[PDF] Kehern - op.01/01

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[PDF] Kehern - op.01/01

Post by kehern » Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:15 am

Hello everyone! It has been a while since I have been on and participated on this board, but school started up again, and I have been very busy. Namely with my favorite class, AP Music Theory. This class has taught me things about music that I did not know even existed. Over our winter break, we were assigned to compose a piece for the instrument of our choice. Naturally, I choose the classical guitar. Before I hand in the assignment, I only saw it fit to share it with the peoples at delcamp. You guys have helped me out SO much, I cannot even put it into words. So here I give you my first composition. This is my very first attempt, and thus it is very short, very easy, and frankly not too good. I am aware of this, and I do also ask for help from all of you. Any sorts of constructive criticism is greatly appreciated, as well as any tips as to how I can better unify my piece and provide more flow. Thank you again!!!


opus one no one.pdf
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Paul Hardy

Re: kehern - My first (attempt) at composing!

Post by Paul Hardy » Sun Jan 04, 2009 6:58 pm

Hell Kehern,

First of all -- I have never attempted a composition, so well done for that and please remember my comments are in light of your enthusiasm and bravery in attempting this.

The opening A minor chord immediately demands that the player plays in position III, in order to sound the A on the 6th string along with the C on the 5th string. This in itself is not a problem, however if the piece is intended as a short, easy one you might want to exploit the 1st position as much as possible.

More importantly the guitar does not sound well with root position triads on the bass strings. It will sound quite muddy and indistinct. This sound might suit a dark mysterious composition of course, but I don't feel that's what you are looking for here. Try an inversion (for example playing the A higher up on the 3rd string) to open out the chord.

Again in bar 3 the sequence of root position chords would all I believe need to be played up the neck. The D minor seems to require a tough stretch to reach the D on the 5th string, and then switching from the B minor to the G minor* I can't quite see a way to do this with any finger kept on throughout -- this makes for a very hard quaver change. These difficulties can be eased by again changing inversion or using a two-note chord in the sequence.

*Edit - shows how much I know; I mean Bdim to G major, don't I?

I like the way you have exploited similar rhythmic patterns through the piece -- this will give it cohesion. When you come to the pause on the high A this might have more musical impact if it is the first time we have reached this note; so consider recasting the high A a couple of bars earlier to give the pause on A a real punch!

Edit - in fact you have an F in the arpeggio before that, so you have the chance to peak each arpeggio with F, G & A to give a progressive scalar ascent to the high point of the work.

In the last phrase you use an inverted E chord, a good technique to try. But again it calls for a B and D so would need to move up the neck. However if the 1st finger is kept on the B string 3rd fret, 2nd finger on the G string 4th fret & 4th finger on D string 6th fret I think this passage can be played without shifts.

Bear in mind I am sitting at my computer without a guitar so I apologise if I am wrong about some of the fingering.

Of course, I remain mightily impressed by what you have attempted.

Last edited by Paul Hardy on Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total.


Re: kehern - My first (attempt) at composing!

Post by kehern » Sun Jan 04, 2009 7:33 pm

Thank you very much Paul! That was very helpful advice, I will be sure to make use of it. When I was composing most of the piece, I did not have a guitar in front of me, I was generally sitting in the middle of class, and then I suddenly got hit with an idea as to where I want to take the piece. Because of this, I did not take into consideration the positions that the notes will be played upon the neck. Later, I did realize a bit more about the odd chord movements for the fingers. The bit of advice involving first inversion chords was VERY helpful indeed, I'll be sure to keep that in mind when I start to compose my second piece. I will be sure to revise the chords, and finger them a bit easier. Thank you again, your advice has been most helpful. Try playing it sometime if you have the chance, I am curious as to your opinion of the piece when it is actually played. :merci:


Paul Hardy

Re: [PDF] kehern - Opus 1 n1

Post by Paul Hardy » Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:16 pm

Hi Kehern,

Well, after playing through with a guitar I am most impressed - I can state that all the stretches are manageable on the guitar. I have palyed through it at crotchet (quarter-note)=60 (quite slow) and can get round most of the shifts. Bar 3 however remains obstinate with four triads in succession which share few fingers. However if I omit the G in the 3rd chord of the sequence (yes cheating I know!) it becomes much easier, as the B & D notes can be played by just keeping the fingers on. Bar 9 A minor works well as a half-barre at fret 5 and bar 10 works as a full barre on fret 1 with the B played on g string with the 4th finger. If you play the G# in bar 1 on the 4th string then you can play bar 2 with a half-barre at fret 5 and then slide down neatly to fret 2 for that evocative D minor chord (Bach Chaconne, anyone?).

The opening A minor doesn't in fact sound too muddy. It is vaguely reminiscent of a chord in Villa-Lobos' Mazurka-Choro.
I particularly like bars 12-15 where you repeat the same pattern descending by degrees. And the cadence is very nice.

Well done. To someone who wouldn't know where to begin with composing it is unbelievably impressive. If I can get practised maybe I could post the first recording of your work!



Re: [PDF] kehern - Opus 1 n1

Post by kehern » Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:01 pm

Ok, so I have been through the piece, and added some notation remarks. Because Finale Notepad doesn't allow me to add them to the actual file, I will just have to write them down here...

The G-sharp in the 1sh measure is played on the 4th string.
The C and E in the second measure is played by a barre on the fifth fret.
The arppegiation in the 9th measure is played by a barre on the fifth fret.
The arppegiation in the 10th measure is played by barring on the first fret, and playing the B and D on the 3rd and 2nd string respectively.
The G in the 18th measure is played on the fourth string.

That is pretty much it! Thanks again for all of your help. If you can record this Paul, I would be most appreciative. :D

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Re: kehern - My first (attempt) at composing!

Post by Tonyyyyy » Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:12 am

kehern wrote:...... When I was composing most of the piece, I did not have a guitar in front of me, I was generally sitting in the middle of class, and then I suddenly got hit with an idea as to where I want to take the piece. B :merci:

its impressive you could work this out in your head in class; some very nice musical ideas :bravo:
what tempo are you intending? i felt it as allegretto

I agree with Paul about the few awkward chords - maybe you could do an updated version which is easier (bar 3 was very tricky as written0

tom jobim

Re: [PDF] kehern - Opus 1 n1

Post by tom jobim » Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:46 pm

Hi Kehern, :bravo:
I agree that it is impressive to write away from an instrument. It is also a good technique to develop as a writer so as not to be tied down to your own capabilities as a player. There are two ways to approach a student of composition. The first way is to teach them to write the way you do. This more likely will produce carbon copies of yourself. The other way is to not say anything so you don't influence the aspiring composer's inner voice's natural growth process. Obviously, comments about the ranges of instruments and basic things like that should be expected. My first inclination was to tear apart your piece and suggest this and that but I don't think at this point that would be the best thing for you. In my humble opinion you should write another page tomorrow and then the next day write another page
and so on and so on. If you are writing everyday you will eventually develop a flow and begin to tune in on what you really want to compose and also what works and what doesn't. Hopefully your teacher is already helping you (or is going to) with harmony, counterpoint, and orchestration. When I was in Cleveland, my classmates and I would take flashlights and scores and sneak into the orchestra concerts during intermission. Sometimes we were allowed to sit in on rehearsals. Taking scores to concerts is probably the best way to learn them. Oh well...composition can and should be an exciting path to self discovery and I wish you the best of luck.
peace, sven
ps: KEEP WRITING! :bye:

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