This version of Prelude #3 is much more convincing and cohesive than your first version. You have started to explore development of an idea, which is an important tool for the composer. In this case, you have kept the basic rhythmic motive throughout. You took the initial chromatically descending melodic line and altered it in such ways that, while creating that feeling of chromatic descent, you allow it to also ascend -- measure 6, you begin the descent, move up a major third and then descend again. Then at measure 14, you begin a rising sequence, related by minor 3rds that descends in each measure and yet rises higher and higher. (If you will work on being more careful with your selection of enharmonic note choices, the relationship by those minor thirds would be more obvious.)
This is an example of creating variety and contrast using only a few basic materials. You do not always need a completely contrasting section in a piece of music. There are whole sonata form movements built out of just a very few pieces of motivic raw material. One old artists adage is "creativity comes within restrictions." When you try limiting your materials, you will often find more creative and interesting ideas than allowing yourself everything and the kitchen sink. Good job.
Thanks for the praise, I think the first was missing some development and I tried to fix the first version with this in mind.
I hate to say it, but I have to agree that the ending does not work at all. Not a single thing is related to anything that preceeds it.
If you don't like the ending that is one thing, but I do not understand your claim that not a single thing is related to anything that precedes it.
In measure 17 you will notice that on beat 4 in the right hand there is a C. This note is the main idea of of the beat, the g in the left hand adds a fifth for strength. Consider the [and e] as nothing more than an ornament. So from C we go to a strong B in measure 18. The distance between a C and a B is a m2. think of it as a small part of a descending two note scale in C major. To me it is quite well related, in a stepwise way.
First, from measure 14, through your sequence, you have an ascending line. The first note of that next to last measure needs to be the highest note of that ascent.
I don't know what piece you are referencing this from, or if you are referencing a piece, but I am having trouble understanding what you mean.
Second, that B major chord comes out of nowhere, as does the B - Em (V - I). The piece has not had a single B natural in it. You do have the key signature for E minor (one sharp) and I believe that you may have chosen this because of your initial chord in measure 2 (the first full measure -- it appears that the incomplete measure is being counted as one by your softwares numbering) on the surface appears to be an E minor chord, when in reality its ambiguous -- E minor or E diminshed or even an A something (the first eighth note G being an incomplete neighbor resolving to the A).
I have trouble understanding your mode of analysis. Is V - I not the most common closing in classical music? Excepting IV-I? What do you make of the term "perfect authentic cadence? Though it would be V-I in e minor I would rather think of it as IV-I. The B chord is actually above the preceding e minor so it has the sound of a IV-I chord progression. I originally wrote this piece in c major so it would be VII-iii, in any case, its basically IV-I.
I believe that if you experiment more, you will find that the key of the piece is F (major or minor is not clear since it contains both A nat. and Ab throughout, but the overall minor feel of the piece is F minor)
The key signature of f minor is ab major and the key of this piece is either g major or f minor, so I don't see your reasoning on this point. I wrote an alternative version of this piece that ends in e major but I don't like it as much as this version.
Third, the texture throughout has been 3 part (the momentary division of beats 1 and 3 in some measures does not affect that feeling substantially). All of a sudden in your next to last measure, you technically have up to 11 voices -- the half-note B chord is six of them, and since they hold through the measure, the bass B and the "fanfare" add another 4 or 5. (OK, I may have gone a little overboard in my voice counting, there are other ways it could be done. Also, piano music is not strictly beholden to keep exactly a certain number of voices at all times
I think, and I may be wrong, but I imagine the reason you don't like the ending is because you heard the performance and I admit the ending is lacking in that 1. it is not at tempo-- admittedly it sounds kind of flabby, and 2. measure 16 sounds louder than 17, ideally measure 17 is the loudest, for a building crescendo effect. I'd record it again, but I don't think I'd get it much better.
I understand your concern about how it finishes the set, and that is good, but first keep the needs of the piece itself in mind. Not all sets need to have a grandiose ending. Some can actually end in a whisper to good effect.
There are some nice pieces that end in a whisper. Some of Chopin's preludes but I wrote the piece "allegro agitato" because it is supposed to sound like someone agitated as if by an itch that can never quite seem to ebb away.
As far as notation, the mixture of sharps and flats, particularly with enharmonic notes at the same time or changing from one to the other in mid measure (and not even at consistent points in parallel measures), is really obscuring what is happening harmonically. The only # that could possibly be justified in this piece is the D# in the pickup at the very beginning, and that in the key signature for F minor could be fully debated and shown to be unnecessary. All of the rest should be flats. Also, the only time that you change from one note to its enharmonic spelling in close proximity to each other is in the case of an "enharmonic modulation".
One way to think of a mixture of sharps and flats is that the piece was written by a beginning composer, another way is to say it was written by the composer to give the performer a challenge
But in all seriousness, take a look at literature by Bartok. His pieces, at least most of those I have seen are written in a minor/c major with a jumble of sharps and flats in odd places. Not that I am as good a composer as Bartok, but I don't think your analogy that writing two as too is quite the same as a composer writing for piano writing an a# and a few measures later writing a Bb. I would say it would be different for instruments other than the piano, but that is not who I am writing for in this set.
Sorry to be so long-winded, but I hope that I have given you some things to consider. I know that at times it can sound like the composing process is all about rules and how can you be creative with "rules" that go against what you are trying to do. Don't think of them as rules, but rather as principals. You follow the principals unless you have a good reason to do something else. There are even some principals in the arts for violating the "rules". The main one would be that whenever you chose to do something unusual, out of the norm, totally unheard of before...make sure your music show that you intended it to be that way -- make it a new norm.
Thanks for your input here. Sorry if I have given you the impression I have taken you down a peg or two, though I have taken music theory at the college level last year, and I feel like I can teach it, nevermind just understand it. I feel I still have a lot to learn, but that I have been given a solid foundation on the music theory dos and don'ts. If you can imagine, there would be days in the class when my teacher would go around the room and ask us to spell a diminished 7th chord in all of the different keys with about 3 seconds to get all four notes right, or he would move on to the next student. This was for points! It gets hard when you have to think about spelling a note in double sharps and flats..
Look forward to more theory discussions,