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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2004 5:27 pm 
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I'm taking an AP music theory class at my school and our final project is to compose music. And the best ones get to be played and performed by the band. I'm really excited for that!

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2004 3:56 pm 
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I started writing music as a freshman in high school, and it was all crap.

Then I learned a bit of theory and it got better. Although the more I learn, the slower I compose. Sometimes the music flows freely from my brain, but more often than not I'm agonizing over the score. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and I don't go back and revise, so I usually make sure everything's the way I want it before I move on to the next section.

In college some of my stuff was actually pretty decent. At the very least, the part-writing was adventurous and fun to play (so all the other students told me). I ended up having three of my pieces performed while I was in college.

Overall I've composed about 60 works, including about a dozen marches (one of which I think is actually pretty decent). I finished my Third Symphony in 2001 and then didn't write another note until starting up my Fourth Symphony in March of this year. The Fourth Symphony's structure is a nod to Shostakovich's Fourteenth Symphony: instead of the traditional four movement structure (which my first three had), my Fourth is going to be comprised of ten short movements, each with a distinct character representing a particular image or vision.

In possibly the greatest outpouring of music I've ever experienced, I wrote the first three movements in eight days (12:22 of fully orchestrated music) and the first four in a total of two weeks (17:35). I guess it was really pent up after taking about three years off.

Since then, the pace has slowed quite a bit, but I just finished the seventh movement. Three more to go. The sixth movement took a long time to write because I did a lot of experimenting with bizarre (to me) instrumentation and a bizarre (to me) chord structure. The sixth movement is scored only for strings and percussion: no woodwinds or brass of any kind. It's broken down into five percussion parts and eight string parts: RP1 (Rhythmic Percussion I - mainly metallic percussion and cymbal sets), RP2 (Rhythmic Percussion II - single tone drums like the snare, bass, and some toms), MP1 (Melodic Percussion I - bells, primarily the glockenspiel), MP2 (Melodic Percussion II - more bells, primarily the tubular chimes), and MP3 (Melodic Percussion III - back and forth between the timpani and the celesta depending on the section) are the five percussion parts; the eight string parts are Violins I, II and III, Violas I and II, Cellos I and II, and Contrabasses. The key signature is C-Maj (no accidentals), and while C is the tonic, the main melody requires consistent lowered 2nds and 6ths (Db and Ab). I'm not sure if that's a specific mode without looking through my theory books.

So far, the piece has some of the best stuff I've ever written, especially movements III and VI. Not sure if I'll finish the symphony this year or not, but we'll see. Anyway, here's what I have on it so far...

Symphony #4 " " (as yet unnamed)
I. Vivace ("Jester") - 2:21
II. Adagio ("Fog") - 6:03
III. Allegro barbaro ("Coliseum") - 3:58
IV. Allegretto ("Dimanche") - 5:13
V. Andante ("Intrepid") - 6:36
VI. Presto ("Martians") - 2:52
VII. Lento ("Squire") - 5:25
VIII. ??? (" ") -:--
IX. ??? (" ") -:--
X. ??? (" ") -:--


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2004 1:48 am 
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I'm currently a Undergraduate Double Major at RCC. I'm majoring in Music Education & Percussion. I just started writing Pit, Battery, Winds songs. Its been a hard time learning it. But I have gone a long way on it.


:D 8-) :P

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2004 8:38 pm 
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In the summer I just got finale and wrote some battery beats for fun :-P. My band director makes it look simple, but its hard coming up with beats that makes you go "wow".

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2004 9:12 pm 
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I was trying to not comment on this thread for fear of REALLY looking like a geek (if I hadn't already confirmed it)...but I feel like I won't be laughed at.

Before I had grand delusions of being a drill designer, I wanted BADLY to learn how to write and arrange music. When I was in high school, I tried my hand (literally...BY HAND) to arrange songs. In my freshman year in high school, our band played an arrangement of "La Fiesta" which was NOT like what the Blue Devils had done. I liked it alot...and wanted to make it better. When I was a junior in high school, I had brief period of time where I was (gasp!!!) suspended from high school (2nd semester) for being, how should I say, unwilling to attend classes in a regular scheduled manner (ditching!). I had to go to a special "class" from 1 to 5 every day for 10 days and stare at a wall. So, I brought some massive score paper I stole--I aquired from the band library plus the arrangement of "La Fiesta" from 2 years before, and set off on my Ryan H. Turner Opus Rearrangement Grande. NO theory, NO idea what I was doing....but it was cool. My director also actually took my idea of how to redo the ending of our closer, Moorside March, in my senior year. It had one of those 32 MINUTE major chord endings better suited for 450 piece marching bands that could circular breath....so I gave him my idea of using the same notes, and IT WORKED. It was great!!!

((Turner....were waiting for a point!!))

Sorry...my point is this. I'm now 38, my youthful enthusiasm about writing music has nearly all but disappeared, but I STILL have music in my head. Seriously. I can THINK of things and HEAR things and KNOW how things should go musically (and I'm talking MY own original stuff), but I LITERALLY have no clue of HOW to begin the process. I mean, I read what Kevin wrote above and outside of being impressed, I don't know HOW he does it. And yeah...obviously because I was a music education major I have SOME theory under my belt, but that's just theory. To know what a chord is is one thing...to know how to WRITE music is another...ESPECIALLY to compose. So...envious I am of you guys...and wishing there was a book that could inspire me to show me how to build something...or how to take that music I hear in my head and write out a "map" and then attack it systematically....or something...

OK...back to my dots and X's on drill paper...
:roll:

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 Post subject: Not too late...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 11:12 am 
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Ryan,

Talk to Collette... I am sure she could guide you. Heck, she taught me Finale, and I didn't know what a computer was until Richard King hid my typewriter from me...

John

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 7:14 pm 
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LOL! Mr. Ryan Turner ditching?!?! hahaha. Us band geeks never change through the generations.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2004 8:03 pm 
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I just finished about a week ago a 2 part suite for Percussion Ensemble, and now I'm working on a full symphonic orchestra piece.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2004 4:24 pm 
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I'm totally new to arraging music for Marching Band and Winter Drumlines along with writing Drum Cadences. At first I thought that no way I will be able to write any good arrangements or anything. Then I email a short arrangement for a percussion to someone who ask to write one for. And I was totally shock to be told that i'm very good writing it. I never thought I would that kind of comment. Since I really never wrote anything never!

:P 8-)

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2004 2:45 pm 
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I've toyed with arranging, mostly for mallet ensemble... Eventually I wanna write an orginal.. but we'll see. .

Pieces I've finished-

Eyes on Me (love theme from FF8) for Vibes, Marimba and Bells <-- was played by Me and some kids I taught last year..

Sinfonia #3 by Bach for three marimbas (or two marimbas and a xylo) <-- Just finished that one hehe

Currently working on
2nd mvt to Shostakovich's String Quartert No. 8 for two marimba, vibes and xylo [my hardest peice to arrange yet!]

To Zanarkand (theme from FF 10?) for two bells (one off stage) marimba and vibes <--- hopefully will be performed sometime in the spring of 05

I started arranging a song by Hot Hot Heat titled Talk to Me Dance with Me for pep band but my computer crashed and... well that file was lost :(

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 12:58 pm 
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I've written a couple of short things for both piano and voice, but they're not very long. For AP music theory, our final is to write fifty measures for whatever our main instrument is. I've got a thirty measure vocal piece already, so I'll probably lengthen it and add piano chords... Writing music is hard...

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2004 12:54 pm 
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wtran00 wrote:
Currently working on 2nd mvt to Shostakovich's String Quartert No. 8 for two marimba, vibes and xylo [my hardest peice to arrange yet!]

I've contemplated trying to arrange the Finale to Shostakovich's Tenth Symphony for wind ensemble, but (so far) haven't tried. Holy moly there's a lot going on in that piece.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2004 4:56 pm 
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Phantom Phan wrote:
I've contemplated trying to arrange the Finale to Shostakovich's Tenth Symphony for wind ensemble, but (so far) haven't tried. Holy moly there's a lot going on in that piece.


Yea.. I've seen the score for that peice... AHHH... hehe GOOD LUCK!!! I think.. The string quartet is gonna take me a couple of years cause man.. I just can't think of what to do now..

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:38 pm 
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I've written some stuff. None of it's ever been actually played before, but I did score a film project. Due to sudden time constraints, I had only one day to write the entire score and it was played back on the movie in MIDI, but hey, we were low budget. If you care to, you can check out some of my stuff here:
http://www.geocities.com/crazedguy1311@sbcglobal.net


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 8:28 am 
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Updating my post from September, after taking a three to four month break, I started working on the eighth movement on Monday. I've got about two minutes of it done so far (again, it's coming forth fairly easily after such a rest). It's a moderato in 3/4 in e minor... it starts off with a little pseudo-waltz before degenerating into kind of an awkward series of eighth-note arpeggios (clarinets and violins: E down to G up to B, G-B again, up to D; then countered by french horns and cellos in the low register with D# down to C down to G#, C-G# again, down to F-natural... not sure where I'm progressing with it :? , but I like the sound of it so far).

I've also settled on a name for the overall symphony: "Past, Present and Future"

Anyway... :roll:


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