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Topic: Attempt to write a symphonic march

  1. #1

    Attempt to write a symphonic march

    Hello people,

    I'm new with using GPO. I just bought it today. I'm exploring this library.

    I'm only an amateur in writing symphonic music or recreating symphonic pieces written by masters. I'll share some of my works one by one. Be patient.

    For now here is a symphonic march I'm currently writing while trying to respect the writing rules of a march. There's only the introduction and the first theme. I'm still searching for other themes. I'm working with Logic 9 on a MacPro with an Apogee Duet audio interface.

    Here is the file:
    Marche n°1 maquette.mp3

    It's not rendered with GPO but with several other libraries like Jam Pack Symphony Orchestra, Miroslav, VSL etc. This version is only a preview of how it should sound.

    As I'm not a pro composer but only an amateur, I might broken some rules. So, any advice or comments would be welcome.


    There is no spoon.

  2. #2

    Re: Attempt to write a symphonic march

    Truth first: I'm not into marches. I can hear one per month, but then I'm saturated...

    Ok, your march is a real march and sounds fine. The sound is a bit thin, and the trills are awkward, but I think that GPO can help you get a much richer and more dynamic sound. It will take some time to learn the basics, but once you know them, they're pretty useful.

    With respect to your composition: it's a good melody for a march, rythm's fine too, arrangement is as good as it can be (to my ears), but it definitely needs some modulation or other harmonic progression.

    I can recommend you to download a score of something you like or admire (perhaps something by Sousa, that you can get here), and then sequence it with GPO. For me that was a good learning experience. You'll see how such a composer gets his sound and what he does to the melodies, how he treats counterpoint, harmony, etc.

    Hoping to hear more from you (even marches )...

    And welcome to the forum!

  3. #3

    Re: Attempt to write a symphonic march

    Thanks Theo for your reply.

    As I mentioned, I'm not a pro composer. Also, I'm still learning harmony.
    I'll check Sousa's writings as soon as possible. Thanks for these references.

    I don't know much about writing. At least I'm able to write down what I'm hearing in my head. Which is a good start point

    I'll post other things from me (compositions and remakes).

    There is no spoon.

  4. #4

    Re: Attempt to write a symphonic march

    Hi Fred.

    This is a good start, but a little thin for my ears, (but I do a Wall Of Sound so take that with a grain of salt). Harmonies will add a lot to this along with some more bottom end.
    Producer ~ Sound Engineer ~ Musician


  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Re: Attempt to write a symphonic march

    Hi Fred,
    This sounds a bit like a Polka/march. It seems to slip between sounding Spanish & French in nature. (Rodrigo or Offenbach)
    Those are my impressions, and not a criticism.
    A key change & a contrasting 2nd strain would fit, followed by a much more subdued Trio with a coda return to the 1st strain ending. Or maybe not...
    Good work.


  6. #6

    Re: Attempt to write a symphonic march

    Thanks guys for your replies.

    I have checked some Sousa's marches. I didn't knew the march "The Stars and stripes forever" was done by him. I'll try to rebuild it some day. I think I'll buy the Concert and marching band library when it'll be available in ARIA version. I should get some fun with this library.

    I have made a few polka and marches from Strauss. I also have done some Offenbach works like "Infernal Galop" from Orpheus. So the harmony of my piece might sound like one of these. Once you understood "how it works" you can produce your own harmony. But I still have a lot to learn.
    Also, I have started to write a few themes for my piece.

    I have isolated the chords lines from the rest of the formation. Here is the chord progression:
    March n°1 Accords.mp3

    Let me know if the progression seems okay or not.

    Best regards,

    There is no spoon.

  7. #7

    Re: Attempt to write a symphonic march

    It's I-V in the first 2/3, and then I-IV in the key of C major, right (C-G and C-F if you have standard tuning)? You might try to add a different bass note from time to time, e.g. play Bb in the bass during a C major chord before going to F, or try an a minor chord instead of C major. That breaks the repetition, without too many changes. There are also all sorts of 'standard' progressions you could try, although that would require changes to the melody as well. Wikipedia has a list (although you might need to get used to the notation). And then you could modulate to another key for the next section.

  8. #8

    Re: Attempt to write a symphonic march

    Thanks for your advices.

    I'll change a little the basses.

    I have all the themes for now. The march will stay in C and F with V-I cadences.

    It'll have 224 2/4 bars and will be at 110bpm like a German march and run during about 2 minutes.

    As mentionned by garrymosse, it's not a polka not a march, but between both like should be a german march. That's why I raised up the tempo to 110bpm.

    Give me some time to orchestrate the themes and render it with GPO.

    There is no spoon.

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