My idea for Orchestration Challenge No. 22 explores the meter and key aspects of a composition/arrangement.
The inspiration for this perspective comes from the 50’s-60’s film score whereupon a theme (and very often, an original pop song) reappears in another location(s) within the film, but in a different meter and usually a different key than the original instance. Although not unique to that era, this technique seems to have really flourished at that time.
Two classic examples are from the Oscar-winning film scores of Michael Todd’s 1956 epic production “Around The World In 80 Days”, and Blake Edwards’ 1961 whimsical production of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.
In “80 Days”, the composer, the incomparable Victor Young, wrote a simple, charming waltz for the main theme (which ultimately had tremendous success outside the movie as a pop song). But for the main title music, the very first music a filmgoer hears, Young arranged the theme/song in 4/4, giving it an entirely different vibe.
For “Tiffany”, mega-composer Henry Mancini wrote the plaintive waltz “Moon River” (also an amazingly popular song outside the movie), but also scored the theme in 4/4 as underscoring. He also took his main title theme (which is in 4/4), and arranged it as a jazz waltz in other underscoring.
This technique, of course, provides thematic unity to a score. But I also thought forum members could have some fun composing and developing a theme malleable enough to satisfy both duple and triple meters. The key change is to add just a bit more texture to your mini-opus
Here’s the proposed specification for Orchestration Challenge No. 22 …
1.- Entrant would compose and state in 4/4 time a two-to-four-bar maximum length theme using a single voice (monophonic, I.E., you can use a cello section playing the single-voiced line/theme in unison). IOW, the theme is short and lay bare (NO background please). This initial statement is for easy comparison with the development sections that are to follow (which are fully orchestrated).
2.- Based on the theme stated in “1”, compose and orchestrate an "A"-section in 4/4 time in any key;
3.- Based on that same theme originally stated in “1”, compose and orchestrate a "B"-section in 3/4 time in a different key than the "A" section.
4.- OPTIONALLY , time and length permitting, entrants may add a “C”-section or coda in any way they wish. I.E., a recapitulation of the “A”-section, new material, different meter, different key, … OR … simply end the piece at the end of the “B”-section. This is entirely optional and YOUR choice!
5.- As usual, the entire piece should be about 2-3 minutes in length; maximum of 4 minutes long.
Proposed deadline is Monday, August 24, 2009 (any time zone).
General guidelines for this challenge can be found at Sean's site:
Entries should be sent to Sean Hannifin at firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, many thanks to Sean for administering the Challenge!
Comments, my friends and fellow forum members?
(Please note: Thanks for your patience! Medical issues with my mom have prevented me from getting this posted sooner … my sincere apologies to all of you for the delay).