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NewbJ

First attempt

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NewbJ    226
Here is one of my first true attempts at composition...a sparsely orchestrated, upbeat-type-of-thing :P. I have a musical background, but haven't done a whole lot of writing up to now. All comments, including detailed/harsh criticism are welcome and desired. Thanks!

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Crispy    556
1) MIDI is more a protocol than a composition format. Do not create your work in MIDI unless you have good reason to do so.
2) what you have is at best a theme, not a complete work - it conveys melody, but not much else
3) compositionally, the melody is incoherent, although I liked parts of it. Convert it to a more capable format, such as wav. And I don't mean by rendering the song to wav. Use something like Reason or, better yet, Cubase to do that.

I'm in a bit sour mood right now so I do realize that my criticism will not be neutral - hence it is probably better to just not give it.

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NewbJ    226
Thanks for the feedback Crispy. Yeah, developing a theme is one of my weak points. I actually have several (I think pretty decent) themes written down, but I have a hard time drawing them out and expanding on them. I'll check out Cubase. I don't have a lot of time today, but I am eager to try it out, so I'll probably post a re-vamped version tomorrow or Monday, depending on how long it takes me to re-do it.

Stroma: haha, nice.

Anyone else who has comments, feel free to post them!

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BazTheHat    196
I really liked your use of modulation - it really kept the interest in the melody(s). Like Crispy, I agree that the melody needs to be developed more. I reember hearing about Brahms teaching people to make a fugue, and he gave them a really short theme. The pupils complained that the theme was too short to write a fugue on it - so to prove them wrong, he wrote a symphony based on the theme.

You say you come from a musical background - do you play piano? I found my early inspiration of theme development from playing piano sonatas, in the development section (the bit after the repeat marks). Beethoven is particularly good at that (though I expect others will have their favourites).

Another thing that will really help is looking at orchestration; what is helping the melody play along. Pick out any orchestral score, and you will find different layers and textures which really help support the melody. Try experimenting with different textures and see what fits.

I personally don't have a problem with listening to a midi file, if it's just to get an idea of the composition. It only becomes a problem when you want a production. So, getting Cubase and simply recording your own midi setup might not be that great, if the midi sounds you've got aren't good (I've no idea what sounds you have, but I'm guessing just standard sound-card midi?) I also would never post wav's, as mp3s or oggs can convey the same quality into a much smaller download.

Wow, didn't mean to write that much! Best of luck!

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NewbJ    226
Baz: Thanks for your feedback! My musical background started on piano for many years (well, comparatively...I'm not even legally an adult yet, so I suppose I don't have that many years anyway). I still often sit down at it and just play around (that's how ideas for pieces come up), or get out a piece I played awhile ago. I currently, however, am doing more of saxophone and violin. Ever since Crispy's post about development of the theme, I've been listening and looking at a lot of the music I'm exposed to in terms of developing a theme. Now that I am listening for it, it especially fascinates me how great composers are able to so intricately and fluidly put all the parts together. This has helped, and I will specifically look into Beethoven's works for ideas on development.

Thanks again!

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