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:new: If you haven't written a piece for this prompt yet, you've got two or three days more to do so: there's still a few bits and pieces to pull together for the upcoming contest, which as a result probably won't be up until Friday, and I figure the intervening time will be better spent writing than twiddling our collective thumbs and having lives. So there it is. My love to all of you!

There's only five days left to submit to this prompt, and I'm sad to report we've had just two entries so far. You make me weep My Little Pony tears, people. Anyway, I realised that the resources offered below were heavy on the musical jargon and light on the actually making any sense and I decided to take action before it was too late. Below is a cheat sheet  to some of the more common musical forms, compilated and barbarised by yours truly. May it aid you in all your endeavours!

Cheat Sheet

Binary: AB. Two equal, contrasting parts of around the same length. These two parts will have different tunes, but (usually) the same rhythm and character. Easy peasy--just two different halves that more or less relate.
Ternary: ABA. Three equal parts where the third is a repeat or variation of the first, and the second provides contrast. The second part may vary in speed, rhythm and character to the first and third. Similar to the triptychs we played with a while back!
Rondo: ABACADAetc... In Rondo form, a repeated, more or less unchanged theme is alternated with new ideas,  Sometimes the repeated theme is embellished or varied more each time it returns. It's similar to the chorus in a pop song, only instead of matching verses to go with it there's a succession of new ideas.
Theme and Variations: AA1A2A3 As the title suggests, an endless series of variations on the same idea. Often the same length and tune is kept, but the style is changed. Feel free to experiment, though!
Sonata form: The trickiest one I'll mention here. In a basic sense Sonata form is similar to a Ternary form--an exposition, where the main musical ideas are set out, a development, where those ideas are developed further and in constrast to their original presentations, and a recapitulation, which restates the main themes and brings it all home. Often, the exposition will contain two main themes to be explored later on. Those themes could be words, ideas, symbols or whole lines to you--interpret it as you will!

Hopefully that gives you a few good ideas. If not, I'm free to discuss any other thoughts you might have below!

:heart: zebrazebrazebra



At around this time three years ago, a younger, thinner, infinitely more harried version of myself was putting the finishing touches to a piece of poetry which, although I didn't know it at the time, would eventually form the foundation for a little something called transliterations. It was my portfolio piece for a first year creative writing class, and it was a translation--structure, time signatures, sentiments and all--of Beethoven's 6th Symphony. It was a month late and it had driven me batty long before that, but it was the start, I think, of something special. This group was and will always be a brave effort to make others attempt works of madness. Today, it's this madness: the madness that started it all.

On that note: Prompt Exercise No. 7!

Your task: to write a piece of prose or poetry which adheres to a specific musical structure. There's a list below to get you started, but more or less anything goes. Why not write a short story in the form of a tango, or a 12 bar blues poem? What about a concerto where the soloist is a different style of writing to the orchestra, or a fugue where several lines can be read at once? The basic binary, ternary and rondo forms are there to fall back on, of course, but don't be limited by them: the world is your pulsing, two-four time oyster!

Because ex-music students have to use their knowledge somehow, I will be making myself available throughout this prompt to give you help either finding or understanding whichever musical form you have in mind. Some of the Wikipedia articles below default to musical diagrams or jargon, so I'm happy to act as interpreter for anyone who needs it. And, because this is a personal pet prompt for me and I need an excuse like I need a third head, I'll also be handing out bonuses to any particularly creative or ambitious submissions!

Some Basic Musical Forms

Binary
Ternary
Rondo
Minuet and Trio

More Challenging Choices

Fugue
Sonata
Symphony

List of Musical Forms by Era
Why Not Find Your Own?

Submit your finished work to the Transliterations Prompt 7 folder. As usual, all pieces submitted by the deadline receive a news feature and a journal feature from myself.

The deadline for this prompt is June 20th. If you have any questions, like 'How do I submit to the group?' or 'Is there a God?' or even 'What do you call the space under the kettle?', leave a comment here and we'll do our best to answer them. Failing that, stay safe and happy transliterating!
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:iconangelstained:
angelStained Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2011   Writer
haha, seems like the cheat sheet worked quite well. :B Four today!
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:iconzebrazebrazebra:
zebrazebrazebra Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2011  Professional Writer
Let joy be unconfined!
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:iconwreckling:
wreckling Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011   Writer
Mine will theoretically be done tomorrow night. I say theoretically because choosing Bernstein for form was a horrible idea on my part.
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:iconzebrazebrazebra:
zebrazebrazebra Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2011  Professional Writer
Not just theoretically, but actually!

(Divers alarms, cheering of grateful townspeople, etc.)
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:iconwreckling:
wreckling Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2011   Writer
(clap-clap-clap, clap-clap, clap clap-clap, etc.)
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:iconzebrazebrazebra:
zebrazebrazebra Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2011  Professional Writer
...I am gonna beat you from here to Kingdom Come for that one.
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:iconwreckling:
wreckling Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2011   Writer
...okay, even I can't let that one go. That was bad. I apologize.
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:iconzebrazebrazebra:
zebrazebrazebra Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2011  Professional Writer
On your knees, dog.

Seriously, that was awful.

I can't stop giggling.
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:iconwreckling:
wreckling Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2011   Writer
Mission accomplished.
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:iconwreckling:
wreckling Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2011   Writer
I don't see how you're surprised, we already had the Cage and Glass jokes, I had to make a Reich joke. The Riley joke will happen once I've thought of one, you'll just have to wait in c.
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:iconcailinliath:
CailinLiath Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011
I'll probably fall behind this prompt as well. I have something started. Sort of, anyway. Can prompt #10 be "Go back and finish that translit prompt you've had sitting on your desk for months, you lazy sod!"?
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:iconzebrazebrazebra:
zebrazebrazebra Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2011  Professional Writer
Maybe I should just make a second transliterations group that runs about a month behind this one, so you can feel like you're always on time?

:heart:
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:iconcailinliath:
CailinLiath Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2011
somehow I'll just manage to be doubly late.
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:iconzebrazebrazebra:
zebrazebrazebra Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2011  Professional Writer
So maybe I should make a third transliterations group...

Your work is welcome no matter what time it arrives.
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:iconcailinliath:
CailinLiath Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2011
maybe when you've got a 6th group going, i'll be something like on time. :P but better late than never i suppose.
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:iconkraven42:
KRaven42 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I'm working on mine! Don't worry, I'll definitely have something to submit for this. I'm just needing some extra time. ;)
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I've had something half written for like...a week now :faint: so busy....
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:iconangelstained:
angelStained Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011   Writer
Alright, seems like I am going to comment lots on this blog. Can the length refer to syllables instead of the visual letters?
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:iconzebrazebrazebra:
zebrazebrazebra Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011  Professional Writer
It can refer to whatever you want it to!
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:iconangelstained:
angelStained Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011   Writer
YAY I'M DONE. Happyface. Don't kill me.
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:iconfindmeastorm:
findmeastorm Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011
I wish I could join in for this one but I have the musicality of a gnat and no ability to translate any musical forms. Sorry. :(
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:iconzebrazebrazebra:
zebrazebrazebra Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011  Professional Writer
Naww. Not even to see if you can?
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:iconfindmeastorm:
findmeastorm Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011
I tried, but it just does my head in. :( Sorry.
Reply
:iconvigilo:
Vigilo Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011  Student Writer
If it's not too much bother.. does anyone have an example of tango music? ^^; All I can find is tango "dance", which, while very nice, is not what I want as I have no clue if the music played is tango music or not! Also, is tango music just two beats/four beats (using the time signatures 2/4 and 4/4) of various instruments? Wikipedia's not really giving me much in terms of musical structure, so I'm at a loss if there's anything else I should know.. Sorry, sorry! Lovely prompt as always. :love:
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:iconzebrazebrazebra:
zebrazebrazebra Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011  Professional Writer
As far as I can tell (I'm operating with limited resources here) most tangos are in ternary form (ABA, as mentioned already.) You're right about the time signatures.

Examples? I'd recommend listening to anything by Astor Piazzolla. Again, my internet is not being cooperative tonight, but I know there's recordings on Youtube. Some people don't think of nuevo tango as pure tango, but it's great listening either way.

Hope that helps!
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:iconvigilo:
Vigilo Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2011  Student Writer
Thank-you, it does indeed! You're amazing. Will listen to him ASAP. I am toying with the idea of mixing this prompt with the "Composite Creatures" contest thing... it'll be a fun (if hurried seeing as I have three days to do this :lol:) challenge!

:heart:
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:iconsymphonyinwilde:
SymphonyInWilde Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011  Student Writer
Oh I'm so working on this today. Whilst I'm supposed to be tidying up my house after neglecting it in favour of my dissertation. Wonderful prompt :D
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:iconzebrazebrazebra:
zebrazebrazebra Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011  Professional Writer
I can't wait! (And part of me wants to ask if it'll be a wild symphony...)
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:iconsymphonyinwilde:
SymphonyInWilde Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011  Student Writer
Haha, I forget I have this name, and that it's appropriate to the theme... I glanced at symphony but then I found something else that fits my purposes much better ;)
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:iconzebrazebrazebra:
zebrazebrazebra Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011  Professional Writer
Ooh, you titillate me so!
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:iconlonealphawolf:
lonealphawolf Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011
:giggle: 3, I think!
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:iconzebrazebrazebra:
zebrazebrazebra Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011  Professional Writer
Three what?
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:iconangelstained:
angelStained Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2011   Writer
Sorry- if I try Ternary form, does that mean my poem / prose has three parts? Then the first and third parts have similar lengths / meter while the second part is completely different? :shakefist:
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:iconzebrazebrazebra:
zebrazebrazebra Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2011  Professional Writer
Yep, that's pretty much it! Second part usually contrasts in theme and character.
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:iconangelstained:
angelStained Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2011   Writer
...awesome. :dummy: Now just to get started...
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:iconpaperdart:
PaperDart Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2011   Writer
So now, suppose I was completely insane and wanted to write a mathematical essay using the structure of a fugue. If I was totally off my rocker, I might try to actually make it sound interesting and readable. And suppose I'd done some music theory as a kid, so I thought I knew what was going on even when I didn't really. Then, hypothetically, I might think about doing something like the following. How far off would I be?


I might want to write about two related theorems, which I could call voices: the Cauchy-Schwartz inequality and the Cauchy inequality. Then my exposition might be stating each theorem, possibly with a bit of explanation.

In the development, I would go about proving the theorems, which would obviously rely on the actual statements of the theorems in the exposition. I might put in a second middle entry with applications of the theorems. In that case I'd probably do a kind of counter-exposition thing and switch the order in which I deal with them.

At the end I would restate the theorems with short comments as a conclusion, which would be the recapitulation.
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:iconzebrazebrazebra:
zebrazebrazebra Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2011  Professional Writer
You are my utter hero. Tell me you're doing this.
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:iconpaperdart:
PaperDart Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2011   Writer
I so am! Might need a prelude or something to explain some background to the maths, though. Is that cheating? I could leave it out, but the essay would get rather inaccessible.
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:iconzebrazebrazebra:
zebrazebrazebra Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2011  Professional Writer
Make it a Toccata. Toccata and Fugue = perfectly acceptable and not cheating!
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:iconpaperdart:
PaperDart Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2011   Writer
You're amazing! Yes.
Reply
:iconreinventreinvigorate:
ReinventReinvigorate Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
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:iconzebrazebrazebra:
zebrazebrazebra Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2011  Professional Writer
Stay classy.
Reply
:iconreinventreinvigorate:
ReinventReinvigorate Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I got there in the end, you fiend. Three days to spare, and I'm pretty sure it reads like I was the drunkest ever, but I got something down for it, and nobody can say I didn't.
Reply
:iconzebrazebrazebra:
zebrazebrazebra Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2011  Professional Writer
I'm not a fiend, I'm just fiendish!

:heart: Your artist's comments made me so happy. You done got the right attitude, boy.
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:iconreinventreinvigorate:
ReinventReinvigorate Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Is fiendish not a word used solely to describe the ways of fiends?

Thanks. It's funny, I always post things for these prompts feeling unsure of them, but I tend to warm to them eventually. This one, on a re-read, is becoming one of my favourite things I've written in a long while.
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:iconzebrazebrazebra:
zebrazebrazebra Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2011  Professional Writer
Don't you pull dictionary definitinons on me, young man.

I'm so pleased! Now, if only I could write one of my own...
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:iconkraven42:
KRaven42 Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
What do you call the space under the kettle?

This is an interesting prompt. One that I'll greatly enjoy! Being a musician, myself. A lot of my work has been inspired by music, so trying to fit the literature into a musical form will be a fun challenge. :la:
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:iconzebrazebrazebra:
zebrazebrazebra Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2011  Professional Writer
Hooray, another musician! Can't wait to see what you come up with.
Reply
:iconkraven42:
KRaven42 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
:highfive:

Musicians are the coolest. I hope I'll come up with something interesting.
I may try something a little more obscure and challenging. :D
Reply
:iconzebrazebrazebra:
zebrazebrazebra Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2011  Professional Writer
Do, do!
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