Mentoring Program

Esther's Composition

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Composition #1
Grade Level: 12
Intended For: Live Instrument Performance
Software Used: Sibelius
Instrumentation: Piano
Key: G minor
Meter Signature: 4/4
Tempo: 100
Status: Work in Progress
File 1: application/octet-streamDownload


#5 Sandi MacLeod 2016-10-17 13:28
Since we're working with a new system, I want to check to see everyone gets an e-mail notification when comments are posted.

#4 Erik Nielsen 2016-10-14 12:58
Comment #3 Finally, (and this is related to my previous comment), watch out how often the two hands play an octave. Most of the time in this piece each hand is only playing one note at a time. That makes for a very thin texture, and when the two parts are in octaves, that in effect thins the texture to one part at that moment. I'm not saying to eliminate octaves completely, just be careful how often you use them.
Esther, despite what I've written above, your piece is off to a strong start. If you can take my comments into account as you look at what you already have, you ought to be able to strengthen it and then move forward. Please let me know if you have questions. I look forward to your first revision.

Best wishes,
Erik Nielsen
Senior Mentor
#3 Erik Nielsen 2016-10-14 12:52
Comment #2 We're working with a new site and right now it has a 1000-character limit that means I need to make my comments in several installments.
If you want a B section, I think there needs to be more that distinguishes it from A. That can be switching over from G minor to B flat major, it can just mean changing the rhythmic setup in the accompaniment, as you do in bar 20. Whatever it is, you need to stick with it and not let it slip back into sounding like A.
My next suggestion is that you look at your first 19 bars and note how often either 1. both hands have the same rhythm (especially a half note at the end of the bar) or 2. both hands move in the same direction (or both). At its most successful, your piece uses complementary rhythm (right hand holds, left hand moves or vice versa) and contrary motion. See bars 9-10 for a good example of this. When that doesn't happen, the piece is weaker because there's less distinguishing one hand from the other.
#2 Erik Nielsen 2016-10-14 12:43
Dear Yuhyun Kim (or do you prefer Esther?),
Thanks for posting the first version of your piano piece. There is a lot to like in this. I particularly like the melancholy, wistful quality of your melody (at least that's how it strikes me), and the accompaniment generally works well harmonically.
There are some things I want to discuss, but first let me say that I understand your concerns about feeling unable to develop your ideas. That's a very common source of frustration among beginning composers (as well as for us veterans at times!). The most important way to begin developing your ideas is to first be very clear what they are and what they contain. For example, you mention your B section. Where does that begin? I have an idea that it might begin at bar 20, but after a few bars that new rhythmic feel disappears and we're back to the general sound of the first theme. More in the next comment.
#1 Yuhyun Kim 2016-10-13 11:07
Thank you so much for giving us feedback! I have many ideas but I have trouble developing them. I struggled with measures 24 to 28, B section, and left the following measures blank for space to develop the B melody.

Thank you!

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