Saturday, December 29, 2001

It's always interesting to listen to compositions after an extended hiatus. Parts that seemed to work before become painfully facaded and parts that were border-line acceptable organize themselves into keepers or discards. On the first listening, I have to sort through the lines that make me say, "Wow, I wrote that!", and the parts that make me say, "Wow, I wrote that??", and then hope that there are more from the former category. The string quartet's first movement seems to have weathered the vacation pretty well, and the changes I made today were additions rather than deletions. Now it's time for the surgical tweaking and creating a readable score.

I always tend to write in the same manner -- I put notes down in Finale with just enough articulations to make a passable MIDI file. Score markings of all kinds don't even get considered until after I consider the piece "essentially done", because it's easier to see how every part links together by then. The MIDI file has always been something of an aid for me personally although it can come in handy during lessons. Once though, I had a professor who didn't quite understand the limitations of the format. He'd complain if the draft score showed a drum roll but it wasn't on the recording, and then he'd turn around and complain that the other drum rolls shouldn't be notated as tons of thirty-second notes, when it was required to make the MIDI sound correct.

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