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#3215501 05/11/22 03:04 PM
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I compose for a hobby and am having lots of fun in the process. [Not so much with having to cope with the pain that is using Finale notation software.]

I'd like to share some short variations on a tune I got to know growing up in South Africa. It appeared in an Afrikaans Hymnal with text inspired by the scene from the Gospels where Jesus blessed the children. To English speakers it may be known as A Vesper Hymn.

Sorry for the MIDI.

Piano Variations on Hark! The Vesper Hymn is Stealing

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One can hear that you are enjoying yourself. I also hear a composer who writes traditional tonal music. Which I am a fan of, by the way. Is that why it has remained a hobby?

I also listened to your Greek Dance. Again that pleasure in your music. I would add a complete repeat after the slow movement though.


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That was great Christo. Loved the simple start to begin with. Followed by surprising dynamics. Very nice.

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Hi Rowy. Thanks so much for the suggestion for the Greek Dance. I will most definitely see how one can go about repeating that section.

I was one of those total music nerds (and I use that word with no negative connotation, nor would I ascribe it to someone else) when I grew up. I spend hours at the piano daily. I devoured anything I could read on music.

I started almost all of the compositions I am trying to finish these days when still a teen and digging them up, finishing and polishing them (to some degree) is akin to doing a crossword puzzle for me now - something engaging which I do only for myself. I also became increasingly frustrated at several failed attempts to see things through in my life and so I feel compelled to do something about it.

For me, I can honestly say I admire the likes of Bartok, Prokofiev, Messiaen and everything that came before (in terms of the progression towards modernism) so wholeheartedly that I have a wealth of music to love, extensive enough that I do not need to try and get to like Stockhausen and Cage. Anyway, as a piano performance major my affinity lies with late Baroque to late Romantic (and some of the first half of the 20 century added for spice).

So I write music that sounds a little bit like the music that I love realising full well that it is the product of my musical education and that it doesn't fit with someone who tries to be "a composer" (in any era).
You know - finding a unique voice, being relevant and all that...

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Thanks SouthPark. I really do appreciate anyone listening and making the effort to comment (positive or negative) and especially when it validates what one tried to do in the composition.
It's generous of you.

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Originally Posted by ChristoVanRensburg
So I write music that sounds a little bit like the music that I love realising full well that it is the product of my musical education and that it doesn't fit with someone who tries to be "a composer" (in any era). You know - finding a unique voice, being relevant and all that...

Great music, Christo! I see you are not afraid of a dissonance!
I could sign your last paragraph… :-)


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Originally Posted by ChristoVanRensburg
So I write music that sounds a little bit like the music that I love realising full well that it is the product of my musical education and that it doesn't fit with someone who tries to be "a composer" (in any era).
You know - finding a unique voice, being relevant and all that...

Yeah, well, as a student, I felt obliged to write atonal and serial music, terrible music that gave me the shivers, but it made me relevant and I managed to sound quite unique.

After I graduated, I threw it all away and continued in my old tonal and melodic style. I don't care if it's unique or relevant. The music I write makes me feel good and that's all that matters.


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interesting stuff, full of surprises, starting with the very first variation!
Also enjoyed the Schubert-style one. Well done!

Last edited by Kalos Piano; 05/13/22 05:40 AM.
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Originally Posted by Rowy van Hest
Yeah, well, as a student, I felt obliged to write atonal and serial music, terrible music that gave me the shivers, but it made me relevant and I managed to sound quite unique.

After I graduated, I threw it all away and continued in my old tonal and melodic style. I don't care if it's unique or relevant. The music I write makes me feel good and that's all that matters.

I used to discover most of the music I knew before I even went to university through the very good record collection at the library in the town where I grew up and at some stage I took out a record with Schönberg violin Concerto on the A-side and piano Concerto on the B-side.

I don't know why I would have given the violin concerto multiple listenings but actually got to know it quite a bit and liked it in fact. I guess in one's younger years you are more open and also your mind absorbs difficult things more easily.

Luckily I never pursued studies in composition else I would have had to go through the same stage of having felt obliged to write like that. I remember though that (as most music students at some stage) I was introduced to the Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima by Penderecki, I can't even remember as part of which course. I remember thinking "Oh that's interestring - last time I'll ever listen to it though".

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@Kalos Thank you for the words of appreciation, Kalos. It means a lot.

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Originally Posted by ChristoVanRensburg
Originally Posted by Rowy van Hest
Yeah, well, as a student, I felt obliged to write atonal and serial music, terrible music that gave me the shivers, but it made me relevant and I managed to sound quite unique.

After I graduated, I threw it all away and continued in my old tonal and melodic style. I don't care if it's unique or relevant. The music I write makes me feel good and that's all that matters.

I used to discover most of the music I knew before I even went to university through the very good record collection at the library in the town where I grew up and at some stage I took out a record with Schönberg violin Concerto on the A-side and piano Concerto on the B-side.

I don't know why I would have given the violin concerto multiple listenings but actually got to know it quite a bit and liked it in fact. I guess in one's younger years you are more open and also your mind absorbs difficult things more easily.

Luckily I never pursued studies in composition else I would have had to go through the same stage of having felt obliged to write like that. I remember though that (as most music students at some stage) I was introduced to the Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima by Penderecki, I can't even remember as part of which course. I remember thinking "Oh that's interestring - last time I'll ever listen to it though".

I remember enjoying Hindemith's Ludis Tonalis, probably because I had to study his theoretical works. After graduating, I never listened to it again. I can't even find his theory books anymore, so I must have thrown them away a long time ago. It is so easy to write "interesting" music, but it doesn't make me happy.


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