I asked in a separate question whether Theme and Variations would be the best fitting form for my "Dance of Nature" movement. I decided that the multi-movement work this is part of would be a symphony, a symphony about nature. When I think of nature in musical terms, I think of a melody that has multiple layers in harmony, sort of the bridge between a homophonic texture(Melody and Bass) and counterpoint(Multiple independent melodies). This is the question that I am mentioning:
In that question, I mentioned that I am starting with a bass line and then adding melodic and instrumental complexity. That means that the first variation is where the basic melody is brought in. This basic melody is played by the violas while the cellos and basses play the bass line.
The bass line in one way or another, always exists in the piece. It is what unifies all the variations. Now, I have written down the first 10 bars of both the bass line and the melody(For a symphonic movement, I should probably have somewhere around 30 bars per variation(ABA') + however many are needed for a convincing coda, so this first 10 bars would probably be an A section). Here are the first 10 bars of the first variation as a piano reduction:
After looking at the melody I'm like:
Why did I write down so many non-chord tones? Eighth notes at that? sigh This is a good melody, don't get me wrong. It is a good melody and it harmonically fits the bass line which is what I wanted in my basic melody entrance. But most of the notes are eighth notes. And most of those eighth notes are non-chord tones. sigh I'm going to have to simplify this melody down, aren't I?
I mean seriously, look at it. So many eighth notes. This looks more like a second or third variation to me than a basic melody entrance. It is hard for me to write a basic melody that is good for a Theme and Variations, because when I write the melody, I subconsciously put quite a few eighth notes in it(often to the point that eighth notes are the predominant note value). In piano music, this doesn't matter much as long as the tempo isn't too fast. In orchestral music though, this matters much more because it is hard to get fast articulations on some instruments. Tempo also plays a role. If the tempo is slow, you probably will want more eighth notes in your basic melody. If the tempo is fast, as it is for my "Dance of Nature" movement, you probably want more longer notes(quarter note and longer).
So I'm wondering, is this melody too elaborate for the basic melody entrance that is the first variation in my "Dance of Nature" movement? Or is it fine and I shouldn't worry myself over all the non-chord tones in the melody, despite the fast tempo and the piece(including all preceding movements) being for an orchestra?