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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.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

American Vignettes for Brass Quintet Movement 3

Movement 3 is the tuba feature and is called "Spirituals". I use three different spirituals in this movement, "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen". "Cotton Needs Picking" and "Every Time I Feel the Spirit." When I work with folk music that is so direct in its communication, I find it difficult to change the music too much because it looses its feel. My tendency then is combine tunes to make something unique.

The movement begins with the solo tuba doing the chorus of "Nobody Knows". The tuba is unaccompanied until measure 4 where the Horn enters with a counter-melody of my own. Measure 4 is stretched into a 5/4 measure for variety. Measure 8 is a 6/4 bar to end the introduction and accommodate the pick-ups of "Every Time." This is now in an Allegro tempo with a double time feel as the trombone plays an eighth note bass line. At M. 17 the Horn then the trumpet plays the verse of "Every Time" with the tuba filling in on long notes. M. 25 is an elaborated version of the tune in the tuba.

At M 33, I alternate phrases between the trumpets and tuba using the verse of "Nobody Knows." I alternate the harmony between major and minor in the trumpets and write a technical flourish for the tuba. M. 41 is similar but up a whole step.

After a two measure vamp at M 49, the tuba plays the chorus of "Cotton" in a call and response manner with the other brass. The roles reverse at M 59 with the tuba shouting in the upper register. This section modulates and incorporates a swing feel. The tuba has the final say in the manner of a cadenza.

To see and hear what I have discussed, go to http://www.cooppress.net/american_vignettes_blog.html. You will be viewing a transposed score.


As always, your comments are appreciated.

Dr. B

1 comment:

Helen said...

I'm looking forward to seeing this published.