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#1148110 - 07/31/08 12:59 PM My most recent piano composition, Jazz Prelude no.1  
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I recently posted a midi of my first non-piano composition, a string quartet, composed predominantly with the aid of software, but it wasn't too well received.

So, in order to attempt to redeem myself a little, I am posting my most recently completed piano composition, Jazz Prelude no.1, which will be the first of a set of at least 3. Keep in mind, I received no aid by software or teachers in composing this; it's my own work in even the old-fashioned sense, so Devillish Publishing should appreciate at least that.

Here is an imperfect recording of me playing it: http://www.box.net/shared/5tvjcci4go

Score: http://www.box.net/shared/22fy8ruwwc

There are a few missed notes, what with the nonuplet sixteenths (9 against 8 that is) at over 200 bpm . It's not easy. Not to mention, I don't have good recording equipment. Nonetheless, you should be able get the idea.

I have the score if anyone is interested.

Thanks for reading and listening.

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#1148111 - 07/31/08 02:06 PM Re: My most recent piano composition, Jazz Prelude no.1  
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Steve Chandler Offline
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I tried to access it, but box.com told me I had to login to access my file. I suspect the link was not for public use.

#1148112 - 07/31/08 02:15 PM Re: My most recent piano composition, Jazz Prelude no.1  
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Okay, thanks, it should work now.

#1148113 - 07/31/08 08:53 PM Re: My most recent piano composition, Jazz Prelude no.1  
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I personally like it. If you want real feedback, though, you'll want it from someone who has a bit more advanced knowledge of jazz composition.

However, I would still like to see the score. Just so I can follow along.

#1148114 - 07/31/08 09:01 PM Re: My most recent piano composition, Jazz Prelude no.1  
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PM me your e-mail and I'll e-mail it to you. Sibelius 4 or 5?

#1148115 - 08/01/08 07:33 AM Re: My most recent piano composition, Jazz Prelude no.1  
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gemiknight Offline
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i don't own any notation software; any chance you can convert it to pdf?

#1148116 - 08/02/08 11:27 AM Re: My most recent piano composition, Jazz Prelude no.1  
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Sorry, but that's one feature that Sibelius lacks.

#1148117 - 08/02/08 11:36 PM Re: My most recent piano composition, Jazz Prelude no.1  
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Get this!

http://www.pdf995.com/

Free pdf creation from any application.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#1148118 - 08/02/08 11:37 PM Re: My most recent piano composition, Jazz Prelude no.1  
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btw...huge fan of the piece - great stuff!


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed
#1148119 - 08/03/08 12:08 AM Re: My most recent piano composition, Jazz Prelude no.1  
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Hey, that's convenient. Thanks

Score: http://www.box.net/shared/22fy8ruwwc

#1148120 - 08/03/08 12:37 AM Re: My most recent piano composition, Jazz Prelude no.1  
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awesome! thanks!

#1148121 - 08/04/08 09:54 PM Re: My most recent piano composition, Jazz Prelude no.1  
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WOW! Nicely done! I love the composition. And that finger work... it's nice to know just how poorly I do play the piano. This is coming from a beginner, but still, I'm impressed. I play around with the Pentatonic Blues scale (in "F" because it seems to give me the optimal finger configuration) sometimes, and while I love the sound, I have trouble "going" anywhere with it.

So, two questions. Which scale is this? How long have you been playing the piano? smile

Thanks for posting, it was a great listen.
dave

#1148122 - 08/04/08 10:40 PM Re: My most recent piano composition, Jazz Prelude no.1  
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Thanks for your complements.

There really is no scale, until the middle section, which has predominantly dorian scales, though it modulates from scale to scale. The easiest dorian scale to play is D dorian (from D to D all white keys). Dorian mode can give you that epic, end of a movie sound. Play as chords: (DFA) (DGB) (DAC) (DGB) (DFA). That's a common progression in the Dorian mode.

As for the rest of the piece, it is very chromatic, and sometimes even atonal.

I think the characteristic of the beginning and end of the piece that gives it its particular "sound," that which a begginer could easily mistake for a certain scale, is the use of fourths, harmonically and melodically.

A fourth is like from C to F.

However, my piece uses "stacks" of fourths, mostly perfect. like C F Bb E. Also, the really fast part at the beginning is F Bb Eb F Bb Eb.

Did you try downloading the score? That might help you to understand what I'm describing.

#1148123 - 08/05/08 08:04 PM Re: My most recent piano composition, Jazz Prelude no.1  
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Hello again,

Thanks for the instructive comments. There's so much to learn, so I always appreciate comments from someone with more experience than myself.

I do like the epic sound, so I'll have to explore the Dorian mode a little more. Yeah, I'm usually D in Dorian, E in Phrygian, etc. It makes it much simpler to play around with.

Quote
Play as chords: (DFA) (DGB) (DAC) (DGB) (DFA).
I assume that middle one should be (EAC). So that makes a i-IV-v-IV-i progression. Hey, that does sound pretty cool. In fact, it sounds nice in Major and Minor modes as well. Thanks!

Quote
However, my piece uses "stacks" of fourths, mostly perfect.
I've always had some confusion about this, so maybe you can help. I understand in the C Major scale (or any of the diatonic modes) how to get the 4th of another note in the scale... just count my way up. It looks to be either 5 or 6 semitones away. But what if I'm not in a scale, like in your piece, or I'm in a blues scale. Then what is a 4th? Also, is a "perfect 4th" a note that's 5 semitones from the root?

This is good information. I'll have to play with 4th's a little more. I just learned about triads, so now I seem to be stuck in the world of chords. The only time I use a 4th is to supplement that same old 1-3-5. On the one hand, it's nice to be able to make "pleasant" sounds; on the other, all I seem to be able to make are "pleasant" sounds. I like the "edge" that using 4th's seems to give.

I had downloaded your sheet music, but unfortunately I'm not that good at reading music, so I couldn't make heads or tales of the scale. As least now I feel a little better about knowing why I couldn't make much of it!

Thanks again for the input!
dave

#1148124 - 08/05/08 08:47 PM Re: My most recent piano composition, Jazz Prelude no.1  
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Regarding the stacks of fourths, I was just playing around with a few consecutive fourths and then chromatically walked them down, and it definitely takes on the flavor of what you have done in this piece. That's very cool! smile

dave

#1148125 - 08/05/08 11:30 PM Re: My most recent piano composition, Jazz Prelude no.1  
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Well, there really are quite literally no scales in the beginning. That's not to say that certain notes don't occasionally serve as the tonal center. For example, the first few bars, I'd say the tonic is A, though there are many notes that don't belong in an a minor or major scale. The first two beats have an Eb, E, and F. That's pretty chromatic.

Yes, a perfect 4th is 5 semitones from the root. A diminished 4th is 4 (sounds the same as a major third), and an augmented 4th is 6 (sounds the same as a diminished 5th).

As for the chord progression, I meant the D, but the E works, too. I know that the D and C together create a little dissonance, but if you're trying to learn to play more than what's pleasant, you'll have to get used to that. In the key of D dorian, that progression is

i-IV-i7(no 3rd, meaning no f)-IV-i

The simplest way to create relatively consonant chords is to stack diatonic thirds. The more you have past the 5th (two thirds), the more dissonant it gets.

So, if you want an interesting C chord, but say in the key of G, you'd have

C E G B D F# A

Though, you might want to thin things out a little with

C G B F# A

Another great chord, one you don't see much other than in jazz, is a minor with a major seventh, and maybe a ninth. It's diatonically harmonic minor.

G Bb D F# A

As for fourths, you can stack diatonic fourths, too. In my piece, they're not diatonic, however, since there is really no scale. Mostly perfect fourths. Keep in mind, you don't have to use only fourths or only thirds. Do you know the tune So What by Miles Davis? The chords toward the beginning use two fourths and a third. This tune alternates from D dorian to Eb dorian.

(ADGB) to (GCFA)

You could argue that those are many chords, but I'd say it's closest to

G9 to d7 with an eleventh.

Also, a chord voicing I discovered myself and used frequently in this Jazz prelude (though i doubt I was the first) Is the following Eb minor chord

Ab+Db+Gb +(an octave higher)F+Bb+Eb played together, all six notes.

If you flip the groups of 3, you just have a long stack of perfect fourths (F Bb Eb Ab Db Gb) but it doesn't sound as good.

Here's an example with both perfect and augmented fourths. This has a strong dominant pull to resolve with a C major chord. It's a G7 with a 13.

FBE, and maybe a G on top.

As for using 4ths under a blues scale, you'd probably want to use the notes diatonic to the major or dorian scale which shares the tonic with the blues scale. Don't be afraid to use non-scalar tones, though.

Here's a way I often improvise. In the left hand, play chromatically descending stacks of three fourths, so like (GCF, F#BE, FBbEb, EAD) while in the right hand, improvise a "melody" using the notes of stacks of three fourths chromatically ascending. I'll see if I can record an example of this and maybe a few other things tomorrow.


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