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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, May 27, 2016

Inventions - Movement 5 - The Airplane

This is the fifth 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.

I created this last movement from a 2002 composition called "Celebration of Flight" that was written for alto saxophone and violin to commemorate the 100th anniversary of controlled flight. At the request of Shelley Jagow, the saxophonist, I transcribed the work for soprano, alto, and tenor saxophones and it is this version that became the basis for "The Airplane" movement of Inventions. Only the last movement of Celebration of Flight was used.

The Airplane movement begins with a celebratory section in 7/8 and 6/8 representing the success of the Wright Brothers. After this festive beginning, a sustained melody represents the first flight that lasted 12 seconds with Orville at the controls. This melody also lasts 12 seconds. Accompanying the sustained melody is the steady staccato eighth note rhythm representing the sound of the motor. After a short celebratory interlude, another sustained “melody of flight” occurs with Wilbur is at the controls. The staccato eighth note “motor” accompaniment changes into a flowing triplet figure during 59-second flight, the longest of 1903. The “flight” melody now lasts 59 seconds as well. After a “soft” landing of the “flight” melody, the “celebration” theme ends the movement in a festive and exciting manner.

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

Dr. B

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