Bridge

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Raph
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Bridge

Post by Raph » Fri 8 Mar 2019 06:31

Here we'll talk about the card game. There was a thread at VI-C, someone asking for some devices for bridges. It's one of the weakest point of my writing, so I was very interested to see where this thread would go. It got zero answer. Which is a bit frustrating. So: readings, scores, advices regarding bridges would be welcome ;-)

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FriFlo
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Re: Bridge

Post by FriFlo » Fri 8 Mar 2019 14:35

Not sure, where you wanna go with this, as you don't have any examples, what you wanna achieve. So, I'll give you my 101 on bridges ...
Listen to Obla Di by the Beatles. A song cannot get easier to listen for structure. There is a verse, a chorus and the other part left is the bridge (in a couple of years ...). In this case, it doesn't modulate, but it focusses on the subdominant, by putting that harmony on the first (strong) measure and using a dominant leading to it.
Form is: 5 bars Intro (1+4), 8 bars verse (4+4), 8 bars chorus (4+4) and 8 bars bridge (4+4).
This is one way, a bridge works. It simply another form part leading to the verse or chorus. Nothing complicated about it. Of course, as with every of these musical terms, there are hundreds of different forms of bridges. I am sure, you already know everything I wrote here, but maybe you can further specify what kind of bridge you want to build (ha, ha!) and in the best case bring an example of something you are (not) content with, which includes a bridge or in your opinion needs one ...

Raph
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Re: Bridge

Post by Raph » Fri 8 Mar 2019 16:27

I should have been more accurate.

It's about connecting two unrelated ideas, which implies most of the time a modulation at one point. For example, take this track:



The "bridge" around 0:40 is OK, but the one around 2:00-2:20 is quasi-random: I completely fail returning back to the B theme and you have twenty seconds of pure mess. I wrote and re-wrote this failed bridge three times and I didn't manage to improve it.

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FriFlo
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Re: Bridge

Post by FriFlo » Fri 8 Mar 2019 17:34

You need to be more simple. Right from the start, I cannot follow you. It would be hard to transcribe that, but that is not always a good sign. It lacks an approachable structure and form. I am never sure ... is this intro? When did the melody start? What is the melody? Oh, there is another melody!! ;-) Maybe, you try simplifying it, first. Write down (or sequence with only a piano sound) the beginning, concentrating in only the most important elements and see, whether they work or not ...
As to avoid missunderstandings ... of course, I can hear a melody in Eb major in the beginning! I just don't know from the first listen, where it starts and when it ends or at which point a secondary line becomes many more important. This is due to several problems, including, but not limited to orchestration. That is why you have to start more simple, to realize the structure for yourself. Limiting the reduction to piano can help with that. Leave everything out that makes it sound bad, as this is probably not your main idea!
Compositions like that (where you are not always sure, where one line begins or ends), that do work do exist ... Sibelius comes to mind! But that is hard to achieve and probably not where you are at ... ;-)

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FriFlo
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Re: Bridge

Post by FriFlo » Sat 9 Mar 2019 00:08

Playback straight out of Sibelius ...

This is a very loose transcription of just the bare bones ... look the comments! Of course it can be done differently. I am just trying to show you what a clear structure is.
Raphaels Piece.jpg
Raphaels Piece.jpg (273.55 KiB) Viewed 693 times

Raph
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Re: Bridge

Post by Raph » Sat 9 Mar 2019 09:47

Thanks for taking the time to do the transcription and simplification work :-)

I agree with all your remarks but two:
- I checked my Reaper project, the number of bars of the intro is pair
- I do play everything on two-handed piano before arranging

The rest is true: I overwrite, tending to be at a quasi-end-of-piece climax at 0:30. In this piece as well as in the previous ones. 18 months ago, it was due to music fatigue, but I now write quickly with awareness of the focus line and very little playback so I'd put music fatigue out of the equation. The fact is: I get 1 or 2 hours per week for music production, no more (it's worse these days because of a tough examination approaching which - if succeeded - would get me a permanent post in one of my jobs). So, as soon as I've cleaned the dust over the keyboard, I find myself in a terrible haste, mood being like: "let's get this done quickly, time is precious". I know this is entirely psychological, there is no necessity in any way to be in a haste, but I can't get rid of this feeling, so in 2 hours you'll see me in an overwriting frenzy putting down one minute of orchestration going very quickly from pp to fff with a lot of thickening going on through it.

If I read you correctly between the lines, being clearer regarding the structure (the dynamic structure?) would help bridging the blocks?

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FriFlo
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Re: Bridge

Post by FriFlo » Sat 9 Mar 2019 21:42

raphael.badawi wrote:
Sat 9 Mar 2019 09:47
If I read you correctly between the lines, being clearer regarding the structure (the dynamic structure?) would help bridging the blocks?
A consisive structure and transparent orchestration together with harmony is essential to a piece like this in general. What I wanted to tell you is, that with the ears of the first time listener, you keep on stumbling from one part to the next. This is not the time, where you think about bridges, until you have a found a general idea of what the first entrance of your melody should sound like. Once that is clear, you think what the next part should be, that fits to this entrance. Probably, a repetition of the melody with a bit more intensity, is what you should go for and that will make any bridge not even a necessity. Why don't you structure your piece from the beginning till the end in a simple reduction, only including the melody (including counterpoint, where there are essential figures you want to stand out next to the main melody) and basic ideas, like rhythm of the accompaniment and rough ideas of what the arrangement is at this place. For dense and complicated moments in the piece (NOT in the beginning!!!) you might even be very vague in your sketch, like writing a certain harmony and noting in words, there should be a busy counterpoint in multiple voices of that progression. Don't start working out details like that, that do require you a lot of time to achieve.
It is important to be able to look at that on a piece of paper! Then start going through it in your head (maybe sing, if you like that). Try to establish the piece in your inner ear and work on that sketch and the form. Only when you have a clear idea what each section should sound like and where which intensity is proper, you start working out the details.
By the way .. you are of course right, that your intro has 8 2/4 bars (or 4 4/4 bars) and is therefore an even number matching the following melody, however, it is split into 5+3, which makes the moment of the melody entrance weird. I am of course not saying that it has to be always even numbers and those 5+3 cannot work. Just in this case, the whole thing doesn't for mentioned reasons.

Raph
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Re: Bridge

Post by Raph » Sun 10 Mar 2019 09:03

By the way .. you are of course right, that your intro has 8 2/4 bars (or 4 4/4 bars) and is therefore an even number matching the following melody, however, it is split into 5+3, which makes the moment of the melody entrance weird.

Well, I was totally unaware of this unbalance... Thanks for pointing it out so I can at least realize the problem.

I do a structure, and play everything with left hand harmony and right hand melody. So I guess I don't put enough imagination at this stage to ask the right questions: "how is this sentence supposed to sound? considering how I play it on the piano, how dense is it dynamically?" Maybe because I don't put enough time on the piano sketch (the perpetual haste is strong with me). I'll try to take more time on this step.

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