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Applying classical forms to new music

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Re: Applying classical forms to new music

Postby merlyn » Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:45 pm

If you were going to give this to someone to play you could lay out the rhythms in a way that is easier to read. In the first bar of VCO 1 the fourth beat is a rest, a quarter note rest on the fourth beat would make that obvious. I would find the first bar easier to read if the third beat was a sixteenth note, a sixteenth rest, an eighth rest then a quarter note rest on the fourth beat. That way where the beats fall is more obvious.
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Re: Applying classical forms to new music

Postby Ben Asaro » Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:57 pm

merlyn wrote:If you were going to give this to someone to play you could lay out the rhythms in a way that is easier to read. In the first bar of VCO 1 the fourth beat is a rest, a quarter note rest on the fourth beat would make that obvious. I would find the first bar easier to read if the third beat was a sixteenth note, a sixteenth rest, an eighth rest then a quarter note rest on the fourth beat. That way where the beats fall is more obvious.
Thanks for reading it over and for the pointers! This is not going to be read by anyone, it's just my way of writing when I'm away from my sequencers. :)
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Re: Applying classical forms to new music

Postby RichardT » Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:03 pm

Ben Asaro wrote:3 of the 8 melody lines for the first subject are pretty much done! Looks like this will be in D Major. If anyone more familiar with the rules of counterpoint could have a look, I think I've followed the rules correctly! :D

Image

I think you’ve got more ‘coincident ‘ notes than would be normal, such as the first D. But that’s not really against any rules.
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Re: Applying classical forms to new music

Postby Ben Asaro » Fri Oct 23, 2020 10:25 pm

RichardT wrote:
Ben Asaro wrote:3 of the 8 melody lines for the first subject are pretty much done! Looks like this will be in D Major. If anyone more familiar with the rules of counterpoint could have a look, I think I've followed the rules correctly! :D

Image

I think you’ve got more ‘coincident ‘ notes than would be normal, such as the first D. But that’s not really against any rules.
Thanks for taking a look! It's been going through metamorphosis all day, thanks to everyone for their valued input!
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Re: Applying classical forms to new music

Postby Ben Asaro » Sat Oct 24, 2020 12:34 am

Major revision to the first statement. Very happy with this one, just have to work on how it will be developed, and start writing the second statement!

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Re: Applying classical forms to new music

Postby Ben Asaro » Sat Oct 24, 2020 2:35 pm

Here's a quick audio export from Notion of the first subject. I'll be transcribing this onto my modular over the course of the weekend. The one thing that I cannot notate is the Subharmonicon, I don't know if you could notate it if you wanted to, it's more of an improvisational instrument. But here are the melodies as laid out in the above photo:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/17Pr6l3 ... sp=sharing

As a side note: if anyone is looking for a really good music notation app for iPad, I can strongly recommend Notion by Presonus. The instruments sound surprsingly good, it's very intuitive to use and supports full export options: image, PDF, WAV, MP3, MIDI, etc. For only $15 it packs a LOT of bang for the buck!
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Re: Applying classical forms to new music

Postby Ben Asaro » Sun Oct 25, 2020 12:46 am

I'm pretty happy with what I have of the first movement thus far, https://drive.google.com/file/d/18vfvWM ... sp=sharing.

This is the four 'string' voices, kick, snare, and hihat. Still have a lot more voices to work in!
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Re: Applying classical forms to new music

Postby Ben Asaro » Sun Oct 25, 2020 4:41 pm

Today’s update: this is going to need some work!

I think that my main challenge is due to the core nature of both step sequencers and modular synths: you have a default length of 1 measure and a pulse of 4. This makes it very easy to have simple lines that repeat ad infinitum but more difficult to have something that evolves over time. I could go the generative route, but that defeats the purpose of making this a composition (ie, something that can be repeated). I think that the solution will involve polymeters, hocketing, and panning in order to keep it both musically and sonically interesting.

So back to the drawing board today!

More rambling to follow! :D
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Re: Applying classical forms to new music

Postby Ben Asaro » Mon Oct 26, 2020 1:06 am

9 hours later lol ... Finally have something I can sink my teeth into!

Image

The piece has a kind of Philip Glass-vibe going on now, it's very polyrhythmic! But the voices interlock great. Just using two VCOs of the Quadnic right now and Oscillator 1 in the Subharmonicon. The drums and Subharmonicon are playing in 4/4; one voice of the Quadnic is in 11/16 and the other one is in 6/16. It sounds pretty trippy!
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Re: Applying classical forms to new music

Postby Ben Asaro » Mon Oct 26, 2020 1:19 am

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Re: Applying classical forms to new music

Postby GilesAnt » Mon Oct 26, 2020 1:24 am

You have given us three different versions of your first subject, but essentially you have written one bar of music. I think you need to map out your vision a bit here.
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Re: Applying classical forms to new music

Postby Ben Asaro » Mon Oct 26, 2020 1:44 am

GilesAnt wrote:You have given us three different versions of your first subject, but essentially you have written one bar of music. I think you need to map out your vision a bit here.
Thanks for posting. I'm not expecting everyone, or anyone, to understand how I'm going about this. In the OP I said
I am going to use this thread for sharing my ideas and processes, thinking out loud, and hopefully get educated and inspired by the good folks on this forum
and I will continue to do that. For me, this is how I get my thoughts organized. I know it probably seems rather random and entirely too granular, and as I said in the OP, I'm not entirely sure I will be able to bring this to completion.
But I'm not going to stop thinking out loud here and sharing my process, unless that's in violation of forum rules.
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Re: Applying classical forms to new music

Postby GilesAnt » Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:28 am

I'm not trying to discourage you - quite the reverse. But I am suggesting that if you have ambitions to write some music of 'classical' proportions/form then you need to approach it with some vision.

If you want to build a structure, you don't just place one brick, stand back and admire, and then think about what to do next. You should already (as a minimum) be thinking of both 1st and 2nd subjects as they will need to be complementary, contrasting, or whatever, to build the tension and interest in your composition.

You say you are looking to be educated and inspired, so for what it is worth this is my initial suggestion.
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Re: Applying classical forms to new music

Postby Arpangel » Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:58 am

I don’t think a "vision" is necessary at all, some composers have one, others don’t, and lots in between.
I started out in the classical world, and ended up where I am now (where am I?)
I used to carry a manuscript book around with me, just like we carry handy recorders these days, just to jot down ideas, sometimes these "subjects" would go on to be part of bigger things, but sometimes I’d "stand back and admire" and they’d be finished little pieces.
I have never started out knowing how something will progress, or finish, I have never had that "vision" a lot of people talk about, and I’d suspect we’d be very surprised if a lot of the great composers didn’t have one either.
I never thought that the first note I wrote on that paper would turn into a 2 minute piano piece, or a 40 minute epic, each note builds on what went before, and sometimes things unfold we would never have predicted.
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Re: Applying classical forms to new music

Postby GilesAnt » Mon Oct 26, 2020 2:42 pm

Arpangel wrote:I never thought that the first note I wrote on that paper would turn into a 2 minute piano piece, or a 40 minute epic, each note builds on what went before, and sometimes things unfold we would never have predicted.

He is planning to write something in sonata form, classical in scale if not in style. This does need some thinking about in my view. The interplay of subjects, their development, harmonic tension etc. will all need at least some outline design. Sonata form looks simple at one level, but many composers have grappled with this, not always successfully. The form isn't intended as a straightjacket, but a model that can help the composer.

For smaller pieces where no specific form or architecture is envisaged then a bar by bar approach may of course yield excellent results - but that's not his aim (as I understand it from his posts).

From my readings, many of the great composers did indeed work with a vision in mind. Schubert, Mozart and others would carry more or less completed works in their head, and just needed time to write them down. Others would sweat and toil so the music matched their vision. Similarly Wagner could have hardly tackled his operas on a bar by bar basis.

The equivalent might be of an architect who sketches out a building without getting too involved in the details at the start. If he just piles one brick on top of the other with no plan it is unlikely that he will get good results.

Having a crack at something on a classical scale is brave, and I wish Ben all the best. I'm sure he will have fun having a go, even if all else fails.
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