Mentoring Program

Euphonium Solo

769 userid
Tim's Composition
Grade Level: 12
Intended For: Not Sure
Software Used: Sibelius
Instrumentation: Euphonium and Piano
Key: C major
Meter Signature: 4/4
Tempo: Moderato
Status: Work in Progress
File 1: application/octet-streamDownload


#9 Erik Nielsen 2016-11-30 15:58
Dear Timothy,
I just now noticed that you posted a file as a theme and variations and then seemed to change your mind, but want to keep this other posting as a place to store ideas. Can you please let me know (on this thread please) whether you want mentoring on the theme and variations version or not? If you don't, then please remove it. You can store different ideas and versions of your music on a computer at GMHS or at home. In about a month and a half this Opus 32 area will be populated by over 100 pieces and any unnecessary ones will just get in the way. Please let me know if you have questions. Thanks.

Best wishes,
#8 Erik Nielsen 2016-11-07 19:17
Dear Timothy,
Thanks for posting your first revision. I didn't get a notification about it because you didn't write a comment telling me what you had changed, what your thinking is for this version, what you might like help on, etc. Please do that in the future as well as posting the file. Not only will I then know when you've re-posted, it will help me to help you.
Wow, this is a really big revision. You certainly took my comments to heart about more harmonic variety! Your harmonization is much more effective now and supports the melody much better. And of course, you've added so much to the piece that it now really has its own distinct character. Bravo!
I have a couple of suggestions. First, the B diminished chord in bars 4 and 12 is very weak. You have it listed as a V chord, but without a G it really is only a vii chord in root position. If you want to use B as your bass note, that's fine, just change the uppermost note in the chord from F to G. That will eliminate the problem. Also, the harmony is a bit confused in bar 23. The melody line suggests either an A minor or a D major chord. However, the piano has an A followed by an E minor chord. This doesn't make sense to me, so I'd suggest you take a look and figure out what you want.
It seems to me you've been spending most of your concentration on expanding the melody and sketching in the harmony, with good results. Sooner or later you need to tackle the piano part to make it an equal partner with the euphonium. Right now it's just an unchanging rhythmic pattern in the left hand without a right hand at all (except for the opening chord). So I'd urge you not to wait until you've completed the melody to at least think about what to do with the piano part. Finally, you don't need to repeat the double bar with the key signature at bar 33. The key signature for E minor is the same as for G major, as you can see, so the double bar and key signature there are unnecessary.
Timothy, you've made a lot of progress with your piece. Now if you can take into account what I've written as you keep working, you ought to be able to continue to make your piece grow and develop. I look forward to your next posting.

Best wishes,
#7 Matt LaRocca 2016-10-18 08:55
This is a test comment for Matt LaRocca with the "notify" box checked.
#6 Sandi MacLeod 2016-10-17 13:26
Since the system is new, I want to see if everyone gets an e-mail notification regarding comments.

#5 Erik Nielsen 2016-10-14 09:45
Final installment!
Timothy, despite what I've written above, you have the makings of a strong melody here, and with some work on how it and the harmony fit together, your piece has a lot of potential. Please let me know if you have questions about anything I've written. I look forward to your first revision.

Best wishes,
Erik Nielsen
Senior Mentor
#4 Erik Nielsen 2016-10-14 09:44
Comment #3
One other place to consider melodic and harmonic modification is the one you mentioned, bars 7-8. If in bar 8 you used a D minor chord to harmonize, not only would it sound different from the other half cadences you have (bars 4 and 12) and thus be less predictable, but it could open the way to A minor in bar 9 (with a slight melodic modification to change the G to an A on beat 3 with then perhaps a tie to the next bar). An easy change, but it could be very effective.

One final thing. Be careful about the voicing of your chords and also where the melody fits with them. For example, you don't have a single root position I chord and that weakens the harmonic structure of the piece. Not only that, but by beginning the melody below the harmony, the piece opens with a very weak second inversion chord. Conversely, there are so many IV and V chords that once or twice they could be used in first inversion, with A and B, respectively, as the lowest note.
#3 Erik Nielsen 2016-10-14 09:42
Comment #2
Dear Timothy,
Right now we have a symbol limit of 1,000 characters in our comments. We're working to change that, but for the moment I've got to break up my comment into several pieces.
Let's talk a little about your chord progression. While I'm all for the use of primary harmony (I, IV, V), it seems to me that after a while what you have plotted out became somewhat predictable. Often the use of secondary harmonic substitutions can be very effective. For example, rather than sticking with primary harmony throughout, what would it be like to use vi (A minor) in bar 13 instead of I? I know your melody at the moment is very tied to the three primary chords, so that may mean you'd have to modify some of the pitches a bit to make it work, but thinking about the melody and harmony more broadly (including changing chords more often than once per bar) would help your piece emerge a bit from the harmonic straightjacket it's in now. More in the next comment.
#2 Erik Nielsen 2016-10-14 09:39
Dear Timothy,
Thanks for posting the first version of your work for euphonium and piano. You know, this may be the first work written for euphonium that I've ever mentored!

Your melody demonstrates a good sense of the instrument's range and lyrical capabilities. It also shows a grasp of the importance of using rhythmic patterns to help give the music character. I especially like the melodic sequence you use in bars 13-14 (itself a modification of bars 6-7). It's touches like this that help make a melody memorable. More in my next comment.

#1 Timothy Gilmour 2016-10-13 12:23
Thank you for mentoring this composition. I was having some trouble in measures 7 and 8 with the chord progression, is there anything flow better?

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