Author Topic: 411 Fanfare - The Eagle Reborn  (Read 2075 times)

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tbmartin

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411 Fanfare - The Eagle Reborn
« on: September 04, 2016, 07:13:13 PM »
I've finished my complete draft of my piece for concert band. (Labor mightily, give birth to a peanut...)  The score and an mp3 are on my website:

http://terencemartinsaxar.wixsite.com/saxarranger/works-in-progress

First, apologies and caveats are in order: The mp3 is made from the midi file, which came straight out of Finale 2003a with zero upgrades. The percussion is particularly nasty. Drum and xylophone rolls sound like a car with a bad starter. I've done NO dynamics, articulations, slurs, etc. I've done nothing to the engraving other than to get it to fit on the page.

In the spirit of recent discussions, here's my thinking behind the piece:

The piece is in celebration of the renovation of our local high school. "411" is the street number of the school, and the school mascot is the Eagles. The opening motif is "eagIe", where I = roman 1, the tonic of the scale. When the motif is used in the intro, and the chord changes, the 4th note moves to the root of the new chord, and the other notes stay the same.

The echoing motif in the intro is daVId, where 5 and 1 move with the chord but the others don't. David is the band director.

The closing cadence of most sections is 4-1-1. I have a quote from the school's fight song in a few places (Same as Yale's fight song)

Specific Sections:
A: Intro, first statements of the eag1e and daVId motifs.
B: Woodwind chorale. Main melody first presented.
C: The "Construction". Percussion is supposed to sound a bit like construction noise. The eag1e theme gets moved around, just like the kids had to move around the building during construction as classes kept getting moved.
D: Brass chorale. Modest variations to the Main melody and in Eb (no key change: just used accidentals)
E: Interlude, modulate back into Ab.
F: Construction phase 2
G: Fanfare: Main melody, a counter-melody in the Horn and ASax, plus trumpet fanfare.
H: Coda. Almost identical to the intro.
Terence Martin

Tools: Finale 2003 on Windows XP
Day job: Actuary
Composing/Arranging output: mostly sax quartets
http://bit.ly/TerenceMartinSaxArranger
Goal: Improve quantity and quality of concert band compositions.
Play: Saxophones (all, but tenor primary), Bass Clarinet, Piano (poorly)

gogreen

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Re: 411 Fanfare - The Eagle Reborn
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2016, 05:56:07 AM »
I like it, Terence. Very cleverly organized work. Well-written, intelligible form, and ranges seem OK. Yeah, as you said, the score needs to be refined with dynamics, articulations, etc., I can see a high school band having fun with this, but the flutes, clarinets, trumpets--firsts and seconds--might have trouble playing the motif cleanly even with a lot of rehearsals. One big thing, though--the rendering. If you created the piece in Finale 2003a, you could download Finale 25 for free and rework it there with the 30-day trial, using the instruments that come with Finale. I would submit this for publication with, and only with, three musts: 1) a polished score, 2) a good recording of a polished performance (be patient to obtain this), and 3) Two or three paragraphs of explanation of the piece's construction and some director rehearsal notes.

Bravo!

tbmartin

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Re: 411 Fanfare - The Eagle Reborn
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2016, 06:41:40 AM »
Thanks!  I also have some concerns for the percussion. An off-forum friend remarked that there's too much cymbal, and she had some more suggestions on "construction sounds" such as having tympani players using sticks against the body of the tymps. Of all the families, I'm least comfortable with percussion having never played it and I don't always even correctly identify the sound with the source. (The current rendering of the percussion certainly doesn't help!)
« Last Edit: September 06, 2016, 07:21:24 AM by tbmartin »
Terence Martin

Tools: Finale 2003 on Windows XP
Day job: Actuary
Composing/Arranging output: mostly sax quartets
http://bit.ly/TerenceMartinSaxArranger
Goal: Improve quantity and quality of concert band compositions.
Play: Saxophones (all, but tenor primary), Bass Clarinet, Piano (poorly)

Michel.R.E

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Re: 411 Fanfare - The Eagle Reborn
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2016, 10:03:46 AM »
for the "construction" part, maybe a more prolonged section of percussion only?
don't be afraid to stick to one sound for more than a single hit.
right now, in my opinion, the percussion is a bit too "all over the place". less can be more.
listen to a real construction site. the sound isn't a continuous stream of all of the possible sounds. it comes in starts and stops, fits of activity, then the prominent sound of one piece of machinery over the others.
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

RJB54

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Re: 411 Fanfare - The Eagle Reborn
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2016, 02:04:54 PM »
How do you get the mp3 to play? I click on what looks like a play button but nothing happens.
Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is THE BEST.
Frank Zappa

tbmartin

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Re: 411 Fanfare - The Eagle Reborn
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2016, 02:13:26 PM »
it should just play when you click on the ">" button to the right of the score. Try refreshing the webpage?
Terence Martin

Tools: Finale 2003 on Windows XP
Day job: Actuary
Composing/Arranging output: mostly sax quartets
http://bit.ly/TerenceMartinSaxArranger
Goal: Improve quantity and quality of concert band compositions.
Play: Saxophones (all, but tenor primary), Bass Clarinet, Piano (poorly)

RJB54

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Re: 411 Fanfare - The Eagle Reborn
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2016, 02:27:02 PM »
it should just play when you click on the ">" button to the right of the score. Try refreshing the webpage?

Nevermind. I was having some problem with my sound driver and had to reboot my computer.

At bottom this works well. However, I agree that there is way too much cymbal. I think that it will lose its effect since it is used almost constantly. In general, I think the percussion would work better with a little more rhythmic variety.

I agree with Michel's comments about the 'construction' parts in that a period of percussion only might get the idea across better and provide some contrast with the other sections.
Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is THE BEST.
Frank Zappa

Periwink

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Re: 411 Fanfare - The Eagle Reborn
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2016, 03:27:04 AM »
Nice Terence, you worked hard on this piece since last time! It's really alive now.
Honesty doesn't serve the self; it serves the truth.
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tbmartin

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Re: 411 Fanfare - The Eagle Reborn
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2016, 04:10:44 AM »
Update: I gave a draft to the HS band director last night at parents open house, and he was thrilled and asked if I wanted to conduct it at the spring concert. I mentioned that this was just a draft and that the percussion especially needs a lot of work. He said that we would work on it. WE. He's a percussionist and an accomplished arranger and composer. He writes the entire marching band show for the school every year, including the drill/formations. He sells those shows. I'm totally pumped that he's willing to work with me. What an awesome learning opportunity!
« Last Edit: September 08, 2016, 04:36:57 AM by tbmartin »
Terence Martin

Tools: Finale 2003 on Windows XP
Day job: Actuary
Composing/Arranging output: mostly sax quartets
http://bit.ly/TerenceMartinSaxArranger
Goal: Improve quantity and quality of concert band compositions.
Play: Saxophones (all, but tenor primary), Bass Clarinet, Piano (poorly)

Michel.R.E

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Re: 411 Fanfare - The Eagle Reborn
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2016, 05:04:38 AM »
Fantastic Terence, congratulations.
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

gogreen

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Re: 411 Fanfare - The Eagle Reborn
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2016, 05:06:33 AM »
Good for you, Terence! That's great!

Periwink

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Re: 411 Fanfare - The Eagle Reborn
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2016, 05:32:23 AM »
Awesome!!
Honesty doesn't serve the self; it serves the truth.
-Peter Ralston

sandalwood

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Re: 411 Fanfare - The Eagle Reborn
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2016, 08:36:00 AM »
Wonderful news. Congratulations!

RJB54

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Re: 411 Fanfare - The Eagle Reborn
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2016, 01:41:41 PM »
What a great opportunity! Congratulations.
Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is THE BEST.
Frank Zappa

tbmartin

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Re: 411 Fanfare - The Eagle Reborn
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2016, 12:58:25 PM »
I asked Art a question via a private message that I thought would be a "one and done" and of little interest to the rest of the forum. However, it morphed into a discussion that may well be of interest. Therefore, with Art's permission, here is the message string, edited just to keep it concise:
(My messages are in Black, Art's responses in Red)

You seem to post mostly concert band pieces and often say roughly what grade you think the piece is.   I remember you listened and commented on my "411 Fanfare" piece. First of all, thank you! I was especially hoping you would comment because you are more familiar with band works than many of the other forum members.

According to Finale's built-in range function, all parts for my "411 Fanfare" are inside the "Intermediate" ranges, with the exception of 1st flute, 1st clarinet, and 1st & 2nd trumpet, and 1st horn which go slightly into the "advanced" range.

Reading the American Band college Music Grading chart, I would put my "411 Fanfare" at about a grade 4. Does that seem about right to you?

Yes, it does. Grade 4.  However, be careful about writing "hybrid" pieces. A "hybrid" is a piece that has some elements of a higher grade for some instruments. Publishers, and therefore, directors, shy away from these kinds of works because most bands don't have the exact mixed capability of the piece. The American Band College Music Grade chart is a good one.

I'm continuing my edits on the piece itself.  I got comments from a non-forum person that it "sounds like a marching band piece" (like that's a bad thing???  ;D). He got that feeling because the whole band plays for too much. I've been thinning the texture and we'll see where it goes.

Thinning the instrumentation works for creating texture and even different moods. Don't do that just for the sake of doing it.

Indeed.  I am doing it because the comment made me realize that the piece could use some different textures in places. While it's not a long piece (2'15" ish), it really has only 3 colors: Full band, Woodwinds only, and Brass only, maybe 4 if you count the percussion sections.  My first cut at the thinning was to make the 16-bar woodwind choral start with clarinets only, add saxes, and then full woodwinds for just the final 4 bars, and I already like it better. It keeps the 16-bars still as a unit of essentially 1 color, but introduces shades. It also provides a natural crescendo.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 01:22:08 PM by tbmartin »
Terence Martin

Tools: Finale 2003 on Windows XP
Day job: Actuary
Composing/Arranging output: mostly sax quartets
http://bit.ly/TerenceMartinSaxArranger
Goal: Improve quantity and quality of concert band compositions.
Play: Saxophones (all, but tenor primary), Bass Clarinet, Piano (poorly)