I have finished the last movement of Elements and I am pleased with the results. This movement represents the Earth element whose main characteristic is stability. To represent stability musically, I used a lot of ostinatos during the movement. While this movement contains a lot of repetition, if one listens carefully, one becomes aware that the repetitions are constantly being varied.
The slow seven measure introduction presents some of the main motives used in this movement. It is ethereal, almost like the formation of the Earth itself. The most obvious ostinato is the one that appears in the baritone saxophone at measure 8. This two measure pattern repeats 7 times with some subtle variations before the tenor saxophone takes it over at measure 22. The soprano saxophone presents another ostinato at measure 10. Notice that its repeat does not line up with the 3/4 meter. It is answered by a third ostinato in the tenor sax and later in canon with alto sax 2.
At measure 13, a rising motive that is harmonized in 4ths and has its origins in the introduction, becomes the first melodic material that is not an ostinato. At measure 22, the movement becomes more lyrical with less use of the ostinato figures. Measures 34-44 provides relief from the ostinatos and is more lyrical with richer harmony and the use of imitation. The ostinato ideas then return and build to the Presto climax.
I am now using flip pdf technology for the musical examples that go
along with my posts. It uses Flash Player that most browsers come
with. You will be hearing an mp3 of sampled sounds playing the music
and you will see the score at the same time. You will need to turn
the pages by clicking on the arrows at the appropriate time. To see
and hear what I have discussed, go to http://www.cooppress.net/elements_blog.html.
As always, your comments are appreciated.