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Topic: 2nd mvmt.? Shark jump?

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  1. #1

    2nd mvmt.? Shark jump?

    Tried to update the subject line of the thread I posted earlier to let people know this piece was back online (had server trouble when I first posted it), but it wouldn't take...

    Anyway, here's the latest version of this piece I'm working on, with the evocative working title of... GPO080704

    I have two questions about this...

    As this has been developing, it seems to have taken on some mysterious and dramatic qualities that are vaguely similar to some of the flavors the Viking saga I had done a while back. I'm wondering if this could be the second movement of what eventually could be a full symphony. Is there really any 'criteria' for what makes up a symphony other than typically having four movements? I've heard some symphonies where each of the movements didn't really refer back to the others or have any specific connection other than perhaps a general kind of theme or sound or unified dramatic quality. Is it the kind of thing where a symphony is a symphony once you say it is? Or once you've got four movements, slap 'em together and call 'em a symphony? I'm sure some composers have some 'outlines' or 'plots' in mind before writing something extensive like that, but I'm just wondering if there are any guidelines for this kind of thing. Not that I won't necessarily break them, anyway, but I'd at least like to know if I am!

    Secondly, before I go any further than where I am, I am asking for some feedback as to whether you think the new section beginning with the gong at 3:22 would be considered "jumping the shark" on this piece. I wanted to get out of the woods on that droning harp part somehow and move it to something more upbeat, and I do like the new part on its own, but I'm just not sure if I like it coming after what's before it. Sometimes I do and sometimes I'm like... I know I stated in the "criticism" thread recently that I usually prefer to trust my 'artistic intuition' when creating music, as opposed to looking for too much outside feedback, but at this point it's kind of a hung jury in my brain, so I'll gladly open it up for some opinions.

    Thanks much,
    Shaz
    www.EricHermanMusic.com
    - Cool Tunes for Kids -

  2. #2
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: 2nd mvmt.? Shark jump?

    Shaz,
    First let me say you did a fantastic job of placing the percussion perfectly. Secondly, in response to your first question ... huh? And in response to your second, wat did he say?
    I didn't get a sense of the Viking Saga at all. This is very new and refreshing as a whole. The only aspect of it is the ending. You did leave it open for more, right? Can't wait to hear more. This is a great piece of music!
    Sure beats "Those Where The Days"!
    Styxx

  3. #3
    Senior Member CString's Avatar
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    Re: 2nd mvmt.? Shark jump?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shazbot

    I have two questions about this...

    As this has been developing, it seems to have taken on some mysterious and dramatic qualities that are vaguely similar to some of the flavors the Viking saga I had done a while back. I'm wondering if this could be the second movement of what eventually could be a full symphony. Is there really any 'criteria' for what makes up a symphony other than typically having four movements? I've heard some symphonies where each of the movements didn't really refer back to the others or have any specific connection other than perhaps a general kind of theme or sound or unified dramatic quality. Is it the kind of thing where a symphony is a symphony once you say it is? Or once you've got four movements, slap 'em together and call 'em a symphony? I'm sure some composers have some 'outlines' or 'plots' in mind before writing something extensive like that, but I'm just wondering if there are any guidelines for this kind of thing. Not that I won't necessarily break them, anyway, but I'd at least like to know if I am!
    Shaz,
    Symphonies haven't been limited to four movements for a very long time. When you say criteria you really have to be specific about the time period. The form developed in Mannheim in the early-mid 1700's. Even then it took on various forms. Haydn sort of laid the groundwork for the format but even he frequently fiddled (pun intended) with different things. It has done nothing but evolve from the get go.

    There are symhponies that range from one movement to gargantuan hulks in multiple movements (Mahler et.al.). Symphonies do NOT have to be cyclical either. That really didn't start until Berlioz. As a matter of fact, I would say it's less common than not.

    In my opinion, to call something a symphony today requires a structure generally large in scope (regardless of the number of movements) that develops one or more themes in great detail in all of the movements. That is an extremely modern, and very loose, definition. If it's not so large in scope then I would classify it is a sinfonietta. Hope that helps you.

    -Chad
    Me fail English? That's unpossible.

  4. #4

    Re: 2nd mvmt.? Shark jump?

    Shaz, with a little bit more refining you could turn this into a symphony. Having listened to a lot of them from Haydn to Mahler, it seems the primary definition of what comprises a symphony is in its form. Here's a cliff-notes breakdown: Traditionally the first movement is in Sonata form; the second movement is usually slow and is most often a theme and variations; the third movement is typically a dance in three; the last movement is often a fast rondo, or sometimes a theme and variations, sometimes sonata form again. Haydn and Mozart wrote some of the most traditionally styled symphonies. It wasn't until Beethoven really began to push the envelope in terms of the form and the length of the work that the definition of the symphony took on a more elevated status.

    So far, both pieces sound great. Very nice work.

  5. #5

    Re: 2nd mvmt.? Shark jump?

    Thanks for the thoughts and info about symphonies. I do sense some thematic similarities between the two pieces, so I may end up calling it a symphony, but more importantly I'll worry about one note at a time and see what happens!

    Quote Originally Posted by Styxx
    Shaz,
    First let me say you did a fantastic job of placing the percussion perfectly.
    That is especially appreciated coming from such a fine percussionist! One thing I have big time trouble with, though, is any kind of lengthy snare pattern, like in the last part of where this demo cuts off. If I play it in live, I have trouble keeping it consistent, but if I try to program it in, it never seems to sound quite convincing, either. And one note here or there can be the difference between the snare part sounding too busy, or not carrying the rhythm enough.
    www.EricHermanMusic.com
    - Cool Tunes for Kids -

  6. #6

    Re: 2nd mvmt.? Shark jump?

    Hm, the GPO08... was pretty nice. There were parts of it that I really enjoyed. I really liked the beginning, it was very nice and had some really neat chord progressions. The only thing I didn't really care for too much was the theme that was being played from 1:34 to 2:22. To me it sounds like a cliched Spanish theme. What I would do was take that theme, re-work it and change some of the accidentals in some of the notes, so that it sounds more unique and original.

  7. #7
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    Cool Re: 2nd mvmt.? Shark jump?

    I think that the “mold” on the “Symphony” began to break (or at least go squishy) with Mahler, so I don’t think that a twenty-first century “symphony” is anything but a name. It’s up to the individual composer to apply whatever “form” that she/he wishes to (and "explain" it to whatever degree that he/she chooses). At this point, it’s as much valid to call something “Shark Jump: Symphony # 4” or “Symphony #4: Shark Jump” or “Chasser des Requins” and it’s all in whatever “marketing” or "positioning" you are doing (or planning to do).

    By the way, on your question about what happens after 3:22, to me, if anything, it’s a shock to have the piece suddenly go so “square”. Radical that I am, I was expecting something far more daring and surprising. Go listen to Mahler #2, #7 or #8 for surprising changes in pace. (Memo to self: go DO something daring and surprising!) In truth, to my estimate, Mahler broke ALL of the molds in those three. Even the relatively juvenile Mahler #1 is wondrously shocking even by twenty-first century ears. Try playing it for one of your teenage relatives sometime!

    I rather liked the “droning harp part” and it could be an interesting “platform” for a series of variations/development. Like Styxx, I didn’t get “Viking” out of any of the moods of this piece. (Then I again, I never felt much “resurrected” out of the Mahler second, either. Oh! I’m still here!)

    anyway . . my $0.02 ... KevinKauai

  8. #8

    Re: 2nd mvmt.? Shark jump?

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Reeves
    The only thing I didn't really care for too much was the theme that was being played from 1:34 to 2:22. To me it sounds like a cliched Spanish theme. What I would do was take that theme, re-work it and change some of the accidentals in some of the notes, so that it sounds more unique and original.
    Yeah, I wouldn't necessarily say "cliched", but I did always think that it seems too obvious. Eh, sometimes obvious is what I want, but I have been trying to come up with something else for that part to make it more unique, as you say. Haven't found anything I like better yet, though, so it may end up as it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinKauai
    By the way, on your question about what happens after 3:22, to me, if anything, it’s a shock to have the piece suddenly go so “square”. Radical that I am, I was expecting something far more daring and surprising.
    Interesting comment. I certainly wouldn't disagree that the part sounds "square", but after the kind of stuff that precedes it, that was kind of what I was going for. Something more hopeful and relieving, as if you're lost in the woods and finally seeing what looks like it might be a clearing up ahead. In any case, I will see if I can round off some of the square edges!

    Thanks,
    Shaz
    www.EricHermanMusic.com
    - Cool Tunes for Kids -

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