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Topic: Question about composing different types of pieces.  (Read 1271 times)

Offline gore234

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Some types of pieces have more structure and guidelines than other types.

Such as the allegro sonata having 3 main sections: exposition, development, and recapitulation.

I was trying to study the waltz composition form and I couldn't find any real structure except that the piece should be in 3/4.

Several waltz pieces that I listened to were very different depending on who composed them but I could see several similarities between different allegro sonatas composed by different composers.

I noticed that every allegro sonata has a modulation built into the structure and that modulation is required but I don't know if modulation is required in the waltz.  I noticed that Chopin made some modulations in some or all of his waltz. I'm not sure if other composers did the same thing. 

As I am trying to compose my own waltz piece,  I can have an A section and B section and probably have small sections within A and B and I can add a C section but without a real format or structure to follow, I feel like I'm composing out of thin air and only writing stuff that sounds good rather than making the piece meaningful.  I have a fear of starting the composition right and turning it into a mess that might sound good but turns out not to be true to what its supposed to be.

Offline xdjuicebox

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Re: Question about composing different types of pieces.
Reply #1 on: July 14, 2016, 01:46:10 AM
Sonata Allegro Form can be summarized as follows:

Intro (optional)
Exposition I (tonic key)
Modulatory section
Exposition II (closely related key, V in major, III in minor usually. Though in Pathetique I he goes to iii which is cool)
Development (sometimes beginning in IV or iv, but you can do whatever you want here. New keys, new themes, a lot of episodes)
Recapitulation I (state exposition I in tonic key)
Recapitulation II (state exposition II in tonic key)
Coda (optional)

The Waltz, imo, isn't really a form, but more of a style. Waltzes take all sorts of forms.
I am trying to become Franz Liszt. Trying. And failing.

Offline 109natsu

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Re: Question about composing different types of pieces.
Reply #2 on: July 14, 2016, 02:40:39 AM
Hi gore,

I completely agree with xdjuicebox.

Sonata form is a structure of the piece.

Waltz is a type of dance where the first downbeat is usually emphasized, and is in threes.

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Look at the "Minute Waltz" in D-flat Major, Op.64-1 by Chopin.

Score:https://imslp.org/wiki/Waltzes,_Op.64_(Chopin,_Fr%C3%A9d%C3%A9ric)
Tip: Scroll down to Sheet Music, No.1 is the Minute Waltz. Click View with the magnifying glass.

This piece is basically in ABA form, except there are little changes in the second time. It is still a Waltz.

Now look at the Mephisto Waltz No.1, S.514 by Liszt.

Score:https://imslp.org/wiki/Mephisto_Waltz_No.1,_S.514_(Liszt,_Franz)

Now this has all sorts of crazy stuff going on, changing keys almost every page, for literally twenty six pages. I don't even want to think about the form here. It's just Liszt coming up with new variations of the theme. It's an insane, but cool piece. It's still a waltz. It doesn't even have to be in 3/4. It just has to be in threes.

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So if you are composing a waltz, I would recommend not thinking about the form too much and do whatever you want to do.

Hope the best,

*-*

Natsu Ozawa
Bloomington, IN

Offline gore234

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Re: Question about composing different types of pieces.
Reply #3 on: July 14, 2016, 09:39:37 AM
I'm guessing my piece that I'm composing is more similar to Miphisto waltz rather than the minute waltz.

My A section is made up of about 5 smaller sections I'm guessing and rather than repeating something, it goes into the B section which is probably made up of a few smaller sections put together and then the C section comes and I'm guessing I will bring back the A section.  I have some other ideas which could be part of section C or be a D section.  After the second A section, I have thoughts about ending the piece and with it being so busy and complicated, the ending should probably be even more busy and complicated lol. 

So right now its probably going to look like ABCAD or something. 

Writing a lot of "crazy stuff" probably made me concerned about the direction the piece was going.  And since it sounded good to my ear, I just kept going.  I felt like I needed to look at the structure of how the ideas were flowing into each other and I asked myself questions like should some ideas come back played the same or with variation.

Offline 109natsu

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Re: Question about composing different types of pieces.
Reply #4 on: July 15, 2016, 02:44:08 AM
I'm guessing my piece that I'm composing is more similar to Miphisto waltz rather than the minute waltz.

My A section is made up of about 5 smaller sections I'm guessing and rather than repeating something, it goes into the B section which is probably made up of a few smaller sections put together and then the C section comes and I'm guessing I will bring back the A section.  I have some other ideas which could be part of section C or be a D section.  After the second A section, I have thoughts about ending the piece and with it being so busy and complicated, the ending should probably be even more busy and complicated lol. 

So right now its probably going to look like ABCAD or something. 

Writing a lot of "crazy stuff" probably made me concerned about the direction the piece was going.  And since it sounded good to my ear, I just kept going.  I felt like I needed to look at the structure of how the ideas were flowing into each other and I asked myself questions like should some ideas come back played the same or with variation.
I think what you are doing is completely fine. If it feels like a waltz, it's OK!

Offline gore234

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Re: Question about composing different types of pieces.
Reply #5 on: July 19, 2016, 04:04:48 AM
I know that mazurkas and scherzo are also in 3/4 timing most of the time and are kind of similar. 

Do these types have a specific format?

ABA? and ABABA

Is there a limit to how big an A section and B section can be?

What if I have something like A1a2a3a4B1b2b3b4A1a2a3a4 or ABCABCACD.  I might have already asked this but I keep thinking about formats and just want to make sure of things.

Offline 109natsu

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Re: Question about composing different types of pieces.
Reply #6 on: July 19, 2016, 06:05:41 AM
Hi gore,

-Mazurkas: Usually in 3s, strong beat on 2nd or 3rd beat. Lively tempo. Usually refers to the Polish folk dance. It is not a form of structure, like ABA or Sonata Form, therefore I think it can be in any form as long as it makes sense...
-Scherzos: It's meant to be a joke. I would input some musically "funny" and "interesting" stuff in there... Usually in 3/4 time. Often found as a movement of larger pieces, (i.e. Symphonies) but there are some independent ones like Chopin Scherzos. It is often in rounded binary form (ABA, ABABA, ABABABA, etc.) with two themes.

Hope this helps,

*-*

Natsu Ozawa
Seattle, WA

Offline gore234

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Re: Question about composing different types of pieces.
Reply #7 on: July 20, 2016, 04:03:39 AM
I noticed that polonaises also have 3/4 time and they have the rhythm 1 and a 2 and 3 and.

Do polonaises have a format?

One of the pieces I wrote in the past has this same rhythm and is in an A B A format and is pretty simple.

Does the rhythm have to be played throughout the entirety of the piece or can it do other rhythms?

Offline kuska

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Re: Question about composing different types of pieces.
Reply #8 on: July 20, 2016, 05:55:01 AM
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_musical_forms_by_era

There're also many books on Amazon on musical forms. I think it might come handy if you think about composing.

Polonaise is a more formalistic dance than waltz. Moderato, characteristic rythm patterns, ostinato, dignity.Often accent on the second beat and a cadence on the third beat. You can always just listen to the pieces on youtube.

Offline 109natsu

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Re: Question about composing different types of pieces.
Reply #9 on: July 20, 2016, 05:57:34 AM
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_musical_forms_by_era

There're also many books on Amazon on musical forms. I think it might come handy if you think about composing.

Polonaise is a more formalistic dance than waltz. Moderato, characteristic rythm patterns, ostinato, dignity.Often accent on the second beat and a cadence on the third beat. You can always just listen to the pieces on youtube.
Yep, that works! I can't go around answering every question about musical form :) thanks

Offline gore234

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Re: Question about composing different types of pieces.
Reply #10 on: July 20, 2016, 08:55:59 AM
Thanks for the feedback.  Maybe I should find a good book.  I already have a book on composing but it didn't go over the different types and structures.  It just talked about tips on constructing melodies and knowing chords.  I'm more interested in the flow of pieces and how they are constructed.  Some forms have probably died to history and there is probably a lack of information on.  I see a lot of books and information about creating popular music such as rock n roll or pop.

Would you guys say that every format has been created or are new formats being created?
I know that in progressive metal, there are time signature changes and you can do whatever you want for the most part as long as it caters to the audience that listens. 

I also think about what makes a composition good or bad and how a good composition might be less popular than a bad composition.

Offline kuska

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Re: Question about composing different types of pieces.
Reply #11 on: July 20, 2016, 10:28:33 AM
Try using "musical forms" keyword for searching books rather than composition. I've got a series for this. It's fair enough but as it's in Polish I can't really recommend it to you. There's a deep analysis of each form. I'm sure you can find something like this in English. Should be even better as mine are quite old.

As to newer forms. Depends on how you define "new". Some variations are always possible. But if you think of something brand new and highly inventive, i think it's always hard to predict something like this and my life experience tells me that fully novel concepts, without much reference to what we already know, are often impossible to market. It's more safe to look through ongoing trends, what people like and add some stuff to it. It's like all neo-stuff: neo-romanticism, neo-liberalism, etc. It isn't brand new but it isn't old.
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