Mentoring Program

Duet for Violin and Piano, Op. 1

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This began as an assignment for my composition elective to write a 4-bar melody and chord progression. I am now expanding the initial idea by having the RH piano part be a countermelody to the new violin melody. I hope this piece will grow to include increased variations on the theme, and explore new textures.
Grade Level: 7
Intended For: Live Instrument Performance
Software Used: Noteflight
Instrumentation: violin and piano
Key: C Major
Meter Signature: 4/4
Tempo: 120
Status: Work in Progress
Noteflight URL: Website Title
File 1: text/htmlDownload
File 2: application/pdfDownload
Located in: Opus 32 grades 6-8


#5 Lee Heuermann 2017-04-04 15:58
Dear Murphy,

Thanks for entering your piece, “Duet for Violin and Piano, Opus 1” for Opus 32. Unfortunately, it was not chosen for performance. However, I congratulate you on the work you put into it and encourage you to keep composing. I look forward to seeing more work from you in the future. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Best wishes,

#4 Lee Heuermann 2017-03-29 18:28
Hello Murphy,

This is just a reminder that you must have your piece ready to submit to be considered for the Opus 32 concert by tomorrow, Thursday, 3/30/17.

You might want to make sure you’ve added details like:

Dynamics (volume)
Please add dynamic markings (volume) such as forte (f), piano (p) or mezzo forte (mf), and crescendo or decrescendos throughout.

Articulations (legato, staccato, accent marks)
If you don’t write these in throughout the piece everything will be played detached, so if you want it to flow - use slurs for legato (flowing) or if you want it detached and short sounding use staccato. For accented attacks use accent marks. If you don’t put anything in (and sometimes you may want this) each note is played somewhat separated from the next.

Descriptive markings
In the beginning and at different points in your piece if the mood changes, you can use words to describe what you want, such as “sparkling” , “lively”, or whatever words you think best describe your piece and how you want it played. This really helps the performers and especially when there’s not a lot of rehearsal time this really helps the performers to understand what you want as the composer. Be specific!

You’re on the home stretch! Good Luck and let me know if you have any questions!

#3 Lee Heuermann 2017-03-23 14:29
Dear Murphy,

How’s everything going with your composing? I just wanted to check in with you and to remind you that you’re in the home stretch. You need to have your final draft of your composition ready by one week from today, Thursday, March 30th.

We will then select the pieces that will be performed on the Opus 32 concert. If your piece is selected, we will then work together on polishing all of the details for the final submission of your score to give to the performers.

Let me know if you have any questions and how I can help you, and please work hard to get things ready by next Thursday, 3/30.

Thanks and keep up the good work!

#2 Lee Heuermann 2017-03-10 11:18
Dear Murphy,

I really enjoyed listening to your Duet for Violin and Piano. You’ve created a very lively mood from the get-go with a lot happening, which I really like. I think it’s a good choice to have a counter-melody in the right hand (RH) of the piano part as it creates a bubbling active feel and adds to the interest. As you progress, however, know that you can at times have less action by sustaining notes to give variety, then come back to your more active line.

Also, remember that the violin can go higher and you can vary the register of the violin and the RH piano so that they are in different registers, at least some of the time.

Nice job on your chord progression also. I see that your chords are all in root position, meaning that the main note of the chord is on the bottom. Why don’t you try some “voice leading” with your chords in the left hand (LH) piano part? Here’s how you do it:

When you’re moving from one chord to another for instance from G (G-B-D) to C (C-E-G), you find the common tone between the two chords (if there is one), and when moving to the second chord you keep the same G and move the other two notes stepwise (or as close to stepwise as you can). So, your first chord can stay in root position like it is, and your second chord would be still a C chord but voiced G-C-E (in the second inversion with the 5th in the bottom). If you have to jump down an octave at any point, you could. Try this with all your LH chords. It will make it flow more melodically and feel less chunky. Let me know what you think after you try it.

As we’re getting started working together, please tell me a little about yourself, how you like to spend your time, what are your favorite things in school and out, and how long have you been involved in music and what instrument/s do you play? This will help me get more of a sense of who you are and how that relates to the music you compose.

Please let me know if you have any questions and I can’t wait to see what you do next!

Best Wishes,

#1 Lee Heuermann 2017-02-16 15:03
Dear Murphy,

I’m so happy to meet you! I’ll be your mentor for Opus 32 through the month of April and I’m very excited to get to know you and your music! I’m a composer and performer (voice, piano and flute) and love many kinds of music - classical, jazz, and especially music from India, Africa and Brazil. I live and teach in Berkeley, California.

I'm glad to see you've posted for Opus 32. Thanks for posting both an .xml and a .pdf file. Unfortunately, we can't see your Noteflight score because you haven't set permission for us to view it. Try the steps below and if that's not the answer you'll have to check in with your teacher:

1. Go into your Noteflight account. Click on this score. Make sure you can see the score on the screen.
2. Click on Connect button.
3. “Who can access this score” - select All site members
4.. Select All site members can View. Anyone can search/browse to find it.
Post a comment that you’ve fixed the Sharing.

Let me know when you’re set with Noteflight and I'll get back to you with some comments. Thanks and so happy to be working with you!


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