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Where Would You Take This Next? #2756795 08/08/18 12:34 PM
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Brundle-Fly Offline OP
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This is an unusual kind of forum post for me (broadly speaking, since I'm too new to this particular forum to have established a posting style) in that I'm asking for help rather than giving it, and, moreover, asking for help with the creative process of making music. It may prove fruitless for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that my knowledge of music theory is extremely basic, so it may be difficult for anyone to respond in writing in a way that's useful to me. But in the interests of science, and FWIW...

I mentioned in the August Piano Bar thread that I'm working on a solo piano piece (linked below) that challenged me to find a musically satisfying way to return to the original key after a modulation that I fell upon more or less unintentionally. This happens rarely in my compositions, which is why it proved such a challenge to resolve back to the tonic (G minor). I pretty much solved that problem by ear and experimentation, as I compose by improvising with little or no attention paid to the theoretical aspects of what I'm doing. As often happens in this process, I was so relived to have fought my way back to shore through the harmonic undertow that I've let the piece sit in this unfinished state for some time, just continuing to play the same 32 bars (after the intro) with minor variations for my own personal listening/playing pleasure without ever adding a proper bridge/break, such that now I can no longer hear where else it might want to go.

So my open-ended, multi-part question to the composers among you is:

1. Where would you be inclined to take this piece next, either harmonically, rhythmically or both?
2. Do you like the way I resolved back to the tonic, or would you suggest something different?
3a. Is there anything about it that you dislike so much that you would insist on changing/replacing it if it were your composition? ('Everything' is a viable answer)
3b. Specifically, what do you think of the way I'm breaking chords more or less in different places; is it too much or too variable, or is there one style (reference by bar/beat) that you particular like/dislike? Sometimes what feels good as a performer doesn't sound so great to the audience.

Feel free to respond in any way you think might prove helpful. Since I play by ear, recorded examples would be most helpful, but I realize that's a big 'ask', and I can puzzle my way through chord charts, notation, etc. as necessary; it just doesn't come naturally to me. I should note that the 'ending' is just a throwaway so as not to leave the recording unresolved, and please pardon the slightly inconsistent timing (beyond the deliberate rubato) and dynamic control in places - I haven't recorded anything 'in anger' for a while, and had a bit of the red-light jitters. ;^)

Working title: No Way Home

Dave

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Re: Where Would You Take This Next? [Re: Brundle-Fly] #2757494 08/10/18 05:14 PM
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That bad, eh? grin No problem; I'll come up with something eventually.

Re: Where Would You Take This Next? [Re: Brundle-Fly] #2757991 08/12/18 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Brundle-Fly
That bad, eh? grin No problem; I'll come up with something eventually.
.

Hope you don’t really think the lack of suggestions means it was bad!!!! I personally thought it was great... but just couldn’t think of anything that would be helpful. You might find ideas in the ‘Composer Lounge”


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It’s ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: Where Would You Take This Next? [Re: Brundle-Fly] #2758163 08/13/18 12:58 PM
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No, just joking. I imagine most viewers are in a similar situation in terms of simply not having suggestions to make. I thought originally to post it to the Composer's Lounge forum, but thought it might fit better here. For now, I'll leave it to the mod(s) to move it if they think it makes sense.

Thanks for the response in any case.

Dave

Re: Where Would You Take This Next? [Re: Brundle-Fly] #2758218 08/13/18 05:10 PM
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Can you post something to look at ... lead sheet, chord chart, anything? Too hard to follow the structure just from listening, I thought, especially given the absence of a melody.

Re: Where Would You Take This Next? [Re: Brundle-Fly] #2758332 08/14/18 03:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Brundle-Fly


1. Where would you be inclined to take this piece next, either harmonically, rhythmically or both?
2. Do you like the way I resolved back to the tonic, or would you suggest something different?
3a. Is there anything about it that you dislike so much that you would insist on changing/replacing it if it were your composition? ('Everything' is a viable answer)
3b. Specifically, what do you think of the way I'm breaking chords more or less in different places; is it too much or too variable, or is there one style (reference by bar/beat) that you particular like/dislike? Sometimes what feels good as a performer doesn't sound so great to the audience.
Dave


1. Well, where to "take it", if indeed it needs "taking" anywhere, (I think it is fine as it is) is not for we listeners to decide. That is your personal creative volition, just make whatever sounds you enjoy and forget about "shoulds" and "ought tos". Unless you really want to imitate music of the past and its old fashioned mannerisms and descriptive theories why do it ?

2. I wouldn't have known you "resolved" anything. In any case I've never known exactly what that means, and I'm not sure I can be bothered finding out because I don't think of music in terms of a series of note combinations.

3a. No.

3b. What feels good to you is all that matters in the end. Does it say something meaningful to you ? If it does, then it needs no external validation. If it doesn't then only you can work on it until it does, but external opinions are still irrelevant.

In short, there's nothing wrong with your music, just your confidence in following the song within you and it alone.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Re: Where Would You Take This Next? [Re: Mike A] #2758997 08/16/18 04:48 PM
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Brundle-Fly Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Mike A
Can you post something to look at ... lead sheet, chord chart, anything? Too hard to follow the structure just from listening, I thought, especially given the absence of a melody.


Easiest will be to convert the MIDI to notation, and I can easily add a melody if that helps. I'll see what I can do.

Re: Where Would You Take This Next? [Re: Ted] #2759004 08/16/18 05:05 PM
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Brundle-Fly Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Ted

In short, there's nothing wrong with your music, just your confidence in following the song within you and it alone.


Thanks for the thoughts, Ted. There's really nothing wrong with my confidence, either. I just thought it would be fun to see how other musicians hear a piece developing, and invite some specific critique since people are often reluctant to give an honest assessment.

I mostly play for my own enjoyment, and pretty much march to my own drummer as far as composition goes.

Really I was just looking for a little creative feedback from which I might learn something new, and maybe help move this particular piece toward some semblance of being 'finished'.

If anything, I was actually kind of reluctant to post this, and run the risk of having to give credit to anyone else for contributing! grin


Last edited by Brundle-Fly; 08/16/18 05:05 PM.
Re: Where Would You Take This Next? [Re: Brundle-Fly] #2759080 08/17/18 01:36 AM
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I like the piece. I’m far from “composer” but it’s a nice thought. Are you planning to write lyrics for it? I’m not sure what you are asking nor what I’m talking about in my answer but here goes. Maybe it needs something to “break it up” a bit? When it resolves back to the root near the end, it just sounds late. I may be thinking in simpler terms than your intentions. Anyway, It’s an enjoyable listen and I’m interested in your thoughts as you go.


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Re: Where Would You Take This Next? [Re: Brundle-Fly] #2759142 08/17/18 09:38 AM
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Thanks for taking the time, monkeeys. 'Late' like the timing is off, or like you wanted it to go in a different direction sooner sooner because it was already too repetitive? The ending was just tacked on, and I actually didn't play it the way I intended, so the timing is a little wonky. Finding a way to 'break it up' is exactly what I'm after. It needs a break/bridge to start right where I ended it, but I'm just not hearing where it wants to go, either harmonically or rhythmically.

Adding lyrics is a good way to add interest/direction/variety. Unfortunately, I don't sing much, am not much of a storyteller, and have never been inspired to write lyrics. Among other things, it makes naming pieces difficult. My wife (a lapsed guitarist), is a natural-born storyteller, writer and sometime poet , and has occasionally threatened to write lyrics for some of my pieces. That really hasn't really happened yet, but she has named a few, which at least allows her to make requests.

Re: Where Would You Take This Next? [Re: Brundle-Fly] #2759157 08/17/18 10:48 AM
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emenelton Offline
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The piece has an 'A' section, then 'B', then 'C' then 'D' then 'B' then 'A'

does that seem correct?

Re: Where Would You Take This Next? [Re: Brundle-Fly] #2759169 08/17/18 11:08 AM
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emenelton Offline
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Late would mean that you come back to the 'A' section only after a lot of different sections occur.

Re: Where Would You Take This Next? [Re: Brundle-Fly] #2759211 08/17/18 01:28 PM
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Brundle-Fly Offline OP
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Okay, so I had to go back and count bars to understand it myself. grin

Here's how I normally play it, not including the 8-bar intro, and considering a 'section' to be 8 bars (sort of... see below) with M1 and M2 being modulations to Eb minor and back to G minor, respectively.

A B A B M1 C M2 (repeat)

But there are complications...

The first complication is that in order to 'get to the point' in the demo, I skipped the repeat of A B; I probably should not have done that.

The second complication is that the B section is only 7 bars, M1 is 2 bars, and M2 is 4 bars.

So after A B A B M1, the C section is starting on bar 33 as you might expect, but after C and M2 (12 more bars), the A section would be restated starting at bar 45.

It's unusual, and though can't claim I did it consciously, it feels right to me.

But without the extra A B section, it probably sounds less 'right' to you all.

I'll re-record it without the omission.

Re: Where Would You Take This Next? [Re: Brundle-Fly] #2759226 08/17/18 01:50 PM
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May it’s the consecutive modulations that make me want it to come back. As I said, I don’t want to simplify your intent. What I’ve wriien or co written was simple country type stuff for fun. The section past the intro sounded like a good rhythm for melody or lyrics.


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Re: Where Would You Take This Next? [Re: Brundle-Fly] #2759235 08/17/18 02:24 PM
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Just an idea

Each section sounds like 16 bars
Cut each section in half and simplify the rhythm on the b section


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