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  • First attempt at Sonata Form composition

    Hi,

      I've just uploaded a composition I've been working on for a number of weeks in order to learn about Sonata Form compositions. I'd be the first to admit that the melody/subjects are somewhat simplified however I was more concerned with understanding the structure of a Sonata Form composition rather than adding too much complexity at this time. I have tried to structure this based on feedback from previous composition attempts which were very much stuck in a single key also lacked the contrast I can hear in other compositions which are being shared.

    At this stage, I haven't moved the project into the Vienna environment yet and as such the sounds have been produced by Sibelius however before I go anywhere near the sequencer/Vienna environment I would greatly appereciate any feedback on the structure of the composition. I don't really want to bury myself in Vienna for the next month as for me this was more about the compositional process rather than the authenticity of the final sounding product. I hope you don't mind.

    http://soundcloud.com/mcelvogue/sonata-form-first-attempt

    Regards,

            Tom


  • last edited
    last edited

    @mcelvogue said:

    Hi,

      I've just uploaded a composition I've been working on for a number of weeks in order to learn about Sonata Form compositions. I'd be the first to admit that the melody/subjects are somewhat simplified however I was more concerned with understanding the structure of a Sonata Form composition rather than adding too much complexity at this time. I have tried to structure this based on feedback from previous composition attempts which were very much stuck in a single key also lacked the contrast I can hear in other compositions which are being shared.

    At this stage, I haven't moved the project into the Vienna environment yet and as such the sounds have been produced by Sibelius however before I go anywhere near the sequencer/Vienna environment I would greatly appereciate any feedback on the structure of the composition. I don't really want to bury myself in Vienna for the next month as for me this was more about the compositional process rather than the authenticity of the final sounding product. I hope you don't mind.

    http://soundcloud.com/mcelvogue/sonata-form-first-attempt

    Regards,

            Tom

    try avoiding the "assembly-line" sequencing of very regular patterns by breaking up period-structures in non-obvious ways and f.e. spinning a part of a structure further in an "irregular", unexpected manner. This is the first idea which I would give you as an advice (for what it's worth...)


  • Hi Goran,

          Thanks for the suggestion and much appreciated. I realise I have a long way to go here and appreciate you taking the time to listen and comment.

    Regards,

         Tom


  • Happy to be of help ;-)

    Best,

    Goran


  • Well, while it is pleasant and charming mostly, it sounds more like theme & variation than sonata form.  For sonata form, I would expect a structure like A, A, B, and then a recap of A.  In the first set of A's there would be an initial theme, with some development and then a modulation to the dominant key with a different and contrasting melody.  In the recap, the second theme would stay in the tonic key.  The B section would be a developmental bridge.  Listen to some Mozart piano & violin sonatas and notice how clearly and precisely the primary and secondary themes are used.


  • Thanks Bachman,

    I take your points and appreciate your feedback. I will listen to some more Sonata examples as suggested to see if I can get a better understanding of what you are saying. I had been working from a different explanation (understanding) of Sonata form which is probably not helping me here. My reference was an exposition section comprised of a principal subject, second subject and closing section followed by a development section closing with a recapitulation of the principal subject, second subject and closing section.

    Whilst I think it has been useful for me to try and follow what I thought to be the structure of Sonata form, I think I will benefit much more (as you suggested) by listening to more examples to gain a better appreciation and understanding of the form.

    Thank you again for listening and for your good feedback.

    Regards,

         Tom


  • Hi Tom, Sonata form is ABA. However, it much more than that. It is a battle between two opposing keys that must be reconciled in the recap. The A section is usually followed by a bridge which brings you to a new key( I to V if you are in major mode, I minor to III major if you are in a minor mode). The new key is the B section( normally refers to as the second key area) would have it's own thematic materials and a closing area or coda which reaffirms the new key. The development section is part of the B section. The part of your piece which started at 2:10 or so could be considered a development section. That is always followed by a recap. Listen to Haydn symphony #88-92, Mozart #35, 39, 40, and 41. You might want to read "Charles Rosen Sonata Forms" or Classical Form:A Theory of Formal Functions For the Instrumental Music Of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven by William E. Caplin. Hope this helps

  • Hi Johnny42,

         thanks for taking the time to listen and also comment. I'll definitely listen to what you have recommended and also look into the books you have referenced. This is hugely helpful and thank you for your comment.

    Regards,

         Tom


  • Hi Tom

    As mentioned your new Irish Concerto is delightfully charming. Although it is in sonata form by fingering of the keyboard, it is an Irish Concerto. And should end at 6.25.Of-course.. Transferring to VSL virtual sequencing should help clarify any further analysis. Especially at recapitulations. The tempo will retard at those points and add the feeling that it has towards its definition... As a painting or wine instills, or ferment within time. Sit on it for a while and keep adding those piano brakes in between. the one in the middle adds to it tremendously and welcomes more of the same through-out. As a painting tired's a mind or as you call it explodes the brain after the first initial diligent structuring, or a day's work, give it a week or so, and as a painting walk by it after a while and you will see new additions that can be added to it, that couldn't be seen before, because of exhaustion and fatigue. They will pop out at you. Time and time again. And because you already have structured it. What will be added should be by ear only and simple enough to create. Similar to highlights in paintings for instance or a comletely new approach as you have shown you can do. And as already mentioned you can take the A part and replay it back down further in the composition. Coda or develop more motifs in tandems to further build the Concerto... I believe you're making a traditional Irish milestone statement here that can live on...  Give it more time and pull its complete score, separate instruments and full concert score. So that your grandkids can refer back to it in the future for reference and have it played publicly, if not earlier...  

       I've been trying to get my second movement started now for month's, just not gotten there yet. And the sheer physical and mental ability is a full time job to bring up to par. Then the rest afterwards, one is never sure, what will be, or happen next?     

    Brahms took ten years to complete his first symphony -- And he didn't even know how to VSL

    Rachmaninoff took three years to rest from his first symphony. Didn't touch the piano.-- And he didn't know how to VSL either. 

    We might have more on our hands to work with, but on the other side of the coin. We also have an orchestra that plays at our command as many times as we wish, at any time at a drop of a hat. This is luxury. You maniac slave drivers. just hit play and see how it sounds ! 

    Cheers


  • PaulP Paul moved this topic from Orchestration & Composition on