Almost done notating "Holy Spirit Venturvane"

Posted on February 24, 2009 at 10:50 PM

    I finished composing this piece back in 2005-06 but it's been taking forever to finally finish notating -- mostly because I've been procrastinating and working in chunks at a time.  But also because I wanted to wait to do it when I finally had my own computer and software to do it well.  So, now that I have had my own laptop for over a year now and have been using Finale Allegro  and now Finale 2009 to notate it from my original handwritten score, I've been getting ever closer to completing it.  So here are 4 pages from the almost finished notation of the piece.

    When I originally hand wrote the score, not only did I discover that I could compose the entire piece in just eighth notes until the very end, but I could also have just the first measure's eighth notes stemmed and then leave all the other notes in the entire piece unstemmed.  So, in my hand written draft (The first draft) and the example you see below (the second draft: notated with a software program) I left out the stems and just had note heads throughout the majority of the piece.  I then went back through it all and began to place "let ring" ties on all the notes that represented either the melody or the bass; and I only gave stems to notes that had a sort of structural value, so as to make it easier to see when something new happens in the music.

    You can also see how I left out any time signatures in the first two drafts and simply wrote in vertical dashed lines to show the implied points of strong downbeats.  However, based on what I'm about to explain regarding distinct layers in the piece, I decided I need to make the time signature changes official and notate them.

    So, there are 3 distinct "layers" or "voices" in the piece, which strict eighth notes could not make clear.  The dominant layer throughout the piece is the melody, which I decided to stem and give rhythmic notation throughout the piece.  The second layer is started by the ostinoto between E and C, which starts the piece off and then becomes unstemmed for the rest of the piece (I chose to continue it unstemmed to avoid visual confusion between three seperate layers going on through the whole piece.  Where the unstemmed notes of the second layer suddenly do not appear in any given measure, it is assumed that the last note that was left unstemmed is to be let rung until the next unstemmed eighth note appears.  And any time the second layer suddenly becomes stemmed but as lone eighth notes with "let ring" ties attached, it becomes a sort of secondary melody, which is important alongside the main melody.).  And the third layer is sort of a bass or pedal point.  So I decided to simply notate this as lonely eighth notes with stems pointed down and "let ring" ties attached.  This is because when I actually gave the notes rhythmic values, it became sort of hypnotizing looking at all the notes tied across the bar, which made it confusing to see when the first or second layers were to be struck while the third layer not.  The only times that I do give the third layer rhythmic value is when it takes on a melody.  So the main reason for supplying clear time signature changes was because time signatures are necessary in my opinion in order to correspond with the rhythmic values which I've given to the melody through out the piece.

-Daniel Mollé

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