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I have created this site in order to provide performers, listeners and composers with a description of a composer's experiences with the creative process. The posts will provide discussions of the inspirations, challenges, and successes of a composer from the inception of the piece to the culmination in performance. I will provide a link to where you can see and hear the works in progress. Comments and questions are always welcomed. They will not posted unless you grant me permission.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Poem 3 verse 2

I usually begin my composing day by reviewing what I have composed thus far. I do this because it orients me to where I left off and because I usually hear something that I could do better. Measure 11 was bothering me because the soprano "D" on beat one was interfering with the "D" on the downbeat of measure 12. The same note in close proximity (sustained and rhythmically strong) can make a melodic line less interesting. I first tried to change the "D" in measure 12, but soon realized that it was the "D" in measure 11 that needed changing. I brought that down to a "C" and changed the next note to "Bb". I also had to slightly change the accompaniment to fit with the changed melody. I think this was an improvement. I'd be curious to see if you (the reader) agrees with me.

I stated yesterday that I was avoiding using the piano to create a timbral change between the 2nd poem and this one. The section I was working on called out for a piano chord that would lead into the flute and clarinet interlude. That piano chord then became an important germ idea for the rest of this section. You will notice that the piano chord consists of perfect 4ths in each hand and is in the middle to high register. I exploit this open interval sound for the accompaniment, sometimes as 4ths and other times as fifths. The intervals change to thirds only at the climax at the end of this section. I am consciously avoiding any low register piano as I am saving this for the more somber sections of the poem.

The flute and clarinet are used more sparingly in this verse, serving as interludes and inserting "color" commentary on key words. The imitative interlude at measures 21 & 22 which begins on the 3rd eighth note occurs two more times, but starts on different beats each time (beat 2 at measures 26 & 27 and beat 4 at measures 32 & 33). This Stravinskian technique of shifting a rhythmic figure to different starting beats is a nice way to add variety to music while having a repetition. It works particularly well here because it rhythmically sets up each of the vocal entrances that follow it.

To see and hear what is discussed, go to http://www.cooppress.net/fourpoemsblog.html

Dr. B

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