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Music By Members => Works in Progress: Junior => Topic started by: mjf1947 on May 19, 2019, 08:12:43 AM

Title: Brass Quintet Variations
Post by: mjf1947 on May 19, 2019, 08:12:43 AM
Hi all,

Here's a piece I pulled out to continue to develop.

It is a work in progress .... It NOT complete.

All suggestions most welcome.

Doing a set of variations "ain't" easy!  :o

I have not shared it with my mentor as yet.

Title: Re: Brass Quintet Variations
Post by: whitebark on May 19, 2019, 08:26:23 PM
That's a nice set of variations on (I guess) a Christmas tune.  A bit jarring to hear in May, but hey, there are only 7 shopping months left until next Christmas. Theme and Variations is a great form for beginning composers.  Melodic material, motives, and structure are provided for you, and all need to do is let your imagination and composing skills run wild. 

Title: Re: Brass Quintet Variations
Post by: mjf1947 on May 19, 2019, 08:56:15 PM
"Country Gardens" is an English folk tune collected by Cecil Sharp from the playing of William Kimber and arranged for piano in 1918 by Percy Grainger. In 2008, "Country Gardens" was added to the National Film and Sound Archive's Sounds of Australia registry.

PS:  I worked on the piece so more ..... finding little errors here and there.

       As soon as I meet with my mentor ..... and do some more ..... I'll then post again.
Title: Re: Brass Quintet Variations
Post by: whitebark on May 20, 2019, 03:03:02 PM
Ah, I stand corrected - it's not a Christmas tune. But nice all the same.  You might lengthen the breaks between some of the varations to mark their starts better. And certainly add more of them to make a five minute piece or longer. Get a bit more wild, too.  Try a minor key variation, a fugue, etc. Consider the variety achieved in say, Elgar's Enigma Variations.

Title: Re: Brass Quintet Variations
Post by: Michel.R.E on May 24, 2019, 11:01:28 AM
I find that, for example in your theme, you tend to not use the full colour of your harmony, and at times this leads to what sounds like voice-leading errors. there ARE a few actual voice leading errors, like hopping to a unison by leaps in both voices.
But what I notice most is that you are relying too much on unison between various voices and not enough on suspensions, off-harmony notes, and filling in the chords with all of their elements: root, 3rd and 5th.

without sitting at the piano with the score it's hard for me to comment further, and unfortunately, my printer died on me recently. meaning I can't make a copy to put at the keyboard.
Title: Re: Brass Quintet Variations
Post by: gogreen on May 24, 2019, 06:39:34 PM
You have some very nice things going on in these variations. But, as Michel said, there are some distractions. Why did you make that section in 3/4 when it feels so strongly 4/4? The 3/4 seemed pointless to me. You could have kept the 3/4 and made some unusual accents and other embellishments to make a really, uh, varied variation. I also think the untransposed score is a distraction. One more item: Shouldn't that tuba part be an octave lower? That would certainly give the piece a depth of sound that it currently lacks. I think that would change the whole piece's color. As I said, I think this has some really nice possibilities, but the variations overall need to be more, well, varied. Yup--definitely develop this!

Title: Re: Brass Quintet Variations
Post by: RJB54 on June 01, 2019, 01:57:34 PM
I agree with what Art said. The tuba is too high most of the time and the variations are too similar. There is a lot of potential here though so keep working on it.

Some years ago both Michel and myself posted variations on this theme. You could check those pieces out to see some quite 'varied' variations (escpecially in my piece where the variations sometimes drift quite a bit away from the straight version of the theme).
Title: Re: Brass Quintet Variations
Post by: mjf1947 on June 01, 2019, 02:32:40 PM
Thanks for the review..........

At the moment I am correcting all the voice leading and harmonic errors in the variations.

Busy with concerts ... still have not ment with my mentor.

Title: Re: Brass Quintet Variations
Post by: Patrick O'Keefe on June 03, 2019, 01:11:16 PM
Jay brings up an interesting point.  While there are many Theme and Variations where the theme is obvious in each variation, there are also those (such as Elgar's Enigma) where the connection between the variations is tenuous at best.  (It helps that nobody knows what the theme was.  You don't have that option since yours is clearly Country Gardens.)  But you don't have to stick closely to the original; you can go off in any direction you like.  Jay's suggestion of minor is an easy one, for example.