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Keep Them Coming Back for More: How to Program Successful Concerts for Your Students and Your Audience by
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Wild Nights Ticheli’s
Dr. Keith Kinder
Why Band? Gregory B. Rudgers Look Beyond The Label and Judge
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M A N H AT TA N B E AC H M U S I C Choosing and programming high quality music is perhaps the single most important part of a band director’s responsibilities, for it is the music itself that will challenge, enlighten, and inspire all those who play it. If the music you start out with is mediocre, no amount of rehearsing will ever overcome this. It is the quality of the music itself that will ultimately decide what kind of band director and musician you become. Beginning in the present issue of MBM Times, Manhattan Beach Music is proud to sponsor FRANK TICHELI’S LIST. This list of pieces will evolve and expand over time to become an increasingly important and useful tool for all inspired band directors searching for the best music. Frank Ticheli’s List will be comprised of pieces selected by Frank Ticheli himself from among the best concert band works of many different publishers in the music industry — pieces we believe will have an important influence on the concert band world itself, upon band directors, music departments, and most of all, upon our students. To purchase titles on Frank Ticheli’s List, and to read reviews of works as they are added to the List, visit us online at www.FrankTicheliList.com and www.ManhattanBeachMusic.com. To listen to complete recordings, and to purchase Frank Ticheli’s own compositions, visit us online at www.FrankTicheli.com. Frank Ticheli’s List can redefine the way that quality music is chosen and purchased. We hope it will blaze a new path towards better music for a band world in which quality music is not the exception, but the rule. Manhattan Beach Music
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Throughout this issue of MBM Times, this logo will identify works that appear on Frank Ticheli’s List
L I S T
E D I T O R ’ S
V I E W
Editor in Chief, Neil Ruddy
Digital Music: Boon or Bane?
hen it comes to shopping for music, things sure have changed over recent years. It used to be that you’d have to rely upon just a few sources — fat catalogs from retailers prime among them — to learn what’s new in concert band music. But not anymore. Many of the smaller retailers have a strong online presence, and virtually every publisher of concert band music, big or small, has a site you can visit to learn everything about their music. Usually you can hear excerpts, sometimes you can hear complete performances, or even see scores. On www.ManhattanBeachMusic.com, you get to download complete performances as MP3s, you get to see many full scores, and you can also order direct. Never more than now have concert band conductors had more complete access to a wide selection of music from a more diverse array of publishers and retailers. The wide choice that exists today is a great thing for band directors. It represents a huge paradigm shift in the way music is composed, published, and sold. Because of the breadth and depth of information available, the Internet itself continues to function as a powerful force in the democratization of music, benefitting composers, publishers, retailers, band directors, students ... and music itself. Quite to the contrary, this is not a great thing for every big business, because it threatens to move control out of the hands of the few and into the hands of the many. Some businesses have adapted to this change, and have flourished. Others may have attempted to control which music you learn about, and even whether it appears on their online sites or in their printed catalogs. If band directors rely solely upon such sources, or any single source, they are limited in what they will learn about. But more change is afoot. In the coming years, music will evolve from appearing on printed paper to appearing digitally on a variety of devices. As the technology improves — and improve it will — music will move from paper to digital surfaces that look almost like paper. And this is not the future, it’s already happened with books, where competing devices and technologies allow you to read and even perform searches in books, and to download and buy them wirelessly from almost anywhere. This will come to print music. It will, that is, if the publishers of print music decide to license their music to take advantage of the new technologies. It’s the publishers’ responsibility to license their music wisely to digital providers who have the best interests of the students, band directors, retailers, and the art of music. And after the music is licensed, how is it distributed? by sale? subsciption? direct? through retailers? Shouldn’t all retailers have a major role in this? This is where the opportunity lies, and it is also where a potential trap may exist. It all will depend upon whom you license your music to (and what their future plans are). What are the terms of the license? Is it exclusive so that you can’t license your music anywhere else, or is it nonexclusive, or is it even clear what it is? Is it for a short period of time, or a long period of time? And if the publisher backs out, is there any penalty, whether financial or by “noncompete” clauses? If advertising appears, does the publisher have any say, or is the publisher excluded? Each provider of digital services will have its own terms, and these are likely to evolve and vary. Music publishers have to think twice before they start handing out their intellectual property, especially in exclusive or otherwise limiting licensing agreements, and especially if licensing content under proprietary (owned by someone) technologies, because this might hurt not only the band directors, but the music retailers too. How? Providers often use proprietary technology (whether software, or hardware) for digital delivery. If a title goes “digital” exclusively to that provider, that provider may become the sole source for sales of that title. Even the
Disclaimer: This editorial is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide or substitute for the advice of legal counsel.
B E A C H
PROGRAM NOTES for
SANCTUARY C O N C E R T
B A N D
7 STEVE ROUSE
B L A Z E 8 Keep Them Coming Back for More: How to Program Successful Concerts for Your Students and Your Audience
M A N H A T T A N
publisher can be cut off. What happens to all the retailers? Well, depending upon the provider, they may be cut out of the distribution, or included in it. Or perhaps only one or two retailers may be part of the picture. It’s all in the details. However this occurs (and there are a myriad of ways, depending upon the exact language used in each providers’ license), it’s entirely possible that your neighborhood retailer may become increasingly cut out of digital music sales. What happens to all the band directors? Well, the way they learn about new music might change. And when you talk about digital music, you have to consider not just the sale of print music in digital formats (whether downloadable, beamable, or on physical media), but the myriad ways it will be licensed in a variety of digital formats and for a variety of musical purposes. It is significant that in the world of books and public libraries, a movement has evolved to place digital content (in this case, not only of public domain materials, but materials licensed under copyright) online, not under corporate control, but, as is chiseled above the entrance to the Boston Public Library: FREE • TO • ALL. The Open Content Alliance, www.opencontentalliance.org, is a consortium of libraries and other organizations dedicated to the digitization of the world’s books and multimedia. Significantly, the OCA (quite distinct from its commercial counterparts) will not place restrictions on public domain books it has scanned, nor will it use proprietary interfaces. Also of interest: The Open Library, www.openlibrary.org; The Library of Congress American Memory, www.memory.loc.gov Band directors! Today you can select your music from many publishers, and you can learn about the music from each. But what happens if only a few outlets get to display or sell the music? What happens is this: The outlet gets to control what you see, where you see it, or even if you see it. This means that the control, instead of being with the composers, or the publishers, goes to the digital providers and their selected outlets. And if these outlets happen to be corporations, well, how do you think they’re going to make their decisions? The answer is: I don’t know. They might decide based upon musical quality. They might decide based upon profit. They might decide upon ... well, who knows how they’ll decide. The important point is, it will be their decision. Not the composers. Certainly not the publishers. And how many retailers will be part of the picture? A healthy industry has many publishers, some publishing music that appeals to a wide variety of bands, others publishing music of interest to the best programs, still others on the fringe, publishing new music that will help grow the art of band in unknown ways. There is a place for all kinds of music, from all kinds of composers. The more sources, the better. The more composers, the better. The more retailers, the better. The more choice and innovation, the better. Help protect this. When you go to look for music, cast your net wide. Neil Ruddy
M U S I C . C O M
C O N T E N T S
Dr. Jeffrey D. Gershman
WILD NIGHTS! C O N C E R T
B A N D
Dr. Keith Kinder
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22 Look Be yond The L abel
B E A C H
“Some conductors will not consider programming a work at the grade III level because their ensemble ‘performs only grade IV and V literature’ ”
by Dr. Rodney C. Schueller
28 Bob M argolis’
Two Minute Symphony:
M A N H A T T A N
by Dr. John Darling
A n U p d at e w i t h The W inne rs Of The 1st Frank Ticheli Composition Contest
We Honor You
M B M
T I M E S
A Manhattan Beach Media Publication
“Infusing Music History into the Rehearsal”
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M U S I C . C
L I S T
NEIL RUDDY Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Managing and Copy Editor BOB MARGOLIS Contributing Writers DR. JOHN A. DARLING, DR. JEFFREY D. GERSHMAN, DR. KEITH W. KINDER, GREGORY B. RUDGERS, DR. RODNEY C. SCHUELLER DR. LAWRENCE STOFFEL Additional Graphics and Art Direction ROBERT BENNETT Authors and Advertisers may contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Copyright © 2008 Manhattan Beach Media. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written permission of Manhattan Beach Media. Frank Ticheli’s List™ and the Frank Ticheli’s List logo are trademarks of Manhattan Beach Music; the content of the individual reviews of Frank Ticheli’s List, as well as the Compilation comprising the titles that constitute Frank Ticheli’s List, are Copyright © 2008 Manhattan Beach Music, and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written permission of the publisher. Music examples by permission of Manhattan Beach Music.
M A N H A T T A N
B E A C H
Frank Ticheli’s List
“Perhaps the most important contribution ever to the Art of Band Music”
M U S I C . C O M
FRANK TICHELI’S LIST
Timothy Br oege’s
Sinfonia III “Broege’s Sinfonia III has five short, connected movements, whose … compositional procedures … evoke Baroque forms and textures. In other ways, however, it is very much of its own time.”
by Dr. Keith Kinder
The Masks “My friend Louis is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and I thought he would be interested in the work. I was stunned to discover that he was the clarinetist on that recording, made in 1955, who played the beautiful solo in the opening measures of the suite. I decided that fate was at work …”
By Gregory B. Rudgers
48 Program Notes for Frank Ticheli’s
Simple Gifts 52
Why Band? “Whether marching down Main Street, or performing on a summer evening in the town square, bands have always been at the center of the best of times. And, when people gather to share their grief as a nation, it is the American band that offers solace in the form of music that brings us all together.”
By Gregory B. Rudgers
Frank Ticheli’s Program Notes for
SANCTUARY The word, sanctuary, conjures a rich array of images. It can imply a place of solitude, comfort, rest, prayer, protection. It can suggest a place that is strong and imposing or one that is very small and private. I believe all of these images are suggested at one point or another in the music.
anctuary was composed for conductor H. Robert Reynolds as a symbol of our enduring friendship. The work was commissioned in his honor, and received its premiere performance by the band he conducted for 26 years. As a personal tribute to Mr. Reynolds, who was a horn player in his earlier days, I chose the solo horn to be the work’s main musical messenger. The opening prologue grows out of a set of pitches that were derived from the letters of his first name (Harrah), an idea I first used fifteen years ago in Postcard (commissioned by Reynolds in memory of his mother.) Vivid college memories of Mr. Reynolds conducting Grainger’s Hill Song No. 2 and Colonial Song — both well known favorites of his — were also in the back of my mind, as the sounds that I created in some ways echo the lyrical mood of these works. The word, sanctuary, conjures a rich array of images. It can imply a place of solitude, comfort, rest, prayer, protection. It can suggest a place that is strong and imposing or one that is very small and private. I believe all of these images are suggested at one point or another in the music. The opening bell sounds suggest peace and joyful reverence. The main horn melody is at once reflective and reassuring. There is also an underlying hint of nostalgia — a wistfulness, perhaps suggested by the simple three-chord progression which threads the entire work. But there is also an expression of strength and power in the work’s dark and imposing climax. After the climax recedes, the main melody disappears for a period of time, replaced by flute and clarinet solo episodes which create repose, space, and distance. But in the end, the three-chord harmony returns and serves as a doorway for the final appearance of the main horn theme. The work ends with a quiet echo of the opening bells. Sanctuary was commissioned by the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association in honor of H. Robert Reynolds. The premiere performance was given by the University of Michigan Symphony Band, Michael Haithcock, conductor, at Hill Auditorium on October 22, 2005. www. MBM
S T E V E ROUSE B L A Z E
A synthesizer…this is one way I like to think of myself as a composer, someone who takes diverse languages and styles and deliberately merges them in the cauldron of creativity to produce something that is infused with the essence, but rarely the external appearance or sound, of its contributing parts. Most of the time I’m so engrossed in my work that I don’t notice, but if I stop and take note, at moments of peak inspiration, I feel an actual, physical electricity. My guess is that my nervous system is causing this (firing on lots of cylinders, so to speak), but I can’t shake the impression that it leaves with me that I’m being visited by the hand of God or the universe or whatever your version of this is. I really don’t sit around thinking about this. It just happens, and most of the time, I pay no attention to it at all.
BLAZE is lean, muscular, and driving. It suggests a level of energy and intensity that might follow a sudden, powerful flash of inspiration. BLAZE represents those intense, almost over-
whelming moments of inspiration and excitement, as if touched by the hand of God, much like the image in Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling painting of Man touching the finger of God. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but when I was living in Rome as part of the Rome Prize (a one year artist’s fellowship), I had the incredibly rare opportunity to go up on the scaffolding during the restoration of the frescos of the Sistine Chapel. It just so happened that the day that I visited, work was being done right at the point where God and Man touch fingers. The specialists hadn’t actually done the restoration on that spot yet, which involved removing layers and layers of grime and soot to restore Michelangelo’s original, brighter colors. Knowing all this, and considering the consequences, I did it. I ever so briefly and delicately touched that sacred spot that represents for me the kind of inspiration that I’m suggesting in BLAZE .
ire for concert band, by Steve Rouse
c language Angel Fire for concert band, by Steve d Blaze share a couple of common harmonic characteristics: (1) extensive use of "multi-triad" harmonies and (2) juxtaposition of "pure" triads wi Harmonic language multi-triad sonorities. I don't think of the multi-triad sonorities as polychordal. Rather, I hear these sonorities as "words" of a language that move Blaze share a coupleﬂow, of commo y as to diminish the emphasis of the individual sonority. It's almost as if the sounds pass in a stream thatAurora createsand a natural and pleasing usual the richer multi-triad sonorities. I don't thin lowing the listener to focus on the multi-triadic nature of individual chords. When the pure triads are deliberately contrasted with the multi-triads such aB way to RY diminish the aemphasis H starkly. A R MInOthe Nexample I C L Abelow N Gfrom U Amm.5-12 G E A of NAurora, D R HtheYwoodwinds T H M I Cbegin V Owith CA U as LA s are highlighted rather multi-triads, follow with pure Eb of ma without allowing the listener to focus th .6 and the strongly contrasting multi-triad sonority of m.7, and, ﬁnally, move back to Eb major in m.8. This excerpt continues in m.9 with theonbras differences are highlighted rather starkly. In iment's multi-triad structureslanguage over the pedal-point C-Gfeatures: in the lower The sound of m.10 preﬁgures the last chordonly of Blaze (shown belo The harmonic of BLAZE (1)instruments. without regard to final time signatures; later triad in m.6 and the strongly contrasting mu cks the following major triads from bottom to top: C, D, E, F#. Another example of the use of pure and accompaniment's multi-triad soundsmulti-triad is the opening brassove fan structures extensive of “multi-triad” harmonies themovement decisions timemajor signatures made, e (also shown below).use Finally, the harmonic motion of both and pieces(2) frequentlywere uses root byabout 3rds, either or minor. An example fro which stacks the following major triads fro mpanimentjuxtaposition of mm.8-24 is given below. The third motions below are visually connected, but the activity in (also the score is diverse and genera of “pure” triads with the richer in response torhythmic what the music itself seemed from Blaze shown below).to Finally, the this harmonic motion. the accompaniment of mm.8-24 is given be multi-triad sonorities. I don’t think of the multidictate with the goal of making the phraseolW.W./Hornand melody (w/o Glock.) not tied to this harmonic motion. eduction of mm.5-12 11
>˙easy as possible, ˘œ >œ ogy as clear and/or asAurora, all things triad sonorities I hear these b bold 12 6 7 as polychordal. Rather, 8 9 10 œ œ > # œ j . reduction of mm.5-12 j 3 3 œ . bœ œ Œ b œ6 b and ∑ sonorities ∑as “words”∑ of a language ‰ œ œ œ This œ ˙ 2 5results considered. in a ‰fluid # œ . generally 7 8 ∑that4moves in∑ b œ ˙& 4 b >œ œ .∑ b œ œ œ œ œ ∑ > # œ . > rhythmic > flexible one that is not bound ﬂ > language, odwinds such a way as to diminish the emphasis of the indif b œ Trpts. 3 3 j j as if3the sounds j b >œ nœ œœ b n œœ vidual 3 Woodwinds It’s#almost pass in by ˙the “normal” constraints of meter. œœœ ‰ œœ ⋲ b œ n n n œœœ sonority. œ œ œ . . Œ ‰ ⋲ Œ ‰ b œœ . œ # œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ b œ œ œ œ œ . . . # ˙ ˙ œ 8 4 n n œ œ œ œ # œ œ # œ œ œ # œ œ œ œ œ œ . . . b b ˙ ˙ œ 2 b n n œ œ œ œ œ ⋲œ. œ.bœ.œof a streamb ˙that creates a natural and a strong n n œœﬂmeter ˙ is J‰ # # .# œœœ b >œ . pleasing flow, >œ œ œ. œ. œ.Of> course,. . when & 4> œœsense > . p subito ˘ f > ˘ ˘for that b>b >˙˙ >on ˘ ˘ desired, the3 music is˘j written > f to focus ˘j effect. f usually without allowing. the listener Trbns. œœœ ⋲ b b b œœœ n b b œœœ œ œ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œ œœ ‰ œœ f. œœ œœ b œœœ œœœ b œœp # œœ œœ .. of individual b œ ‰ nnature Œ œœœAn œœœ œœœ Mainly, 3 3 b ˙ œ œ . BLAZE with the “flow” the multi-triadic chords. though, I wrote œ b # œ œ œ œ œ œ # œ œ# œœ œ œœ 2 œœ b b œœœ œœ ⋲œb b œœ n bbb œœœ ‰ J J ⋲ 8 bœ. b˙ 4 n œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ ˙ . ? b >œ ‰ œ not the ‰ œ time ‰b ˙ œ œ‰ œJ in œmind, Theœ results exampleb of sounds œ œ ‰ œ œ 4signatures. œ ‰ œ >˙ the use of pure and multi-triad Low winds J J J. J b >˙ J. are a flexible (though is the opening brass fanfare from BLAZE (below); > > not arbitrary) > >metrical > > > the lastopening chordfanfare of BLAZE structure, sometimes stable for long periods, and gesture stacks of Blazethe following example of harmonic motion by thirds (here, major triads as accomp. in Blaze opening fanfar #w 3 b œœr b œœ >œœœ œœ b b >˙˙˙ m.8 # # # www 4 b ﬂœ >œ >œ 3 b œœr b œœ wAfBn, CsAnF, 4 BfDf, CEfGf, Gn, AfF, C,&D, w b œ f ˘ >œ >œ b >œœ >œ b >˙˙ ﬂ œ f ˘ 3 bœ bœ nœ b ˙ # ww > m.13 m.23 b œœœ b b œœœ w 3 4 b œR b Bfœ Cœ œ Ef ? w b EfGfDnF, Bf, CE, FsEf, FA, wBGECACsECnEfC 4 R Bf Af Af Bf F Df w Af Af
major triads from bottom to top: C, D, E, F# (right column). Finally, the harmonic motion frequently uses root movement by 3rds, either major or minor. BLAZE’s rhythmic vocabulary derives in part from its mode of composition: most of the music was initially written
sometimes changing every bar or nearly so, such as in mm. 33–62. Another is the implication or aural suggestion of simultaneous meters within a “paper” meter. That is, the music might slip into the “feel” of a meter other than the one in which the music is actually www. MBM
B L A Z E
constraints of meter. Of course, when a strong sense of meter is desired, the music is written for that effect. Mainly, though, I wrote both movements with the "ﬂow" in mind, not the time signatures. The results are a ﬂexible (though not arbitrary) metrical structure, sometimes stable for long periods, such as in mm.83-114 of Aurora and several sections of Blaze, and sometimes changing every bar or nearly so, such as in mm.46-71 of Aurora and mm.33-62 of Blaze.
> b œ b œ. ˙ > 10
> > > . > b œ b œ. œ œ œ. b œ . b œJ œ
b >œ b œ. >˙ 13
6 8 implication
b >œ b œ. n >œ œ 22
œ b >œ œ œ >œ
b >œ >œ œ œ R‰
Note the melodic upper-neighbor motion. (See the Flute and Clarinet solos from Aurora.)
b >œ œ œ >œ 44 œ 21
6 8 implication
14 . > b >œ b œ. >œ œ >œ œ b œ œ œ 15
n >œ b œ. >œ œ 17
b œ b >œ œ
2 4 implication within 3/4
> > bœ bœ œ
There is no need for the performers to exaggerate any of these effects, either by trying to emphasize or de-emphasize them. The effects will simply emerge as a result of an accurate performance of the music as marked, including its slurs, accents, phrase indications, dynamics, etc.
Ensemble, Dr. Garwood Whaley,
Hear additional works for concert
b >œ b œ. >œ œ œ.
These kinds of rhythmic effects are so much a part of the music of Angel Fire as to be easily discovered. There is no need for the performers to exaggerate any of these effects, either by trying to emphasize or de-emphasize them. The effects will simply emerge as a result of an accurate performance of the music as marked, including its slurs, accents, phrase indications, dynamics, etc.
Melodically, note the rising stepwise motion....creating an "almost" octatonic or diminished scale (alternates m2 and M2).
b >œ . >œ œ J &
Aœ 3 & 4 J ‰ b˙ >
This is basically a normal 3/4 meter until m.14, though there is a strong feeling of one big beat per bar because of the rapid tempo.
melodic fragment from Blaze (also doubled an octave lower)
Another facet of the rhythmic language of Blaze in particular is the implication or aural suggestion of simultaneous meters within a "paper" meter. That is, the music might slip into the "feel" of a meter other than the one in which the music is actually written. This might occur in one part or several different parts simultaneously. One clear example of this, illustrated by the fragment below, is found in the rhythmic structure of a section of melody from Blaze, in which several meters are alternately implied over a written 3/4 time signature.
10 TIMES written. This might occur in one part or several different parts simultaneously. One clear example of this, illustrated by the fragment below, is found in the rhythmic structure of a section of melody fin which several meters are alternately implied over a written 3/4 time signature (See example at left, melodic fragment from BLAZE , also doubled an octave lower.)
Program notes by the composer
BLAZE was commissioned by the
Bishop Ireton High School Wind
band by the Rome Prize Winning
composer, Steve Rouse, online at
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
Enter the Olympians
Our American Heroes
Knights of the Round Table
E X E C U T I V E
P R O D U C E R
M A N H AT TA N
N E I L
R U D D Y
I S P R O U D TO A N N O U N C E
The 1st Frank Ticheli Composition Contest Winners & Finalists 12/5/07
˵ǟBOŸ ˵ǟBOŸ I am deeply honored ̃JɱFŻŖ by the launching of The ̃JɱFŻŖ Frank Ticheli Composition ˲PNǈPTJUJPƮ Contest, and excited about ˲PNǈPTJUJPƮ the future of this new ˲POUFTȊ endeavor ˲POUFTȊ sponsored by
-25, 2007 n performing arts Center - winspear performance hall
Manhattan Beach Music. Composition contests mus have proven to be an efHE FRANK TICHELI COMPOSITION CONTEST EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: NEIL RUDDY fective way to find, ted & Sponsored by: Manhattan Beachfoster, Music www.manhattanbeachmusic.com #$S and reward talent. In the case of The Frank Ticheli Composition Contest, the winners receive a kind of “triple reward”: cash prizes, guaranteed publication by Manhattan Beach Music, and a high-quality recording of their works by Mark Records.
L-II microphones v- 96 mixer terlink ML-9600 24 bit
T H E C D I S AVA I L A B L E F RO M w w w. M a n h a t t a n B e a c h M u s i c . c o m
If the contest’s inaugural year is any indication of its long-term outlook, I am very optimistic. More than 100 entries were received from countries all over the world, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Spain, and the U.S.A. Many of the submissions showed notable talent, and some were truly exceptional. I am honored to have my name attached to this composition contest and I look forward to the fruit it yields for many years to come. -?<
2 CD Set
Comp INSERT2:Layout 1
« ÌÊLÞÊ >ÀiÊÀÃÃ
Dr. Frank Ticheli Composer/Professor of Composition University of Southern California Thornton School of Music
COMPOSERS: visit www.FrankTicheli.com to enter the 2nd International Frank Ticheli Composition Contest www. MBM
Keep Them Coming Back for More How to Program Successful Concerts for Your Students and Your Audience
by Dr. Jeffrey D. Gershman
“I adopted a new method of choosing my concert music based on the method employed by our English Department. Just as they had created a list of the authors which every student should read, I began with a list of composers to which I thought every student should be exposed.”
“It’s a privilege, really.” It’s amazing how so few words can change everything about your teaching. I was in my second year as a high school teacher and I was hanging out in the Teachers Lounge reviewing a score before my rehearsal the next period. One of the English teachers at the school, whom I had met in passing, walked up to me, checked out what I was doing, and said simply, “I envy you.” I looked up and must have given him a confused look. He repeated again, “I envy you.” I laughed. “Why on earth would you envy me? Is it because you wish you could spend 70 hours a week up at school, too?” He smiled. What I thought was going to come out of his mouth was that he was jealous that the band directors only worked with the “smart” kids or the classes in which he had to try to teach I’ll never forget. “I envy you, because of didn’t understand. “Look,” he continued, MBM
kids who wanted to be there, unlike his the general population. What he said next the freedom that you have.” I told him I “I have taught freshman English here for ten
years and I have used the same district-assigned text book every single year. It’s always the same authors, the same stories, the same characters, and the same questions at the end of every chapter. But you—you have freedom—you get to choose and perform different music on every single concert. Do you know how lucky you are to have that kind of freedom? I envy you because so few of us get the luxury of variety. It’s a privilege, really.” And with that, he turned and walked away, back to his classroom and back to his textbook. I sat dumbfounded. Until that moment, I don’t think I had realized how lucky I was to do what I do and I had, for sure, never made the connection that our concert music was the same as his textbook. It was a one sentence epiphany that gave me a new perspective on repertoire selection that, frankly, I had never considered and that demanded further examination. With his analogy resonating deeply in my mind, I went to our English Department head to get more insight into how the district created the curriculum of its academic subjects. He told me that the district’s teachers first compiled a list of authors that they felt that each student needed to know before they graduated. From there, they agreed on the skills and techniques that needed to be taught and then simply chose literature from their list of authors that would allow their students acquire these skills and techniques. I then asked if I could see their literature lists for each grade level. It was absolutely remarkable. Each year in high school, the students read only the best authors from the past seven hundred years, all the while exploring the different styles, genres, and trends that shaped literary history. It was a curriculum driven by the art and an uncompromising standard of quality that pushed the students to elevate their thinking to the level of the literature. As I left his office, I felt humbled. My curriculum was driven by function, not art: “OK, I have strong clarinets, saxophones, and low brass, but very weak trumpets. What pieces can I play that fit my band and will allow me to be successful at contest?” My curriculum was driven by music that appealed to the students on a superficial level, assuming that they wouldn’t comprehend or enjoy history’s greatest composers. Worst of all, my curriculum blatantly and irresponsibly ignored the fact that, for the vast majority of my students, their experience in my band might be the last, or only, exposure to classical music they would have in their entire lives. Quite simply, my lack of vision and integrity to this point in my career had compromised the quality of my students’ education. “It’s a privilege, really.” It’s amazing how so few words can change everything about your teaching.
A D I F F E R E N T A P PR OAC H T O PR O G R A M M I N G
My experience with my English-teaching colleagues significantly changed the way I looked at choosing concert repertoire. That summer, before my third year of teaching, I adopted a new method of choosing my concert music based on the method employed by our English Department. Just as they had created a list of the authors which every student should read, I began with a list of composers to which I thought every student should be exposed. Before starting this list, I forced myself to widen my scope and imposed two rules: 1) All composers were fair game, not just band composers and 2) The difficulty of the composers’ music was not allowed to be considered. Armed with a tablet and my two rules, I began the list—composers that I had loved as a kid, composers that I had studied in music history, composers that I had played as a student in band, and on and on. When I finished, the list was long and diverse—ranging from Beethoven to Holst to Gershwin to Adams. I checked my work against the English Department’s list of authors just as a point of comparison. What I found was that my list of composers was heavily slanted towards my own personal preferences—a few 17th and 18th Century composers, significantly more from the 19th Century, and lots and lots of contemporary works. Not a single work before 1700. Now, truth be told, I never did very well in my early Music History classes. I just never connected as strongly with Medieval and Renaissance music as I did with the music that followed, but it was extremely important that my preferences not bias this list. My responsibility was to expose my students to the entire history of classical music, so I welcomed Tielman Susato, Orlando di Lasso, Henry Purcell, and a host of others to the list. When I was finally done, what I had in front of me was truly the history of music, from its simple beginnings to the very present. With this list in hand, I moved onto Step 2 of this new method—find pieces written or arranged for band by these composers. This was actually easier than I thought it was going to be, largely because the recent proliferation of band repertoire books and the myriad online resources available. The first thing I did was consult sources that screened repertoire for quality. I checked through the Best Music for Beginning Band, Young Band, High School Band, and Chorus and Winds series, all of the volumes of Teaching Music though Performance in Band, and as many state music lists as I could find, all the while continuing to match up pieces of all grade levels to my composers. Finally, I consulted music publisher and music retailer websites. These titles I took with a grain of salt, because there www. MBM
was no quality control. While it was important for my students to be exposed to these composers, it was counterproductive for them to perform their music if it was poorly arranged or pitifully watered down.
creating quality and enjoyable concerts. F L OW
With all of the work you’ve put into developing your list of composers and with all of the time you’ve invested finding their With these final titles added, my project was now complete. repertoire written or arranged for band—with all of the dedicaWhile, admittedly, it took a significant investment of time to tion you’ve devoted to your students to create a superior curinitially compile this list, what I quickly discovered was that riculum, it’s ironic then that the first thing you need to do when this was a powerful new resource that would actually end up putting together a concert program is to consider the audience. saving me immense amounts of time in the future. The summer As band directors, with everything that we’re asked to do, we before my first year of teaching, I had spent hours upon hours sometimes forget that those people filling the surrounded by promotional recordings and reperseats behind you—the parents, siblings, friends, “While it was toire books, blindly searching for the pieces that I spouses, colleagues, and administrators—came liked and best matched my band. The following important for my to your concert that night for one thing—to be summer featured the same unfocused, time-constudents to be entertained. Sure, everyone has other reasons why suming approach. With this new resource, for the they’re there: to see their kids on stage, to cheer first time in my career, I could set up a long-term exposed to these on their friends, or to support fellow colleagues. plan for my students. For me, I created a four year But for whatever reason that got them through the rotation, with each year featuring several specific composers, it was door, as the lights go down, the camcorders fire up, historical style periods, counterproduc- and they settle into their seats, all they really want insuring that my stutive for them to is to be entertained. And the thing is, we owe them dents would be exposed that. This is the culmination of their sacrifice—for to the entire history of perform their all of the hours of transportation, for all of the music by the time they music if it was money spent, for all of the patience shown—we graduated. Selecting owe them this reward. And all rewarding concerts specific repertoire for each year then became inpoorly arranged begin with one thing: flow. To me, there is nothing credibly simple and focused: List the pedagogical more important in concert programming than creor pitifully techniques and skills that my students should acthat perfect flow of pieces that will sustain the quire and then choose from the list of composers watered down.” ating audience’s interest throughout the performance. I and their pieces from within these style periods have attended many concerts in which ensembles that best fit my band. have given strong performances of very good repertoire, only What I found most rewarding about this method was that this to leave the audience bored out of their minds. The reasons for music challenged my students to elevate their musical tastes their indifference vary. Some performances featured music that and perform styles outside of their experience while still allowwas too stylistically similar. Some ensembles played repertoire ing me the practical flexibility of choosing pieces that best fit in which all of the music just hovered around the same tempo my band. I still continue to use this method and, every summer, and dynamics. Some concerts were simply just too long. It’s I just add the year’s worthy new pieces and arrangements to my imperative to remember that, while creating a quality concert original list. is built on a foundation of worthy repertoire, creating an enjoyable concert is all about how the pieces fit together. SECR E TS OF SUCC E S SF U L PROGR A M M I NG
Now, with all of this being said, playing outstanding repertoire by accomplished composers isn’t a guarantee of a quality concert experience. The reality is that choosing this music is truly only the starting point for creating diverse and enjoyable concerts. There are several very important, very practical considerations to programming that should be addressed in hopes of MBM
PR O G R A M O R D E R
Creating good concert flow starts at the very beginning of the programming process. The first step in choosing repertoire is to consult your long-term programming plan. This will provide you the framework for what historical
“To me, there is nothing more important in concert programming than creating that perfect flow of pieces that will sustain the audience’s interest throughout the performance. I have attended many concerts in which ensembles have given strong performances of very good repertoire, only to leave the audience bored out of their minds.” styles you would like to feature on your concert. The second step is to go to your composer resource and begin to make a list of all of the pieces within your selected historical styles that interest you and are achievable by your band. With this list, creating an effective concert flow is as easy as following just a few basic rules. RU L E NO. 1 : G E T T H E M ON T H E I R F E E T
The first thing I always select for the program is what piece will close the concert. This piece of program prime real estate has but one criterion: by its conclusion, is it exciting enough or moving enough that it will elicit a sincere, immediate standing ovation from the audience? All audiences want to leave the auditorium on a visceral high and nothing reinforces that feeling more than an effective closer. Look though your list of pieces and find that one piece that will get them on their feet. When you’re considering closer options, if you only think that the audience will buy into it, don’t do it. With closers, you just have to know. RU L E NO. 2 : A LWAY S S TA RT S T RONG
The next part of the programming puzzle is finding a piece to open the concert. There is an innate sense of anticipation to the beginning of any concert and you can play on that expectation by programming something that will quickly catch the attention of the audience. Be it fast and loud or strong and stately, within the first 30 seconds of your concert, the music needs to emotionally connect with your audience. This opener sets the tone for the entire concert and with a weak opener; you may never get your audience back. RU L E NO. 3 : C H A NG E I T U P
With the bookends to your concert in place, now you can begin to fill in the remainder of your program. To keep your audience engaged, the second piece on your concert needs to serve as a complete contrast to the opener. For instance, if your opening selection was fast and loud, then a simple, lyric selection would be an apt foil because it’s so musically different from the
opener. If you opened the concert with a strong, stately work, then you could select a short piece with a light and playful character, again highlighting the musical differences between the two pieces. In either case, the important thing is that there is a noticeable contrast between the first two pieces. If your ensemble is capable of performing four pieces on the concert, then the third and final slots need to contrast with the second work. If the second selection was lyrical, then move on to a light and playful piece. If you just performed something light and fun, go with a lyrical work. If you have an advanced ensemble that will perform more than four pieces, the remainder of the concert should continue to follow this formula of contrast. By constantly giving the audience changes in tempo, dynamics, and texture, you have a better chance of keeping them engaged throughout the entire performance. H I S T OR IC A L C ON T R A S T
In addition to creating contrast through musical differences, another effective way of creating good concert flow is by programming works of various historical styles. Even if you don’t subscribe to creating a long-term rotation of the music of different historical periods, effective contrast can be achieved by utilizing works of the past. Check your recent programs. How many pieces have been written within the last 25 years? While these pieces may have differing styles, there’s a good chance that their melodic shape and harmonic language are very similar. This steady diet of late 20th century/early 21st Century pieces will quickly grow stale to your audience. More importantly, this lack of variety isn’t fair to your students. There are hundreds of years of classical music lying untapped and if the introduction to this music doesn’t come from you, then from whom will it come? M U LT I-MOV E M E N T WOR K S
If possible, I highly recommend that you perform at least one multi-movement work a year. To me, multi-movement pieces present some unique challenges that are different than those inherent in single-movement works. For both you and your www. MBM
“These people are happy to be at your concert but they will be equally as happy to go home and go to bed. Keep your concert length in check—just because your band can perform a three hour concert doesn’t mean it should.” players, multi-movement pieces require a different sort of mentality to perform. Because a large amount of our repertoire is comprised of single-movement works, we’ve gotten very conditioned to finishing a piece, hearing applause, and mentally relaxing before the next selection begins. Because of its structure, multi-movement pieces force us to extend our mental concentration over the span of several movements. More than that, though, they create an unfamiliar anxiety for those on stage because it doesn’t allow us the brief mental letdown between the pieces, since there is still more to come. This anxiety is only compounded by the uncomfortable silence that lingers between the movements. It’s exactly because of all of these challenges that I think multi-movement pieces are integral for building the mental and physical maturity of our ensembles. Multi-movement pieces also bring with them some inherent challenges when it comes to programming. What’s important to realize when selecting one is that, while it may look like one piece of your printed program, to your audience, it’s just a series of many small pieces. For instance, band directors look at Lincolnshire Posy as a single work; audiences listen to it as six independent pieces. Because of this, multi-movement works are much more mentally taxing on the audience. With this in mind, program accordingly by making sure that the multimovement piece is surrounded by single-movement works of some length. If the multi-movement piece is bordered by works that are the approximate length of its movements, then the concert becomes an exhausting progression of miniatures which will ultimately feel unfulfilling because there’s nothing truly independently substantial on the program. Of course, if the multimovement work is itself quite long then the single-movement works surrounding it should offer contrast in every way. D I F F IC U LT Y
As you put together your programs, don’t be afraid to use repertoire that is slightly easier than the difficulty level to which your band is accustomed. This is particularly effective when it comes to programming slower, lyric music. Think of the reasons we choose slow music. We rehearse it to develop the musicality of our ensembles, to develop the maturity in their ensemble MBM
sounds, and to improve their intonation. Wouldn’t it make sense not to complicate these issues with the additional range concerns and technical issues that come with harder slow music? Choosing this music at a slightly less advanced level will allow your ensemble to truly focus on what matters. Besides, the time you will save in rehearsal on your slow pieces will be put to good use when working on the other pieces on your program. E N DU R A N C E
One very important, often neglected, consideration when choosing a program is taking into account the physical endurance of your musicians, particularly your high brass players. There is nothing more squirmingly heart-wrenching than the end of a successful concert being fatally marred by players who ruin the performance because they simply don’t have the embouchure strength left to play the correct pitches or make good sounds. Because of this, physical endurance must be a factor in the programming process. If you decide to program works that are going to be physically demanding on your brass, you must surround those pieces with music that is less taxing, which will allow them time to rest. CONCERT L ENGT H
This particular concern is directed at those advanced ensembles that are capable of performing a concert with an hour or more of music. It’s imperative to remember that, just as your players have physical thresholds that need to be considered, audiences have aural thresholds that need to be addressed as well. Given that most school concerts happen on a weekday night, it needs to be remembered that most your audience has already been through an entire day of work or school before they arrive at your auditorium. These people are happy to be at your concert but they will be equally as happy to go home and go to bed. Keep your concert length in check—just because your band can perform a three hour concert doesn’t mean it should. It’s been my experience that a forty-five minute event is about all that most school-based audiences can take without a break. If you have more music than this, insert a brief intermission. If you go this route, stick with a first half which contains approx-
imately two-thirds of the music with the second half rounding out the final third. You and your students have invested a lot of hard work and effort in creating this concert program. Make sure to structure the concert in a way that maximizes your audience’s attention so that they are fresh enough at the end to express their sincere appreciation in that ovation that your ensemble deserves. C O N C E R T PR E V I E W
The last step before you finalize your program is a simple, but essential one. It’s time to treat yourself to a concert preview. Sit down with full length recordings of the pieces you’ve chosen and listen all the way through your concert, in order, in one sitting. If you can’t find recordings, sing though your scores. I prefer listening to recordings because I want to recreate the concert experience from the audience’s perspective. Singing your scores is an active experience, while the experience your audience will have is a passive one. Regardless of whichever method you employ, the important thing is that you’re giving yourself a chance to be an audience member at your own concert. Mentally put yourself in that auditorium and listen through your concert. Do the pieces have a natural progression? Are you immediately engaged from the outset of the concert? Is there a nice variety of styles and tempos that would keep you engaged? Are the brass going to be able to finish strong? Are you immediately on your feet at the end? This final step of the process has been indispensable to me in the past because, quite a bit of the time, the perfect concert I had envisioned in my head reveals itself to have some fundamental flaws. This concert preview gives you the objective perspective that otherwise is easy to lose along the way because of the myriad things you have to consider. T E A R D OW N T H O S E WA L L S !
After all that you done. After the pages upon pages of lists, after all the hours of reviewing composers and titles, and after all of the unsuccessful program drafts, you have finally done it—you have created the perfect program for your students. And yet, for me, there is still one more step. It’s time for you to breathe perspective into this music you’re about to put on the stands. So often, the music in front of our students is nothing more than a progression of black and white on a page—a concert of independent pieces with no connection to the world around them. But the fact is, that not true. Often, the composers of your pieces wrote their music for a reason. There are histories and stories behind these pieces and their composers that profoundly shaped how and why they were written. Our students
deserve to be let in on the secret. The more they know about their music, the more invested they will become. What you’ll find is that their music will cease being a progression of black and white on a page and start becoming their contribution to the story. It doesn’t stop there, though. Our education system, as a whole, breeds compartmentalized learning. We learn English in English class. We learn history in Social Studies. We learn music in Band. We’re somehow taught that everything we learn in these classes occurs independently. Use your music to break down these artificial barriers. Playing a Mozart transcription? Your students might be interested to know that Mozart was composing as we fought the Revolutionary War. Knowing that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were alive at the same time as Mozart and Beethoven will help give your students perspective. Working on a Grainger piece? Those students of yours that are reading Steinbeck or Hemingway might be interested to know that Grainger was reading them too. Your history students might be interested to know that all three of them would have been living in an America that was facing the Great Depression, all the while keeping a close eye on Germany and the rise of the Nazi party. Everything is interrelated. A little bit of research on your part can not only provide your students with a deeper understanding of their music; it can give them a better appreciation of our world. One last thing. This sort of education doesn’t need to be reserved just for your students. I think our job includes educating the audience. Write program notes. Talk to your audience and briefly tell them about your music and its stories. Better yet, have your students talk to the audience so that everyone can see that the music they play is so much more than notes on a page and sounds in a darkened hall. “It’s a privilege, really.” My English-teaching colleague was right. Ours is a privilege; but one that comes with great responsibility. This luxury of variety in programming that we are afforded is time-consuming, maddeningly inexact, often times frustrating, and ultimately, if we approach it the right way, rewarding. By skillfully blending the past and present, by carefully crafting an enjoyable concert flow for the audience, and by infusing your students’ music with its history and with our history, I have no doubt you are destined to create a tradition of concert success that will keep them coming back for more. 1 … about the author — see page 21
Wild Nights! by Dr. Keith Kinder
“The musical surprises start with the very first sounds. The piece opens with a dramatic musical wedge with some of the parts altered so that every note of an F major scale sounds simultaneously through the four beginning notes.”
Frank Ticheli’s newest composition, Wild Nights!, is based on the Emily Dickinson poem of the same name. Ticheli was captivated by the euphoric delight and unfettered freedom expressed in these words, and has indicated that he was especially inspired by the lines: “Done with the compass,/Done with the chart” and “Rowing in Eden!/Ah! the sea!”. These sentiments are reflected in the music through sea images communicated by somewhat traditional means, and in relentless, unbridled energy that produces a series of unexpected events that appear suddenly and disappear just as quickly. The work is structured in five sections (AMBM
Wild Nights! Wild Nights! Were I with thee, Wild Nights should be Our luxury! Futile the winds To a heart in port, — Done with a compass, Done with the chart. Rowing in Eden! Ah! the sea! Might I but moor To-night in Thee!
bar 1-65; B-bar 66-151; A1-bar 152-194; C-bar 195-239; Coda-bar 240-252) and is about seven minutes long. Like other composers writing music reflective of the sea, Ticheli employs parallel undulating lines to imitate the repetitive surface movement of water, as can be found in clarinets and bassoons at bar four and in saxophones at bar 30. However, in keeping with the spontaneity expressed in the poem, his sea images are highly varied. At the beginning of the “B” section, low register clarinets and bassoons play quiet, staccato interlocked ostinato figures. The darkness suggested by the register and the sparkle implied by the articulation connotes a nighttime vista of moon and sea.
These figures become more agitated at bar 85, and ultimately develop into loud, sweeping passages (bar 214 and in the Coda) that dominate the musical material and imply a restless, roiling ocean. The sea as represented here offers unlimited possibilities for adventure. The musical surprises start with the very first sounds. The piece opens with a dramatic musical wedge with some of the parts altered so that every note of an F major scale sounds simultaneously through the four beginning notes. This figure is answered by trumpets and low brass who offer a series of major chords that descend by thirds and are out-of-phase with each other. Both musical ideas, the wedge and the out-of-phase major chords, as well as variations of them, recur frequently throughout the composition. Example 1: Bar 1- 4 (wedge and out-of-phase chords):
ff ff ff ff
For example, in bar eight a busy, syncopated passage in high woodwinds and xylophone, which is reminiscent of bird call, is a rhythmic variation of the wedge that opened the work and numerous short figures (especially throughout the A section) have the same structure: Example 2: Bar 8 (bird song):
The A section is characterized by lyrical sea images, short interjections by every part of the band most of which add variety to the nautical picture being portrayed, and brief, highly-syncopated melodic fragments based on major scales. The constant off-the-beat accents drive the music forward even at soft dynamic levels. This section reaches a powerful climax at bar 54 in a passage that is both a wedge and out-of-phase major chords—a rather remarkable summing up of the musical ideas of this section (see example 3: bar 54-55 (climax). As noted earlier, the B section has a shadowy quality although it maintains the persistent forward momentum of the previous music and individual sections of the band continue to
Example 3: bar 54-55 (climax):
ff ff ff
interject brief outbursts that add to the energy and contribute some surprises. This section also contrasts with earlier music. The first extended melody of the work appears at bar 69 in solo alto saxophone—a sultry, exotic-sounding tune that perhaps suggests a steamy tropical night. Variations on this melody, either as solos or for ensemble groups, persist throughout this section. Example 4: Bar 69-76 (saxophone solo):
The harmonic content of these measures also contrasts with the A section. Previous music focused around major scales, but this section, melodically, harmonically and contrapuntally, draws on octatonic sets, which contributes to the exotic sound of the melodic material. The final long melody, bars 124-130 in trombones and tuba, breaks the pattern by abandoning the octatonic sonority in favor of parallel major chords, which begin the process of preparing for the return of A material. The B section, however, has a few additional surprises to offer before concluding. At bar 132, horns, saxophones, euphonium and first trombone introduce a new melody that initially consists almost exclusively of intervals of a perfect fourth and sounds quite different from other material in the work, although rhythmic parallels prevent it from sounding out-of-place: Example 5: Bar 132-137 (“perfect fourth melody”): marcato ff www. MBM
The final segment comprises a long crescendo created by superimposed ostinati, most of which involve but three pitches. When the A section returns, most of the ideas from earlier are restated, but in a more transparent scoring and without the powerful climax that concluded the initial section. The C section arrives abruptly. For the first time in the piece, the relentless forward drive hesitates in long notes and a slower harmonic rhythm, however, after a few bars, the music reestablishes momentum. Frequent sea images evolve, but here they consist of sweeping lines and dense sound clouds in the woodwinds—the restless, roiling ocean mentioned earlier. Special mention needs to be made of the 4-mallet marimba solo, bars 206-214, and the primary climax of the work (bar 229-239), which consists of a brass chorale comprised of parallel major chords under a woodwind sound cloud. A caesura completes this section. The Coda is short and dramatic. A graded crescendo is
created by a gradually accumulating woodwind sound cloud over rising octatonic scales. At the peak of the crescendo trumpets and horns shout out the “perfect fourth” melody from the B section leading to the final surprise, a cadence that juxtaposes C major and G-flat major chords. While these chords are surprising they do not sound incompatible with the music around them. Throughout the Coda, Ticheli extracted notes from the octatonic scale to gradually build a pedal chord on an F-sharp root, thus preparing the listener’s ear for the final G-flat sonority. Band directors have come to expect from Frank Ticheli music with boundless energy, imaginative construction, excellent scoring and clear aesthetic goals. Wild Nights! has all of these characteristics, but what makes it unique is the rapturous joyfulness that the work projects from its very initial notes. This is an infectious composition that will delight performers and audiences alike. 1 … about the author — see page 21
commissioned by the California Band Directors Association in celebration of their 50th anniversary
WILD NIGHTS! FOR CONCERT BAND
= c. 144 2 Piccolo
FRANK TICHELI 7
1 2 1
B Cl. 2
B Clarinet 3
B Bass Cl. 3 3
B Bass Clarinet
1 Bassoon 2
E Alto Sax.
E Alto Saxophone
2 3 3
B Ten. Sax.
B Tenor Saxophone 3
E Baritone Saxophone
E Bari. Sax. to straight mute
to straight mute B Trumpet 2
B Tpt. 2 3
to straight mute
1 2 F Horn 3 4
1 2 F Hn. 3 4
1 Trombone 2 3
Initial Tunings Timpani
SUS. CYM. (stick) l.v.
2 PEDAL BASS DRUM
to Temple Blocks
3 Copyright © 2007 by Manhattan Beach Music/All Rights Reserved. — Printed and engraved in the United States of America. ISBN 1-59913-034-3 (complete set) ISBN 1-59913-035-1 (conductor score)
Go to www.FrankTicheli.com for the latest information on the music of Frank Ticheli Purchase music, download free MP3s, view scores and more at www.ManhattanBeachMusic.com
A BOU T OU R AU T HOR S & F R A N K T IC H E L I ’ S L IS T R E V I E W E R S DR . JOH N A. DA RLI NG is currently an Assistant Professor of Music at Bismarck State College where he is responsible for conducting the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, and all chamber groups. He also teaches Instrumental Conducting, Aural Skills, and Music Appreciation. He stays active as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator throughout the upper Midwest. He is an Associate Member of the Board of Directors for the International Music Camp where he teaches during the summer sessions, and serves as the National Band Association State Chair for North Dakota. His composition, West River Jubilee, is now available through Alfred Publishing. He is a regular contributing author to the Journal of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE), and MBM Times. DR . JEFFR EY D. G E RS H M A N is Director of Instrumental Activities at Texas A&M University–Commerce, where he conducts the Wind Ensemble and the Chamber Winds and teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting and wind literature courses. He is an active guest conductor and concert band clinician and a frequent guest lecturer at state and national conventions. Also an accomplished arranger, his band transcriptions include works by John Corigliano and Frank Zappa. DR . K EIT H K I NDE R is Associate Professor of Music at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, where he conducts the concert band and the chamber orchestra,
leads the Music Education program and teaches courses in conducting and music education. As an recognized expert in wind literature and performance, he presents regularly at conferences worldwide. He is the author of Best Music for Chorus and Winds (Manhattan Beach), The Wind and Wind-Chorus Music of Anton Bruckner (Greenwood), and Prophetic Trumpets: Homage, Worship and Celebration in the Wind Band Music of Richard Wagner and Franz Liszt (Pendragon). G R E G O R Y B. R U D G E R S , after a successful career in public school music, now serves on the adjunct faculties of both Ithaca College and Roberts Wesleyan College in New York State at which he offers graduate courses in composition for music educators. He has written articles for The Instrumentalist, the Music Educator’s Journal, Teaching Music, and several state journals. He is also a published composer with works for band, wind ensemble, string orchestra, and chamber ensembles produced by several prominent publishers, the most recent being Riders to Stonehenge published by Manhattan Beach Music. He has enjoyed success as a clinician/ guest conductor, having served in that capacity at both the public school and university levels for over one hundred festivals. D R . R O D N E Y C. S CHU E L L E R is Director of Bands and Coordinator of Instrumental Performance and Ensembles at Texas State University–San Marcos, where he is conductor of the Wind Ensemble and Chamber Winds, and teaches undergradu-
ate and graduate instrumental conducting and wind literature classes. He is an active adjudicator, clinician, and guest conductor, and his Wind Ensemble has been selected to perform at events of the College Music Society, Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA), and College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA). In the spring of 2007, Dr. Schueller received the Foundations of Excellence Award from the Texas State University Student Foundation as a Texas State University Distinguished Educator. He is a contributing author to four volumes in the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series published by GIA and has published articles in the Bandmasters Review, The Instrumentalist and MBM Times. D R . L AW R E N CE STOFFE L is Director of Bands at California State University, Northridge (Los Angeles), where he serves as conductor of both the internationally-recognized Wind Ensemble and the Wind Symphony. As an associate professor of music, he teaches courses in music education and conducting, as well as being the coordinator of wind studies. He is author of A Discography of Concert Band Recordings on Compact Disc: Promoting the Artistry of Band Composition (Edwin Mellen Press) and has been published and lectured on topics wide-ranging—from musical interpretation to copyright law, from the composer Leoš Janáček to the use of religious music in the public schools, from band transcriptions to singing in band.
To learn more about Frank Ticheli’s music, visit
www .FrankTicheli. com “The Official Source for the Music of Frank Ticheli” www. MBM
P R O U D
photo by Charlie Grosso
m a n h a t t a n b e a c h m u s i c P R E S E N T
FRANK TICHELI’S LIST It’s all about the music. Most instrumental music teachers understand this simple fact. Excellent repertoire is the cornerstone of a good music program. Period. It can speak directly to students’ souls, reveal to them a kind of beauty that words alone cannot touch, and change their lives in countless positive ways. Yet many, if not most, of the thousands upon thousands of published band works could be called “throw-away music.” Only a fraction of them have deserved to survive the test of time. Indeed, each year very few works from the mountain of new publications will rise to this standard. My aim has been to identify these works by hearing as many of them as possible with my own ears. Not an easy task, and not one to be taken lightly. I acknowledge that I am one person with one set of values and musical opinions. As such, I do not intend for my list to supplant any of the other fine lists already available. Rather, I have tried to make mine more selective. I personally reviewed many of the best published works at all grade levels, selecting only around one hundred twenty works thus far. Of these, only thirty-three appear here today. Other titles will be added and made public only after they have received thorough written reviews from outside writers, a process which takes time and careful scrutiny. Thus, the present list is a work in progress which will evolve and expand over time. I hope this list will serve as a beacon to band directors everywhere who share my hopes about the future of wind band literature and music education. I also hope that, together, we can inspire publishers and others in the music industry to redouble their efforts to create a band world in which excellent music is not the exception, but the rule.
L I S T
Frank Ticheli, Composer Pasadena, California
www . Fr ank Tichel i List . com
Frank Ticheli’s List George Washington Bridge Dr. Keith Kinder William Schuman R e v ie w by
Grade 5 7 min. G . Schirmer
ritten in 1950 and subtitled “An Impression for shrouded in fog in his preface to the score. Perhaps the line clusBand”, George Washington Bridge is William ters are intended to portray this image. Interestingly, as this secSchuman’s tribute a monumental New York City tion progresses the line clusters disappear, the music becomes edifice that has had a significant impact on his life. He ascribes more contrapuntal and animated and the final few bars cona virtually human personality to the bridge, seeing in it a variety sist of a series of rapid crescendos in a variety of timbral blends. of moods depending on the weather, the time of day, the traffic These techniques may suggest the progress of the morning sun or his own mood when he observes it. In his “Impression”, he burning away the fog and resulting in shafts of brilliant sunattempts to represent all of these notions, primarily light. Curiously, the peak of the arch, which might be FRANK through contrasting timbres and textures. expected to be the climax of the work, is a quiet brass George Washington Bridge occupies an imporchorale. Possibly Schuman sees the peaks of the bridge’s tant place in the band literature since it was the first sigtowers as akin to church steeples guiding one’s eyes nificant work in the repertoire to employ polytonality, upward in a spiritual quest. In that case, his evoking of pointillism and cluster harmonies. It is cast in arch religious music at this point is singularly appropriate. L I S T form, a form that was undoubtedly inspired by the The remainder of the piece consists of restatements structure of the bridge itself. of the first two sections of the work in reverse order. The opening section comprises mainly loud, towThey are not exact repeats, however. The “night music” ering block polychords, a representation of the heavy, looming section is shorter and somewhat recomposed, and the brass and structure that dominates its surroundings. Syncopation and perwoodwind timbres are more integrated than earlier. When the cussion outbursts add momentum to these largely static blocks. opening section returns it, too, is shorter, but elides into a subThis section also introduces motivic figures that will be the basis stantial coda that is the climax of the composition. Pyramids, of all melodic material throughout the piece. The following seckaleidoscopic textures using rapid crescendos, and accented vertion is a complete contrast. Fast, light, rhythmic and pointillissions of earlier melodic material bring the work to a dramatic tic, it mostly juxtaposes woodwind and brass timbres and may close. depict the bridge at night and the twinkling of automobile lights George Washington Bridge is a cornerstone of the band repas they pass over it. The ensuing “C” section is longer than the ertoire. With his use of compositional techniques current at the two earlier parts and employs extended melodic lines constructed time, Schuman demonstrated that band music could be a serious from the motives heard in the opening music. It also introduces artistic medium for respected composers. He also composed a another textural element consisting of “line clusters”— passages work that is a masterful use of the band as an ensemble. It is difthat begin on unison pitches and gradually expand outward into ficult to conceive of this piece performed in any other medium. cluster or polychordal harmonies. Schuman mentions the bridge
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A i r
F o r
B a n d
Grade 1 3½ min.
scored with young bands in mind, the composer A classic in the young band literature, Air for has also managed to exploit instrumental color efBand has been identified as the source of “more fine fectively. band sound than any piece in the repertoire”. WritThe form is simple: A—B—A1—Trans.— ten in 1956 and revised ten years later, it has always B1—Coda. However, all the melodic material is been a popular choice among middle school band F r a n k built from similar motives, allowing the music to directors. E r i c k s o n flow smoothly from section to section within a well Air for Band is an excellent training piece, but integrated structure. Erickson generated variety is also convincing musically. Erickson’s melody is through scoring (the primary theme appears first immediately attractive, singable and memorable, in clarinets, then in a full band setting), melodic but also requires young players to sustain a musivariation (in the A1 and B1 sections the themes are decorated) cal line and to understand phrasing that is not always strictly and contrapuntal intensification and simplification. While symmetrical. The counterpoint is simple but effective, providmotivic correlation provides a satisfying sense of unification, ing all performers with significant parts that necessitate indethe contrast afforded by these developmental techniques mainpendence and attentive listening for balance. The dynamics, tains interest. which incorporate a wide range and are carefully graded, teach Air for Band is a masterful blend of pedagogy and musisound and breath control and provide the overall work with a cianship. While the materials used, and their application, persuasive musical shape. Neo-Romantic harmony offers many are straightforward, this work offers many opportunities for opportunities for rubato and exposes inexperienced players to imaginative interpretation. Undoubtedly, this is why it has rethe tension and relaxation inherent in good voice leading and mained core repertoire while other contemporary pieces have harmonic progression. The keys, C minor and C major, are disappeared from the literature. uncommon in music at this level. While the work is carefully FRANK
Grade 2 4 min.
F a n f a r e
D r .
O d e
K e i t h
K i n d e r
F e s t i v a l
R e v i e w s
Manhattan Beach Music
a modification of mood. For example, the first full This set of dances is drawn from the Dancerstatement of the melody is scored for flutes and claries published by Pierre Attaignant in the midinets; the second statement continues the clarinet 1500s. Two of them are credited to Claude scoring, but transposed down an octave, resulting Gervaise, an editor for Attaignant and a band in a striking darkening of the atmosphere. The endmusician. Dance music and wind instruments B o b ing is intriguing. A chord in fifths on G resolves to a have a long connection – reaching well back M a r g o l i s G-minor triad – another reflection of serious views. into the Middle Ages. The fact that at least two Festival returns to the cheerful quality of the first of these dances were originally written for a movement. Essentially a set of variations on a simple small Renaissance band makes them even more theme, this movement adds several subtle touches of appropriate for modern band performance. humour. For example, the closing section abruptly Margolis has maintained the modal content collapses in on itself. A loud woodwind passage arrives one beat of the pieces as well as the robust rhythmic character of the fast too early, and is answered by a brass whisper. The ending seems movements and the plaintive quality of the Ode. The Fanfare destined for the usual raucous band music conclusion, but inis bright and energetic and, as would be expected, is focused stead the music dissipates to a quiet finish featuring a timpani on the brass instruments. Its six-bar phrases (one central fivesolo. bar phrase) are usually elided by the use of changes of timbre. Fanfare Ode & Festival is aurally attractive and highly effecCarefully marked articulation and dramatic percussion writing tive young band music. In this composition, the composer has support the high spirited character. linked imaginative compositional ideas with a well-considered In the Ode, the scoring is unusually transparent for music musical aesthetic to create a work that, while practical, is musiat this level, and the many timbral contrasts are distinctive and cally engaging. ear-catching. Many of the orchestrational changes also provide MBM
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Children’s March: PERC Y A LDR IDGE
“Over the Hills and Far Away”
GR A INGER R e v ie w by
Grade 4 7 min. Southern Music
Gregory B. Rudgers
forth with both audacity and charm. Yes, this is a work that Mark Roger’s brilliant editing restores this miracshows no deference to performability, and yet it is eminently ulous work to its original splendor. Consulting a playable. Calling also for piano (fully cued), double reed solo number of original sources, many in Grainger’s own and soli playing, (the bassoons and contrabassoon are particuhand, Rogers and his publisher, Southern Music, have done larly prominent), as well as occasionally very thin scoring, the yeoman service to the band world in bringing out this remarkchallenges in this work are not so much technical as musical. able edition. The work, with its infectious melody, is only half Mature and advanced bands and wind ensembles will the picture; it is Grainger’s unerring orchestration that find much here to study and enjoy, while not needing brings the music into sharp, one might say high-definiFRANK to spend undue rehearsal time on the mechanical. tion focus. Grainger did not really care that much for Grainger presents the march simply and econompracticality, he cared for sound, and this work is alive ically in the opening statement and then continues in sound, from the extraordinary use of all the band’s for several repetitions, each with unique colors and myriad forces to the unexpectedly glorious appearance L I S T styles. In lesser hands, the number of repetitions of of a wordless vocal quartet, giving the music a jolt (as the themes might become redundant; such is not the though it needed any more electricity). case here. Each rendition sparkles with originality This work is a genuine masterpiece in the British and delight, keeping the work alive and compelling. Military Band tradition, and this edition uses all Woodwinds and brasses and piano combine in a stunning variGrainger’s original instruments: all the saxophones (including ety of colors and dynamics with the tutti forte sections so engagsoprano, and a special part for alto to substitute for soprano; and ing that one is virtually forced to smile in admiration and joy. bass), all the clarinets (the bottom two as substitutes for bass One such section is launched into the air by an agitated run of saxophone and contrabassoon), and there is even a contrabass sixteenths that momentarily threaten to derail the work — but sarrusophone part, just in case one turns up. Though the work instead tosses it forwards with extraordinary momentum. will benefit from the great variety of instruments, it will still be There is great drama here as well as delicacy and gentleness. excellent without, as Grainger himself (and the program notes) In truth, the entire range of human emotions may be found in attest. Best of both worlds! this imaginative, continually surprising work, a crown jewel of The “Grainger sound” is so distinctive that one needs very Frank Ticheli’s List. (The instrumentation of this edition is shown below.) few measures to recognize his musical personality, and it is not very long before his delightful sense of humor and whimsy come Instrumentation: 1 Full Score 1 Compressed Score 1 Piano 1 Small Flute (Piccolo) 4 1st Flute 4 2nd Flute 4 3rd Flute (substitute for clarinet in E-flat) 1 1st Oboe 1 2nd Oboe 1 English Horn (substitute for bass oboe) 1 Bass Oboe
1 Clarinet in E-flat 3 1st Clarinet in B-flat 3 2nd Clarinet in B-flat 3 3rd Clarinet in B-flat 3 4th Clarinet in B-flat 2 Alto Clarinet 2 Bass Clarinet 1 Contra Alto Clarinet (substitute for bass saxophone) 1 Contra Bass Clarinet (substitute for Double Bassoon) 1 1st Bassoon 1 2nd Bassoon
1 Double Bassoon 1 Contra Bass Sarrusophone (substitute for Double Bassoon) 1 Soprano Saxophone 1 Special Alto Saxophone (substitute for soprano saxophone) 2 Alto Saxophone 2 Tenor Saxophone 1 Baritone Saxophone 1 Bass Saxophone 2 1st Cornet 2 2nd Cornet
2 3rd Cornet 2 4th Cornet 1 1st Horn 1 2nd Horn 1 3rd Horn 1 4th Horn 2 1st Trombone 2 2nd Trombone 2 3rd Trombone 3 Euphonium T.C. 3 Euphonium B.C. 6 Tubas 1 Double Bass 1 Kettle Drums & Chimes
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3 1st Percussion (side drum, wood block, tambourine, castanets, and bells) 3 2nd Percussion (Big [bass] drum, cymbals [crash & suspended], gong, hammerwood [xylophone]) 1 Vocal score (“purchase of this edition of Children’s March entitles the owner to photocopy additional copies of this vocal score as needed.”)
R e d l i n e
T a n g o
Grade 6 9½ min.
John Mackey reminds us how exhilarating life can be! He takes you back to owning your first car and the rush of revving your engine in a free-spirited dash on the open road (definition #1 of “redline”). At the same time, Mackey J o takes you back to the first point in your life living on your own, of starting your life on your M a c own, and beginning your professional pursuits. For Mackey that was as an aspiring, young composer living in New York City and commuting on the subway (definition #2 of “Red Line”). Exhilarating, and portentous, and daunting, and rousing, and at the same time both harrowing and mind-blowing. This rich mix of emotion and personal experience is the essence of Redline Tango. The work is divided into three connected sections. The opening is aggressive from the get-go. A constant 16th-note pulse (in the marimba) drives the redline here. It is raw energy. The composer’s occasional “brassy” markings will not suffice. He drives the point even further with more explicit instrucFRANK
C a c c i a
a n d
C h o r a l e
Grade 4 7 min.
There is an immediate appeal to Clifton Williams’ Caccia and Chorale That appeal could be from the engaging, galloping rhythmic drive which is so incessant throughout the first section of the work, the “caccia” (literally a musical “chase”). The attraction to the composition could very well be the noble, majestic C l i f brass chords that begin the chorale (a musical hymn, or song of praise). Then again this im- W i l l mediate appeal to the work on the whole could simply be found in the atypical ordering of the two sections — fast then slow. Rather than the conventional slow-then-fast construction we expect with most two-part compositions, Williams decidedly reverses the tempo scheme. The mere reversal of the two sections alone creates an unexpected interest in the form on the whole (an ordinary composer would have undoubtedly written a “Chorale and Caccia”). But there is a deeper significance to this reversed order than first might be apparent. When considering the life of Clifton Williams, we know
tions of “ballsy, jarring.” A rather abrupt halt to the opening section ushers in the tango proper, which is the work’s second section. Mackey claims the E-flat clarinet solo to be klezmer-like. The music shifts to a more provocative mood, h n a seducing tango that is disjunct enough to be k e y more disturbing than sensuous, and more cocktail lounge than tango salon. But true to the essence of the tango, he notes the dance is “demented, and even a bit sleazy.” The opening driving 16th-note pulse returns (by self-admission, Mackey is inclined toward ostinato), and the aggressive feel of the composition’s opening returns immediately and all the more impelling. It is now “redder,” Mackey explains. Redline Tango originates as an orchestral composition. But John Mackey has found tremendous new life in re-working the score for band. Since their respective premieres, the band Redline Tango has been performed 20-fold times more than the orchestral Redline Tango! This music is certainly rousing band directors who seek both the harrowing and the mind-blowing.
the composer to be among the most celebrated of American composers writing for the concert band from the 1950s into the ‘70s. While his compositional style is more conservative than of his contemporaries (say, Persichetti), there is no denying his significant contribution to the band t o n repertory. Williams was the first recipient to the ABA/Ostwald Original Band Composition i a m s Award, after all! In the published score Williams provides a general admonition to all conductors to question “whether music can convey any message other than purely a musical one.” But with Caccia and Chorale, Clifton Williams acknowledges the clear and deliberate allegorical ties to his carefully chosen title. Here the music does have a veiled spiritual meaning that transcends the literal title. This work is Williams’ personal, urgent chase (“Caccia”) for a return to religious liveliness (“Chorale”). This is no mere school band composition. It is one man’s final testament to all of humanity.
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S u i t e
F r a n ç a i s e
Grade 5 15 min.
Leeds Music/Hal Leonard
Darius Milhaud is one of the multitude of composers who fled Nazi-occupied Europe in the 1930s and ‘40s and emigrated to the United States. This historical fact is not lost in the score of his Suite Française. The suite is in five movements, each bearD a ing the name of a specific province in France. M i l Milhaud uses folk tunes from each of these provinces as the principal melodic material for each of the movements. The result is a diorama of French provincial life. The first movement, “Normandie,” is a quick-stepped tune marked frequently with unexpected accents. “Bretagne” plods along much like a dirge, providing a stark and sudden contrast to the gaiety of the first movement. The lively dance “Ile de France” is a whirlwind tune propelled by a constant eighth-note pulse. The fourth movement, “Alsace-Lorraine” (the slowest tempo in the suite) opens with a tune (in a minor) which is heavyfooted but transforms into a grand, heroic climax (in C major) through a clever juxtaposition of two different melodies placed FRANK
T a l l i s
P r e l u d e
Grade 2 3½ min.
It is no surprise that Douglas Akey is found on Frank Ticheli’s list of exceptional band works, as Akey himself (a highly accomplished middle school band director) has dedicated tremendous effort into identifying outstanding musical compositions playable by young bands. Akey has also contributed to this cause through his own com- D o u positional efforts, producing several notable works A k such as A Tallis Prelude. Akey chose Thomas Tallis’ celebrated English church service psalm tune, “Why Fumeth in Fight” (from the Nine Psalm Tunes for Matthew Parker, 1567). The tune is also commonly known as “Tallis’ Canon.” This melody will be familiar to many listeners, as it is the same Tallis tune chosen by Ralph Vaughan Williams for his Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis and by Fisher Tull for his Sketches on a Tudor Psalm. And while many will immediately connect Akey’s composition with Vaughan Williams, do not assume that Akey’s composition is Vaughan Williams “lite.” Akey accomplishes considerable musical variety and contrasts in less than four minutes of music.
in counterpoint. The suite concludes with a lively and well-known tambourin (fife and drum) tune from Provence. Again, Milhaud sets two folk tunes in counterpoint to provide a most happy end to the entire suite. This is heartfelt music. Milhaud composed i u s the suite specifically for American school a u d bands. He acknowledges that the motivation was partly pedagogical, noting a lack of contemporaneous music available to high school and college bands in the United States during the 1940s. Today when we read Milhaud’s dedication in the score, we are perhaps surprised to read his blunt castigation of the “German invaders” who wreaked such destruction upon France. But this music was not composed to simply fill a gap in the repertory. Suite Française is a gift of gratitude from this fiercely patriotic Frenchman to the American people for the liberation of France from Nazi occupation. Here is music that speaks directly to the human experience and condition. This is music that captures the human spirit.
While compact in form, A Tallis Prelude is quite imaginative. Individual phrases from the tune are intriguingly manipulated in ways uncommon in grade 2 literature. Akey injects the Phrygian melody with unexpected harsh chromaticism and then at other times with a sudden l a s shift to the related major tonality. He employs diminution, augmentation, and metric modulay tion. Shifts from legato lyricism to driving rhythmic strains add greater interest to the music. The original tune is never presented in its entirety until the end of the composition where Akey concludes the composition with a grand, final climax. “Why Fumeth in Fight” is touted among early-music scholars as one of Tallis’ best examples of his Anglican Church service music. Both the melody and lyrics are cited as the model for the emergence of a new, more sophisticated English music to come in the Baroque. It is perhaps then just a happy coincidence (but one that merits mention) that Akey’s composition likewise is universally cited as a fine example of the better music that is possible for young bands. Frank Ticheli’s List continues on page 37
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Look Be yond The Label and Judge
by Dr. Rodney C. Schueller
“Some conductors will not consider programming a work at the grade III level or lower because their ensemble ‘performs only grade IV and V literature.’ Here programming is based upon an assigned grade level rather than utilizing the musical discretion and discernment of the conductor. Take for example Frank Ticheli’s Shenandoah…” You cannot really tell that much about a piece by its label, yet conductors frequently discuss music for wind band with one or more labels attached, often with the label itself as the central focus. Labels include: grade level; educational music vs. music of artistic merit; commissioned music; old repertoire vs. contemporary repertoire; cornerstone repertoire. Discussions most often center on whether a work is one of serious artistic merit or is just “educational music.” Placing any work in either of these categories and assigning an accurate grade level is a difficult proposition at best, so such discussions often become animated, especially when judging the proportion of art-to-commerce in a work that blurs the lines between the two. It is no wonder that undue attention is focused upon the label, rather than the music. If we do so, we are losing track of what matters. Perhaps it is best to begin with the most omnipresent of labels, grade level. Band conductors need to know whether or not a work is accessible to their ensemble, and a grade level designation is the most expedient and recognizable indicator of difficulty. However, no work should be ruled out solely because of its grade level. It takes at least one or more hearings and an examination of the score before you can judge a work’s artistic quality, and that should be the most important thing one should seek. There are actually many grade I–III works that are of high artistic quality, but even these works do not often receive the label of serious artistic music simply because of their low grade level. If that is not prejudice, I do not know what else to call it. The label does not contain any guarantee of quality or warning of lack of quality. Yet conductors frequently disregard music that is labeled “educational,” erroneously following a stereotype that eduMBM
cational music is of less quality and should not be programmed by accomplished ensembles. It’s as if they are afraid their band will be accused of playing “simple music.” However, simplicity and art are separate qualities, and you can surely have a work of high art that is technically simple. Perhaps what has really happened to give lower grade level music this low-grade reputation is the prevalence of educational music written to maximize educational market share. This focus on grade level has spilled over into the commissioning of music, and not usually to good effect. Here’s a potential scenario: Commissioning parties will almost always specify the length and difficulty of a work, and may even go so far to offer programmatic elements and thematic material. A composer unfamiliar with the meaning of educational grade levels is thus at a disadvantage, and is likely to ask: “Grade three? What does that mean?” A laundry list of restrictions usually follows including instrumentation, length of the piece, range and rhythmic content, sections of the band to avoid and instruments that will do well and not so well as soloists, keys, meters, tempos, and on and on. Even the most experienced composers often discover that writing works for younger players is one of their most challenging assignments, especially when it is their unrestricted works that have grabbed the attention of the commissioning entity in the first place. Ironically, the commissioning party’s list of restrictions can serve to lower the quality of the work, as it is re-thought and retrofitted to a particular band to make that band sound good, and slanted to the particular likes and dislikes of the commissioning party. Instead of producing a piece up to the composer’s usual standard, art takes a back seat. Their band may sound good, but the work itself suffers. Obviously, no one wants to receive a piece that is beyond the scope of the ensemble for which is was written. But the less the composer is restricted, the better and more original the work is likely to become. Perhaps it is wiser to proceed by accentuating what can and should be done rather than what cannot be done or accomplished by the given ensemble; in this way the band plays up to the level of the work, rather than the composer writing down, sideways, or crooked to the needs of the moment. It is not only the bands playing lower grade levels that can confuse the label with the real musical value. Although there are a great number of high school bands that elect not to attempt grade IV–VI works due to limitations in instrumentation, technical ability, musicianship and ensemble maturity, the opposite practice is also commonly encountered. Some conductors will
not consider programming a work at the grade III level or lower because their ensemble “performs only grade IV and V literature.” Here programming is based upon an assigned grade level rather than utilizing the musical discretion and discernment of the conductor. Take for example Frank Ticheli’s Shenandoah, the lovely and lush setting of the familiar folk tune. Most resources and therefore most retailers regard the composition as a grade III, and place it alongside all the others in this category. However, if you listen to a performance of the work by a mature ensemble and also examine the score, you’ll conclude that this is no ordinary grade III piece. This work requires musical independence and the players need careful listening skills as instruments are combined together in the presentation of melodic, countermelodic and accompanying material; the players must control their sound through a wide range of dynamics and textures; three accomplished and independent flutists are required for a 3-part canon. This piece will require significant rehearsal time for a truly rewarding musical experience, but the grade III label, while accurate in describing the technical requirements of the work, is not necessarily indicative of the ensemble and musical challenges contained within. Therefore, it is unfortunate that such wonderful pieces for band may be regarded as educational music, rather than the true works of art they are. Even Ticheli’s Shenandoah, which has received untold thousands of performances, is probably seldom encountered on “Grade VI” programs, and that’s a shame. We have thus far seen how the label of educational music can mask a work’s true quality, or even inhibit the composer’s creativity by an over-zealous commissioning party or the bottom-line orientation of composing, publishing, or retailing concerns. But traveling to the opposite pole and arriving at a concrete definition of music of serious artistic merit is even more difficult as this is highly subjective. Identifying music that challenges the performer and listener alike through its artistic content while demonstrating the highest level of craftsmanship is like trying to describe a shade of a color, and there are no paint chips when it comes to music. In the upper grade levels of band literature, once again the label does not tell the whole story. While it’s true that a majority of grade V and grade VI literature falls into the serious art-music category due to technical and musical demands, mere technical difficulty is no guarantee of artistic quality. It’s more likely a guarantee of artistic intent, but intent is not always met with success. Therefore, just as much as in the lower grade levels, look beyond the label when judging the more difficult works. www. MBM
One label you will not often see is Grade VI. It’s truly unfortunate many grade VI works have been passing fancies or unfeasibly difficult academic pieces, initially receiving several performances before being discarded and forgotten. Many grade VI works are never published due to the high cost of production and low financial return because of the number of schools and band organizations that will buy them. These works are more often than not available only through rental. This is one case where the label can alter availability itself. The next label that can prejudice a work is its age. Although our methods of evaluation are subjective, many conductors avoid programming works due to their age (newer is better and older works are avoided), which in and of itself is remarkable considering wind bands are still in their infancy as an independent musical medium. The wind band profession places heavy emphasis on programming contemporary music, so an examination of any CBDNA Report will almost always yield a high percentage of works written within the last ten to twenty years (if not ten to twenty months). To the credit of CBDNA, previous conference concerts and sessions entitled “Forgotten Gems” have focused on works of substance from the past. Although few conductors question the quality of older works, some have contested the degree to which older music is in vogue, and thus worthy of programming. This notion is grounded in a kind of recent-contemporary-music elitism. Have orchestra conductors questioned whether or not the symphonies of Haydn and Mozart will speak to contemporary audiences? In the orchestral world, the opposite philosophy rules, as audiences often reject the programming of contemporary music and would rather hear the music of the master composers of the Baroque, Classic and Romantic periods. In the band world, almost everything you hear was written within the last one to twenty years. The quality of band music from the outset of the school band movement until the early 1960s may have something to do with this philosophy. The music of this period may have done more to give bands a questionable musical image than any other aspect of the band’s existence. The fact bands were often viewed as an outgrowth of the military and had more of an athletic and ceremonial function contributed to this perception. Due to the lack of substantial original works for band, for the bulk of their programming many conductors performed transcriptions of orchestral works and popular music as well as marches. This was often done out of necessity and there is absolutely nothing wrong with programming transcriptions, as there are a wealth MBM
of quality transcriptions from master orchestrators available. As far as original works are concerned, this era included several composers whose main focus was to write music that was playable, not music of substance. These composers have come under attack from contemporary conductors, performers and other composers of serious music for writing the kind of pieces that many feel are of questionable quality. However, one must also remember the 1950s and 1960s included great talents such as Morton Gould, Ingolf Dahl, Aaron Copland and Paul Creston who produced great works of substance such as Symphony for Band West Point (1952), Sinfonietta (1961), Emblems (1964), and Celebration Overture (1955), respectively. Unfortunately, these composers fought a battle of perception since band music itself was carrying a negative stereotype. These great composers were doing their part to assist in the improvement of the perception of the wind band and its repertoire by writing works of their own for the medium. Some quality compositions from this era have sadly become relics, simply consuming space in file drawers in band libraries. Many of these works are substantial enough to make them the centerpiece of any concert program on the high school level. They are also excellent pieces for second bands at the university level or as program fillers for top college wind ensembles. These works have rightfully earned the label of music of serious artistic merit, yet also happen to be accessible to advanced high school symphonic bands and wind ensembles on the educational front. Further, many of these works have withstood the test of time and are shining examples of American composition. Some examples of these works are Incantation and Dance (1960) by John Barnes Chance, Suite of Old American Dances (1950) by Robert Russell Bennett, Liturgical Music for Band, Op. 33 (1963) by Martin Mailman, and Three Chorale Preludes (1956) by William P. Latham, to name a few. When future generations look to the past they will realize the period between 1920 and 1970 was crucial in the development of the wind band as a serious ensemble in our nation’s history. Conductors cannot continue the endeavor of elevating the band’s musical standing while leaving behind those works that have helped define what the idiom is today. Cornerstone repertoire is perhaps the one label any composer would welcome. It denotes a piece that has either withstood the test of time or will do so due to the universal acceptance of the piece as one of high quality. This is music suitable not only for contest, but also for the most important of concerts. It is music all students should perform and all conductors should prepare,
and could come from either a master composer or someone who is new on the scene. In virtually every way, it is a label that avoids a stereotype. After one gets beyond the labels on our music, conquering the second part of programming is done through our relationships with others. Although the ultimate responsibility for quality programming based on sound musical judgments is that of the band director, the publisher obviously plays a vital role as well. We certainly recognize that publishers are part of the business world and their work must be profitable in order to survive. However, having their composers write for market share is undesirable. Perhaps educators are partly to blame.
Sometimes this may be our local music merchant, while other times it could be one of the well-known figures at a music retail outlet with a national profile. There is no question these Worthy Commissioned Works individuals have a vast knowledge Since World War II, band conductors have achieved moderate success in establishing an identity separate from the orchestra. Band of literature both contemporary conductors have always felt that commissioning highly successful and historical. Often their orchestral and academic composers would elevate the profession’s suggestions weigh heavily on musical status. Beginning in the 1950’s, many associations includwhat we program because they ing the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association, the Goldman Band, the American Bandmasters Association, and various muknow the hot composers with sic fraternities and sororities began this trend. This continues today, new pieces and they can often with additional efforts from individual and school consortiums. suggest works that will go with Many of the compositions that resulted from these commissions are considered cornerstone works in the repertoire. Below is a small our other selections, regardless of sampling of commissioned works from the 1950’s to the present day the performance purpose. There in various grade levels: is no question that retailers have a George Washington Bridge (1950) William Schuman responsibility as well, to properly Tunbridge Fair (1950) Walter Piston guide conductors and teachers Canzona (1951) Peter Mennin Symphony No. 6 (1956) Vincent Persichetti toward music that is fulfilling for Sinfonietta (1961) Ingolf Dahl performers and audiences alike. Variants on Mediaeval Tune (1963) Norman Dello Joio Emblems (1964) Aaron Copland The Passing Bell (1974) Warren Benson Laude (1975) Howard Hanson …and the mountains rising nowhere (1977) Joseph Schwantner Colors and Contours (1984) Leslie Bassett Endurance (1991) Timothy Mahr Passacaglia (Homage on B-A-C-H) (1992) Ron Nelson Southern Harmony (1998) Donald Grantham Shenandoah (1998) Frank Ticheli Fascinating Ribbons (2000) Joan Tower Alligator Alley (2003) Michael Daugherty Timepiece (2000) Cindy McTee
It is interesting to see how the study of music in secondary schools and at the college and university level has progressed over the past fifty or so years. It has greatly expanded in size and scope, becoming increasingly specialized due to such factors as the influence of chamber music, popular music and the music of cultures around the world. On the whole, the availability of quality literature and instruments as well as the level of instruction and performance is at an all-time high. Many in the profession feel the future is bright as we continue to have talented composers with impressive profiles writing for our ensembles.
I have often heard composers and fellow educators question why conductors are afraid of works that contain certain musical content. The question is asked, “why is this concept (rhythm, key, chamber texture, technique) unteachable at this level?” An even better question is, “why can’t a band director teach Although the trend of commissioning has continued with great this concept much in the same way success within the profession, it has not succeeded in producing they teach other concepts?” Simply a professional wind ensemble. Furthermore, it has not placed the put, I never have a good response wind band in a clear position of musical leadership within schools to either question, and it is usually and/or conservatories of music across the nation. With the lack of a significant professional wind band organization, one may argue all agreed that, within reason, adequate wind music is educational, as performances almost exclusively occur rehearsal time and individual in academic settings. Despite strong convictions concerning music’s practice could conquer problems role in the education of young people, contemporary composers in conductors consider impossible the professional music world have rarely ventured into the band medium without the impetus of a commission. before placing the piece in front of their students. In this vein, if publishers demand quality music from their composers, there is no question that the number It has never been more important that we as teachers and of esthetically pleasing performances and the level of musical conductors use an open mind and continue to exercise our best standards would be raised. musical judgment when selecting repertoire for our students and audiences. Let us all hope that this examination will encompass The other entity in this relationship is the music retailer. our entire repertoire, and will sort music by the only two labels We all have individuals outside the realm of our colleagues in that matter: good, and bad. 1 the teaching profession that we consult for programming ideas. … about the author — see page 21
Two Minute Symphony The
Infusing Music History Into the Rehearsal: Educational Applications of Bob Margolis’ The Two-Minute Symphony
by Dr. John Darling
n his “Composer’s Notes” for The Two Minute Symphony, Bob Margolis asks a seemingly simple question: “Can there be a two-minute symphony?” If you were to ask your students this question,
could they understand the it? Would they have any concept of what a symphony really is? Listed as a
Grade 1 difficulty, The Two-Minute Symphony is a piece intended for young players. So do students at this level need to understand what a symphony is in order to play this piece? The answer is obvious. It would be easy enough to simply teach the rhythms and notes and move on to the next piece. But why not take the opportunity to make this relatively straight-forward piece a major project for the semester? Is there a way of making the process of learning about music history, in this case the history of the symphony, a meaningful learning experience — without all the pitfalls of a traditional music history lesson? Is there a way to keep the sometimes dry subject of music history at a level that younger students can understand, apply to their own experiences in the process of learning about music, and still enjoy? Do students at this level need this much information? This is an ongoing subject of debate at all levels of education. When do you start teaching about expressive playing and interpretation? When do they need to know the difference between playing a Baroque piece and a twentieth-century piece? Can you spark a lifelong desire in your students to know more about the music they play, beyond the correct fingerings, articulations, and rhythms? I think you would be surprised at their reactions and responses if you commit to the process with the right piece and the right frame of mind. You have the piece, The Two-Minute MBM
Symphony —now what you need is a process that will work for you and your circumstances. Before beginning to look at possible “two-minute” lesson plans for learning this piece, here is a quick review of the history of the symphony. The dates generally referred to as the Baroque period are the years between 1600 and 1750; the dates generally referred to as the Classical period are the years between 1750 and 1820; depending on which text you reference, the dates can vary slightly. The symphony did not just appear as a new instrumental idea from a specific composer. The symphony was developed over a long period of time and incorporates different genres, ideas, and procedure that grew and became known under the name of “symphony.” The symphony developed out of several late Baroque genres: the sinfonia, a name sometimes given to the Italian opera overture; the popular concerto grosso; the sonata, particularly the trio sonata; and the instrumental suites. Composers such as C.P.E. Bach, Sammartini, and Stamitz helped popularize the newly-emerging classical approach and style in music. The Mannhiem orchestra is generally considered to have played an important role in
establishing the standard instrumentation for the classical orchestra. However, it is Franz Joseph Haydn who is considered the “father” of the symphony. Although Haydn did not invent the genre, he did codify the rules and the makeup of the movements that define the genre as we know it. Let’s examine the roots that lead to the growth of the symphony. During the late Baroque period, the “Doctrine of the Affections” dominated the composer’s aesthetic approach to the emotional context of each piece. In its simplest definition, the “Doctrine of the Affections” said that each movement should embody only one emotion and that no contrasting style should exist within the same movement. As the popularity of the sonata genre emerged during the late Baroque period, so did a new form that has dominated music since its establishment: the sonata form. The signal distinction between a piece written using the “Doctrine of the Affections” approach and that of the sonata form was the establishment of contrasting themes (i.e., emotions) within the same movement. Now composers would have the first theme, the “a” theme, in one style, and the second theme, the “b” theme, in a very different or contrasting style. Although Sammartini’s works, which predate the works of Haydn, do incorporate the newly popular sonata form, it was Haydn who mastered this form and established it as a defining characteristic of the classical period. The sonata form is a three part form consisting of the exposition, the development, and the recapitulation. During the exposition, usually two themes are presented: the “a” theme, normally in the key of the tonic, and the contrasting “b” theme, normally in the key of the dominant. Because it was a popular form used as the first movement of sonatas, it is sometimes referred to as the first-movement form or the sonata-allegro form. It was only natural that this form would transpose itself to the larger instrumental works, such as the solo concerto and the symphony. Both Haydn and Mozart favored a form that allowed for the presentation of distinct opening material (introductions) from which thematic ideas could be constructed. Each composer experimented with the sonata form where the introduction and exposition grew more in length and involved more elaborate schemas, though it was not uncommon for the movement to simply start with the “a” theme, as seen in Mozart’s Symphony No. 40. The classical aesthetic for balance and symmetry lead to the development of clear antecedent and consequent phrases, as well as equal-and-balanced phrase lengths normally consisting of 2, 4 or 8 measures each. Techniques for development became more adventurous with later symphonies, but the basic concepts were
generally the same: melodic fragmentation; frequent key modulations; modal transformation (major to minor, etc.); inversion; augmentation; and/or diminution. The recapitulation normally saw the “a” and “b” themes presented in the same key rather than contrasting keys, followed by a quick and succinct coda. Additionally, Haydn brought a more consistent structure to the plan of the movements, settling on four movements. with each using a contrasting tempo, rather than the chamber work standard of three movements, in which the first and last movements were normally in a fast tempo, the second movement generally in a slow tempo. The Italian overture structure of fast-slow-fast is clearly seen in that overall structure. What Haydn added was another movement that followed the traditional third movement of the Minuet and Trio. Haydn felt that the Minuet and Trio form was so familiar to the Viennese audience that it did not provide a substantial ending to the symphony. This new genre needed an ending that clearly established a formal conclusion. This four movement structure remained constant until the influences of Beethoven altered the genre forever. Although the sonata form was a defining characteristic of the classical period, other popular forms used were: theme and variation; and the rondo form. SY NOPSIS OF THE HISTORY A ND FOR M OF THE SY MPHON Y
Definition: A multi-movement instrumental work, normally for orchestra. Period: Classical (1750-1820). Major Composers: Franz Joseph Haydn, “Father of the Symphony” (104 symphonies) and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (41 symphonies). Form: 1st Movement: fast tempo – sonata form. 2nd Movement: slow tempo – any form, often theme and variation. 3rd Movement: 3/4 lively tempo – almost always Minuet and Trio. 4th Movement: fast tempo – any form, often rondo or sonata form. How much of this short history of the symphony will young students find useful? That largely depends on how well you convey the information and how relevant the students feel the information is to their success in performing not just this piece, but any piece. Let’s return to the project piece, The Two-Minute Symphony. In addition to his first question, “Can there be a two-minute symphony?” Margolis goes on to suggest a few issues to help you teach this piece, and he writes in the score’s composer’s note: “Have the players find the theme of the work…note that the theme is not only melodic… but motivic.” What does Margolis mean by motivic? He continues to inquire as to how are [measures 9–12 and measure 27–30] similar? How are they different? and then, “Where does the melody at measure 44 come from? Does it relate more closely to the theme as first stated (measure 9), or to the second version (measure 27)? How is the melody (marked Melodia) at measure 52 similar to and different from the opening theme (measure 9)? What happens at measure 58–62? (And where else have you heard measure 96–103?)” Can these concepts be understood and answered without the www. MBM
Example 1 Opening Theme The Two-Minute Symphony (m. 9–16) Where else can they see the concept of antecedent and consequent phrases used in The Two-Minute Symphony? knowledge of the history of the symphony or the development of the classical style? The answer of course is yes, but how much more purposeful would these questions be if the students were able to apply their answers to a basic understanding of how to analyze or compose a theme? Can the piece be played without ever exploring thematic issues? The answer again is yes. But as mentioned earlier, the process of making music is much more than pushing buttons and blowing air for the correct amount of beats. How early should we be teaching musicians about the process of understanding what it is they are doing? Learning to play complex rhythms and playing the full range of their instruments is a simple matter of time, but learning to understand what is not printed on the page can never start early enough. Obviously you are not going to teach the history of the symphony in one period. So here are some additional suggestions on how to turn The Two-Minute Symphony into a major learning experience. Each “lesson” can be further divided depending on your teaching circumstances. Lesson: Before you read the piece for the first time, ask your class: “What is a symphony?” Then possibly assign a short homework assignment: a one paragraph definition of a symphony. On the day the assignment is due, ask again: “What is a symphony?” And then see if anyone can answer some of the following questions: “Who are the first important composers of symphonies?” “How many movements are normally in a symphony?” “Who is considered the father of the symphony?” “In what time period does the development of the symphony take place?” “What are the tempos of each movement?” Then play a short excerpt of one or two of your favorite symphonies. Or you could start with the listening example and work you way to the thought-provoking questions. Then move on to your rehearsal plan. Lesson: Another topic for consideration and introduction could be the idea of balance and symmetry in the classical period. A good starting point might be with a lesson that talks about antecedent and consequent phrases. A good analogy would be to compare antecedent and consequence phrases to the game of baseball. Each team gets their chance at bat, starting with the visitors and then the home team. Each team fields the same number of players, in the same positions. Yet each team is clearly different. They have different uniforms. They employ different offensive and defensive strategies. Depending on your circumstances, that might be enough for one period. To help stabilize the information, play measures 9-16 of The Two-Minute Symphony. Can they hear the four measure phrases? Can they see the structure in their music? MBM
Lesson: For another approach, try an in-class listening compare and contrast. Play Mozart’s Symphony No. 40, 1st Movement, the first 9 measures only. Have the students count the number of measures they hear. Then display the melody. Point out the clear 4 measure antecedent and consequent phrases of the “a” theme. What else do the students notice about the two phrases? Example 2 Mozart - Symphony No. 40 Theme “a”
Make sure to point out that the consequent phrase is a step lower than the antecedent phrase (this is a melodic sequence). Now can they apply this information to The Two-Minute Symphony? How many measures are there in the opening theme (starting at measure 9)? Can they identify the antecedent and consequent phrases? What similarities and differences do they notice between the Mozart melody and the melody in The Two-Minute Symphony? Optional Additional Lesson: By way of contrast, play and display Bach’s Little Fugue in G Minor (see Ex. 3, next page). Again, have the students count the number of measures of the subject and then the second statement of the subject. What do they notice? Also, do they notice what beat the third statement of the subject begins on? Balance and symmetry is a distinguishing feature of the classical aesthetic. Lesson: A way to introduce the concept of motives, particularly rhythmic motives, as well as thematic development, is to initiate a conversation with another question: What is a motive (or motif)? Can anyone name or sing a famous motive? Then play only the first four notes of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 . With any luck, all of them should have at least heard of this motive. Example 4 Beethoven - Symphony No. 5
Then play the complete opening motive. Explain how this is not a complete melody but just a short idea from which Beethoven develops the rest of the symphony. Then display and play the first 4 measures. Have the students describe how these two ideas are similar. Explain what a melodic sequence is and point this out. Point out that Beethoven uses the basic rhythmic idea short-
Example 3 J.S. Bach - Little Fugue in G Minor, BWV 578. [The Kimura transcription of this work is on Frank Ticheli’s List and is reviewed on page 55 of this issue: Ed.]
short-short-long in the creation of the complete “a” theme of his symphony. Then play the entire opening section of the symphony up to the horn transition to the “b” theme. Have the students discuss what they hear, especially about the rhythm. Point out that Beethoven uses the technique of thematic inversion as well, which could set up a discussion for later classes. If you have used Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 for other lessons, you can add the rhythmic motive from that symphony as well. Example 5 a, b, and c: Rhythmic Motives (a) Beethoven Symphony No. 5 (b) Mozart Symphony No. 40 (c) Margolis The Two-Minute Symphony
Now see if the students can transfer this information to The
Minute Symphony. Can they identify the rhythmic motive? Have they heard this motive before? If they can’t make the connection and you have used the Mozart in a previous lesson, show them the rhythm example above or the “a” theme from Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 again. What are the similarities and differences? Lesson: A similar topic could be the idea of the Classical aesthetic of contrasting themes. The example below is from Sinfonia II in G Major by Giovanni Battista Sammartini. Display the two themes and see if your students can point out the similarities and differences between the two themes.
Example 6 Sammartini – Sinfonia II, 2nd Movement, “a” and “b” Themes
You might have to help by pointing out the difference and similarities: short rhythmic motive of Theme a vs. the longer lines of Theme b; the use of leaping melodic lines; the use of slurred sixteenth-notes but in different applications; etc. If they are paying attention, they might see that the phrases are not equal or symmetrical in length. Remember to explain that the Classical aesthetic had not fully developed when this Sinfonia was written. Now can they find any contrasting themes in The Two-Minute Symphony? Example 7 Margolis - The Two-Minute Symphony
Explain that with only two minutes, there really isn’t time to fully introduce a “contrasting” theme. But what do they notice about the similarities between measure 9-16 and measures 17-24 of The Two-Minute Symphony? What do they hear harmonically when you have them play the two phrases? Optional Lesson: This next suggestion might be a stretch for some, but see what happens when you ask your students to compose an original “b” theme to The Two-Minute Symphony that contrasts with Margolis’ “a” theme in a similar way as Mozart does in Symphony No. 40. Lesson: Explaining the process of the development section can be a bit of a challenge depending on how much music theory you introduce to your students on a normal basis. Do they understand the terms tonic and dominant? Major and minor? Augmentation and diminution? Inversion or fragmentation? If you are not talking about or teaching these terms, you can break
them in slowly by using something they all can recognize like “Three Blind Mice.”
Example 13 Stamitz – Clarinet Concert No. 3, Movement 2
Example 8 Original – “Three Blind Mice”
Example 9 Minor Modulations
Example 10 Augmentation
Example 14 The Two-Minute Symphony, Theme a and Development
Example 11 Diminution
Example 12 Inversion
Lesson: You might have to use several class periods to cover all of the material listed above, but in the long run, your students will be able to apply these techniques and methods to the more complex pieces they will encounter as their skills improve. A favorite technique of the classical composer was to modulate their themes from major to minor or vice versa. One of the leading orchestras in the development of the symphonic genre was the Mannheim orchestra, along with their composer Karl Stamitz. The melodic examples (next column, Ex. 13) are excerpts from his Clarinet Concerto No. 3 in B-flat. Can your students identify which technique Stamitz is using here? Now can your students find the beginning of the development section in The Two-Minute Symphony (measure 25)? What techniques is Margolis using at the beginning of the development section? (Modulation to minor; melodic fragmentation.) Using the example (next column, Ex. 14), what can your students discern between “Theme a” (m. 9) and Development (m. 48)? Can your students now answer the other questions posed by Margolis in his “Composer’s Notes?”
Lesson: After you have presented the lessons on the history of the symphony, try asking Margolis’ first question again: “Can there be a two-minute symphony?” With all of the background you have presented to them, hopefully your students can intelligently answer the question with facts and comments to substantiate their responses. Can they learn this piece without all of the history? Absolutely. However, Margolis says it best in his notes: “The purpose is not so much to teach your class symphonic form …but rather to get them to listen to what is happening in the music.” The idea that critical listening and expressive playing can only be introduced to and accomplished by advanced students is ludicrous. Can critical listening and expressive playing be accomplished only by advanced students? The idea is ludicrous. You have the power to spark the imagination of your students and to encourage their natural curiosity. Do this, and you will have started them down the road to becoming lifelong learners, avid concertgoers, and gifted performers. 1 … about the author — see page 21
w w w . F r ank Ticheli List . com
B a l i
Grade 4 8½ min.
Carl Fischer Music
Michael Colgrass’ knack for evocative soundscale by using the pitches F-A-Bb-C-E. While scapes is evident once again in Bali. Here Colnot authentic, this pentatonic scale does inject a grass evokes the traditional music of Bali — the Balinese flavor to the composition. gamelan. Gamelans in Bali serve primarily as A third compositional device Colgrass emaccompaniment for religious dancing and draploys to evoke a gamelan character is through ma. While there are many varieties of gamelan the use of heterophony. Much of gamelan music throughout Indonesia, the traditional gamelan of is constructed by layering a single melody. With Bali is an ensemble composed primarily of megamelan heterophony, however, the melody is laytallophone percussion and drums along with the ered not so much in the Western sense of coungambuh (a long flute). terpoint (such as a canon), but more so for the Imitating the percussive sounds of Balinese composite texture that the overlapping melody M i c h a e l creates. gamelan is a significant attribute of Colgrass’ Bali. In addition to commonplace concert band C o l g r a s s Bali is constructed in three sections which percussion such as triangles, mallets, and jingle are performed without interruption. The outer bells, Colgrass evokes the exotic sounds of a gamelan with an sections are dancing music while the middle section is a laassortment of atypical percussion instruments. The Balinese ment. The music begins lightly, with spirit, and a sparkling gamelan includes an array of kendang drums, gongs, kangsi sound of flutes and various bells. The five-pitch motif bounces cymbals, racks of bells, and a gumanak (copper or iron tubuabout rhythmic woodwinds, clanging clay pots, warm brass, lar bells). Colgrass mimics these sounds with ceramic bowls, and twanging piano. The lament opens with the depiction of aluminum mixing bowls, and clay pots. The gamelan rincik (a an explosion (recalling a terrorist attack on the capital city of zither) is present in the form of a prepared piano outfitted with Denpassar) which quickly subsides into a haunting series of debobby pins clipped onto the strings. scending, cascading parallel thirds and sobbing pulses. Then Gamelan tuning is complex from the Western perspective. suddenly the music spins back to dancing with dotted-rhythm But Colgrass captures the essence of the five-pitch slendro patterns propelling the music into a rambunctious end. FRANK
S e r e n a d e
Grade 3 3 min.
Derek Bourgeois’ Serenade, Op. 22c originates as a wedding march which he composed for his own nuptials in 1965. The composition served as the recessional to the ceremony, but this was no typical march for a church organ. This brief musical work charms the audience with its hypnotic irregular meter. Shunning a common time meter, which one would expect for a formal recessional, Bourgeois crafts a playful (almost mischievous) accompaniment cast in 11/8 time. Midway through D e r the composition the meter pulls even further away into 13/8 time. Despite its irregular meters and im- B o u r g balanced bars, listening to the entire composition is both comforting and pleasing. Bourgeois provides a befitting tempo marking atop the score: Piacevole (that is, “agreeable”). The singular melodic theme is a simple, pleasing melody which belies the irregularity of the meter. The Serenade’s agreeable melody begins softly, crescendos gradually to a fortissimo before quickly a retreating back to a quiet volume. The music concludes with a humorous puttering out, both in terms of thinning instrumentation and seemingly dropped beats.
The seductive groove of the irregular meter is enhanced by rather exotic tonal shifts. The Serenade is firmly grounded in the key of B-flat major, with a short foray into G major midway. But the diatonic tonality is occasionally augmented with hints of bitonality, layering Mixolydian on top, and later with a whiff of Phrygian. The bitonal dissonance peaks at the moment of the loudest phrase in the work, and the result is a rather intoxicating melody moving in parallel triads (that hints at Ravel’s famous e k Bolero). eois The Serenade has enjoyed considerable success in various orchestrations. From the original organ score, Bourgeois later re-crafted the composition for small orchestra and then again for brass band. But its reworking for wind band in 1980 proved to be a natural fit. The sound of organ wind pipes translated naturally to the wind instruments of the concert band. The Serenade is an immediately attractive composition that captures the listener with its quirky charm and playful spirit. Performer and audience alike will be drawn into this music which is at the same time both whimsical and enchanting. Frank Ticheli’s List continues on page 40
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M A N H A T T A N
B E A C H
M U S I C
P R E S E N T S
W H I R L W I N D BY
Fir st-Pr ize Winner of the Fr ank Ticheli Composition Contest Whirlwind by Australian composer Jodie
that appears unaltered as solos, in two-part
Blackshaw was the unanimous winner of
canon and in four-part can-
I thought having a baby was going to be lifechanging, but couple that with also winning the Ticheli composition competition only 7 weeks before you are due to give birth and you have a complete life altering experience. Whilst changing nappies and learning how to care for a newborn I was discussing publishing details, copying parts and providing pdf files to a published in Brooklyn, USA! Winning the competition has (understandably) provided me with an enormous boost in confidence. I love hearing about students gaining enjoyment from ‘Whirlwind’, their different glass and water chime creations and what instrument (or instruments!) played the solo at Fig. B. When I heard Cheryl Floyd’s Middle School Band from Hill County, Texas at the Midwest Clinic in 2006 and experienced their enthusiasm for the work first hand, I was nothing short of overwhelmed. Surely the most awe-inspiring thing that can ever possibly happen to a composer is that their music brings joy and a sense of self-worth into the hearts of young musicians throughout the world. What has made it all even more worthwhile has been the integrity of Neil Ruddy and Bob Margolis. Manhattan Beach Music offers a strong light, a beacon if you will for composers serious about creating quality educational works for students of all ages. It has been inspiring to discover and work with such an honest publisher who is so incredibly committed to fighting the good fight when it comes to concert band music. I am proud to be included in their list of composers and look forward to future endeavours.
Band of The Frank Ticheli
Composition Contest, spon-
Whirlwind is an
sored by Manhattan Beach
unusual and in-
Music. The work is an inno-
triguing addition to the young
vative approach to compos-
band repertoire. While it pro-
ing for musicians of limited
vides excellent learning opportu-
ability. Technical demands
nities, this composition reaches
are minimal. The melodic material employs
well beyond pedagogy. The events flow
only four notes, concert pitches A–C–D–E,
smoothly one into the next and the blending
voiced in each instrument’s easiest register,
of continuity and contrast offers a convinc-
and used to construct a simple, wistful tune
ing musical experience.
Presenting The Winners, The Finalists, and The Honorable Presenting the Winners: Category 1–Beginning Band First Prize: Jodie Blackshaw - Australia - Whirlwind Second Prize: Jeremy Irish - USA - Repercussions Third Prize: Christopher Tucker - USA - Journey Down Niagara Presenting the Finalists: Category 1–Beginning Band Giancarlo Aquilanti - USA - Melodia Americana Michael Grady - USA - Katsista: Iroquois Campfire Aaron Meacham - USA - Colors of a New Day Clint Needham - USA - Images of a Hero Aaron Perrine - USA - April Geir Sundbø - Norway - Fiction Presenting the Honorable Mention: Category 1–Beginning Band Bryce Newton - USA - Tribal Echoes: Chorale for Band
JO DIE BLACKSHAW YA SS, N E W SOUTH WA LES, AU ST R A LIA
Photo by Rolf Einhaus
Excerpted from Keith Kinder’s article in MBM Times Issue #2
All Manhattan Beach Music publications are printed exclusively by Chernay Printing, Coopersburg, Pennsylvania. www.chernay.com
M A N H A T T A N
B E A C H
P R E S E N T S
S H A D O W
M U S I C
R I T U A L S
MICHAEL MARKOWSKI Fir st-Pr ize Winner of the Fr ank Ticheli Composition Contest
Shadow Rituals, by the impressive young
is its rhythmic vitality, the score reveals a
composer Michael Markowski, was the
mind capable of
2 — Young Band, of The Frank
Ticheli Composition Contest,
unanimous winner of Category
Beach Music. The work is a
integrated harmonic con-
dazzling display of rhythmic
texts and colorful sound-
energy, attractive melody and
scapes. Perhaps most impres-
colorful scoring…. With this
work, Michael Markowski has established
adeptness in working with his chosen
himself as a major new voice in the world
musical materials. What will follow Shadow
of band composition. While the most
Rituals? One cannot but be excited by the
immediately appealing aspect of this work
Mentions of The First Frank Ticheli Composition Contest Presenting the Winners: Category 2–Young Band First Prize: Michael Markowski - US - Shadow Rituals Second Prize: Jodie Blackshaw - Australia - Terpsichorean Dances Third Prize: Takayoshi Yanagida - Japan - Portrait of the West Wind Presenting the Finalists: Category 2‑Young Band Rob Deemer - USA - Dream Circus Marshall Forrester - USA - Scottish Legend a transcription of the work of the same name by Amy Beach (1903)
Matthew Mauro - USA - As They Return Shirley Mier - USA - Maiden Voyage Gerald Sebesky - USA - Passacaglia and Interlude Christopher Tucker - USA - Gulf Breezes Presenting the Honorable Mentions: Category 2–Young Band Erik Leung - Canada - Jesus Christus, Unser Heiland
a transcription of the work of the same name by J.S. Bach (1708 - BWV 665)
Timothy Miles - USA - My Brother’s Keeper Matthew Osika - USA - Fantasy Variations on a Theme by Beethoven Edward C. Schweibacher - USA - Spirit of the Band Anthony Suter - USA - Dancing at Stonehenge Gregory L. Wong - USA - The Twelve Days of Christmas
Photo by John Markowski
Excerpted from Keith Kinder’s article in MBM Times Issue #2
I was 19 when I heard that I won the Frank Ticheli Composition Competition; I was barely in college, straight out of high school. Even now I can’t quite understand how Shadow Rituals managed to take first place. Though I have to say it has turned out to be one of the most rewarding musical experiences I’ve ever had. By my second year of college, the piece was being performed internationally from England to Australia. December 2006 would bring an entirely new experience: my first visit to the Midwest Clinic in Chicago and an exciting performance by the VanderCook College of Music Symphonic Band under the direction of Dr. Charles Menghini. I was introduced to dozens of important concert band figures, some of whom I had only known before by name. The most important of them, to my naiveness, I didn’t even know at all and yet, they already knew me. Frank Ticheli was no stranger to me, though. While I had never met him before, he was certainly the inspiration for Shadow Rituals to be written in the first place. I wanted to offer that I buy him a drink, share a few words, maybe pick his brain while I was at it, but with his celebrity Midwest schedule and the whole me being underage thing, I figured that would have to wait for another time. Less than three years ago, I was one of the kids in band who would email various composers that I admired in hopes that they would share some secret or some insight about their careers in music. I am surprised and humbled to find that, since winning the competition, I am now one of those composers being written to.. M IC H A E L M A RKOW S K I G IL B E RT, A RIZ ON A www. MBM
T r a i n
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W e s t
Grade 1 4½ min.
Manhattan Beach Music
tures of the maj. 7th and min. 7th are used in all Train Heading West and Other Outdoor movements, requiring proper balance and intoScenes is a three-movement work intended nation. In order to perform a proper rendition of for beginning band. Each movement dethe piece, it would be helpful if performers unscribes a different “outdoor” scene providing derstand the concept of quintal harmony as well. the opportunity to introduce the concept of Rhythm issues are very appropriate for this level, program music at a very young age. The first even with some simple syncopated rhythms at movement is subtitled “Solemn Ceremony” the beginning of the third movement. A short and is intended to portray a Native American T i m o t h y passage of two eighth-notes in call-and-response dance ritual; the second movement is self-exfashion one beat apart may prove more challengplanatory, “Rain on the Mountains;” the third B r o e g e ing in terms of precision and proper execution. movement follows a “Train Heading West” as Percussion requirements are normal for this level, but maracas, it pulls out a train station and disappears into the horizon. snare drum with brushes, and a train whistle will be needed. While carefully crafted to be accessible at the beginning There is no thematic carry over between movements as each was level, Broege has skillfully incorporated several techniques into originally composed separately to highlight specific harmonic this work that are normally reserved for more advanced compoand rhythmic elements present in each movement. Conducsitions. Performers will be required to maintain the sometimes tors will need to pay close attention to a slow and gradual acdifficult intonation aspects of the P5 interval in moving pascelerando in the third movement and meticulous articulations sages, especially in the first movement. Four-note chord structhroughout the entire work. FRANK
Grade 3 6 min.
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Manhattan Beach Music
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while the second and fourth are marked Allegretto Sinfonia VI is a multi-movement work intended and Allegro. The timbral contrasts are manifested for young players; however, the design and structhrough the use of the concerto or concerto grosso tural aspects of this piece will challenge even more structural format of a soloist(s) contrasted against the advanced performers. Although the piece is subensemble. titled “The Four Elements” and each movement is The first movement uses three solo clarinetists; further identified as Wind, Earth, Water, and Fire, the second uses a solo euphonium (marked as barirespectively, it needs to be pointed out that this tone in the score); the third movement has a duet is not a program piece in the Romantic tradition. of alto saxophone and trumpet; the forth movement In fact it is much closer in concept and aesthetutilizes the entire percussion section as the “solo” ics to a Baroque instrument suite, as the composer explains in his introductory notes. The Baroque T i m o t h y part. There is an option part included in the set for compositional practice of the “Doctrine of the AfB r o e g e solo alto saxophone for the second movement if the euphonium soloist is not strong enough. Where the fections” required that each piece or movement of structure is clearly Baroque, the harmonic language is very a piece contain only one emotion or mood. Contrast or varimodern. Stacked thirds resulting in chord structures of sevety would come in the differences between the style and “afenths and ninths are prevalent in all of the movements. The fect” of the various movements. In the four movements of this vertical alignment of the chords will require proper balance an work, Broege has incorporated contrasts between emotions and intonation. Broege has orchestrated the duet in the third movetimbre. The first and third movements utilize the emotions of ment in an unusual way. Normally, you would expect to hear melancholy and ‘somber’, ‘respectively’, while the second and the trumpet playing the higher divisi, however, by giving the fourth movements utilize the emotions of ‘playful’ and ‘boislead to the alto saxophone, the resulting timbre is unique and terous’, respectively. Tempos also contrast between the movesurprisingly effective. ments. The first and third movements are marked as Andante, MBM
Hear them now on www.ManhattanBeachMusic. com
Grade 3 5 ½ min.
sense that time is being suspended throughout much Crystals is a one-movement tone poem that is the piece. The music exists in time, but “time” doesn’t divided into four distinct sections with each secalways have to a tempo connected to it. Even when tion representing a different crystal. The composer Duffy does use a standard meter, he alters the tradiexplains that the work was conceived as a “primer” tional sense of time by blurring the beat placement for young players to introduce them to twentiethwith an echo effect in one section, and in another, he century compositional techniques and performance uses multiple rhythm patterns simultaneously (crepractices. Duffy included most of the same techating a poly-metric affect) to mask the true tempo. niques that Schwantner used to compose …and the Enhancing the aural pallet further, Duffy uses the mountains rising nowhere. Crystals is not intended sounds of a Lion’s Roar and Water Gongs to to be a watered-down version of the Schwantner; T h o m a s unique help the audience visualize each crystal. The players the techniques and performance practices were D u f f y also are asked to add non-traditional sounds by whismeticulously placed in a more accessible form for tling to specific pitches and singing non-text passagyoung players. es. Woodwind players are expected to perform trills between The four sections musically describe “Dark Ice,” “Underspecific notes, which is more commonly seen in string techwater Rubies,” “Cyanide,” and a “Monolith” of granite. The nique as tremolos. The effect of these trills provides an unusual extensive use of temporal notation requires that all of the playaural result. With a running time of approximately 5’30”, this ers understand the intricacies connected with this technique. piece has numerous applications for programming with young Aleatoric passages, “half-valve” mummers, and crystal glasses players and more advanced players alike. rubbed with the finger to produce a specific pitch also provide a
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Grade 4 11 min.
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“ T h e
D a r l i n g
L o u v r e ” E.B. Marks Music/Hal Leonard
Scenes from “The Louvre” is a five movement the Louvre after a days visit during the “Finale.” work transcribed by the composer from his Emmy The rhythmic activity in both movements is domiAwarding winning orchestral score for the NBC nated by fanfare-styled passages in the brass and television series about the Louvre. Although percussion. the title might suggest program music, the five The inner three movements are more sedate movements taken together are not strictly in the and utilize the more recognizable Renaissance style of Mussorgsky’s Pictures At An Exhibition. melodies. “Children’s Gallery” uses a melody by The five movements are depict the Louvre at its Tielman Susato in a set of short variations. There various stages of development, particularly the are some rhythmic gymnastics in this movement period during the Renaissance. As the subtitles N o r m a n as sections pass motivic ideas around one beat at a of the subsequent movements suggest, the music time and later at the divided-beat level. The openD e l l o J o i o is designed to depict the architectural elements as ing chorale of the “The Kings of France” was origimuch as the famous paintings that actually hang nally composed by Pietro Antonio Cesti. The very in the various galleries: The Portals; Children’s Gallery; The stately orchestration leads to several canonic and fugal sections Kings of France; The Nativity Paintings; and Finale. Some of that sound almost like Gabrieli-styled antiphonal brass settings the melodic themes are borrowed from Renaissance composfor St. Marks Basilica. Dello Joio borrowed from his own comers. position, Variants On A Medieval Tune, for the musical setThe outermost movements sound the most modernistic due ting of “The Nativity Paintings.” The familiar tune of ‘In Dulci to the use 20th century harmonic language, and provide a nice Jubilo’ is set in two contrasting variations. Oboe and bassoon arc form for the suite. One should feel the dominating, someplayers will need good rhythm and delicate articulation in orwhat oppression sense of grandeur, while entering the Louvre der to keep this movement in the style and mood of the gallery through “The Portals” and the uplifting exhilaration of exiting paintings. Frank Ticheli’s List continues on page 46
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Sinfonia III H y m n s
a n d
D a n c e s
by Dr. Keith Kinder “Broege’s Sinfonia III has five short, connected movements, whose … compositional procedures, including chorales, imitation (especially canon), and sequence, evoke Baroque forms and textures. In other ways, however, it is very much of its own time. Harmonically, Sinfonia III makes extensive use of secundal, quartal and quintal sonorities…” Sinfonia III is part of an extensive series of diverse works under this title by Timothy Broege, some of which are scored for band, others for wind ensemble. This particular work is intended for the one-player-per-part concept of the wind ensemble. Saxophones and euphonium are optional, and the composition requires a minimum of 25 players, 30 if the optional instruments are used. Its duration is about ten minutes. In Sinfonia III, Broege uses the title in its Baroque sense: “Sinfonias” began as independent instrumental pieces that served as preludes or overtures to theatrical works, especially opera. They gradually developed into multi-sectional compositions, and ultimately became the Symphony. (Mozart’s succinct Symphony No. 32 is in the form of an opera overture or sinfonia, and was used in that capacity at least twice during the composer’s lifetime). Broege’s Sinfonia III has five short, connected movements, MBM
whose titles (Chaconne, Chorale, Canon, Rondeau, Polonaise) and compositional procedures, including chorales, imitation (especially canon), and sequence, evoke Baroque forms and textures. In other ways, however, it is very much of its own time. Harmonically, Sinfonia III makes extensive use of secundal, quartal and quintal sonorities freely mixed with triadic structures. Rhythmically, it incorporates jazz rhythms, other forms of syncopation and complex subdivision. Melodically it often employs angular lines with a preference for seventh and tritone skips. C H AC ON N E
In addition to the usual meaning of this term—a repeating harmonic pattern around which continuous variations are spun—the Chaconne is also associated with a wild Mexican dance that was imported into Spain in the 16th century.
Considering the impassioned nature of Broege’s Chaconne, it seems likely that he had both definitions of the form in mind when composing this work. The Chaconne theme, which appears immediately in piano, is brief and distinctive:
The harmony is drawn directly from the pitch set that comprised the opening chords of the Chaconne, and, in fact, the first chord is restated several times. Most of this movement is scored for double reeds and low brass, a timbral blend that produces an extraordinary, archaic sound that is perhaps an intimation of church wind bands of the Middle Ages and Baroque periods. Not surprisingly, considering the traditional liturgical function of chorales, bell sounds in percussion and piano are also featured.
Example 1: Chaconne, bar 1-2:
C A NON
Despite its brevity, this theme provides most of the harmonic and melodic material for the entire work. Vertical fifths and seconds/sevenths are obvious, but this sonority also presents triadic structures and a tritone, all of which will recur frequently both vertically and horizontally throughout the composition. After the initial iteration of the Chaconne theme, Broege shifts it a beat later in the measure so that the triplet figure falls on the downbeat of the subsequent bar, which better fits the meter. It migrates rapidly through the ensemble, serving as both the primary musical material and as accompaniment to other ideas. For example, at bar eight Broege introduces an angular but lyrical melody stated as a canon by trumpets that is constructed from the intervals of the Chaconne theme, and superimposed over reiterations of it. This melody and/or derivatives of it sound almost continuously throughout the movement. Later, the Chaconne theme becomes fragmented and is modified into a dotted eighth-sixteenth rhythm that serves as the transition to the next movement. At bar 42, the first two chords of the movement are restated and a rhythmically altered statement of the Chaconne theme is reiterated throughout the final five bars of the movement, providing a musically satisfying rounding off of this section of the piece.
The third movement is a strict four-voice canon at the unison in flute, clarinet, oboe and muted trumpet. Four sets of entries occur, then the canonic structure collapses into a passage that sounds remarkably like a Bach chorale. Although the melodies are in mixolydian mode, the harmony is complex and again related to the pitch set from the opening of the piece. The slow tempo, modal inflection and rigid structure give this music an austere quality that contrasts strongly with the surrounding movements. One cannot but be reminded of some of the liturgical works of Bruckner and Stravinsky, in which wind instruments are employed in a similar way specifically to differentiate the music from the Romanticized association of strings. A rapid, canonic flourish leads directly into the Rondeau. RON DE AU
The final two movements are longer and more highly developed than the initial three, comprising more than half the total composition. The Rondeau is structured A-B-A-C-A-B, however, since the C section is much longer than other sections and is developmental in character, and the B section reoccurs, this movement suggests sonata-rondo form. The Rondeau theme, stated in parallel fifths by flute and bassoon, is bright and energetic, rather akin to an outdoor folk dance.
C HOR A L E
The Chorale opens with an intriguing phrase structure of 3+4+5+3 notes: Example 2: Chorale, bar 47-53: oboes mp bassoons
mp low brass
the most unusual movement in this piece. After a brief introduction that maintains the jazz influence flute from the previous movement, most of the ensemble is required to sing in unison the mf f familiar hymn I Love to Tell the Story. bassoon The combination of an old Polish cer emonial dance and an American hymn mf f initially seems incongruous; however, the The B section, which follows at bar 106, contrasts in in“Polonaise” was originally sung, not played, and Broege quickstrumentation but maintains the folk dance quality. However, ly introduces the characteristic polonaise rhythm to cement the C section brings surprises. It arrives abruptly at bar 120 the integration: with piano and double bass presenting stride-style jazz, anothExample 5: “Polonaise” rhythm, bar 182 (horns and baser genre with close wind instrument connections: soons): Example 4: “Stride-style jazz”, bar 120: Horns in F
Example 3: Rondeau theme, bar 97-102:
Bass Slap-bass style(slap strings against fingerboard)
It would seem that Broege had another reason for this curious association. By combining the hymn with a dance form that has military characteristics, he successfully invoked the robust approach to hymn performance typical of the Salvation Army. He enhanced this effect by scoring the entire movement primarily for brass and percussion and by writing in a style that might be heard in a Salvation Army citadel or on the street. Since each movement of this work appears to be a recollection of the historical associations of wind instruments, the Salvation Army reference is appropriate. Sinfonia III combines bright, energetic music with that of a more thoughtful character in a skilful and attractive way. Because the composer seems to have concerned himself with the storied history of wind instrument performance in this work, it also assumes a significant place in the wind repertoire continuum. It would be difficult to image this music performed in any other medium. 1
Enhancing this effect, clarinet and trumpet offer brief solos that suggest improvisation and the movement builds to a climax at bar 134 that simultaneously recalls all aspects of the Chaconne. The angular, lyrical melody is presented by horns, while trumpets and trombones, clarinets and bassoons play the Chaconne theme on single pitches, and saxophones, piano and double bass offer the dotted eighth-sixteenth variation of the theme that initially appeared at the end of the Chaconne. Statements of A and B complete the movement. P OL ON A I S E
While the Rondeau produced surprises, the Polonaise is
… about the author — see page 21
HEAR AND PURCHASE OTHER WORKS BY TIMOTHY BROEGE ON WWW.MANHATTANBEACHMUSIC.COM
SINFONIA SIX E A R T H W I N D F I R E O N C E R T W A T E RENTS B A N
EM UR EL
TIMOTHY BROEGE T
T ER NC
M A N H A T T A N
M A N H A T T A N Gregory B. Rudgers
M U S I C
B E A C H
g r a d e
c o n c e r t
b a n d
M U S I C
Riders to Stonehenge
B E A C H
S o n g
f o r
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Grade 1 2½ min.
In a similar style as his other slow works intended for beginning band (e.g. As Summer Was Just Beginning; With Quiet Courage), Song For Friends features a beautiful melody, lush harmonies, and a skillfully crafted orchestration. It is the simplicity of the orchestration that makes this work stand out amongst other works of similar difficulty. All of the instruments remain in their lower ranges giving the tonal pallet a warm and luxurious aural impact. All of the clarinet parts remain in the “chalumeau” adding to the L a wonderfully rich tone color of the entire piece. D a This work also provides an excellent opportunity to develop the concepts involved with phrasing and “rubato” tempo with young players. The consistent four-measure phrases can be interpreted in various ways depending on the musical maturity of the ensemble. Several passages can incorporate FRANK
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… a nd t he m o u n ta in s r i sing now he r e
Grade 6 11½ min
will need to double on piccolo; two of the four Pulizer Prize winning composer Joseph Schwantoboes will need to double on English Horn; all ner composed the groundbreaking composition of the oboes will be required to play tuned crystal …and the mountains rising nowhere for the Eastman glasses; two of the six percussion battery parts will Wind Ensemble in 1977. Schwantner’s intention was need water gongs; bowed tam-tam, vibraphone to create a piece for winds and percussion that did and crotales are called for in certain percussion not sound like a traditional “band” composition of parts; and an amplified grand piano will be needthe time by synthesizing aspects of tonal and atonal ed. To further expand the timbral pallet, singing techniques. Rather than leaving the percussion secand whistling by the instrumentalists are required tion relegated to the traditional battery, he wanted at times. to bring the percussion section up to the same level Schwantner utilizes extensive use of tempoof importance as the woodwind and brass sections J o s e p h ral notation with this piece. In addition, he uses which gave him a much larger timbral pallet with which to create his composition. The methods and Schwantner asymmetrical meters and non-traditional time signatures to show his intended meters. Rhythnon-traditional compositional applications of twenmic transformation is another mature performance concept tieth-century technique that Schwantner introduced in this that will be required of the players. Set theory, modes, and piece were rarely if ever used in a band composition before. octatonic scales are used to derive the melodic material. The Following the premier, the band genre saw an explosion of timbre and textural technique referred to as “shared monody” experimentation using similar techniques with new pieces by is another mature performance concept that many composer mainstay band composers. This composition still remains an have tried to mimic in less successful attempts. Extreme shifts important addition to the wind band genre due to its extraorin texture and dynamics will need to be carefully controlled dinary craftsmanship and creativity. Schwantner does not use and executed during the approximately 11 min. 30 sec. reany saxophones or euphoniums in the score; however, there are quired to perform this piece. some other unusual requirements. Four of the six flute players MBM
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the concept of eliding a phrase if the ensemble is ready for this technique. There is nothing hurried or complicated in the metrical or rhythmic schemes. The consistent triple meter adds to the straightforward formal structure giving the work a well-grounded foundation. The rhythm schema is very basic with nothing more intricate than the divided-beat. A simple two-measure rhythmic motive anchors the melodic line and provides the opportunity to introduce the concept of motivic elements to young r y players. Tasteful use of suspension and resolution h n are an integral part of the harmonic framework. The performance practice of using weight to stress the suspension and then relaxing on the resolution note will provide depth and contour to the steady and uncluttered harmonic progression. The work’s brief duration allows for various programming applications.
A m b e r
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Grade 2 3 min.
C. Alan Publications
harmonic structure. The tonal center shifts as Amber Terrace Dreams was commissioned ascending scale passages accelerate the rhythby the Amber Terrace Intermediate School mic flow serving to enhance the anticipation of Band and is intended to celebrate today’s a strong melodic appearance. When the melody youth as they enter the critical crossroads of finally appears, Tucker has masterfully crafted life as young teenagers with all of the hope and the orchestration to initially disguise any sense dreams that the future has to offer. Tucker has of a strong melodic pulse. A short recapitulation managed to create an engaging musical exof the opening sequence accelerates to full and perience without the traditional melodic and buoyant statement of the melody accentuated by harmonic framework that so many composers a repetitive fanfare figure that is passed from the resort to for a piece at this level. From an inhigh woodwinds to the brass. One last reminder nocent and ethereal beginning, an optimistic C h r i s t o p h e r of the opening ascending scale leads to a roussense of joy and exuberance blossoms throughTucker ing and sanguine conclusion. Tucker gives the out this piece. Tucker begins with a simple and harmonic language a more modern sound by using an occasustained rising broken scale pattern that sounds as if it is a sional extended chord and coloring the progression with tastepentatonic pattern, however, he ends with a surprising change ful suspension/resolution cadences. It will take approximately 2 to the harmonic structure by including the third of the scale min. 40 sec. to complete this uplifting and hopeful piece for the conflicting with the forth scale degree. This immediately alerts youth wind symphony. the listener to the fact that this piece is not cast in a traditional FRANK
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B - f l a t
Grade 6 17 min.
ity of Mozart, while utilizing contemporary harSymphony in B-flat was not the first “symmonic language that is clearly identifiable as his phony” written for the wind band genre; and yet own. Although Symphony in B-flat features unique it remains an extraordinary example of some of uses of dissonant chords and non-harmonic tones, the finest and most difficult writing for winds it preserves neo-classical tonality, forms, and and percussion from any composer. It is also rhythmic and melodic patterns. The first movesignificant that a world recognized composer of ment form is sonata-allegro and features extreme Hindemith’s stature agreed to compose a major shifts in texture, mood, and articulations. The work for winds at a time when serious literature second movement begins with a dialogue between for wind bands was still in its relative infancy. alto saxophone and cornet on a quiet but pecuAlthough Hindemith wrote at least one conliarly happy little tune, followed by the scherzo, certo for every instrument of the orchestra and which is a rapid, bustling affair given entirely to various other smaller chamber pieces for winds, woodwinds and tambourine. The third moveSymphony in B-flat remains the only composiP a u l ment is an excellent example of the fugue form tion for full band that he specifically wrote. In the 1950s when other major composers, H i n d e m i t h in a modern context. The harmonic language for the entire piece stays consistent with Hindemith’s particularly those from Germany, were embractheory outlined in The Craft of Musical Composition in which ing serial techniques, Hindemith rejected his German contemhe ranks all musical intervals from the most consonant to the poraries and chose to compose in the neo-classical style during most dissonant. Much of Hindemith’s music begins in consohis mature period. However, Hindemith’s neo-classical style is nant territory, progresses rather smoothly into dissonance, and drastically different from the neo-classic works by Stravinsky, resolves at the end in full, consonant chords. owing more to the contrapuntal language of Bach and the clarFrank Ticheli’s List continues on page 50
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The M asks by Gregory B. Rudgers
A recording of The Masks, by Ronald Lo Presti as transcribed for Concert Band by the author is currently posted on www.carlfischer.com and is referenced in this article. (To find this MP3 recording go to the carlfischer.com, click on “Choral, Band, and Orchestra,” and then 2006-2007 concert and school band music, then on “medium difficult”)
I first discovered The Masks, a two-movement suite for orchestra by Ronald LoPresti, on a Mercury Recording by the Eastman-Rochester Orchestra conducted by Howard Hanson. That was around 1976 or so, and I found the recording in a stack of LP records in the band room where I was teaching. I knew that LoPresti had studied with Hanson while at Eastman and was intrigued with the idea of a teacher conducting one of his student’s works. Having performed his Elegy for a Young American in college, and having been impressed with that work, I listened to the recording. I found it to be just as powerful and expressive as the Elegy. My second thought, after listening several more times was that it would make a wonderful band transcription. I contacted a colleague and friend to get his opinion. My friend Louis is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and I thought he would be interested in the work. I was stunned to discover that he was the clarinetist on that recording, made in 1955, who played the beautiful solo in the opening measures of the MBM
suite. I decided that fate was at work, and after listening to the recording, Louis agreed that the orchestral suite was a good choice for a band transcription. As a young band director with very little free time, I had just enough energy to get through hectic days and nights of teaching. The idea of taking on such a project was daunting to say the least. I put aside the idea; for about 30 years. In 2005, I was attending the Midwest Clinic and heard a stirring performance of the Elegy. I had recently retired from teaching and had the good fortune of being published a few times. I remembered the Eastman recording, that fateful listening session with my friend Louis, and decided to take on the project of writing a band transcription of The Masks. With a little research, I found that Elegy for a Young American was the only LoPresti band tune still in print. There are many who hold the Elegy as a masterpiece of band composition and I thought that the addition of The Masks to the band repertoire could be an important contribution.
My first task was to locate a copy of the score. I contacted the Eastman School who directed me to the famed Sibley Library. I found an archivist who was able to locate the original score, but he told me that it was not available to the public. He explained that Eastman owned the rights to the work as part of an endowment set up for the university. He then recommended that I contact Carl Fischer Music, in New York, who had produced and distributed the orchestral version. He also directed me to an administrator who was in charge of copyrights for Eastman. I first contacted the administrator, David Strong, who graciously offered me permission to do the transcription. My next call was to Carl Fischer. They told me that they had at least one copy of a study score and I ordered it for $4.50 — the price that had been established back in the 1950s. I then went to the internet and found a second recording of the work, done by the Oregon Symphony under the direction of James DePreist (Menotti: Apocalypse / Presti: The Masks: et al., A S I N B 0 0 0 0 01S F M , Koch International Classics). I ordered the recording as well. When the score arrived, it was indeed a study score, five inches by seven inches, and it had been in the stacks for so long that the staples that held it together were rusted. The recording arrived a few days later and I found it to be an inspiring rendition, even though there were some marked differences in interpretation. I decided to use the original Eastman recording as my guide for tempos and style, as I assumed LoPresti, as a student of Hanson, was involved in the recording. The process of transcribing the work for band was painstaking. Though the work lent itself well to a wind version, there were still hundreds of decisions to make to try to write a tune for winds that would be faithful to the original. In its earlier drafts, it was read by a band at Ithaca College, and when the necessary adjustments and editions were made, Mark Scatterday at the Eastman school read through the manuscript with the Eastman Wind Ensemble. When the powers that be at Eastman, Carl Fischer, and I were all satisfied as to the transcription’s worthiness, Carl Fischer published The Masks by Ronald LoPresti — as transcribed for band by Gregory B. Rudgers. The Masks is in two movements. The only hint as to the programmatic context for the suite was a brief comment by LoPresti in the original album notes. He intended the work to consist of two contrasting moods, much as the dramatic masques of Tragedy and Comedy. In fact, the graphics on the Mercury album cover did feature such masques. It is a work of haunting beauty and great intensity. Ronald LoPresti was from what some call the Hanson School of composition. His work evinced soaring romantic
melodies accompanied by 20th century harmonies that so characterized the work of Howard Hanson and his students. In the first movement, Andante Tranquillo, the opening harmonic statement introduces a poignant clarinet solo both of which establish the harmonic and melodic basis of the suite. (MP3, Mvt 1, 0:20–1:04) That haunting theme is then stated more or less in canon and is developed by adding voices in crescendo and hints of the main theme of the second movement culminating in a fortissimo statement by the French Horns. (MP3, Mvt. 1, 2:24–2:59) LoPresti then employs fragments of the original theme in turn voiced in solo flute, oboe and clarinet, once again building to a stunning crescendo and tutti climax before relaxing into a quiet echo of the opening harmonies. The second movement, Allegro Moderato, begins with a syncopated figure drawn from the first movement that is immediately treated in a fugal style with four statements in succession. (MP3, Mvt. 2, 0:00-0:22) This idea is then fragmented and stated in imitation. This highly rhythmic and energetic music quickly resolves into a lyric section that takes motives from the first movement and develops them. One is reminded of the first movement’s sonorous quality without a verbatim restatement of the original ideas. The syncopated opening returns, eventually being restated in augmented form, which is then joined by a martial trumpet fanfare, so reminiscent of many of the works of Howard Hanson, and the entire work ends with a triumphant and emphatic triplet restatement of the original theme. The Masks’ contemporary harmonies and soaring romantic melodies afford it a powerful sense of intensity and drama. Band music enthusiasts, upon listening to this long forgotten work will be reminded of works in similar style from the gifted pen of Howard Hanson, such as Dies Natales and Laude. From its quiet, reflective opening through a compelling sense of tension and resolution, and on through a rhythmic treatment of lyric themes, The Masks offers the modern concert band one more opportunity to experience the work of this gifted composer, and provides an opportunity for accomplished conductors and performers alike to experience artistry. Howard Hanson, the Eastman School of Music, and Ronald LoPresti have all participated in creating a legacy of the best of American music. It has been a privilege and an honor to participate in the rediscovery, and subsequent development of a new transcription for band of the music of this distinguished composer. 1 Gregory B. Rudgers Ithaca, New York … about the author — see page 21 www. MBM
Soldiers’ Procession & Sword Dance Grade 1 2 min.
Manhattan Beach Music
Soldiers’ Procession and Sword Dance is a faithful rendition of two Renaissance dances that are particularly apt for young players. Susato composed these works in the 16th century for amateur musicians with concern for their limited abilities, and thus they are most appropriate for elementary and middle school bands. In this transcription, Margolis has mainB tained the integrity of both dances; all of the notes and rhythms are drawn from the original. M a r It is extremely rare to find a work that is absolutely authentic and genuine that comes from the legitimate literature that is technically and musically available for youth bands. With that, the quality of the music in these two movements is such that junior high, senior high, and even college and university bands would be well served by their study and performance. Both movements offer the percussion section music that is both challenging and refreshing. With very specific directions to the section, Margolis has FRANK
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C o n t r a s t s Curnow Music
Grade 2 2 ½ min.
Kenya Contrasts draws two melodies from African culture from two separate tribes. Both melodies are part of children’s counting games and are thus intrinsically rhythmic and engaging. The melodies are not complex, at times using only three pitches. Himes sets both tunes with conventional harmonies that reflect the simple, naïve nature of the original melodies. He also employs counterpoint in a direct and easily identifiable form that young players should be able to recognize and appreciate. The first, Wakaratha from the Kikuyu tribe, a W i l gentle and tuneful setting, is sung by the Kikuyu H i children as they play a game that uses counting to choose a playmate. The second, Abot Tangewou from the Kipsigis tribe, an aggressive, spirited, percussive setting, thus supplying the contrast implied by the title, is sung during play in which the children count to ten. Wakaratha embraces the theme of contrast by juxtaposing staccato lines in the percussion and lower winds with lyric melodies from the soprano and tenor voices. There are ample opportunities to introduce concepts of
created timbres that capture what must have been the sounds of the sixteenth century. Bells, various pitched tom toms, cymbals and the critical scoring of two wood-blocks give the work an ancient, exotic quality. The Soldier’s Procession is bold and majestic with historically accurate exchanges between various choirs within the band. For a level-one work, there is considerable polyphony employed b here, thus giving young players the opportunity o l i s for true independent playing. In this work, the tuba and lower reeds receive melodic treatment equal to the soprano voices, a valuable asset for developing all members of the band. The Sword Dance is lighter in nature and has more unison rhythmic writing. The challenge here is maintaining the strict dance rhythms and coordinating with the very effective percussion writing. The conclusion to this movement is a driving, exciting finale with wonderfully colorful orchestration. The percussion section in this work is not relegated to accompaniment, but rather is an equal partner in the band.
expression and phrase in this “movement” as well as effective dynamics that will challenge younger players. The second setting, Abot Tangewou, achieves contrast through Himes’ scoring of a variety of colors as well as dynamic variation. This setting is highly marcato and staccato in nature with rhythms that bounce back and forth from choir to choir. Himes gives the percussion section ample opportunity to broaden their understanding of their instruments by scoring several timbres from conventional instruments. Basic formal i a m concepts are also present here with several passages written in a fugal or imitative style. Himes accome s plishes a comforting sense of symmetry as well as a satisfying conclusion by returning to the Kikuyu song briefly before a marcato final note. Young players will respond very positively to this marvelous composition and at the same time be challenged by its call for contrast in performance. Children enjoy children’s music-its simplicity and playfulness will, by definition, engage young musicians and their audiences.
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T o l e d o
Grade 3 10 min.
Toledo was written in 1992 on a commission from the John Henderson Junior High School Band in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Although the technical demands of the work are restricted, the material gives the impression of substantial difficulty, and the musical quality is such that Toledo has been performed by bands at all levels and across the world. The work is based on three related sources: the painting View of Toledo by El Greco, the B r Spiritual Canticle by St. John of the Cross, and C a r the ruminations on both by the 20th-century Christian monk, Thomas Merton. When El Greco was engaged in painting View of Toledo, St John of the Cross was writing his Spiritual Canticle while imprisoned in a tiny cell in the middle of the city. El Greco’s painting is dramatic, intense — a foreshadowing of the end of the world; St. John’s poem is still, detached and focused upward toward God. Carlson was profoundly moved by all three of these sources, and in Toledo has attempted to reflect them musically. The work is sectionalized, with essentially alternating sections that depict the stormy painting with others reflecting the serenity and mysticism of the poem. He prefers that a slide of
Bruce Carlson, Dox Music Publishing Co., Box 18, Domain, MB. R0G 0M0, Canada (firstname.lastname@example.org, 204-736-2775)
the painting be displayed while the piece is being performed, and at one point the performers discuss the painting, first verbally then musically through improvisation. In constructing this work the composer drew on many of the compositional techniques of the late 20th century including: improvisation, time controlled by seconds rather than strict rhythm, and a reliance on texture and timbre, especially percussion sounds. Virtually all of the harmonic and c e melodic material throughout the composition s o n is extracted from a pitch set, designated as the “Toledo Chord” by the composer. This sonority, which is comprised of alternating tritones and perfect fourths, recalls the “Mystic Chord” of Scriabin. Those segments that break away from this pitch set are generally composed of parallel major chords that portray bell sounds. Toledo may be unique in young band music. Not only is it representative of the musical idiom of the late 20th century, but it attempts to deal with profound spiritual matters. Undoubtedly, it is the reflective and insightful aesthetic behind its conception that has captured the interest of thoughtful band directors around the world. FRANK
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Grade 3 12 min.
ceremonial occasions (including funerals). The exuberWritten in 1995 on a commission from Cheryl ant Saltarello is essentially a long crescendo from start Floyd and the Hill Country Middle School Band to finish. Nelson’s rhythmic countermelody contributes of Austin, Texas, the work consists of a short Intrato the forward momentum and the heavy accents in da and five dances based on courtly dances of the the middle of the melodic line replicate the dramatic 1500s — Basse Dance (France), Pavane (England), leaps characteristic of this dance. Nelson’s band works Saltarello (Italy), Sarabande (Spain) and Allemande often require the ensemble to sing. In the Sarabande, the (Germany). While Nelson’s work goes far towards group sings the melody to an actual Spanish folk (on the recreating an authentic Renaissance performance, it single syllable “Lu”) to recall that in Spain these slow frequently veers from this course to imbue the music dances were often sung. The result is gentle and deeply with a contemporary flavor, adding much originality expressive. Another processional dance, instrumental R o n in texture, counterpoint, structure, and scoring. The result is music that is aurally exciting, varied, and N e l s o n versions of the Allemande were often highly contrapuntal. Nelson reflects this historical fact with both active captivating. countermelodies and a nine-voice fugato. As noted earlier, the The brief Intrada might be seen as calling a dance troupe theme is drawn from the Intrada that began the suite. to the stage. Its primary theme is reused as the theme of the Dance music and wind instruments have been linked at least Allemande giving the work a satisfying sense of overall unity. since the Middle Ages. Nelson’s suite is intimately connected The Bass[e] Dance, in 3/2 time, begins after beat two and this to this history since it is intended to evoke the music of Claude off-the-beat placement produces a delightful rhythmic tension. Gervaise, a composer of the 1500s and a band musician. Well Accompanying the melody of the Pavane, the composer has writwritten and appealing, it allows young wind musicians to particiten very quiet flute and mallet percussion tremolos, perhaps an pate in a longstanding aesthetic tradition. evocation of the rustling of the elaborate dresses of female royalty, since this processional dance was associated with solemn, Frank Ticheli’s List continues on page 54
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Simple Gifts FOUR SHAKER SONGS
Program Notes by Frank Ticheli
The finale is a setting of the Shakers’ most famous song, “Simple Gifts,” sometimes attributed to Elder Joseph Bracket (1797–1882) of the Alfred, Maine community, and also said (in Lebanon, New York, manuscript) as having been received from a Negro spirit at Canterbury, New Hampshire, making “Simple Gifts” possibly a visionary gift song. 3T H E
S H A K E R S 3
The Shakers were a religious sect who splintered from a Quaker community in the mid-1700’s in Manchester, England. Known then derisively as “Shaking Quakers” because of the passionate shaking that would occur during their religious services, they were viewed as radicals, and their members were sometimes harassed and even imprisoned by the English. One of those imprisoned, Ann Lee, was named official leader of the church upon her release in 1772. Two years later, driven by her vision of a holy sanctuary in the New World, she led a small group of followers to the shores of America where they founded a colony in rural New York. 1The Shakers were pacifists who kept a very low profile, and their membership increased only modestly during the decades following their arrival. At their peak in the 1830’s, there were some 6,000 members in nineteen communities interspersed between Maine and Kentucky. Soon after the Civil War their membership declined dramatically. Their practice of intense simplicity and celibacy accounts for much of their decline. 1Today there is only one active Shaker community remaining, the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester, Maine. They maintain a Shaker Library, a Shaker Museum, and a website at www.shaker.lib.me.us. 1 The Shakers were known for their architecture, crafts, furniture, and perhaps most notably, their songs. Shaker songs were traditionally sung in unison MBM
without instrumental accompaniment. Singing and dancing were vital components of Shaker worship and everyday life. Over 8,000 songs in some 800 songbooks were created, most of them during the 1830’s to 1860’s in Shaker communities throughout New England. T H E S I M P L E
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My work is built from four Shaker melodies - a sensuous nature song, a lively dance tune, a tender lullaby, and most famously, “Simple Gifts,” the hymn that celebrates the Shaker’s love of simplicity and humility. In setting these songs, I sought subtle ways to preserve their simple, straightforward beauty. Melodic freshness and interest were achieved primarily through variations of harmony, of texture, and especially, of orchestration. The first movement is a setting of “In Yonder Valley”, generally regarded to be the oldest surviving Shaker song with text. This simple hymn in praise of nature is attributed to Father James Whittaker (1751 - 87), a member of the small group of Shakers who emigrated to America in 1774. My setting enhances the image of spring by turning the first three notes of the tune into a birdcall motive. The second movement, “Dance,” makes use of a tune from an 1830’s Shaker manuscript. Dancing was an important part of Shaker worship, and tunes such as this were often sung by a small group of singers while the rest of the congregation danced. One interesting feature in my setting occurs near the end of the movement, when the brasses state the tune at one-quarter speed in counterpoint against the woodwinds who state it at normal speed. The third movement is based on a Shaker lullaby, “Here Take This Lovely Flower,” found in Dorothy Berliner Commin’s extraordinary collection, Lullabies of the World, and in Daniel W. Patterson’s monumental collection, The Shaker Spiritual. This song is an example of the phenomenon of the gift song, music received from spirits by Shaker mediums while in trance (see pp. 316 ff. in Patterson, op cit., for a detailed account, and also Harold E. Cook’s Shaker Music: A Manifestation of American Folk Culture, pp. 52 ff.). Although the Shakers practiced celibacy, there were many children in their communities, including the children of recent converts as well as orphans whom they took in. Like many Shaker songs, this lullaby embodies the Shakers’ ideal of childlike simplicity. The finale is a setting of the Shakers’ most famous song, “Simple Gifts,” sometimes attributed to Elder Joseph Bracket (1797 - 1882) of the Alfred, Maine community, and also said (in Lebanon, New York, manuscript) as having been received from a Negro spirit at Canterbury, New Hampshire, making “Simple Gifts” possibly a visionary gift song. It has been used in hundreds of settings, most notably by Aaron Copland in the brilliant set of variations which conclude his Appalachian Spring. Without ever quoting him, my setting begins at Copland’s doorstep, and quickly departs. Throughout its little journey, the tune is never abandoned, rarely altered, always exalted. 1
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Grade 4 9 min.
Jager’s Third Suite holds a significant place in contemporary band literature. Approachable by young bands (it bears a dedication to a high school band in Virginia) and worthy of performance by the most advanced ensembles, it has become a favorite of both conductors and performers since its publication in 1967. This is vital music which accomplishes the difficult combination of great humor and sophistication at the same time. It is playful and child-like at times and is quite direct, makings R o its statements with bold assertive melodies, J a compelling repetition, and music that shines with comic exaggeration. The suite consists of three movements: A March that alternates between 4/4 and 3/4, a Waltz that alternates between 3/4 and 2/4, and a rollicking Rondo in 6/8 with measures of 3/4 thrown in for good measure. The March is in traditional march form and the melodic material harkens back to the marches that are the heritage of wind band performance; the resemblance does not last though,
due to the meter changes. With a sense of seven beats to the measure, one would think that the march would become awkward and angular. Such is not the case in Jager’s skillful hands. The march flows with wonderful melodic momentum. Replete with woodwind flourishes and thundering percussion, it is both comical and dramatic. The Waltz, which feels a little three-legged due to the alternating meters, is a charming, wistful, delicate gem. With sparse scoring, and transparent orchestration it achieves a gentleness b e r t of spirit that is sentimental and bittersweet. A g e r hilarious codetta ends the movement. The technically challenging Rondo completes the suite in virtuoso fashion. Complemented by a delightful trumpet solo and a charming piccolo solo, it drives a rapid tempo with tremendous energy concluding with a final statement of ironic defiance and sheer joy. This is brilliantly entertaining music that invites both the listener and performer to share a wonderful secret. Music can be both funny and serious at the same time. FRANK
G r e g o r y
S p r i n g
Chen Yi’s Spring Festival celebrates the Chinese New Year or Yuan Tan with a pleasing contemporary style. The form of this charming work for young bands is derived from a complicated mathematical formula called the Golden Section, a ratio that throughout history has been deemed the most perfect proportion and in fact, Spring Festival does have an engaging symmetry. The melodic material for the work is drawn from a southern Chinese folk song entitled Lion Playing Ball. Yi has achieved a C h child-like quality that is most appropriate for young players without “talking down to them.” Unlike Y many works for this level of ability and experience, Spring Festival uses sparse scoring and many exposed passages in its exposition. The piece does not employ the full range of the score in a tutti statement until measure 40 of a 76 measure piece. The opening percussion section of Congas, Tom-tom and three different size gongs captures ones attention immediately with straightforward and uncomplicated individual rhythms,
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Grade 3 3 min.
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which when stated in counterpoint become quite sophisticated. The simple folk tune receives similar treatment in Yi’s capable hands. Its various statements, exchanged between woodwind and brass choirs of varying instrumentation, are presented in a true contemporary fashion employing chromaticism and imitation that is reminiscent of mature twentieth century music composed for more advanced players. The middle section, an example of one of the few tutti passages, takes this chromatic treatment a step n further with a flurry of chromatic embellishments. This is music that challenges young players’ artistic insight and aesthetic awareness as much as it challenges their technical skills. It is engaging music that will capture the ear and imagination of young players as well the most sophisticated of musicians. Upon hearing the sudden conclusion of this wonderful composition for young bands, the astute listener and student of quality music will not only have a sense of satisfaction, but will also have a haunting sense of wanting to hear more.
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T o c c a t a
M a r z i a l e
Grade 5 4 min.
Boosey & Hawkes
Concert bands and wind ensembles are most the several motives established in the early measures. fortunate to have contributions to their literature Evoking the militaristic mode, the martial fanfare from the gifted pen of Ralph Vaughan Williams. that opens the work proclaims a bold and energetic Along with Gustav Holst, Vaughan Williams purpose that permeates the entire toccata even within helped establish the British military band as an the intricate developmental sections replete with important part of the heritage of wind performance. fugal and imitative repetition. Indeed, in symphonic Toccata Marziale has been a staple of the Military fashion, the final dramatic statement calls forth the Wind Band tradition for many years, precluding principle theme for a most satisfying conclusion. the modern concert band era. This is powerfully expressive work in which Written during a time in Vaughan Williams’ Vaughan Williams creates tension and emotional R a lph career in which he was experimenting with complex impact not through rubato or soaring legato phrases, polyrhythms and contemporary harmonies, this V a u g h a n but with inventive rhythmic counterpoint, direct work was a departure from his more tuneful settings and declarative dynamics, skillful use of contrasting of English folk songs and his early symphonic W i l l i a m s articulations, and melodic material that is at once works. So much so, that the work has a modern, contemporary direct and truly memorable. This is a substantial piece of music style which fits comfortably with later American twentieth that will challenge virtually all who study and perform it. And century music for concert band and wind ensemble. Firmly in yet the rewards of a thorough examination and exploration the toccata genre, it is a brilliant and colorful kaleidoscope of of this masterpiece of wind literature will far outweigh the contrapuntal writing, challenging virtually every instrument challenge. Students and professionals alike will find great value in the score with agile, swift passages, each in turn speaking in this exceptional work. FRANK FRANK
Grade 3 3 min.
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De Haske Publications
Bach’s Fugue in G Minor is sometimes referred in unison. This sparse and crystalline orchestration to as the “Little Fugue” as Bach did use that evokes a sense of chamber performance to the descriptive word to differentiate this work from work at is inception, which, when contrasted with his larger work, the “Great” Fantasia and Fugue in the fortissimo, tutti conclusion of the work gives G Minor. It should be noted, however, that there Kimura’s setting an incredibly wide range of color is nothing little about this fugue; its opening four and emotional impact. measures are perhaps one of the most recognizable Orchestration, of course, is the key to this melodies in all of music literature, and the fugue most successful interpretation of the classic work J.S. Bach in its entirety has captured listeners and arrangers and Kimura departs from traditional band scoring arr. for over two hundred and fifty years. enough so that this setting has fresh and innovative The mathematical precision and stirring Y o s h i h i r o sounds and colors. As an example, one statement counterpoint all lead to a conclusion so powerful of the subject is performed by Alto Clarinet, Bass Kimura and majestic that one marvels at its sheer majesty. Clarinet, Contrabass Clarinet, Baritone Saxophone, Yoshihiro Kimura has provided youth bands as Second Baritone Horn, and String Bass — just one well as university and professional bands with a setting of example of the arranger’s ability to bring new sounds to the this masterpiece that adds to its long history with distinction. work without sacrificing its essential character and integrity. The exposition here is especially compelling. Kimura chooses The music of Johann Sebastian Bach has provided bands with the solo oboe as the voice to present the subject; the plaintive valuable, legitimate literature through numerous transcriptions. sounds of the oboe are soon joined by the English Horn for This setting by Yoshihiro Kimura is an important addition to the second statement of the subject as solo flute joins the oboe that tradition.
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S n a k e s !
Grade 2 3 ½ min.
Thomas C. Duffy, a former student of Karel ladies in the band get to make the hissing sounds, Husa and Steven Stucky at Cornell University, gradually making them crescendo until the young has crafted a most imaginative and unconvenmen shout “Snakes!” There are hisses, rattles, sudtional work for young bands. Snakes! uses aleaden strikes and the intimidating swaying of the toric compositional devices, dissonance, and cobra. At one point a careful listener may even original, creative special effects in the percussion envision the menacing slow movements of a boa section to make Snakes! a humorous, entertainconstrictor. There is even a “snake pit” with writhing and at times downright scary experience for ing and twisting sounds before the eerie, forebodyoung players and their audiences. ing conclusion which should leave both performThe aleatoric portions of the work are not at ers and audience just a little bit uneasy, albeit all intimidating. Duffy employs some unmetered pleasantly entertained. T h o m a s C . measures and some random statements which Young musicians who have been fed a steady give the performers a chance to improvise and diet of block scoring and traditional melodies and D u f f y a true sense of ownership over the performance. rhythms will find Snakes! a refreshing change from The dissonance is of a nature that young players will revel in convention. This creative work will introduce them to aleatoric the sounds, and the percussion special effects will engage the compositional devices, sound effects, and other departures most energetic of percussionists. This is program music, which from most of the literature written for this level of ability. They through contemporary harmonies and rhythms, successfully will be entertained with its cleverness, join enthusiastically in captures the sounds associated with snakes. With shouts of “pythe fun, and stretch their musical imaginations. And, though thon” and “cobra” band members get to create surprise and the piece was originally conceived for young bands, it would mock terror. There is even a spot in the piece where the young also serve well for more advanced ensembles.
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P r o v e n ç a l e
Grade 4 7½ min.
De Haske Publishing
Belgian composer, Jan Van der Roost has All four movements display wonderful orchescontributed significantly to the burgeoning tration with many creative and original colors interest in European band music through his emerging from the score. Van der Roost explores many compositions. Approachable by young a myriad of choirs within and across the brass and musicians in America and around the world, woodwind sections as well as some elegant scorhis music is tuneful and straightforward withing in the style of chamber music. His use of tutti out being academic. Folk music has long been scoring is discreet, appropriate, and worth the a staple of works written for young musicians wait. And, there are many opportunities for soand Van der Roost follows that tradition in his loistic performances by individuals and sections. outstanding work for young bands, Suite ProThese melodies retain their authentic nature in vençale. In it, he has set four folk songs taken Van der Roosts capable hands and thus are accesJ a n from the traditional lore of Provence, France sible to young players; the challenges here are not V a n d e r and set them each in a conventional form. in technical difficulty but rather in performing R o o s t “Un Ange a fa la credo,” (An angel brought the straightforward melodies and rhythms with the creed) is similar to a Bouree; “Adam e sa discipline, consistency, and attention to detail. Coumpagnou” (Adam and his companion) is in song form; The work offers many opportunities for expressive phrasing and “Lou Fustie” (The carpenter) is a fast dance; and “Lis Escoubo” contrasts in dynamics and articulation. It is thus that stylistic (Whistle tune) is a farandole. Each of the movements is written concerns should be at the center of attention by both conductor in a simple, direct style with easily recognized rhythms and key and performers, for these four charming settings provide ample signatures. opportunity for both musicianship and artistry.
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Grade 5 11 min.
The Passing Bell was written in 1974 on a commission from the Concert Band at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa. It was intended as an elegy for Dennis Rathjen, a clarinetist in the band who had died in 1968 from Hodgkin’s disease. The work’s opening note, a sustained C concert in solo clarinet, is an acknowledgment of the dedicatee. Benson wrote for large forces. A minimum of 62 players are required, including six “busy” percussionists.
(orchestra bells, chimes, vibraphone) and in the winds. Entries are usually accented and often decorated with the Lombard rhythm or “Scotch snap” — a rhythm that can be easily heard in any pealing of bells. Fragments of both hymns are also introduced.
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The intriguing title is an evocation of the long-standing association (in diverse religious traditions) of bells with funeral processions. Bell sounds and bell-like textures are an important aspect of the musical resources throughout the composition.
The “A” section features Jesu, meine Zuversicht. The hymn appears quietly in three-part harmony e n in flutes over a spare accompaniment, including o n a timpani/snare drum “heartbeat” that gradually fades away. Reinforcing the programmatic image (Death) is a conventional dominant-tonic cadence in C major at bars 54-55 — the only such cadence in the entire composition, and, as such, an aurally striking event. The A and B sections are carefully elided. A brief recall of the introduction leads to the most chaotic event in the piece, a hocketed trumpet presentation of the second phrase of Jesu, meine Zuversicht. From the despair represented here, Merthyr Tydvil arises very quietly in the clarinets. The timpani “heartbeat” begins again and gradually becomes more persistent, clearly another programmatic image (Resurrection).
The basic musical materials are two hymn tunes. Jesu, meine Zuversicht (Jesus, my Refuge) dates from 1653 and is usually attributed to Johann Crüger. Well known as a Lutheran chorale, it is associated with funeral services, and represents “Death” in Benson’s composition. Merthyr Tydvil is a triumphant Welsh hymn of praise written by F R A N K Joseph Parry in 1870. In The Passing Bell it represents “Resurrection” and “Life”. Benson probably selected The B section also elides with the final section, these two hymns because Merthyr Tydvil has much of most easily defined as AB. Here both tunes appear Jesu, meine Zuversicht embedded within its melody L I S T simultaneously, but, sustaining the aesthetic or counterpoint. The hymns appear separately, then conception of the piece, the Welsh hymn of praise in contrapuntal combination. Interestingly, at the always predominates over the Lutheran chorale. For ultimate climax of the work, Jesu, meine Zuversicht example, while Merthyr Tydvil is often harmonized, fades away while Merthyr Tydvil reaches its zenith in a only the melody of Jesu, meine Zuversicht appears. The work dramatic outpouring of sound. Benson has musically symbolized ends by recalling the bell sounds of the introduction supported a central tenet of the Christian religion (Resurrection as a by powerful percussion gestures. triumph over Death) in a manner that would have been clearly understood and appreciated by the commissioning agency. The Passing Bell is an overwhelming work. The marriage of a convincing aesthetic with masterful use of harmony, The work begins with a long introduction (35 bars). Bell counterpoint, rhythm and scoring places this composition sounds are a prominent feature, both within the percussion among the most important in the wind band repertoire. Frank Ticheli’s List continues on page 62
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AmericanSchoolsHelpin Sudlow Intermediate School, Davenport, Iowa Meridian High School, Bellingham, Washington Reeths-Puffer Middle School, Muskegon, Michigan Coeur d’Alene High School, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho West Forsyth High School, Clemmons, North Carolina Monroe Magnet School, Inglewood, California West Michigan Concert WINDS, Spring Lake, Michigan Henrietta Jr.High, Henrietta, Texas Vestavia Hills High School, Vestavia Hills, Alabama West Brook High School, Beaumont, Texas Hunter Huss High School, Gastonia, North Carolina
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hool, Eastland Jr. High Sc n Roseville, Michiga
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Anon., Wasilla, Alaska Greenfield Middle School, Bakersfield, California
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hat tanBe ac h Mu sic . c om
Why Band? by Gregory B. Rudgers
“The United States Marine Band was founded by an Act of Congress in 1798 and dubbed the “Presidents Own.” Indeed, from its very inception, the United States has embraced, endorsed, and found pride in the band tradition.” As a school band director, one is often called upon to justify one’s very existence in the overall educational program. When budget times draw near, music, band included, frequently finds itself on the list of subjects to be reduced or even eliminated from the curriculum. It is an oft told tale that creates both debate and controversy. With taxpayers protesting their rising school taxes, arts supporters advocating the critical importance of music, and board members and administrators caught in the middle trying to resolve the dilemma, the situation can become quite dramatic. I recall one school district where the band program was being threatened by a tightening budget. The parents of band members lined up every school band member, approximately 500 kids, all with instruments in their hands, on the driveway leading to the board of education meeting as the board members arrived. A most impressive display, I am sure. And while it certainly demonstrated their devotion to their MBM
children’s participation in band, it may not have addressed the central question. Why band? Educated and informed people understand the importance of the arts in children’s lives. And, those same people understand that there are several genre that can provide their children with the creativity, discipline, self expression, and beauty inherent in the arts. What they may not have considered is the idea that participating in band offers their children specific benefits in a most unique fashion. I may, of course, be a little prejudiced, but I think band is special. By its very nature, it affords its participants and its audience with much of what parents, children, and communities value. People who study how the human mind works have determined that participation in music involves our brains more completely than virtually any other activity. The combination
of the visual, aural, intellectual, emotional, and physical aspects of a performing musician pushes our mental capacities to the highest of levels. When one understands the additional complexities of the performing instrumental musician: digital, tactile, respiratory, muscular, and coordinative, one discovers a splendid expression of human mental and physical potential. Just imagine what a child accomplishes when producing an artistically viable performance on the clarinet. As in all musical performance, a clarinetist must master music notation, interpretation, quality of sound, and representative style, which in turn demands knowledge of historical perspective and tradition. He or she must blend time, space, sound, body, mind, and feelings in the production of an artistic product. But beyond that feat, amazing as it is, the clarinetist must also coordinate two arms and ten fingers. He or she must control the muscles of the embouchure and tongue with precision to the smallest degree, and focus the very air of life in a sustained, intense, focused, and physically demanding action during which the slightest variation is destructive of the entire process. It may be said, and indeed it has been said by many scientists, psychologists, and physiologists, that performance on a musical instrument belongs on the highest plane of physical, intellectual, and emotional dynamics that humans can achieve. The benefit derived from such activity, by very definition, enhances the participant’s life to a measurable degree. Is it any wonder that there are many studies available that demonstrate that children whose minds and bodies have been touched by participation in music perform at a higher level throughout their academic and social lives? Given what music offers them, it seems unlikely that they would not excel. And then there is the institution of band itself. The United States Marine Band was founded by an Act of Congress in 1798 and dubbed the “Presidents Own.” Indeed, from its very inception, the United States has embraced, endorsed, and found pride in the band tradition. And, while the earliest bands in this country were military in nature, it was not long before civilian bands took their place as an integral part of American culture. It is hard to imagine a celebration in city, town, or village that does not include a performance by a band in its festivities. Whether marching down Main Street, or performing on a summer evening in the town square, bands have always been at the center of the best of times. And, when people gather to share their grief as a nation, it is the American band that offers solace in the form of music that brings us all together.
There is something about bands that evokes a sense of celebration. Whether in the concert hall, or on the street, or on the field at half time, the music of the American Band brings with it a sense of pride and joyous times. One cannot listen without being swept up in the pageantry that so often accompanies band music. Anyone who has ever attended an NCAA Tournament Basketball game, or a football game on a major college campus cannot deny the color, the excitement, and vocal pride that the band represents. It is music that excites and thrills. There is just something about a band. And, those of us in the profession also know that there is so much more to bands and band literature than just rousing, spirited music. Thanks to gifted composers, much of the literature that has been written in the last fifty years may rightfully be described as “serious” music. Following in the footsteps of composers such as Gustav Holst and Ralph Vaughn Williams who preceded them, band composers have created music that is refined, sophisticated, and at times, supremely intellectual. Indeed, though much of modern band music is written for young people to study and perform, music for the modern concert band and wind ensemble has become a legitimate and meaningful art form. It is music that challenges and engages both mind and spirit. With a nod to its past history of militaristic and ceremonial music, it has taken its place in the concert halls of the world. I recently had the opportunity to hear a performance of the Persichetti Symphony for Band performed by a fine collegiate wind ensemble. As I sat in a formal concert hall and listened to the second movement, I was struck with the realization that this profoundly beautiful music was being performed by a band. The delicacy of phrase and intensity of line were both gentle and powerful at the same time. These woodwinds and brasses were capable of the most refined and passionate music. These young people were evoking the pathos and bittersweet sorrow found in this masterpiece of band literature. But, there was something else. Amidst the sorrow, and gentleness, and intricacy, and strength, there was something that added to the experience. As I sat there and listened to that hauntingly beautiful music, I was also aware of the tradition, and the history, and the pride of the American band. Along with all the essentially intrinsic values of music there was something else. There was joy. Why band? It is because band is who we are. It is who we are as a nation, as a people, and as a culture. 1 … about the author — see page 21
R e v i e w Grade 5 7 min.
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K i n d e r Manhattan Beach Music
Written in 1973, this work is part of an section introduces the two chorales by extensive series of pieces by this composer Samuel Scheidt presented simultaneously, in under the title “Sinfonia”. Although the woodwind/brass antiphony and surrounded technical demands are limited, Broege by improvisation, generating very complex requires that performers of this work have harmonies and textures. The melodies of a sophisticated knowledge of musical style, the chorales do not match the neighbor be rhythmically astute, control a wide note construction of previous melodies, but dynamic range and be able to improvise. relationships can be heard. After the second Broege describes Sinfonia V: Symphonia Rag, section six is labelled Ragtime alla Sacra et Profana as a collage or montage of turca. The rag figures continue and a new T i m o t h y musical styles. Styles range from ragtime to melody, which sounds like a folk song, is B r o e g e plainchant to Alla Turca passages to early introduced. Played on oboe, it has Middle Baroque chorales to medieval dance music, similar to what Eastern qualities. The transition to section seven is very one might hear when sweeping across the FM radio dial in a skilful. In the final bar of section six, horns and trombones large city. The composer has included several direct quotes: play the third phrases of the plainchant, and section seven the plainchant hymn Divinum Mysterium, two chorales begins with the band singing the chant in unison supported in harmonizations by Samuel Scheidt and a Pavanne by by euphonium, and by percussion representing sistrum bells. Pierre Attaignant. He drew on these quoted passages for his Later, the horns play the chant in canon with the voices. This musical material, especially on the plainchant. segment segues into the Attaignant Pavanne cast in a very The piece is structured in seven short sections. The transparent scoring. Like other melodic material in this work, music of the Prelude is mostly disjunct, featuring antiphonal its melody features a central tone with neighboring notes. responses between brass and woodwinds while The work ends quietly and in uncertainty. the percussion provides momentum. This While Broege’s melodic constructions are FRANK section also introduces melodic figures designed tightly integrated through limited pitch use, his around a central tone with whole step lower harmonies and rhythms are very sophisticated. neighboring notes and either whole-step or halfA number of contrasted sonorities appear, L I S T step upper neighbors, which clearly originated including seventh and other added-note chords, in the plainchant. Sections two and five are polychords, quintal/quartal harmonies and both called Rag. Broege was studying ragtime clusters. In addition to the 7/8 mentioned earlier, when he wrote this work, and, although the Broege employs a time signature of 4/4+1/8, and tunes are original, they also employ similar neighboring incorporates complex subdivision such as 5 against 7. note structures. In section two, the tunes appear frequently Sinfonia V is an effective amalgamation of an intriguing in canon, an unusual texture for this style. Section three aesthetic with skilful compositional practices. While the is titled Alla Turca, and is in 7/8 time. Like the Prelude, rapid juxtapositioning of contrasted styles generates interest, it begins with short antiphonal passagework, however, the the careful linking of sections through the same or similar Turkish aspect is quickly assigned to the percussion while melodic material creates a highly convincing musical the wind instruments sustain a long pedal chord. The fourth construction. Frank Ticheli’s List continues online at www.FrankTicheliList.com
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JUST SAY THE MAGIC WORD...
ABRACADABRA by Frank Ticheli ...“ the music rushes toward what seems to be an explosive finish. But the woodwinds interrupt, fanning out to a questioning whole-tone cluster. They are answered by a puff of sound, a final disappearing act.” �
bracadabra was composed in the summer of 2004, and was orchestrated the following November during a residency at the MacDowell Colony. The piece is dedicated to my son, and is at once playful and serious, innocent and mischievous. A sense of mystery pervades as the dark key of G minor is balanced by sudden shifts to bright and sunny major keys. Throughout the composition I was thinking about magic, not in an evil or frightening sense, but as a source of fun and fantasy. My wonderfully playful, sometimes mischievous young son was always in the back of mind, as were images of Halloween with its costumes and jack-o’-lanterns. As the piece nears its conclusion, the music rushes toward what seems to be an explosive finish. But the woodwinds interrupt, fanning out to a questioning whole-tone cluster. They are answered by a puff of sound, a final disappearing act. In strictly musical terms, the piece is as clear an example of musical economy as anything I’ve composed. Almost everything is derived from the opening bars of the main theme. Indeed, virtually every note can be traced to the main melody or its accompaniment. Because of this heightened sense of unity, I had to choose other ways to achieve musical variety. The most important solution was through the sudden and frequent shifts of mood, mode, and tonality.
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Nitro, an energy-charged three-minute fanfare for band, was commissioned by the Northshore Concert Band, Mallory Thompson, music director, in celebration of their 50th anniversary season, and received its premiere performance by them on April 9th, 2006. Nitrogen is the most abundant component of the Earthâ€™s atmosphere (78 per cent by volume), and is present in the tissues of every living thing. It is the fifth most abundant element in the universe, created by the fusion deep within stars; it has recently been detected in interstellar space. The sheer prevalence of nitrogen in all of nature, and the infinite range of compounds it is part of â€” life-giving, energizing, healing, cleansing, explosive â€” all appealed to me, and served as the inspiration for my music. The main musical idea for Nitro is a powerful, angular theme, first announced by the trombones and horns, and then imitated in the trumpets. Trumpet fanfare calls and a busy and relentless chattering in the woodwinds enhance the bright, festive mood. The middle section is based on a woodwind theme that is partly fanfare-like, partly dance-like. This contrasting theme is built from intervals occurring in the natural overtone series (octave and twelfth), giving it an expansive, open-air quality. The main theme reappears,
o r it
growing in power and density all the while, building to a thunderous conclusion. Frank Ticheli
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