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I composed a Turkish March months ago. It was my first go at rondo form and is one of very few pieces that I have written in the key of C major. C major is like my avoid key. If there is 1 key I would use least often, it is C major. Here are the reasons why:
C major sounds boring to me Can't really get chromatic without questioning myself whether or not I am modulating(like the moment I write a Bb in a C major piece, I question myself if I am modulating to F major or not) C major to me, is an overused key(seriously, the most common key in pretty much every music genre and from every composer from Bach to Mozart to Brahms, is C major)
So here is how I went about composing my Turkish March:
First I listened to Mozart's Turkish March from Piano Sonata no. 11 in A and Beethoven's Turkish March from The Ruins of Athens and found these similarities:
Upbeat Major key Basic eighth note pulse at quarter note = 110 BPM Minor key used for harmony, drama, or both(mostly harmony in Mozart's case(the alternation of A minor with A major shows up in every movement of his 11th piano sonata)) Rondo form Left hand sort of sounds like footsteps
I then took these and applied them to each of the sections of my Turkish March. I do use a plagal cadence early on but that is because I wanted to not have a sense of finality while still saving the dominant tendency for the PAC in the A section. Speaking of which, here are the sections:
A - Initial C major section B - F major section C - Up and down the major scale in the right hand, arpeggios in the left hand D - A minor section E - C minor section
Like Mozart's Turkish March, I also have a short coda to end the Turkish March. Here I experimented with using the major seventh as a dominant chord and I think it turned out well. I tended to use the subdominant chord to end the antecedent phrase of my periods here. I also only used C harmonic minor to transition from the E section to the C section. Overall, my harmonic progression in a lot of the sections was this:
I IV I V I
I even accented the subdominant chord in the initial C major section to give it more of a dominant feel, even though it is the subdominant. Here is my Turkish March video:
Here is Mozart's Rondo Alla Turka for a comparison:
It is much faster than my Turkish March but other than the tempo and keys used and the actual melody, not much is different(5 or more distinct sections of the rondo, a section with arpeggios in the left hand and octaves in the right hand, coda for an ending with arpeggios in the right hand, both parallel and relative minor keys are used, bass notes not far from the third intervals(at most like a fifth away), octave alberti bass in the right hand in ending bars, are all commonalities between my Turkish March and Mozart's Turkish March)
What do you think of my Turkish March? Do you think I may have overused the subdominant here? I have been told that it sounds more like a gentle dance than a march but I don't know of any dance that is in 2/4 and I'm not even sure that it exists. I have also been told that there being so many thirds in the left hand muddies the piece and that it would be better if the bass note was like an octave away from where it is now.