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Topic: Largo for String Quartet in A major

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  1. #1

    Largo for String Quartet in A major

    It's a short one, and compositionally very simple (perhaps too simple?), but I was writing a different piece on Friday and got a few melodies stuck in my head, so I decided to go ahead and trap them in a largo so they wouldn't escape. It's a short simple piece, but I hope you enjoy it. I'd love to know your thoughts on it.

    http://www.wizardwalk.com/music/Larg...in_A_major.mp3

    I actually emailed it to one of the music professors at my college, and he replied with a recorded message: click here to listen

    Thanks for listening!
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  2. #2
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    Thumbs up Re: Largo for String Quartet in A major

    Your professor sounds a lot like Jeffrey Jones!

    It's good to lock down melodies when they come streaming out of your head and this string quartet form is as good as any. And it's encouraging that you are departing from the purely diatonic here and there. I don't agree with "the professor" that there are too many notes -- there are, perhaps, too many arpeggios, (Maybe that's what he meant.) Tres melancholie! Have you misplaced your funk?

    Here's your next assignment: timpani, tambourine, viola, harp, bassoon, clarinet, trombone, flutes, strings (never playing as one section, but always independently as five).

    Recipe: [1] chords only by "accident of arrival"; [2] at least two major "home keys"; [3] no chord arpeggios.

    IF you choose to accept it, of course!

    KevinKauai

    P.S. In deferrence to those bandwidth-challenged folk, you should also provide a LoFi version (5.3 meg is a bit much over a 48K dial-up line).

  3. #3

    Thumbs up Re: Largo for String Quartet in A major

    ...and as Mozart answered..."...too many notes? tell me what note I can cut. They are only all necessary notes, no one more, and no one less..."

    Out of jokes, the idea and the way to realize it are good.
    Then don't be lazy, and don't be satisfied too much soon, work around, continue the phrase, move to secondary tones, exchange the main part between instruments, and it will be a really intersting job (it has the "bones" to become "smiling" as your chese ..;-).

  4. #4

    Re: Largo for String Quartet in A major

    haha, the professor comments were amusing.

    Funny thing about the way that quote was used in the movie... When the Emperor said that to Mozart, he agreed. Because what was meant by "too many notes" during that era it meant that there were too many missed notes by the orchestra.

    Good piece. I think more can be done with your motive to make the piece even more interesting. Transposition, retrograde, inversion, shortening and lengthening the motive. The rhythm is considered part of the motive, so the notes can be changed in the same rhythm and vice versa, the rhythm can be changed with the same notes.
    Hope all of that made some sense and helps. Keep up the good work!
    Jess Hendricks
    DMA Student and Teaching Asst in Music Theory/ Composition at the University of Miami
    Personal Website

  5. #5

    Re: Largo for String Quartet in A major

    Thanks for listening!

    The assignment sounds interesting! I'm certainly up to the challenge; however, I'm still not sure exactly what you mean by "accident of arrival."

    Development and transposition are things I still have to work, and hopefully will come about more naturally as I keep practicing. I think I can incorporate and hear such things in my head, but getting it clicked into Overture is still not the easiest thing for me . . . I must practice more!

    Thanks for the feedback. Any additional feedback would be greatly appreciated.
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  6. #6
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    Re: Largo for String Quartet in A major

    This is extremely lovely. The melodies are beautiful. I can see why you wanted to get them down before they escaped your head.

    The strings for the melody lines sound very good. In playing around with GPO, the upper strings sound very shrill for me. I haven't really had the time to work with the sustain pedal and mod wheel enough. It's like learning to drive a manual shift car .

    Thank you for sharing your work with us .

    - Michael
    -----------------------------
    - Michael Fortunato

  7. #7

    Re: Largo for String Quartet in A major

    Quote Originally Posted by mfortunato
    This is extremely lovely. The melodies are beautiful. I can see why you wanted to get them down before they escaped your head.

    The strings for the melody lines sound very good. In playing around with GPO, the upper strings sound very shrill for me. I haven't really had the time to work with the sustain pedal and mod wheel enough. It's like learning to drive a manual shift car .

    Thank you for sharing your work with us .

    - Michael
    I'm glad you liked it, thanks for commenting. The mod wheel takes some playing around with; I'm sure I am far from being a master with it, but it can truly change the sound of piece and bring it to life.
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  8. #8
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    Re: Largo for String Quartet in A major

    Quote Originally Posted by SeanHannifin
    It's a short one, and compositionally very simple (perhaps too simple?), but I was writing a different piece on Friday and got a few melodies stuck in my head, so I decided to go ahead and trap them in a largo so they wouldn't escape. It's a short simple piece, but I hope you enjoy it. I'd love to know your thoughts on it.
    The piece is very nice and I like it.
    But after experimenting a little with GPO and also after listening also your piece
    I must say the GPO's cello sound is quite under the normal high level of GPO instruments.
    The sound is unnatural and the vibrato is awful. I hope that the next GPO
    update will fix this problem. At he moment I am not willing to use GPO for
    string quartet ensembles.

    LG
    www.synestesia.com

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Re: Largo for String Quartet in A major

    A nice piece indeed. I don't agree that the cello sampling sounded below par, although it takes a lot of work to achieve a convincing string quartet sound (even when playing the actual instruments!). As an exercise I am currently transcribing a Haydn quartet and trying to draw out a good quartet sound with GPO. It can be done, but with infinite pains. I do however think the cello line in Sean's piece sounded a little unnatural. Every note was as if separately bowed although the arpeggiated chordal figures seemed to call for a mixed bowing approach with some slurring and some position shift sounds. Dynamically, I thought the piece could be enriched by a little more light and shade, nothing too dramatic, but some subtle pulling back then swelling out again at suitable points. The steady, unwavering dynamic kept making Pachelbel's Canon spring to mind, which was not really the mood of the piece. By the way, criticisms are a great luxury, and anyway a matter of individual taste. They are meant in the forum spirit of fraternal feedback.

  10. #10

    Re: Largo for String Quartet in A major

    Sean, I enjoyed listening to your piece very much! Thanks.

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