Mentoring Program

Traffic Lights

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Traffic Lights is both a melancholy and hopeful piece. I wrote it imagining a homeless person in the rain, whose life had been cruel to them, but who experienced a brief moment of happiness looking at the way the traffic lights reflect in puddles on the street. The slow beginning conveys their despair, the bridge represents the moment they see the traffic lights, and the rest of the piece represents these powerful juxtapositions. Traffic lights is about the ever present, though not dominating sadness that comes with navigating our lives.
Grade Level: 10
Intended For: Live Instrument Performance
Software Used: Noteflight
Instrumentation: String Quartet
Key: C sharp minor
Meter Signature: 4/4
Tempo: 76, 104
Status: Completed Work
Noteflight URL: Website Title
File 1: application/pdfDownload


#26 Travis Ramsey 2017-04-13 20:33
OK, without knowing just what the technical difficulties were I can't help much. But I'll assume that whatever it was, you've worked it out with Erik. Let me know if you need anything further,

#25 Grace Carlomagno 2017-04-12 20:58
Hi Travis,

I edited my bio, but for the past couple hours, I've been having technical difficulties with noteflight. I don't think there's any reason to worry though; I'm going to email Erik Nielsen, and figure it out from there.
#24 Travis Ramsey 2017-04-11 20:07
And I forgot to say, please post a comment here when your bio is done and you've uploaded your files. then I'll know you are all set.
#23 Travis Ramsey 2017-04-11 20:02
So, take one last look over. I just did now, and didn't see any errors. Once you're sure you're done, click on Print Individual Parts (next to the regular Print button). You should then save them as PDF files, and upload them to the site. Then ... you're done! Thanks, Grace, for your hard work on this. You have created a really lovely piece of music and I know it will be a thrill to hear it live.
#22 Travis Ramsey 2017-04-11 19:59
Easy question first, you will edit your bio by clicking on User Profile. My mentor screen looks different than yours but it should be easy to find and complete. Generally, the bio tells us a little bit about you in a short paragraph. A lot of students share their age/grade level, what instruments they play, what they learned composing, and what they plan to do in music in the future. If you want to read a few, just click on any student's name and you can see what they wrote as an example.
#21 Grace Carlomagno 2017-04-09 21:46
Actually I do have one question: where do I go to edit my bio? What should this look like?
#20 Grace Carlomagno 2017-04-09 21:35
Hi Travis!

Sorry I didn't post back. I made the changes you were talking about, and as soon as I look over it one more time, I think it'll be ready. Let me know if there's anything else I can do!
#19 Travis Ramsey 2017-04-09 19:02
Hi Grace, this is just a reminder to please make the changes I've suggested for score prep so your piece can be ready for the performers to read. Happy spring!

#18 Travis Ramsey 2017-04-04 20:47
In addition to the comment I posted last night with general comments, please make these edits as soon as possible:
1. Since no one plays on the first two beats, that very first measure should be a "pickup" bar. The time signature will still be 4/4, but it will contain only those two beats. Everyone who doesn't play should have a half rest (only) in that measure so they know how many beats are in the pickup measure.
2. mm.9: I'd give the second violin something to do on beat 2 instead of waiting half a beat. It could play C#-D#, or E-D#, just something so it enters on the same beat at the first violin. I think it will give a more secure entrance.
3. mm. 18: I don't think you need the PPP after the descrescendo here. You could use PP if you must, but if you didn't put a marking at all the players would know what you want. Aim for simplicity.
4. mm. 27: in the viola part, stop your crescendo symbol before the quarter rest.
5. mm. 42: omit the viola crescendo, unless you have a really good reason why only the viola should cresc. Leave the viola at F here.
6. mm. 49: enter the viola at F, crescendo with the other players.
7. mm. 55: If your first violin has a fermata on that E, all the other players need to see it on their half note so they know to hold there. The fermata over the rest is fine to keep in all parts. But I think that the third fermata is unnecessary. I'd suggest giving everyone just two whole notes (not 2 wholes plus one more quarter). If you want, you could put a fermata over the last of the whole notes, but I don't think it's necessary.

Let me know if all of that makes sense, and if you have any questions. Happy editing!
#17 Travis Ramsey 2017-04-03 21:19
Congratulations ! By now I imagine you've heard that your composition has been chosen for the Opus concert. Over the next week you and I will have the rather un-exciting task of going over it note by note and correcting every little thing. The idea is that if we can make the score as easy to read as possible, the performers will play it exactly the way you want it to sound the first time, and you can spend the rest of the rehearsal slot working on style, and interpretation, instead of explaining how a certain rhythm goes.
I will give you a more detailed list tomorrow, but before then could you please check for the following things:

1. Title is exactly as you want it to appear in the program.
2. Composer name is exactly as you want it to appear in the program.
3. You've completed your description of the piece, and it's exactly like you want it to appear in the concert program. This is very important, because the audience will read this BEFORE they hear the music. What do they need to know about the piece to understand what they are about to hear?
4. Your bio is accurate.
5. EVERY single musical entrance has a dynamic at the start of it. If an instrument plays, then exits, and then plays again at least a measure later, it should have a dynamic marking. Crescendos or diminuendos should always show the "new" dynamic after them: p < f. Otherwise we don't know how loud to end up.
6. Tempo marking at the beginning is correct, and you are very clear about other tempo changes (if any) after that).
7. Please also make sure any empty measures have a whole rest in the middle of the bar.

Please work on these things as soon as possible, and I will check in with a more detailed list tomorrow evening.

Exciting news, but time to get to work now!


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