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Thread: THE BIG ORCHESTRAL ACTION MUSIC THREAD!

  1. #21826
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    Very early recording of some work I am doing for my next string album... I love working with small ensembles to really draw those melodies and harmonies out by exposing them bare. This is one of those times. I also added some new cello countermelody and some other adjustments such as playing with pizzicato.

    I can assure you, this won't be the only Valkyria piece I do on this album either. Just finished arranging 4's main theme

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  2. #21827
    Heartfelt Musicologist Vinphonic's Avatar
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    Very nice Josh

    If you ask me, intead of Suikoden they should have done any major Sakimoto game score. He's still way to underappreciated, so I'm glad you're giving him some attention again. Still keeping my fingers crossed for a Valkyria Chronicles Orchestra concert.

    Regarding Sahashi's Disciples... they should be all in my [Hidden link. Register to see links.] share. Just replace Date A Live with the most recent one a few pages back.



    Since a little intermission took place, I have to share part 2 of "ladatree's corner" with a little delay, it's more from the next generation:


    Keiji Inai
    A Certain Magical Index III
    Victor Studio Symphony Orchestra



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    Here is all the orchestral material where Inai arranged/orchestrated/has ghostwritten for Maiko Iuchi. If you love Don Davis Matrix scores you will like it. A little classical style as a bonus. Kenta Higashiohji worked as assistant, Hayato Matsuo collaborated on some tracks. Its a full symphony orchestra recorded at Victor Studio. The best a domestic studio score will sound like. He most likely had the same ensemble for Arrow of Orion and the upcoming Summer shows.



    Keiji Inai
    Königlicher Familienlehrer
    Chamber Ensemble



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    Here we have a case of what to do when you suddenly don't have real brass available for your session:

    a) You write for it anyway and cover it up with synth. Unless its really good performed sample-modeling stuff (performance ALWAYS trumps sound quality), it won't sound convincing next to real players.

    b) Don't write for it at all but the downside is you are limited and some people notice its absence (some more than others)

    c) You write for brass.... but replace it with woodwinds (logical... the closest to each other).

    The score is full of baroque, classical and romantic gestures, natural, as this is the typical Japanese European Fantasy. This is all still from his "transition/beginning to grow a beard phase". This summer we will hear how much he has developed since Outbreak Company. Arrow of the Orion will release on July 31... unfortunately its enclosure but the series is quite popular so no worries
    Last edited by Vinphonic; 06-13-2019 at 03:02 AM.
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    "Thank God for the Japanese, and thank God for whatever system that country has in place that allows symphonic music and all types of orchestral music to live and flourish, not to confine it to history as a nostalgic relic of the past, but to propagate it and to teach its power to new generations."

    _tangotreats

  3. #21828
    Just Some Guy At A Piano FrDougal9000's Avatar
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    It's alive! ALIIIIIIVEEEEEEE!

    Thought I'd post about a couple of things that I've done over the last couple of days, since I've got some free time in the morning.

    I finally listened to the Symphonic Rune Suikoden II album by Kentaro Sato and the Budapest Orchestra after buying it a whole back, and... I don't like it, unfortunately. It's not that it's bad, and I have all the respect in the world for everyone who worked on this for trying to create more orchestral arrangements - it's not easy to do, and I hope that they can keep doing this and keep improving as they move forward. My problem with the album is that I find it unremarkable. The music on its own left me wanting, and the arrangements didn't do anything to transform them into interesting interpretations - I can see what Tango meant now when he talked about it, and I have to agree with him on it. I was hoping there'd be at least one track I'd really like and listen to over and over again, but there sadly isn't. I don't regret spending the $28 on the digital version, since it helps to further what they're trying to do, but I'm going to be a little more discerning about it in the future.

    In regards to string arrangements, I've started working on a string quartet arrangement for the Phantasy Star III title theme, and I took streichorchester's suggestion of using Borodin's Notturno as a model to help me get started (I'm even thinking of including a cheeky reference to it!). I'd say it's about halfway done, and I'm fairly happy with where it's going right now. Hopefully, I'll get it done within the next week or thereabouts, and I'll post it on here to see how it checks out.

    Quote Originally Posted by streichorchester View Post
    Here are the harmonies as I hear them for each half note: C C C Dm G G C/E C7/Bb F/A F7 Dm G7b9 C/E Cdim7/Eb Dm7 G7
    Is this for the Sugiyama Monopoly transcript I posted the other day? If so, thank you very much for doing that - I'd actually gotten stuck on the transcription because of this, and I hope this'll be able to help me get back onto doing that. Thanks!

  4. #21829
    Heartfelt Musicologist Vinphonic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kohei Tanaka
    This year, 2019, has been a commemorative year for my composition life.


    I have been involved in two major titles, "One Piece 20th Anniversary" and "New Sakura War".

    Both are important works that are important to me.


    There are many fans all over the world.

    I think that the expectation are very high.


    For these two major titles, my composition work for this year was a huge amount.

    I managed to finish it somehow.

    Every day, a great amount of notes were written on the orchestral score.

    I worked without a break (196 consecutive days) from October last year.


    On the way, I could not really see the future because of the large amount of work.

    But even then, I was very happy because I could write my favorite "One Piece" and "Sakura Wars" songs again.


    Every morning, every morning, whenever I get up

    "Ah ~ I can write a new song for Sakura today! "

    And compose with joy. Then I feel better and better


    Even though my body was tired, my energy went well.

    As a result, I am proud that I could write so many great songs for myself.


    These songs will reach you in the second half of this year.

    I am really looking forward to it.


    In the music, I have something to say in various ways.

    I hope this will be fun.



    Thank you.

  5. #21830
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    8 months on an anime film and PS4 game. Now THAT'S dedication!

  6. #21831
    Heartfelt Musicologist Vinphonic's Avatar
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    Well, "20th Anniversary" doesn't necessarily mean "one movie"

    And is this the first glimpse at new score for Ni No Kuni 3?

    [Hidden link. Register to see links.]

    And here's the master at work for Children of the Sea, as Zipper pointed out, he outright rejects Hollywood scoring, especially today, and fully commited to express a state of mind and feeling with his music in his Minima style. I have to say I'm more excited to listen to it in the film itself than I was for an album:

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    He looks pretty healthy and far from retired to me (I also suspect he prefers to work in a studio now)



    EDIT:



    Quote Originally Posted by Kaoru Wada
    We are a trio of friends in private too.


    And it begins:



    Toshiyuki Watanabe makes the first move with his new concert work: "Celebration Fanfare 2020" which premiered yesterday.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toshiyuki Watanabe
    It is a work written with a wish for the leap of representative Japanese players at the Olympic Tokyo 2020 Games.
    Last edited by Vinphonic; 06-15-2019 at 06:33 AM.

  7. #21832
    Grand Shriner The Zipper's Avatar
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    Here's the concert where Wada/Takanashi/Iwasaki are making their appearance. The list of music being played is as casual-tier as it gets, and makes me wonder why these three were invited when it's obvious the event holders would have much rather had Kanno and Kajiura, whose music makes up the brunt of the event. Takanashi doesn't have a single piece of his music on the program!

    The Thailand Philharmonic is certainly unusual though- years ago they even invited Hirano down for a concert. I suppose it's better than nothing. I hope they'll at least give the composers they invited down to this event the honor of re-orchestrating their own music.
    Last edited by The Zipper; 06-15-2019 at 03:19 PM.

  8. #21833
    Is A Man tangotreats's Avatar
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    It's nice that it's happening... but yeah, the programme doesn't inspire confidence and the choice of guests is bizarre. It reeks of "we sent out a thousand invitations and only these three answered" - though let's hope it generates some interest. Anything is valuable, these days.

    On another topic... Once again the Shrine is infected by some virus... Watch out, folks, and remember to have a backup plan...

    Vin: I never said Hisaishi was retired - I said he seemed to be almost retired from writing film/TV music. When Miyazaki "retired" he seems to have shifted mainly towards writing for the concert hall, and his scoring output has gone way down.
    Last edited by tangotreats; 06-16-2019 at 07:58 AM.

  9. #21834
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    Interesting- MONACA's got themselves a new composer from England joining their company. Oliver Reed, who graduated from Leeds Beckett University's music department.

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  10. #21835
    Is A Man tangotreats's Avatar
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    Oliver Reed? Tee hee...

    Last edited by tangotreats; 06-16-2019 at 01:07 PM.

  11. #21836
    Grand Shriner The Zipper's Avatar
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    Do you know him personally, Tango?

  12. #21837
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    What is MONACA? Are they like the Japanese Media Ventures?

  13. #21838
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    Quote Originally Posted by streichorchester View Post
    What is MONACA? Are they like the Japanese Media Ventures?
    Well... they are like Media Ventures in the sense that they're a group of composers working under one umbrella. But most of them are classically trained, and of course, their sound has little to do with that of MV. And although they do work for the same company and help each other out, they all have a distinct sound to each of their composers. There's quite a few other similar groups in Japan, like the more famous IMAGINE and the young Elements Garden.

  14. #21839
    Heartfelt Musicologist Vinphonic's Avatar
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    At the end of the year in my Heisei share I highlighted the structure of composers working in Japan. Single "freelance" composers are actually the exceptions and not the rule. Most composers work at a professional music company and many are also members of major music associations and cultural institutions (universities etc.) with direct ties to the government (culture department).

    For our interest, here is a refresher:

    Spoiler!





    And a little challenge: Without looking it up, can you guess who recently scored this?

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  15. #21840
    Is A Man tangotreats's Avatar
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    It sounds like Yamashita... what is this show? Is it a documentary? NHK?

  16. #21841
    Grand Shriner ladatree's Avatar
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    Speaking of MONACA. Mini Doco on Keiichi Okabe: [Hidden link. Register to see links.]

  17. #21842
    Heartfelt Musicologist Vinphonic's Avatar
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    Ah, the last of their videos... I really enjoyed some of those.


    Yamashita
    Nope...

    Yamashita is busy with something else




    But you're right about the other two things, its a new documentary series about egypt, "Tsutankāmen no hihō", here's episode 1: [Hidden link. Register to see links.]

    here is the culprit: [Hidden link. Register to see links.]

    He also scored a film recently and various tba projects and I await a soundrack for DBH.


    Quote Originally Posted by nextday
    One of the new members of MONACA is Keitaro Yamamoto, someone who I have been following for a while.

    23-year-old Kunitachi graduate. He has experience with wind orchestras, having worked as an conductor/arranger for Akiba Winds in the past.

    [Hidden link. Register to see links.]

    He's a big fan of Asakawa and Iwasaki and often brings up The Five Star Stories as one of his favorite soundtracks.

    I expect he will be working with Hoashi/Takada in the future.
    Last edited by Vinphonic; 06-18-2019 at 09:38 AM.

  18. #21843
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nextday View Post
    He's a big fan of Asakawa and Iwasaki and often brings up The Five Star Stories as one of his favorite soundtracks.
    Well, he wouldn't be the first MONACA composer to have Asakawa and his Five Star Stories at the top of his list.

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    Nextday, I'm not sure why you're still lurking and using Vinphonic as a proxy when you seem to have made amends with the person you argued with long ago, so please give us an update.

  19. #21844
    Heartfelt Musicologist Vinphonic's Avatar
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    ? I'm just quoting... he's busy and well. There's no negative feelings involved at all. He will return when he got time and feels like it. Newfound shares and info got posted through my humble process, and that has been the case for years now. If you want to have a little chat, just go over to vgmdb (its nowadays so linked to this thread that its part of home anyway).

  20. #21845
    Grand Shriner The Zipper's Avatar
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    Is that so. I guess he's too busy then. If that's the case I won't disturb him.


    Oshima's conversations with Asakawa might have rekindled his fire as a composer somewhat, because he's been more active recently writing for more commercials.

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    We can only hope for the best. But if Tiger Woods can make a comeback, then I have faith in Asakawa as well.
    Last edited by The Zipper; 06-17-2019 at 06:45 PM.

  21. #21846
    Just Some Guy At A Piano FrDougal9000's Avatar
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    Hello, everyone! I hope you're all doing well! It's been a few days since I last posted, and that's because I've been a bit busy working on various things - one of which is something that I'm really excited to talk about today!

    A while ago, I talked about my interest in doing some kind of orchestral or string quartet arrangement of video game music, particularly the title theme to Phantasy Star III ([Hidden link. Register to see links.]) - which I had actually done an arrangement for, but was feeling rather frustrated by how it turned out and the feeling that I wasn't able to do anything of this sort. However, streichorchester made the suggestion that I could try modelling my arrangement from Borodin's Notturno ([Hidden link. Register to see links.]), which actually revitalized my interest in doing an arrangement.

    It's taken a week or two, but I'm pleased to say that I've actually managed to do an entire string quartet arrangement for Phantasy Star III's title theme; and it's one that I'm pretty happy with, especially considering it's my first attempt at doing a string quartet!

    Here's an MP3 that you can listen to: [Hidden link. Register to see links.] Along with a PDF of what I wrote up in MuseScore: [Hidden link. Register to see links.]

    Because this is my first time doing a piece for string quartet, there's likely going to be a couple of things that could be improved, either in the arrangement itself or in the way I've written it into the sheet music. In terms of arrangement, I feel like the transition into A Major's a bit iffy; as for technical stuff, I mainly wrote it so that MuseScore could do a decent approximation of what I wanted in my head, so there's likely a couple of things that I'd remove or change when giving this to a quartet to actually play. In regards to the MP3 version, I don't know why the strings are largely tremelo for any long notes - must be an issue with the soundfont of the version of MuseScore I've now got. I'd really love to hear some feedback on this arrangement and how I've written it, so that I can use that to help me move forward with both doing more string arrangements of game music and composing in general. (Honestly, any kind of feedback will be appreciated!)

    Special massive super thanks to streichorchester, who inspired me by talking about Notturno into giving this another shot, and indirectly getting me really excited about trying this sort of thing. In fact, I've even got a couple of ideas written down for other string arrangements of game music (including Molentary Express from Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box: [Hidden link. Register to see links.])! I hope you enjoy my arrangement, and I hope to do more of these in the future! Thank you for giving the push to actually do this, and have a great day!
    Last edited by FrDougal9000; 06-18-2019 at 05:43 AM.

  22. #21847
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrDougal9000 View Post
    Here's an MP3 that you can listen to: [Hidden link. Register to see links.] Along with a PDF of what I wrote up in MuseScore: [Hidden link. Register to see links.]
    Good job! Here are some notes:

    The opening 9 measures:
    -do crescendo/decrescendo every half note (yes, this will be tedious, but worth it)
    -add slurs to where you don't want the stringed instruments to change bowing direction (research classical scores for examples)
    -consider turning into a 4-part chorale using contrapuntal/contrary motion in the lower strings
    -add rehearsal numbers at the ends of small sections, for example, at measure 10 (makes it easier for performers)

    Measures 10-13
    -same as above

    Measure 14
    -double stops in violin 2 might be difficult
    -the cello rhythm should have a half note + eighth rest instead of quarter + dotted quarter, I see this in a few places (the eighth rest gives space for the pickup note)

    Measure 21
    -consider dotted half instead of whole notes to give space before the next sections

    Measure 22
    -the C is in the first violin and cello so doesn't need to be in the viola as well, give the viola the E to avoid the parallel octaves going into measure 23
    -need lots more dynamic markings and slurs in general for live performers
    -consider the vertical harmony, make sure as few notes are doubled if possible

    Measure 23
    -the viola should not be doubling the violin down the octave here, measure 24 is much better with the contrary motion

    Measure 36
    -the viola shouldn't be playing a D here

    Measure 37
    -consider revoicing the second violin and viola here. This is the dominant G major chord in first inversion. The B is in the cello, the G in the first violin. The second violin and viola should cover the D and F.

    Measure 45
    -looks like you're setting up a key change to A major using the E dominant. Again the dominant voicing is important. You don't want both violins 1 and 2 playing a B, so one of them could play a D to create the dominant 7th. The cello has the option of falling to a D on the third beat.
    -you can also turn the whole notes into dotted half notes for spacing
    -there should probably be a double bar at the key change, I think it would look nicer

    Measure 46
    -same as above, the quarter + dotted quarter should be a half note + eighth rest
    -see if it is possible to avoid double stops, they are difficult. I realize Borodin used them, but still...

    Measure 60
    -consider changing the high B in the viola to an F or F#

    Measure 61
    -there is some parallel motion going on here that should be revoiced
    -the dominant G major could can easily be a G7 to give you more options
    -for some extra color, the cellos don't just have to move upward, they can come back down on the same notes before the next measure

    Measure 69
    -second violin and viola are both playing B here, never double the leading tone
    -the cello could use downward motion here to reach the low A

    Measures 70
    -the long notes in the violins seem anti-climatic, how about changing them to trills playing pianissimo (with the usual fade in/out dynamic markings)
    -if adding fade in/out dynamics is too cumbersome, you can do it for a few measures then write "simile" to indicate doing it for the rest of the piece

    Measure 77
    -another opportunity to use G7

    Measure 78
    -consider dropping the cello an octave

    Measure 82 (last measure)
    -the second violin could play an F that resolves to an E to give it a classical feel

    Next time I'm printing it out and marking it in pen. It's too difficult describing music using text.

  23. #21848
    Just Some Guy At A Piano FrDougal9000's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for all that feedback! Though you said it's difficult describing music through text, I like trying to analyse this stuff and figure out what you mean - even if I misunderstand something, I'm still bound to learn from it (I also learned a few terms I'd never heard or knew of until now, such as rehearsal letters/numbers and double stops, so thank you for that!)

    I'm currently tweaking the arrangement according to your suggestions, and I thought I'd reply to some of them and give some thoughts.

    Quote Originally Posted by streichorchester View Post
    The opening 9 measures:
    -consider turning into a 4-part chorale using contrapuntal/contrary motion in the lower strings
    I'm not gonna lie; I stink at trying to do 4-part voicings with contrary motion. We've tried doing these a few times as theory exercises in class, and I always get too caught up in trying to move things either up and down by one note depending on which chord I'm changing to. I get stuck inside this mental box, and it frustrates me to no end that I can't get around it. I know there's gotta be a way of doing the chord progression without everything going up or down at once, but I can't figure out how to do so at the moment.

    -do crescendo/decrescendo every half note (yes, this will be tedious, but worth it)
    God, I wish there was an easier way of doing crescendos and decrescendos within the same bar in MuseScore. It's not just tedious, but actively annoying having to manually adjust everything and making sure it doesn't look weird. Out of curiosity, what would this actually sound like if I did it? You said it'll be worth it, and while I believe you, I don't know what it would sound like. If you could provide an example, that would be awesome.

    -add slurs to where you don't want the stringed instruments to change bowing direction (research classical scores for examples)
    I've never played a stringed instrument before, so I don't really know what the benefit of this is.

    Measure 14:
    -double stops in violin 2 might be difficult
    As you said yourself later on, this is what Borodin did in Notturno. While I didn't watch a performance of it (something I guess I should've done in hindsight), I assumed that there were two violinists performing the 2nd violins - in the way that you'll have two bassoonists performing different melodies in the same bar. To be fair, I could be totally wrong with that assumption in this case - and if so, I'll likely have to change this.

    -the cello rhythm should have a half note + eighth rest instead of quarter + dotted quarter, I see this in a few places (the eighth rest gives space for the pickup note)
    Good point. I was focusing a good deal on having the notes played constantly, that I forgot that the performers should be able to stop for a small bit (something I realized a few months ago when trying to play Thomas Atwood's Theme on piano - [Hidden link. Register to see links.] - it slows down after the B section so you have time to get back to the keys you need to play in the repeat of the A section). Thank you for catching that, and I'll try to fix that in other places you mentioned it!

    Measure 22:
    -the C is in the first violin and cello so doesn't need to be in the viola as well, give the viola the E to avoid the parallel octaves going into measure 23
    Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but won't putting the viola into E mean it has a parallel octave with the E in second violin? (Though this might not be an issue if I remove the double stops from that section generally)

    Measure 23:
    -the viola should not be doubling the violin down the octave here, measure 24 is much better with the contrary motion
    I moved the first note in the 1st violin melody up from B to a D, which might work a little better.

    Measure 36:
    -the viola shouldn't be playing a D here
    I hadn't realized what I'd done until you mentioned it. It's fairly easy for me to get lost when I'm trying to transcribe what's in my head without having something practical on hand to play it on (like a piano).

    Measure 37:
    -consider revoicing the second violin and viola here. This is the dominant G major chord in first inversion. The B is in the cello, the G in the first violin. The second violin and viola should cover the D and F.
    Yeah, that actually sounds better. Thank you for that.

    Measure 45:
    -looks like you're setting up a key change to A major using the E dominant. Again the dominant voicing is important. You don't want both violins 1 and 2 playing a B, so one of them could play a D to create the dominant 7th. The cello has the option of falling to a D on the third beat.
    Done that, and although I'm still iffy on what I've done overall, I think the cello falling to the D makes it work out.

    Measure 60:
    -consider changing the high B in the viola to an F or F#
    I decided to go for the F#, which leads really nicely into the G# in the next bar.

    Measure 61:
    -there is some parallel motion going on here that should be revoiced
    -the dominant G major could can easily be a G7 to give you more options
    -for some extra color, the cellos don't just have to move upward, they can come back down on the same notes before the next measure
    I'm actually having the hardest time with this one. I'm still very new to wrapping my head around dominant seventh chords, especially when they're triads, so it's not that intuitive to me. I think I've come up with something, but I'm not too sure about it.

    Measure 69
    -second violin and viola are both playing B here, never double the leading tone
    I tweaked the 2nd violin so that it goes up to a G instead of down to B, and that does a good bit better.

    -the cello could use downward motion here to reach the low A
    I went down to a D to reach the A, but I'm not entirely sure about it. Does that sound right

    Measure 70:
    -the long notes in the violins seem anti-climatic, how about changing them to trills playing pianissimo (with the usual fade in/out dynamic markings)
    -if adding fade in/out dynamics is too cumbersome, you can do it for a few measures then write "simile" to indicate doing it for the rest of the piece
    I've included the trill and pianissimo, and I'll work on the dynamic markings later (thanks for the suggestion of writing "simile" though)

    Measure 77:
    -another opportunity to use G7
    I dunno. Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but I'm really not liking how it sounds. It just doesn't sound right to me at all.

    Measure 78:
    -consider dropping the cello an octave
    Did that. It sounds fine to me either way, but I suppose it adds to a sense of progression when this overall reprise of measures 10-13 has a bit more going on. I'm happy whatever way works best in this case.

    Measure 82 (last measure):
    -the second violin could play an F that resolves to an E to give it a classical feel
    That's a good suggestion. It makes the ending more interesting than just stick to the same notes for an entire bar.

    ---

    I'm gonna keep tweaking it before I upload the new version, but I really appreciate you giving so much feedback for me to work on. Like I said, it helps me to better understand and learn things I previously wasn't aware, and being given that chance is always awesome. Hopefully, it'll result in a better arrangement, but I'm happy to learn either way!

  24. #21849
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    Three things:

    1. The music listed on the program might have been changed with the arrival of these three composers, because "Pierce the Heavens with your XXX" wasn't originally on it
    2. It would appear that the composers are giving their input in the performances during rehearsals
    2. Iwasaki must have mellowed out in the past decade-and-a-half to let someone else conduct one of his pieces like this

  25. #21850
    Heartfelt Musicologist Vinphonic's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
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    Yeah, its a bit confusing, another list I catched somewhere that contradicts the previous one:

    Naruto: Shippūden
    Fairy Tail
    Sailor Moon Crystal
    Pretty Cure series

    Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
    Yakitate!! Japan
    Soul Eater
    Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency
    Origins: Spirits of the Past

    Inuyasha
    Samurai 7
    D.Gray Man
    Iron Leaguer
    Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas
    Ninja Scroll



    You know, I never got the Wadash-Taque-Nassy connection until now:




    Shame another composer I really want to see getting around seems to be totally introverted and social-media shy (he's also close friends with Wada).

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