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Question for composers

Postby Djard » Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:25 am

Not sure if this is the appropriate section of the forum to post this, but I'd like ask other composers for an opinion or ruling on what I fear might be a silly question.

When composing, I often find myself having to decide what to keep and what to discard, such as writing two versions of a section. Usually I play both, until beginning to favor one. My wife suggests I keep the "six" and use the "half-dozen as seed for another piece. But then I'd have a lot of unfinished pieces. Presently I am laboring between two versions of a 32 bar flamenco guitar tremelo section that to my ear sound equally acceptable. The part is in 3/4 time. In version 1 below, the chord structure is symmetrical. Version 2 is amorphous but appeals equally to my ear.

I suppose the idea that I describe was born out of my training to write music in measure lengths divisible by at least four, such as 32 bars, 48 bars, etc. Is there a rule that in 3/4 time chords need to be resolved on, say, the first of each 2, 4 or 8 measures? I visualize the first measure as on the "left," the second on of the right...hence the feel of starting on measures with uneven numbers (first measure of every two, four or eight) and resolving the chord structure on the same. Both versions in the section end the identically. For example, in the key of Bm (natural)...

VERSION 1:
Bm - Bm - A - A7 -
D - D - D - D -
A - A7 - D - D -
A - A - D - D -
D - D - A - C#dim7 -
D - D - D - D -
D - D - D - D -
A - A7 - G - F# -

VERSION 2:
Bm - Bm - A - A7 -
D - D - D - A -
A7 - D - D - A -
A - D - D - D -
D - A - C#dim7 - D
D - D - D - D -
D - D - A - A7 -
Bm - G - G - F# -

Pardon the question if abecedarian.
Djard
 
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Re: Question for composers

Postby Djard » Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:17 am

I got the answer to my question by listening to tremelo parts by the masters: in each case, the chords dictate resolve to the odd numbered measures. So version 1 in my example is--at least technically--the preferred structure.
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Re: Question for composers

Postby gogreen » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:10 pm

My wife suggests I keep the "six" and use the "half-dozen as seed for another piece. But then I'd have a lot of unfinished pieces.

I'm sure that for every composer, you'd find a different system for organizing one's work. I think you're wife is right, though. I save ideas and fragments in Finale files with the date and initial instrument or ensemble in the file name. For example, "3-21-17brass ensemble.musx." Sometimes it takes months and years before I actually use a fragment--until I couple it with the "right" other, often newer, piece. That's why I save everything. And when I need a bit of inspiration, I review my "ideas" files. Something often jumps out at me then, and I'm back on track with productivity. Are you a formally trained composer?
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Re: Question for composers

Postby Djard » Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:13 pm

I was trained by fellow teachers at a music academy in Sydney then worked with a recording artist as her music director/arranger, so I learned the job on the job, often getting valuable help from orchestra members. I got to visit 18 countries on a seven year world tour and eventually recorded with EMI and RCA myself. In Nashville, where very few song "writers" actually write music scores, I made a comfortable living.

Finale would have saved me a huge amount of time back then as editing was a daily chore...had to write everything by hand. At the rate I was using blank manuscript, I feared trees would become an endangered species. LOL!

I'm glad your system works for you. If I saved every melodic "option," I'd end up with a table full of HDDs. There is little in the literature about structure. Recently I could not decide between a part that sounded better (to my ear) and another that felt really nice to play. So I included latter as an ossia measure. Strange how adding the measure elsewhere results in less.
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Re: Question for composers

Postby kukes » Tue Mar 28, 2017 3:59 am

I think Phillip Glass said it best: "first thought, best thought."
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Re: Question for composers

Postby Djard » Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:42 am

I concluded that some 40 years ago but forgot to value the idea, which I think is true, especially when deciding between six and a half-dozen.
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Location: New Port Richey, Florida



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