Mentoring Program

Euphoric Dance

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The beginning is a marching band style, and then I did a calm movement, then another energetic section, then ended with a calm phrase.
Grade Level: 7
Intended For: Live Instrument Performance
Software Used: Noteflight
Instrumentation: Multiple percussion, trumpet, alto sax, flute
Key: key of C
Meter Signature: 4/4
Tempo: multiple
Status: Work in Progress
Noteflight URL: Website Title
Located in: Crossett Brook

Comments   

#11 Erik Nielsen 2017-05-02 11:54
Dear Merry,
Thanks for the notes. I've written an email to Mr. Liptak, who asked the same question. I hope my response to him takes care of the issue. I'll see you Thursday.

Best wishes,
Erik
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#10 Merry Smith 2017-05-02 08:26
I have a question. I was wondering how you combine all three percussion parts onto one line for one player (on a drum kit)?
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#9 Merry Smith 2017-05-01 19:21
Thank you so much for your help and advice on this. This was a good experience. I fixed everything except for the printing out stuff. Thanks again!
-Merry
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#8 Erik Nielsen 2017-05-01 10:09
Dear Merry,
Thanks for re-posting with the latest version. This is a big improvement. There are still some little things to take care of before the music goes to the players.
1. Dynamic marks need to go under notes, not rests. See bars 24-25 and move the marks under the notes.
2. Whole rests need to go in the middle of the bar, so just click on bar 23 in snare, bass drum and trumpet and bar 40 in trumpet and alto sax and hit Delete and it will reset. In bar 24 in bass drum the half rest needs to come before the quarter rest as in the other parts. And in bar 32 in trumpet all those rests need to become a single whole rest. Just click on an empty place in the bar so the bar is highlighted and hit Delete.
3. Slurs: most of the time you have slurs now. The exceptions are bars 18 and 40 in flute. They need to be changed from ties to slurs. However, the problem with the slurs you have is that they overlap. Having one slur stop and another begin on the same note makes no sense. For example, look at the also sax in bars 31-32. It's impossible to play what you've written. I'd suggest you get rid of all those individual slurs in 31 and highlight the bar and type s. That will slur the entire bar. I'd also suggest doing the same in 32. However, the final two notes in 31 need a tie since they are the same note, so you can't slur them.
4. Before printing the score and parts, you need to click on the little tuning fork in the upper left hand corner of the toolbar. That will show the score in transposed format for the trumpet and sax. Also, the flute needs to be the top line of the piece, sax second, trumpet third and then the percussion. Ask Mr. Liptak for help on that. And ask him to put in multirests for you so the players don't have to read all those single bars of rest.

Merry, I think this may be the last set of instructions I need to give you before Thursday. Please take care of the things I've mentioned and let me know if you have questions.

Best wishes,
Erik
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#7 Merry Smith 2017-04-28 12:38
I fixed the dynamics and the trumpet part on 31. I tried to fix the slurs/ties and did the S=slur keyboard code. Sometimes it went under the notes, sometimes over. Please tell me if they are still wrong! Thanks for the tips!
-Merry
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#6 Erik Nielsen 2017-04-27 11:53
Dear Merry,
Thanks for posting the first revision of your piece. This is a big improvement. It is now much more clearly in the key of C major. I know this piece is to be performed a week from now, so let me give you some quick things to help you get the piece ready for performance.
1. You need to make sure all parts have dynamic marks throughout the piece whenever something changes. For example, none of the percussion parts nor the flute has a dynamic mark in the opening bar. In fact, no percussion part has a dynamic mark until bar 12 and that's only the snare drum. So the percussion parts need dynamic marks! And whenever a part re-enters after a break of more than two bars it needs a dynamic mark. But the trumpet doesn't need an f in bar 25 since it's already at f from the previous bar. In bar 28 the flute needs a dynamic mark. In bar 39 I'd change the trumpet and alto sax from ppp (very VERY soft) to pp to make it easier to play; and the flute needs to match them in dynamics there.
2. The slurs you've written are actually ties (that is, marks that continue a note over a bar line, for example). In the tool bar they look like smiles. Instead, when you want a slur, click on the first note of the slur and type the letter s.
3. The part for trumpet in bar 31 will be extremely difficult to play that fast, so I'd give it to sax instead.

Merry, this piece is much closer to completion now. Please take care of these things and then re-post so I can give it one more look before it goes to the musicians. Let me know if you have questions.

Best wishes,
Erik
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#5 Merry Smith 2017-04-25 12:57
Thanks for the ideas. Mr. Liptak and I went through the piece and made it sound more like C major.
-Merry
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#4 Erik Nielsen 2017-04-24 09:18
Dear Merry,
Thanks for the note. This sounds good. Let me know when you've been able to work on your piece and I'll take a look.

Best wishes,
Erik
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#3 Merry Smith 2017-04-23 13:15
Hi! Thank you so much for being my mentor. I am excited to keep working. I did what I could right now, but on Monday I will ask my teacher more about keys and C so I can fix it more. I am a percussionist so I don't know a lot keys. But I will talk to Mr. Liptak tomorrow and get everything done!
-Merry
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#2 Erik Nielsen 2017-04-19 09:58
Dear Merry,
Thanks to you, your teacher and the folks at Musicfirst, I can now see and hear your music. I like that you've written a work for such an unusual combination of instruments. You have not overused the percussion, as is so often the case with beginning composers. I also like that have some imitation going on between trumpet and flute in the middle of the piece.
Here are some suggestions and concerns I have about the piece:
1. Although you've listed C as the key of the piece, there is a lot of uncertainty in the music as to where the keynote really is. In the opening section, there's a lot more A than C ending the phrases. In the middle C is in fact central, but in the final section F is the closest to a keynote there is. Think of the keynote as home. Yes, we go home at the end of the day, but we are also home in the morning and on some days go home often during the day. Think of C that way. Yes, there is C in the opening section, but we also need the "helper notes" E and G (part of a C chord) to be used more often, as they are in your second section. And in the final section if you lowered all the flute notes in bars 34-38 one note and the final flute note of 39 as well, it would establish C much better as home. Then you could end the piece with the trumpet on C (as at the end of 39), sax on E and flute on G. Try all this and I think you'll agree that it will make C sound much more like the true keynote.
2. I am concerned about how high the trumpet often is. Yes, it CAN play up there on high A, but living up high as it does is very taxing for the player and often results in wrong notes and "splats". I wouldn't go higher than G just above the staff and I'd lower all the notes in 29 and 31 one note. And since neither trumpet nor flute can play two notes at a time, I'd get rid of the upper trumpet note in the chords in bars 31 and 33 and the lower flute note in the chords in bars 32 and 33.

Merry, your piece is off to a good start. If you can deal with the issues I've raised, you ought to be able to refine it more in your next revision. I look forward to seeing it. Please write a note here as a comment to let me know what you have done and I'll know to check again.

Best wishes,
Erik
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