Choral Work for SSAA - Lumine

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KVRist
312 posts since 14 Feb, 2013

Post Wed Jul 28, 2021 3:32 am

https://soundcloud.com/mediumaevum-artist/choral-work

Composed for 2 sopranos and altos, this piece is one of my first attempts on mastering dissonant harmonies, without going too far, I hope.

Please let me know what you think.

KVRist

Topic Starter

312 posts since 14 Feb, 2013

Post Thu Jul 29, 2021 11:53 am

Any thoughts on this?

KVRist
57 posts since 22 May, 2020

Post Fri Jul 30, 2021 10:51 am

The piece itself sounds good, but I would say it could use a bit more fluctuation in the tempo and I'm not sure if you plan to get this recorded by a live choir or not, but if you don't, I would recommend using sustain or legato patches without such a hard (marcato?) start to them on many of the notes.

KVRist

Topic Starter

312 posts since 14 Feb, 2013

Post Fri Jul 30, 2021 11:40 am

Ok, thanks, I'll consider the sustains instead.

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KVRian
1308 posts since 23 Nov, 2018 from Birmingham, UK

Post Sat Jul 31, 2021 2:47 am

As Chris says, there is something 'not quite right' about the attack on many notes - it's just not very pleasant to listen to when it comes in again and again like this and certainly not very natural if you were aiming in the direction of a 'real choir' sound?

The musical content - yes it works as a pleasant listen - a great main melodic motif in there but... it all lacks a certain subtlety and nuance - especially in terms of structure and shape...both on the macro and micro levels.

For example - as a short little choir piece it could easily have ended at around 1:00 as I don't think the last section really adds very much that is 'new'.

Dissonance - there is nothing very controversial in there at all and there are some VERY nice moments indeed.

Dissonance - I wouldn't 'try' and deliberately write more or less dissonant music personally, but more focus on:

Creating an initial strong melody that you're happy with - you have that here.

Then create a 2nd strong melody (based around some of the ideas in your first one, but with new bits as well) that combines with the first one effectively. In particular, try and get this 2nd tune to weave around the first one to some extent...to sometimes 'move' at different moments to the first tune.

Similar approach to a 3rd and 4th part - make them all strong melodies in their own right (with certain patterns and shapes heard in all of them)...but tunes that also work together as well...NOT EASY, I know! :)
Mark Taylor, Chameleon Music - Professional composition and sound design for all media since 1994.

https://www.chameleonmusic.co.uk/

KVRist

Topic Starter

312 posts since 14 Feb, 2013

Post Sat Jul 31, 2021 4:58 am

Thank you, ChameleonMusic. Always nice to get some feedback on the composition.

Initially I thought I could study my way through creating countermelodies, but I've found that traditional theory limits my approahces. It certainly also did in this piece as well, but not quite as much as earlier. I'm trying to liberate myself from theoretical approaches, and engage more in whatever works (whatever sounds GOOD). Then be damned if theory prohibits parallel fifths etc.

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KVRian
1308 posts since 23 Nov, 2018 from Birmingham, UK

Post Sat Jul 31, 2021 10:31 am

mediumaevum wrote:
Sat Jul 31, 2021 4:58 am
Thank you, ChameleonMusic. Always nice to get some feedback on the composition.

Initially I thought I could study my way through creating countermelodies, but I've found that traditional theory limits my approahces. It certainly also did in this piece as well, but not quite as much as earlier. I'm trying to liberate myself from theoretical approaches, and engage more in whatever works (whatever sounds GOOD). Then be damned if theory prohibits parallel fifths etc.
I get your point. But if 'traditional theory' is limiting your options then you're not using it in quite the right way, maybe?

There probably won't be that many people on here more immersed in traditional music theory than myself, but I have no doubt whatsoever that my knowledge has opened up new options and ideas for me now for over 4 decades of composing.

Music theory NEVER prohibits anything at any point, it just provides interesting stimulus, starting points and ideas, possible directions of travel, potential structural devices and so on...

It certainly would not ever stop anyone from using parallel 5ths. It might explain situations where they might work less well, but even then it's all just guidance and NOT rules.

One definite - whatever way you go about it... The more you compose, the more you'll understand what does and doesn't work for you.
Mark Taylor, Chameleon Music - Professional composition and sound design for all media since 1994.

https://www.chameleonmusic.co.uk/

KVRist

Topic Starter

312 posts since 14 Feb, 2013

Post Tue Aug 03, 2021 9:50 am

ChameleonMusic wrote:
Sat Jul 31, 2021 10:31 am
mediumaevum wrote:
Sat Jul 31, 2021 4:58 am
Thank you, ChameleonMusic. Always nice to get some feedback on the composition.

Initially I thought I could study my way through creating countermelodies, but I've found that traditional theory limits my approahces. It certainly also did in this piece as well, but not quite as much as earlier. I'm trying to liberate myself from theoretical approaches, and engage more in whatever works (whatever sounds GOOD). Then be damned if theory prohibits parallel fifths etc.
I get your point. But if 'traditional theory' is limiting your options then you're not using it in quite the right way, maybe?

There probably won't be that many people on here more immersed in traditional music theory than myself, but I have no doubt whatsoever that my knowledge has opened up new options and ideas for me now for over 4 decades of composing.

Music theory NEVER prohibits anything at any point, it just provides interesting stimulus, starting points and ideas, possible directions of travel, potential structural devices and so on...

It certainly would not ever stop anyone from using parallel 5ths. It might explain situations where they might work less well, but even then it's all just guidance and NOT rules.

One definite - whatever way you go about it... The more you compose, the more you'll understand what does and doesn't work for you.
I completely agree with you. When something turns into a "religion", or to put it in another word "conformism", it tends to lead you in the wrong direction.

It would be nice though, to have some in-depth high quality youtube tutorials explaining how to compose like Palestrina.

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KVRian
1308 posts since 23 Nov, 2018 from Birmingham, UK

Post Wed Aug 04, 2021 12:15 am

mediumaevum wrote:
Tue Aug 03, 2021 9:50 am
ChameleonMusic wrote:
Sat Jul 31, 2021 10:31 am
mediumaevum wrote:
Sat Jul 31, 2021 4:58 am
Thank you, ChameleonMusic. Always nice to get some feedback on the composition.

Initially I thought I could study my way through creating countermelodies, but I've found that traditional theory limits my approahces. It certainly also did in this piece as well, but not quite as much as earlier. I'm trying to liberate myself from theoretical approaches, and engage more in whatever works (whatever sounds GOOD). Then be damned if theory prohibits parallel fifths etc.
I get your point. But if 'traditional theory' is limiting your options then you're not using it in quite the right way, maybe?

There probably won't be that many people on here more immersed in traditional music theory than myself, but I have no doubt whatsoever that my knowledge has opened up new options and ideas for me now for over 4 decades of composing.

Music theory NEVER prohibits anything at any point, it just provides interesting stimulus, starting points and ideas, possible directions of travel, potential structural devices and so on...

It certainly would not ever stop anyone from using parallel 5ths. It might explain situations where they might work less well, but even then it's all just guidance and NOT rules.

One definite - whatever way you go about it... The more you compose, the more you'll understand what does and doesn't work for you.
I completely agree with you. When something turns into a "religion", or to put it in another word "conformism", it tends to lead you in the wrong direction.

It would be nice though, to have some in-depth high quality youtube tutorials explaining how to compose like Palestrina.
Having taught Renaissance Counterpoint, I suspect that 'how to compose like Palestrina' might be beyond the YT video approach... Very technical subject that would need to be carefully fine-tuned to each individual so that it would work effectively with their knowledge, experience and skill set.
Mark Taylor, Chameleon Music - Professional composition and sound design for all media since 1994.

https://www.chameleonmusic.co.uk/

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