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Old 02-14-2013, 04:50 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChucklesMginty
No, but he did manage to conduct and everyone played in time.

Any number of professional orchestras can keep themselves in time. That's the least of their worries.
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:26 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Xiaoxi
Any number of professional orchestras can keep themselves in time. That's the least of their worries.

Exactly. People who think that conducting is about keeping an ensemble in time need to take a conducting course. Or better yet, watch old Karajan stir the pot.
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Originally Posted by Xiaoxi
Guide or no guide, I've yet to personally know of anyone who's good by the books and can write music that doesn't sound like it came out of Chapter 7.

Is there a certain amount of awareness that a book can bring? Yes. But all too often they trap people into a false perception.

I definitely agree, I always laugh at stupid little cellists that think they're so creative as they copy chord progressions out of the book. That said, the book can be a good source of knowledge for the beginning, even if it's no where near where you want to end up.

And you always have to read theory textbooks with skepticism, because they lay down way too much law.
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Originally Posted by ChucklesMginty
So I just start writing and hope for the best, then work from there?

Alright, but I need to learn what a sonata is before I can write one.

Why do you want to write a sonata?
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:54 PM   #43
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I've listened to a lot of piano sonatas and they sound good.
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:09 PM   #44
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The idea of a sonata is in its form and how themes are introduced and then altered.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonata_form



This diagram shows some of the most common formatting for when Sonatas were still popularly composed.

So basically you have a theme established in the Tonic key, lets go with C Major. This theme is the A theme. You then get a second theme established on the Dominant, in this case G. You then close with some statement in the dominant, and repeat it if you want. This is your exposition.

From there you start your development, usually in the dominant key, so you have now switched to G Major. You could also move into A minor if I recall correctly, although the idea of the development is to present new ideas with alterations of previous themes in new keys.

Eventually you reestablish your original theme for the recapitulation and also include your B theme in the tonic key.
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:17 PM   #45
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A sonata =/= sonata form.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChucklesMginty
I've listened to a lot of piano sonatas and they sound good.

What do you like about them?
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:24 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by jazz_rock_feel
A sonata =/= sonata form.


What do you like about them?


I'm just trying to help the dude get started on something rather than question his thought process about exactly why someone likes a certain kind of music.

I personally would say that I would like to write a sonata because I appreciate thematic variation and would like to practice composing using a rather straightforward yet versatile structure.
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:51 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Life Is Brutal
I'm just trying to help the dude get started on something rather than question his thought process about exactly why someone likes a certain kind of music.

I'm trying to make him think critically about what he's doing. I couldn't give two shits whether or not he writes "a sonata," I just want him to think, because that's what it's all about.

Sorry for trying to help someone reach some kind of a conclusion themselves instead of feeding them information. Oh wait, I'm totally not.
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:53 PM   #48
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thanks! Now I have something to get started with and I'm not just searching around in the dark. It doesn't tell me how to write one, but if I learn about it then listen to some sonatas and go "I see how that fits together and I know what section this is blah blah" it's a lot of help.

^I always think critically, especially with the various opinions shared here...
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:07 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by jazz_rock_feel
I'm trying to make him think critically about what he's doing. I couldn't give two shits whether or not he writes "a sonata," I just want him to think, because that's what it's all about.

Sorry for trying to help someone reach some kind of a conclusion themselves instead of feeding them information. Oh wait, I'm totally not.


I know your point and understand why you're asking him such things, but the reasoning behind it doesn't give him understanding of how the music functions or how to use anything he already knows.

You're asking why a man is cold and that a fire would probably help, and I'm throwing the guy some sticks and a lighter. I'm not going to light the fire for him, but if he can get an idea of how he'll be much better off.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:10 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by jazz_rock_feel
I'm trying to make him think critically about what he's doing. I couldn't give two shits whether or not he writes "a sonata," I just want him to think, because that's what it's all about.

Sorry for trying to help someone reach some kind of a conclusion themselves instead of feeding them information. Oh wait, I'm totally not.


I know your point and understand why you're asking him such things, but the reasoning behind it doesn't give him understanding of how the music functions or how to use anything he already knows.

You're asking why a man is cold and that a fire would probably help, and I'm throwing the guy some sticks and a lighter. I'm not going to light the fire for him, but if he can get an idea of how he'll be much better off.

How I see your questions, its almost like this.

"I want to begin Composing."
"Why?"
"Because I want to create music"
"Why?"
"Because I want to express new musical ideas"
"Why?"
"Because I think I have something special to say"
"Why?"

And it keeps going and while it gives him good reasoning on his motives he hasn't gained anything in terms of how to start composing.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:55 PM   #51
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Maybe I was being too absolutist when I said you shouldn't read books or anything. But I think you understand what I was getting at, and Primusfan said it perfectly. You just need to start writing. Beginner composition is just tiny failures at every turn that make up a huge failure. The real lessons come from learning from those failures. They will teach you more than any book ever could.

I'm contradicting myself here, but if you really want to know what a sonata form is, the Brahms in my link summarizes in detail what it is. The image that Life_Is_Brutal posted isn't wrong, but it is exactly the kind of textbook sterility that doesn't really provide any insight for why a sonata is the way it is (which is beyond any mechanical considerations like the keys dictated in the picture). If you don't understand the philosophy, you can't begin to understand anything else.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:56 PM   #52
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There's value in being lost and having to grapple with an idea.

But whatever, since my line of reasoning failed I'll just lay out what I was getting at.

There's two reasons to write in a historically "classic" form. 1) to take on the weight of history and work within the developmental and structural practice of historical music, but in your own musical language (Schoenberg, Peter Maxwell Davies and other postmodernists, the neoclassicists) and 2) as an exercise (pretty much everyone else). A lot of people start out and say they're going to write a sonata form because it's safe and seems like a good thing to do, but all they end up doing is writing a nice little tune that sounds like Mozart. What I was trying to do was get him to think deeper about what attracts him to sonata form, if there is anything tangible, and maybe to get him on the fast track to exploring more of what could become his own musical language instead of someone else's.

So it wasn't at all a circular line of "whys" that would just end up with, "cause I want to." There was a point.
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:06 PM   #53
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Maybe I was being too absolutist when I said you shouldn't read books or anything. But I think you understand what I was getting at, and Primusfan said it perfectly. You just need to start writing. Beginner composition is just tiny failures at every turn that make up a huge failure. The real lessons come from learning from those failures. They will teach you more than any book ever could.


Exactly, but he has to start working in order to learn from those experiences.

Quote:
The image that Life_Is_Brutal posted isn't wrong, but it is exactly the kind of textbook sterility that doesn't really provide any insight for why a sonata is the way it is (which is beyond any mechanical considerations like the keys dictated in the picture).


And a Sonata is so much more, but he has to start from somewhere.
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:07 PM   #54
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CARCASSI thats all i say
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:17 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Xiaoxi
but it is exactly the kind of textbook sterility that doesn't really provide any insight for why a sonata is the way it is (which is beyond any mechanical considerations like the keys dictated in the picture).




Well, I just finished watching this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazz_rock_feel
but all they end up doing is writing a nice little tune that sounds like Mozart.


As an absolute beginner I'd be happy if I could do that.
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:54 PM   #56
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Check out Tonal Harmony with an Introduction to Twentieth-Century Music
by Stefan Kostka


You might be interested in it.
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