Instrumentation: Clarinet in Bb and Piano
Stages of Creating My Composition
To create this piece of music, I had to go through many steps to discover what makes a song sound good and what makes it successful. The first step that I went through was to create a rhythm. To do this, I looked over some different rhythms from our music book to get some inspiration. I thought of how I wanted my song to sound upbeat and happy as the title of my song is “Summer”. From this, I mostly used quarter notes and eighth notes, and only used half notes at the end of phrases to show how it was the end of that phrase. To show my evidence of phrasing, I used long notes or rests at the end of each phrase. When creating my rhythm, I would only do 4 bars at a time, after finishing my first 4 bars I created another 4 bars by using the same notes but rearranging them in a different order so the rhythm sounded only slightly different.
Once I was finished with creating my rhythm, I had to make a melody out of it. To do this, I had to start with chords. I wanted my song to be in F major, so my chords were notes from the scale of F major. After putting my chords together using the notes from the F major scale and using the template of the chords we must use, I could create my melody. To make my melody sound good with my chords, I learned that most of the notes should be from the chords to create harmony. Although most of the notes should be from the chords, notes that are not from the chords can be put with shorter notes such as eighth notes. If it did not sound right, I would just move the note around to find a better sound.
After creating my melody using the chords, I had to create another melody because my chord instrument is a piano, and has both base and treble clef. For the piano, my chords were in base clef and my melody was in treble clef. To create this melody I used a lot of repetition. For the first 4 phrases they would have the same rhythm (all eight notes), but all the notes were from the chords. For the next 4 phrases I changed the rhythm to one quarter note and 2 eighth notes repeating, and for next 4 phrases I just switched the rhythm so it was 2 eighth notes and one quarter note repeating. For the very last 4 phrases, I decided to make the piano melody more interesting to make the ending more memorable. To do this, I did not just do the repeating rhythm like I had in the last 12 bars, and I used the same rhythm that I did in the clarinet melody, but switched the notes around to a different order.
Creative Choices Made
For one of my creative song choices, I decided to write my song in F major. This is because I have always enjoyed the sound of the F major scale, I was familiar with the notes, and I didn’t want my song to be boring by just having it in C major. I think this choice made my song more unique and interesting to play.
For the different tempos I used Moderato for the beginning of the song, and Andante for the end of the song. This was supposed to portray my type of summer where it starts of normal and casual at the beginning, and starts to slow down at the end when there’s nothing left to do.
Some of the dynamics that I used throughout the song was piano and mezzo piano. In the middle of the song I used piano and added a crescendo to show how the middle of summer was the most exciting part. Towards the end I used mezzo piano with a crescendo to show the audience that the song is going to build up and then slow down as “summer” is ending. I mostly used crescendo’s to build up the song as if something exciting is going to happen, or to subtly hint that the song was about to end.
Lastly, I used some staccatos in my song to show the excitement and enthusiasm of summer.
Critiquing My Song
- Articulation – I think that having some staccatos in the beginning of the song was a good idea, and matches the title of my song.
- Evidence of Phrasing – I think I showed excellent evidence of phrasing because at the end of each phrase, I used a longer note or a rest, and sometimes used both.
- Rhythm – I’m very happy with how I created my rhythm as I used different notes for the first 4 phrases, but in the next 4 phrases, used some of the notes from the first 4 so that my rhythm never sounded too different. I also used some repetition in my rhythm.
- Note Range – I think I did well with my note range as there was no gap larger than 4 spaces. This makes the song sound much better, and makes the song more memorable.
- Note choices – A weakness that I found in my composition was some of my note choices. I found that after listening to my composition a few times, there were some notes that stuck out and did not go with the melody.
- Piano melody – I definitely think that one of the major weaknesses in my piece was the piano melody in treble clef. This is because I used repetition too much, and should have done what I had done for the last 4 bars in the entire song.
- Tempo – This is not a major weakness, but I think I should have added a faster tempo marking in the middle of the song to match the loudness. I think that my tempo choices made the song less interesting, so next time I will consider where I place my tempo markings.