Composing: It’s complete!

Composing: It’s complete!

Hello, I’m a bit excited. The reason being that I finally completed "The Cardinal on the Branch" after a few months. (my mind can rest easy at last) I want to know what you Lads and Lasses think about it. I think it’s my best yet. I reworked the melody a bit and I’m really happy with the result. Of course I’ll probably keep turning the melody in my head, come up with some variations and stuff like that, but the base melody is finished. Now it’s too late here for me to record it, (my dad set a time for me to stop playing) but I do have a recording of me attempting to play it before that time hit. I’m not gonna lie ,I fumbled a little, but I think it was good enough for anyone to get a basic feel for the melody. Just in case it isn’t I’ve included the MIDI as well.

X: 3
T: The Cardinal on the Branch
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
|:cAAB AFEF|Acec fcec|afec ecBA |FAcA B2fe|
cA2F AFEF| Acec afab| (3c’ba fa efec |1 BABc A2 fe :|2 BABc A2 fa|
|:(3c’ba fa efec| dcBA Bcef | afec dcBA| FAcA B2fa|
|(3c’ba fa efec| dcec fa2b| c’afa efec |1 BABc A2 fa:|2 BABc A3 e|

MIDI: https://www.dropbox.com/s/hwjymmue833u0lf/The%20Cardinal%20on%20the%20Branch.mid?dl=0

Me playing it: https://www.dropbox.com/s/49icto40g0i8qv5/Audio%20recording%202017-03-10%2021-57-04.wav?dl=0

Thanks! :)

P.S- if you’re here to tell me to stop composing and learn the tunes, I can assure you I have been. The thing is I don’t really learn tunes very fast. (unless I have been listening to them for a while) Composing is something I do in my spare time on occasion.

P.P.S- Criticism is fine, but if you’re here to just flat out dismiss and insult my efforts or my knowledge, move on. I already know I’m an eejit. I’m content with it. Also, why? You must have better things you could be doing with your life than attempting to break me down. (it’s like punching a pile of rubble)

Re: Composing: It’s complete!

Nice one Kellie! I think I’ll play it after pigeon on the gate. It has a similarity and should fit well. Definitely a valid composition that I’ll play.

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Re: Composing: It’s complete!

OOOPS! I didn’t mean Pigeon on the Gate, I meant Mason’s Apron!

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Thanks Gobby! :) Might change the name just a little though.

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I was going to suggest it, because it seems a bit abstract to me, but then the name is your call,

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ha, Ha,… I just realized what I said, … an abstract name for an Irish tune. How unlikely is that?

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Ah well, there you have it! I was imagining it to be ecumenical matter;- i.e, a bloke up a tree, one branch down from the pope!

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I’m thinking about changing the name because it doesn’t sound a whole lot like a cardinal to me.

Re: Composing: It’s complete!

X: 3
T: The Cardinal on the Branch
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
|:cAAB AFEF|Acec fcec|afec ecBA |FAcA B2fe|
cA2F AFEF| Acec afab| (3c’ba fa efec |1 BABc A2 fe :|2 BABc A2 fa|
|:(3c’ba fa efec| dcBA Bcef | afec dcBA| FAcA B2fa|
|(3c’ba fa efec| ABce fa2b| c’afa efec |1 BABc A2 fa:|2 BABc A3 e|


Just one absolutely miniscule change. I kept fumbling on the dcec in the B part, so I changed it to ABce.

Re: Composing: It’s complete!

New name for it "Ann Arbor Sessions" or "The Church on the Hill" or "The Joys of Camaraderie"or "The Kid with the Hat" I’m changing the name because not only does it not sound like a Cardinal, but I was only inspired to rewrite it after I came home from a session it was late at night and sure enough it just came to me. The title "The Kid with the Hat" may seem out of place, but after the session I was given a talk that included the lines "You want to be known as the kid with the tunes. Not the Kid with the hat." I may be paraphrasing, but I don’t think I am.

Re: Composing: It’s complete!

I am with you on the composing. I think its quicker to compose a tune than learn one sometimes. It would be great if there was a session like forum, but for everyone to contribute original work :-)

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Tx will check it out

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Better Recording: https://www.dropbox.com/s/my7zxmmtn1scszl/Ann%20Arbor%20Sessions%20reel.wav?dl=0

Also changed the B part in the same area as last time just a little

X: 3
T: Ann Arbor Sessions (The Church on the Hill)
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
|:cAAB AFEF|Acec fcec|afec ecBA |FAcA B2fe|
cA2F AFEF| Acec afab| (3c’ba fa efec |1 BABc A2 fe :|2 BABc A2 fa|
|:(3c’ba fa efec| dcBA Bcef | afec dcBA| FAcA B2fa|
|(3c’ba fa efec| dcBA cefa| c’afa efec |1 BABc A2 fa:|2 BABc A3 e|

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I really like it! I am not just saying that. I like the high c# notes.

I also laughed at your comment about berating you is like punching rubble.

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Thanks PipersGrip! :)

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I’m starting to worry that I’ve annoyed so many people that they just left. (probably not, but you never know) Just for the fact that at most this site is getting like one comment per hour. Seems slower than usual.

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You said that you don’t want anyone telling you to stop composing and just learn tunes, so that dismissed most of the forum commenters altogether.

I’m continually astounded by your ability to seek praise while actively ignoring constructive criticism. Experienced players have told you for months how to improve as a player, composer, and member of the trad community. If you choose to ignore them they have no reason to respond.

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Congratulations?

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That comment was more about the discussions section altogether. Not just my thread. I do see your point though Wesley. Maybe it’d be best if I just stopped posting. (I’ll try to. It’ll be difficult) Before I attempt to leave I just want to say sorry. I don’t want to be an annoyance, and I certainly don’t want to be disrespectful to the tradition.

Re: Composing: It’s complete!

Kellie, please take a breath. There is no hurry in getting where you want to with this music. I think most members are hoping you’ll take as much time as you need to achieve your goals. I know I am!

Ben

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"If you choose to ignore them they have no reason to respond" Exactly Wesley, so why ARE you responding? You can offer whatever constructive criticism you like, but Kellie is free to choose to not take your advice. (which in my opinion is just an extreme personal opinion). I personally have no problem with these posts, and neither do lots of other people. I can’t understand why every-time Kelly post something, that it comes to this. If Kellie likes to compose, then how the hell does it affect you?

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Re: Composing: It’s complete!

I know I said I’d take a break, but I needed to say this "Don’t be mad at Wesley Gobby. He’s a great man and an even better musician."

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It doesn’t affect me expect insofar as he asks for advice, which has been given time and again. I have spoken to him personally on a number of occasions, via this site and other methods, and so have other musicians.

It also affects the community of this site when a member posts tunes of his own composition, and when he posts settings of his own creation. He can take or leave what I say, but I am going to keep saying it. If he is going to become an accomplished musician he has to accept the tradition for what it is and put in the hard work necessary to succeed, not seek shortcuts and accept meaningless praise from members of this forum who have no idea what they are talking about.

If that offends someone, I frankly don’t care. Asking for advice and then ignoring it once given is not a method to succeed.

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Kellie, I appreciate that and agree with your assessment of Wesley, but I am merely pointing out that advice is just an opinion, not something which must be obeyed. And no. I’m not mad at anybody, just expressing my own opinion. I also think that most of these latter comments may have been more appropriate as personal messages, as once again we have been totally distracted from the point of what started out as a perfectly legitimate thread.

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Re: Composing: It’s complete!

Fair play, Mr. Mann.

Advice is not always heeded. Doesn’t mean it’s ignored.

Communication is tricky. The messenger needs to be clear and the one receiving can only accept what is comprehensible depending on his or her experience and the person’s stage of cognitive development.

Ben

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Surely if I’m improving at composing, playing, whatever it is, then whatever I’m doing must be working for me, correct? I mean how do you know I’m taking shortcuts or not putting the work in? Sure I spend a lot of time on the site, but I don’t have a social life, so this is all I have to do really. That and practice my playing. Heck when I’m at school I practice fingerings on a pencil. I always have my whistle with me practicing whenever I have a little bit of free time in my school day. I practice. In total I must have put in a total of 500-600+ hours since I first picked the damn thing up. Not even to add all the hours I must’ve spent listening. I’m constantly absorbing new phrases and tunes, and learning about how they fit together and what makes them work. I take what I’ve learned and test it out. So again I ask how do you know that I’m not putting the work in?

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No disrespect was meant by my post BTW. You really are and awesome musician Wesley.

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Sorry "an awesome musician"

friggin typos…

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Have you taken a breath, Kellie?

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Yes

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Now do you want to hear what I think of your reel composition?

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Yes. That’s the reason I posted the discussion.

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I will. Can you wait until I go home tonight and play through it a bunch of times?

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Yep

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Well anyway, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from this thread, it’s a perfectly good new tune. Thanks Kellie.

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Too freakin’ funny! I wrote a slip jig last February called, you guessed it - "The Cardinal on the Branch". Not a big deal with the name "collision" since my tune isn’t going anywhere. I did have a hard time trying to find it a name though. I literally went through birdcall recordings on YouTube until I found something that sounded at least a little bit like the tune. So… now I’m going to have go through all those stupid birdcall videos again in hopes of finding another name.

Re: Composing: It’s complete!

Oh yes, that’s two things i learned… i.e, there is a bird called a cardinal!

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Nah mate I changed the title to "Ann Arbor Sessions" or "The Church on the Hill" I’m probably going to keep thinking about it. Maybe it is "The Cardinal on the Branch" I can’t decide. It started out as being inspired by the Cardinal maybe it should stay focused on the inspiration.

It’s complete!

Get a room! You two are becoming quite *precious*.

:-P

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You’re well on your way to having a proper trad tune Kellie. It already has three names! ;^)

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Ha, Ha, ….well spotted callison!

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Re: Composing: It’s complete!

I’m sorry, Kellie, but I don’t think much of your tune. It’s a subjective value judgment, but I’ll try to qualify my opinion in order to potentially be of help.

First and foremost, it doesn’t go anywhere. Essentially go up and down the scale. Also, the tune does not develop much or even vary much in the B part. There is no lift to the tune at all. Does it make you want to tap your foot? Not mine. If you know enough tunes to have favorites, what separates the ones you like best from the rest of the pack?

Your tune plays more like a scale exercise. There’s little that is tuneful about your tune. How much time did you spend on this and what was wrong with the parts you changed or threw away?

There are tunes that I hear at sessions that I won’t learn because they are not distinctive, sound too much like other tunes, do not catch my fancy, or simply sound to run-of-the- mill. This tune does not rise to even any of those. It simply has no redeeming value in that I don’t need to hear it again.

I don’t mean to be harsh, here. I am being ruthlessly blunt, however, because this tune has no reason to exist and I think you need to know that. There is always someone who will like anything, because they either want to be nice and/or encouraging or they simply for some reason actually like the tune. The acid test, I suppose, is to play it as part of a set at a session and see if anyone wants to learn it.

Finally, let me say that the problem I usually have with new tunes is that they often don’t have the sound of a traditional tune. Even the popular multi-part version of The Mason’s Apron (which I love) doesn’t sound very traditional to me. I’ve suggested before that you listen to Vincent Broderick’s tunes. I don’t like his flute playing much, but his tunes are quite good and very traditional is sound. Have you done that? Your latest tune leads me to doubt it. Consider what makes you proud of this tune. What about it makes you feel you have contributed something that makes it the type of tune you want to play every day? How does it stack up against your favorite existing tunes? What have you learned from them that makes you feel you are on the right track now? I would sincerely like to know your process in writing and then evaluating your tune. I’ll be around if you want to discuss this further.

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Re: Composing: It’s complete!

What do you mean by doesn’t go anywhere?

How’s this?

X: 3
T: Ann Arbor Sessions 2
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
|:cAAB AFEF|Acec fcec|afec ecBA |FAcF B2fe|
cA2F AFEF| Acec afab| (3c’ba fa efec |1 BABc A2 fe :|2 BABc A2 fa|
|:(3c’ba fa efec| AcAe AcAf | acec BcAc| FcAc B2fa|
|(3c’ba fa efec| AcBd cefa| c’afc ecdc |1 BABc A2 fa:|2 BABc A3 e|

I changed the structure of the B part quite a lot to give some variation.

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I couldn’t tell you why my favourite tunes are my favourite; the most I could say is they are fun to play and I like them.

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Sorry should have added "same for this one" It’s fun to play. I may keep thinking of new ways to make it more "tuneful" I guess. I don’t know. I thought it sounded good.

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@Ailin, re- "There is always someone who will like anything, because they either want to be nice and/or encouraging or they simply for some reason actually like the tune. " Well for one I do genuinely do like the tune, and I would never say so for any reason than it being the truth. It comes out quite well on my fiddle and it is foot-tapping. Mind, you, I play it in my own way, and am still developing it slightly different from Kellie’s version(s) in order to fit my fiddle style, but that’s how it goes with this music. I readily admit that midi doesn’t make it foot tapping, but I certainly can. As for it going nowhere, I also don’t understand what you mean.

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Gobby, I have no intention of trying to talk you out of liking the tune. Anyone with experience should be able to identify a well-constructed tune from something that is merely thrown together. Still, as I said before, opinions (which were asked for) are subjective and thus there will be disagreement.

What I will ask you is, if you think this tune has merit, can you tell me any reasonably known tune that you think it equals or to which it is superior?

Finally, when I say the tune goes nowhere, I think of a tune like Ships Are Sailing. The A part is very satisfying, but it is the B part that gives you the payoff. Ditto Jenny’s Chickens. Both tunes take you on a little journey and that is why they are so popular. Kellie’s B part doesn’t resolve anything, answer anything, or give any sense of making a landing. To me, it just sits there, prompting a reaction of "So what?" That’s my opinion and although it comes from a very experienced ear, I make no claims to being infallible. I will say that I find it easy to identify why popular tunes are popular, so I think I am not alone in how I evaluate a tune.

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Oh so it’s just the B part?

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"Hello, I’m a bit excited. The reason being that I finally completed "The Cardinal on the Branch" after a few months. (my mind can rest easy at last) "

We are all so very glad your mind can rest easy after coming up with this new ABC file.

Hey, son of Kellie, maybe you might want to learn a nice slipjig called ‘My Mind Will Never Be Easy’ written by the greatest of all trad tune composers … "Anon"

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Ailin, I wouldn’t argue about your ability to identify a well constructed tune from a poorly constructed one. I’m not qualified to do that because I have no talent for, or understanding of composing music. As for comparing this tune with an another that equals it, betters it, or is inferior to it, I would find that impossible. There are endless tunes in the tradition that vary from simple nursery rhymes to heavy and complex ones. I pick my tunes out from either end of that polarity(and everything in-between) based only on one thing, which is, do I like the tune or not. It’s irrelevant to me to compare the standard of this tune to others. I simply enjoy playing it and developing it on my fiddle to follow the Mason’s Apron. If I wasn’t away from home right now I’d post a demo so that you could hear what I mean. Of course you are entitled to dislike it, and you judge it on different grounds to me, and I couldn’t possibly argue on your grounds.

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Re: Composing: It’s complete!

Irish Fiddle I can’t tell if that’s sarcasm or not.

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Kellie, I think it is a weak A part followed by a weaker B part. There is nothing to fix or save. I am interested to hear what Gobby does with it.

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I disagree there is ALWAYS something to fix or save. I’m working on refining the melody right now. Changing a few things around.

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How can you fix what you can’t identify as being a problem?

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Re: Composing: It’s complete!

Hi Kellie

Greetings! I don’t get to the Session too often but have noticed that you attend a lot.

Congratulations and well done on your dedicated practising and your efforts at composing. There must be tens of thousands of tunes littering the kerbs of roads and lanes throughout the world, not just Ireland! Sometimes people have different opinions about what makes a good tune, but in the end if YOU like it, then that’s what counts. There must have been many before you slammed by so called ‘experts’ as to that which constitutes a ‘good tune’.

I say bless your fingers and inquisitive mind; the energy with which you are endowed is precious

All the best

Brian x

PS Your tune sits quite nicely on my flute, I’d say Donegalish, Scottish in setting, but goes nicely.

Brian x

Re: Composing: It’s complete!

Ailin did you listen to the recording I posted?

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Yes. I do not read ABC. Why?

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Was it the MIDI or was it the newest recording?

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The newest.

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Just a thought but if you post a tune and then change it, the tune was not complete at the onset.

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I suppose. Thing is I thought it was at the time. I posted it thinking it was complete. Then I was given some constructive criticism and realized some things that I hadn’t before, so naturally I’m going to change it.

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"Your tune plays more like a scale exercise".

I think this is the germ of the current problem. There are too many similar-sounding arpeggio patterns without resolution or development. It’s not so much a case of ‘refining’ these, more that it needs a more compelling melodic idea behind it.

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I see.

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Myles has it exactly.

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That’s the thing though, if you compose it and put it out there as complete it can’t also be up for revision. If you are willing to change it it isn’t finished.

Better to learn lessons from this one and try something new than to change something that you were happy with because it wasn’t well recieved. You are also doing a disservice to the member who liked it when it was finished and are going to play it by changing it now.

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I get it. This one is complete no matter how boring it may seem to some people.

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Kellie, I thought some of the phrases just didn’t sound right. The very angular trebles, for example. There’s a nice little timing skip in there too (bar #5).

I made a few changes, and I put the old and the new side-by-side (or rather, one after the other). See if you think it’s any better. Or worse. Or worserer.

As for people commenting, well, it’s all totally subjective - that said, there are quite few of them who have been playing this music for many years, so I’m sure there’s got to be some decent advice there somewhere.

By all means keep composing, and I don’t have a problem with you posting your comps. If people are interested, they’ll read the thread. If they aren’t, they wont bother clicking (presumably).

http://worldfiddlemusic.com/guest/kellie-ann-arbor-old-and-new.mp3

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"I’ve suggested before that you listen to Vincent Broderick’s tunes. I don’t like his flute playing much, but his tunes are quite good and very traditional is sound."

I would like to say that some of my favorite tunes are Broderick tunes. I have both of his tune books, but I can say that a lot of his tunes can be boring and go nowhere as well. Some are complete gems and ingenious, but some sound as he is just going up and down the scale as well. And that is the same for any composer. Each to their own.

Furthermore, many great pieces of music deal with scaling and arpeggios. Is his tune traditional? No. I can tell that right off the bat. Is his tune bad? No. However, to sit there and say, "There is always someone who will like anything, because they either want to be nice and/or encouraging or they simply for some reason actually like the tune", is a little snobby because it suggests your taste is superior to others’. If you don’t like it, that is fine, but don’t try to justify the taste of other people.

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Having been slightly critical of Kellie and his compositions in past discussions, I have to say that after having listened to some of the recordings in links above, he’s doing far, far better than many of the other "composers" who have posted their own compositions here in the past, and I think his tunes are much better than many of the new compositions I have heard on recently released recordings from both Ireland and Scotland.

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"Furthermore, many great pieces of music deal with scaling and arpeggios"

Most tunes are constructed from scales and arpeggios. What are you getting at exactly?

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Long thread!

To my ears, this tune is pretty anonymous in the land of A major until the fourth measure: FAcA B2fe. This is a good one!

The B part starts high, has a strange rhythm (dcde fa2f) in the first version, and too much repetition (AcAe AcAf) in the second version. You’re not alone. I’ve composed numerous tunes like this. At the point of "finishing" them, I was quite happy. But to be honest, I don’t play many of them nowadays because they simply don’t "work". I was more eager to finish them than to let them sink in and grow up to "real" tunes.

I think I’ll spend some time on your first version for a couple of days.

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"To my ears, this tune is pretty anonymous in the land of A major"

What does that mean?

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Please let us not fall into the trap of simply debating whether or not this is a good tune. I think this tune is as bad as it gets and I have said why. I think it behooves Kellie to have some critical facility for determining what makes a good tune, which he has admitted he does not have. He states clearly that he only knows what he likes, but not why. IMO, this is very limiting because it robs him of the ability to evaluate his own work. That’s my message to him. If anyone likes the tune, fine. That doesn’t change what it is. If Kellie understands what I have said and it helps him to be more critical and analytical in the future, I have accomplished my intent. But to answer my posts by asserting that, well, you like it, or that you have heard worse, or whatever, serves no purpose whatsoever. Kellie doesn’t need to be defended. He asked for input and I gave him mine.

Kellie, for you, let me stress that you cannot tweak your way to a good tune. A good tune can be made better, but a bad tune needs to be recognized as being bad before you unleash it for comment, otherwise it becomes evident that you are just hunting and pecking. You must know when you have at least the basis of a good tune. All composers do better and worse pieces, but comments about any one piece should be icing on the cake, not wholesale revision. To put it bluntly (when don’t I?), you have no idea of what you are doing because you don’t yet understand the genre you are attempting to compose in. There’s nothing wrong with your continuing to compose and solicit comment. It’s fun for you and you will doubtless improve over time, but for the time being, I encourage you to keep an open mind, not get defensive (which is not to say you have been), and to throw away the comments that simply say they like or dislike your tune. When you ask for comment, the only ones that are of use are the ones that break down what they like or dislike about what you have done. Those comments, both pro and con, are the ones you will learn from. The rest just make you feel good or pisses you off.

Okay, my friend?

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I agree with you Ailin I don’t need defending. The thing is how can I better understand what I like about tunes?

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There are several factors:

A key change within a tune that catches the ear (Jig of Slurs).

An unexpected accidental (Langstrom’s Pony).

A minor key (The Parting Glass).

A driving rhythm (Farewell to Ireland).

A question-and-answer quality to the A and B parts (The Ten Penny Bit)

A satisfying contrast between A and B parts (Dick Gossip’s Reel)

A sense of completion or resolution in the B part (Rights of Man)

These are the factors that most readily come to mind as being characteristics of the strongest and most popular tunes. However, it is possible to have none of these, but just have a strong and immediately identifiable melody line, which most people seem to recognize when they hear it. Jenny’s Chickens comes to mind. It is a rousing tune that can be used to great effect to close a concert, yet it is very easy to learn and to play. It just has that certain something that never fails to rouse the crowd.

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Ok so I really like the Otters Holt I think because of the combination of its driving rhythm and the key of B minor. That being said I don’t know how this knowledge could help me create a tune with the same aspects.

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Ailins advice here is very positive and constructive. I am one of those who likes the tune, but that’s a mere aesthetic thing that doesn’t benefit your efforts whatsoever. What he says in terms of actual composing makes good sense.

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I always thought Ailin was a she. Guess I was wrong. Sorry Ailin.

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No worries. I thought Kellie was a girl’s name, too, but you explained that. My name is Alan, but that name was taken, so I used an alternate spelling used in Ireland and Wales, I believe.

The main objective in recognizing elements of a good tune in an intellectual way is to recognize why it affects you positively in an emotional or aesthetic way. Over time, it will serve as guidance of how to take a mundane set of notes and turn it into something that appeals to the ear. Guitarists will often play with chord structure to add interest to a tune. The melody remains unchanged, but the underlying accompaniment can profoundly affect how the tune comes across. You can do the same thing when composing a melody. I’d start with the relationship between major and minor. Listen to this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGxG03VlazE


Until you understand why this song is so achingly poignant, you will have difficulty composing such a melody. Once you have the mechanics of it, it then remains for your melodic invention to construct such a melody. The same is true of happy or stirring tunes, but IMO, minor tunes are far easier to identify and learn from.

I’d still like to hear what Gobby did with your tune, if he’s still around.

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Re: Composing: It’s complete!

So I first have to try to understand how they work?

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Sorry so first I have to understand chords and how they work?

Re: Composing: It’s complete!

Yes. You should get what you get on purpose rather than by chance. Think of what a film composer must do to complement a scene. There are musical devices that allow you to do that so you will be in control of your output. You will also know when you’ve gotten what you want without someone else’s input. Whether or not people like it is another matter, but you should at least know if youŕ construction is sound.

Regarding chord structure, that’s secondary for Irish dance tunes, but valuable nonetheless.

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Re: Composing: It’s complete!

"There are musical devices that allow you to do that so you will be in control of your output. "

Like what?

Sorry I have a lot of questions

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I’m still around Ailin, but I’m away from home for a couple of weeks without my fiddle. I’ll try and find time to get onto it when i come back. I’m not sure that it will be totally recognisable as the same tune by now.

When I was your age Kellie, I was fanatical about art (painting and all that). I studied all the classical stuff and was mostly drawn towards the French and Australian impressionist schools. It occupied just about all my spare time and i lived for it. I used to do endless sketches and show them to people. Unfortunately I could take neither criticism nor praise. Whatever anybody said, good or bad, I always got annoyed and thought, "Well what would you know?" And then I’d destroy my work. You are far more mature and accepting of criticism than I used to be, but I think it may help you to view your current compositions as mere sketches. My opinion differs from some others in that I don’t think it does you any harm to continue ‘sketching’. To my mind it’s just part of a holistic way of learning. I guess one of the things that used to annoy me was that when I showed my sketches to other people they just gave me their mere aesthetic opinion of whether they liked it or not,when what I really needed was somebody who knew what they were talking about to tell me e.g.,- that I should perhaps emphasise my contrasts more strongly, and that sort of thing. In this I see advice like Ailin’s as being useful. My own opinion on your tunes is rather useless because, as I’ve already admitted, I really have no talent for composing. I just can’t agree with others that you should give up ‘sketching’ and trying to improve in your own way. I would also ask if you think that you possibly could stop doing it. I doubt it!

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Re: Composing: It’s complete!

Kellie, I only just read your last post. I had no idea that you didn’t understand chord sequences. Yes,that’s certainly valuable theory to understand. To stay with my sketching metaphor, what you are doing is trying to connect all the details together without first blocking out the background.

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Re: Composing: It’s complete!

A piano or small keyboard may help you grasp chord construction and chord progressions. Lots of work but you have the time in front of you, and it’s enjoyable.

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Re: Composing: It’s complete!

Kellie, to answer your last question, I provided examples of tunes to go with my list of factors that affect the sound of a tune. Sound examples of those tunes are very easy to find. Read what I described for each tune and then see if you can identify what I’m talking about in the actual sound of the tune. For example, there is that lovely Cnat in the fourth part of Langstrom’s Pony. After the three preceding parts, when the Cnat hits, it just tweaks the ear in a delightful way. It would be a great tune without the Cnat, but the addition of it caps off the tune in a way that makes it memorable. Compare tunes where the B part is just a variation of the A part to tunes where the B part goes in a different direction, ups the groove of the tune, or sounds like it is answering a question. Start with my examples and then find examples of each factor on your own. Once you can hear it, you’ll have an easier time composing it yourself.

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Re: Composing: It’s complete!

Just a quick B.T.W. on the name Ailin;- my real nam is Allan, and when I grew up in England, half of my family were Welsh. and some of them pronounced my name Ailin. Till I came across Ailin on this site I just assumed it was an accent, but I guess like all of us, they spell it how it sounds. Same with my brother David, who in Welsh would be called Dyffid . It’s Welsh!

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Re: Composing: It’s complete!

See I thought it was the Irish word Aillinn meaning beautiful I think.

Re: Composing: It’s complete!

Maybe I spelled that wrong.

Re: Composing: It’s complete!

álainn - beautiful

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I’ll just stick to composing what I’m good at, 6/8 jigs, for now, but thanks Ailin you’ve given me something to focus on.

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Put it up on you tube and I might listen. I am not messing with dropboxes thank you

Re: Composing: It’s complete!

"Re: Composing: It’s complete!
Sorry so first I have to understand chords and how they work"
It is advisable not to be ignorant[unknowing]about chord progressions

Re: Composing: It’s complete!

"drop box" looks like an old school trojan horse. There are plenty of apps in which you don’t have to download anything to listen, why do you want to access our memories?

furthermore, whether or not we like your tune is arbitrary.

look deep wihin yourself and once you post it, stay strong and don’t change anything. it kinda like you are not selling yourself correctly. but no worries as that is just an age thing.

instead of investing so much in the music, invest in yourself through a solid education or good trade. youtube or soundcloud would be easier for some old schoolers like me :)

i wrote some of my best tunes during the first three years but i never changed them and barely show them to anyone or play them, so I say, KEEP SKETCHING

i have no idea if your tunes are good or bad but i would like to know

keep knocking em out

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i just looked up dropbox and there is only a free 30 day trial, so that involves passwords, credit cards, lions, bears, and jaguars oh my!

i’m not interested in your midi notes, I want to see what you do with it, not someone else

best of luck hymany

Re: Composing: It’s complete!

Just keep writing tunes lad!

You’re improving all the time-

I don’t think there needs to be much response to the "you shouldn’t write tunes until…" chat. It’s been done to death.

You don’t need to do anything before writing a tune other than do it - some will be better than others but you’re clearly on a good trajectory.

You’re playing is getting better - personally I think some more use of grace notes might be nice. But I generally play in a Scottish style, influenced by GHB.

People will tell you you need to do certain things first but you’re clearly writing good tunes - just make sure you figure out why people are saying things… it might be good advice. Or it could possibly be the idolisation of writing tunes as some kind of holy-ceremony…. you’ll probs never please someone who thinks like the latter.

David

Re: Composing: It’s complete!

Bit of a side note. I find that I often take phrases or inspiration from the tunes I’m learning at the time. For example the 5 part jig I just posted on my profile was heavily inspired by the jig "Calliope House"

Re: Composing: It’s complete!

The one at the bottom? Five parts in D? If I heard that in a session, I wouldn’t think it was a recent composition. I might do some minor tweaks, but at first sight it looks OK.

Re: Composing: It’s complete!

Yeah that’s the one

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I use Dropbox and have never had to pay for it…

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I agree with Kenny. Siobhan and I very critical of new tunes but this one was ok!

Jim

Re: Composing: It’s complete!

Very pleasant.

Kellie, if you close the alternate end with a closing brace, ie: "|2 edc d2F|]", it will close the box over that section. I suspect the only importance is visual.

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Kellie, as an aspiring composer I’ve become interested in your (admittedly old) thread and your process of composition. I personally am of the firm belief that you don’t just sit down with the explicit intent to compose a tune. For me, at least, the tune comes to me, no matter how good or bad, and if I like it I try to write it down before I forget it. Whether the tune sounds "Irish" or not is irrelevant. The point is that I don’t sit there trying to put together phrases. The phrases just come. I will, however, try to revise something that might be too repetitious or unnatural. But composing a tune like this is not the same as composing, say, a jazz band arrangement (which I’ve done), or a symphony, etc. It’s still the same aspect of "coming- to you", but I do sit there trying to find themes in my work and reinforce them. But here, I don’t use that same kind of methodical, conscious process. Today, for example, I composed a little jig just going about my day. Is it good? Maybe; I liked it. Is it extraordinary? Not at all. Is it ingenious? Also not at all. But it came to me, and I liked it.