Woodwind Quintet - Advanced
Composed by Johnson Lee. 20th Century, World. Individual Part. 31 pages. Published by Jazzica Music (S0.164199).
Item Number: S0.164199
First movement - Astronomical Space
AstronomicalSpace is the void that exists between celestial bodies. However, the space is not completely empty, between,the vacuum consists of electromagnetic radiation, magnetic fields and dust andcosmic rays.
Within this space, planets and moon freelyorbits in their path. An unseen forceis behind the organized path and movement of these planets in the galaxy.
Thismovement uses different aspects of palindrome concept to depict the organisedspace in music. First, the timesignature expands and contracts in palindromic fashion, indicating an orderlymanner in which the music orbits. Next,the intervals expands exponentially and also contracts in retrogradefashion.
Thismovement uses palindrome concept for compositional technique. Rhythmically, it is palindromic in nature. Thenote values starts from a minim to dotted crotchet, crotchet, quaver,semiquavers. The time signature alsoexpands and contract palandromically, starting from 2/4, 3/4 , 4/4, 5/4, 6/4, 5/4,4/4, 3/4, 2/4.
Theintervallic relationships are also in palindrome. Ascending from middle C the interval starts withMinor 2nd and expands exponentially to Major 2nd, Minor 3rd, Major 3rd, Perfect 4th , Augmented 4th ,Perfect 5th to the tonic. Conversely, the intervals descend in similarfashion.
FrenchHorn begins with Low G (Concert C) and builds up this set of intervals reachinghigh B (Concert E). This melody isrepeated by the Clarinet at the start of the new time signature of 3/ 4. Oboe enters at the next time signature of 4/4. Flute at time signature of 5/4 and Bassoonat time signature of 6/4. The retrogradeinversion of this motif is announced by the French Horn, this time starting onits high G (Concert C). Behind all thisbuild up, the intervallic motif as shown above is played. At section A, this motif is announced withoutthe rhythmic palindrome. The motif andits inversion builds up to a climax and re-asserts its presence with all theinstruments playing at Bar before rehearsal mark B. Thepiece ends with the French horn performing the same motif at the beginning ofthis movement.
SecondMovement - Celestial Bodies
Celestialbodies or Astronomical objects refers to a single cohesive structure that isbound together usually by gravity or electromagnetism. Some examples includes asteroids, moons,planets and the stars. These objects orbodies may range from a single planet to star clusters, nebulae or entiregalaxies and they have their position in space.
Thismovement uses whole tone scale. Thewhole tone scale is used in this movement as it does not create sharpdissonances and the space between each interval is equal whichever way youstack the notes.
Themain melody, 8 bars long is repeated in canonic fashion. A countermelody is announced and alsorepeated by the ensemble in canonic fashion. Thereafter, both melodies will merge and this movement ends with a chordconsisting of the whole tone scale starting on B.
Themusic gradually unveils the each axis of the motion in which the astronomicalobjects is travelling and the gradual merging of both melodies indicate how thesmall bodies can merge to become a larger object in space.
Thesecond movement uses the whole tone scale as shown above:
A8-bar melody is announced by the Bassoon. The Bassoon starts on High B and gradually descents to Low F at the endof the main melody. This melody is repeatedin canonic fashion by the rest of the ensemble with starting with the Flute,Clarinet, Oboe and Horn. This represent the celestial bodies in motion travellingin their axis.
Acountermelody is announced after the entire ensemble has performed the mainmelody. The countermelody is also 8-barslong and announced in canonic fashion. The countermelody uses the notes of themain melody in retrograde fashion. Afterall the instruments have announced the countermelody, the two melodiesgradually merge into a single unit or body. This movement ends with a chord consisting of the whole tone scalestarting on B. As there are only 5players in this ensemble, the flute player has been assigned to sing the A noteto complete the whole tone chord.
ThirdMovement - Cosmic Collision.
Collision between celestialobjects causes effects in our universe. These events have physical consequences andhave been found to regularly occur in planetarysystems, usually involving asteroids,cometsor meteoroids.
This movement uses a combination of rhythmic andmotivic ideas from the first and second movement. Using a equal distance intervallicrelationship from the D and A flat, Quad Chords are formed. The notes from the quad chords are also thepitch class set of this movement.
Thenotes A flat and D were not used in the first two movements of this piece. Thistwo notes forms a tri-tone interval. From this two notes, I have derived the Quad chords by selecting noteswith the intervals of seventh, sixth, fifth, fourth, third and second as shownin the figure above.
Acombination of rhythmic motifs and melodic motifs are used from the first twomovements to create the third and final movement of this piece. However, the mood of this piece is one ofvigor and energy in contrast with the first two movements. Fast moving staccato semiquavers drives themotion of this movement. The staccatosemiquavers and demi-semiquavers build up to a climax and ends with the tritoneA flat and D.
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