Comp in music ed – Original composition process diary – Part 2 : sections B B1, digging into baby steps teaching resources

I have now reached 1 minute of my 2 minute maximum time limit (as per HSC). I have section A which sets the tone as discussed earlier, and now sections B and B1 which demonstrate clear compositional and influence links to my model work “Hectic Jacaranda”, along with the baby steps high school teaching resources I created.

Have a listen and read the score here by clicking here

Hectic Jacaranda is written for two duelling melodic instruments with an electronic backing track. Earlier I proposed to use the violin and trumpet to duel melodically white the piano provides accompaniment. Sections B and B1 demonstrate this with rapid duelling semiquaver phrases and melodic motifs.

One of the clear striking musical features, and one of my BABY STEPS, of Hectic Jacaranda is the hocket rhythms which when observed closer are typically mirror images of each other (though not always melodically). My teaching resource on exploring mirror image/rhythmic retrograde and hocket rhythms can be found here : Dropbox link to mirror image.

I revisited this activity and composed a single bar rhythm for two instruments to use as basis for section B.Pictured below is the main rhythmic motif for two instruments to create a hocket with, and forms the main motif of my section B and B1. It was written by instinct to create an intense march-like sound. After a solemn section A, some conflict and tension in section B sounds like the way to go.

I also took influence from the variety of melodic contour styles in Hectic Jacaranda, especially as the intro uses static pitch phrases before moving into various pitch contour movements and fully fledged melodies. 

Bars 9-16 (B) (9-10 pictured below as example) introduce the rhythm on mostly pitch while teasing some melody. Also, the rhythm isn’t always played as the full hocket in every bar just yet, it starts with one instrument’s part then the hocket is completed in the second bar and alternates like this a few times.

Bars 17-24 (B1) (21-22 pictured below as example) is the fully fledged combination of the hocket rhythm in full effect combined with both melodic instruments adding melody relevant to the chord underneath.


Finally, a closing thought at this stage is to incorporate the “spatially separated performers” BABY STEP activity I created. This can be implemented on draft recordings through panning left and right as well as a program note in the final work for instructions on ensemble organisation and placement of performers and audience in the space. A link to the separated performers baby step activity can be found here :


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