Fully notated pieces
- Album Leaf for MM
- Winter Waltz
- Partita for a monophonic instrument solo no. 1 (A major)
- Album leaf 2018.12 (piano solo)
- When I died, there was no one who could disprove it
- Fake Folk Dance #2 (flute and piano)
- Sarabande (violin and piano)
- Fake Folk Dance
- Waltz for a double bass solo
- The Ballad of an Epic Fail
- Rhythm Changes Prelude
- Awkward Waltz for Ann
- Trivial Prelude
It's tempting to call it “classical”. I don't feel like it though. Simply being fully notated doesn't make it classical. “Classical” implies at least conformance with the common practice period traditions, or certain artistic merit, or both. Then again, a lot of contemporary classical music ignores the common practice period rules or breaks them on purpose. A lot of contemporary classical music also isn't very good, to put it politely. On the other hand, a lot of common practice period music wasn't all that good either.
Still, I'm pretty sure if I call these exercises in composition “classical music”, real academic musicians will give me very odd looks. I'll stick with “fully notated” which is vague enough to cover everything and not offensive to anyone.
I notate all my music using MuseScore, which is free and open source. You can download it from musescore.org.
→ Album Leaf for MM
A somewhat Satie'esque piece for one more strings player (there are so many of them around, nowhere to hide from them).
The funny bits are voice leading using the seventh of a chord as a common tone and modulation to relative minor using the vii of the major key as the ii of the minor key.
→ Winter Waltz
A sad waltz for the piano solo. Something of a nod to the tradition of minor key waltzes in russian classical music.
That tune sat half-written for like half a year, and I might have never completed its accompanying part if it wasn't for the birthday of a certain violinist who doubles as a harmony expert. I picked this one from the pile of drafts because it had modulations to the dominant key—at least something to make a decent gift for someone who knows much more about harmony than I do.
→ Partita for a monophonic instrument solo no. 1 (A major)
A set of unaccompanied pieces in the baroque style. Two other movements are coming soon.
The range is chosen to be comfortably playable on the violin or any of the common woodwinds as well as the trumpet.
→ Album leaf 2018.12 (piano solo)
A winter holidays present for our music theory professor. Originally, “album leaf” meant a short piece written as a gift for someone, in the era when handwritten poetry albums were popular, and this piece is exactly that.
→ When I died, there was no one who could disprove it
A minimalist piece for a wind quartet and vibraphone that I wrote for Antonio Agostini during a contemporary music festival where he offered a master class in composition, and I decided to give his methods a try. Its title and intended program are taken from a single line poem by a psychedelic rock and punk musician Egor Letov.
Somehow I lost the musescore file, but if anyone is willing to actually perform it and needs different instrumentation, I can come up with something.
→ Fake Folk Dance #2 (flute and piano)
From an imaginary fake dance suite.
→ Sarabande (violin and piano)
By the romantic era, the word “sarabande” lost all connections to a particular baroque dance. Minor key, triple meter, let's call it a sarabande.
→ Fake Folk Dance
More of an exercise in using the leading tone chord than anything.
→ Waltz for a double bass solo
I could not come up with any accompanying parts that I would really like, so I left it solo.
There are quite a few up strokes if you read it as written, adjust the bowings to taste.
→ The Ballad of an Epic Fail
It would make a good fantasy RPG theme I suppose, even though I didn't set out to make one.
→ Rhythm Changes Prelude
The harmony of George Gershwin's song “I've Got Rhythm” is immensely popular with jazz composers, and served as a basis for numerous compositions such as Charlie Parker's “Confirmation”.
I thought it would be fun to write a classical period style composition based on the same chord progression, for me it was also an exercise in writing Alberti bass. The main challenge for me was to connect the B section chords smoothly as it consists entirely of secondary dominants (ragtime progression) and doesn't have obvious resolutions.
→ Awkward Waltz for Ann
The initial idea was to descend from the I to the V by major seconds. Funnily enough, later my friend pointed me to a very dissimilar song with similar harmonic idea, “Stray Cat Strut” by Brian Setzer.
The other idea was to write a piece that can be viewed as a jazz piece with an overly elaborate intro, or a fully notated piece with improvised sections. Something of a third stream perhaps.
The dedication was added after writing, to make it a last moment gift. Ann is cool, she plays double bass.
→ Trivial Prelude
An example of constrained writing. There was a guy who wrote a book of scifi short stories and he wanted to include some “theme music” in it, encoded in ASCII (e.g. ABC notation) as a nod to early personal computer magazines and type-in BASIC programs they published. He ultimately scrapped the plan though.
It was a fun project nonetheless. Due to the limitations of the medium, it had to be short and rhythmically trivial. I tried to convey the sense of emptiness and uncertainty, in line with the mood of the stories.