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Topic: Prelude in b minor

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  1. #1
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    Prelude in b minor

    I have a new prelude – Prelude in b minor

    I know, this seems a bit different. Actually it isn’t - I never said I was going to try to stay within the confines of mid-Romantic music. That being said, this was heavily influenced by the 4th movement of Chopin’s 2nd Piano Sonata, the “Funeral march” Sonata. That movement is just amazing and can still be shocking. Back a century and half or so ago people such as Schumann didn’t consider it music.

    Anyway, back to my prelude. As I said, I was influenced but I am not trying to sound anything like it or copy it in anyway, except for the general idea.

    With this set of preludes I want to explore different feelings and different techniques for achieving those feelings. This is as much an experiment as anything, but it fits in well with my idea of the preludes. My only problem with it is it seems so shocking coming after the flowing D Major prelude. I am going to work on having the next one, the E Major one, seem to spring out of this.

    For this I wrote out a chord progression (a lot of Neapolitan and German 6th plus a modulation to F minor and back), wrote a melody over it and then filled in with chromatic notes, mostly following just a few short motifs. I tried hard to make sure the lowest note for each chord was what I had originally written as the bass note.

    Anyway, here are the first four as they now stand (I'm leaving the c minor one out for now):

    Prelude in C Major
    Prelude in a minor
    Prelude in D Major
    Prelude in b minor

    (For those who didn’t read my last thread, I am going to go around the circle like this, but move to Eb Major when the circle repeats.)


    As usual I am looking for comments, suggestions, etc. In other words, any type of feedback is much appreciated.
    Trent P. McDonald

  2. #2

    Re: Prelude in b minor

    Hi Trent,

    I just listened to all four of the Preludes and I enjoyed all of them very much. I like the key progressions that link them all and I find the C-Major one my favourite of these.

    I have absolutely no idea what you mean by safe version. I listened to both versions of this b minor one. The "official" one you have posted appeals to me more - I really love the dynamics in this - they are subtle but effective, with specific notes emphasised in an interesting syncopation, and running crescendos that ease of gently. I really like it.

    So what do you mean by "safe"?

  3. #3
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    Re: Prelude in b minor

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanPerkins
    Hi Trent,

    I just listened to all four of the Preludes and I enjoyed all of them very much. I like the key progressions that link them all and I find the C-Major one my favourite of these.

    I have absolutely no idea what you mean by safe version. I listened to both versions of this b minor one. The "official" one you have posted appeals to me more - I really love the dynamics in this - they are subtle but effective, with specific notes emphasised in an interesting syncopation, and running crescendos that ease of gently. I really like it.

    So what do you mean by "safe"?
    Hi Alan,

    Thanks for listening and commenting. I’m glad you liked the progression that links them - one of the things I am working on is connecting all of these together so they can stand alone yet are stronger as part of the whole.

    As far as “safe” goes… I like the “official” version, but there is not much of a melody that people can sink their teeth into. The chords are kind of obscured (they are supposed to be!). The “safe” version has a few little clips of melody beyond the clips of chromatic scale and the arpeggios. The chord progression is also a lot clearer… I guess I was just afraid a lot of people would listen and just hear noise… Maybe I’m not giving our listeners here enough credit.

    Hmmm, in some ways I guess the “safe” version defeats the purpose of what I’m trying to do with this one…. I think you might be right… I think for now I will edit out the link to the “safe” version and only add it back if enough people wonder about it.


    Thanks again for listening.
    Trent P. McDonald

  4. #4

    Re: Prelude in b minor

    Hi, Trent

    Oh my -You musician types. You Do go on so.

    You sound so tentative and almost apologetic in your text, Trent, and actually, I don't know what you were fretting and going on about.

    Obviously you've edited the references to "safe" and other previously posted links - so that much of what this short thread is about so far is - mysterious, due to deletion.

    The piano playing, now I enjoyed that! - Short, engaging excursions on pleasant progressions. - And I have to confess what could be possibly taken as musical Philistinism, but the meaning of the relative juxtaposition of keys is, I think, rather lost on me. A piece starts playing, I immediately accept the key it's being played in (if that's part of the grounding for the given piece) and I move on to hearing it. What relation it has to the piece I just previously heard - I don't get that. Hmm. Yeah, that could be Philistinism.

    Or is that we can sometimes get bogged down in the academics of music, losing track of what is actually the most essentially important part of what we're doing? - Rhetorical question, that.

    But I enjoyed the pieces very much. You can come play the piano for me any time you want.

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

  5. #5

    Re: Prelude in b minor

    Quote of the century:

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser-
    Hi, Trent

    Oh my -You musician types. You Do go on so.

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

  6. #6
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    Re: Prelude in b minor

    Hi Randy,

    Well, I do know one or two musician types here who do go on and on….

    The “safe” version was a last minute panic on my part – I suddenly thought, “A lot of people think of Preludes as pretty little tunes (some are, some aren’t) and might be puzzled or upset for my not so pretty prelude." I quickly rendered an intermediate version (there were dozens, of which I only saved 3) and included it with the post. It made it easier to follow the chords and some of the hidden melodies, but that kind of goes against what I was trying to do, so I edited out the link to the safe version in the original post. It was put in there at the end as an afterthought anyway.

    Most of us when we listen to a bunch of short pieces that are grouped together like this don’t pay too much attention to the key they are in. As you said, we just listen. And yet, even if we don’t consciously hear it, we are influenced by what comes before and what comes after. The context helps.

    It’s just like in a musical – a song from your musical might work fine by itself, but it works much better in context.

    Although you may not be aware of the key or the connections, hopefully when you listen these connections make the piece stronger.

    For example – in my a minor prelude I start off with the second inversion of a minor and add a seventh – c-e-a-g. After hearing the C Major prelude you might at first hear this as a root position C chord with an added sixth. Even though I used different motives, there are other things that point back to the earlier work, most centered around that out of place g. At one point, the out-of-place note is an a which has to resolve back to that g which then again becomes dissonant, not to be resolved until the next piece in D Major. That is, the whole thing, from beginning to end is written with what comes before and what comes after in mind, yet is written to be self-standing.

    With the new one (b minor) the intro goes like V7/III-N6-V-V7. The V7/III is the dominant from the last prelude (D Major) and is used to connect it. Etc., etc., etc…..

    Yes, it may seem like I’m being bogged down by the academics (I’m sure Ray would agree), but this is often what makes certain music more successful than others. I’ve been studying Chopin recently and I find that he seems to have put more thought into every note he wrote than almost any other composer. Well, maybe not Beethoven, or Bach or… the more and the deeper I study the greats the more I discover that they are great because of the amount of thought, conscious (Beethoven & Chopin) or unconscious (Mozart) went into each and every note written.

    Whooow, I guess I am being long winded!
    Trent P. McDonald

  7. #7

    Re: Prelude in b minor

    Good morning, Trent

    Great reply you put up, thanks! Long winded? Ah, who cares? - Obviously from the way III will go on sometimes, I don't care!

    The contrast in keys like you have for your first two Preludes here, C to Am - that's to me very clear and concrete, moving to the relative minor like that. I know I've used that shift in the interior of quite a few pieces in my musical.

    Most other signature shifts have a more ephemeral effect for me, and what ever that effect is depends on the pieces in question. When I'm working and am concerned with what's going to happen when I shift to new keys for pieces meant to follow each other, it's always a matter of experimenting on my part - just feeling out how the mood is effected, hearing if there's a lift in energy, or a downgrading of energy - etc.

    But I tend to not consciously apply much theory of any sort as I work, trusting that whatever I know is tucked away in my lil head somewhere and is influencing what I do without really thinking about it. Yes, like Ray in Stirling, as you said, "Avoiding Musical Theory"- wasn't that the name of the CD he was working on? (side note - hope he's doing well with that)

    Thanks again, Trent.

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

  8. #8
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    Re: Prelude in b minor

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser-
    Good morning, Trent
    ..../... snip..../...
    Randy B.
    (rbowser)
    I can’t resist a few more comments.

    Even though I’m not enrolled in any formal music course I consider myself a student at this time. 90% of the music I write has some purpose in my education. I occasionally unwind for fun (such as the Challenges), but for the most part it all serves a purpose.

    One purpose of this study is so it becomes subconscious. I need to get a lot of the ideas implanted in my brain so deeply that I don’t have to think about it anymore. Not saying I’ll put less thought into it, I will just put more thought into the deeper issues and less into the small things.

    This might seem strange, but I have a curriculum of about 3 more years planned. Of course I rewrite this curriculum every couple of months or so, but I do have a plan I am following.

    As far as people like Ray – if he knows it or not, his brain is crammed full of that academic stuff, only he got it from a lifetime of playing instead of studying. Along with a good ear he has what he needs. DPDAN is another who proves that sometimes good ear and feel for what is musical is much more important than any book knowledge can possibly be.
    Trent P. McDonald

  9. #9
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    Re: Prelude in b minor

    I enjoyed listening to your piano preludes. You're quite good.

    I'm sure it's not too difficult to maintain a healthy balance between academics and musical expression and to see the whole from the parts.



    Phil

  10. #10

    Re: Prelude in b minor

    Trent:

    A virtuosic piece to say the least and well written for that purpose;
    however, I would classify this musical offering as an "etude" rather
    than a prelude since it has the characteristics of an exercise.

    In my opinion, a prelude is introductory material so I can't imagine
    your well-written prelude in b minor in that category. I will say,
    though, that its performance and sound is captivating. I will also
    say that I really enjoyed the piano rendering.

    BRAVO, Trent

    Jack
    Jack Cannon--MacBook Pro (2015, 13") GPO4/5, JABB3, Auth. STEINWAY, YAMAHA CFX, Gofriller CELLO, Stradivari VIOLIN, COMB2, WORLD, HARPS, PIPE ORGANS, FINALE 2014.5, Mac Pro 2.66 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, DP 9.5, MOTU Traveler, MOTU Micro Express, MacBook Pro (2012, 13") 2.2 Ghz CPU, 8 GB RAM.

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