I’m Richard, or @you-had-me-at-e-flat-major , and I’ve been invited to @musicainextenso to talk
about my own compositions as well as my composing process. Over this week I’ll
be presenting 4 compositions. In general I like to explore different styles in
my works, sometimes emulating existing composers, sometimes experimenting on my
own. I’m afraid you’ll have to excuse the poor recording quality, all of the
compositions I will present over this week use synthesised instruments in their
recordings. That being said, I’d like to start with a piano piece, whose
synthesised recording doesn’t actually sound half bad, called Cerfs-volants (French for kites).
My intention for
this piece was to create an impressionistic piano piece based on the style of
Debussy, and I chose to write a piece evoking the image of kites. The most
difficult part of writing this piece was finding a beginning theme. In order to
do this, I attempted to emulate some of Debussy’s trademarks. Debussy
frequently used alternative harmony such as whole-tone scales and extended
chords including major 7th and major 9th chords, which
led me to base the introduction and first few themes on tetratonic scales (ex. D♭-E♭-G♭-A♭-D♭,
and major 7th
and minor 7th chords.
The piece was
written in a non-standard form: Introduction-A-B-C-D-Introduction-A1-Coda. The
introduction and A theme were based on the tetratonic scale and 7th
chords. The B and C sections serve as contrast. The B theme consists of various
major 7th and later minor 7th chords, shrinking to 6th
chords, major triads, suspended chords and augmented chords, all played over an
ostinato, followed by arpeggios. The C theme is starkly different: it consists
of very strong, ff arpeggios in C
major. During this, the note A♭ is gradually added to facilitate
modulation to Fm for the next section.
faced was returning after much harmonic development in the B and C sections to
the original tonic key of D♭. I achieved this by adding a slower D
section of arpeggios based on F minor, gradually adding G♭s to facilitate modulation via an A♭7 chord back to D♭ for the
In order to prevent repetitiveness,
I did not recapitulate much: only the introduction and a modified A theme. A
coda followed: a series of arpeggios in D♭ and A♭7,
ending with an elongated section of D♭ arpeggios
with the pedal held.
So I tried to come up with a little theme with baz in mind and this is what happened… It’s more for the humorous side Baz and these are some of the times I had in mind when I thought about the song….
• When Baz stormed through those doors like the badass mother fudger he is (and the bass line would sorta be in sync with his footsteps as he strolled up to the doors and then the doors fling open once the main theme starts)
• Whenever Baz smirks and starts teasing Simon
• When Baz practically dies inside after seeing Simon on his rug (and simons like omg you’re wearing jeans)
• Whenever he yells at his sister for not knocking
• THAT TIME WHEN HIS DAD WAS LIKE “U plotting mate” AND WINKED AND BAZ IS LIKE FFS
• Also it kinda makes me think of Simon crawling through bushes and sneaking after Baz like ‘Penny, he’s plotting something. PLOTTING.’ Basically whenever Simon’s like 'He’s plotting.’.
Hence, I named Baz’s Theme 'Plotting’. (It’s legit stuck in my head now for Crowley’s sake)
There’s probs a few more scenes it’d fit but those were the top ones on my mind - HOPE YOU ENJOY!!!
Okay here it is. But there are SEVERAL THINGS YOU MUST KNOW BEFORE YOU LISTEN!!!!!!
• this is a rough draft of sorts haha it is a work in progress so it isn’t very good
•it is supposed to sound smooth and expressive, but the program is BEING DUMB and made it choppy
• this is my first attempt at composing seriously
• I am FULLY AWARE that the beginning sucks. I’m going to change it
• the long weird pauses are supposed to be fermatas but the software is BEING DUMB
• if you can get past the first minute or so, it’s not So bad. The first minute is rather rough
• I couldn’t get an audio, so this is a crappy video from my phone.
• if you listen to the whole thing thANK YOU SO MUCH
•please give me (hopefully constructive lol) criticism!!!!
Jan Lisiecki - Nocturne in C sharp Minor (1830) - Proms 2013
Frédéric Chopin - (1810-1849) Poland
He was an introverted person (just like me), and a great composer for the piano. Well, he must be “God” on the piano because he basically composed only piano pieces (even though they perfectly could be for singers as well).
This composer has meant so much to me in these past few weeks because I’ve felt so lost lately in my music composition major, and I’ve returned to the piano with THIS Chopin piece, and I’ve never felt more alive. It is my favourite piece, and in six months I’ll be playing it for the jury of my piano audition.
I’d like to double in piano major because I’m almost done with composition, but I’m not really feeling it. I don’t have anything to say that the musical language that we’re requested to write on can express. Maybe that’s my problem. I don’t see myself doing what I’m doing right now, but I also can’t see myself in an office, or doing something different than music.
I’m sincerely hoping that this reconnection that I’m tying to work on with the piano brings me the joy and the courage I need to continue my path as a composer and as a musician. And even maybe as a concert pianist.
The third post in this African Music
series is about the great diva from Cape Verde, Cesária
She was born in Mindelo
in Cape Verde on 27 August 1941. Her
parents were poor, and after her father’s death (probably due to alcoholism),
her mother placed her in an orphanage. Here she was introduced to music when
she joined the orphanage choir.
When she was older, she started singing in the local bars of
Mindelo, a glass in one hand, a cigarette in the other. She became well-known
locally for her interpretation of coladeras and mornas, the traditional songs of Cape Verde
(heavily influenced by Portuguese music, since the islands used to be a
first international success was in 1988 with
the release of her first commercial album La Diva Aux Pieds Nus, recorded in
France. She eventually won a Grammy for World Music in 2003 for her album Voz
d'Amor. She died in 2011.
The song I’ve selected is Sodade, the
Cape Verde version of the Portuguese word saudade, which refers to a deep
nostalgia or a profound melancholic longing (for something or someone
PS: If you want to listen to more
African divas, I recommend the late great Miriam Makeba from South Africa and
Angélique Kidjo from Benin.
Enjoy! - Today in Tokyo (who lives in Tokyo but grew up in
Whew, not quite too late. Happy Birthday, Schubert! Today Beet plays one of your piano two-hand compositions with you.
(Edit: Like a fool in a hurry, last night I posted this without sourcing the music. Oops, sorry! Musical score is a transcription of Schubert’s Ave Maria, transcribed by David Neyrolles. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHSz7URU3p0 I picked this version because it was simple enough to draw fairly quickly. Any mistakes are very likely my own, as I am no master of reading sheet music.)
It’s here! I started writing this yesterday at 5 pm, mostly because I wanted to write some longer piece (like 5+ minutes) instead of just short pieces, which I’ve been doing a lot recently. So naturally I stayed up until 2 am to finish it and now it’s pretty much done. This is my second attempt at writing in sonata form (the first one was kind of bad) and I’d really appreciate if you listened to the whole piece, it would mean a lot to me!! Also you might wanna listen with headphones. I don’t know if I’ll write more movements to make it a complete sonata. Anyways I’m really happy with it and I hope you enjoy :)
So this is my first attempt at an arrangement. This is Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata arranged as as lullaby for solo piano. I’m not quite sure if it really sounds like a lullaby but it was fun to write. I hope you all enjoy.
SURPRISE! //take yukari in my arms and run away I’m a little bit late but this is for @yukaey-chwan‘s 25th chapter of Love’s Script again aka the fanfic that gives me hope and life- I hope you like it! ♥
This might be a loaded question (?) I'm not sure, but I really want to learn how to write music, and I've got little snippets of bips and bops here and there, but do you have any tips of how to write/compose a song on the piano? Have you ever written anything before? Thanks! :-)
Hi! Sounds like you’re already writing music a little bit, so my first thought is you should keep doing whatever got you to this point! Personally I haven’t written much music. A few composition exercises for theory class and the occasional improvisation when I forget to prepare reflection music for my church job is the extent of my songwriting.
But from analyzing a lot of music I can tell you that the great composers and songwriters simply start with a snippet, or a bip and a bop here and there, and they expand it into a whole sonata or symphony or Top 40s hit. For instance, take a tune you’ve written and do these things to it…
Write another phrase that starts just like the first one but goes down instead of up at the end. Now you have what classical theorists call an “answer phrase.”
Turn your tune upside down (every step up becomes a step down, every third up becomes a third down…)
Imagine that your phrase is the opening act of a story. What would happen next?
Turn your major tune into a tragic version in its relative minor key.
To come up with something new:
Be very technical: an exercise in 4-part voice leading, theory class style, can be expanded into a chorale style piano piece
Be very imaginative: what color is sadness, and what does that color sound like at the piano??
Steal. Take the chord progression from a Beatles song and play it in whatever style you think Beethoven sounds like.
Improvise 15 minutes a day even if it sounds terrible/boring. You’ll get more comfortable creating sounds and ideas will come.
Those are the first things that come to mind…mostly my observations of how other people compose. Songwriters/composers of Tumblr, anything to add?
Other ideas: take a songwriting class in college, check out composition/songwriting books at the library, ask a friend who plays in a band.
want to end my series about music from Africa with an unusual composition: a
Catholic mass sung in the traditional style of the Democratic Republic of
AN AFRICAN MASS
Franciscan friar from Belgium, Father Guido Haazen, composed it while he was
stationed in a town called Kamina in the Congo. He wrote it for a group he’d
formed: called Les Troubadours du Roi Baudouin, it
consisted of 45 boys aged 9 to 14, as well as 15 teachers. It was first
performed in Kamina in 1958, and attracted so much attention that it led to a
tour in Europe and a recording contract with Philips.
The best-known section is probably the Kyrie, which I’ve
selected as my last post. It’s written in the style of a kasala,
a song of mourning of the Luba
people of Central Africa.
Africa is huge, and it contains so many different cultures
and art forms that it’s impossible to talk about “African Music”. Music
from Africa, perhaps. I selected a few of my favourites, and I hope I could
introduce you to instruments, artists and composers you didn’t know before.
Thank you for your attention! - Today in Tokyo (who lives in Tokyo but grew up in
So instead of doing my calculus homework, I wrote this little piece today, mostly because I haven’t really composed anything in quite a while. I guess the compositional technique was very much inspired by Schumann’s “Jäger auf der Lauer” (Waldszenen No.2) which I started playing a week ago and I basically haven’t played anything else since. I was afraid that now that the semester has begun, I won’t have much time to compose anymore, but I think I’ll be able to write more short pieces like this one in the near future. As always, I’d like to hear your opinions and I hope you enjoy listening :)