Mentoring Program

Theater Politica

This piece is representing our country's politics in sort of theater music. The odd parts, the smooth parts, and the crazy parts of our politics are represented in sections of this piece. It is a contemporary duet for bassoon and oboe.
Grade Level: 8
Intended For: Live Instrument Performance
Software Used: Noteflight
Instrumentation: Oboe and Bassoon
Key: G minor/ G Major
Meter Signature: 4/4 and 12/8
Tempo: 120 BPM/96 BPM/165 BPM
Status: Completed Work
Noteflight URL: Website Title
Located in: Opus 32 grades 6-8


#23 Matthew LaRocca 2017-04-12 21:19
Hi Emily,

Your dynamics should go right under each instrument - is that what you meant? I saw that you haven't added any of them yet. Please make sure you do that.

The forte for the oboe in the beginning vs. the mp for the bassoon will be a little unbalanced. I think you may like forte for both better.

Is the G to Gb in the third bar slurred? I thought it was an errant tie - I see now.

Don't worry about the eighth comment - it will be an easy fix in rehearsal and won't take much time at all.

Last, try a C as the final note and see if you like it better.

Take care of those few things, and you'll be good to go!

#22 Emily McNichols 2017-04-12 08:12
Oops, just fixed it. The bassoon part should be visible now.
#21 Matthew LaRocca 2017-04-10 11:53
Hi Emily,

Right now, I only see the oboe part. Can you switch it back so the bassoon part is visible too?


#20 Emily McNichols 2017-04-09 17:52
Another thing, the last note combo is a little iffy, but I don't know what to do with it. Any suggestions?
#19 Emily McNichols 2017-04-09 17:48
Hi Matt,

Your eighth comment was confusing, same with your third. Also, where would it be best to put dynamics?

#18 Matthew LaRocca 2017-04-04 09:37
Hi Emily,

I’m so happy to let you know that your piece has been selected for Opus 32. Congratulations ! I’m very excited for you.

Now, we’re going to clean your piece up a bit to make the performance as smooth as possible. I’ll go through and mark the measures where you need to fix things.

1. I would make both instruments as mezzo forte

1. Change the key signature to C major in the first 14 measures. It will make it much easier for the performers to read. It’s not totally in G minor here, but rather a C tonal center with lots of accidentals. which is why it’s so much fun.

3. remove the tie from the G in the bassoon part

9. Add forte to the bassoon

12. Add a dim. to the bassoon

27. Add a crescendo in both instruments, end on a forte in m. 27

29. Add a dynamic to the oboe here, and change tempo marking to 112

34 and 35. The bassoon trills should only last a quarter note, and then add an eighth note on G on beat two and 4. The same thing for the E trill in measure 35. Let me know if this one is confusing.

36 and 37. Add slurs to the sixteenth notes in the oboe

46. Move the 120 tempo marking to measure 48

48. Add a dynamic here for both instruments. mezzo forte maybe? Also, change the key back to C major.

52. Add a forte to the bassoon.

Post a message when you get a chance to tackle all of these, and let me know if you have any questions. Congratulations again!

#17 Emily McNichols 2017-03-31 06:50
About the dotted quarter note=quarter note, how do you do that on noteflight?
#16 Matthew LaRocca 2017-03-30 22:02
Sounds good, Emily!
#15 Emily McNichols 2017-03-30 19:21
Will try to polish it up
#14 Matthew LaRocca 2017-03-27 11:10
Hi Emily,

I actually think your transitions work pretty well! It’s a piece where hard and fast transitions make sense to me. I like how it moves in very distinct sections. I think in the transition to the 12/8, you could consider repeating the two sixteenth +eighth note lick another time before the fermata, but it also is OK as it is now.

And actually, in the 12/8 section, you should rewrite your tempo marking so it gives a metronome mark to the dotted quarter note, not the regular quarter note. 12/8 we count the dotted quarter as 1 beat. Probably somewhere around 112 or so? It moves just a little too fast for the players right now, and i think that by slowing it down just a little bit you won’t even notice. In m. 34 and 35 too, make the trill in the bassoon a dotted quarter instead of a half, so there’s an eighth rest in before the two eighth notes - that will give him some time to breathe!

And in measure 43, you should write over the top that the quarter note = a dotted quarter note (meaning that they keep the same tempo). This transition here works very well, I think. But add the bassoon on beat 4 of measure 42 to keep the momentum going into the G. In fact, with two instruments, it can be very powerful for them to play the same line, which they don’t really ever do in this piece. This will really accentuate the transition, if the bassoon and oboe have the same notes in m. 42.

…which can also be a great way to give the ending more pizazz, ‘cause I know what you mean. Try tacking on a line after your final note. Something that starts low and rises, and both instruments play the same thing, landing on an exciting final note together (probably the same G that is your last note now). Try out a sixteenth note run on beat 3 and 4 of that measure, for example. Or you could even make it longer and stretch it out over two bars. That’s a suggestion I think you could try. Let me know what you think!


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