Mentoring Program


Composer Name: Matey Thygesen
This piece has a couple different verses, it goes through phases of minor and major chords, and it has a rich harmony and thick texture throughout.
Grade Level: 12
Intended For: Live Instrument Performance
Software Used: Noteflight
Instrumentation: Trumpet 1, Trumpet 2, French Horn, Trombone, Tuba
Key: c major
Meter Signature: 4/4
Tempo: 120
Status: Work in Progress
Noteflight URL: Website Title


#1 Erik Nielsen 2018-02-01 13:45
Dear Matey,
Thanks for posting the first version of your piece for brass quintet and welcome to Music-COMP and the world of online composing. I will be your primary mentor for this work. One good thing about that is that I live just over the hill in Brookfield, so if I need to come to your school it will be quite convenient!

This piece is off to a strong start. You have interesting harmonies and the melodic ideas you have so far show a lot of promise. You also do a fine job of alternating tutti (everyone) and solo lines. I do have a few suggestions that I hope will be helpful.

1. Be careful about the French horn's range. Many students confuse it with a third trumpet. It's actually more of an alto-tenor instrument. That means that it shares trumpet range up to about the C in the middle of the treble staff and shares the trombone range at least down to the C below middle C (though still written in the treble clef). The line you have in bars 8-10 is too high in bar 9. The easy solution is just to switch it with the second trumpet in those bars. That will keep the line intact but will give it to an instrument that can handle the Es.
2. The trumpet range is good so far, just don't go above the G you have in bars 16-17. And be careful not to have the second trumpet above the first much of the time. I'd flip-flop the lines in bars 5-6.
3. The trombone range is good, but the tuba is a bit high. It can play the notes you have, but putting it above the trombone and on the staff so much isn't all that effective. I'd flip-flop the trombone and tuba in bars 2-3 and I'd drop the tuba an octave in bars 8-10.
4. The trombone solo is very song-like in bars 11-15 (as is the trumpet solo after it). I can almost imagine words with it. However, some of the repeated notes might sound a bit muddy down there. I'd suggest playing around to see whether you can come up with slightly altered rhythms so there aren't so many of the same eighth note pitches in a row, especially all those Bs in 13-14. I'm not suggesting you switch notes, more that you put some eighth notes together. For example, in 13 on beat 3, what would it be like to make the quarter note into a dotted quarter followed by an eighth, and in 14 to make the first two eighth notes into a quarter note? All I'm suggesting is that all those low Bs might not be as clear in person as on computer playback, and an alteration such as I've suggested might take care of the issue. Think about it.

Matey, as I wrote above, this is a strong beginning. If you can work on my suggestions and think hard about where you want the piece to go next, you ought to be able to make progress. Please let me know if anything I've written is unclear. I look forward to your next posting.

Best wishes,
Erik Nielsen
Senior Mentor

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