Author Topic: The Ash Grove Challenge  (Read 2637 times)

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Ron

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The Ash Grove Challenge
« on: May 07, 2014, 07:07:19 PM »
Attached please find a pdf of the melody of a traditional Welsh song. My great niece sang this before an audience of 1,000 with a full orchestra backing recently, which made me think of this piece as a suitable theme and variations challenge.

Simple tune, catchy, and with enough unique features that interesting things ought to be possible. Use any instrument combo you wish, but I suggest keeping it a small ensemble.

BTW, I attended the premier of Michel's "...With Apologies to Percy" this past weekend in Montreal. Remember that this work for solo piano began life as a similar challenge on this forum.

Remember the first rule of such challenges: have fun!


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Ron
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tbmartin

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Re: The Ash Grove Challenge
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2014, 05:22:53 AM »
I did a sax quartet of Ash Grove combined with the hymntune Lyons. I started arranging in about 2003, and this has a 2004 date on it, so it's one of my earliest works.

4-bar intro
A: first statement of Ash Grove, soprano with melody
B: first statement of Lyons, alto with melody
C: alternating phrases of the two, followed by D: a "mini-fugue-esque" treatment of the melodies
E: Three layers: Soprano descant, Alto with Lyons, Tenor with Ash Grove
F: Coda.

I have a midi file at work, but the forum won't allow midi attachments. I have a recording at home, but I'm at work. Stay tuned...
Score and sound file attached.

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« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 07:11:16 PM by tbmartin »
Terence Martin

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

Ron

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Re: The Ash Grove Challenge
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2014, 06:19:49 AM »
To be clear: though I am working on a theme and variations project, the idea which I realize now that I never stated was to write an interesting arrangement of this simple tune, as did Terence.
Ron
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Ron

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Re: The Ash Grove Challenge
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2014, 06:52:11 AM »
Here's my introductory arrangement of the theme. (Though I migrate to the tonal centre of A at the end in my "theme and variations" project.)

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Gillespie

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Re: The Ash Grove Challenge
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2014, 09:58:50 AM »
I did a sax quartet of Ash Grove combined with the hymntune Lyons. I started arranging in about 2003, and this has a 2004 date on it, so it's one of my earliest works.

4-bar intro
A: first statement of Ash Grove, soprano with melody
B: first statement of Lyons, alto with melody
C: alternating phrases of the two, followed by D: a "mini-fugue-esque" treatment of the melodies
E: Three layers: Soprano descant, Alto with Lyons, Tenor with Ash Grove
F: Coda.


D and E really kept my attention.  Well done!

FossMaNo1

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Re: The Ash Grove Challenge
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2014, 07:48:46 PM »
Ron...THANK YOU! Michel mentioned a little while ago about using the contrabass in pizzicato to support the rest of the ensemble. I could certainly imagine what he was referring to, however I hadn't yet actually seen an example first-hand that I recalled. Your arrangement demonstrates this very well!
C. Foster Payne
Worship Leader at Arapahoe Road Baptist Church, martial artist, Cowboy, karateka, father, husband...wannabe composer
"If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around."

Ron

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Re: The Ash Grove Challenge
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2014, 07:59:13 AM »
In another posting I mentioned some difficulties in writing for guitar, so I decided to take this simple tune and see what I'd do on a guitar. Nothing fancy here--just wanted to make something playable.

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Ron
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mjf1947

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Re: The Ash Grove Challenge
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2014, 02:21:20 PM »
In another posting I mentioned some difficulties in writing for guitar, so I decided to take this simple tune and see what I'd do on a guitar. Nothing fancy here--just wanted to make something playable.

Hey Ron what sound library did you use in the mp3?

How did you get the strumming effect so nice?

Mark

Ron

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Re: The Ash Grove Challenge
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2014, 02:41:24 PM »
Believe it or not, this entire project took less than 10 minutes. I selected "classical guitar" from Finale's setup wizard and it assigned the SoftSynth nylon guitar (something I would never have selected if I had realized what Finale had done--the sound was okay, so I never bothered to check.)

As for the strumming effect, I didn't do anything. I assumed that that is how Human Playback (which I have been telling people for years not to tinker with) interpreted it automatically.


Goes to show what Finale can do if people stop trying to force it to do something else.
Ron
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