[no longer] Attempting a Quartet piece...

OP
synkrotron

synkrotron

A creator of Stuff
Hi @Rowy :)

Of course, we are all different.

Just because some Peeps come into their stride in their later years doesn't mean we all can.


Regarding proper old age. My dad popped his clogs at 60 (1998, so I am well over that crappy episode) and his dad died at 59 (never met my grand dad).

So I somehow doubt that I'll be reaching 80... It's in the blood, so to speak... But if were are both here in twenty years time we'll have a laugh and a chat about this :grin:

First of all, if you want to take a look at a string quartet by Haydn, don't take one of the higher numbers. Try his first ones. They seem very easy, and they are. You'll be surprised.
Ah, good to know, thanks :)

Look at Haydn's minuets.
Good idea :)


cheers,

andy
 
OP
synkrotron

synkrotron

A creator of Stuff
Hi @BlackDorito :)

I'm trying to understand the difference between "ostinato" and "arpeggio."

Arpeggio is something that I (thought) I was familiar with. A selection of notes, often a chord, which repeats.

Ostinato seems to be very similar in that is a repetitive phrase or motif.


Anyway, had a listen to your examples... Yes, I do this sort of thing quite often but just not with "classical" sounds. Many of my creations build from this kind of thing, so I should be able to do the same with my new library.


cheers, and thanks for those tips :)


andy
 

JPComposer

Senior Member
I was in a similar position a while back.

Jonathan Peters' courses give you everything you need to know to get going. I took composition 1&2 over a few weeks condensing it all onto 8 sides of A4 by the end. All these questions you have will be cleared up. A very concise and well thought out course.

Before I started all my music was basically a drone with arpeggios over it because I couldn't think of anything else. After I finished it I was able to write a piano sonata.


Finding out about form and theme development especially was a breakthrough. The tutor is a bit dry, but I really can't recommend these courses enough going by what I personally got out of them.

Cheap too. Every time I've been to the page it's always been less than £20.
 

Mornats

Hobbyist
Thanks for the course recommendation. It's £13.19 for me at the moment so I grabbed that. I learned something just from one of the sample 4 minute videos so I think it'll definitely be worth it!
 

ism

Senior Member
For about the same cost ($11 on kindle) you can get Belkin's "Musical Composition: Craft and Art"




I don't know this particular Udemy course, but I have a few. And while you can certainly learn things from them ... I guess I just pedagogically really do find them poor to terrible. They're almost always on sale for ~90% off. And they're probably worth the $10 or so you pay for them ... but there's generally much better resources available.


Belkin's book, for instance, is genuinely informed by his decades of really deeply thinking about pedagogical issues in teaching composition. Even just getting the kindle preview to read the introduction might be enough to see what I mean. If he would make some videos to accompany it, it would be an instant hit, I predict.

Or Alain's scoreclub (although the pricing is deeply unfortunate, unless you have a lot of time to put into it in a short time) which has all the hands on practicality of videos, simply imbued with Alain's decades of pedagogical experience.

Or Mike Verta's Mastercalsses - more formal, and more filmic, but Composition I, I'd suggest is also a good starting point, followed but Counterpoint ... would be a nice augmentation to Belkin, and a great stepping stone to more formal counter point.

One possible exception might be the cheapo Udemy courses on Counterpoint. I've skimmed a couple of these, and while pedagogically they don't seem to be much more than videos that summarize the bullet points in the back of the chapters of any counterpoint text, if you already know something about actual music, that that's maybe enough to get you going.

In general, learning the formal *rules* of counterpoint is perfectly straightforward. It's figuring out what the *mean* in actual music that's hard.



But I suppose that's for another thread.
 
Last edited:
OP
synkrotron

synkrotron

A creator of Stuff
For about the same cost you can get Belkin's "Musical Composition: Craft and Art"
Thanks for the heads-up, ism, I will have a look at that too.

I was also considering something from here, having watched some of their YouTube videos recently:-



And I have also been watching some of this guy's videos, mentioned elsewhere on this forum:-




all helpful stuff :)
 

ism

Senior Member
Thanks for the heads-up, ism, I will have a look at that too.

I was also considering something from here, having watched some of their YouTube videos recently:-



And I have also been watching some of this guy's videos, mentioned elsewhere on this forum:-




all helpful stuff :)

Yep, lots of good stuff out there.

Also, Ludwin's books (which are really the powerpoint of his masterclasses):


which miss some of the basic pedagogical structure you get in Belkin, for instance, but have a wealth of useful and practical content in a form that I just don't think you can find elsewhere.

Also, I find this book illuminating:


But it requires a suprising amount of algebraic geometry - it frames music as shapes on orbinfolds (which are geometric manifolds, only with topological wonkiness. Which is fascinating because I've never seen an application for orbinfolds outside of quantum field theory before).

Yeah, maybe just ignore that last one.

But the larger point is - there's an explosion of resources, but its chaotic and unorganized. And its worth

a) paying for it . Because top tier pedagogy is incredibly hard to do, and immensely valuable to find. (I'm not saying you can't find good pedagogy on Udemy. Just that I never have, and that the nature of the platform, at least arguably, deters it). And

b) research the various resources to find out what's going to meet you where you're at.


I'll go so far to say that the Udemy model strikes me as being best suited to quickly and cheaply produced courses that just mine the easiest stuff to teach, ignoring anything that's difficult, even if its also important. So there are some easy wins in the information you do get, but I never seem to feel that the end result is a particular good pedagogical foundation.

And there's a similar risk with youtube. There's no pedagogical standard. Successful youtube videos hit the topics of low hanging fruit and instant gratification.

Top Tier pedagogy is something very different. And at least for certain types of things, the value to students of high quality vs low quality pedagogy is enormous.
 
Last edited:

BlackDorito

Active Member
More thoughts:

Common affliction .. no whining :)

Ostinato, arpeggio, obbligato - yes, confusing terms. Ostinato implies repetition, but arpeggio does not (although commonly used that way).

You could write a string quartet, which might imply some stylistic expectations, or you could write for a string quartet (the four instruments), which should not. Thinking linearly, imagining what each individual performer will see in their part score, will help in either case (particularly if you want it performed). I've done it ineffectively in the past by creating motives and passages at the piano, which made me think too vertically. The piano is a trap!
 

Kevin Fortin

Active Member
For about the same cost ($11 on kindle) you can get Belkin's "Musical Composition: Craft and Art"




[...]


Belkin's book, for instance, is genuinely informed by his decades of really deeply thinking about pedagogical issues in teaching composition. Even just getting the kindle preview to read the introduction might be enough to see what I mean. If he would make some videos to accompany it, it would be an instant hit, I predict.
I recently learned elsewhere on this forum that Alan Belkin does have his own YouTube channel:

(That links to his front page, which only shows a few videos. There are many more items under the Videos link.)

And even more material can be found on his website, e.g., under the Teacher link:
 
Last edited:

Rowy

Active Member
Getting back to one of your earlier ideas of doing exercises to get familiar with string libraries, one thing I often do that you might consider - lay down a simple ostinato and then add a lead over it.
That is an excellent idea. Like a Chaconne or a Passacaglia. Or the famous Canon by Pachelbel.
 
OP
synkrotron

synkrotron

A creator of Stuff
@Mornats

Let me know how you get on with that JP course.

Lesson 01, assignment 5;

I have already fell foul of the 3/4 6/8 thing... Both work, but which is the right way to notate? I went for 3/4 but the answer was written in 6/8.

I need to get my head around that before moving on...
 

Mornats

Hobbyist
Will do :) It may be slow going as my usual learning technique is as follows:
  1. Learn a little bit of knowledge.
  2. Listen to some examples of that knowledge in practice.
  3. Write a piece or two exploring that little bit of knowledge.
  4. Get it wrong, but learn the questions I now need to ask.
  5. Ask the questions.
  6. Get the answers (usually from the amazing people on here).
  7. Improve the pieces I was working on.
  8. Get bored with the pieces I was working on.
  9. Start writing new pieces.
  10. Realise I need Spitfire Studio Brass and Woodwinds to go with my strings.
  11. Buy sample libraries.
 

rudi

Active Member
@Mornats

I have already fell foul of the 3/4 6/8 thing... Both work, but which is the right way to notate? I went for 3/4 but the answer was written in 6/8.

I need to get my head around that before moving on...
The key difference is how each measure is sub-divided into beats.

In 6/8 you have TWO groups of 8th notes (123 456)
IN 3/4 you have THREE groups of 1/4 notes (1 2 3)

In terms of emphasis 6/8 has a "STRONG weak" feel.
In 3/4 you'd have a "STRONG weak weak" feel.

It might help to count them as follows to know where the beats fall:
In 6/8 you could count it as "ONE trip-let TWO trip-let" (think We Are the Champions)
In 3/4 you'd count is as "ONE TWO THREE" (think waltz time).
 
OP
synkrotron

synkrotron

A creator of Stuff
Will do :) It may be slow going as my usual learning technique is as follows:
  1. Learn a little bit of knowledge.
  2. Listen to some examples of that knowledge in practice.
  3. Write a piece or two exploring that little bit of knowledge.
  4. Get it wrong, but learn the questions I now need to ask.
  5. Ask the questions.
  6. Get the answers (usually from the amazing people on here).
  7. Improve the pieces I was working on.
  8. Get bored with the pieces I was working on.
  9. Start writing new pieces.
  10. Realise I need Spitfire Studio Brass and Woodwinds to go with my strings.
  11. Buy sample libraries.
That sounds so familiar :grin:
 
OP
synkrotron

synkrotron

A creator of Stuff
Hi @rudi :)

The first real lesson on this course I have bought into is regarding transcribing rhythms.

There are five audio file examples of simple rhythms over a small number of bars. Each one has the downbeat accented so that definitely helps the listener to work out the meter.

You listen to each example and try to work out the rhythm and put it down on paper or, as I am doing, using MuseScore.

I'll be honest... Pretty basic stuff, even for me, but I did struggle a little bit with assignment 5. I didn't even go straight into MuseScore with this one and got out some pencil and paper instead.

I worked out correctly that there were six 1/8th notes but, from the example provided, I failed to latch onto the 123 456 feel, so I opted for the 1 and 2 and 3 and feel (3/4) instead... Still six 1/8th notes.

But now that I know what to look (listen) for, it seems obvious as I listen to that example again.


Onto lesson 2!

cheers,

andy :)
 

rudi

Active Member
Hi Andy,

I am not very good at transcriptions... but I have been getting better at recognising pitches and rhythms.
I remember the first few times I came across 6/8, and much more rarely 3/4 as a drummer, and how confusing it was (plus 99.99% of drumming is in 4/4 ;)) Once I started to recognise the difference it became much easier. :)