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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, May 16, 2016

Inventions - Movement 1 - The Wheel

This is the first movement of a composition being composed as a result of a brass trio commissioning consortium. The title "Inventions' has a double meaning as a musical invention is a short contrapuntal composition that is usually based on a single theme. The second meaning is that each movement represents a significant invention. There will be five movements.

This first movement represents the wheel and is a perpetual motion in a fast 6/8 meter. It contains many sections of imitation. There are only two melodies in the movement and the rest consists of short motives. The first melody occurs divided between the trombone and trumpet from measure 3 - 11 and is extended and re-orchestrated in measures 12 - 22. Several motives appear in this section as well. One is the arpeggiated diminished seventh chord in even eighth notes that opens the composition. The second is a chromatic line in quarters and eighths that becomes straight eighths as an accompanying figure.

The second melody first appears in the trumpet at measure 32. It begins with a dotted rhythm that makes it distinctive. These two melodies and motives are combined and developed in different ways. The diminished seventh motive occurs with different articulations, for example. Dynamics are used to create variety. The ideas are used imitatively throughout most of the movement.

If one would try to analyze the harmony, one would have a difficult time because the movement is conceived linearly. Various modes are used for the melodies. The diminished seventh chord and chromaticism create a vague tonality. The ideas sometimes create a polytonality. The few chords that are used are basically quintal in structure.

The form of the movement is free, but sections do repeat with some variation. If one thinks of the first melody section as A and the second melody section as B, the form would be A transition B transition A' transition B' transition B'' transition B''' Coda.

Below is the transposed score and sampled sounds in video format. Your comments are always welcomed.

Dr. B

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