Mentoring Program

Stuck In The Corner Of A Circle

899 userid
In this song, you'll be taken on a journey, on which you'll hear many things. Throughout it, you may think to yourself, "This sound familiar," yes, yes it does. Many of the motifs are repeated multiple times, almost in a circle (hence the name) but each in their own new and even unexpected way, keeping you intrigued and wondering what you'll hear next.
Grade Level: 8
Intended For: Live Instrument Performance
Software Used: Noteflight
Instrumentation: Piano, Violin, Base Clarinet
Key: C Major
Meter Signature: 4/4
Tempo: 100bpm
Status: Work in Progress
Noteflight URL: Website Title
File 1: text/htmlDownload
File 2: application/pdfDownload
Located in: Opus 32 grades 6-8


#26 Lee Heuermann 2017-04-13 11:36
Dear Ellery,

Good job on your changes! Please make sure to tend to Erik Nielsen, our senior mentor’s comments in the previous message regarding:

1) adding rehearsal letters in mms. 16, 28, 39, 51 and 62 (instead of 64).

2) changing the piano LH - C chords from second inversion (with 5th - G) in the bass to root position C chords (C in bass) - from the measures Erik mentioned, I would suggest you change mms. 32, 35, 41, 44, and 62 and you could leave the others as is.

3) your ending chord - for stronger conclusion - add an octave C in bass clef - second ledger line below staff

4) other details:
m. 6 - RH piano - bring mp down so not bumping note

m. 22 - pizz - thanks for changing that to a louder dynamic, but I think mf for the violin would be better than f.

m. 30 - as a precaution I would add arco again where the violin reenters here.

mms. 30-31 - make the crescendo in the violin part a bit longer

m. 33 - under RH piano - lower the ff so it’s not bumping

m. 65 - over violin - raise the accent so not bumping

5) and finally, please update your bio and piece description. Update the bio in Profile and click edit to update the description of the work. The description should be for an audience, not a technical run down of the piece.

Thank you for all of your hard work and you’re almost finished. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

#25 Erik Nielsen 2017-04-13 09:46
Dear Ellery,
As the person responsible for printing parts and scores for the musicians, I can tell you that I'll wait until tomorrow to make sure I've heard from your mentor that it's all set. One thing that ought to be included in the score is rehearsal letters. They save an enormous amount of time in rehearsal, and given that you will only get 10 minutes, every second is precious. You can either put them every 10 bars, or put them in spots that mark a change in the music. I'd say some good spots are bar 16, 28, 39, 51 and 64. That's just a suggestion, but it will be important to have rehearsal letters somewhere. Just click on the bar you want to add a letter, then go to the menu (the three horizontal lines to the left of the upper tool bar), click on Text and find Rehearsal letter. Click on it and it ought to show up on the bar you've clicked. Please let me know if you have questions.
While I've got your attention, I'm going to talk about something that no one else seems to have mentioned, the large number of piano chords, C chords in particular, that are in second inversion, that is, have G as the lowest note. Such chords sound much weaker than when C (the root of the chord) is the lowest note. They are in the piano left hand in bars 10, 32, 34-35, 41, 43-44, 62, 66, and 68. Listen to the difference between the chord in bar 57 and the one in bar 68. The one in 57 is much stronger sounding. If you can change at least some of these so that C is the lowest note, it will be more effective. Also (I promise this is the last thing), the final piano chord will sound very muddy with those thirds down low. I'd suggest you put in an octave C instead, that is one that's on the second ledger line below the bass staff and one an octave above. It will bring the piece to a stronger conclusion.
Okay, Ellery, that's it from here. Please let me know whether you have questions and I'll look for a final version within the next 24 hours.

Best wishes,
Erik Nielsen
Senior Mentor
#24 Ellery Stahler 2017-04-13 09:19
Not sure why I said GMT... It was 6:45 EST :)
#23 Ellery Stahler 2017-04-13 09:15
At what time today are these to be done? I made some changes around 6:45 GMT this morning and I wanted to check in and see if those would be included in the final piece.

#22 Ellery Stahler 2017-04-12 19:24
Thank you so much for all the help! Today, I talked with my music teacher and we did end up changing it around slightly to make it so the c and e harmonies didn't clash as much. He showed my a few things I hadn't thought of. It's now 99% done and I'm just going to go through and make sure dynamics don't bump.
#21 Lee Heuermann 2017-04-11 13:54
Hi Ellery,

Nice job! You're making progress and are almost done! That's fine to keep your harmony the way it is in mms. 10, 32, 35 and 39, if that's what you prefer as the composer.

Just a few more things:

1) Your bass clarinet part is mostly all tongued with accents (accept for your triplet parts). I don't think that really fits the flow of your piece, when other instruments are slurred. I think the bass clarinet will sound too choppy underneath. I would suggest that you add slurs to your bass clar. part throughout.

2) m. 22 - You have your pizz. section marked mp while the piano is f. Pizzicato is naturally soft so I think you should mark it louder - mf - in order to be heard more clearly. It sounds so cool, so you don't want it to get lost.

3) In mms. 55-56 take away the accents and tenuto marks underneath the slurs. You have to tongue or articulate to have an accent or tenuto so it's done with a slur. Pick one or the other.

Same with the accents in mms. 64-65.

Keep up the good work and you're almost done! Remember Thursday, 4/13 is your deadline! Let me know if you have any questions.

#20 Ellery Stahler 2017-04-09 10:08
I've done the vast majority of things you've suggested.
I did keep it the same in mms. 10, 32, 35, and 39. I tried altering it a bit but found myself liking it more as is. I'm in the process of adding more slurs in the piano part right now. Let me know if there's anything else I ought to do before the 13th.
#19 Lee Heuermann 2017-04-07 14:15
Hi again Ellery,

One more thing - it would be helpful to also include measure numbers at the beginning of each system.


#18 Lee Heuermann 2017-04-07 14:14
Dear Ellery,

I hope you got my message about being selected for the Opus 32 concert. Congratulations and I’m so happy and excited for you to hear Stuck in the Corner of a Circle performed. I really like all of the changes you’ve made and it’s beginning to sound very lovely. There’s a lot more variety in it now. Great job!

The score needs to be completed by Thursday, April 13th. Now is the time to polish your score as the rehearsal period and subsequent performance will go smoothly if you attend to these picky but necessary details. Professional musicians will expect and need to see these things in the score.

Here a a number of small details to change and some other phrasing/articu lation and harmonies to consider.

In the bass clarinet part - more articulations - slurs? throughout, otherwise they will all be tongued which sounds choppier.
better like in m. 67 and 70 - end - that looks good

piano part - also add more slurs = phrasing

m. 11 - piano - get rid of second mp

m. 13 - RH piano - first 2 beats make a half note rest

mms. 17-18 - bring cresc down a bit

m. 22 - LH piano - bring mp down a bit -

m. 31 - in bass cl move mp over closer to starting note in m. 32 (to right before the barline)

m. 32 - move both crescs over so not bumping mf

m. 35 - in violin pt bring cresc down so not bumping slur

m. 36 - RH piano pt - bring ff down a bit

m. 38 - RH piano pt - move decresc over a bit so not bumping ff

m. 45 - in bass cl pt - move mf over and bring cresc down so not bumping

m. 46 - bass cl, move ff down so not bumping

m. 56 - bass cl - move f down so not bumping

m. 57 - in violin pt - move cresc over so not bumping mp, in bass cl move mp down so not bumping

m. 63 - LH piano pt - get rid of second mp

m. 67 - violin pt - bring f down a bit

m. 69 - bring cresc over a bit so not bumping barline

m. 71 - violin pt - 2nd beat - if you’re already slurring you can’t also do tenuto
(take tenutos out) bring slur all the way to the whole note in next measure

same in bass cl pt - if slurring don’t also have tenuto
and bring last slur over ending on whole note in last measure

m. 22 - piano - dissonance - clashing - are you sure you want that harmony

m. 26 - 3rd beat - are you sure you want that harmony?

m. 10, 32 - e minor with C major clashing ? Are you sure you want this dissonance with your main theme?
same in m. 35, m. 39

m. 33 and 36- beat 3 bring B of RH piano into LH piano

m. 34 rh piano - notate rhythm differently in RH piano part - make the E on second beat an eighth note tied to another eighth note on first note of 3rd beat

m. 56 - C only in RH

m. 58 - bring top F of LH into RH piano

Good luck and I repeat that the score needs to be completed by Thursday, April 13th.

I’m here if you have any questions! Keep up the great work!

#17 Lee Heuermann 2017-04-04 13:15
Dear Ellery,

I’m so happy to let you know that your piece “Stuck in the Corner of a Circle” has been selected to be performed for the Opus 32 Concert on May 15th! I’m so excited for you and Congratulations ! All your hard work has paid off!

Now, we’re going to clean your piece up a bit to make the rehearsal period and performance run as smoothly as possible. I’ll go through and mark the measures where you need to fix things and I’ll get back to you later today with that.

The date for having your edited and polished score completed is Thursday, April 13th.

Really terrific work Ellery. Can’t wait to hear it performed live!


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