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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.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Chorale Preludes in Modern Settings Movement 5

This is the 5th movement of a 15-20 minute composition for a four-part flute ensemble at an intermediate (early high school) level. The piece is called "Chorale Preludes in Modern Settings" that would have five to eight short movements where each movement would be based on a hymn or hymns and would use the hymn in a creative manner, rather than just a chorale-like setting. The music would still be mostly tonal and lyrical. Each Chorale Prelude can be performed individually and the composition short work equally as well in a church or concert setting.

The required instrumentation is at least 3 flutes plus a 4th flute, alto flute, and/or bass flute as these three instruments play the same line. There is also an optional piccolo part that mostly doubles the first flute an octave higher in spots.

Come Thou Almighty King begins with a festive introduction followed by three settings of the tune. The introduction establishes a motivic idea in the first flute that permeates the composition. The introduction has parts of the tune interspersed as well. It lasts from the beginning until measure 16.

The first setting of the tune goes from measure 19 through 35. The first two phrases are interrupted by a return to the introductory motive. The remaining phrases have the sixteenth note motive interwoven into the parts.

A change of key, dynamics, and style is used for the second statement that goes from measure 36 to 52. This section is more expressive and mostly slurred as opposed to the marcato/maestoso style of the outer sections. The first flute plays an obligato that is derived from the introductory material.

Measures 52 and 53 serve as a transition back to the maestoso and uses syncopation. The last setting is the most straight-forward. Flutes 2, 3 and 4 do the hymn in harmony while the first flute does a descant, again derived from the introductory material. A deceptive cadence at measures 69 and 70 that uses a major triads built on the lowered 6th degree and then the lowered 2nd degree of the scale, creates a surprise ending. The sudden dynamic change adds to the surprise.

I export my Sibelius Music Notation file as a movie (new to version 7.5). I also use Noteperformer software for the sounds. These are sample sounds, but the software also includes an algorithm that reads ahead in the music and phrases the music according to context, therefore making the realization closer to live performance. I  upload these videos to youtube and embed the video for each movement. I hope that this technology allows the reader to have an easier experience and a more realistic performance. To see and hear what I have discussed, go to http://www.cooppress.net/Chorale_Preludes_blog.html

As always, your comments are appreciated.
Dr. B

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