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Beauty and The Beast (Tale As Old As Time)

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I am composing the piece for my Q3 composition assignment in AP Music theory, themes and variations. I chose the melody Tale as Old as time from Beauty and the Beast. I want the variations to have a big contrast from each other. I am also unsure about the Piano part at times because it doesn't always fit with the Piano part. However, I don't want the Piano to sound boring.
Grade Level: 12
Intended For: Live Instrument Performance
Software Used: Noteflight
Instrumentation: Cello and Piano
Key: E flat
Meter Signature: 4/4
Tempo: quarter note=100
Status: Work in Progress
Noteflight URL: Website Title
Located in: MMU AP Theory

Comments   

#21 Matthew LaRocca 2017-03-30 12:01
Nice - it's on our list of movies to see! And a twist at the end? Interesting...

With the inversions, definitely don't change the cello note - it was the piano I was talking about. And remember the piano can play any number of notes, and doubling the root of the chord is totally great. But a solid Eb in the left hand of the piano will do a lot to stabilize the transition.
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#20 Sierra Spence 2017-03-30 11:50
Hi,

I see what you mean making the chord in root position, however, I kept it that way because I wanted to keep the cello line like the original melody note wise. As for the new movie, I did see it. It was amazing! the ending had a twist that really added to it! I recommend seeing it.
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#19 Matthew LaRocca 2017-03-30 07:55
Hi Sierra,

Good work! I think the end flows much nicer now. The transition sounds better too.

Something I would keep in mind is how you structure your harmonies and what inversion you keep your chords in. As listeners, we really focus on the lowest pitch…that bass note. When you’re starting a new section, like measure 32, I would try to keep it in root position. Right now your Eb chord is in the first inversion - which to my ear sounds a little funny as we start the new section. Less prominent. Same with m. 34, where the first chord is in a 6/4 inversion - It could work to add more notes to the left hand of the piano to solidify the bass part.

Side note - have you seen the new movie yet? Is it good?

-Matt
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#18 Sierra Spence 2017-03-29 20:05
Hi Matt,
Thank you for you feed back. I see what you mean at the transition. I fixed the notes in m. 30 as well as one in m. 28. I also changed the ending a bit by making a suspension where you said to change the first note of the second to last measure into a half note. I did, then made the two piano parts move to the next chord, and the cello stays the same. Then the cello joins the V chord a beat late.
What do you think?

Sierra
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#17 Matthew LaRocca 2017-03-29 14:41
Hi Sierra,

Ah! Now I see the V-I cadence. It feels rushed though. You should almost always make sure that your final chord is landing on a down beat. In the second to last measure, you can make the first beat a half note, so the fermata would then be on beat 4 and the final Eb chord on the next measure.

The length of the transition is better now - but I think you should double check your notes there? There are some dissonances that I'm not sure if they're exactly what you want. If they are, that's OK! But it's worth it to double check. (measure 30 especially)

-Matt
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#16 Sierra Spence 2017-03-28 09:00
Hi,
I forgot to save my changes last time i submitted my new variation, which is why you didn't see the V-I cadence. I have saved them now so you should be able to see it. If you could take a look at it and give me some feedback that would be great. Thank you!

Sierra
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#15 Matthew LaRocca 2017-03-22 14:02
Hi Sierra,

I think the transition needs to be expanded just a little bit - at least one measure, maybe two or three. For an accelerando to happen over just a bar, we don't actually really get to hear it. It needs a little more time, otherwise it just sounds like an abrupt tempo change. Also, the tempo change should be in the 4/4 measure.

I don't actually see a V-I cadence...or are you going to add it? We end on a Bb chord, which is the V - so maybe you're planning on going back to Eb for the I. Whatever the plan, though, I think you should try to spin out the ending. Add a ritardando, and maybe change the rhythm a little bit too to make the melody ending more pronounced.

If we look at the last line of the cello melody (m. 35), it feels like to me that it should hit the Bb on beat 1 of the next measure (which doesn't exist yet). Often a rest and just a bit of slience can help accentuate a melodic line, especially as it's coming to an end. What if you have a quarter rest on beat one of that measure, then have eighth notes for the first two notes (Ab, G) followed by two quarter notes (F, Eb), then a D whole note in the coming measure. This could set you up for the PAC you want while bringing it all to a close. Does that make sense? Let me know!

-Matt
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#14 Sierra Spence 2017-03-22 09:15
Hi Matt,
Thank you! I really like the way it is sounding. In this new variation, I kept the original melody, changing the rhythm occasionally, but added some different harmonies to it. In first part of this variation, there was the transition part where each voice part is moving in quarter notes. While this happens I move the tempo back up to 100.

In the next section, I have the cello play the beginning of the original melody, and add a mini cannon so the harmonies of the original melody come after in the left and right hands of the piano. To bring it all back together, I have the next part of the melody played in the cello part with the right hand in the piano play a harmony with the same rhythm. The left hand plays the harmonies in the lower octave of the piano underneath the other parts. to end it, I decided to do a Perfect Authentic Cadence from V-I to end it. I think that the basic outline it there, It just needs some touch ups. Any Ideas?

Thank you!
Sierra
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#13 Matthew LaRocca 2017-03-17 21:11
Hi Sierra,

Nice! I think the changes made a huge difference. The music can breathe more, the harmonies and melodies are tighter, and it’s not too fast but doesn’t drag. Good stuff.

I like the idea for the next variation too, and you’re setting yourself up for a great transition. In your last measure you have 3 quarter notes - quarter note pulses are sometimes the perfect transition device. Literally just quarter notes! I would try adding a few bars between the start of your next variation to build up intensity and speed. Maybe drop the Eb down an octave, keep it with just quarter notes, and gradually speed up to where you want to be. There hasn’t been much at all in the low register of the piano yet, so this has the potential to make a big difference between the previous variation.

Can’t wait to see the next variation.

-Matt
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#12 Sierra Spence 2017-03-15 16:03
Hi Matt,
I agree with you about the piano part being awkward. I noticed that as I was submitting it the first time. I did what you suggested and raised the left hand an octave and then the parts so the right hand is now in the left hand.

I changed the tempo to 75. I felt like 72 was too slow. I think 75 bring the tempo down and has a drastic change, but doesn't drag on.

I added more notes to the left hand, to add harmonies and I also tried to bring the Cello and right hand together more and bring out their harmonies.

I think that overall it sounds better. The tempo made it sound more romantic and with the cello responding to the piano, it adds to the romance feeling. The harmony at the end really helps too.

For my next variation, I want to build it and make it sound very strong. I want to gain the intensity that it had, but make it stronger and less "scary." I think I want to change it back to 4/4 and make it like a grand finale.

thank you for the suggestions,
-Sierra
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