Stella by Starlight Final

by Michael on March 24, 2017

Stella By Starlight Composition

I have always enjoyed music composition, as I can write what I think sounds good then proceed to show it to people, receiving feedback from them. I found this jazz composition to be much harder than the past composition, as there are lots of guidelines to follow and it limits me to only jazz rather than my own composition style.

I have never composed jazz before, and I rarely play it and listen to it. This caused me to start listening to a series of jazz performance, specifically Stella by Starlight, as that’s what we’re composing right now. I noticed that the 7-3 resolution was very useful throughout this process, especially the blue notes that were required to be used on the task sheet. There was a period of time in the middle of the composition where we were not given any blue notes to follow, and I found that this just made it even more challenging, as I don’t know what would sound good when transitioning from bar to bar. These restrictions have made it easier for me to compose, because of my limited knowledge on jazz music.


Natalie Chan: I really like how you added a variety of rhythm into your solo. Maybe you could add more rests, to make it sound more free.

Cody Wong: I like how your piece flows and sounds nice. There is a interesting rhythm. However, you can add some articulations and dynamics, and adding labels to the chords would be good.

Fong: Good idea but I find that sometimes you tend to have a similar sort of notes and it becomes repetitive but the good use of notes with the compliment of the chords make it sound good, although it would be better if you added dynamics and articulation.

I made quite a few adjustments to my draft. I didn’t focus on changing the notes as I thought those were fine, and I didn’t want to go through the process of messing up a melody and spending hours trying to fix it. I first added lots of slurs into the song, as there is lots of swing tempo so I wanted to make it flow better. I tend to use more slurs at the end of the bar, maybe because I think it acts as a good lead up to the next bar. I then added some dynamics, but I didn’t really know where they were suitable. I ended up just adding crescendos when the melody goes higher and diminuendos where it went downwards. I then looked at my comments from the draft, and noticed that Natalie Chan suggested to add more rests. I then proceeded to look through the composition and see where rests could be added, and some ended up sounding better than before, as jazz is all about off beat rhythms.



{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

liamotoole April 5, 2017 at 12:09 pm

Nice use of syncopation in this composition Michael, just watch the notational rules when writing. Overall this sounds like you have captured the spirit of the assignment.

063771 March 27, 2017 at 8:06 am

Your piece flows quite well. There is also good use of articulations and dynamics. The rests also makes the piece sound interesting and more jazzy. However, the ending does not sound very jazzy.

063755 March 27, 2017 at 8:06 am

The transitions between bars most of the time change by step, the other times there were big jumps like in bar 8-9. Good use of rhythm, I would say maybe add more rest in the composition?

Ethan W. March 27, 2017 at 8:05 am

I like how your composition has transitions that are tones or semitones apart. It also has articulation markings that help with the flow of your composition.

053487 March 27, 2017 at 8:05 am

I really enjoy your dynamics, rhythm, and accidentals. The dynamics also enhance your overall solo. Great job!
– Sze Ching

053470 March 27, 2017 at 8:04 am

It was very flowing, but it needs a bit more variety.

Varun March 27, 2017 at 8:04 am

Your rhythm is great flowing and very catchy

Jodi Lee March 27, 2017 at 8:04 am

I like that you kept the piano part very quiet, the rhythm was pretty good, but it just got a little boring overtime, maybe try using triplets? Good job!

084369 March 27, 2017 at 8:04 am

I like how you have a lot rhythm in your solo. Great flowing piece.

053465 March 27, 2017 at 8:04 am

It sounds pretty narst overall, I like how you used different notes near the end to balance out the melody making it sound very fair.

Mikayla March 27, 2017 at 8:04 am

I like your instrument because it makes jazz sound good. I like your ties and dotted notes in the bunch. Nice!

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