of music inspired by this painting, "The Watzmann". I look forward to seeing what you can come up with.

A few quick rules/details:
1) You may use any ensemble of instruments.
2) The piece must be between 1.30 and 5 minutes long.
3)  The piece must be original, not an arrangement.

You will be given a mark out of 10 for your piece, along with some feedback. You have until Sunday 19th May which gives you one month to complete the piece. I will announce the winners as soon as possible after that.



Admin / Judge

So, basically, if anyone would like to be an admin and judge in the competition, please message me. Your job will be to help me mark the scores, and make sure the group runs smoothly. Obviously, you won't be able to participate in any competitions which you help judge, so sorry about that. If no-one wants to, I can do it myself, but it would make things a lot easier for me, so message if you're willing to help. Thanks!

Conclusion

There. I apologise again for the long post. I'd never get away with this on RSA. :/
Thanks again to everyone who helped boost this group to 30 members yesterday. :D
I look forward to seeing all of your entries to the competition. Obviously you don't have to, but if you are entering, it would be helpful if you could just let me know in the comments. Have fun!

- Joe
 

Should I end the canon in the same key I started it in?

So, I am doing another canon and I took your suggestion of having just 1 measure between the voices. Now in the case of this canon, the term voice isn't literal here. I am writing this for a harpsichord with just 2 melodic lines. I was thinking of perhaps adding a bass line(Cello perhaps) for a richer sound but maybe after I finish the melodic part of the canon because this one is modulating. So far I have had this in terms of modulations:

C major(starting key) -> E minor via direct modulation(like literally the E minor seems to come out of nowhere. But because of the relation to C major, it isn't as abrupt as say going to Bb would be) -> A minor


Now I have had to make 1 little tweak to my initial melodic idea because I used the Check Harmony Rules Plugin and I had 2 parallel 5ths. But just a single tweak got rid of both parallels. This did make me go from stepwise motion at that point to a leap but the leap was small, only a third.

This canon is at the third. So where C is in the initial voice, there is E in the following voice, etc. And the fact that it is at the third is why it is modulating. But I was wondering, because this canon is going to continue to modulate, do I have to end it in C major(which might mean extending the canon past 50 bars so that it doesn't feel abrupt) or can I end it in a key other than the starting key as long as I have a cadence at the end of it?

I mean I would think that I would have to get back to C major which could mean extending the canon further but at the same time, Lord only knows how long it will sound as though it is in C major before it modulates again. And I know ending on a cadence is crucial so that is why I am wondering if ending in a key other than the starting key is okay as long as I have a cadence in that ending key.

Imagine if you could save lyrics with midi export as 2 options: "KAR file (MIDI File with lyrics)" and "KAR file with chords"

This is a request that goes back to at least 2015 and I have formally requested this feature again (see https://musescore.org/en/node/290163 ) - to create KAR files, and kar files with chords. This would allow us to use a real Karaoke Player, such as the free van Basco player (http://www.vanbasco.com/karaokeplayer/ ) app for practice, performance, learning, teaching, etc. It's high time for this feature after 10 years.

Do you realize the numbers of  school teachers, and church choir leaders would would find this useful for teaching, conducting parishioners, choruses etc.? And why not lyrics from several voices simultaneously? Why, people might even have FUN with these files (heaven forbid)!!

Do you realize how useful these files could be with karaoke software?! I am a programmer and I see the arguments as "beside-the-point" and not at all insurmountable.  In fact, there may be no reason why more than one part's lyrics couldn't be saved and scrolled in a karaoke app in parallel.

Read my request where I address the programmer's objections. With all the lyric-typing I do I am disappointed/insulted that I can't export the lyrics with the midi. I have searched high and low and the closest software I can find to a solution is Serenade (http://www.1manband.nl/serenade/index.htm ) which is far from as perfect for this as MS would be. Please help promote the idea at (see https://musescore.org/en/node/290163 ) !!

The little jewels within Mozart's music treasure chest

Many pieces from Mozart are amongst the most beautiful things that can be eared, for these who are receptive to at least.
But there are also pieces from him which won't procure that undescriptible feeling ( mix of ecstasy/peace and achievement. Plus the need of earing more of it ;) ) 

I am not particularly fond of the second movement of Symphony nb.25 for example. It's fine, but in my opinion it lacks something, or I don't get that thing, for any reason. 
I just feel this Andante won't really start and tell the story, or if it does, it seems it couls have been much more than that.
But, and this is the subject of this topic, there is this small passage within, which is beyond everything else in those 70 bars.
I mean, that's precisely the moment I am waiting for when listening to this movement.  I wished so hard Mozart would have  develop further this absurdely simple but at the same time heavenly beautiful theme!
Here it is:

https://musescore.com/user/31180682/scores/5593079

Would be fun to point out further "magic" passages in other Mozart's compositions. There are so many!
The problem is cutting them to put  here in the topic ( needs some audio editing or score writing,  this last one being an excellent exercise )

Review of a little ticklish song afeter reading about harmony

 
I've been studing (by myself) harmony and composition by Arnold Schoenberg and revised an old song I made:https://musescore.com/user/2458231/scores/5543724
Any mistakes?
How can I make it more pleasing to hear?
Any better books on composition?
Waht do you think of the litte song? (the intent is to imitate the act of tickling, there is even a feather kkkk)

Competition No.4 - DUET FOR CONTRABASSOON AND PICCOLO!

I'm excited to finally announce our fourth competition!
This time, compose a duet for contrabassoon and piccolo. (I got the idea from a music lecture I watched, and thought it would make for a fun competition theme.)
- All of the notes must be within the respective instruments range
- The total length can be anywhere between 1 and 5 minutes long
- Comment a link to your submission below
- Each user may only submit one entry
- Voting will begin on June 1st, 2019

Have fun! :)

6/1 UPDATE: Voting is now available via this form: https://goo.gl/forms/2f5m666H2TAf5g522
6/8 UPDATE: This competition is closed. View the results here.

Country Day, Would like some feedback

 This is a piece that I composed to sound pastoral(in other words, like the countryside). I used this sequence of modulations:
 
F major -> C major -> A minor -> Bb major -> C minor -> G minor -> Bb major -> F major 

The first F major section is supposed to sound like the sun is rising.  Then in the C major, A minor, and Bb major sections, it sounds  relatively peaceful. But the Fate motive appearing in both the bassoon  and the piano foreshadows the C minor section, and the last entry of the  Fate motive being on a C minor chord makes it sound like I am directly  borrowing from Beethoven's 5th. Once I get to the C minor section, there  is a jolt, both in dynamics and in tempo. The tempo almost doubles and  the dynamics become fortissimo. I also use a repeating progression twice  in this section. Here it is:

i -> i6(first inversion tonic)  -> i -> iv(with Ab in the melody giving a more dissonant tone)  -> i -> i6 -> i -> vii°7 -> i 

Now there were a lot of ways that I could have gone from C minor back to F major. Here are just a few: 

  • Circle of fifths, ending it on the subtonic dominant 7th in D minor
  • Ending the progression at F minor and then going straight to F major via parallel modulation
  • Ending the progression at C minor, then going to C major which leads to F major
  • Ending the progression at B°7 and resolving it to C major, again leading to F major

I decided to start like the circle of fifths progression, going to G  minor. From there I went to the mediant of G minor followed by a plagal  motion to F major.
 
Once I got back to F major, I decided on having the flute play a melody  to give us a sense that the drama of the C minor section is over. This  melody, I accompanied in the bassoon. Later, when the melody comes back,  I change the register to be down an octave and have it played by the  bassoon. The flute harmonizes and embellishes it with a countermelody of  its own. Towards the end, I have all 4 instruments playing  simultaneously and there is a ritardando, going from the 120 BPM of the G  minor and second Bb major sections to the 60 BPM at the end. In the  third to last measure, the harp does a diatonic glissando. I intended  for it to be diatonic to avoid much dissonance between the Bb major  harmony and the glissando. In the measure after that the harp does a  long trill and then it ends with arpeggios in the harp and block chords  everywhere else. These last 3 measures are again fortissimo. But because  there is no modulation or sudden tempo change, the fortissimo in those  last 3 measures just sounds like a typical ending cadence and so even  though mezzo forte and fortissimo have quite a noticeable difference in  intensity and there is a busy texture in the mezzo forte before it,  there isn't much of a noticeable dynamic jolt. The flute and bassoon  move in contrary motion over the piano chords in the last 2 bars, both  to an F but in different octaves.
 
I didn't compose this for your typical quartet. Instead I thought  "Which instruments would go well with the countryside in terms of their  sound?" Piano, Harp, and Flute were obvious ones. To help balance the  woodwinds against the piano and harp, I decided on having a second  woodwind instrument. I didn't go with the Oboe because it sounds pretty  nasal in timbre compared to other woodwinds(would probably be a very  good instrument though if I wanted to make a piece sound Scottish).  Another instrument that I could have used is the Clarinet(which in the  case of this piece would be a Bb clarinet). It sounds mellow like the  flute. But I figured that I didn't need a more mellow sound, I needed  some warmth to the sound. And I knew just which woodwind instrument  would provide a warm quality to the piece. That would be the Bassoon,  which is comparable to the cello because of its wide pitch range and  warm tone.  

What do you think of it? Here is the link:

https://musescore.com/user/50070/scores/5583632