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Old 01-23-2013, 07:28 AM   #1
descara
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Feedback on orchestral piece + a few questions

Seen a few threads asking for feedback on pieces, hope it's still allowed.

Anyhow, one of my portfolio pieces for Bachelor applications is nearing completion, and I'd love some feedback, as well as some extra eyes on the score.

A little about the piece - it's made up a somewhat exposition-like part (0:00-4:08), followed by a more developmental part which last for the rest of the piece.

The "exposition" consist of an unrelated introduction (though the material is re-introduced later), a somewhat jumpy section which introduces both a central melodic and rythmic figure. Gradually, it starts moving to a third section, which I like to think of as the "bombastic 7/8-section", with it's own tone language, though it steals along the rhytmic figure from the earlier section. It first manifests itself clearly at 3:08.

The rest is just wreaking havoc with the earlier material.


Now the questions:

Nowadays, is it required to specify "pedal timpani" in the score?
Should I list what performer plays what (with regards to percussion), and/or that there is only 2 performers, on the title page? If so, what's the standard phrasing?
In rehearsal mark, do vlc and cb need more time to prepare for bartok pizz (coming from normal pizz)?

... and that's all I could think of right now, I was sure there were more. It'd be nice to hear peoples associations upon hearing it, though. Also, if you notice any seemingly missing dynamic marks (or other things, but that's the one most likely to have slipped through proof-reading), feel free to point them out!

Score:
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bxs...EtYaTI2U2s/edit

Mock-up (haven't had that much time to spend on it):
https://soundcloud.com/frej-wedlund...rough-obscurity
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:04 AM   #2
jazz_rock_feel
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I don't have time to listen right now, but just a few things about your score:

1) Just indicating timpani is fine, but timpani's are generally their own instrument and aren't indicated with the percussion in the score (the timpanist isn't really a percussionist, in other words). They also typically aren't asked to play another instrument.

2) At the beginning of the score it doesn't really matter if you indicate which percussionist plays what (as long as it's indicated in the actual score) but you should say the number of players. I would just add (2 players) after your header for percussion.

3) In general the cello and bass should be able to do Bartok pizz about as quickly, but it's possible they'd be a little slower. It depends on context, do you have a specific passage?

4) One of my pet peeves, although something you see a lot of: when you have a tied note that begins or ends a slur marking, the slur should (in my, and most notation manuals' opinion) stretch back or forward to the first or last tied note.



I'll say more when I have a chance to listen. Just from a glance the score looks pretty nice though.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:00 AM   #3
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It's a minor point, but in any given system you only really need to show the parts for those instruments that are playing at that time.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazz_rock_feel
I don't have time to listen right now, but just a few things about your score:

1) Just indicating timpani is fine, but timpani's are generally their own instrument and aren't indicated with the percussion in the score (the timpanist isn't really a percussionist, in other words). They also typically aren't asked to play another instrument.

2) At the beginning of the score it doesn't really matter if you indicate which percussionist plays what (as long as it's indicated in the actual score) but you should say the number of players. I would just add (2 players) after your header for percussion.

3) In general the cello and bass should be able to do Bartok pizz about as quickly, but it's possible they'd be a little slower. It depends on context, do you have a specific passage?

4) One of my pet peeves, although something you see a lot of: when you have a tied note that begins or ends a slur marking, the slur should (in my, and most notation manuals' opinion) stretch back or forward to the first or last tied note.
I'll say more when I have a chance to listen. Just from a glance the score looks pretty nice though.


Thanks for taking the time to reply!

1) In my experience, this practice is becoming somewhat obselete today. I've been to plenty performances of modern works with a percussionist/timpanist part. Admittedly, some of them were chamber works where it's been more widespread. Still, I felt breaking a convention is prefferable to calling for a sole performer for the crotales.

2) Yeah, I probably should. Thanks!

3) My bad, it was meant to say "rehearsal mark A". It's a fairly long section in pizz followed directly by a sudden bartok pizz.

4) I actually prefer doing it the way you describe, but I've only read books describing the other version. Might go over and change it now though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepy__Head
It's a minor point, but in any given system you only really need to show the parts for those instruments that are playing at that time.


This is what I do, except for page 1 where all are instruments are shown, which is standard. Though I saw now that due to changing a page break, page 2 got messed up with regards to this, so if that's what you meant, thanks for the catch!
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:05 PM   #5
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Okay, I've had a listen and I've got to say not what I was expecting (in a good way). I hear a lot of Stravinsky and Bartok with a bit less tonal focus.

You say this is for a bachelor's program, but you've been doing this for a while no? (Please say yes, or I'll be very depressed.) You have a pretty good command of the orchestra, better than I do anyway. It is very string heavy though and it would have been nice to hear you explore more of the wind colours. One risky thing I noticed is that you rely on the horns for a couple of big melodic parts and they have a tendency to get covered up if they aren't doubled.

Formally, you had me up until K and then you lost me until you brought back the Stravinsky rhythm. I don't know what it is, but it doesn't seem connected until I hear that rhythm again. I think one of the problems is that you don't really transition into it you just hold the note and then jump in and I didn't really buy it.

Overall, I really liked it.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:57 AM   #6
descara
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazz_rock_feel
Okay, I've had a listen and I've got to say not what I was expecting (in a good way). I hear a lot of Stravinsky and Bartok with a bit less tonal focus.

You say this is for a bachelor's program, but you've been doing this for a while no? (Please say yes, or I'll be very depressed.) You have a pretty good command of the orchestra, better than I do anyway. It is very string heavy though and it would have been nice to hear you explore more of the wind colours. One risky thing I noticed is that you rely on the horns for a couple of big melodic parts and they have a tendency to get covered up if they aren't doubled.

Formally, you had me up until K and then you lost me until you brought back the Stravinsky rhythm. I don't know what it is, but it doesn't seem connected until I hear that rhythm again. I think one of the problems is that you don't really transition into it you just hold the note and then jump in and I didn't really buy it.

Overall, I really liked it.


I always felt that K is definitely the weakest transition as well, probably doesn't help that the sections up until the coda-ish part are a bit distant. Didn't have a crotales sample when I did the mock-up, but since it's the only thing connecting the sections, I'll see if I can dig one up and see if it helps any having it there.

You're right in that I'm not exactly completely new to this. I'm currently in my 2nd year in a folk high school program (a school form pretty much native to Scandinavia). My (rather subjective) impression is that the typical entry-level knowledge for music Bachelor programs is a bit higher in Europe than USA, possibly because education is typically free (or considerably cheaper). Here in Sweden, most or at least a lot of people go to these folk high schools before even attempting to get in.


edit:

Was in a bit of a hurry earlier. Added in another bassoon at rehearsal mark E, you're right in that I'm often too trusting of the horns! In the "coda" I'm not as worried though, mostly because it's meant to be a bit chaotic in itself.
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Last edited by descara : 01-24-2013 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:35 PM   #7
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Nice piece man!!! Not a ton of time to give you more than that, right now, but I really enjoyed it!

My orchestral work is in my sig, if you're bored.
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