I have been composing for 3 years, and some of my compositions are listed below. Computers and composition software help a lot in writing them. Most of the time I use Sibelius 7, because it has a wide range of moderately high quality instrument samples and a user-friendly interface. For music involving synthesizers I use Reason 6, because it focuses on synth sounds and effects. Usually I get an idea for a song from improvising, then I write it down and orchestrate it.
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Piano/Violin Duet #1 is never in major or minor, instead, it uses modes such as dorian and phrygian. The introduction (first main theme) is in dorian, with a violin melody over a rhythmic piano accompaniment. The second main theme is in mixolydian, a forte section featuring a quintuplet rythem. The introduction is then repeated in lydian before section A. A starts by recapping the first and second themes (with minor changes) before going into a syncopated section with the violin offset from the piano. It finishes off by introducing a third theme in phrygian, still with syncopation. B starts calm with a quiet piano solo but adding the violin grows into a flowing section getting increasingly rhythmic. It breaks out into fortissimo with the violin playing long notes over a complex rhythm banged on the piano. C is a very slow, non-rhythmic section contrasts B in dynamic and speed but transitions into D, an exciting recap of the first movement. The slow second movement goes thru modes with in a slowly changing pattern. It gradually builds up speed, before getting tired again and slowing down. As if in a dream, strange things happen which expressed in tuplets and changing dynamics. The piece finally is brought to an end in a recap of previous material.
String Quartet #2 is made up of 3 movements, each with several sections, sometimes repeating. In the first movement, the intro section is lyrical, calm, and legato. The second section is 8 measures of exciting forte that are repeated with variations. This evolves into the third section which is quiet and mysterious. A tremolo theme with a gradual crescendo bridges the third and fourth sections. Section 4, with pizzicato viola and cello, transitions to the fifth section, a calm arco. The calm feeling grows in the sixth pizzicato section (now in 12/8). The first movement finishes with the seventh section, where the lyrical melody returns after a modulation. The second movement starts off 4/4 with a triplet-themed accompaniment, and a melody that plays as if reflecting a countryside rushing by, perhaps from a train passenger's point of view. The ninth section comes in minor, reflecting the passenger thinking of a sad event in the past, as the train rushes on. The pain eases as the person remembers that the past is gone — the tenth section is major, light, and with pizzicato cello and viola. The third movement (returning to 12/8) starts as a sad singing melody from another passenger on the train. It continues in pizzicato, before turning optimistic. The piece is closed with a faster section reflecting the countryside, like section 8.
String Trio #2 is split into two movements: fast, then slow. The first movement has a recurring theme separated by contrasting ideas, such as 3/4 meter, pizzicato sections, and dramatic scales. The second movement is a calm, slow movement. In middle of it, there are staggering rhythmic figures, as if somebody is going thru a strange dream. The dream ends with the same scales as in the first movement.
Piano Quartet #1, for clarinet, piano, violin, and cello, is an exciting piece with a lot of motion. Thruout the piece, the piano and cello are mostly used for accompaniment, but the piano gets a short solo. In the introduction the piano plays like a timpani hammering the beat, with the clarinet and violin taking the melody. The second of the four sections is calm and sweet, and modulates to the relative minor. The wide chords used in the strings move to pizzicato broken chords starting the third section. Tension builds until it gets to fortissimo, then the fourth section starts calmly with just the strings. Then sections two thru four are repeated and the piece ends dramatically.
Symphony #1 is generally in classical symphony form with 3 movements, fast-slow-fast. I made the first movement roughly a sonata, the second a scherzo, and the third has no form. The melody starts with the flute, and transitions to the horns, gaining volume, with help from the marcato strings. Then the flute takes over again in a soaring passage. In the middle of the first movement the bells take the melody, with cello accompanying. At the end of the first movement, there is more of the soaring feeling with the melody in the flute, with strings and winds accompanying. The second movement begins with an oboe accompanied by strings, then shifts to the flute and clarinet. The third movement is very fast and dramatic. I have marcato strings with flute entering on top of it. The clarinet takes over, and it gets less dramatic. I end with the same line I started with.
My third project is also in Renaissance style. It is my first song for 3 voices. Three voice imitation isn't much harder than two voice, because dissonance is only in relation to the Bass. This is composed in 3-part Rondo form with 12-measure sections.
My second project is in the Renaissance style, with lots of imitation and suspensions. It was harder to write because in that era composers couldn't use 2nds, 4ths, and 7ths (and were burned at the stake for use of the tritone). This was also composed in 3-part Rondo form.
My first Counterpoint Class project is in the baroque style, with lots of imitation and sequences. It is in the 3-part Rondo form; each section is 8 measures long.
Opus 8 is my first orchestral piece. The melody starts in the string section (first violin) and moves to the horns, building up to tutti. Towards the end of the piece, I have just a few instruments playing. The timpani and cymbals are my only percussion, adding extra emphasis to loud parts and leading into the subito piano section.
Birdfish Dance is a scherzo for wind trio. Flute and oboe take turns with the melody, while the bassoon mainly accompanies. The opening theme is used several times with variations, gapped with contrasting sections. Some of the gapping sections are in different keys and time signatures.
Like the 30 Goldberg variations by Bach, this piece shares its bass line with the original aria. It isn't in Bach's style tho, as there are a lot of strange chords and tuplets. This is a pretty calm piece, with occasional decorations of grace notes.
Opus 6 is a classical string piece that has a style of counterpoint different from what I have used before. Thru much of the piece, I have the first violin playing a sustained melody, with the second violin playing an arpeggiated chord. The violas and cellos are used to create the accompaniment, although sometimes the cellos play a secondary melody.
I wrote this string quartet in composition class. Most of the time I have a melody in the first violin, with a countermelody in the second violin. I have a version played by Sibelius and a live version. The live version was performed by students at CSMA (Aku Sorensen - Violin, William Copeland - Violin, Nathan Ho - Viola, Sam Kim - Cello).
Opus 4 is one of my electronic songs. I first composed it in Sibelius, then exported the MIDI data into Reason for rendering. One synthesizer plays a continuous bass pattern, while another synthesizer plays a melody on top of it. Both are played by Reason's Subtractor.
Opus 3 is a calm piano duet, with a repeated ascending accompaniment composed from 5ths and 4ths. This evolved from my style of improvisation at the time.
Opus 2 was my first piece with multiple instruments. It has lots of movement throughout the accompaniment, with lots of 8th notes. The melody came from my improvisations. Beginning in the middle of the first movement the second violin plays accompaniment in pizzicato. The melody in the first movement is in the flute part, but in the second movement, it moves to the violin playing arco.