Mentoring Program

The Moonlight Ball

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This tune is a jazzy, jiggy, and swingy tune for all the String players out there that like jazz tunes and have dreamed about there being a string jazz tune!
Grade Level: 5
Intended For: Live Instrument Performance
Software Used: Noteflight
Instrumentation: 2 Violins, Viola, Cello, and Double Bass
Key: G
Meter Signature: 4/4
Tempo: 135
Status: Completed Work
Noteflight URL: Website Title


#17 Matthew LaRocca 2017-04-12 20:23
Thanks Brigham!
#16 Brigham Cooper 2017-04-12 07:16
I have done all that you said, except for the last bar. Mrs.Luzader and I tried millions of times, but it just won't go away!!
#15 Matthew LaRocca 2017-04-06 09:01
Hi Brigham,

Let's clean up your score a little bit, which will make it nice and easy for all the musicians to read.

in the beginning, can you add text that says "Swing" on all parts? This will tell the players to swing all the eighths.

Also, change the tempo to 132 - it's a standard metronome marking.

All these will correspond to measure number. Let me know if you have any questions at all!

1. Change all dynamics to forte so they open strongly.

4. Delete all the rests in the measure for the strings (except bass) so that it's an empty bar. This is how you want all empty bars to look.

5. Delete the tie or slur at the end of the last note.

7. Add a piano to bass and violin 1

10. Add forte to bass

11. Add forte to violin 1, delete rests in viola and cello

11. Add a rehearsal mark.

14. Add a dynamic to the strings as they enter. (forte? mezzo forte?)

15. Add a rehearsal mark.

18. Add dynamics in viola, and violins

21. Delete rests in violin 1

27. Add a rehearsal mark. Also, I think the bass should be a little softer here.

28. Delete rests in violin 1

30. Add dynamics for instruments - probably something soft ish?

35. Add rehearsal mark.

38. Delete mp in violin 1. I like the crescendos here.

39. I would make all the instruments forte in this bar.

39- the end. I think you need to figure out the dynamics you want here. Is there a long crescendo? should the whole group be forte at one point? Does it get softer at the end? Try to come up with a definitive plan and we'll work it out!

49. Add rehearsal mark

60,62. Delete rests in violin 1.

65. Delete rest in violin 1.

Remove the final bar.

It's a long list, Brigham, but that's OK! It's just a lot of cleanup. I'm so excited for this to be performed live, and I think it's going to be so much fun. I can't wait!

If you have any questions at all, just let me know.

#14 Matthew LaRocca 2017-04-05 12:50
Hi Brigham,

I'm so happy to tell you that your piece was selected for performance at Opus 32. Congratulations!!!

Later today or this evening, I'm going to be giving you a list of things to do to clean up your score and prepare it for our performers.

Congratulations again! I can't wait to hear it live!

#13 Matthew LaRocca 2017-03-30 11:53
It was my pleasure, Brigham! You were a lot of fun to work with, and your piece came a long way from the first submission. Congratulations on finishing a great piece!
#12 Brigham Cooper 2017-03-30 11:16
I am ready to submit! I really appreciate you helping me Matt, and I give all the credit to you for making my piece the best it can be!
#11 Matthew LaRocca 2017-03-29 13:38
Hi Brigham,

Nice work on fixing the clashing notes! It sounds much tighter now!

You know, I wouldn't worry about adding a subito piano. I think what you've got right now works just fine. I would delete that bar a the end if you can.

Did you add some music in the middle of the piece? Or are my ears playing tricks on me?

One thought, in measure 30, I think you should have everyone play quarter notes - this gives a little bit of a pause before the eighth notes come back in. It helps us feel the different themes and sections a little more when we have a break from all eighth notes all the time. Try it out and see what you think!

#10 Brigham Cooper 2017-03-28 08:44
I made the note clashing changes, but I don't know how to make a subito piano... I've looked up what they look like and typed it in, but it doesn't work.
#9 Matthew LaRocca 2017-03-23 13:29
Hi Brigham,

I was looking at your score, and it looks like you slowed it down to check harmony, is that right? If so, awesome! It's such a good thing to do. To be honest, I always do it in my own compositions as well to make sure I didn't miss anything.

The ones that I think you want to double check are any time there are two notes right next to one another but in different parts. So in the second measure, there's an F# in the violin II, but an E in the bass. I wonder if the F# was originally an E, but got messed up somewhere along the way? The same thing happens on beat 3 of both measure 1 and measure 2. Because you're in E minor, the home chord is E,G,B. You have all those notes in the viola, cello and bass...which is why the F# in the violin sounds out of place.

The other spots I would definitely check are:

16 beat 4
19, beat 4
46 and 47

After that, go back and take a look at your dynamics. In general, there should be more sections where the entire ensemble is playing all the same dynamic. Players will automatically adjust to be slightly louder if they have the melody, but looking at measure 39, for example...the pianimisso for three instruments but forte for the others doesn't make sense. Make the dynamics more consistent across all the instruments. That way, when it's forte, it's really, really loud! And when it's 's quiet as a mouse. Those extremes would work great here. And don't forget subito pianos or subito fortes - they mean to be suddenly loud or quiet.

Great work!

#8 Matthew LaRocca 2017-03-21 13:05
Love it! That's a really great ending now!

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