The Crown of Arlidor

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This piece began as a return to my oldest pieces, which were brass-dominated, yet also to connect in other instruments that I have featured and worked with over the past two years. As a cumulative piece, I decided to spend a lot longer than I normally would have on making sure it was exactly how I wanted it.

Created in Finale 2009c using EWQL Symphonic Orchestra Gold VIs.

Feel free to leave your thoughts and feelings on the piece, as well as any constructive criticism, which I will gladly take into account. At this point, there's still plenty more that could be written. However, I decided to polish it off and present this piece as is.

Revised: 2/12/2012


The Kingdom of Arlidor was once one of the largest and most powerful kingdoms in all the land, holding power over fast fiefs and territories. However, the famed crown was lost in a terrible war. The land now descends into ruin as famine hits. However, one brave knight manages to find the crown and thus restores the Kingdom to its former glory.

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First of all, my English isn't perfect, as I am Dutch and English is my second language.

Great piece, I like the atmosphere and the way you build towards the climax. I think the percussion is great, especially at 2:15, because it gives the piece more personality. I see you are using EWQL Symphonic Orchestra Gold Edition. Recently I installed it, too. I'm still figuring out how I can use it best. It sounds like you already know a lot about it, bravo.

If I really have to be critical, I think the melody that begins at 1:21 with the strings, sounds a little weak. I think that's because of the accents of the melody and the chord transitions, but you make it up at 1:37. It sounds very epic from there. I haven't listened to your other pieces, but I will do that. My only advice after hearing this is try to experiment with contrapunction some more. You will be able to make great things.

You mentioned in your profile that you see yourself as a classical composer. What do you exactly mean by classical? Do you have any pieces in the classical style? Or did you just mean that your style is instrumental?

I think the piece fits your description very well and I enjoyed listening! Thank you for this piece, it's hard to find such talented people.

samulis responds:

Hey there,

I understood what you said perfectly. :)

I call myself "classical" because I have worked a lot around some traditional musical ideas, although lately, such as with this piece, I have been moving into more modern ideas. I do not have any pieces like the Classical Era, most of my music is like Romantic Era or later.

I am actually unfamiliar with Contrapunction, I'll look into that. I am taking Music Theory II at this time, and we're doing a lot more on melody construction and thematic motion... hopefully we will cross over that.

Thanks again!

Wow, this is great. I was really impressed with mostly the composition, but many other aspects of the song are worthy to be praised. This piece really tells a story, and while the whole "kingdom in distress" setting is a bit generic for orchestral songs like this, you executed in nearly flawlessly. I've seen you post around on the forums a little but I can't believe I haven't heard any of your other songs before :(. Nice work!

So, I'll start with the composition, since that seems to be the song's strongest point. I absolutely love the progression of the melody. The song starts off perfectly with some AWESOME brass chords (especially 0:32), and 0:44 was an absolutely fantastic way of presenting the main melody. The atmosphere is just brilliant, and capitalised wonderfully by the harp entrance that came in later on.

The melody itself is very nice, reminiscent of kingdoms and medieval times and whatnot. Loved the occasional change in time signature such as at around 1:15. Honestly that time signature change was so well executed. The tempo changes made this sound a lot more real and dynamic at the same time, so they were a good call :D.

The instrumentation is also quite nice. The use of all of that brass made for a very regal and knightly sound, very similar to that of my old song "Land of Kings". You know, actually this and Land of Kings have a very similar atmosphere and arrangement, for some reason :P. This one is leagues better though. Anyway, overall, the instrumentation was very fitting for the theme you were going for. I also like the mood change at 1:36 although I feel that you could've given that part a little more work. The mood was that of danger and peril, and I think some high violin trills would help give that section a bit more of a "dangerous" feel to it.

The mixing is quite good. I have a big problem with brass chords because frequency-wise they often end up coming out too heavy in the mid section, causing a lot of clipping and giving me a headache to EQ them right. Here you've got brass chords all over the place and they're playing without any discernible clipping, so great job in that department. The song's mastering is also good.

My complaint here is a mixing problem - I feel that the low end was a little neglected. As the1azn8 said, it feels as though the timpani was the only bassy sound. While the timpanis and timpani rolls certainly gave this song some low end power, I feel that this song is lacking some much needed warmth. Try using more double basses/cellos perhaps, I dunno.

The percussion wasn't very revolutionary but it fit very well with the theme. I like the parts in the intro and outro where the majestic brass plays and then stops to leave some room for timpani rolls. That was an interesting contrast. However, I think snares would fit so well here. East/West Symphonic Orchestra has really nice snares in my opinion and I think they'll do wonders in this song if done correctly!

Regarding the intro, it was great. Starting it with that little chime really helped set the mood and then, as I mentioned before, the contrast between the brass chords and timpani rolls was interesting. From then on the progression was spot on. The ending felt a little too dragged out, perhaps, but other than that I don't really have any complaints with it.

Transitions are smooth and just assist in creating that great progression you've got going. My favourite transitions would probably be the one to the flute solo at 0:44 and the one with the change in time signature at 1:15 - 1:20. Personally I don't really have any gripes with the transitions, and usually I'm fussy with transitions so that's certainly a good sign :3.

All in all, this is a great piece. The theme, instrumentation, composition, atmosphere, transitions, progression, mastering and percussion were all great. A few problems here and there, such as the mixing quirk and the lack of violin trills/snares, but in general I'm really impressed with what you've got here. Good luck in the competition, great work on this song and keep up the good work.


samulis responds:

Wow! Thanks for returning the "big-freakin-review" spirit!

I'll certainly take some of your advice on the piece... I'll see about some of that strings work you suggested (sadly, I generally neglect strings since I am unfamiliar with them, as I have only played in bands and never in orchestras, although I have heard countless pieces with them). I may try using the double-bass to bridge the different ideas between the brass and the timpani by doubling both at various points and maybe even some slight chording work. The violin idea is good, I'll look into it!

As a side note, I generally write the song first and then work out story later. It's easier that way and is great fun to interpret my own pieces. I do the same for song names, and most of my folder of .mus (finale score files) have names that are in no way related to the song here. XD

I might try to bring in snare... I used to use snare drums all the time, but haven't lately. I will try some sections and see where they would be fitting thematically.

Thanks again for the AWESOME review!


This one is actually very hard to review. It's nearly perfect, so you don't give much to criticize here, haha.

The Timpani here reminds me a lot of Strauss' "Thus Spoke Zarathustra", even though the similarities may only be a coincidence, because a Timpani always sounds like... well, a Timpani.

I like the intro and the outro a lot. They are very well composed and fit very well to the song.

{ Review Request Club }

samulis responds:

Wow, thanks. :D

I think it was the powerful intro that I started with that made it work. I normally start quietly and build up, but it has a nice initial hit (no pun intended with the Timpani).

Pretty Good

This is a great piece, no doubt about that. I enjoyed listening to it immensely but one thing that I noticed was that there was a lot of timpani. It kind of felt like the timpani was the only bass-centric noise there, but that's just me.

Overall, a great piece.

samulis responds:

Aye... I did choose to stick with the timpani a lot. I often don't work with the Timpani much, so I chose I might as well redeem myself with the timpanis of the world... or at least experiment a bit. I was considering adding snare a bit, so I might.

Thanks for the great review. :)


This is a masterpiece. The composition is perfect and I cant say anything is really wrong with this track. Good job.

samulis responds:

Wow! Thanks, I am really glad you like it. :D

Credits & Info


4.70 / 5.00

Jan 9, 2012
11:38 PM EST
File Info
7 MB
3 min 5 sec

Licensing Terms

Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.