Mentoring Program

Life of the Poor

Composer Name: Keira Lee
The poor have to go through a lot. Sometimes it's boring; sometimes exciting; sometimes scary. I wanted to show some of these emotions in my piece, and I had a good time writing this piece
Grade Level: 7
Intended For: Live Instrument Performance
Software Used: Noteflight
Instrumentation: Triangle, Piano, Drums, Tuba, Trumpet,
Key: C major
Meter Signature: 44
Tempo: 120
Status: Work in Progress
Noteflight URL: Website Title
Located in: Opus 33 Grades 6-8


#1 Erik Nielsen 2018-02-06 11:52
Dear Keira,
Thanks for posting the first version of your piece for trumpet, tuba, piano and percussion. I will be your primary mentor for this work and I like that, since I live quite close to the Williamstown line in Brookfield.
You have some interesting music here, especially the lively material that starts at bar 54. And I think the title is is a good one. I have two comments for you.
1. In line with what you wrote in your description, you have some sections that have long notes and not much else, in keeping (I'm guessing) with your description of the boring part of poverty. That sounds good in writing, but doesn't make very effective music. The weakest part of the piece right now is bars 1-53. They make the piece take too long to really get interesting. Not only that, but the piece is too long. It's well over three minutes and that's the limit for any Opus piece. So do yourself and your piece a favor and find the most interesting parts of 1-53 and do more with them and less with all the bars with whole notes. For instance, why not start with two bars of whole note chords and then go right to bar 21? It would get the piece started in a much more interesting fashion.
2. A lot of the piece doesn't really let us hear it as having C as the keynote or home note for a good reason. The chords don't have C as the bottom note. Just like a tree, a chord needs a strong root and a C chord (C-E-G) needs to have the C on the bottom most of the time. A lot of the time you put the C on top in trumpet and piano right hand and have E on the bottom. Try reversing that and I think you'll hear a difference.

Keira, I've written enough for one posting. If you can trim the opening of the piece and work on making the piece use C on the bottom more often, you ought to be able to make progress. Please let me know if you have questions. I look forward to your next posting.

Best wishes,
Erik Nielsen
Senior Mentor

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