OK, so I'm working on this symphony...still, and it's not working.
I have too much going on. It's soo busy! It's only 48 secondsworth but in that time I throw two eight-measure themes at the listener--NOT GOOD!!! One theme is a catchy, upbeat melody and the other is a bit more smooth and flowing. There is a four-measure intro before either theme is stated, which is in a similiar style to the more catchy theme. So I have this intro, a flowing theme, then a more catchy, upbeat melody.
I have this knack for writing catchy melodies. Whenever I work on this it gets stuck in my head all day long.
My MP3 encoder doesn't seem to be working and my website doesn't have enough room for a 48-second .wav file so if you want to take a listen or if you wouldn't mind converting this for me please email me firstname.lastname@example.org. (not the address I have registered through the forum).
While I haven't heard your piece, I do have one bit of potential advice to give. Perhaps try doing various things to develop or elaborate on the first theme before diving into the 2nd. You could always do a sort of theme and variation or a fugue-esque counter-theme. Try repeating the phrase, but with a slightly altered instrumentation or color to it. Try putting a different bass-line to it and see where it wants to go! There's all sorts of great things you can play around with on melodies if you find yourself stating them and moving on too quickly.
I'll send you an email after I post this, I certainly wouldn't mind converting it for you; I'd love to hear what you have so far, I love catchy melodies
After listening I could try giving some ideas based on what my brain does with the melody, but usually I can never translate what I hear in my head to the actual piece
Here's one method I sometimes use : I give the listener the melody with very simple orchestration (say, harp and oboe), then repeat it with more lush orchestration and maybe a counter-melody (say, strings and woodwinds), then repeat it again with even more lush orchestration (say, strings, woodwinds, and brass, and more percussion), etc. In other words, there's so much you can do with just one melody just by changing and developing the orchestration. You obviously don't want to give the audience a fine catchy melody only once after all. A great example is the last movement of Beethoven's 9th, when he comes to the famous "Ode to Joy" melody. He repeats four times a think, but each time the orchestration becomes grander. By the time the voices come in, audiences just have to be in love with the melody!
Anyway, I'll email you now, and give some suggestions after listening
Oh, and never get discouraged about how long it takes to write a symphony! Remember Hofstadter's Law (see signature)
I'll be glad to help if I can . I really don't know what to suggest right now, since I haven't heard what you've done yet. But really, there are many things you can do to make variations of the same theme with different instrumentation and harmony, etc. Maybe in the beginning you could put more development on what comes before the main themes.
You could also try to listen to some composer's works to spark up ideas of a kind of pattern you could implement if you're still stuck.
I didn't take a long time trying to write my first movement of the first symphony. I'll most likely make revisions once I get more RAM though. You could listen to mind if you want though. But it's about 11 minutes long... <_<
The funny thing about these two melodies is that one of them is a two part one and you can't play it simple. It's just not ment to be simple. It has to be grand (and it is very). The second melody is simple. Like the Ode to Joy. I can probably do something with it in terms of building and building it.
I'll send the .wav to Sean and he might be able to post a link to an MP3.
I love what you have so far!! Great orchestration, and indeed catchy melodies!
You begin with very grand orchestration, which I think is good because it gets the listener excited to hear more. Here's what I would do: at about 28 seconds, after that sweet gentle melody, I would repeat the first part (the first 8 seconds). It's so nice, it should be heard twice! I would just leave it the way it is too, since it's so short I don't think any listener will be bored of it's orchestration so soon. And it's such a wonderful contrast to the nice gentle part.
In fact, I could imagine a whole symphonic movement based on your two themes here, each kind of opposing each other, fighting each other to be heard. I could also imagine each theme expanding into a larger theme. The third theme would sound awesome as kind of a "finale melody" so I would save it for the end, but drop little "hints" of it here and there, so as to say to the listener "oohh, wouldn't you like to have this? Well, not yet! You have to wait!"
So after you repeat the first part again, you could "drop a hint" . . . perhaps give the theme with very light orchestration and not in it's complete form. Then you could go back to the gentle melody with the the first melody trying to come in in the background. Finally it takes over, dances on stage for a while, before the gentle melody comes in with even greater orchestration. The first melody comes in one last time, before the hints of that final melody just pour in, and then it all goes silent, the gentle melody tries to play one last time, but it is quieted by string tremolos which finale glissando into the bombastic finale!
You could also add in a lot of orchestrational play . . . for example, have the woodwinds and strings always "dueling it out" and the brass always shutting them up And then of course you simply must have key changes here and there, especially at the dramatic moments.
Of course, this is all easier said then done! But it's a cool image to have in the head Maybe this will give you some ideas, but it will still be quite a challenge.
Again, I love what you have so far; it's bound to be a great symphony! Good luck!
That was a postfull!
Thanks a lot for your response. I should name this the "get busy" thread. I like your ideas. And the little duelism between the sections sounds like fun. Of course key changes are a must, but would it still be Symphony no. 1 in C major? I guess I can revolve around the relative keys of C.
That last theme, I believe has a lot of potential in terms of grandness. Like you said, string tremlos, horn rips, zipping up and down scales (the theme of the symphony, btw: scales) with a pipe organ holding the chord struture all together. Actually, if you listen carefully to the file posted, there's a really cool rythmic trumpet part that you can't really hear (still have to work on the mix) and chimes come in on the second time around.
BTW: how was the reverb? I worked really hard getting it to sound just right. There is a different setting for each section (mostly just wet/dry mix settings) and I tried not to make it too muddy but still somewhat ambient. I used the FXReverb by Cakewalk (came with Sonar), nothing fancy, but it works.
g2g eat dinner otherwise I'd gab more. (good thing there's SOMETHING in the world that'll shut me up! )
Of course key changes are a must, but would it still be Symphony no. 1 in C major? I guess I can revolve around the relative keys of C.
Originally Posted by cptexas
BTW: how was the reverb? I worked really hard getting it to sound just right.
The reverb sounds great! Reverb is one of those things I usually only notice when it's really bad, like special effects in a movie But your reverb didn't draw any attention to itself, which is a very good thing!