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Topic: Skeletons

  1. #1


    Some music for Hallowe’en:

    Skeletons, 8:13, 9.4Mb

    Genre........symphonic tone poem
    Composer.....Darwin Kopp
    Comp date....October 2007
    Comp time....about 3 weeks (plus 3 weeks for digital rendering)
    Monitors.....Sennheiser HD 580

    This is 100% GPO (though the score calls for col legno in a few spots).

    Narrative: Nightfall darkens the graveyard, a light breeze rustles, the air tingles. A normal scene, were this any other night. But this is not any other night, it’s All Hallow’s Eve! The boneyard has patiently endured the year and now is the time for merriment. Early revelers arise from the grave, all dry bones and bits of rotting flesh. Eager to begin, they converse, mingle, and dance. Now midnight fast approaches. The bell sounds. To clang of cymbal and thump of drum, the whole graveyard abandons crypt and burial plot. The festivities rise and fall, climbing higher and higher, culminating in a grand bacchanal. Finally, the animated bones collapse into a heap. Alas, the fête is at an end. With sardonic grin, the skeletons leap back to their sepulchers as one, awaiting next year’s ghastly celebration.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Penfield (Rochester), NY

    Re: Skeletons


    Hey this is very clever and well orchestrated writing. I like it very much!!!! And it fits the narrative that you presented, very seasonal and timely. Great use of the GPO to bring out your idea.



  3. #3

  4. #4

    Re: Skeletons

    Right out of a future Tim Burton movie and into your head and out thru the computer. This is very close to some thing Danny Elfman will compose in time.

    I can see the images Burton would put with all of this. What a great picture you have composed with this. I love it.

    Very well done


  5. #5

    Re: Skeletons

    This has a very Danny Elfman feel to it. Superb composition, and very nicely orchestrated. I like the brief mention of the Liszt theme from "Totentanz". It totally fits the scene you describe. My hat's off to you for a job well done.
    --gary shannon
    Spooks! - The Movie

  6. #6
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Shelton, Washington State

    Re: Skeletons

    It's nice that they got a chance to get up and get a little exercise.

    Some pretty professional sounding halloween music. It does fit the scene well and could be used for other visuals also.


  7. #7

    Re: Skeletons

    Gary, I'm pretty happy with the orchestration. Thanks for the thumbs up!

    Randy, It's always a little unnerving in the rendering phase, never being quite sure how the end result will stand up regardless of the composition. So, it's great to read you liked both.

    Ron, I'll admit to having lots of pictures in my head as I worked this out, though not Tim Burton, per se. Danny Elfman never crossed my mind, though I can see the comparison. I think it's the light-hearted grotesqueness (is that a contradiction?) and a general dementedness coming across in spots. (8^D)

    fiziwig, Ah, you picked up on the Dies Irae reference. I specifically keyed this so the opening phrase could be played on a standard set of four timpani. Good catch!

    Phil, I think it may be more a social occasion than any kind of fitness activity, being they don't really have any muscles to exercise. I think you are right in that the music could fit other narratives. It's always a question as to how literal a picture to paint.

    Thanks for the feedback, everyone!

  8. #8

    Re: Skeletons

    Really exciting and excellently scored music ! I thoroughly enjoyed that. Thank you !
    Kind Regards

    Louis Dekker
    My Music Site

    Pour être grand, il faut avoir été petit.

  9. #9

    Re: Skeletons

    Superb work, Darwin!

    Four thumbs up!

    Ingenious, highly accomplished orchestration in this, throughout;
    and excellent control over the orchestra. Compositionally, very
    well thought out and expertly built.

    Not only that, it's a hell of a lot of fun as well... definitely some
    of your best work.

    Much applause!

    With admiration,


  10. #10

    Re: Skeletons

    Louis, I'm happy to read you found this enjoyable.

    David, All those thumbs must give you a heck of a grip! The fun factor was something I was going for, in part. Being skeletons, I guess they don't have the mundane worries of the living. Thanks much for the feedback!

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