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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.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Bandscapes Movements 4, 5, and 6

Since my last post, I am pleased to welcome the Richmond Concert Band, Richmond, VA Mark Poland, Conductor. That makes a total so far of 16. Other bands are still welcome to join and you can be part of the dedication page and receive score and parts for just $50.

The fourth movement is Clarinet Capriccio. Here is the poem:

Clarinets galore!
Soprano, alto, bass, and contrabass.
Woody sounds abound.
Fingers cover holes, flick keys;
Music to please.

Playful and humorous
Piercing and sonorous
Higher and lower
Leader and follower

The capriccio is an Italian movement that is lively and humorous. It is also a prefugal form. The Clarinet Capriccio is in a fast 2 with the exception of four measures of 3/8. This rhythmic change, along with the uses of melodic and harmonic fourths and fifths give the movement its playful quality. Measure 16 begins a section of three-part imitation. The return to the opening and a flourish conclude the movement. If the band has no low clarinets, this movement can still be played as the low clarinet parts are either doubled in the 3rd clarinet or cued in the euphonium and tuba.

The fifth movement movement is a Bassoon Bourée. Here is the poem:

The big bassoon
A cousin of the oboe
Both have two reeds
But its size makes it blow low.

When it plays a Bourée
A French dance from yesterday,
It sounds like grandpa chortling
With notes crisp and shortling.

The French Bourée is a dance in quick duple time with a single upbeat. While the two bassoons play a duet through most of the movement, it can be played with only one bassoon as the 2nd bassooon is cued in the bass clarinet and tuba. As the poem suggests, humor is present through the use of staccato. The wandering chromaticism, the jeering muted trumpets and the unexpected triangle all add to the charm of this movement. 

The sixth movement brings the tour of the woodwind section to a close with a Saxophone Samba. Here is the poem:

The last of a family of wood and wind.
How do the saxophones seem to fit in?
They are made from metal just like the flute
With keys and a reed, like a clarinet they toot.

At home in jazz and also a band
Banned from the orchestra, an outcast at hand.
With their mellow rich sound they surely please
Alto, tenor, and baritone dance a samba with ease.

If the band lacks tenor and/or baritone saxophones, those parts are cued in the euphonium and tuba. The movement begins with a syncopated pyramid that shows the saxophones from low to high. Then the section plays a gentle samba tune which is punctuated by syncopated muted brass. The full band has an interlude for two measures in the middle and joins the saxophones at the end. Jazzy harmonies dominate this movement.

I use 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 and you can use the zoom in feature to see more detail on larger scores. To see and hear what I have discussed, go to http://www.cooppress.net/Bandscapes_blog.html.

Please read earlier posts for information about earlier movements. As always, your comments are appreciated.

Dr. B

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