Hello! This is a review for the NGUAC competition.
I've gone over one or two general categories of issues specific to your song, and one section of things I think also deserve complimenting. I prefer being very direct with my critique, none of it is meant to offend. Thank you for your understanding!
- This has wonderful development of instrumentation and dynamic curve, but what it could very much use is some additional ideas. There is a countermelody to the central theme, but the chord progression and center melody remains essentially the same throughout the entire piece, with very minor changes. What this piece desperately needs is some shift to these core ideas for thematic development. There many ways to do theme and variation if you'd like to take that approach, such as switching to staccato to changing the chord progression around the theme to reharmonize it. It may also be reasonable to add B sections, especially as you get closer to the ending. Right now, this is an A section, repeated over and over, with extra instruments added to create the illusion of compositional variation.
- Secondly, the melody itself isn't too compelling. Part of this is due to the chord progression, which is effectively just two chords trading off. This deserves more variation and development to build climaxes of tension and subsequent release. However, even given that, this melody doesn't really... go anywhere - notably, it is the root note of the chord which jumps up a 5th, then either takes steps right down the chord or effectively jumps directly to the root note again using an 'enclosure' for embellishment. These melodies roughly break down to 1-5-3-1, 1-5-1-1 and repeat. Using more variable chords is one way to resolve this, switching between different notes of the chord and adding notes between chords as passing notes or embellishments. With more shifting harmony, there is more of a dynamic curve and 'story' to the melody. Another way of forming variation is to use different rhythms. Right now, the melody only uses very straight rhythms, with either half notes or one note on every beat. Try some syncopation, or triplets to break up the monotonous rhythm.
Compliments to the Composer:
- Beyond the compositional issues, you really do genuinely have good ideas with arranging this piece. The pizzicatto strings are quite lovely (I do love plucked sounds, admittedly!), as is the oboe starting at 1:56. Your harmonies are nice even if simple, and your dynamic development is good. I don't hear any mixing mud either, and you can even bring the volume up a bit more with a limiter set to a threshhold of -1.1dB. I think studying classical music theory will work extremely well for you. Try going here http://openmusictheory.com/contents.html and starting around "Types of Motion". There are a lot of good nuggets of information past that point as well, which will serve you well in composing this music style.
Final score: 6.5