Author Topic: Chrysalis  (Read 232 times)

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« on: August 01, 2020, 04:06:21 PM »
This is the middle movement of a piece for strings and woodwinds (with percussion).  It is intended for a high school orchestra and has a part of a soloist violin.  It is in slightly modified rondo form - ABABAAB.  It is my first orchestral piece with woodwinds (I had only written for strings before). 

Comments and suggestions welcome.


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Re: Chrysalis
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2020, 06:11:38 AM »
Was this an assignment to write only for strings and woodwinds? Marimba is an interesting choice--I think there's a lot of potential here. When the marimba first appears, I'd keep the melody in the marimba but make the accompaniment very light and airy (lots of rests) to really bring out the marimba. Give that marimba a proper introduction!  :) Then I might repeat the section you led with on pages 3-4.

Your music is chordal--it's as if you wrote the chords and then tried to hang a melody on top of them. Don't get me wrong--that's OK. But try something different by writing--and polishing--only a melody first. Think about composers you admire and the melodies they're written that you like. Emulate their style. Then consider your melody's harmony and embellishment. But start only with a melody, a theme, a motif. 8 measures, for instance. I bet this takes you to new composition places and possibilities!



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Re: Chrysalis
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2020, 07:45:06 AM »
Hi there.............. Welcome again~!

There's lots of possibilities in this work.  There are some very pleasant harmonic colors .... with a flowing melodic line.

Yet, it's a bit "constrained".  Why not experiment with the instrumental lines, i.e., you have the oboe and flute playing in unison a lot .... maybe some counter movement/melody would add some interesting texture and/or even some thirds or sixths?

I hear an underlying pull/potential/current for more color and florid idioms. 

I think the work can take off and fly .......  why not play with it awhile and see what comes forth.  :angel:



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Re: Chrysalis
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2020, 01:39:16 AM »
Nice! I absolutely love the marimba. I love how you've used both its tinkling upper register and the rich, woody tones of the base. Anything with a marimba part like that is a winner for me ;D.


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Re: Chrysalis
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2020, 03:26:17 AM »
Thanks for posting this piece. It's an interesting mix of instruments as others have said and the piece is enjoying to listen.

Apparently to make it more playable for the high school orchestra, I see you have generally used simpler, shared rhythms and frequently used unison doublings both in the winds and strings. Nonetheless, I would suggest not neglecting to maintain good counterpoint between especially the outer voices and particularly taking care to avoid consecutive perfect intervals (also with the following downbeat) and hidden perfect intervals.

As Timothy has said, marimba does win hearts and I agree with Art's related suggestions as well as his other remarks.

All in all I think this is a refreshing piece and I look forward to hearing more!



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Re: Chrysalis
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2020, 12:12:23 PM »
Thank you, everyone, for your comments and suggestions.

Jerry Engelbach

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Re: Chrysalis
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2020, 01:08:26 PM »
It's a strong work, with nice harmonies and good forward momentum.
It reminds me of a baroque work for ground bass. I would like to have heard more variations over the bass line.
I also missed the marimba after it stopped, which kind of deflated the rest of the piece.
I think Art and Mark had some good suggestions.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2020, 01:10:23 PM by Jerry Engelbach »
Finale 26
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