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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, June 17, 2016

Travelogue Movement 3 - The Alhambra

This is the third movement of a composition being composed as a result of a woodwind quintet commissioning consortium. The title of the piece is Travelogue and is an aural representation of interesting places from around the world. The places to be represented are the Sailing on the Mediterranean Sea, Rocky Mountain Starlight, and the Alhambra. The composition would be 10-12 minutes total. For more information about the consortium. please visit http://cooppress.net

I tried to create a movement that represents the strength of this famous fortress that has stood for hundreds of years through occupations of different powers. The movement has Spanish flavor because of the use of the Phrygian mode with its characteristic lowered second degree. The movement appears to be in A minor because of the key signature and the way the melodic line starts out, but the tonality and modality constantly shift over the the descending bass line that is 4,3,2,1 in the Phrygian mode.

There are three main thematic sections in this movement and each constantly vary. These thematic sections appear to use similar melodic ideas, but they are different in key and mood. Think of m. 4-11 as A and m. 22-30 as B. There is also a canonic section from m. 40-47 that we can call C. The resulting form is AA'BB'CB''A''A'''A''''B'''C''B''''A'''''Coda. Beginning at m. 80, the music seems quite different because of the running 16th notes, but it is really variants of the three sections.

Another key ingredient that is a constant yet also varies is the four note cadence idea at the end of each section. Notice how this is varied by repeating itself, changing key, elongating the rhythm, and the use of rests. When it elongates, it has the characteristic Spanish two feel against the 3 feel.

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

Dr. B

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