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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.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Alabama Songbook Suite Movement 6

This is the sixth movement of a multi-movement composition that I am writing for Jeremy Crawford. It is based on selections from The Alabama Songbook compiled by Byron Arnold. This movement is called "Niggljy Naggljy".

I was attracted to this song because of the title and also that I thought it would make a great scherzo movement.

In all the movements, I tried to have the song appear at the beginning, sometimes with accompaniment and other times without, since these pieces may be brought to schools and used as a demonstration of the songs and also the settings. I decided to begin this movement with the tuba alone. At measure 11, the piano plays a two-measure vamp before it accompanies the tuba on the melody. At 23 and 32, the piano plays the tune in a one-measure canon, first in G then in Ab. At 41, the tuba plays a variation of the tune with piano accompaniment in Eb. At 51, the accompaniment becomes more active.

Measure 63 begins a development section. The characteristic long-short rhythm becomes a two-measure vamp that occurs between fragments of the tune. Sometimes the vamp stays on the same pitch and other times it alternates octaves. It is varied in register and instrumentation. This section constantly changes tonality and has measures of chromaticism. Measure 87 serves as a recapitulation, but the variation of the tune returns rather than the tune itself. A 4-measure coda ends the movement.

Below is a video of the score that uses sampled sounds. Your comments are always appreciated.

Dr. B

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