Author Topic: Happy Holidays!! An arrangement of "My Three Ships..."  (Read 456 times)

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whitebark

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Happy Holidays!! An arrangement of "My Three Ships..."
« on: November 26, 2018, 04:36:22 PM »
Well, the holiday season is bearing down on us once again, so this is a good time to introduce this bit of musical silliness - my arrangement of "I Saw Three Ships" for classical orchestra.  Not the most profound composition, to be sure, but I had fun writing it.  The score could use refinement, of course.

Score:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/fyuu7ynldhgmihd/I%20saw%20three%20ships%20v2.pdf?dl=0

Recording:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/u7ea2i2eh2uf8k4/I%20Saw%20Three%20Ships.mp3?dl=0


Cheers,
Jay

Jerry Engelbach

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Re: Happy Holidays!! An arrangement of "My Three Ships..."
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2018, 09:20:45 AM »
That was magnificent, Jay! Great orchestration.
 
What an imaginative and fantastic sounding set of variations. They made me bounce.
 
One thing: I wonder if the repeats would be better without repeating the two-bar intros and instead just returning to the melody.
 
Muchisimas gracias for the holiday treat.
 
Cheers,
Jer
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sandalwood

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Re: Happy Holidays!! An arrangement of "My Three Ships..."
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2018, 09:45:50 AM »
Just lovely, Jay! I seriously think people should be seeking to hire you as arranger (forgetting about composing for a moment).

I waited for someone else to reply first so that I don't sound too enthusiastic :)

mjf1947

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Re: Happy Holidays!! An arrangement of "My Three Ships..."
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2018, 10:30:59 AM »
Great Fun!

 However the Oboes sounded like trumpets in the opening~!?  :o  :'(   :-\   ??? 

Mark

whitebark

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Re: Happy Holidays!! An arrangement of "My Three Ships..."
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2018, 11:43:55 AM »
That was magnificent, Jay! Great orchestration.
 

Glad you enjoyed it, Jerry. This whole thing started out as an ear worm. Four years ago, I was walking in the park and that "My Three Ships" tune started playing in my head. It wouldn't stop, so finally I had to do something.   I sat down at my computer and dashed off this set of variations, and expunging the ear worm at the same time. I wasn't intending to post the piece in this serious music forum, but then yesterday I tried out a new brand of (legal) cannabis infused mint and an hour later "My Three Ships" sounded like the best thing ever written. So here it is. Actually, someone might enjoy performing the piece, so perhaps I should take some time and refine it.

As you noted, the repeats could be improved. I wrote this piece quickly and was a bit lazy. Probably best to get rid of the repeat signs and write the music out, with variation.

-Jay

whitebark

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Re: Happy Holidays!! An arrangement of "My Three Ships..."
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2018, 11:52:04 AM »
Great Fun!

 However the Oboes sounded like trumpets in the opening~!?  :o  :'(   :-\   ??? 

Mark

NotePerformer strikes again !

Jay

Jerry Engelbach

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Re: Happy Holidays!! An arrangement of "My Three Ships..."
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2018, 02:09:06 PM »
I wasn't intending to post the piece in this serious music forum, but then yesterday I tried out a new brand of (legal) cannabis infused mint and an hour later "My Three Ships" sounded like the best thing ever written.

Yeah, I thought I smelled something funny while I was listening ...
 
Cheers,
Jer
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whitebark

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Re: Happy Holidays!! An arrangement of "My Three Ships..."
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2018, 12:11:11 PM »
Here is a slightly refined version of "I Saw Three Ships". Many corrections to the score. Repeat marks have been eliminated.

Score:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/cddwfcx2xm9bnum/I%20saw%20three%20ships%20v8.pdf?dl=0

Recording:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/2khga2z58krdu7x/I%20Saw%20Three%20Ships%20v8.mp3?dl=0


Happy Holidays!
Jay
« Last Edit: December 03, 2018, 05:01:36 PM by whitebark »

Lee Merrill

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Re: Happy Holidays!! An arrangement of "My Three Ships..."
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2018, 05:33:04 PM »
I like it! Very inventive...
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RJB54

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Re: Happy Holidays!! An arrangement of "My Three Ships..."
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2018, 08:07:30 AM »
Nice! I could definitely hear this as part of a Christmas concert.
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tbmartin

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Re: Happy Holidays!! An arrangement of "My Three Ships..."
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2018, 03:56:29 AM »
Very nice!  My favorite part is where it starts a fugue and then goes off to quote other melodies instead. Plot twist!
Terence Martin

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sandalwood

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Re: Happy Holidays!! An arrangement of "My Three Ships..."
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2018, 07:24:44 AM »

Michel.R.E

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Re: Happy Holidays!! An arrangement of "My Three Ships..."
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2019, 11:24:24 AM »
The arrangement is fun harmonically, but the orchestration is a bit clunky.

There is far too much unison in the pairs of woodwinds. also, simply 2 flutes, then 2 oboes, then 2 clarinets, then 2 flutes again... it gets a bit monotonous, and the density and weight of the sound will be uneven.

Write a simple alternate "2nd instrument" part for each, so that your two flutes are NOT playing the same thing, nor your oboes (who should never be written in unison unless you WANT a particularly honky out-of-tune sound), etc...

Blend, blend, blend... use your instruments in pairs, but then also use them in combined groupings: for example 2 flutes with an oboe and a clarinet? a flute, and your two oboes using their individual parts, and a clarinet playing the alternate lower part?

I don't know if you get my drift.

The "alternate" part I speak of can be homophonic with the melody, just, not the same notes. it can move in parallel a 3rd (or 4th, or 5th, etc...) off from the melody. It can move in contrary motion. it can be rhythmically independent while not detracting from the actual melodic material it accompanies.
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whitebark

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Re: Happy Holidays!! An arrangement of "My Three Ships..."
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2019, 12:18:49 PM »
Michel, thanks for taking a look at this!  Yes, I was aware of all the unison woodwind parts,  which reflect my 2014 era orchestration skill. The slightly crude sound of the unisons may be o.k. for this piece, which is short and a bit raucous in nature.

Improving the orchestration using your suggestions would be a great exercise...maybe for next Christmas!

Jay

whitebark

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Re: Happy Holidays!! An arrangement of "My Three Ships..."
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2019, 02:42:41 PM »
Of course I couldn't leave this piece alone until next Christmas.  So I reworked it, partially fixing the lazy and excessive use of "a 2" woodwinds using various methods. Sometimes I had the woodwinds play in parallel thirds or sixths, or I moved some parts up or down an octave (which can improve blending of the sound).  Alarmed by Michel's suggestion that two oboes playing in unison can sound like a pair of sick ducks, I changed the second oboe part into a contrapuntal accompaniment in the solo part at the beginning of the piece.  I simply deleted the second part in a few places. I kept the "a 2" parts in some loud sections where it won't be noticed so much.

I have the scores for Beethoven's early symphonies, so I took a look on how the old master handled his woodwind parts. He usually avoids unison woodwinds except in loud passages. He doesn't hesitate to let the second player just sit there and not play if he is not needed. 

O.k. here is the final (yeah right!) version of the piece:

Recording:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/6a1bljq7n22yi72/I%20Saw%20Three%20Ships%20v11.mp3?dl=0

score:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/bnvyrfr3jtw5ldm/I%20saw%20three%20ships%20v11.pdf?dl=0

Cheers!
Jay