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Thread: Writing a Toccata.

  1. #11
    pp Pianissimo OneWatt's Avatar
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    Perhaps I'll invite some blowback here, so forgive me in advance...

    To the OP, rather than worry about what to call a piece of music not yet written, may I suggest you simply focus on writing the composition you would like to create, and then find some label for it that suits you once you're done?

    Who knows? You may discover you wrote a sonata, fugue, etude, mazurka ... or none of the above.

    Don't be offended, but I've sensed that those who get too wrapped up in naming the classical style of their compositions before doing any actual composing tend to be more interested in generating bragging rights than in composing music they'd want to perform and enjoy.

    *****

    On the other hand ... if you'd like to study the various classical forms and styles that have evolved over the centuries, perhaps in an effort to inform the compositional structure you'd like to explore in your own creative efforts, then by all means dig in.

    There are lots of wonderful books and online materials on such subjects.

    But don't be surprised to learn that the labels commonly used for many classical styles have been applied to a much wider range of individual compositions that one might have thought. Toccatta is such an example.

    Enjoy! OneWatt

  2. #12
    mp Mezzo-Piano andijah's Avatar
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    Using consecutive 5ths or 12ths isn't generally forbidden - totally depends on the style of the composition. Several of these intervals in close proximity will in Carlotta's case probably be intentional.

  3. #13
    ff Fortissimo regeron's Avatar
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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by andijah View Post
    Using consecutive 5ths or 12ths isn't generally forbidden - totally depends on the style of the composition. Several of these intervals in close proximity will in Carlotta's case probably be intentional.
    Exactly. The fact that it is a modern composition (allowing it to follow contemporary theoretic practices) and is named "Gotica" (Gothic - implying references to early music practices or sounds) also needs to be taken into account.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OneWatt View Post
    ... To the OP, rather than worry about what to call a piece of music not yet written, may I suggest you simply focus on writing the composition you would like to create, and then find some label for it that suits you once you're done?

    Who knows? You may discover you wrote a sonata, fugue, etude, mazurka ... or none of the above.

    Don't be offended, but I've sensed that those who get too wrapped up in naming the classical style of their compositions before doing any actual composing tend to be more interested in generating bragging rights than in composing music they'd want to perform and enjoy.
    I think it's also fair to say that if one has truly played, listened to, and studied a large-enough repertoire, you will know and understand the true differences between the various genres. To look at only 2 or 3 examples by experienced masters and then consider yourself ready to write your own and expect it be anything worthwhile is unrealistic.

    The masters are called masters because they did their homework. They studied the works of others. The played lots of repertoire. They wrote lots. They studied all aspects of theory. They understood historical and regional differences.

    If you wish to write a composition based on one of these models, no matter what it is, you need to study and work. You also need to heed the advice of others when you ask for it.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by OneWatt View Post
    ... On the other hand ... if you'd like to study the various classical forms and styles that have evolved over the centuries, perhaps in an effort to inform the compositional structure you'd like to explore in your own creative efforts, then by all means dig in.

    There are lots of wonderful books and online materials on such subjects.

    But don't be surprised to learn that the labels commonly used for many classical styles have been applied to a much wider range of individual compositions that one might have thought. Toccatta is such an example.
    Very good advice. The problem comes when those who would benefit most from such advice refuse to take it. They won't research or explore. They won't do basic exercises that would teach them so many core fundamentals.

    They ask what they could do to improve their compositions and receive advice from several people, then ignore it. It is no surprise that as they continue to ask for advice, people stop offering it.

  4. #14
    p Piano voet's Avatar
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    I remember years ago I was working on a setting of "Nun danket alle Gott" which I thought was really good. I played it for a friend who commented, "It sounds like "The Night They Invented Champagne!" Sometimes it takes the objectivity of someone else to help you evaluate your efforts.
    Bill

    My home organ: Content M5800

  5. #15
    p Piano Eddy67716's Avatar
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    1 members found this post helpful.
    After listening to some different Toccatas, I think I have one.
    It Has some motif articulation like Bach's BWV 565,
    It has some long drone pedal notes like Pachelbel's Toccata in E minor,
    It has a (At least close to) contrapuntal section like some of the Italian Toccatas,
    Two repeating themes,
    and a section based on Widor's Toccata but easier to play.

    Ed's_Toccata_in_E_minor.pdf
    Ed's Toccata in E minor (StAnnesMoseley).mp3

  6. #16
    ff Fortissimo gtc's Avatar
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    I like it. Well done.

  7. #17
    p Piano voet's Avatar
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    You have some interesting ideas in your Toccata, Ed. Thank you so much for sharing it.
    Bill

    My home organ: Content M5800

  8. #18
    ppp Pianississmo Dreece1's Avatar
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    look at how some modern composers have written their toccatas.

    Ein Feste Burg is a popular tune used in some.
    Amazing grace I have seen in a toccata and not slow either.
    Zion wakes
    Old 100th

    Some use plain chant

    Dies ire
    Te deum

    Or try and find a hymn that hasnít been turned into a toccata.

    The problem you have with this is that any modern composition will have copyright. If you publish said work with hymn tune letís say All my hope on god is founded as the basis of the toccata then that is a piece that has been written within the last 70 years. Therefore any royalties you get from said piece have to be shared with the estate of Herbert Howells unless they give express permission to use it without royalties...

    Some of the older ones should be out of copyright and public domain.

    Anyone says that Ein Feste Burg is copyright would be pulling your leg. That was written by Martin Luther during the reformation. That occurred some hundred or so years ago by a bible thumping clergyman.....

  9. #19
    mf Mezzo-Forte Larrytow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreece1 View Post

    Anyone says that Ein Feste Burg is copyright would be pulling your leg. That was written by Martin Luther during the reformation. That occurred some hundred or so years ago by a bible thumping clergyman.....
    Quite a few more years ago than a mere hundred. Oct 31 will mark the 501st anniversary of the generally agreed upon starting point of the reformation.
    Regards, Larry

    At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 ! ), E-5AR ( X 2, 1 parts, 1 not ), D80 ( parts ), FX-1, FX-20, HS-7T ( parts ), EL-25 ( X 2, 1 chopped, 1 not ). Allen organs : T12-A, T-12B, ADC-6000D. Baldwin 626. Hammond Concorde. Lowrey CH32-1. A bunch of Synthesizers and Keyboards. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with VISTA ), Hammond A105, Baldwin 720T, Several small and medium size pipe organs of many sorts and builders.

  10. #20
    mp Mezzo-Piano andijah's Avatar
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    If you want to be precise, the song was written in 1529 and is still waiting for its 500th birthday

    However, it's not one of the easiest melodies to base a toccata on. But still one of my favourite hyms.

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