Showing posts from December, 2013

Missal Orchestral Suite: Gloria (2nd Movement) Begun!

I've just started the 2nd movement of the Missal Orchestral Suite:  a Gloria section.  I'm thinking right now that it will start with trumpet and brass fanfare to introduce a glorious and lively 2nd movement, especially in contrast to the somber and at times very dark first movement.

I'm thinking of imitating the styles from some of Mozart's Glorias for this particular movement, although I would like to add some of the thicker, dark, and rich texture from the first movement.

Some examples of styles I'll try and imitate:
Gloria from Mozart's Coronation Mass
Gloria from Mozart's Great Mass in C Minor

Finale from Beethoven's Symphony No. 9
Shubert's Unfinished Symphony
Gustav Mahler's 3rd Symphony

The idea is that I would like something in nature like the church music of the 18th Century, but with more textures like the Romantic Era, darker and richer.

More updates on the suite as I get working!  :)

Another Palette for the Compositional Process: Register and Chord Spacing

With the Missal Suite and other works, I've been exploring the possibilities presented in composing by changing the register of melody and harmony and in spacing of the chords.  In the overture of my Missal Suite, I explored a little of the possibilities of the register by having the melody in a lower register at the beginning and raising it to a higher register later on.  I also used some register techniques in my piano sonata.

So what does "register" refer to?  Register is where on an instrument or with a voice something lies on the staff.  When we say "upper register" we are referring to the higher reaches of the instrument or voices capabilities, and "lower register" the lower reaches.  By changing the octave of where something lies, we can change the feeling and color of it.  Here's an example from my piano sonata:

In the opening section, I introduce the melody in one octave.  After the initial introduction, instead of playing the same theme …

First Composition: Concerto No. 1

Here's the first thing that I ever wrote:  Concerto No. 1.  This was a class project for my 7th grade orchestra class.  My teacher asked us to write an 8 bar melody on your instrument to be played in front of the class.  I had recently seen the movie Amadeus, and it fascinated me that someone could do what they were doing in that movie:  writing music.  I decided instead of 8 bars, I would write a full length piece for the class.  What it ended up becoming is this work:

Concerto No. 1

1st Movement

2nd Movement
3rd Movement

In seventh grade, we had played an arrangement of Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 5.  The influence from this piece can be very clearly seen in the 1st movement, as well as somewhat in the the third.  I wasn't sure what a concerto was at this time, and so it ended up being more like the original Baroque concertos.  In fact, the original meaning of concerto comes from the latin conserere, meaning to join or bring together.  That's mostly what this and …