Critters on Parade (with a Brief Drizzle)

15 12 2006

Composed December 9, 12 and 14, 2006. Sequenced & mixed December 15, 2006.

This is my final composition project for Music 233 at SFSU (Chromatic Analysis and Synthesis). The assignment was to write a piano and flute piece incorporating a specific overall form and a list of compositional techniques. I first came up with a harmonic structure (with general rhythm) that fulfilled all of the assignment’s requirements.

I recently watched Free to Be… You and Me on TVLand. So once I started to write a flute melody in a major key it was obvious to me that it should be written as if it were going to be in a children’s TV show.

mm. 1-8: the parade theme.
mm. 9-16: the description of what’ll be in the parade.
mm. 17-18: rain threatening to stop the parade.
mm. 19-24: the idea to take it all inside and have a carnival instead.
mm. 25-28: some fun indoors.
mm. 29-32: the discovery and announcement that the rain has stopped.
mm. 33-40: restatement of the parade theme, for the second try on having it outdoors.

(Note that the first and second sections each repeat once, so you hear mm. 1-16 twice then mm. 17-40 twice.)

This took about 12 hours from start to finish, from reading the assignment to compressing the MP3. The first part (harmony, and rhythmic and repeat structure) was done as scribbles on blank paper; the rest of the writing was done with Sibelius. There’s a PDF of the score.

This piece was performed (sight-read in front of the class) in the last meeting of the class on December 15th by pianist Emily Rubis and flutist David Roache. (Thanks!)

My Own True Love

1 12 2005

This is an arrangement of an assigned melody (with chord names) that I performed today as part of my final exam for Class Piano III (Music 203). We were required to use several accompaniment techniques, all of which are incorporated in my arrangement (PDF score here). Measure 5 uses “jump bass”, measure 6 uses “open 10ths”, measure 8 uses “strumming”, and the B section that starts at measure 21 and goes to measure 28 combines “piano style” in the right hand with “open 10ths” in the left hand. We were also required to add an intro and coda which in my arrangement are each four measures long. I did use the damper pedal a lot (as is appropriate with a slow sentimental song like this) but I didn’t write it in. The linked MP3 is just a sampler rendering of the MIDI export from this sheet music, though I did have to fudge the pedaling because Sibelius doesn’t honor pedal marks during playback. So instead of adding pedal marks, I just extended the chording so that it would ring as long as it would with a real performer using the pedal. It doesn’t sound as good as it would on a real piano but I don’t feel like playing it again for posterity. I got my A+ and I’m done now.

Untitled (Music 232 Composition)

27 05 2005

Composed May 19, 2005; sequenced & mixed May 21, 2005.

This is my final composition project for Music 232 at SFSU (Diatonic Analysis and Synthesis). The assignment included a simple melodic line and a fairly long list of required compositional devices. The harmony, voice leading, and rhythms are mine. There’s a PDF of the score which is what I turned in, and a MIDI version too.

This took me about seven and a half hours to write, including checking for errors, making sure voice leading was good, making sure all the required compositional elements were in there, adding all the analysis text under the staves, formatting it nicely, etc. Making a nice-sounding recording of it in GarageBand took about a half hour (mainly picking instruments and tweaking audio effects).