Mentoring Program

Amber Alert

My piece is about an "Amber Alert" being sent out to a town. Before I wrote this piece I had the title written, so is what inspired the sound. The beginning of the piece resembles the actual alert, and the melody is the search. The music goes fast paced at first and then the slow pace is not finding the kid.
Grade Level: 7
Intended For: Live Instrument Performance
Software Used: Noteflight
Instrumentation: Euphonium
Key: A minor
Meter Signature: 4/4
Tempo: Quarter = 120+
Status: Work in Progress
Noteflight URL: Website Title
Located in: Crossett Brook


#7 Erik Nielsen 2017-04-28 10:47
Dear Jaye,
Thanks to you and Mr. Liptak for putting up the correct file. I can see the changes you made and they have made a big difference. The piece is much more clearly centered around A now and makes more sense to this listener. And the addition of more dynamics also will make a really big difference in getting your ideas across during a live performance.
I have a few more comments to make that ought not to take very long to take care of.
1. Given all the 16th note jumps, this tempo sounds frantic and will sound more so in performance. You have two sensible choices, either to slow down the tempo or make the 16th note passages more scale-like, with fewer leaps. For the latter choice, for example in bars 6-9 you could change the second 16th note from F to D and it would make it easier to play. And if you did this sort of thing throughout the piece to smooth out those 16th note runs, you could get away with this tempo. If you don't want to do this I'd suggest slowing down the tempo to around 108. It will sound quite slow to you on playback because you're now so used to 120, but it will still sound plenty fast in performance. But I think you really need to do one of these options or the other for your piece to work in performance.
2. You are using ties instead of slurs in bars 1-5 and 28-31. Get rid of them and highlight bars 1-3 (ask your teacher if you're not sure how to do this) and type the letter s. You will get a slur that is over those bars. Then highlight the note in bar 4 and type s. Then go to bars 28-31 where it looks as if you want all the notes to be slurred, highlight all four bars and type s.
3. The staccato marks make sense everywhere except the half note in bar 19. If you want a short note, make it a staccato quarter note. I actually think a full half note there gives a nice contrast to the short notes, but whatever you decide, you need to change that staccato half note somehow.

Jaye, this ought to be a very effective piece in performance, so please take care of these things as soon as you can and let me know if you have questions.

Best wishes,
#6 Dan Liptak 2017-04-28 09:09
Sorry! I'm logged into my account now...let me know if I can help with anything...

#5 Tanum Nelson 2017-04-28 09:07
Hi Erik,

Just logged in...I can see the most recent version now...

Let me know if I can help change something if it doesn't look right...
#4 Erik Nielsen 2017-04-27 11:38
Dear Jaye,
Thanks for your note. Unfortunately, the link does not show the latest version you describe, but rather the original version. You need to make sure you have saved your changes or they won't show up when I click the link. Please talk with Mr. Liptak about this and let me know when you've re-posted.

Best wishes,
#3 Jaye Fuller 2017-04-25 12:34
Hi Erik!
Thanks so much for the ideas on my piece. Here are some of the changes I have made:
I changed the last 16th note of the theme to A's.
I also added more A's in general to enhance the A minor key
I tried the dotted quarter rhythm, but I didn't really like how it sounded in the piece.
I changed the ending notes in measures 6,7,8 and 9 and really like how that sounded.
I have more dynamics
I also rewrote part of the end of the piece to change it up a bit... Let me know what you think!
#2 Erik Nielsen 2017-04-19 09:26
Dear Jaye,
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 solo work for euphonium, one of the first I've ever had to mentor at Music-COMP, if not the first. I also like that you use the motif of four 16th notes followed by longer notes.
Here are some suggestions and concerns I have about the piece:
1. Although you've listed A minor as the key of the piece, do you realize that the only notes that are A in the entire work are the final two whole notes? Think of A 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 A that way. Your long notes in bars 1-5 lead to A, and it would help then if the first notes in bars 6-7 were low A rather than C. You could also repeat the pattern from bars 6-7 in bars 8-9, with the long notes in bar 8 being B and those in 9 being low A. That would really establish A as the keynote more firmly. Look for other places in the piece where you could use A, such as in 11-13.
2. You are using your little ideas (motifs) well. I like that the 16th note groups and the staccato quarter/half note ideas show up in different ways throughout much of the piece. One thing that could add more variety is using dotted quarter/eighth pairs in place of two quarter notes some of the time. For example, what would it be like if you made beat 3 in bar 9 a dotted quarter and made the final note in the bar an eighth? Try it and I think you may find it makes the music move along better. I think you could try the same thing in bars 14 and 20 as well.
3. This is a piece that cries out for dynamic marks to help define it better. Please put some in to help make your ideas clearer to performers.

Jaye, 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,
#1 Erik Nielsen 2017-04-10 19:06
Dear Jaye,
Thanks for posting the description of your piece for euphonium. Unfortunately, you haven't set permission for us to view in Noteflight. Here are the steps to take to fix that:
1. Go into your Noteflight account. Click on this score. Make sure you can see the score on the screen.
2. Click on Connect button.
3. “Who can access this score” - select All site members
4. Select All site members can View. Anyone can search/browse to find it.
5. Save.
Once you've done this, please write a quick comment here to let me know you've fixed the settings. I'll get an automatic email notification with your comment and that will let me know to come in and start the mentoring process. Please let me know if you have questions. I look forward to working with you.

Best wishes,
Erik Nielsen
Senior Mentor

Add comment

Security code