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Music for a Generic Shakespeare Comedy (Suite for Piano)

Digital Sheet Music

By Brian Joyce

Piano Solo - Intermediate - Digital Download
Composed by Brian Joyce. 21st Century, Contemporary Classical. Score. 20 pages. Published by Brian Joyce (S0.513089).

Item Number: S0.513089

And what would a “generic” Shakespeare comedy include? Certainly it would center around a pair of young lovers, probably kept apart either by social circumstances or obstructionist parents. There would probably be an important situation involving mistaken identity or some other intrigue, moments of both decorum and revelry, plus some comic relief along the way, something like Peter Quince and the “rude mechanicals” in Midsummer Night’s Dream, or Dogberry and his bumbling constables in Much Ado About Nothing.) And the whole thing would likely be capped off by a wedding.

So here is a little suite which looks back beyond the great examples of incidental music by Grieg (Peer Gynt), Mendelssohn (Midsummer Night’s Dream) or Bizet (L’Arlésienne), all the way back to Henry Purcell’s Ayres for the Theatre, published in 1697. It features a blend of 17th century forms and contrapuntal textures with 21st century “wrong note” harmonies and changing meters in a diverting and accessible audience pleaser. Performance time is about 14 minutes.

The accompanying audio file gives you the first halves (roughly) of the first (Sinfonye) and last (Wedding March) movements. Yes, I know the Wedding March is in 3/4 time. Please don’t write to complain.

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  • Ratings + Reviews

  • 5

    Difficulty Level:
  • July 03, 2019 Music for a Generic Shakespeare Comedy

    This delightful suite of short pieces is a definite audience pleaser! Joyce captures the spirit and style of the time of Shakespeare by incorporating various 17th Century forms, influenced by dances and court music, and combining them with imaginative melodies and harmonies with a contemporary flair. The moods and styles...

    vary from a formal ceremonial Wedding March (with a twist) to the playful and witty Comic Relief. The richness of the Shakespeare’s time are uniquely captured in these pieces, which are beautifully written, expressive and appealing to the ear. As a teacher, I would recommend Music for a Generic Shakespeare Comedy as a refreshing addition to teaching repertoire, as well an entertaining recital piece.

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