La Dama de Murumendi

Started by MarkMcD, October 01, 2023, 04:07:48 AM

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Hi all,

I've not posted anything in quite some time now so I hope you'll give my new work a chance.  I'm at the stage where I would reall like some help before I print off the final draft.

Musically I'm pleased with the work and I don't plan any great changes.  Obviously I'm open to any comments about the music/musicality of the piece but also, I'm not a great engraver.  I would like to know what you think I should amend in the score as much as I would like to know what you think musically.

I should explain that this is a 'playback score'.  I have sibelius play the music to my piano and I record live to

USB from the piano so this isn't a midi sound performance, it's the Yamaha CVP 501 concert grand.  To make the 'performance' as human as possible, I do take great pains to make the playback as authentic as I can.  That means that there are lots of accents and tenutos, lots of excessive pedal markings and oddly tied notes in some places and also many micro tempo changes that all go towards humanizing the playback.  Most of that would not appear in a real performance score.

I would like to produce a performance score so if you could look past all the above mentioned and help me out, I would really appreciate it.

A bit about the work.

It's a suite of short, impressionistic piano pieces under the title - La Dama de Murumendi (The Lady of Wall Mountain).  She is an ancient Basque Goddess that rules over the mostly inclement weather of that region.  The whole things last 15 minutes so it's not exactly short as a whole but each 'vignette' is only about 3 mins each.

The 1st piece is called 'Brisa'.  It represents the Goddess in the aspect of the wind.

The 2nd piece is called 'Lainoa'.  This is the Goddess in the aspect of mist and fog.

The 3rd piece is called 'Euria'.  The Goddess in the aspect of a rain storm.

The 4th piece is called 'Elurra'.  It's the Goddess in the aspect of snow and frost.

The 5th piece is called 'Berria'.  It's the Goddess in the aspect of renewal, the sun finally coming out.

I really would appreciate your opinions and any help you could give me.  Thanks in advance to anyone who listenes, I appreciate it.

The score

The music


I enjoyed the music!  I also thought, nice to hear a pianist play their music but interesting you say it's MIDI on a grand piano.  It's like a modern player piano.  The engraving is good, just some nitpicks, for tidiness, try to have similar items aligned.  Visually it looks a bit messy, such as bar 45 the tempi not aligned with each other.  Similarly, bar 29 the pedals not aligned together.  I don't think it's wrong, just messy.  You also barely have phrasing indications.  That could make sense in the first movement but in the more impressionistic or lyrical sections, would suggest adding more phrasing.  I like your range of register.  Like in the Euria movement, lots of high register which makes the material feel fresher as it slowly builds and opens up to a wider register. 

More nit picks, you have a few dangling ties and places where you want to leverage layers.  Like the right hand last chord, better to use layers than tie the notes.  I'm now talking about engraving standards so very, very nitpicky but since it sounds like you want to publish this and asked for feedback, I'd provide it for you to do with as you please. 

Very nice and engaging music!  Congratulations!


Thank you so much, I really appreciate your help and I will look out for those odd ties, your right, it should be 2 voices. I really would like to publish it, it's the first thing I've produced where I don't feel like too much of a fraud 😂 even though the genre is old I felt more like this was my voice rather than a pastiche. Yes it's still derivative but I tried hard to make it mine.

Anyway, I'm really pleased you liked it and thanks again for your help.

BTW the midi - I'm not sure I explained it well. I use Sibelius to write the music. I have my laptop hooked to the piano via USB midi port so that I can play and Sibelius writes (step by step) also sib can play the piano and use the pianos own voices so what you hear is the Yamaha concert grand (on my CVP 501) being played by Sibelius - I can play most of it but not all in one go and not at that tempo, the performance is mine (with all the tweeks in the score) but sadly not played live.


this is some of the best piano music I've heard for quite a while -- wonderfully refreshing and imaginative. And the performance is likewise. A superficial look at the score didn't reveal much that needs work but I'm not so interested in the engraving side so others will be better placed to comment here.


Thank you so much, I really appreciate it and no worries about the engraving, it's really good just to know that you listened and that you liked it 😊 it means a lot


My main comment was going to be about the ties too  - too many fussy ones indicating held harmonies where the pedal is doing the job anyway, and also where writing in split parts will give a much cleaner look (easier to read/play too). I think it could do with more marking up, too: it's dense, eventful, exciting music, so some expressive guidance will be very helpful (and inviting to the player). Occasionally my notation choices would have been different, but those things are very personal.

All of that is both important and also nit-picky - because it's a great looking piece, well done!


Thank you Luke,

You know, my reason for posting, what really is an unpolished piece, is mainly to get help in understanding where the polish needs to be applied.  I am now working on the details that have been pointed out to me and I thank you and all of you who have taken the time and made the effort to help me with this piece, I really do appreciate it.

I have tried, where possible, to undo most of the unnecessary ties and make a cleaner score.  I don't really think that anyone will ask me for a copy to learn, even less so, be willing to buy it, but at least I will have done the exercise and hopfully learned a little in the process.

Thanks again for you kind words, it means a lot.


I love this, Ravel and Leo Ornstein would be proud. A generic advice would be to just remember you can always change and evolve into a different style if you ever feel stuck/too similar to something.


I must apologise for the late reply, I only just saw your comment (Christmas and new year were busy)!

Thank you so much for listening, I really appreciate it.  I think it's no secret that I was heavily infulenced by Ravel throughout this piece, with a little bit of Boulanger here and there.  I'm sure everyone says this but I do try to have my own voice in the work, even though the piece is firmly in an already well explored genre, I hope it shows, at least every now and then.