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Credits & Info

Jul 26, 2015 | 11:18 PM EDT
File Info
7.2 MB
4 min 18 sec
1.83 / 5.00

Licensing Terms

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

Rated 1.83 / 5 stars
Plays & Downloads:
634 Plays | 4 Downloads
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Easy Listening - Classical

Author Comments

The solemn fanfare is like an ending unto all endings, like as if God was to be the final word against corruption.

Software used - Finale notepad (for all the notation); Symphony Pro (audio mixdown, last-second editing)



Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

--NGAUC Review—

First off, it’s gutsy to submit a solo piece of any variety to a music composition contest. You don’t have a broad sonic palette to hide behind, and you have to find ways to create contrast outside of timbre. With the organ in particular, you don’t have the potential for dynamic shading that can be had with, say, a piano. So yes, gutsy indeed.

Did you pull it off? Well, sort of. I appreciate several aspects of this composition, first and foremost the melodic and harmonic content. In terms of melody, this piece is full of motifs, sequences, and suspensions. There is an attempt at counterpoint, which most of the pieces in this composition lack. And the piece ends on a Picardy Third, and I tend to be fond of such endings. In essence, this piece receives high marks for ambition, for tackling certain compositional challenges that other submissions didn’t even attempt.

Ambitious as the piece is, I feel the compositional technique was weak. Many of the harmonic progressions sounded clumsy and weak. Maybe it’s due to software restrictions, but the piece didn’t take advantage of the organ’s strongest advantage- the variability of tone color that can be achieved through manipulating stops. Much of the melodic writing broke the traditional rules of contrapuntal composition. This is absolutely fine if it is to achieve a certain end, but in this case, it sounded like it was accidental, done out of ignorance of historical conventions.

Perhaps my biggest problem is that the piece doesn’t sound focused. After about two and a half minutes, I began to lose interest. There were no compelling modulations, no really interesting bass lines or interaction between melodies. The texture and rhythmic stylings were fairly stagnant. The piece didn’t move toward a specific climax, and I didn’t feel like the piece had a very intentional contour to it.

I commend you for taking a chance and submitting something different from other competitors, and there were certain aspects of this piece that I enjoyed. I rated this more highly than over half the other tracks, so I certainly did not think it bad. It just wasn’t great to me.

I think that you might benefit from taking fewer ideas and focusing on developing them exceptionally well. Embellish melodic ideas and pass them between voices and octaves. Try for more interesting rhythms. Change textures more often. Think in terms of compositional shape- does each phrase have an arch to it? Do the phrases themselves form an overall arch with one climax for the piece? Are you sufficiently building tension and release? Also, consider studying chromatic harmony, and also counterpoint writing. J.J. Fux’s Gradus ad Parnassum is a fine place to start, and it was studied by many of the masters of organ writing.

Keep on composing!

Score: 7.2


Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

== This is an NGAUC Knock-Out Round Review ==

Let’s get the obvious out of the way: an organ fanfare! I really wasn’t expecting that. (Though I do seem to remember the judges mentioning a 7-minute toccata in the previous round - that must have been you :P)

Not only that, but you’re not just all talk. It really does seem to follow a lot of the idioms of the “genre”. That is pretty darn impressive, super cool to see, and rare as heck.

However, I have to tell the truth - it’s very difficult for me to concentrate on this entire piece. To be honest, I don’t listen to very many single-instrument organ pieces, so I’m not sure if the flaw is with you or if it’s just accoutrements to the “genre", but this piece is in desperate need of structural variation. It’s constantly moving between one idea to the next idea without ever slowing down, which makes it quite an exhausting listen. In future pieces, you would find it super helpful to add slower (or less intricate) sections to break up the main sections.

If I compare to one of the more famous organ pieces ( - alright, perhaps it’s not fair to compare you to Bach, but even without going too deep into the composition it’s easy to see that Bach takes lots of breaks - some times he just goes silent for a little bit, sometimes he just has runs (which are easier to follow), sometimes he just repeats the same phrase a few times, etc. All these things help maintain the listener’s interest.

So I hope that helps you understand a little more where I’m coming from. I think that you have a bunch of great ideas in here, but as it is right now, the arrangement really isn’t letting me get to them. Keep at it!

Overall Score: 7/10

Mini-Scores (see here:
* Composition: 3/4
* Arrangement: 1/4
* Mixing: n/a


Rated 3 / 5 stars

Hey there. Some general commentary on your song for NGAUC... is what I'd like to say. But uh, this piece is different from the others. It's entirely composition for the organ, and I tend to critique sound design moreso than something very specific like this. Church organ music is significantly different than a lot of other music, as it tends to fairly constantly involve mostly whole notes and even timing. Any overall commentary on the song would likely just be as follows:

-Your composition is cool.
-The sound design is boring as it's the same thing the whole way through.
-The production could be a bit better but there's not really much of anything there to polish in the first place.

So, there's my dilemma. You've gone for a style of music that bypasses the typical pitfalls of most people by completely ignoring them. But that has a pitfall in itself which is that there isn't really anything there in the first place, so this would need to have absolutely brilliant composition to stand against well-composed *and* well-designed music with more than one instrument.

For what it's worth, this is well-composed church organ music. However, here's the biggest thing. There's no change in the mood of the piece. It's essentially the same kind of feeling and same style of composition the whole way through. No dynamic changes. No difference in style. Plain and simple, something relying on composition alone needs more drama in a contest, as contest pieces are about really showing everything you can do - they are literally pieces to show off, and I'm not feeling anything like that from this piece.

Final score: 6.0/10