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Ditty (a song sketch)



 Genre: Acoustic

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I made this song on my Mac as I do for all my music ... with a (fantastic) open source music scoring program, MuseScore. (What you are hearing is the program's rendition of the score using the TimGM6mb.sf2 SoundFont.)

I call this "a song sketch" because that's precisely what it is: a short exploration of a couple of motives I'm separately in the process of developing as one part of a longer and more complex piece still in the works. What we have here is Vibraphone with an 8th-note timing track on the closed hi-hat. (In other words, the hi-hats are intended strictly as a dummy placeholder.) Straight A-B-A construction. The A-part, in G minor, states a theme in four measures and a variation of sorts in the next four. Then the B-part, written as G# major (but I'm not sure it is...) states a different and more chromatic theme before returning to a slightly flourished repeat of A.

When I listen to this now, I'm of two minds. Is it "repetitive?" Does it, as some have suggested, introduce "too much too quickly," being over and done-with almost before it has begun? (Well, it IS "a sketch.") Any piece of music needs to have a structure without devolving into a "pasta salad" of conflicting ideas, and I do cautiously think that this piece does strike that balance acceptably well.

But I'd love to hear your suggestions and your reactions. That's what this sketch is meant for.

(C) Copr. 2011. Enjoy it; just don't sell it.
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Song Stats
Hits: 3762
Comments: 18
Fans: 11
Plays: 138
Downloads: 175
Votes: 1
Uploaded: Sep 07, 2011 - 02:14:08 PM
Last Updated: Sep 07, 2011 - 08:12:24 PM Last Played: Mar 29, 2019 - 09:15:27 AM
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MacBook Pro
MuseScore (http://www.musescore.org)
Feter said 2958 days ago (September 7th, 2011)
Nice ..
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PatriciaGirl said 2958 days ago (September 7th, 2011)
Nice :)
First off-nice little piece for your first submission correct?

My reaction is that it is not repetitive in section A-there are small variations which keeps it interesting. For a sketch, then it has potential to be developed even more into a longer and possibly more instrumental piece. That's my two pennies :)

Thanks for sharing!

p.s. Eduard and others can give you more of a technical breakdown in terms of suggestions and reactions. I'm just a write what I feel type of person with no technical background :)
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drakonis said 2958 days ago (September 7th, 2011)
Very nice intro
I really like the melody lines and structure... this is simple and engaging. Of course as a "sketch", you haven't stretched into a development section yet, but I can imagine some very cool directions this could go! Nice little syncopated bits add interest. I almost expected it to go all fugue-y on me. Maybe a slow bass counterharmony sound (cello) too?

Personally I would get rid of the (hi-hat?) hits that sound like sand in a hubcap :-)

A little EQ would help too, the soundfont recording sounds a bit hot in the midrange area.

Overall, this is a very tasty bit of music... glad to hear some of your work finally, well worth the wait!

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MikeRobinson said 2958 days ago (September 7th, 2011)
The hi-hat in this one is a placeholder
LOL ... The hi-hat does sound like a hubcap! But here, it is literally intended as a placeholder ... a scratch track meant to "mark the time" while the other timing and syncopation can be sorted-out. There are really no attempts in this at EQ, either. MuseScore is a musical score authoring tool, and I am writing it one note at a time. What you hear is, basically without any adornment whatsoever, what it spits out as a .WAV file, recoded straight by iTunes into MP3.
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MikeRobinson said 2958 days ago (September 7th, 2011)
To be sure... my prior response was not "defensive"
Following a (very courteous) PM ... let me say that my prior response to this post should not be considered “defensive.”   It is merely an explanation.   A reply.   Indeed, a reply in complete agreement.

I appreciate sincerely to have been contacted privately.

Yet let me make it clear that I meant and do mean exactly what I said with regard to critique of any sort:   this is precisely what I am soliciting from this community. I do not have, in any way, a thin skin about it. I am here to seek to learn from my peers... all of you... and anything and everything I may say is meant in like kind.

I'd love for example to find more information about soundfonts, about how to use them better, about how to better control the sound from them. (MuseScore uses the FluidSynth software.) I'm sure that would be a forum-thread not a reply to a song, but this is what I want to discover.

Thanks again for comments warmly appreciated and well-taken.
Check out my latest song called It Must Be A Christmas Song
Loob said 2958 days ago (September 7th, 2011)
Almost has a classical feel to it.
Pretty cool stuff Mike! Welcome to Macjams.
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crissew said 2958 days ago (September 7th, 2011)
Nice first post
I like where this is heading. I like the subtle variation in the arpeggio-like riffs. I can see this piece starting off simple and gradually filtering instruments in as the song goes along. Perhaps playing off the syncopation. Nice start for sure.
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MarkHolbrook said 2958 days ago (September 7th, 2011)
Cool indeed
I like the general feel! Cool!
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hackneybloke said 2958 days ago (September 7th, 2011)
hobbit dance
that what i saw.....loads of hobbits......soaked in kerosene, ablaze and dancing round a bonifre in hobbit-land in a spin off movie about the dark side of hobbitkind. your interest in percussion instruments and glocks and xyls really came across in trading places....so no surprise to see it again here. if you post more than one tune a week you lose love.
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MikeRobinson said 2958 days ago (September 7th, 2011)
No chance of losing the love ...
No chance of that. I had two songs – this sketch, and Trading Places which came from ideas developed in this sketch and a few others. That will be “it” for a while.

Dancing hobbits ... soaked in kerosene ... hmm.   :-D
Check out my latest song called It Must Be A Christmas Song
PeterB7858 said 2958 days ago (September 7th, 2011)
Hi Mike. Welcome to MJ. Always glad to see new members, especially if they are bringing fresh ideas and ways of developing music to us all. MuseScore sounds interesting. I like what you have developed with it to date. Congratulations on your first post. Regards, Peter.
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RochaMalhada said 2957 days ago (September 8th, 2011)
It's probably my fault
this got approved, ;)

all kidding aside; this would also work well with hand bells as a sound font. I can hear the reverb already, with the extended ring...

. - Harold
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TobinMueller said 2957 days ago (September 8th, 2011)
Fifths all around
Your piece indeed has structure and does not introduce too much too soon. The first fifth jump is repeated just enough to achieve balance. The chord progression is mainstream and balanced, as well. There is a nice sense of spontaneity to the B section. It is light, airy, fun, and a nice start to something.
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MikeRobinson said 2957 days ago (September 9th, 2011)
Light, airy, and fun ...
Yes, these are essential qualities that (so far...) Trading Places (version 1.0) does not reflect. The “B”-part here is a distinct change of both key and overall structure, and when the player returns to “A” it is almost the same just with a little more “flair.” These are ideas that were somewhat-lost and rather-muddled-up in Trading, which, while it may be a piece that makes you think (or not...), is not quite the piece that makes you smile.

Time for another sheet of electronic staff-paper, to see what else the muse can do with these things that she has started.
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shavingronaldscar said 2956 days ago (September 9th, 2011)
You've laid down an enchanting melody here. I won't get into what could be built out of it, as such seeds belong in your soil, not mine. I will, however, say that the plate reverb you've used here brings out far too much midrange resonance/peaking, and should perhaps be replaced with something a little less harsh, unless you're intending to bring this particular instrument into the background of a final mix, perhaps emulating the same melodic train of thought in a different instrumentation for the foreground.
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MikeRobinson said 2956 days ago (September 9th, 2011)
Au contraire...
... mon avatar!

Please do throw out any “seeds” that you may have, because that’s more than half the reason for me posting it.   Call it collaboration or co-writing or what have you ... if anyone wishes to step forward and toss their idea into the mix, I welcome it. You can find the original MuseScore files in the "Made with MuseScore" section of http://www.musescore.org under the username "mrobinson."

Or, if you prefer, just toss some suggestions, especially if you can point to some songs (here or elsewhere) that specifically illustrate your ideas. Full credit and acknowledgement will be given.

I'm posting songs, and revisions to the same, here specifically for the process of learning. That is “what’s in it for me.”   :-)
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dave_b said 2956 days ago (September 9th, 2011)
I like the intricate melody line. The structure works for me, and although the ideas are developed quickly, they don't seem to be getting lost. Nice first post, and welcome to MJ's
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MikeRobinson said 2222 days ago (September 12th, 2013)
It sure does sound different, two years later and in decent headphones ...
Check out my latest song called It Must Be A Christmas Song
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Name: Mike Robinson
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I'm a computer consultant by trade and maybe more than a little bit a "music geek." I'm very interested in what makes music "tick." I've read through Jimmy Webb's "TuneSmith" at least four times including the hard theoretical parts. (I don't say t... [see more]

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