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Music By Members => Works in Progress: Junior => Topic started by: mjf1947 on February 06, 2019, 03:21:02 PM

Title: Brass Quintet
Post by: mjf1947 on February 06, 2019, 03:21:02 PM
Hello all....

This is a new project ... not yet complete.  :-\

It's titled ..."Afternoon at the Park".

(Yes .... I always envision a scene)  :o

This is the first draft ...about 2/3 done or so. 

Still a work in progress.

All comments appreciated.

Mark

PS: I am still working on the chord structure ... too many doubling of thirds!  :-X  :P
       Also need to clean up base line in B section.
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: amdg on February 07, 2019, 06:08:01 AM
This is a very enjoyable piece, Mark.  It flows beautifully , in my opinion, and should be quite an accomplishment when you finish.  "Afternoon in the Park" seems to be an apt title for this.
Now, maybe this is just my system, but I was getting a lot of clipping and distortion during the forte and fortissimo sections. We'll see if others have the same situation.

All in all, an excellent start.
Brian 
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: mjf1947 on February 07, 2019, 07:15:00 AM
Brian,

Thanks for the review - kind words and encouragement.

The clipping is due to the recording having too much volume.

I will adjust this in the next post.

At times I feel a bit intimidated in posting.  My level of technical sophistication is so inadequate as compared to the others on the forum.

So I am so pleased you enjoyed the music.  I always strive to entertain and create a setting for my music.

Mark
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: mjf1947 on February 07, 2019, 08:50:10 AM
Okay here's the final draft.

Improved bass line ... extended mid section with modulations ...........

Hope you enjoy the work....simple ABA  format.

All suggestions welcome as always. 

Mark
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: whitebark on February 07, 2019, 11:10:54 AM
Nice work, Mark.  Harmonies are interesting and flow nicely. However, the weighty brass sound of the piece reminded me  more like a medieval procession of nobles than a walk in the park.

-Jay
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: mjf1947 on February 07, 2019, 11:15:31 AM
Hi ...HaHaHaHeHe  ;D

It's an unexpected brass marching band going by .... not a brass choir in a Gazebo!!!!

It's an "Afternoon AT the Park"  Never know what might happen.  ;)

I remember being in Edinburgh Scotland and being quite surprised/pleased/tickled at grand parade coming down the street.

Thanks for the review ..................

I still plan to revisit the work.

Mark
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: sandalwood on February 07, 2019, 02:07:33 PM
Very nice lively music, Mark. Like Jay, I think it has a solemn, ceremonial ring to it. What do you think expanding this into?
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: mjf1947 on February 07, 2019, 03:06:23 PM
Thanks for taking look/listen.

In my mind I wanted the march to be "grand - pomp and ceremony" ...so solemn might fit the bill.

I'll think it through once more ... and see. 
Jay,

As for as the quintet.  I want to make the harmonies as clear and interesting as possible.  And make the thematic material inviting for the listener.

I still struggle with good chord formation and progressions.  So any suggestions in this area are most welcome.

For me - the quintet is also a learning tool.

Mark

Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: RJB54 on February 07, 2019, 03:20:21 PM
Nice work. I particularly liked how the phrase lengths often do not coincide with the meter. This results in a nice rhythmic/metric interplay.
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: mjf1947 on February 07, 2019, 04:02:06 PM
Thanks .....at the moment I am going through all the chords and passing notes .... I am improving the harmonic cohesion and getting a better overall ensemble sound.

Yeah ... where I place those thirds, fifths, etc ...  and length of those notes sure makes a differences in the ensemble sound ... from just okay to a more polished work.

Next I'll go over the mid-section procession ... I think I can add a bit more sizzle to it.   We'll see.

Glad you enjoy the piece.  I aim to please.

Mark

Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: whitebark on February 07, 2019, 08:15:04 PM
Hi Mark,
A small ensemble like this will inevitably need a contrapuntal flavor to keep the action going. You've have a good harmonic vocabulary going in the piece. To get to the next level, you need to add more advanced contrapuntal devices such as suspensions and accented passing tones to your brass quintet. Disrespect the bar lines ... notes should be crossing them.  Warning: I just had a gin and tonic, so this is a bit of a drunk post  :)

Cheers,
Jay
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: mjf1947 on February 08, 2019, 06:21:36 AM
Hi Mark,
A small ensemble like this will inevitably need a contrapuntal flavor to keep the action going. You've have a good harmonic vocabulary going in the piece. To get to the next level, you need to add more advanced contrapuntal devices such as suspensions and accented passing tones to your brass quintet. Disrespect the bar lines ... notes should be crossing them.  Warning: I just had a gin and tonic, so this is a bit of a drunk post  :)

Cheers,
Jay

Whether drunk or not .... I have thought in a similar vain.

The question is to do it .....

I will go over the work and see what I can accomplish. 

Mark
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: mjf1947 on February 08, 2019, 07:43:01 AM
Okay for those not "exhausted from this thread"   ::) here are some improvements based upon suggestions posted.

If you notice any improvements for the better let me know.  Further technical suggestions most welcome.  :angel:


Mark
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: Jerry Engelbach on February 08, 2019, 09:22:15 AM
Mark,
 
It has some very engaging things in it, particularly the melodies and the mixing of rhythms. And I like the structure.
 
I don't know if it's the limitation of the electronic instruments or the orchestration itself, but the overall sound seems a bit homogenized to me. I want to hear more highs and lows, and more emphasis on challenge and response between instruments.
 
At measure 56 you work up to a nice climax, but even though the payoff includes all the instruments it doesn't have the exaltation of a satisfying resolution.
 
I also wonder if the 4/4 section could be a bit faster.
 
Cheers,
Jer
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: mjf1947 on February 08, 2019, 10:17:48 AM
Jer,

Thanks so much for taking the time to review the work and offer suggestions for improvement.

I definitely will revisit the work with your ideas in mind.

Thanks for the encouragement.

Mark
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: mjf1947 on February 08, 2019, 12:53:42 PM
Jer,

I focused on the section at measure 56.

The section is now expanded; hopefully with more a satisfying climax and flow.

Again for those not exhausted from my postings here's another update. 

Thanks for the suggestions.

Mark
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: Jerry Engelbach on February 08, 2019, 06:14:55 PM
Mark,
 
Wow, you're a fast worker.
 
The whole thing seems more clear, the various lines more obvious. And the trumpet takes control with real authority.
 
I like the way it ends with a calming mood. I don't think it would hurt to slow it down more and get even quieter there.
 
Cheers,
Jer
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: mjf1947 on February 08, 2019, 07:14:36 PM
Jer,

Thanks for the added review.

Yes, I feel it is coming along nicely. 

There are still changes I wish to make - especially to have a consistent fabric/texture throughout the work; however, the core is definitely there.

I  am a bit excited and always frustrated as I work to improve the piece.

Mark
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: mjw58 on February 09, 2019, 07:20:08 AM

I like this lively piece, Mark.  :)
And I do like the changes you have made to it. 
Harmonies are getting more and more interesting.  :)

Morten
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: RJB54 on February 09, 2019, 07:43:21 AM
You're making good progress. This has a more substantial feel to it now.

One thing, you have the horn go quite low in places. I would recommend switching to the bass clef in those spots rather than having so many ledger lines.
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: mjf1947 on February 09, 2019, 01:29:15 PM
Hi all...............

This is my final version ...except for minor changes and engraving.

I want to thank you all for your splendid assistance in this project.

I learned quite a bit working this composition.

As always .... more suggestions most welcome.

I wish you all a pleasant and serendipitous Afternoon at the Park~!  :)

Mark

PS: The score is NOT in concert pitch ... which helps with the engraving issues with the Horn.

Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: Michel.R.E on February 09, 2019, 08:02:57 PM
I'd suggest transposing the whole thing up maybe a minor 3rd.
Some of the 2nd trumpet part is uncomfortably low. Not unplayable, but it could cause intonation problems or difficulty for less-experienced players attacking notes.
The horn part is also a tiny bit low, so it would benefit from an upward transposition.
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: mjf1947 on February 10, 2019, 05:42:51 AM
I'd suggest transposing the whole thing up maybe a minor 3rd.
Some of the 2nd trumpet part is uncomfortably low. Not unplayable, but it could cause intonation problems or difficulty for less-experienced players attacking notes.
The horn part is also a tiny bit low, so it would benefit from an upward transposition.

Michel .... Do you mean I should place the work in the key of Ab?  If yes ... then this puts some parts in a quite high range and will need to be reworked.  Or should I work to rewrite some parts in the present key of F?  Or maybe G?  I guess I'll see what works best.  Although, I do like the overall sound a step or so higher.

Mark

Michel I transposed to G Major .... and made appropriate score adjustments for instruments.  I must say it does sound better!  Please take a look ... anything else caught your attention.

I do have a question for you and our trumpet players ... will an octave A above the staff ... be a concern?  (PS: The high B in the score is an error ... placement is one octave down)>

Thanks
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: gogreen on February 10, 2019, 06:14:53 AM
Nice work, Mark. Two items: First, the audio at the forte beginning on page 2 gets crackly--the audio needs to be normalized. Second, in the score, is there a reason why the horn part is on top? The horn part should go after the trumpet 2 staff and before the trombone staff.

Art
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: mjf1947 on February 10, 2019, 06:26:11 AM
Nice work, Mark. Two items: First, the audio at the forte beginning on page 2 gets crackly--the audio needs to be normalized. Second, in the score, is there a reason why the horn part is on top? The horn part should go after the trumpet 2 staff and before the trombone staff.

Art

Art ... the problem with  the sound is the volume level even when I move it to my audio editing program and cut the volume in half there are still artifacts.  I most probably will have to reduce the overall dynamics in Finale.  As for the Horn part thanks for bringing it to my attention ... that's the way Finale set it up for me.  I know in a woodwind quintet the horn is at the bottom.  I wasn't aware of its placement in a Brass quintet.  But obviously it makes sense!

I lowered the reverb level within the  mixer and the sound improved.  :)
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: Michel.R.E on February 10, 2019, 07:18:34 AM
Mark, I wrote a high Bb for the C trumpet in my trombone concerto, and the 1st trumpet player made a choice to play a higher D (which actually makes the harmony sound better). He played it perfectly, and we're not talking professionals here.

So A and Bb above the staff are absolutely not a problem.
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: RJB54 on February 10, 2019, 08:39:33 AM
...we're not talking professionals here.

So A and Bb above the staff are absolutely not a problem.

This is true. It used to be that high C was considered stratospheric but in my experience any decent player is expected to be able to reach high C. Going above that however...
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: gogreen on February 10, 2019, 12:08:53 PM
Quote
Art ... the problem with  the sound is the volume level even when I move it to my audio editing program and cut the volume in half there are still artifacts.  I most probably will have to reduce the overall dynamics in Finale.  As for the Horn part thanks for bringing it to my attention ... that's the way Finale set it up for me.  I know in a woodwind quintet the horn is at the bottom.  I wasn't aware of its placement in a Brass quintet.  But obviously it makes sense!

I normalize all my Finale files in Audacity. Ever tried that?
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: mjf1947 on February 10, 2019, 12:57:13 PM
Art,

I use Goldwave .... it's really quite good. 

https://goldwave.com/ (https://goldwave.com/)

Mark

Art .... I used the audio mixer to improve the audio output.  Still don't have it where I want it ..although a bit improved . Any suggestions?
           The trumpets seem a bit "wild" during the fortes.
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: Jerry Engelbach on February 11, 2019, 07:07:28 AM
Mark,
 
It's come a long way in a short time from your first posting. It started out a bit muddy and is now very clean.
 
Michel's advice to transpose it made a big difference ó not to mention your own improvements. It sings.
 
I still that right at the end a slowing down might make the end more moving.
 
Congratulations.
 
Cheers,
Jer
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: mjf1947 on February 11, 2019, 07:45:40 AM
Jer,

Thank you for hanging there with me.

 I do have a retard posted in the score ... which Finale ignored!

I'll fix it .... I assume you are addressing the end  on the March section?

Mark

 
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: mjf1947 on March 05, 2019, 10:15:16 AM
Okay ... here's a (2nd) newer version of the intro - 1st theme.

I worked really hard on improving the transitions in the movement ... so the changes in keys are not abrupt .

The additions do create slight different flavor and context.

Anyway ... how did I do?  All suggestions most welcome.

Mark


Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: Jerry Engelbach on March 05, 2019, 12:20:21 PM
It's working beautifully, Mark. It gets cleaner with each iteration.
 
But can you include it with the whole score so we can see how it works with the rest of it?
 
Cheers,
Jer
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: mjf1947 on March 05, 2019, 12:51:49 PM
Jer,

This is the section I concentrated on with my Mentor. He didn't care for the quick key change and challenged me to work on it.

I see him in 2 weeks (next Saturday is my youngest daughter's Baby Shower) then we can move on to the next sections.

So hang in there with me.  More is to come.

Again thanks for the encouragement.

Mark

PS: I just tweak it a bit more .....  :angel:
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: whitebark on March 06, 2019, 06:10:51 PM
Hi Mark,
Your new version of the brass quintet does seem crisper and the harmonies flow better. Keep up the good work! 

Jay
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: mjf1947 on March 07, 2019, 07:35:01 AM
Okay ...for those following my progress on this thread.  Here's the next iteration of the work.

Please note the enhancement of the recapitulation of theme A at the end and changes already posted in the opening.

So we have a simple ABA ..... the initial stroll in the park ... the coming of the parade and the return to the stroll when the marching band has passed.

This is the 17th revision! Now I still have to meet with my mentor in 10 days.  So this may or not be the final version; however, I feel I am very close to it.

When it is official finished .. I'll post in the completed section.

As always any thing that sticks out please comment.

Mark

PS: It's now time to make Oboe reeds and practice!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlJ0TVrapOo

My next musical/Oboe project

Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: mjf1947 on March 19, 2019, 03:07:48 PM
For those following this thread ..... I am very exciting to post my work on my project.


These are the results of two sessions with my new mentor.

Please note ... improved transitions, harmony, development.

I hope every one sees some progress here.

I could wait to post until I meet my mentor again ... but I am too excited to wait.

More too come

Mark
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: whitebark on March 21, 2019, 10:40:31 AM
Your brass quintet is coming along nicely, Mark.   I like the first part of the piece (about the first minute or so). Nice melody and chord changes.  Of course the same applies to the final section.

The middle section is nice, too, but seems to ramble a bit. I found myself wanting to hear more structure. You could make it more of a march ( with a driving beat) to move things along.

Jay

Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: mjf1947 on March 21, 2019, 11:03:00 AM
Your brass quintet is coming along nicely, Mark.   I like the first part of the piece (about the first minute or so). Nice melody and chord changes.  Of course the same applies to the final section.

The middle section is nice, too, but seems to ramble a bit. I found myself wanting to hear more structure. You could make it more of a march ( with a driving beat) to move things along.

Jay

Thanks Jay ... yes I am now focused on the mid-section.  I am thinking about removing some extraneous motifs  .... and creating a more unified section.  I need to focus of the moving bass .... and concurrent harmonic movement.  Let's see what comes about with my next meeting with my mentor.  Hard work indeed!

Mark

PS: Jay and all....I already made improvements ....  ;D
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: Jerry Engelbach on March 21, 2019, 02:20:32 PM
Mark,
 
The piece is quite lovely.
 
I have a couple more reactions.
 
Some of the triplets sound muddy to me, especially bars 7 and 13 and throughout the middle section. I don't feel a clearly defined rhythm on them.
 
Bar 16 feels to me like it should be a full stop rather than continuing the bass line. Perhaps just a half note followed by one pickup note for the next bar.
 
On 66 and 67 you have a nice little fanfare thing on Tpt 1 and Hn. The descending line on Tpt 2 feels to me like it's in the way.
 
Cheers,
Jer
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: mjw58 on March 21, 2019, 03:57:33 PM

Mark, some thoughts.

I like the first and last part of the piece. Except for bar 7. I think the triplets stops the nice flow you have in the music. Or maybe my ears need the first beat in that bar. Itís tied to the 8th note in the previous bar and that makes that bar a little strange to me.

I also think it stops a bit before bar 22. Need some forward movement perhaps.

To me itís the small things that make the music interesting.  Not just a nice melody. The movement in Trombone in bar 2 and that it reappears in the Horn part in bar 4 is very nice and the D in Tuba in bar 25 is a fine example on how to move the music forward.

Very nice. 

Morten
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: mjf1947 on March 21, 2019, 06:18:12 PM
Mark,
 
The piece is quite lovely.
 
I have a couple more reactions.
 
Some of the triplets sound muddy to me, especially bars 7 and 13 and throughout the middle section. I don't feel a clearly defined rhythm on them.
 
Bar 16 feels to me like it should be a full stop rather than continuing the bass line. Perhaps just a half note followed by one pickup note for the next bar.
 
On 66 and 67 you have a nice little fanfare thing on Tpt 1 and Hn. The descending line on Tpt 2 feels to me like it's in the way.
 
Cheers,
Jer

Jer thanks for taking the time to critic the work.

The reason I put the quarter note triplets in "play" was to attempt to carry the beginning motif through the harmonic transition.  Did I fail in this matter?  Or did I just handle it poorly?

I agree that the bass line in measure 16 can be changed to a half note.

Although, I am not in total agreement with the ending fanfare suggestion.   The measures with out the descending eighth note line lacks texture and feels empty; unless I find another substitution/idea for those  measures.  I need to play with it a bit and see.

Again thanks for hanging in there with me.  Ir's a great learning experience.

Mark
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: mjf1947 on March 21, 2019, 06:31:01 PM

Mark, some thoughts.

I like the first and last part of the piece. Except for bar 7. I think the triplets stops the nice flow you have in the music. Or maybe my ears need the first beat in that bar. Itís tied to the 8th note in the previous bar and that makes that bar a little strange to me.

I also think it stops a bit before bar 22. Need some forward movement perhaps.

To me itís the small things that make the music interesting.  Not just a nice melody. The movement in Trombone in bar 2 and that it reappears in the Horn part in bar 4 is very nice and the D in Tuba in bar 25 is a fine example on how to move the music forward.

Very nice. 

Morten

Morton thanks so much for your critic.

As I said in the previous post .... my intent was to carry over the motif from the beginning of the work.  I'll take another look at it.

As for measure 22 .... I added some forward movement in the trombone part.

Thanks again for following the thread.  I know some forum embers enjoy seeing a work develop over time.

Hopefully I will meet with my mentor this Saturday and we can review the new version of the work.  I already made changes to the mid-section to tighten up the initial flow ...actually deleted 4 superfluous measures to better state the main theme and texture.

Mark
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: mjf1947 on March 22, 2019, 06:28:38 AM
Jer,

I adjusted the fanfare at the end.

See attached.

Mark
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: Jerry Engelbach on March 22, 2019, 04:54:14 PM
Mark,
 
That looks like it might work better.
 
I have to say, though, that I really liked the sound before, with the horn doubling the trumpet.
 
It's great that you put yourself out there and are open to suggestions. Agree or disagree, the back and forth is a great pleasure.
 
Cheers,
Jer
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: mjf1947 on March 22, 2019, 05:41:02 PM
Mark,
 
That looks like it might work better.
 
I have to say, though, that I really liked the sound before, with the horn doubling the trumpet.
 
It's great that you put yourself out there and are open to suggestions. Agree or disagree, the back and forth is a great pleasure.
 
Cheers,
Jer

What do you think of this?  I like the overall texture now.

I see my mentor tomorrow ... it will be interesting to hear his take on things.

Mark
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: mjf1947 on March 23, 2019, 12:47:46 PM
I met with my mentor today.  I made a few tweaks to parts .... however, I  will concentrate on slightly reformulating the ending measures.  I have a few ideas and directions to pursue.  In a few weeks after a final meeting or so on this work I will post it in the completed section of the forums.

Thank you  all for your support and advice.   ;D

Mark

PS: I think I will revisit my Through the Looking Glass composition as my next learning project with my Mentor.
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: Jerry Engelbach on March 23, 2019, 05:56:45 PM
Mark,
 
I played around with your latest revision in Finale.
 
I like the idea of that fanfare standing more or less alone, without that descending note pattern behind.
 
Here's my dos centavos. A bit too syncopated, perhaps?
 
Cheers,
Jer
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: mjf1947 on March 23, 2019, 06:23:33 PM
Jer,

I will be away from my computer for awhile.  I definitely will see how it fits. I've already made challenges to the section with a similar intent; although, I am open to all possibilities.

Thanks .....................

Mark
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: Jerry Engelbach on March 25, 2019, 02:35:56 PM
Mark,
 
Hope I wasn't being presumptuous.
 
I just thought it would be fun to try some things with your scoring.
 
I enjoyed hearing your sounds coming out of my own setup.
 
Cheers,
Jer
Title: Re: Brass Quintet
Post by: mjf1947 on March 25, 2019, 08:01:06 PM
Mark,
 
Hope I wasn't being presumptuous.
 
I just thought it would be fun to try some things with your scoring.
 
I enjoyed hearing your sounds coming out of my own setup.
 
Cheers,
Jer


Not at all.

All suggestions given in the right spirit are most welcome.

Mark