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Topic: b minor Cello Sonata[1st Mvmnt of F Sharp minor]

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  1. #1

    b minor Cello Sonata[1st Mvmnt of F Sharp minor]

    I have uploaded the first draft of the first movement of the F Sharp minor Cello Sonata. It is in the key of b minor. It is my intentions to write this sonata in the format of IV, V, I chord cadence. The first movement written using the IV chord as the tonic. The second movement written using the V chord as the tonic and the third movement written using the tonic, the I chord.

    I hope that each of you that have been so helpful with the f Sharp minor post will offer your valued comments on this one.

    This piece is posted on my NothernSounds' "Power User Profile." The link can be found below and is the second one. On the Power User Profile you will need to scroll to the bottom of the list to find it.

    Surprisingly, It took me about ten hour to put this together. I have a lot of free time on my hands.

    There is a data issue with the Finale file that the third movement (f Sharp minor] of this cello sonata. I have submitted a case to MakeMusic. I received an e-mail indicating that it could take a while for them to figure it out.
    Last edited by Samantha Penigar; 09-03-2007 at 03:02 AM. Reason: spelling
    Samantha Penigar
    http://www.myspace.com/samanthapenigar

    http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/...p?userid=13306

    Dream it! Then Do it! Good things come to those who work while they wait. [COLOR=purple]Persistence[/COLO

  2. #2

    Re: b minor Cello Sonata[1st Mvmnt of F Sharp minor]

    Hello Dear Samantha

    I don't feel qualified to comment on your wonderful and challenging piece, but one thinhg this forum has taught me is that it is OK to have an opinion, even those of us who are humbly here without the formal background a piece like this demands. So it is with the comfort of being among friends that I delve in hear and offer you my humble and unworthy opinion of this piece of magic.

    Musically, this piece flows beautifully and is internally consistent throughout without being monotonous or boring at all. I love the chord patterns and there is one place near the end where you switch from major to minor - I thought this was very well done.

    Frenetic and energetic.

    If I may offer a few points of view that may or may not be to your liking: I thought the cello was too loud in this first draft and was therefore perceived as being accompanied by a piano rather than its partner.

    I felt that the panning was here too narrow; I know there were comments made that the instruments in the previous movement (can I say the previous when referring to the third?) were too separated, but I feel there is not enough separation here - perhaps no attention has been given in this first draft to that.

    On the composition itself, I feel like there are places where the cello should fade back and allow the piano to come forth - even in a repartee between the two, where each one mimics or plays with the theme of the other and then they join together on occasion to mirror their agreement. I can see this volumes almost in two inverse sine waves for parts of this piece.

    I really enjoyed how the cello played through its slow parts and then you knew what to expect was coming.

    Congratulations Samantha on a fine piece of writing. I am not sure whether these comments are helpful or not; please make of them what you will.

  3. #3

    Re: b minor Cello Sonata[1st Mvmnt of F Sharp minor]

    Hi, Samantha

    This is really exciting to see your new works unfold here in The Listening Room. - I appreciate you again alerting us in the General Discussion Forum about this 1st Movement. I pretty much scour this LR Forum, since a major interest of mine is hearing other people's work, so I wouldn't have missed your new post, but it's good that you have all bases covered this way.

    Somewhat as Alan said, I would defer to the more academically inclined to give you more specific feedback on your composition, if that's what you would like to read/hear. But I Do want to say that I really enjoy the energetic drama of this "Bm Sonata." I tend to have the strongest preference for music which has a decidedly dramatic flare to it, and like the movement you posted before this, this certainly has that.

    It's an interesting exercise to try picturing how things develop for people as they work on their music. I'm wondering if you start first with the chord structure, with the melody line quickly following, or do you start from the beginning with these rolling arpeggios? As with the other movement, much of the forward thrust in the pieces is the constant roll of arpeggios. I'm curious what the skeleton of this piece is like, without the "ornamentation" and if you start from there and then elaborate?--probably, but it'd be interesting to know more how you work.

    I've followed how you're expanding on your expertise with the technical issues, like mixing. It can really be daunting, can't it? No matter how often I mix my music, I never find it a quick and easy business, and I always go through periods of agonizing over how a mix is coming along. As you've said, finalizing a mixed and recorded version can take a long period of time - usually much longer than the actual composing and playing of a piece.

    I wasn't clear what you meant on your other thread, when you posted several different mixes - you said that in one of the versions the two instruments were still on separate channels - but you were saying that as if that forced them to be strictly on one channel with no overlap into the other stereo channel--? That would be "hard left" and "hard right" - something not usually done for instruments. I'm just not sure why some of your recordings have this complete separation.

    I agree with Alan that the piano and Cello on this recording seem to be in about the same place - just the opposite problem that you had with the first version of the earlier piece.

    If you're panning instruments in Kontact, then the mixing channels in Sonar (that's what you're using I think you said, for the audio mix?) - those should remain dead center, to preserve the panning established in Kontact.

    Other people prefer to keep all their instruments centered in Kontact, and rely on the panning knobs in their DAWs to set the panning.

    But either way, when an instrument is moved say 1/4 to the left, that means that there is still a lot of signal in the right channel.

    For this simple set up of two instruments, I believe this has been said before, you would simply need to move the piano about 1/4 left and the Cello about 1/4 right. I'm not quite understanding what technical difficulties you're having with that--?

    Returning to the music before I sign off here - Like the previous movement posted, there's this dark, brooding energy I've referred to. But I've noticed that the pieces you seem to admire most in the LR, the ones you say you are the most like what you'd like to compose, are ones with brighter moods - soaring, inspiring kind of pieces. It's an interesting dichotomy between what you're writing and what you're admiring. Do you mean that you'd like to move into a less somber period with your composing?

    Thank you for the music - I typed a lot here, pardon me - I Do tend to go ON sometimes, as I've been justifiably teased about.

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

  4. #4
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    Re: b minor Cello Sonata[1st Mvmnt of F Sharp minor]

    Hi Samantha,

    Very dramatic. And in only 10 hours? Wow, you must write very rapidly - I spent at least 30 hours on my little b minor prelude I recently posted and well over 1000 on the piano sonata I posted at New Years. Oh well, I guess I am cursed with being a slow composer.

    The little bit of criticism I have for this is that at times this begins to sound like a finger exercise – the same patterns played in sequence but with few modulations – most of the first theme seems to be in b minor while the more lyric 2nd theme seems to stay mostly in f#. Also, there is no Beethovian style development that I would love to hear on your dramatic first theme. Anyway, just my opinion – as usual when I say things like this I am sure everyone else will totally disagree….
    Trent P. McDonald

  5. #5

    Re: b minor Cello Sonata[1st Mvmnt of F Sharp minor]

    Quote Originally Posted by trentpmcd
    Hi Samantha,

    Very dramatic. And in only 10 hours? Wow, you must write very rapidly - I spent at least 30 hours on my little b minor prelude I recently posted and well over 1000 on the piano sonata I posted at New Years. Oh well, I guess I am cursed with being a slow composer.

    The little bit of criticism I have for this is that at times this begins to sound like a finger exercise – the same patterns played in sequence but with few modulations – most of the first theme seems to be in b minor while the more lyric 2nd theme seems to stay mostly in f#. Also, there is no Beethovian style development that I would love to hear on your dramatic first theme. Anyway, just my opinion – as usual when I say things like this I am sure everyone else will totally disagree….
    You are saying exactly what I want to hear. I will pull out my Beethoven scores and analyse how he develops themes. Please bear in mind that prior to April of 06 I had only composed one piece, and that was about 1991. Prior to 1991 Ihad not written down anything except the exercises in Harmony class between 1976 and 1978.
    Samantha Penigar
    http://www.myspace.com/samanthapenigar

    http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/...p?userid=13306

    Dream it! Then Do it! Good things come to those who work while they wait. [COLOR=purple]Persistence[/COLO

  6. #6

    Re: b minor Cello Sonata[1st Mvmnt of F Sharp minor]

    It's an interesting exercise to try picturing how things develop for people as they work on their music. I'm wondering if you start first with the chord structure, with the melody line quickly following, or do you start from the beginning with these rolling arpeggios? As with the other movement, much of the forward thrust in the pieces is the constant roll of arpeggios. I'm curious what the skeleton of this piece is like, without the "ornamentation" and if you start from there and then elaborate?--probably, but it'd be interesting to know more how you work.

    (rbowser)[/quote]

    Commenting on the above my approach varies. In the third movement I worked out the first six measure on the piano and then completed the rest while working strickly in Finale and not returning to the piano. The first movement I wrote out a twenty-five measure melody at the piano. I took what I had written and transferred it to the cello in the Finale document. I wrote the parts for the right hand (treble clef). I used the notes in the cello part to build the harmony. The bass clef is the embellishment of that harmonic structure. This is not a standard practice with me, but is what I did in this piece. Some piece are conceived from harmonic chord progressions (cup throwing). Some are conceived from improvisations at the piano, and some have been mear exercises while attempting to learn Finale and GPO.

    I hope this answes your question. I think the music that comes out of me is an amalgamation of all that has come in through my ears. It certainly is not as a result of a musical education that never occurred.

    Returning to the music before I sign off here - Like the previous movement posted, there's this dark, brooding energy I've referred to. But I've noticed that the pieces you seem to admire most in the LR, the ones you say you are the most like what you'd like to compose, are ones with brighter moods - soaring, inspiring kind of pieces. It's an interesting dichotomy between what you're writing and what you're admiring. Do you mean that you'd like to move into a less somber period with your composing?

    (rbowser)[/quote]

    Soring, sweeping and brghter moods are works in progress that are not ready for posting. They require far more time. I always seem to gravitate to the minor key when improvision on the piano. In my childhood days I did not use the minor keys when improvision.



    (rbowser)[/quote]
    Last edited by Samantha Penigar; 09-03-2007 at 04:15 PM. Reason: editing
    Samantha Penigar
    http://www.myspace.com/samanthapenigar

    http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/...p?userid=13306

    Dream it! Then Do it! Good things come to those who work while they wait. [COLOR=purple]Persistence[/COLO

  7. #7
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    Re: b minor Cello Sonata[1st Mvmnt of F Sharp minor]

    Quote Originally Posted by Samantha Penigar
    You are saying exactly what I want to hear. I will pull out my Beethoven scores and analyse how he develops themes. Please bear in mind that prior to April of 06 I had only composed one piece, and that was about 1991. Prior to 1991 Ihad not written down anything except the exercises in Harmony class between 1976 and 1978.
    Hi Samantha,

    I think you have a great start then.

    Although I’ve written popular style songs for years, I am also pretty much a beginner at “serious” composition. I’ve known how to read music almost my whole life but I only started studying theory about 4 years ago. If I may, I have a few suggestions on some books and things that I have found very helpful. Maybe they can help you out too.

    Have you read any of Charles Rosen’s books? They are aimed at the music literate amateur, not at composers, but I think they are great. Last year I read through “Classical Style”, playing most examples on the piano (my piano skills are horrid, but I could at least block things out) and listening to all of them on CD. I also “analyzed” a lot of the examples (i.e., wrote Roman numerals for chords, marked out phrases, etc.). I can’t tell you how much this helped me understand what is going on in the music of this period – I can now listen to classical era music and tell what chords they are using (relative) etc. I am currently reading Rosen’s “The Romantic Generation” and, though not spending quite as much time with the details, I have been gaining huge amounts from it.

    I have also been gaining a lot by listening to CDs from The Learning Company. These aren’t even at the level of Rosen’s books, but they are a good beginning when starting a new subject. For instance, I went through the series on Beethoven’s sonatas last fall and then studied them all on my own (Rosen also has a book on these, though aimed more at pianists). It was a wonderful head start. Together with the knowledge of Rosen’s books (I also read “Sonata Forms” last year) I ended up knowing these sonatas better than any music I have ever studied.

    Hopefully my knowledge of Chopin will soon be almost at the same level…


    Other books that analyze particular pieces, such as Joseph Kerman’s “The Beethoven Quartets” are always great reads – I think they help you get into the mind of the composer.

    I’m assuming your theory (harmony, counterpoint and form) is up to speed from your piano playing, but reviewing these always helps. On each of these subjects I have 3 or 4 books that I constantly refer to.

    From what I’ve heard of your music, both here and on other things you’ve posted, you have a great head start over most beginning composers because of your piano playing – you have a feel for the patterns that sound good. You are also not afraid to go chromatic – believe it or not, this was a big hurdle for me and, looking at some of the music of some other people starting out, it’s a big hurdle for everyone.

    Anyway, what you have written sounds great, but my ear wants to hear more…

    Hopefully you can find something useful in this post.
    Trent P. McDonald

  8. #8

    Re: b minor Cello Sonata[1st Mvmnt of F Sharp minor]

    I failed to mention in this post that I studied theory, harmony and composition in college from 1976 1978 at Los Angeles City College. At that time Los Angeles City College had a wonderful reputation for its school of music. Florenc Jolly was my theory and composition teacher.

    Unfortunately, after that time period I had to put the music on the shelf and find a job to support myself. In the last four years I have been in a place of semi-retirement and have more time on my hands. The last two piano teachers I had were graduates of Juliard. I did not take orchestration and counterpoint, but the internet is a great source of knowledge for the study of music, especially the two courses offered here on NothernSounds.

    The required book for theory and harmony was Joseph Brye's Basic Principles of Music Theory. For the me the best of the lot. Also a required book was Harmonic Practice by Roger Sessions (University of California at Berkeley). The Classical Style Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven by Charles Rosen. I still keep these books at my finger tips.

    I have studied the music of Beethoven, Schubert and Chopin and am more inclined to lean more towards their styles. Rachmaninov is the composer thas moves my soul. I have come to the conclusion that in our time in history the music that is most popular is music that has a very simple, but memorable/catchey melody. I am pushing towards writing my compositions in the song style. I view April 2006 as the beginning of the composition period in my life. When I listen to the things that I wrote in the first year comparied to what I am writing now is a marked improvement. This forum and its members can only help to make each of us better composers. There is inspiration and education without limit in this form.

    Thank you for all the info and suggestions.
    Samantha Penigar
    http://www.myspace.com/samanthapenigar

    http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/...p?userid=13306

    Dream it! Then Do it! Good things come to those who work while they wait. [COLOR=purple]Persistence[/COLO

  9. #9

    Re: b minor Cello Sonata[1st Mvmnt of F Sharp minor]

    Hi Sammantha.


    This is a truly good piece of work! I want to hear it a couple of more times and then I will post comments.

    Matt

  10. #10
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    Re: b minor Cello Sonata[1st Mvmnt of F Sharp minor]

    Quote Originally Posted by Samantha Penigar
    I failed to .../ snip..../ Thank you for all the info and suggestions.
    Hi Samantha – maybe I should ask you for advice on materials to study .

    It sounds like you are headed in the right direction, but I think you should still try to be a new Rachmaninov instead of gong after a song style – remember: in his day the pop music of the time sold a lot more than his music did.

    I agree this forum has helped immensely, which is one reason I want to give back what little I can.
    Trent P. McDonald

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