Analysis of individual parts

I have spent the past month analysing each of the parts in my composition and comparing them to the notes that I have made.

It has been a long drawn-out process and taken a lot of work. I didn’t know how else to proceed with this project in all honesty, but what I did know was that I couldn’t move forward without appreciating what I already had, what was already good, and what needed to change.

And here is the analysis of each part. I haven’t looked at them in context, literally just one at a time:

WOODWIND:
Flute:
Underused – too many bars rest (over 300)
Need to extend it’s upper range; got another octave range to use
Used lowest note
Need longer phrases & more notation
Need to use FX, such as flutter tonguing
Only 15 bars written as divi; look to reduce part to one player & share line with other woodwind player

Oboe:
Underused like flute, especially in 2nd movement
Need to extend range; got another octave in upper range & more lower range to use, too
Very few divi bars; reduce this part to one player
Need to check general articulation; not much phrasing or articulation used

Clarinet in B-flat:
Used a good range of instrument
Phrases could be longer
Only 28 bars divi written & inconsistent ‘a2’ notation written – again, should I reduce to one part?
Need more written generally; sparse

Clarinet in E-flat:
Need to extend range; have 2 higher notes and an octave lower to use
Only 9 bars divi; need to reduce this part to one player
Hardly plays in the piece – perhaps look to see if I could lose it altogether? – could the B-flat clarinet cover the notation?

Ney:
Very little notation; doesn’t play in Movement 1 & only plays from Section N
*Probably* going to take out & instead look at getting the oboe or for anglais to play

Cor Anglais:
The range needs addressing; I’ve written too high in Section K and have nearly an octave of lower range to use
I need far more notation – completely under utilised
Perhaps write some solo passages

Bassoon:
I still have a 4th in the upper range to use and a 5th lower, too
There isn’t enough notation; must increase
The trill on an F will work – my research led me to check that this would be okay

BRASS:
Horns in F:
The range is under-utilised; I have another 4 notes in the upper range to use and another 2 octaves lower
16 bars divi written; can these be written as one line and reduce the players down?
Totally underused – SO many rests
No FX written
Hardly any phrasing or articulation

Trumpet in C:
I want to change this to Trumpet in B-flat, which is more standard for orchestral settings
I have a further octave of upper range to use and a 3rd lower to use
I’ve used mutes in one section – need to specify which, though
Only 8 divi bars written and there is one ‘a2’ notation missing
Very repetitive notation in Sections B-D
More notation needed in general

Trombones:
The range used is good; only 3 upper notes to use and 2 lower ones
Far too many bars rest, though
First four sections far too boring and repetitive
Only 10 bars divi written; could look to reduce to 1 player

PERCUSSION:
Timpani:
There are LOTS of rests
Good use of range – only 1 note higher to be used and lowest note used
Percussion in general needs consideration. This will be done by looking at each section and understanding the mood I want in each. This approach will also help inform the added notation needed to bring more colour and balance.

KEYBOARDS:
Piano:
There’s a lot of this and within an orchestral setting, too much.
It’s all appropriately written and the strongest part (no surprise here!)
MUST be reduced; I need to look at what elements need to stay and which can go

STRINGS:
Violin 1:
I have more range to use; an octave higher. The lower range use is good
Most of the divi written could be instead played as double-stopped notes
I need more FX; pizzicato sections, mutes to sound darker, natural harmonics to sound more flute-like
Be more specific about the strings I want sections to be played on:
G string sounds rich, dark, intense, moody
D string sounds calm and fuzzy
A string sounds expressive and mellow
E string is brilliant with the best penetration
This will be easier to ascertain once I have established the moods of each section, as noted under Timpani above

Violin 2:
I have an octave higher range to use if I want to. The lower range has been utilised well
Divi section could instead be double-stopping
More music needed
Need to check it’s relationship with other instruments (pairing at octave)
No FV used; consider mute, etc

Viola:
I have written one note too high for the instrument and must correct; the lower range is good
Pizzicato is very effective on viola so want to introduce this
More music needed generally
Often used to double the melody at the octave with the violin or it doubles the cellos

Cellos:
The most notation second to the piano probably but uninteresting
The upper range still has 5 notes higher to use; I’ve written for the lowest note
Be nice to have more pizzicatos
Look to score above the violas which will sound assertive and exciting
More FX; ponticello and sul tasto

Double Basses:
Still have another 5 notes in the upper range to use and 2 in the lower range
More FX would be interesting; ponticello and sul tasto
More pizzicato instead of staccato
The second movement is sparse in notation; far too many rests here
Used well in the 1st movement

OTHER STRINGS
Harp:
Upper range of notes used well; only 4 higher to write for. Lower range could be explored more with 12 lower notes left to use
NO pedal settings notated in the score; need to add these for each section given the number of key changes
No FX marked in. Want to change staccatos in section Q to pizzicato. Want to add ‘L.V.’ in appropriate places to note ‘let vibrate’. Also want to use ‘presso sulla tavola’ (playing nearer soundboard, which sounds like a guitar/lute)
Need to consider the key changes and what this means for the harp’s keys. If I am modulating to a key with more #s in, I need to start the harp in a key with as many flats as possible. If the piece modulates to the subdominant, I need to start the harp in as many #s as possible.

Key analysis per section:
Beginning: D major
Section A: D major
Section B: D major
Section C: A minor
Section D: A minor
Section E: A minor
Section F: A minor
Section G: A minor (should I look to set this in a flat-ridden key?!)
Section H: B major (5 #s)
Section I: A minor
Section J: B minor
Section K: (no harp notation)
Section L: (no harp notation)
Section M: B-flat major
Section N: D major
Section O: B minor then A minor
Section P: B-flat minor
Section Q: B-flat minor
Section R: (no harp notation)
Section S: B minor
Section T: B minor
Section U: D major
Section V: D minor

 

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