Mentoring Program

Into the West- Theme and Variations

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Variation 1 for Into the West. I have decided to go with parallel minor for this variation, and it's still in the early stages.
Grade Level: 10
Intended For: Not Sure
Software Used: Noteflight
Instrumentation: Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, French Horn, Acoustic Guitar
Key: C Major
Meter Signature: 4/4
Tempo: 84
Status: Work in Progress
Noteflight URL: Website Title
Located in: MMU AP Theory

Comments   

#17 Jake Lester 2017-04-02 10:10
Abi,

It was my pleasure. I hope to hear your work sometime!

Best,
Jake
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#16 Abigail Sandy 2017-03-31 11:26
Hi Jake,

Thanks again for your comments. I've really enjoyed working on this composition, and all of your advice and guidance has made it even more of an enriching experience. I've always wanted to try composing more, and after this composition I'm definitely going to spend some time composing.

Thanks again,
Abi
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#15 Jake Lester 2017-03-30 15:45
Hi Abi,

Once again, I come away totally impressed by the work you've done. I can't really say too much without repeating myself and sounding like a broken record! Each instrument feels like it has a unique purpose in your arrangement and you've found yet another way to take your main theme and recontextualize it in a different cue from the LoTR film score.

I really can't think of any feedback I'd need to leave. This is really great work, and you should be proud. If you don't already compose, I'd highly encourage you to start doing so if it interests you.

Thanks again. It's been fun!
-Jake
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#14 Abigail Sandy 2017-03-29 21:52
Hi Jake,

Thanks once again for the feedback! I really liked your idea of really driving the melody home at the end, so I slowly brought more and more instruments into the melody until almost all of them were playing it. I also tried to use the bass in a more melodic way to enhance the sound.

Thanks again,
Abi
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#13 Jake Lester 2017-03-23 15:17
Hey Abi,

This variation is great! It contrasts quite a bit from the previous ones and sounds, for lack of a better word, epic (and I also happen to love the Dorian mode). I think you've got a fantastic foundation and I'm looking forward to hearing more. I think this variation could definitely use some thick scoring, as your writing feels pretty grand. I'd love to hear the melody come back again, but louder and with some doubling and everyone playing to really drive it home.

I think way you're using the guitar right now is perfect - just let it provide the structure while the other instruments take melodic duties. As the guitar provides the chord structures, you might also consider doubling the chord roots in the bass, utilizing different chord tones, like the third, fifth or seventh, or write an entirely unique part for the instrument. The horn could be used melodically or in more of a background role, so think about what you might like to do with that instrument.


Thanks Abi! Keep doing what you're doing. Sounds great!

-Jake
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#12 Abigail Sandy 2017-03-22 21:24
Hi Jake,

Thanks for the variation 2 feedback! For variation 3, I decided to base the theme around the "Rohan" theme. Because of this, I decided to experiment and go modal. This meant shifting the chord structure a considerable amount, but I think I've managed to capture Dorian mode in a decent way, at least for now. I have the melody so far, as well as the first few measures of the other parts to give an idea of how the harmonies might be structured, as well as the guitar part strumming block chords for now to give an idea of the progression. Let me know what you think!

Thanks,
Abi
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#11 Jake Lester 2017-03-16 15:42
Hi Abi,

Nice work! I think you really captured the essence of "Concerning Hobbits" here, and I'm glad you were able to use a little more variety in your scoring in an effective and natural way.

I like the idea of using the cello for your final variation. What did you have in mind for that final stretch? Tempo and time signature are easy changes you could make that could give the last variation an entirely new feel. But you do what you feel is best.

Thanks Abi!
-Jake
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#10 Abigail Sandy 2017-03-15 19:40
Hi Jake,

Variation 2 is complete! Thanks for the advice on creating variety. I decided to duplicate the melody in the French Horn to make it stand out more.
For my final variation, I've been planning on putting the melody in the cello section, which I think will work well with what I have in mind.
Thanks again,
Abi
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#9 Jake Lester 2017-03-09 15:54
Hi Abi,

Nice revisions! I really dig the energy of the second variation.

As far as creating variety in instrument use, it's just a matter of assigning roles at a specific point in time. Who has the melody now? Who is providing structure with chord roots now? In your case, don't be afraid to give lower sounding instruments the melody, while higher sounding instruments outline the chords in the background, or provide a harmony or countermelody. I'd love to hear the cello carry the melody at some point, or the French horn. You could also use instruments that you feel are underutilized to double the melody with another instrument, which will make the melody feel more prominent. These are just a couple ideas though. What do you think? Maybe you have another idea that you'd like to try out?

Let me know! Thanks for another great update.

-J
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#8 Abigail Sandy 2017-03-08 20:53
Hi Jake,
Thanks for the feedback! I’ve got kind of a bare-bones outline for my second variation here. I’ve got the melody written out in the second violin, as well as (for the most part) the roots of each chord in the viola section. In terms of having more of a variety in utilizing the instruments, what would be the best way to go about that? I’m feeling a little stuck on that and would love some advice.
Thanks,
Abi (either Abi or Abigail is fine!)
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