I have now finally finished my composition for music class. I am quite happy that I have finally finished this piece that seems to have taken quite a lot of time and musical ability to complete and with this I am also very proud that I have been able to incorporate a lot of what I have learnt this term into my piece. Before I even started this piece however, I merely had one photo that acted as a source of inspiration.
This simple drawing by Picasso was my original piece of inspiration for my piece. I chose it as I really enjoyed the mood the piece created as it felt quite serene but also exciting and I believe that the two sides to the picture – the dove and the human face – could represent two different sides or parts to the piece. Because of this my original goal for the piece was the create a composition that contained at least two contrasting sections and that created a peaceful mood. The picture also strikes me as being slightly melancholic or sad so I drew from this that I would want the composition to be predominantly slower and in a minor key. With these goals (minor key, mostly slow but with contrasting faster section, peaceful but continuous mood) I finally set out to create my piece.
Now that I have finished my composition I strongly believe that I have been able to accomplish this goal. In my final song I believe I met these criteria and my ultimate goal. The song is in a minor and starts with a very slow chord progression which is continued for a majority of the song. The B section of the song is much faster and contrasts with the A section yet the final part of the piece where it breaks away still retains a calmer and reflective mood which it brings all the way to the outro of the piece. The tempos alternate from moderato to presto and back to moderato at the end. Because of this, my final composition is title ‘Retreat’ and I strongly believe it represents my picture inspiration as when I hear the piece myself and see the drawing I am able to connect the two as if they were made for each other (which technically one of them is!)
Furthermore, my composition shows my creativity in a myriad of ways as well. The structure of the piece itself is the main piece of evidence supporting this as within the piece I almost created my own structure for song. Originally I thought I would have an A-B-A structure but in the end it felt too binding for the song and I broke free and created a sort of mixed structure that went INTRO-A SECTION-BRIDGE (MODULATION OF INTRO)-B SECTION-BREAK/CODA-OUTRO (MODULATION OF INTRO). This meant I had an occurring motif of a chord progression shown in the intro, bridge, and the end which carried the piece along. Additionally I was able to try more things with the piece with this structure. I also used instrumentation that I typically haven’t used before such as the use of string instruments so it was very interesting for me to take creative liberties with my piece.
Finally, I am able to give myself a final evaluation for my finished piece. Overall I think my piece is quite successful and includes a wide range of different non chord tones and musical items that I have learnt over this period, but also I was able to try things beyond the criteria of the rubrics and what was expected of me. I believe the most successful part in the composition is the recurring motif and the continual chord progression. I really enjoy that I was able to build on a simple four chord progression that was present throughout the entire piece. My other favourite part were the two melodies that were going on between the violin and the cello quite a lot. As a part of a harmonic two part melody, the cello would often be repeating or imitating what the violin had played earlier which created a very interesting dynamic between the two instruments as technically they would be playing the same parts but at different times. What I still wish I could improve about the piece is that sometimes I felt compelled to add notes or cadences because I felt I had to as to adhere to the expected standards and items in the piece. This sometimes makes the melody seem a little forced and if I had more time I think I would spend more time trying to fix this.
In terms of melody, I believe my use of phrasing and countermelody was very successful. I also extensively used imitation and repetition between the violin and cello parts as mentioned earlier, which I believe worked very successfully. In terms of harmony, with the use of melodies going on at the same time, there was some harmony and sometimes with final notes of phrases I would utilise harmony but I still would want to use some more if I had the chance.
Texture was shown through the use of heterophonic or polyphonic parts which alternated throughout the piece. I also used canon in both my A and B section along with this which created quite a comfortable mix of melodies together. Perhaps I could have incorporated more instruments into the mix of texture and harmony more however.
Rhythm was something that was both consistent and inconsistent in my piece. In the piano and harp part which supported the melody more, there was less change in the style of rhythm apart from between sections whereas with violin and cello, rhythm there was quite a variety of rhythms presented throughout the piece. I could have incorporated more metrical patterns into my piece but I believe overall rhythm worked well for the piece.
Dynamics and articulation in the piece were something that I initially had difficulties with as my piece was quite length and I needed quite a lot of time to get to where I was happy with all the control of dynamics and the articulation provided. Dynamics changed between the A section and B section quite a lot but overall the piece was mostly a more quiet piece. With articulation, the only articulation I used for the most part were slurs as even though I tried trills and staccatos I found it didn’t suit the mood of the piece very well and I changed them around quite a lot.
Overall however, I am extremely happy with how my piece turned out and I have learnt a lot about composition and my own style of music in the process of creation as well.
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