Composing stuff too difficult to play

• Nov 20, 2019 - 14:15

I'm not sure if .org is the right place to ask something like this, but from my experience more people seem to be active and actually reply here compared to the .com groups that I'm a part of. If you have any suggestions for good groups, please recommend me some!

Anyway, I tried playing the piano part of my piano trio and I realized that a lot of the passages were difficult to play. I fear that some passages might be impossible, but maybe I just need to sit down and spend an awful amount of time practicing them to play properly, which I hope is the case. If you've had something similar happen while you're composing, did you rewrite the difficult passages, or just stick with them and hope that whoever is gonna play it could manage?

Thanks a lot.


In reply to by Raymond Wicquart

It's a general question. Do you write music and then discover it's really difficult to play? If this happens to you, do you rewrite the passage to make it easier or do you keep it in and hope people will be able to play it.

Since I've only had one piece played, and the musician said it was playable I've never experienced this myself.

In reply to by Brian Berino

The piece I had played, was posted on the .com site while I was working on it and a double bass player found it and started giving me feedback as I was developing it. I didn't actually hear it played. I have far more unfinished pieces that finished pieces so I can relate.

I am an organist, and I write different kinds of music, but never write organ music too difficult for me to play, but there is a temptation to do so. While I can't play the finale from Marcel Dupré's Ave Maris Stella, I wish I could, but would be unsure if I tried to write music that required that kind of technique. When writing for other instruments, I am careful to stay in range, not require 3 hands, etc. esp in continuo right-hands. In my very limited use of violin double-stops, I have made errors. I cannot at all write cello double-stops with sureness. It is amazing how much Bach knew of celli, "not his primary instruments". But MuseScore offers an opportunity to write music for which I lack instruments or instrumentalists (or choristers), but I try to use my knowledge of various instruments to keep what I write playable. Your mileage may vary.

In reply to by Brian Berino

Violins and celli can play almost any single-line music within their range, although repeated fast, wild and broad jumps might be challenging. But any kind of polyphony or multiple stops requires the kind of knowledge only a skilled player or other expert has (although, of course, there are easy provable "impossibles", e.g., two simultaneous notes on the lowest string).

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