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Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
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I made this II

Posted 12-23-2012 at 11:59 AM by Oddey
Again, it's just a black screen with some music, but I made the music. If you're going to criticize this though, please do not criticize the title, no matter how inaccurate it may be in relation to the content of the video.

Comments and constructive critique appreciated.
Total Comments 10


Sekto Springs's Avatar
Finale or Sibelius?

Not bad. It needs a bit more variation. I think if the pizzicato ostinato was played by woodwinds (perhaps a combination of clarinet and flute), you'd have a richer sound. Of course that's just my personal opinion, as I don't like to use pizzicato for anything other than setting tempo.

Also, check your range on the glockenspiel. I'm not sure it can go that low. Unless it's meant to be celesta.
Posted 12-23-2012 at 12:09 PM by Sekto Springs Sekto Springs is offline

OddjobAbe's Avatar
I would recommend more harmonic variation and greater variation in instrumentation. The harmonies seem to favour parallel 4ths/5ths, minor triads and unison, which without much variation and without alternative voicings can become tedious and repetitive.

Melodically, not all the lines work well in the harmonic climate you place them in, creating dissonances where it sounds like you didn't mean to put any - I get the impression that in terms of compositional theory, you are a novice, so I recommend that you read around on traditional structuring of tonal music (I read a book by Walter Piston, but it bored me to fucking pieces, so maybe you ought to look for a more inspiring piece of literature).

Let me say again, more variation in instrumentation or if you insist on using strings and trumpets only, more varied use of the instruments.

It's commendable that you've made an effort, and I think that with a bit of pushing in the right direction, you could become a competent composer.
Posted 12-23-2012 at 12:13 PM by OddjobAbe OddjobAbe is offline

Varrok's Avatar
Better than Nepsotic's stuff
Posted 12-23-2012 at 12:41 PM by Varrok Varrok is offline

Oddey's Avatar
I should probably have mentioned that I know almost nothing of musical theory or terminology.

I probably should take up some reading on the subject, and the bits I can understand of your critique seem sensible, and I can see what you mean.

There was one thing I did think about when I went into creating this. And it was something along the lines of making it simple, but making it work overall. Mostly because I'm not a really good or well-learned composer, so I opted for what I knew I could complete. Not that it excuses your much more informed critique, but it does offer a certain explanation to some of them.

I kind of feared there might be a comparison between me and Nep.
Posted 12-23-2012 at 12:42 PM by Oddey Oddey is offline
Updated 12-23-2012 at 12:49 PM by Oddey

Sekto Springs's Avatar
You have all the makings of a good piece here, but its mostly just chord after chord of horns. Write a key musical phrase and assign an instrument (probably a mid-to-high woodwind or strings) that prevails over the chords you've already penned.

Do you write all this out on the staff from the get-go, or do you work it out on a keyboard first? Doing the latter will help you create a more interesting melody, and you can experiment more freely. Writing strictly on the staff is very limiting, and you're actually using the wrong part of your brain when you do it that way, because you're working things out visually as opposed to with sound.

I made the mistake of doing that when I first started composing. The brain programs itself to see certain patterns of notes that you will subconsciously write over and over, so its better to do it by ear.

Be bold. Hit notes you think you shouldn't or that initially sound 'wrong' Strain yourself. You might just come up with something really unique.
Posted 12-23-2012 at 12:57 PM by Sekto Springs Sekto Springs is offline
Updated 12-23-2012 at 12:59 PM by Sekto Springs

Oddey's Avatar
I can't really play any instruments as such, so I am more or less forced to do the staff only. Still, I might take that advice, as my sister does have an electric keyboard she hardly uses. It seems like very logical to think playing it out is a better way to do it than writing it all out at once.

And I think I did try to come up with one general phrase at first, but then found it extraordinarily hard to write tracks to accompany it.

If you're interested, I use a MIDI writing program called Anvil Studio, then usually either just record directly from there, or convert it to something higher quality using a soundfont of some kind. This is a case of the latter.
Posted 12-23-2012 at 01:06 PM by Oddey Oddey is offline
Updated 12-23-2012 at 01:09 PM by Oddey

Nepsotic's Avatar
Better than Nepsotic's stuff
Damn straight. I mean, it's a completely different type of music, but yeah.
Be bold. Hit notes you think you shouldn't or that initially sound 'wrong' Strain yourself. You might just come up with something really unique.
After reading that I just started hitting random keys on my MIDI track and I actually came up with something pretty good.
Posted 12-23-2012 at 01:12 PM by Nepsotic Nepsotic is offline

Sekto Springs's Avatar
There's not right or wrong way to make music, as long as the final product is cohesive. I've come up with melodies by just turning on the metronome and hitting random notes like an epileptic rag doll.
Posted 12-23-2012 at 01:25 PM by Sekto Springs Sekto Springs is offline

Phylum's Avatar
The most fun I've had creating melodies was with tone rows earlier in the year. It sounded awful, but that's the point.

I wouldn't use Anvil Studio for note input. MuseScore is a much better free alternative, but it can be buggy.

It's hard to get an idea of what it really sounds like from that and without actually seeing the music on a stave I'd be hard pressed to say too much that hasn't already been said. The low instrument at 2:48 felt like it dragged the chord askew.

Other than that, it almost feels like it has too many peaks and falls without going anywhere. It's hard to find the balance between repetition and introducing new material/not being boring. I really felt here that after some of the quiet sections it could have built up with something else. Personally I would avoid that many clear loud - > soft - > loud bits within the shape of an entire piece. Working form that my first step would be cutting some of the bits out to have a clearer progression of when it was big and when it was small. Also, the ending could have been more final, but that comes into cadences. I think you finished going Dm - C - Dm, which is the kind of thing you avoid unless you're going for a "fade out". If you were going for that kind of thing keep repeating those chords while you fade.

Composition is very personal and you're completely entitled to ignore everything everyone has said here. I've been composing myself the last few days, so my comments may be odd or overly personal preference.
Posted 12-23-2012 at 02:19 PM by Phylum Phylum is offline

AlexFili's Avatar
Not heard from you in a while, how are things?
Posted 01-05-2013 at 02:48 PM by AlexFili AlexFili is offline


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