Mentoring Program

In The Spring

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"In the Spring" is a flute duet that I started in concert band class as part of our Opus 1 concert for Lake Region Union High School. I'm hoping to rewrite this for 2 violins so it can be considered for the Opus 32 concert for Music-Comp.
Grade Level: 11
Intended For: Live Instrument Performance
Software Used: Noteflight
Instrumentation: 2 Flutes
Key: G Minor/ D Major
Meter Signature: 4/4
Tempo: Quarter = 110
Status: Work in Progress
Noteflight URL: Website Title

Comments   

#11 Zachary Sheets 2017-04-03 15:16
Dear Olivia,

As you've probably heard by now, unfortunately your work was not selected for performance at Music-COMP's Opus 32 event. While this might be disappointing news, I hope you're proud of all the hard work you did on this piece! There's a lot of charming music, here, and I really enjoyed working together and getting to know you a little bit. I hope we'll see you back on the site composing in the future!

Best,

~Z
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#10 Zachary Sheets 2017-03-31 14:15
Thanks for all your hard work, Olivia! This looks great. It was a pleasure working together!

Best,

~Zach
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#9 Olivia LeBlanc 2017-03-28 07:46
I think my piece is now finished. Could you look at it and make sure it is now all set.
Olivia
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#8 Zachary Sheets 2017-03-23 17:17
Great, keep up the good work, Olivia! The Opus 32 deadline is in just one week, so let me know as soon as you've got a new draft for me to look at!

~Z
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#7 Olivia LeBlanc 2017-03-21 13:41
Hi Zach,
I changed the flute 2 part to clarinet and I changed the key signature to e flat because it is easier for the clarinet. I'll get to work on the other changes you suggested.
Thanks Olivia
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#6 Zachary Sheets 2017-03-17 16:43
H Olivia,

Just checking in—please write me and let me know when you've got a draft you'd like me to look at! Thanks!

~Z
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#5 Olivia LeBlanc 2017-03-13 10:30
Dear Zach, I'm behind schedule working on this, but will start today. Thank you for your comments, I really appreciate it! Sincerely, Olivia
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#4 Zachary Sheets 2017-02-24 13:33
Dear Olivia,

Hi! My name is Zach Sheets, and I'll be working with you as your mentor on your piece for opus 32! You're off to a good start! I like that you're focusing on a handful of different melodic ideas, and already thinking about details like articulation and dynamics.

The first thing to mention is you will need to change your instrumentation to be considered for Opus 32, as the instrumentation available only includes one of each woodwind instrument. Mr. LaRocca told me you were planning to change this, so I'm guessing you already know this—what do you think you might change it to? Simply changing the flute 2 part to a clarinet part would work really well. Or, you could change one flute to violin, to have a mix of strings and winds. Would you like to keep it just a duo, or add more instruments? Up to you!

Beyond that, Olivia, I have two thoughts for you. The first has to do with key area and modulation back and forth between G minor and D major. This is certainly a feasible plan, but right now the shifts between them are so sudden that, at least for my taste, my ear is a little confused where home is. To mix different keys and modes like this, typically it's most effective to do either on a very small scale (like just one surprise G minor chord in the middle of an otherwise clearly D major passage), or a pretty broad scale (like 16 bars of D major followed by 16 bars of G minor). Right now, what you have is in-between. We hear about two bars in G minor, which you establish very clearly, but then we shift to a new key very suddenly in the middle of bar 3 when we hear the B natural. That's a really striking note since it's definitely no longer G minor. But, then, by bar 9, we're suddenly and directly back in G minor. I think that these proportions of switching keys (3-6 bars at a time) are going to make it really challenging to construct something clear and coherent for our ears to follow. What would you think about making your G minor section and your D major section both considerably longer? Say, spend an opening section of between 8 and 16 bars in G minor before migrating over to D major?

As you think about this, that brings us to point #2: developing what your strong, main idea for this piece will be. I see fragments of different melodic ideas recurring and swirling around, but it's still not quite clear to me yet which ideas are really going to be in the drivers seat for this piece. This is natural, as you're just getting going, but I would suggest that a good next step be to cultivate one of these 2-3 bar-long ideas and help it bloom into a fuller 8 measure phrase or complete idea. There's lots of famous music that's composed of snippets of small combinations of notes, but usually these smaller combinations assemble themselves into something a bit bigger and longer: you can think of it like a necklace. Lots of individual links of jewels strung into one coherent shape that has a contour and an architecture to it.

Ok, Olivia—these two suggestions are basically two ways of encouraging you to take the building blocks you have so far (which are good!) and assemble them into longer passages that have a clear sense of place within the piece. This is often the hardest hurdle on a new piece, so let me know if you have questions or specific stumbling blocks you'd like my help finding a way around—once an opening is in place, it tends to be much smoother sailing. Good luck, and happy composing!

~Z
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#3 Matthew LaRocca 2017-02-23 12:24
Thanks Olivia! Your mentor will be in touch shortly.

-Matt
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#2 Olivia LeBlanc 2017-02-17 19:48
Thank you for your help. I believe that the sharing is fixed.
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