View Full Version : Curmudgeon

12-04-2002, 04:20 AM
Since I am being a Curmudgeon lately, I'll give everyone a chance to fight back and poke some fun at me.

I have recently taken up the task of writing classical/baroque music for strings. You can come to my we site and listen to
Em String Quartet
Cycle 4 String Quartet
Dm String Trio
and tell me how bad I suck at writing this type of thing.


Bongo Boy
12-04-2002, 04:13 PM
Although the title isn't too romantic :D, I truly enjoyed this one (it's the only one I listened to so far). What was most interesting to me at the time, tho, was the rhythm--I don't know how to describe it or what intelligent question to ask, but it felt very unusual. For some reason, it seemed it was the rhtymic structure, nothing else, that created a tremendous tension in a way--it made me want to continue listening.

Can you say something about what's going on in this piece that might make me feel this way--understanding that I may not be doing a good job of describing what I've heard?

12-04-2002, 10:01 PM
The chord change is C F Bdim Em Am Dm G C.

The idea started out with open voice chords (Using Voice Leading) in straight 8th notes.
Then I split the lower and upper notes out into cello and violin and filled in the gaps in each voice with longer notes.
This is definately not the best of these pieces, but the process is similar for all of them.

12-04-2002, 10:01 PM
Split out the bass part.

12-04-2002, 10:02 PM
Change timing to fill in the gaps in each voice.

12-06-2002, 09:03 PM
The tab is not representative of how I would play this on a guitar it was just convienient to tab this in PowerTab because it can import MIDI, and it show the music. THis was not written on any instrument only on music staff in cakewalk.
The title was meant to be descriptive!

Bongo Boy
12-09-2002, 03:30 AM
Great stuff, James. While I love the chamber music (Baroque?) and think you did a great job, I'm especially attracted to some of your other stuff, such as Latin and Legend. Very nice work.

I'm still working on eighth-note runs :D.

NP: Thomastik-Infeld .012-0.050 flatwounds
NP: Deep Purple & Joe Satriani--Highway Star

12-09-2002, 03:49 AM
You liked the Latin piece, Fancy That! You being a Conga Player and all. You guys don't really have to be nice to me, give me the straight skinny, I can take it. I was trying to put a cool rendition of Moanin' on there but
1. I would have to pay royalties and
2. I couldn't get the solo thing happening enough without resorting to blues licks.

I have a nice sequence of take 5 somewhere with me playing tenor sax (on guitar synth).

12-17-2002, 05:20 AM
Did I answer your question?

Bongo Boy
12-17-2002, 06:15 AM
Uh...not even remotely close :D.

I have no flippin' idea what's going on. Not your fault though...let me read, and re-read (for the 10th time) what you've posted. I think my neurons may be starting to thaw out a little,

But, everything I hear is from a sound board, then?

On another topic, you may want to check out this site--I busted a gut laughing at some of the stuff here:


12-17-2002, 11:48 AM
The sounds are samples called 'soundfonts' I am using them with a creative Sound Blaster Live Platinum 5.1 and Cakewalk.
The reverb is added after the Sound has been Captured with Sound Forge. Your original question had to do with the timing so I thought posting the different parts and how it mutated into what you now hear, was going to help.

Bongo Boy
12-17-2002, 02:34 PM
Originally posted by szulc
Your original question had to do with the timing so I thought posting the different parts and how it mutated into what you now hear, was going to help. It will...I'm sure you DID answer my question, actually, I just am not sharp enough to realize it yet!

12-18-2002, 12:49 AM
You are always bashing your self!
Your musical IQ has increased significantly in the last 9 months!

Bongo Boy
12-19-2002, 10:49 PM
Your musical IQ has increased significantly in the last 9 months!You know, this is a fact. I was thinking about this in a moment of frustration the other night. For lurkers out there, here's a message:

I joined this forum in mid-May 2002, here it is mid-Dec (only 7 months, actually). You may not realize this but as of 1 May 2002, I didn't know:

0. How the bass clef and treble clef are related, where middle C is relative to them, etc.
1. What intervals are, or what a 'tone' or 'semitone' is, and certainly not what 'm3' or 'perfect 5th' meant--no way
2. What major & minor scales are, let alone be able to name them or create them with pencil and paper.
3. What scale degrees were or how they're used.
4. What a mode is, let alone how to write any mode with any root in at least two different ways.
5. What even the simplest definition of a chord is (ANY chord in general).

You get the idea. The list goes on and on. When I joined in May, nearly EVERYTHING on this site was a mystery to me--especially those cryptic chord names. I didn't even know they WERE chord names--I had no idea what they were. When I first saw something like V7 or viib5b7, it had NO meaning to me whatsoever--not the V, not the 7, not the b, and certainly not the vii. :D

So...what I'd like to say is, most of what I've learned came from this site--that is, the folks here, the materials they've produced, and the mentoring they've done. And while the staff--guys like James, Guni, Eric--have done a lot of the work, so have other members, too. Folks like you.

Now, I've used a LOT of other materials and have spent a LOT of time studying and doing my homework. But I'm no genius and I've not taken any formal music classes.

If I can do this--and truly enjoy it--LOTS of other folks can.

12-24-2002, 03:59 AM
Maybe you should write an article on how to learn guitar for old dogs learning new tricks?

The Bash
05-02-2003, 08:44 PM
Em String Quartet: I really like this. Kinna reminds me of Bambi or something :)
Actually what I mean is (to me) I picture someone walking a grassy hillside whistling a melancholy little tune. At 30 all the small woodland creatures join in, just like a Disney flick :)
The the whistler desends the grassy hillside at the end. Alone. And fades off into the bloodred sky.

String Trio in Dm: This is obviously inspired by Bach, yet thereís sort of a Glint of Mozart happiness in it (Sanguineous in a minor key, hmm. I like that.) The little echo/call response between upper and lower voice is very cool.

Cycle 4 String Quartet- Hmm, wonder what that means :)

Nice work, I think you did a good job. At least I enjoyed them. I got a lotta respect for anyone who tries this sort of thing cause its not as easy as one may think.

05-02-2003, 09:19 PM
Thanks I appreciate the fact that you listened and are making comments.
I was pretty pleased with these pieces, since they were my first attempts at writing in the classic sense with "Parchment and Quill" (Actually mouse and cakewalk). My normal method of composition is to improvise something until I get something I like the record it and tweak it. This was straight ahead step time mouse input (The first thing Em String Quartet actually started on guitar as a little contrived open voice melody).

String Trio is actually inspired on JC Bach's solfeggietto in 9/8 this also was composed (at least the main theme) on guitar.

Cycle 4 string Quartet is basically an exercise in Diatonic Cycle 4 and voice leading.

The Bash
05-03-2003, 01:41 AM
Very cool,
Iíve been doing a lot of writing in my head myself lately, and it defiantly (at least for me) opens up another side you. To a certain degree not being trapped by the preconceived notion of what your fingers wanna play, rather listening (truly listening) to what the song calls for. Itís defiantly a different level of self-communication and I find I really like it. Iíve written some stuff that way thatís meant to be played on guitar, but Iíve written thatís not and thatís defiantly a whole different level of freedom. I can see myself really getting into the Jazz from Hell kinna stuff.
When I was younger I thought that Album was cool, but Hey I wanted to hear some guitar like Muffin Man, but I can really get into the whole Jazz from Hell kinna thing. I guess I better understand the release Frank got from that kinna thing.