Mentoring Program

Theme and Variations

831 userid
Taken from Schubert op. 77 no. 9, "Waltz in A Minor."
Grade Level: 10
Intended For: Computer Instrument Playback Only
Software Used: Noteflight
Instrumentation: piano, possibly something else
Key: a
Meter Signature: 3/4
Tempo: 103
Status: Work in Progress
Noteflight URL: Website Title
Located in: MMU AP Theory


#36 Finley Clark 2017-03-30 08:16
I'm okay with it how it is, but thanks for the help on this composition
#35 Travis Ramsey 2017-03-29 21:05
It does in the first measure, I agree after that, though, if I listen without watching the music go by I definitely still hear the old meter. It remains your piece, of course, so don't change it on account of me. But I think that if you want us to "feel" the entire melody as starting on beat 1 instead of the pickup note you'll want to put a single bass note on all beat 1's to give it that feel.
I like the ending chords, by the way. I think you were totally correct to avoid the diminished sound like you did to keep it sounding major-ish.
#34 Finley Clark 2017-03-28 18:18
I think I'm done with it. It does have a different feel.
#33 Travis Ramsey 2017-03-27 20:33
No, but I am happy to comment on your boom-chick-chic ks when you've finished them. Do you like that idea?
#32 Finley Clark 2017-03-27 17:31
That sounds better. Thanks for the help, Travis. Is there anything else you want to comment on?
#31 Travis Ramsey 2017-03-26 19:54
Hi Finley,

I don't think the accents will effectively "change" the music to sound like a new idea if that's all you do. To really shift the melody behind a beat I think you'll need to put the single bass note of the chord on all beat 1's, and the rest of the chord on beats 2 and 3, at least for the first 4-5 bars until we "get" that that's what you're doing.
Try it maybe, and see if you like it? Print out the old way first, though, in case you hate my idea and want to go back to the way you had it.
#30 Finley Clark 2017-03-25 18:36
Yes, I do understand. I added in some accents on the first beats and removed ties to clarify. Do you think that's enough to establish a boom chick chick pattern?
#29 Travis Ramsey 2017-03-24 20:05

I do think that starting on beat one could make a very interesting variation. But I think it will only work if you really adjust the left hand to be a fairly simple 3/4 meter accompaniment -- even something like a boom-chick-chic k with the bass note one beat one and the rest of the chord on beats two and three. Otherwise, it will look different but sound the same.
I mean, Imagine taking Happy Birthday and rewriting it in 5/4. If you left every note the same and didn't change the accompaniment part, no one would notice. But if you took that melody and set it to a 5/4 left hand part, THAT would be new. Make sense?
#28 Finley Clark 2017-03-22 15:16
Do you think that starting on beat 1 instead of beat 3 could make it more interesting? I'm not really sure how I want to do it.
#27 Travis Ramsey 2017-03-21 20:40
OK, I see what you mean about C major and A seems o be a better option with that in mind. Two things I noticed about this last variation are:
1. Rhythmically, you've shifted everything off by a beat so that the melody begins on beat 1, not a pick-up. This could be a good variation strategy, but it only works if you give us a real solid 3/4 feel in the left hand. Otherwise, you've only taken the 3/4 meter and made it harder to play by writing it a beat early. Does that make sense? I'd suggest playing around with your left hand part if you like the rhythm in the melody, but put good strong downbeats on beat 1.
2. Your new chords definitely take away the over-the-top tension of all those dim. chords, and also don't risk leading us into minor. but I think your last one (the E7 in 53) needs to be voiced with the G# leading up to A, not down to E. Can you just add another G# to the top of that last chord so we hear that leading tone "lead" us up?


Add comment

Security code