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Topic: COMPOSITION SEMINAR PART 1

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  1. #1

    Arrow COMPOSITION SEMINAR PART 1

    Here is the first part of my basic compositional technique seminar. Since most everyone here has tried composing before I am going to cut you guys loose... a little bit... on the first assignment.

    What we want to work on here is the basic manipulation of the motive and how important it is to everything that is composed. The best example of the use of motive is also the easiest to pick out the motive on listening. Beethoven composed his 5th Symphony based on the very famous four note motive.

    Motive consists of two elements:

    1. Actual notes
    2. Rhythm

    The first element can be manipulated using the following methods:

    1. Transposition: This is the most used. Note the opening bars of Beethoven's 5th. The first time the motive is played it is G G G Eb. Then this main motive is transposed in the next figure to F F F D.
    2. Inversion: This is, simply stated, flipping the tones upside down. A note in the motive is used as a pivot and the others move around it. It is best to see it done to understand it better. There is a sample in the attached pdf.
    3. Retrograde: The motive is written backwards.
    4. Augmentation: The motive is extended at the end with extra notes.
    5. Retardation: Some of the motive notes are left out. Makes the motive shorter.

    The second element can also be used in very interesting ways. Different notes applied to the same motive rhythm are allowable.

    Study the brief pdf file showing the ways that the motive can be manipulated carefully. Compose a short piece for solo, unaccompanied clarinet using this motive. Do not think about harmony or scales yet. Keep the intervals in tact, so there should not be any minor seconds or thirds during the motive, but inbetween instances of the motive any interval can be done.

    Do not concern yourselves with form or chords yet. Consider this a free form piece.


    This is a simple exercise meant to teach motivic development. Good luck and post your assignments here when completed. You should also leave any comments or questions here.

    ASSIGNMENT:
    http://www.fupduckonline.com/Comp-se...onSeminar1.pdf
    Jess Hendricks
    DMA Student and Teaching Asst in Music Theory/ Composition at the University of Miami
    Personal Website

  2. #2

    Re: COMPOSITION SEMINAR PART 1

    Should we post our assignments in mid or overture format?

    My freeware pdf creator does not embed all the fonts.

  3. #3

    Re: COMPOSITION SEMINAR PART 1

    If you can't make a readable pdf or Finale file, then post it as a midi file. i can import that into Finale.

    I would like to look at you guys notate things also, but we can jump off that bridge when we get to it.
    Jess Hendricks
    DMA Student and Teaching Asst in Music Theory/ Composition at the University of Miami
    Personal Website

  4. #4

    Re: COMPOSITION SEMINAR PART 1

    Is there any timescale that we should be working to?

    Also, would you recommend for this exercise a fairly short motif, worked up to a piece of 8 to 12 measures?
    Richard N.

    Finale 2003 to 2007 ~ Garritan GPO, JABB & Strad ~ Sonar 6PE ~ Kontakt 2 ~ WinXP Home SP2

    Athlon XP 2200 ~ 1.5 Gb RAM ~ M-Audio Sound Card ~ M-Audio 88ES MIDI keyboard ~ Evolution MK-461C

    Bach Strad LT16MG, LT36G, 42B + B&H Sovereign Studio Tenor Trombones ~ Holton 181 Bass Trombone ~ Getzen Bass Trumpet ~ Yamaha TR4335G Trumpet ~ B&H Euphonium

  5. #5

    Re: COMPOSITION SEMINAR PART 1

    OK. I managed to get the fonts embedded, but the allignment is slightly missed on some notes.

    Specially designed as a short piece to fit on one page.

    http://www.dog-on-blues.co.za/gpo/gpo_seminar_1.pdf

    I have to set the standard low enough so that I can only improve in future.

  6. #6

    Re: COMPOSITION SEMINAR PART 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard N.
    Is there any timescale that we should be working to?

    Also, would you recommend for this exercise a fairly short motif, worked up to a piece of 8 to 12 measures?
    No particular length is reccomended. I would say do what you can with the assigned motive we will look at it from there. It is possible to get a lot more than 8-12 measures, I would think.

    Don't forget that most composers get tired of their own ideas long before the listener would. (except Phillip Glass)
    Jess Hendricks
    DMA Student and Teaching Asst in Music Theory/ Composition at the University of Miami
    Personal Website

  7. #7

    Re: COMPOSITION SEMINAR PART 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Sepheritoh
    OK. I managed to get the fonts embedded, but the allignment is slightly missed on some notes.
    Nice job. Now, here is what needs to be done.

    1. Dynamics. A solo piece needs to be really dynamic. So make sure to add dynamics.
    2. Articulations: The only articulations are the stacattos in the penultimate measure. Be sure to go through and add articulations.
    3. Range: The clarinet has a wonderful range. Your piece is right in the middle of the range. GPO's sample really captures the different sounds of it's range from the low sonorous sound to the high pitches. You wouldn't need to change what is written, just change the octaves of some figures. The clarinet is a very, very agile instrument. It can play almost as fast as the flute and violin. That is super fast. It can make large interval leaps with relative ease. You should experiment with this.

    There are some great ideas here. I hope to see more soon.
    Jess Hendricks
    DMA Student and Teaching Asst in Music Theory/ Composition at the University of Miami
    Personal Website

  8. #8

    Re: COMPOSITION SEMINAR PART 1

    Thanks for the quick feedback. I'll be working on the improvements as suggested. Are we allowed to post a second attempt?

  9. #9

    Re: COMPOSITION SEMINAR PART 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Sepheritoh
    Thanks for the quick feedback. I'll be working on the improvements as suggested. Are we allowed to post a second attempt?
    Sure.

    I actually encourage that.
    Jess Hendricks
    DMA Student and Teaching Asst in Music Theory/ Composition at the University of Miami
    Personal Website

  10. #10

    Re: COMPOSITION SEMINAR PART 1

    So what happens when our creative flow takes us completely AWOL and we end up delving into things not covered in your lesson like what just happened to me (and where trying to follow the guidelines actually caused me to lose focus)?

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