I have worked SO hard on my 6th assignment. I haven’t stopped since February and whilst I was anxious to receive this feedback from my tutor, I was also very eager to see how far off the mark I was, or perhaps instead, realise that I wasn’t that far off the mark. I think it’s fair to say it was the latter, thank goodness!
This is the feedback from my tutor:
In summary, the following areas need addressing:
1) The number of instruments on each part at bar 1 NOT needed (standard convention)
2) Confirm number of percussion players; 7 is too many for size of orchestra. Can I combine into single part?
3) Dynamic markings should ALL be in bold
4) Placement of slurs & whole bar rests, and check notation with ties and rests
5) Grace notes in woodwind should be notated with slurs
6) Woodwind parts have lots of long slurs; need more details with articulations
7) Don’t slur 2 notes of the same pitch (for any instrument) – it would need to be rearticulated or be tied, even within a longer phrase
8) Chords in strings need greater clarity over whether double stopped or divisi (stem direction helps but also adding div.)
9) Use more performance directions
10) Try hiding empty staves to save space and paper (this daunts me given layout issues before when I tried this!)
1) Check strings; still a little sparse. Consider doubling at the octave to give richer tone
2) Consider balance of dynamics between real instruments
3) Use tenor clef for high trombone sections
4) Look at practicality of fast, chromatic trumpet part
5) Look at practicality of fast, offbeats in woodwind parts
6) Check individual parts for any repetitiveness like the viola; can this be modified? More variation of texture instead of long notes?
7) Double bass often very high (in comfortable cello range); move it lower? Also double the bass and cello more at the octave
8) Consider losing the drum kit; can I create same effect using orchestral percussion?
9) Need more contrast; tempo and dynamics. Add some massive changes to both to make a dramatic impact.
Critical Review feedback: