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8

MattPutnam's answer covered technical aspects very nicely. Here I have some further thoughts that are often overlooked. String quartets require you to be careful about more than notes. Even though the three (there are two violins in the quartet) instruments belong to the same family, they have each their own perks: they respond differently to dynamics; ...


6

When you ask about "moods" of keys, it's important to qualify what era of music (or more specifically, what tuning system) you are asking about. This is because a large portion of what gave keys their individual color was the interval relations they contained, as a result of a specific tuning system. In the Baroque Era, when keys had distinct moods because ...


5

"Musical Theater" is as broad of a category as they come. From the almost primitively classical works of Gilbert and Sullivan to modern avant garde styles that defy analysis, and every classical and popular style in between. You'll need to specify a composer or show that you want to sound similar to in order to get a specific answer. One thing I'll point ...


3

This is a little bit like asking, "when should a sunset be painted orange vs pink?" The word 'should' suggests that there is some normative standard which we can all agree on when it comes to the selection of a key. But there isn't; it's a matter of personal preference. There are some practical considerations that you might consider. Certain combinations of ...


3

Aside from all of the standard voice leading stuff, all you really need to be aware of is the physical limitations of the instruments. And for strings, there's not a lot that you have to avoid. Know the tunings of the strings, so you can avoid writing impossible double stops (two notes that must be played on the lowest string). Commonly, people write ...


1

Now D♭ major, that's a woody kind of key. The brass likes B♭ and a bit of E♭, but D♭ contains enough flats to act as a brass repellent. Not tinny at all. On the keyboard, it is about the simplest key of all as opposed to C major where all keys feel the same. But the scores read awful. Like the French language: you can speak it when suitably drunk, but ...



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