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Old 12-21-2005, 03:27 PM
Mark Walsen (markwa)
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Default Hello Peter, It was fun to

Hello Peter,

It was fun to read your review of this "coming out" piece. I haven't listened to it since last summer when I improvised it and started a first pass at quantizing the notated rhythms (but without quantizing the performed rhythms).

That your comments identify minute-second locations in the piece has inspired me to plan a new MidiNotate option that will show this information somehow. I had to play the whole piece to find out where the minute-second locations were that you referred to.

Your last suggestion joins a consensus that others and myself have about this improvisation: <blockquote><hr size=0><!-quote-!><font size=1>quote:</font>

One suggestion - have a more clearly defined second subject in the middle of the piece - too much similarity can become just a little boring, and you clearly have the ability to create an interesting middle section.<!-/quote-!><hr size=0></blockquote>In general, when I improvise alone (I never improvise in front of others) I often beat a theme to death, trying out just incremental variations on it to hear what works better or not. I quite agree with the consensus here that the main bouncy theme is played too much without enough variation, and the second less bouncy theme was barely given a chance. That second theme was more elusive for me-- it flew by my fingers before I got the idea solidly in my poor musical memory, so that I was barely able to recall it briefly again later in the improvisation.

This is what excites me, though, about having MidiNotate Composer at my disposal as a tool for composing through improvising... if I'll ever have enough time away from work to actually enjoy using it. In decades past, I tried recording improvisations to then use the material for compositions, but this never worked for me. I was just too lousy at musical dictation (for others reading this, that means manually transcribing what one hears to notes on a score). Now, I can set MidiNotate Composre's recorder to capture whatever I improvise, good or bad, and then quantize the notation (a feature mostly implemented but not yet available in the current version), and then cut and paste and mold the improvisation into a real composition. This has always been the essence of my dream for a music composition tool.

I realize that the vast majority of MidiNotate Composer users will have other ways of composing than what I've described above. MidiNotate Composer users have shown me that they want many different ways of entering notes-- with the mouse, step-time, sequential note entry, singing (voice recording is not yet supported). But composing through improvising is the way I work. Music is real-time. For me, I can work out some of elements of a composition only in real-time with my fingers going away at the piano. I wish I could just sit back and make music in my ears and then write down what I heard. But, sigh, I lack that gift and/or possibly learned skill.

I don't know when I'll get back to this improvisation, if ever. Lately, I've been improvising in much more of a Bartok style; and I have been experimenting with fairly frequent bold, rubato tempo changes, to stretch my thinking about tempo.

-- Mark
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