Here are a couple of trifles I wrote for another forum several months ago. The idea was to create a piece of music that is whole and meaningful while using 100 notes or less.
The first, Modulations, started as an exercise on chromatic modulation. Through the 23-second piece it goes from Bb to E to F to B to G and returns to Bb – something like a modulation every four seconds, extreme modulations at that. I felt this gave it a sense of momentum – it reminded me of something you might hear in kids show when the main character is moving between scenes on a bicycle. The only response I got was that it made the listener nauseous.
I then quickly wrote something else that is a little more stable. I used two slightly contrasting phrases that repeat. That was followed with a short section based on the main theme that goes through a couple of closely related keys before returning to a slight variation of the original theme. As a joke I called it 100 Note Sonata. If you can call a very short phrase a complete theme then the elements are there in a very rudimentary form. Well, sort of. I stated in my description that I knew it was way too simple to be called a sonata. The only response I received was that I shouldn’t misuse technical terms for my own whim.
100 Note Sonata
For the most part I am a very slow writer and so the fact that I whipped these up, from idea to recording, in less than a half hour each should tell me not to take what others say about them too seriously. Anyway, I hid these away for months and only dug the score to Modulations out recently when I didn’t have anything else to show my composition instructor. He really liked it. So, maybe I will see if I can get a second (actually, in the case of Modulations, third) opinion.
I know, my story is longer than both pieces combined! Anyway, don’t take these too serious and have fun.