As I worked some more on the fourth movement today, I realized that three weeks ago, I had diverted from the original score, and had kept working on a backup version by accident. So that was interesting. Thankfully, I had not kept writing on the original score, so the backup version works out, and now that I have renamed it, it’s easier to find in my file system.
(I guess there had been a glitch in my system, so that when Windows suggested what file to pull up when I typed in “sib” for Sibelius, it didn’t pull up the original file, but a backup one instead.)
I decide to listen to the other movements to see how I’m faring with getting a “fast and furious” ending to the string quartet. I’m wondering how long to write it. At a quarter note equals 120, you have to fit in an awful lot of eighth notes or sixteenth notes to fill say, seven minutes. I don’t count them, because what’s the point? I don’t know if I want seven minutes even. It’s not quite three minutes long, and it’s taken me a long time to get even that far.
As I was studying what I had written so far, I realized that I had kept the violins pretty low for most of the movement. Not even getting on the E string hardly at all. So I worked in some higher notes in the next little bit of music. I also noticed that the theme in the fourth movement really sounds like a part of the first movement in particular, and that makes me happy.
I am excited about tonight, because we’re going to try and read the first three movements as a string quartet. So maybe my time would be better spent just practicing and warming up instead of writing more notes, since it’s highly unlikely I could finish the piece tonight anyway. I push through and write in the cello part where I kind of know what to do and then I decide to just print it off even if it’s unfinished. Or is it? It’s an interesting question that deserves more time, but in any case, I think it’s better to present nearly three minutes of music and say you may get more later, than to not give it out with the excuse that it isn’t done.
As a student of composition, my works often went through a couple of iterations of reading before completion. You learn invaluable things by letting a performer try it out.
Perhaps I’ll know what to do with the rest of the last movement after playing what I have so far with my quartet friends.