Königliche März ~ And Then the Sun Came Out
I was going to put this into yesterday’s post since it happened yesterday, but Horizon did not fit the mood. This piece does, somewhat, because it sounds hopeful, which is better than sounding silly. See, my grandma is dying, and my dad has flown back to be with her until she dies, which will be in less than a month. Königliche März means ‘Royal March’ – while it’s not a funeral march, if I were to die, I’d rather die with this music than with morbid, requiem-esque sounds.
“’twas a downcast day
our troops’ morale was suff’ring
then, behold! yonder,
the sun came out, and our path
魔古 ~ to Saw a Tree
(First of all, here’s an interesting music-related Touhou video (in three parts) – where ZUN stole/pirated/ripped off/did bad things to people’s music :P Anywho, it seems Scarborough Fair x Lullaby of Deserted Hell and Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13 x Septette for the Dead Princess aren’t arranged yet, so there’s my next two projects (I’d do more, but those are the only songs I actually know orz) :)
Happy Birthday, Muffin~
(Note: zshare doesn’t support Chinese characters so it’ll be named “______ _ to Saw a Tree” or something :V)
.mp3 (Compressed music; just music, no images, compressed so smaller file size)
.wmv (Movie; downloadable YouTube movie (why would you download something available on youtube?!))
.wav (Music; just music, no images (really really large size))
.pdf (Adobe Acrobat document; sheet music for composition)
.mus (Finale File; editable sheet music (or what I used to write the piece :V))
–Boring Part Starts Here–
I think you all know who Masha is by now.
Anyhow, cause she’s a mushroom youkai, she has to have her own theme, right?
The music’s split into four-ish themes; check the .txt file for details.
The first theme is the one at the very start, that sorta calming theme. In reality, it was the last theme I came up with as I was at my piano one day, bashing out random melodies. The theme sorta invokes that ‘beginning’ feel, or that things are just proceeding quite smoothly.
Then, you get to the second theme. I was walking with my family along this harbour place one day, when I heard some guy playing a random dance tune on his fiddle. Really fast. It sounded nice (basically a melody constantly alternating with a bottom note), so I made a different melody but with the same rhythm and out came the second theme.
Has that really ‘oh crap what’s going to happen now’ feel, and seems really fast, but it isn’t, because the melody’s still quite slow. Used this theme for the ‘wind’ effect (not really an effect, but let’s just say the wind images), because… that’s what wind does :P
The fourth theme isn’t really a theme. I wanted this to be 16 x 8 measures (with a Finale where it’s modulated up to E-flat, which is sorta an ‘extra’ instead of part of the piece), so I had 16 measures of ‘intermission’ in between. Just a constant IV – V – vi without any real pull.
Sorta like a tree growing? :V I don’t know.
Finally, the third theme was the theme I came up with first, and is probably the ‘main’ theme of the piece. It wasn’t actually thought of for Masha; our school had a contest to see who could compose a school anthem, and I thought of that.. but didn’t have time to compose it.
Seems like nobody else composed anything either so our school still has no anthem. OH WELL (I changed schools anywho :V)
A triumphant feel was what I was aiming for, directly contrasting the calmness of Theme One and the fevered urgency of Theme Two. Did I achieve that? Hopefully so. All of the most dramatic parts start when this theme starts playing.
Before composing, I needed to create an instrument set, because as some of you know, my previous composition had a horribly large set of instruments.
This time, I kept the number of instruments down to the bare minimum (note: my minimum =/= your minimum). From least to most important:
– Xylophone. I could take this out, but it adds that ‘ZUN-like’ feel (cause he overuses xylophones, I think). Also, this is an instrument with a comparatively high pitch, so some of that ‘twinkle’ effect comes out too. Notice that this never takes the main line, as at the end, it’s just decoration.
– Flute. I do use this a lot during the beginning and end, and generally soft sections, as all the other instruments are just WTF-loud. Unfortunately, it’s drowned out incessantly when any other instrument is playing, save the xylophone. Anyhow, wanting to add an instrument of every traditional family (modern families are different and confusing), flute represents the woodwinds here.
– Acoustic Guitar. To add that ‘country’ feel, also to keep a steady beat and as ground bass. All it is is a supporting role; guitars are stupidly hard to have playing any melody, because they really aren’t suited to that. But when it comes to harmony, guitars are quite good at their role.
– Cello. Nevertheless, the guitar has two main elements to it – bass accompaniment and rhythm. The cello can then substitute for the bass accompaniment, as it definitely has a more somber, dramatic, and… just such a /bass/ sound.
– Percussion. Here’s the bass component that could substitute for guitar. If you ripped out everything but this and the things below it, the music’d still sound reasonable, as long as you modulate either the trumpet or violin. Anyways, some compositions focus heavily on beat and wouldn’t be the same without it; but this one doesn’t, as I just smacked around some random swing notes :V
– Trumpet. It’s not the bass representative, it’s the brass representative. Crucial for the start of Theme Three, or else it’d sound completely different. For most of my compositions (I only have two what do I mean most) I generally do things in a traditional quartet style; two violins playing the same thing as two trumpets, a viola playing the same thing as a trombone, and a cello playing the same thing as a tuba. Obviously, you can’t do intervals on trumpets, so that’s probably why it’s not as important as the…
– Violin. The main part of this composition is completely the violin. The violin takes center stage whenever it appears. I’ve spent the most time composing for the violin (well, if you discount guitar because I probably spent twice as long just finding out the fingerings for that… that /thing/ ._.), and next to the piano, it’s probably the most common instrument played out there.
If anyone plays these instruments, could you check the .pdf to see whether playing it is possible or not? Don’t want to create an impossible piece here :V
So then I had to actually compose. While composing (something like 10 – 15 minutes a day :/ ), I had to think of some witty name. Thus, this pun actually stretches across three languages.
Firstly, the 魔古 is supposed to be 蘑菇, which means mushroom in Chinese. However, 魔古 has similar sounds (the last one isn’t the same), and roughly translates to ‘Old Magic’ (but it’s actually ‘Magic Old’, which is improper grammar >_>;;). Next, the 木 (wood) is ‘ki’ in Japanese, and 鋸 (saw) is ‘noko’. Ki. Noko. Kinoko. Mushroom.
We then have some old magic (which brought Masha to life), and a story of Sawing a Tree. In a little strange field.
Symbolic enough, I’d say.
Finally, the actual pictures were just thought up – I needed two separate storylines, that of the tree and that of Masha. The first 8 x 16 measures were dedicated to the tree, with the intermission ‘intermissioning’ the tree growing to a really really big tree. Then, the final 6 x 16 measures were dedicated to the mushrooms and how they grew around the tree.
That should’ve been the ending, but then with the E flat, Masha’s introduced and the arguably ‘real’ plot starts. People want to cut trees, Masha tries to stop them, fails, the trees all die, but at the end, new trees will grow and the cycle should repeat itself.
Everything’s done in Aviary’s Raven Vector Editor in one day (not 24 hours, but like in one day). I was completely new to the program too, so it was quite a tiring day =_=
Don’t question what species the trees or the mushrooms are, and why the seeds looks so horrible. They’re a stylistic symbolism of the eternal cycle of life, OK? >_> And I realize mycelia don’t grow like that, roots don’t look like that either, and mushrooms don’t even send out seeds in the first places. Just… just DEAL WITH IT, alright?!
Anyways, I’m droning on now.
Thanks, SpiritOfKensei, for help on making the actual movie and Jeffdoute, for unintentionally offering me encouragement with a simple comment.
And a very special thanks to Muffin, for actually ‘creating’ Masha in the first place.
Hope you have a very happy birthday.
Königliche März ~ And Then the Sun Came Out
[EDIT: Well, whaddya know? Parental controls backfired, meaning that not even my parents can access the computer (where I store my music) anymore, until 4:00. Naturally, you can bypass the time restrictions by modifying the system time in BIOS startup settings, but I can’t tell them that :P So yeah. No composition. Canada Day tomorrow so I’m going to be celebrating, and I’ll update this with the final composition when I get it done. This also means I didn’t meet the deadline, but… well, that’s life.]
Thanks for all your help; this is the final copy (including the .mus! If you wish to use this for any purpose other than listening (e.g. showing other people, attempting to play it which is basically impossible as noone will want to), email me at email@example.com just cause I want to know).
As for composing, I’ve definitely learned some very important things.
One – NEVER, EVER USE SUCH A HUGE ORCHESTRA EVER AGAIN. The torture of it was too much for me to bear, modifying each instrument against each other. And the font is impeccably tiny.
Two – I don’t know counterpoint. So, I shall learn counterpoint. Königliche März was based not on the individual melodies of each instrument, but on a basic chord structure and additions to it. Because of that, it sounded quite hollow.
Three – I have infinite time. Not infinite time, but I take on so many useless items that if I needed to do something, I will finish it. I could probably finish a month-long project in two days (which I have done before) if I don’t do anything stupid, because I waste /that much/ time.
Finally – COMPETITIONS ARE FREAKING ANNOYING AND SO IS FREAKING PERCUSSION (research things before doing stuff!)
But wait, mushy, why are there two posts today?
Well, today (GMT-wise) is July the First. What does that mean?
It means that Summer has officially started.
Not only does this bring good news for anime fans, but it also means we have time to blog, twice a day (we have four bloggers now).
On a related note, thanks to my obsessive following of comment feeds, I have found an interesting plugin that may or may not work. This allows us to see who’s actually writing my post and thus kill the “MUSHYHIJACK” tag, even though that was pretty fun >_>
Second announcement: Maplestory has an event. Though I knew about it a long time ago, I was busy composing worthless crap so I couldn’t participate. Anyways, it ends on the 13th, and that means that I should try to get to level 40 from level 0 to get some awesome limited-edition item. I can maple 7 hours a day, so it should go smoothly enough (for those who remember my Evan excursion).
And, yeah. Enjoy your Summers everyone; I’ll update (cause I still haven’t watched them!) DRRR and AB with their final posts soon, but probably not tomorrow as I’ve got forums to catch up to~ (Oh, and buying items because of HST starting tomorrow >_>)
Return with a Composition~
[System: For shameless promotional reasons, I have updated the left hand column! RSS and Email feeds are now on top! Feedback on whether this is better would be… appreciated. For some reason I have two RSS feeds, one at the top and one at the bottom but that shouldn’t matter. Two RSSs generate twice the visitors~]
I’m back. I’ll make announcements and other stuff in the next post cause now all I’m thinking of is compose compose compose rewrite rewrite rewrite delete delete delete compose compose compose. But there’s still links at the very bottom of the page as I’ve been away for so long :/
So, this is my second composition, like, ever, so it sucks. It’s titled “Königliche März ~ And Then the Sun Came Out” (but Finale and windows don’t support the ö and ä characters).
.mp3 (high quality)
.mid (really poor quality but tiny size)
.pdf (if you can see the notes >_>)
It’s for a composing competition, else I’d never attempt something this stupid.
So why does it say draft? Because, it’s just that – a draft. The final version will be published, uploaded, and submitted in 6 hours :/
Königliche März should mean “Royal March” or something-or-other in German. The mood doesn’t feel like that AT ALL so whatever :< If anyone knows German, please correct me.
So yeah, here’s individual instrument analysis. If you want to help me on anything (and I’d appreciate that very, very much), please comment below or on whatever forum you came from, or by email (in contacts page). But there’s honestly no reason to use email so just comment or reply.
All info courtesy of Wikipedia.
All images courtesy of Google.
All links, except if mentioned, go to a sheet music site. There’s no reason to go there, but that’s just the evidence supporting my claim that this piece is, in fact, playable. So yeah, don’t click links if you don’t want to waste your time.
Also, as here would be a GREAT time for some shameless advertising (just pray I don’t get mass-banned), subscribe to my blog in the left column, either by RSS or E-mail! A new email will be sent out every single post we make, so that your inboxes will be so full that you can’t do anything important with them!
The piccolo I’m using is tuned with lowest note D4 (one note above middle C), highest note D8 (four octaves above middle C). Measure 120/163 may seem quite fast but it is slower than arrangements of Flight of the Bumblebee, of which tempo is 184 compared to 144 for this, and still uses sixteenth-notes (around 576 notes a minute). Furthermore it is a scale so it should be able to be played pretty fast. It is a transposing instrument so a D4 is actually a D5, but the score goes down to D4.
Western concert flutes are tuned to C, lowest C4 (middle) up to approximately G7ish (but it never goes that high >_>). It doesn’t transpose (i think only contrabass and piccolo transpose, aside from Clarinet in Eb/Bb, Horn in F, Trumpet in C, etc.) Anyways, flutes are just a larger piccolo so it should be playable.
Oboe should go Bb4 to G6; this is probably the only instrument that went the entire range (C4 to G6, Bb4 noone uses :P). Most of the time it just directly copies Violin I, and it only has a sixteenth note passage once, so there shouldn’t be any problem. That has notes at approximately 416 per minute, close enough to 576 – besides, there are thirty-second notes there as well (832 per minute) and it continues for so long, yet here there’s only a short half-a-bar passage. It should be alright. God knows why I put a chord here >_>
The cor anglais/English horn is a fifth lower than the oboe, so there should be no problems either. Basically a cop of Violin II and with good reasoning too (same sound with oboe). It goes from Bb4 to G6 as well, but it’s written E4 to C6. It used to stretch to E6 so I took off the 8va, and now it goes only to G6 :D
Next are the clarinets. Eb transposes up a minor third, Bb transposes down a major second, and bass clarinet transposes an octave lower than the Bb clarinet. The range should be from E3 (obvious pun?) to G6 for bass and up to C7 for Eb and Bb. The passages should be somewhat easy to play to; unlike piccolo/flute, there are virtually no virtuoso phrases. There are 32nd notes there, and we have only 8th notes here; it’s definitely playable.
Bassoons – these are freaking soft, I can’t hear anything from them at all. It goes from Bb1 to about G4/5, but my bassoons all stay in the bass clef so it can’t go up that high. Contrabassoon transposes an octave lower, so there isn’t any major difference. There’s only one sixteenth passage, and it’s all neighbouring tones so it should be playable. Eighth notes should be easy enough. Note tempo markings (158 MM).
Horns in F should go (written) from C3 to C6. The above score has a Horn in F as well. They’re pretty soft too >_>
Trumpets in C; the first one copies the Viola while the second one is just a trumpet. :/ F#3 to C6 (C7?), so I can’t possibly bypass that range. I can’t find any music that shows how fast they can play but I’m sure they can manage.
Trombones go up to C5 (which I won’t ever reach as I’ve only composed in bass clef for these) and down to C2 (C1?). They don’t have many sixteenth notes either and this one has 302 notes/minute.
Tubas go from Eb1 to A4. I can’t possibly reach any of those. Mine doesn’t really have anything faster than eighth notes, and these go at 352 notes a minute (sixteenth notes), which is slower than 288 (eighth notes).
For Violins, they should be tuned G3-D4-A4-E5, up to A7. Violas are C3-G3-D4-A4, up to D7. Cellos tuned C2-G2-D3-A3 up to A6. Finally, the Contrabasses are written (transposing instrument) E2-A2-D3-G3, up to G4. Because there are multiple strings, particularly talented violinists should be able to play chords. Speed shouldn’t matter as there are only a few sixteenth-note passages and string players play quite fast indeed. For measures 102, 118, etc. in the contrabass, you can play the D with the A string and the F with the D string.
I originally had a pretty intensive Timpani part, but I realized; it’s really hard to play different notes on a timpani. So I completely deleted that :'( Oh well, it wasn’t very major anyways.
Next is percussion. I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA how this works. I used to have a ton of effects, but I realized that was impractical too; so now I’m only using Splash Cymbal, Snare Drum, Crash Cymbal, Bass Drum, and the Vibra Slap. I still have no idea how this works. Any help?
Harps can go from like, C1 to G7. They can play many chords, and should be able to play quite fast. However, I can’t really hear how fast they can go so I’ll just have to live with one unplayable part…
Finally, pianos. They go the entire range so I have no idea how I can bypass that. They’re also fast enough to not warrant an image to show. Why? BECAUSE THEY’RE THE BEST INSTRUMENT
Anyways, I’ll be adding dynamic marks (which some of you may have noticed a suspicious absence of) for a while, and then I’ll publish it.
“Look forward” to a finished version in 360 minutes~(actually, 720)!
Links and Videos:
^ A mix of possible Touhou OPs, if it was an anime (or if ZUN wanted OPs instead of that “girls are now preparing blah blah blah blah blah”)
^ Internet in 2025.
^ Old video but… interesting anyways :P(ixels)
^ Yay for Akyuu videos :D
^ It’s an AMV but after that what is it I don’t even
^ Another AMV but this time it’s epic