Ternary Composition – Reflection

  • The composition rubric presents 8 features of the piece that would make it successful. I used a comment template based on the rubric to comment on my classmate’s compositions, so I will use a similar one to evaluate my own.

    • melodic and rhythmic balance between phrases.
    • There is a balance between the phrases, though one could say that the parts are too similar to each other, nearly the same but in different keys. The final A section contains the biggest differences though, with major changes to the melody and rhythm in some places.
    • difference between the four phrases
    • There isn’t really much difference between the two phrases, with the B section being a copy of the first A section, just transposed a minor third down, except for a few bars.
    • connection between the A and B section
    • I think I did okay with the transitions between the first A and B sections, with the arpeggio from the tonic of the A major key down into the tonic of the f# minor key,  but the transition between the B section and the second A section was a bit choppy, only having one note on one beat to transition back into it. I think to make my piece more successful I should have made the transition smoother, and thus more pleasant-sounding.
    • success in it’s playability
    • I think it’s playable, at least for me. It has a reasonably slow tempo and I didn’t use any notes that went higher or lower than the range of anything we have played in class. In that way, it is playable, though some people said it may be difficult to sight-read, possibly due to the three sharps in the key signature.
    • performance directions (dynamics, tempo, articulation).
    • I think there was appropriate use of dynamics, though many people did mention that the piano overpowered the melody in several places. I found this odd, though, since when I listened to it on my computer with headphones on, the dynamic balance was okay. However, I will agree that sometimes there wasn’t enough time to properly transition between dynamics. The tempo was stated at the top of the page: Moderato, at 100 beats per minute. Some articulations were used but I think I could’ve added more as an improvement, as I only used slurs.
    • appropriate use of chords
    • I think I used the chords appropriately, though it was pointed out that I, more often than not, ended bars on a V (fifth/dominant) chord. I think my piece could be improved and made more interesting by perhaps adding more minor chords to the major part and changing up the chords in the minor part a little bit.
    • accuracy when labeling of chords
    • All chords were labelled correctly, as far as I’m aware. All passing and neighbour tones were also labelled correctly where necessary.
    • success as a convincing piece of music
    • Classmates who commented on my piece said that it was a convincing piece of music, and I think it was cohesive enough to be considered convincing. However, one classmate did mention that a Gavotte is supposed to be a baroque style of music and the piano should be more disjointed/less legato to mimic a harpsichord.

There were also other areas not needed to be covered in our comments. These include applications for the future and my perspective of the overall unit.

As I am considering taking music next year as well as in DP, I can expect to be doing much more composing in the years to come. I can effectively use the composing skills I learned in this unit and apply them to my future compositions, such as knowledge of chords, cadences, transitions, note types, varieties, patterns, etc.

I think this unit was very interesting, though I do think that the first part of the assignment (the 8-bar melody) was dragged on for much too long- and the final parts (B section and complete ternary composition) were too rushed. Besides that, I think that this unit provided a very interesting and educational experience for everyone and I think that I really have learned something new.

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