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Digital Music- Escape from Paradise


Digital Music

Escape from Paradis

by: James H. 



Escape from Paradise


When composing this piece, I had a multitude of things to think about to make sure the music came out the way I wanted.  I had to make sure that everything, while not necessarily being perfect, but coming close to what I planned and envision it being.  I’m proud of what it turned out to be.

The first step of my process was composing a part that was constant throughout and provided a nice, stable beat I could use as a backbone. For this, I used a snare drum and bass drum which provided a nice beginning, and also provided a way to transition different parts of the composition.  An example of this would be the beginning, where I used my snare drum and bass drum combo to start off the piece, then proceed to use it to help transition to the low brass part.

The second step of my process, which was probably the easiest, was establishing a main theme in the low brass part.  Low brass is the second most important thing when composing music, as it also serves as a backbone alongside percussion. Although the low brass has the same rhythm as percussion (as do most of the parts, but I’ll get to that), I’m able to use the rhythm to provide a nice, dramatic entrance to my piece.

The third step of my process was to establish a theme, or how I wanted my music to sound.  When working on the low brass and percussion rhythms, I decided that I wanted my composition to take a dramatic approach.  Which brings me to the trumpet and woodwind parts. I wanted my woodwinds (besides the saxophone,) to support my trumpet and saxophone duet going on in the background.  I made the trumpet and saxophone have the same parts because I felt that the sound from the trumpet and saxophone would blend nicely together and make a nice, strong sound.  I decided that the two woodwinds would play whole notes that would blend with the trumpet, saxophone, and low brass parts, while the trumpet, saxophone, and lowbrass would play the same rhythm but have different notes.

The fourth step, and my last, was just to add some small details to help sell the piece.  I made a checklist of things that needed to be done, and it went like this:

  1. Make sure everything blends and sounds well,

  2. Make sure every dynamic for each instrument sounded right and didn’t obscure any important parts,

  3. Add small details, such as crescendos and decrescendos to give the music alittle variety,

  4. Make sure every note was correct (especially in the tuba part),  and

  5. Make sure every note that had accidentals was correct and matched their respective parts.


After that, I felt that my composition was complete and nothing further was needed except to publish it and see how it sounded.

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