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Star Fox Strings and Harp Medley (WIP)


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Oh, almost forgot, glockenspiel is in it. Here are the track listings as of the current version.

0:00 - Corneria synth version

0:46 - Boss Roll (in the same tone as the ending)

1:44 - Corneria Synth version again

3:12 - Rebel Fleet

3:23 - Star Fox 64 main theme

4:09 - Corneria Synth version

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I go away for a while and miss this? shame on me.

Note: I am not meaning to be harsh. I want you to learn and get better. Especially with the lack of good Star Fox music on this site.

The Good:

:00-:45 - I like this interpretation of the the Corneria BGM

:46 - YES! FINALLY SOMEONE OTHER THAN ME THAT RESPECTS THAT TENOR LINE! Seriously, too many people omit that part and it takes a certain feeling out of the piece.

Nice to see someone use more of the Corneria BGM.

I like hearing a softer version of the Star Wolf theme once.

5:10 - Where was this kind of thing earlier?

The Bad:

:00-:45 - Bring the cellos out more, they're buried and it give the piece too bright of a sound.

:46 - This transition is too sudden. It needs some lead-up

3:04 - This didn't work. The style of the piece does not match that rhythm pattern.

3:12 - Referencing other sources can be effective if done right, but bringing in the Star Wars Force Theme seemed a bit random. I would only do something like this in a manner that doesn't make the additional source take over the piece, IE use it in a non-melody part.

3:29 - Needs more lead-up. Also, change it up a bit. Fit your style a little better.

4:29 - This key change sticks out like a pimple on a freshman's face. You have to prepare the listener for a key change. If you don't it really kills the flow of the piece.

4:49 - Another bad transition

5:21 - Really Bad key change. It was almost a great transition, but the key change itself ruined it. You set it up in one key and changed to another. The new melody should start on a G rather than a D. It sounds really odd to chromatically climb to F# and then drop to D. If you continue to G and start the new melody there, you maintain the fluidity of the transitional phrase. I realize this will force you to transpose up 5 semitones the entire rest of the piece, but unless you want to completely re-work the transition, you will need to do that.

5:39 - Lose the timpani. You had this nice flow of soft chords interrupted without warning by loud timpani. The timpani adds nothing. Remove the part.

Overall:

By the 2:00 mark, the piece starts to sound stale. I know you are working with a limited instrument set here, but make use of the strings more! The harp and piano get old after a while.

Transitions. The hard part of a medley. To make many pieces into one, you have to establish a flow between them. It can't have the "next track on the CD" feel. Think of a piece of music as if it were a river: It moves from the headwaters to the ocean. A piece of music needs to move from the first measure to the last. Even if it is a medley. Several of your transitions broke the flow. You essentially dammed the river. Transitions are especially important during key changes. To be honest, this is one of my own personal weaknesses. But, with the right criticism I have learned to recognize it and catch myself more often.

Destination. Where are we going? You piece has no part that feels like a climax. Establish a climax and make the piece move to that point, and then resolve in a denouement. Remember the plot diagram in English class? You know, the one that looked like a crooked triangle? Guess what? A piece of music needs to fit that model, too.

Consistency of style. You need to aim for a certain style. Once you get your style, make your sections fit it. Want to change style mid-song? Fine, so long as you provide an adequate transition and continue heading towards your climax.

Instrumentation. The same instruments had the same parts the entire time. Change it up! The instrumentation really needs work. Utilize your string section. Violins and Cellos are great melody carriers as well. Also, too much monophonic piano. Bring in intervals and chords into your piano parts. Also, fatten the parts up. It feels sparse in many areas. Add more non-melody parts where possible.

Change it Up! So much of this piece sounded like instrumentation change of the original. Use arranger's license and make the source fit the style of your piece, not the other way around.

Do not submit yet. You will most likely get a NO from the judges.

You have some really good ideas here, but you also have some lousy ones. In such a case, you need to make a decision. I don't mean to be harsh, but if you want to submit this specific piece, then you need to completely overhaul it. You also may want to give consideration to starting over.

You need to build-up your musical intuition. I suggest do some serious listening. By serious I mean listen to the song with 100% of your attention. Don't put it on in the background while you play a game or while you drive. A great example of a medley done right, and one from Star Fox, is the credits from Star Fox Command. It's actually a medley of all of the character BGMs. You can get it here if you don't have it: http://starfox-online.net/media/audio/music/sfc/ . Also, listen to classical music a bit, too. Especially if you are planning on doing future pieces in similar styles. I learned the vast majority of my musical intuition from listening.

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I go away for a while and miss this? shame on me.

Note: I am not meaning to be harsh. I want you to learn and get better. Especially with the lack of good Star Fox music on this site.

The Good:

:00-:45 - I like this interpretation of the the Corneria BGM

:46 - YES! FINALLY SOMEONE OTHER THAN ME THAT RESPECTS THAT TENOR LINE! Seriously, too many people omit that part and it takes a certain feeling out of the piece.

Nice to see someone use more of the Corneria BGM.

I like hearing a softer version of the Star Wolf theme once.

5:10 - Where was this kind of thing earlier?

The Bad:

:00-:45 - Bring the cellos out more, they're buried and it give the piece too bright of a sound.

:46 - This transition is too sudden. It needs some lead-up

3:04 - This didn't work. The style of the piece does not match that rhythm pattern.

3:12 - Referencing other sources can be effective if done right, but bringing in the Star Wars Force Theme seemed a bit random. I would only do something like this in a manner that doesn't make the additional source take over the piece, IE use it in a non-melody part.

3:29 - Needs more lead-up. Also, change it up a bit. Fit your style a little better.

4:29 - This key change sticks out like a pimple on a freshman's face. You have to prepare the listener for a key change. If you don't it really kills the flow of the piece.

4:49 - Another bad transition

5:21 - Really Bad key change. It was almost a great transition, but the key change itself ruined it. You set it up in one key and changed to another. The new melody should start on a G rather than a D. It sounds really odd to chromatically climb to F# and then drop to D. If you continue to G and start the new melody there, you maintain the fluidity of the transitional phrase. I realize this will force you to transpose up 5 semitones the entire rest of the piece, but unless you want to completely re-work the transition, you will need to do that.

5:39 - Lose the timpani. You had this nice flow of soft chords interrupted without warning by loud timpani. The timpani adds nothing. Remove the part.

Overall:

By the 2:00 mark, the piece starts to sound stale. I know you are working with a limited instrument set here, but make use of the strings more! The harp and piano get old after a while.

Transitions. The hard part of a medley. To make many pieces into one, you have to establish a flow between them. It can't have the "next track on the CD" feel. Think of a piece of music as if it were a river: It moves from the headwaters to the ocean. A piece of music needs to move from the first measure to the last. Even if it is a medley. Several of your transitions broke the flow. You essentially dammed the river. Transitions are especially important during key changes. To be honest, this is one of my own personal weaknesses. But, with the right criticism I have learned to recognize it and catch myself more often.

Destination. Where are we going? You piece has no part that feels like a climax. Establish a climax and make the piece move to that point, and then resolve in a denouement. Remember the plot diagram in English class? You know, the one that looked like a crooked triangle? Guess what? A piece of music needs to fit that model, too.

Consistency of style. You need to aim for a certain style. Once you get your style, make your sections fit it. Want to change style mid-song? Fine, so long as you provide an adequate transition and continue heading towards your climax.

Instrumentation. The same instruments had the same parts the entire time. Change it up! The instrumentation really needs work. Utilize your string section. Violins and Cellos are great melody carriers as well. Also, too much monophonic piano. Bring in intervals and chords into your piano parts. Also, fatten the parts up. It feels sparse in many areas. Add more non-melody parts where possible.

Change it Up! So much of this piece sounded like instrumentation change of the original. Use arranger's license and make the source fit the style of your piece, not the other way around.

Do not submit yet. You will most likely get a NO from the judges.

You have some really good ideas here, but you also have some lousy ones. In such a case, you need to make a decision. I don't mean to be harsh, but if you want to submit this specific piece, then you need to completely overhaul it. You also may want to give consideration to starting over.

You need to build-up your musical intuition. I suggest do some serious listening. By serious I mean listen to the song with 100% of your attention. Don't put it on in the background while you play a game or while you drive. A great example of a medley done right, and one from Star Fox, is the credits from Star Fox Command. It's actually a medley of all of the character BGMs. You can get it here if you don't have it: http://starfox-online.net/media/audio/music/sfc/ . Also, listen to classical music a bit, too. Especially if you are planning on doing future pieces in similar styles. I learned the vast majority of my musical intuition from listening.

:oops:

1. Thanks for your thoughts on the Corneria part. I had this in mind when I was messing around on the piano.

2. I know, I'll remove the timpani when I start on it again. I was meaning this to be my ending before the SF64 ending part of the ending theme, but I thought it unfitting.

3. THANK YOU For telling me what the name of that particular Star Wars theme. I'll remove it.

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Remember, my intention was not to drag you through the mud. I wanna help! The seed is there. With development I sense that you will be able to do some amazing things down the road. My goal is to help you identify what works and what doesn't.

Those are some good first steps.

Just remember: the biggest weakness here is transitions. Focus your attention there.

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