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 Post subject: Arbitrary line of arranging compositions...
PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 3:38 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 1:03 pm
Posts: 2388
Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
Dear all,

I was thinking the other day (yes, I know it is a rare event) about arrangements of compositions. I would like to have your opinion.


What makes an arrangement an arrangement?

If say, for example, I took Chopin's Barcolle, and changed 75 notes, would that be called an arrangement?

If it is called an arrangement at 75 notes, then would it be still an arrangement at 74 notes changed? If so, then what about 73? 72? etc.

Can I even just change a handful of notes (say instead of playing a "c" with the left hand, I'd arrange it so the left hands plays an octave) and it would still be Chopin-Grocholski Barcolle.

Just a thought.

Yours?

Thanks.

-,me

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 Post subject: Re: Arbitrary line of arranging compositions...
PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 3:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 7:59 pm
Posts: 322
Location: toronto
Haha! Hey Juufa, I like the question. :)

I am not sure I can answer it, but I seem to remembering Bill Evans saying something about how he discovered he could change a tune by simply adding 1 note.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QdM0oxWOZw

Listen to about the first 2 minutes of it.


juufa72 wrote:
Dear all,

I was thinking the other day (yes, I know it is a rare event) about arrangements of compositions. I would like to have your opinion.


What makes an arrangement an arrangement?

If say, for example, I took Chopin's Barcolle, and changed 75 notes, would that be called an arrangement?

If it is called an arrangement at 75 notes, then would it be still an arrangement at 74 notes changed? If so, then what about 73? 72? etc.

Can I even just change a handful of notes (say instead of playing a "c" with the left hand, I'd arrange it so the left hands plays an octave) and it would still be Chopin-Grocholski Barcolle.

Just a thought.

Yours?

Thanks.

-,me


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 Post subject: Re: Arbitrary line of arranging compositions...
PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9572
Location: Netherlands
juufa72 wrote:
If say, for example, I took Chopin's Barcolle, and changed 75 notes, would that be called an arrangement?

I'd call that an infringement.


juufa72 wrote:
Can I even just change a handful of notes (say instead of playing a "c" with the left hand, I'd arrange it so the left hands plays an octave) and it would still be Chopin-Grocholski Barcolle.

Like, submitting a recording and passing off all the mistakes as creative changes ? Nice try :lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:14 pm
Posts: 533
Location: Illinois
I agree with Chris about just changing notes. They could even be notes used by the composer at some time during the composing process.

In my mind, an arrangement takes a central idea or theme and recasts it into a different composition. It often involves a change of media (piano for an orchestral work) or a basic song or hymn. Thus to some extent, Bach's choral preludes could be considered arrangements of Choral and Hymn tunes. Also, virtually any jazz or pop song worked for any instrument or combination of intstruments is an arrangement.

A transcription, on the otherhand is an attempt to interpret the original composition using a different medium. In the case of the Bach organ works transcribed by Busoni, Tausig, et. al. They didn't just re-write the organ parts onto 2 staffs and adjust any incovenient intervals for the piano, but rather added a substantial amount in order to give a sense of the pipe organs registration. Similar work happens when transcribing from orchestra to piano or such. Granted certain figurations may change -- say a string tremolo, which is a rapid repetition of the same note, vs. a piano tremolo, which involves a rapid repetition between two notes an octave or other interval apart.

As always, there are gray areas. Is Bach's concerto for 4 harpsichords, based off of Vivaldi's concerto for 4 violins, a transcription or an arrangement, or even a new compostion. If it were a transcription, then the 4 harpsichords would be playing the violin parts (which would be rather a waste of resources since getting 4 violins together in the same room is substantially easier than getting 4 harpsichords together in the same building.) At the very least, I would consider that to be an arrangement since the harpsichords do perform harpsichord type music writing in order to sound like harpsichords and not to give the impression of violins.

Just a thought.

Scott


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