Comp in Music Ed – Original composition process diary – Part 5 : Section B return and variation, relevance to baby steps

Click here for updated score and audio

I have completed the two minute draft of my original work, by following section C explored in the prior blog post with a variation and return of section B/B1. I have revisited one of my baby steps again for this process, namely the “musical building blocks” activity and resources I have created. View it here

Firstly, I took the approach that Damien Ricketson to the composing and conceptualising his work “Hectic Jacaranda” which is my model piece. In terms of structure and musical motifs, he labels every single cell of music. This allows him to be sure of which chunk of music shows up at any point. He has also gone to the extent of labelling cells into groups based on their similarities. The process he uses for this is explored in the baby step musical building blocks video tutorial linked above. Damien uses numbers to indicate a new cell or brand new group of cells entering, as a group of cells is labelled first by a number to indicate group, and a letter to indicate which variation it is. Variations in his work on the same cell typically use the same rhythm but have the pitches reorganised or some of them changed.

Below is an example of how I have labelled some of the cells. I’m thinking of reserving any full analysis of my work with all the nerdy details for a potential final blog post.

As discussed in a prior post, section B originates from only a single rhythmic motif whereas Hectic Jacaranda uses countless rhythms. The variation in my section B begins to occur rhythmically with the bars that omit the clarinet portion of the hocket rhythm, and allow the violin alone to tease the full hocket rhythm. In total, referring to the score (good time here to read along with it from link above) I have ended up with 4 groups each with a b c and d variations. Considering my section B only originates from the one rhythm as mentioned, the majority of the variations occur from the varying stages of development that the phrases go through from static pitch to introducing some melody against the other instrument remaining static, before both instruments become fully melodic.

Again referring back to my musical building blocks BABY STEP, the basis for the activity I created for that resource aimed to take some of the original cells of music from Hectic Jacaranda and structure them into a musical setting that has some sense of beginning, middle and end/return as opposed to the through composed nature of the original work by Damien (not that through composed is a bad thing at all…). This is significant since the return of my section B and variation is in one way a backwards statement of B and B1, but also keeps some of the same order rather than 100 per cent a reversal of which pieces/individual bars show up at each point. Considering the tonic and dominant structure I set in section B originally, I kept this structure and decided to copy and paste groups of 4 bars out of the 16 from B and B1 in total in a backwards statement (so half some sense of actual reversal, some half sense of same direction). This maintains the tonic and dominant structure correctly, but I eliminated the middle two bars of each group of 4 to get through the cycle quicker as the material is already heard earlier in the piece, which again still maintains the melodic, along with tonic and dominant structure.

So I guess I did get into some of the full analysis. If that last paragraph made little sense, perhaps I’ll run a play by play blog post once I have the final work totally polished following our week 13 workshop class.


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