A few years ago, before I spent the time I now spend blogging blogging, I sometimes wrote music. The only people who’ve heard any of it is me and the wife, and for the last few years those files have been gathering dust in a forgotten subfolder of my Dropbox.
Well now I have this place, so I thought: why not just put some of them here? At least I’ll have done something with them. Maybe someone will listen, maybe even like them.
Since I’ve never learnt how to play an instrument and instead tried to teach myself music theory (because that’s how I work), my efforts resulted mostly in classical-ish style and form. I specifically have a fetish for counterpoint, so my favorite genre is the fugue:
In music, a fugue is a contrapuntal compositional technique in two or more voices, built on a subject (a musical theme) that is introduced at the beginning in imitation (repetition at different pitches) and which recurs frequently in the course of the composition. A fugue usually has three main sections: an exposition, a development and a final entry that contains the return of the subject in the fugue’s tonic key. /…/
Most fugues open with a short main theme, the subject, which then sounds successively in each voice (after the first voice is finished stating the subject, a second voice repeats the subject at a different pitch, and other voices repeat in the same way); when each voice has entered, the exposition is complete. This is often followed by a connecting passage, or episode, developed from previously heard material; further “entries” of the subject then are heard in related keys. Episodes (if applicable) and entries are usually alternated until the “final entry” of the subject, by which point the music has returned to the opening key, or tonic, which is often followed by closing material, the coda. In this sense, a fugue is a style of composition, rather than a fixed structure.
Here are a few (headphones are recommended, I’m no sound engineer and it sounds like shit on laptop speakers):
On an original theme, for piano.
On a tune from a children’s christmas song, for woodwinds.
On a tune I made up as a child, for saxophones.
On a tune from a children’s summer song, for piano.
I also like chaconnes (way easier than fugues):
A chaconne is a type of musical composition popular in the baroque era when it was much used as a vehicle for variation on a repeated short harmonic progression, often involving a fairly short repetitive bass-line (ground bass) which offered a compositional outline for variation, decoration, figuration and melodic invention.
Here’s one on a chord progression I swiped from Veronica Maggio, for guitars and electric organ.
One (ish) on a chord progression built on repeating the famous bass line from Seven Nation Army, for steel-stringed guitars.
Plus some miscellany:
Early effort, a small and cutesy invention.
Frenetic piece that makes me think of running, for piano.
(and a version for strings)
Slow “mood piece” that makes me think of a train, for piano and strings.
Rhythmic piece that makes me want to go fight a war, for bass, drum and synthetic horns.
Strange, I’ve never felt as self-conscious about a post as I do about this one. Somehow it feels way more presumptuous to expect people to listen to your music than read your essays.
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