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Music of the Spheres

By Philip Sparke

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Music of the Spheres (Grade 6 - Score Only). Composed by Philip Sparke (1951-). For Concert Band. Anglo Music Concert Band. Grade 6. 70 pages. Anglo Music Press #AMP028. Published by Anglo Music Press (HL.44002975).

The piece reflects the composer's fascination with the origins of the universe and deep space in general. The title comes from a theory, formulated by Pythagoras, that the cosmos was ruled by the same laws he had discovered that govern the ratios of note frequencies of the musical scale. He also believed that these ratios corresponded to the distances of the six known planets from the sun, that the planets each produced a musical note, and that these combined to weave a continuous heavenly melody unheard by the human ear. In this work, these six notes form the basis of the sections “Music of the Spheres” and “Harmonia”.

Each movement opens with a horn solo called t = 0, a name given by some scientists to the moment of the “big bang” when time and space were created. This is followed by a depiction of the “big bang” itself, in which the entire universe bursts out from a single point. The following slower section, “The Lonely Planet,” is a meditation on the incredible and unlikely set of circumstances which led to the creation of the earth as a planet that can support life, and the constant search for other civilizations elsewhere in the universe.

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