untitled string quartet (PLEASE LOOK!)

• Oct 12, 2010 - 04:06

So this is the first piece i've posted here in a while. I've been working on this for about a week and it ended up being about 2:30. It's actually a violin, viola, and two cellos instead of the traditional violin, viola, cello, bass. I thought having the double cello would make the bass and tenor parts flow together better, plus it tightens up the chords. just so we're clear, this is my first time composing entirely for strings, so just bear that in mind as you make your criticisms. thanks!

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I love this thing! Would you describe this as Impressionism or what? I see the use of quintals typical of impressionism and rhythmic figures of expressionism. Sounds Irish and more tonal to some extent in the latter half. Have you tried it with string players yet? From experience, string players don't like too many sharps and flats. Reminds me of the time I scored a difficult cello part in my organ concerto. I later cut the excerpt from the score and it was published as such.

In reply to by Sphyther

Yeah I didn't really write this with what the musicians prefer in mind to be honest. With this piece I was trying just to be experimental and melodic all at the same time, more experimenting with sounds and melodies than instrumental limitations. I would like to get real musicians to play it, as I would with any composition. I sent the score to a friend of mine who studies music at the conservatory at SUNY Fredonia but she never got back to me. Anyways, thanks for the commentary!

In reply to by rokr258

Keep this style up. I would suggest that you transposed it up a semitone (G and E) then it would become slightly more playable. Keep open strings in mind when writing for string instruments if the music is busy. (Cello: C, G d, a; Viola: c, g, d1, a1: Violin: g, d1, a1, e2)

In reply to by Sphyther

I took your advice and transposed it up a semitone and it sounds really strange to me at first, but that's only because I have been listening to it in a different key for months now. I plan on submitting this piece for a composition scholarship contest as it is now. Thanks for the advice!

Wow, I gotta say, this is really great work! I would love to hear this with real players! It's really enjoyable and I love all of the different rythyms and styles all in one song. It sounds very nice. I take it you're very talented... Keep up the great work!

Don't ever doubt yourself. This music is AWESOME!!! I am a composer and play both wind and string instruments, so I would know. Keep up the good work!!! :)

In reply to by rokr258

wow.I don't like tonal music much buti loved this. To hear it played by feeling musicains more alert to your phrases would be a great joy. should be very proud of this.I'm def going to steal your rythmic ideas .the 5/4 was exciting and fetching! Im a violinist and pianist so I shrank when i saw the key sig but it is a elevated hi-strung piece it needs the extra tension of many sharps.GOOD JUDGEMENT! IT shows in every bar the training you've had.It looked like a finished piece of music.The style and sections very sophisticated work.Gave me something to think about.I nee to get back to melody.I have been to impressed with texture .We need a narrative .Thanks for reminding me of the communicative power of a line and its interplay. One thing this would be better scored for winds but the writing is very string like I just got that feeling.Hearing it well played with strings could change that opinion. Good Job!

just thought I'd give everyone the update here that I have officially named the song Carpe Diem. I know the title is extremely cliche. I care not. The music speaks for itself in my opinion. Thanks to everyone who commented and gave me constructive criticism!

I can't really add anything that hasn't already been said, but this is one excellent piece of music.
It must have taken you a long time to compose this one.

Apr 22, 2011 - 16:19

I couldn't have made this myself. It could be a smidge better, but it is still wonderful. This would also sound great as a wind score, so try thinking about that. Great job!

In reply to by Anonymous

youre the second person to say this would work for winds. I have no idea what instrumentation you would use. maybe a sax quartet?

In reply to by Anonymous

what do you mean by serpent? is that a brass instrument I'm not aware of? either way, I'll play around with different combinations and see what works.

This is absolutely amazing! It is unique and interesting and ... just WOW!
I especially liked the part in the Adagio section where all the strings had the same eighth note rhythm going, starting in measure 71.

I loved it. It has minimalists tendencies adn it has complexity that pays off. How sophisticated. I'm jealous IT really SOUNDS Like AMERICAN MUSIC . That is the one thing I strive for. It would be 1oo hundred times better with real musicians since the computer here doesn' t phrase or take sections well but the overall majesty and mastery of the piece was superlative..I loved the rhythms and it was exciting and it really goes somewhere. It is definitely worth making each section into a longer fully developed movements.It is really one of the best things I've seen here. again ,I wish I had such material to work with . What a fun and well constructed piece. YOU SHOULD BE VERY PROUD . I didn't want tit to end so enlarge the sections they are worth much more Exploration. Fine MAterial to work with! Bravo!!! Sorry it took me so long to finally hear it! now,I've got to write some string music!

In reply to by johnm3

thank so much! I think expanding it might be good, but I feel like if I did that I would end up trying too hard and screwing it up. I am however working on another string quartet right now which is similar to this. the sections individually are still a little short, but I think the final product should be on par with this.

Aug 6, 2011 - 17:43

The tuplets in the 3/4 time near the end (quadruplets) can be written as dotted eighth notes.

I just "stumbled upon" this one ... and I like it.

It would be a beast of a piece to play with real instruments, I think, because many of the very syncopated phrases involving eighth notes would, I think, be hard for a violinist to play cleanly. (Disclaimer: I'm not a violinist, so I really don't know...)

The phrasing of the piece ... the 3/4 time section, the cascading triplets near the end, all of these things create a constantly varying musical texture that stands out far more than the notes.

In reply to by Anonymous

Well, that's the nice thing about using computers to score music and then to perform what we have written. It reminds me a lot of the various experimental composers who literally wrote for player pianos, punching holes in a scroll of paper as their primary means of composing (and commenting that they no longer had to be concerned with running out of fingers, only running out of vacuum pressure). In a very literal sense, that is what we are sometimes doing: creating a piece for primary performance by a machine. We are certainly "sailing beyond the limitations of our music-lessons." Manual dexterity, or the lack, simply doesn't matter anymore.

It would be interesting, though, for a player to come forward and to describe what it would take to create a score from this for an actual group of players.

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