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CCC#2 - "The Wanderer"

 CCC#2 is here!

Based on the results of the survey I sent out on Friday 7th June, it occurred to me that several of the themes which I suggested, and asked you to vote on, would in fact fit quite nicely together. Therefore, for this second competition, I have found another painting by Caspar David Friedrich, since the response for “The Watzmann” was very good. I am also going to give a genre of music (as wide as possible, but still something to go on) and a short story available in the file below.

If you would like to help judge the competition, or have any other queries, please message on Musescore, or via discord @jte#9811

Details of the competition:

- The deadline will be in 4 weeks time (Saturday 29th June)

- The genre, as chosen by the survey will be “Film Music”. This is deliberately a very wide genre in order to give the contestants freedom of creativity. There will be an award for the most original take on the task, as with the first competition. 
Obviously this theme can be interpreted to fit your desires.

- The painting (shown below) and the story are both in the google docs file. If you have any issues accessing this file, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I will be happy to help.


- Your work must be completely original/all your own work.

- Be nice when critiquing other people’s work. Constructive criticism is fine, but don’t be rude. If you do, you will be disqualified from the competition and banned from the group.

- All pieces and comments must be appropriate.

Please let me know if you’re planning on taking part. I’d like to have an idea of who might be competing.  

- Joe


Hello low-voices world !

I'm french and often use "translate". I create this group for myself (;^_^) and to share my knowledge because it's difficult to find an interesting repertoire for real bass or real alto voices. Even search engines do than return results for bass guitar or electro music !

I want to give maximum freedom and initiative to the members of this group, but respect and benevolence are obligatory ! Welcome.

Getting stuck figuring out a countermelody

As you can probably tell, I have a main melody and I want to add a countermelody. And, though it isn't explicitly said in the title, I also have a bass line. Here is my melody(Key of the melody is in D major but the piece it is in is in G major, thus the 1 sharp key signature):

And here is the bass line I have going with the melody:

As you can see, I have the piano part in full chords and the cello playing just the roots of those chords.

Here it is together with the melody. Full instrumentation of the piece is shown.

As you can see, I have the melody in the first violin and with good reason. Outside of solos, the only instruments in a piano quintet expected to go into the third octave(which the melody does) are the piano and first violin. The violist or second violinst might do it, if the section is a solo. That isn't the case here. But if you listen to this melody and bass by itself, it sounds bare. And while I could theoretically make a canon out of this melody to make it sound less bare, the results of that are to put it lightly, displeasing. I tried transpositions by both interval and time and just couldn't find the perfect one. All the ones I found had dissonant strong beats which defeats the purpose of turning the melody into a canon in the first place.

So canon is out the window. I could turn this into a fugato, but then where is the subject? Is it the first 5 bars? Is it the whole 20 bars? How does a whole note work as part of a countersubject? So fugue is basically out the window as well. This leaves me with only 1 contrapuntal solution left. Countermelody. Sure, fugues have countermelodies. But there is an inherent structure to the fugue which is similar to sonata form. If I just try to write a countermelody, there is no inherent structure. The structure depends on the melody, and sometimes, it might be non-existent. You can see looking at the picture of the score here that I have up to 2 octaves of space for a countermelody.

But I am stuck as to how to go about writing this countermelody. I know rhythm is part of it. But, given how slow the melodic and harmonic rhythm is already, I don't think rhythm is quite the importance as it would be if say the tempo was fast and involved 16th notes. The tempo here is moderate and the fastest notes are eighth notes. The fact that the fastest notes are eighth notes means that I probably shouldn't go any faster than eighth notes in my countermelody/countermelodies. But is there an easier way than just trial and error to find out what countermelodies work both harmonically and melodically? I am thinking of starting the countermelody(first countermelody if I end up wanting more than 1 countermelody) at bars 5-10 of this section of my piece.

There are a ton of different melodies I could try using as a countermelody here. Some would be going fast enough that they would sound like the main melody, even though that isn't my intention. Others would barely be a melody. Still more would require that I change my bass to fit it. And others might not work at all, even with a change to the bass.

Who needs "rules"? What's this nonsense about "rules"? I'm a drifter born to walk the road!

This my take, and what I do when I write music, and how I judge others' music. Your mileage may vary.  Comments welcome.

“I don’t want to sound like Bach or Mozart — rules are for fools and drones with no imagination! I’m a rebel, like Joyce, Stravinsky, and Picasso!”

Who likes or needs “rules”? Who wants to be told where they can or can’t talk, use their cell phone, eat, or park for free? What is this nonsense about books full of “rules” for music, saying you “can’t” use two successive fifths, or sevenths not followed by the note below? Or that fugues “have to have” “expositions” and “episodes” and follow “rules’ preached by other books about what their notes are “allowed” to do?  Are music lovers so arrogant and condescending that they listen to music trying to play “gotcha” when notes don’t do what some damned music professor said they ought to, and laugh and reject that music? Or is this a scam to ensure salaries for “music teachers” who are paid for putting red “X”s on people’s scores? 

And didn’t tremendous artists like Schoenberg, Jackson Pollock and Allen Ginsberg become famous by “breaking rules” (as did Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart)? I never saw a music-police wagon pull up and arrest somebody for “breaking the rules”…. 
I see scores here every day, usually attempted complex contrapuntal forms such as fugues and canons, with “I know, I didn’t follow the rules! Sorry!” as a (lame) excuse for why they (almost invariably) sound amateurish, dissonant, and disjoint.

In the past, before the internet and easy-to-use, free score editors, musically sensitive people who went to concerts or church or listened to the vanished thing called “classical radio” would there hear great music of the past. The industrious among us might try to learn more about it by buying “phonograph records” (which, once invested in, had to be listened to many times to justify the acquisition), and scores, ditto, and perhaps trying to play the music they heard on a piano or simpler keyboard,. And maybe we might even buy some music paper, and pencils with erasers, and try to write some new music, and eventually arrive at the conclusion that this stuff was pretty complicated: as with stage magicians, the fact that serious music looks “simple" when done correctly is the very fruit of the art — if you do not learn how to be a magician-musician, the result on stage will be sad and transparent failure.

If you were lucky, you might have been near a good library (mine was almost an hour away) with a good section on music-theory books, or perhaps knew a professional musician, student, or teacher, who could explain how to write music that sounds, to whatever degree, like the music you heard and wanted to emulate. And you would learn that there are indeed methods, abstractions, technologies, and yes, “rules” (many of which differed from century to century and place to place) which causes the music of historical composers to sound the way it does, not like “old music”, but like well-written prose or a well-painted picture, where the parts contribute to the whole, each sentence expresses a logical idea, questions that are raised are answered, and there is no spattered paint or typos all over the piece.  That, not genius or matchless inspiration, is why their music sounds like classical music instead of the uninformed tinkering of beginners. But it is utterly possible to inform yourself, and, with care and diligence, move beyond being a beginner.

If you are a native English (for example, it’s true in any language) speaker, you don’t say “I write my sanata yesterday with C major”, because it’s not English. Any native English speaker knows that, and although we understand it, we use and prefer (reasonably) proper spelling and grammar. Grammar is not a scam to pay teachers; people who speak English (or French, Russian, Arabic, or Japanese) competently not only speak in credible grammar, but best understand and appreciate correct utterances in their respective languages. The same is true of classical music — if you want your creations to be understood with ears accustomed to the form, texture, gestural vocabulary, and overall idiom of that extremely broad genre, you must “do the same thing”, “speak in that language”, i.e., follow the same rules. Failure to do so will prevent your work from sounding like competent classical music.

These “rules” were devised by musician-composers skilled in teaching, in order to codify and transmit, to their pupils, and to us, what they knew about writing music, so that they and we could do it, too, and express our own creativity. The rules of tonal music are not a strait-jacket, but a power tool.

As with every other art, those who “broke the rules”, such as Picasso, Joyce, and Stravinsky, were fully competent in the traditions of their arts before creating iconoclastic work.

"Your mileage may vary."

Almost reached 50 follower milestone

If you don't know already, I am now almost at 50 followers. Currently I have 39 followers so just 11 more and I will have reached the 50 follower mark. I had maybe like 4 followers 2 years ago. So clearly, I'm doing something right. My most recent score called The Storm just brought me 2 more followers. I suppose they followed me hoping to someday see the entire suite that I plan on The Storm being a part of. That suite I call Weather Music. Maybe I should compose another part of the suite for that 50 followers mark, upload it when I reach 50 followers, and then whenever I have finished the suite, upload it in its entirety.

If you want to listen to what I have so far of The Storm, here it is:

It just so happens that I have been getting rain for 3 days straight here in Ohio.

Update 1: 6/18/2019

Oh my goodness, 4 followers in a single day. That is a record for me, I am now at 43 followers. I don't know if the follower milestone or finishing the composition will come first. If the follower count does come first, that's fine. I'm not pushing myself to finish the 50 follower composition.

Update 2: 6/19/2019

Wow, 5 followers in 1 day. I don't think I will finish my 50 follower composition before I reach 50 followers. Often my composition process is slow, so don't be surprised if a week has passed and I still haven't finished the composition yet. I will get it done when I get it done. I emphasize quality over quantity with my compositions.

Update 3: 6/24/2019

I'm just 1 away from reaching the 50 followers mark. As for the composition, I'm about halfway through composing it.

Violin vs Stroh violin

Violin vs Stroh violin?
Which is better?

The Violin with the Horn or Stroh Violin is a specific instrument , although invented by the Englishman Augustus Stroh. It can be said that Stroh Violin represents Bihor County. The biggest musicians on the Crişului Repede valley are the beloved Căbuţă Gheorghe "Stângaciu" and Mitică Negrean, who are part of the professional orchestra "Crişana". The bihorian folklore is represented by the "Crişana" Artistic Professional Ensemble of the Oradea State Philharmonic in tours abroad and in the country, which was founded in 1998 on the structure of Crişana Orchestra, a professional orchestra with a tradition of more than 50 years. From the very beginning, the orchestra had the purpose of processing the popular song. At present the "Crişana" Professional ensemble is among the first folk ensembles in the country. The soloists of the ensemble are Cornel Borza, Leontin Ciucur, Luminiţa Tomuţă, Viorica Bradea, Cornelia Covaciu, Voichiţa Mihoc, Felicia Costin and Florinul Bihorului:Florica Duma, Florica Ungur, Florica Zaha,Florica Bradu and the most famous instrumentalists are Gheorghe Rada, Stângaciu, Mitică Negrean, Adi Miclăuş, Liviu Butiu and Petre Frasin.
Stroh violin
It is not known for sure that the violin violin used by Bihor tars was the same as that created by John Matthias Augustus Stroh (1899-1949). At a closer look there are important differences. The Bihor coroner's violin is much softer than those created by Stroh. Of course, it's original, because the violin in the picture above is an unfinished copy. Those who have had the opportunity to see the Bihor tool closely can easily notice differences. Unfortunately, we are not known craftsmen of the violin. Stroh violin is likely to be used in Transylvania before 1900. According to some reports, the game came to the village musicians with "van, taragoata (taragot not clarinet) and Stroh violin (or fiddle as it is called in the Apuseni Mountains) ". Another local instrument name: "higheghe with tolcer" (higheghe = violin, tolcer = funnel) In Central and Western Europe, the violin was not successful, because it was used on classical music scores (Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Haydn, etc.), not forgetting that this instrument produces tonalities specific to lute music, tones which is very good compared to the established violin. It is interesting to note that in Bihor the viticulture with the goat does not have the same success in the listeners. The European studies on the distribution of musical instruments and their tradition record the presence of the violin with the goarna only in the eastern part of Hungary, on most of the border with Romania, and not in Romania, from where they actually took over the Gypsy tarafs.