Part 3, Uncategorized

Descant: exercise 39A treated as adding a chorale

I feel the supplied (crotchet =108) tempo marking is too slow for this carol, which is joyful with harmonic movement once in a bar.  So I have treated the tune as if an embellishment of an original chorale melody and supplied this, transposing down a tone to make the range convenient for chorister’s voices.

It would be interesting to try this cantus firmus in the men’s voice so avoiding one or two bare fourths.


Ex 39A descant chorale

Audio (without words since from Sibelius):

Part 3, Uncategorized

Canonic Lamentation Round3 of OCA module 1 part 3

Fully expanded score for five voices.  I am still not quite sure where to use slurs and where stemming to fit the words in something of this nature, but after some edits think this is at least now consistent – slurs just to group notes sung on a single syllable.

Canonic lamentation for five male voices

An English translation of the Latin text, from Lamentations of Jeremiah Chapter 5, runs:

Chapter 5

5:1  Remember, O Lord, what has befallen us; behold, and see our disgrace!

5:2  Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers, our homes to aliens.

5:3  We have become orphans, fatherless; our mothers are like widows.

5:4  We must pay for the water we drink, the wood we get must be bought.

5:5  With a yoke on our necks we are hard driven; we are weary, we are given no rest

This seems quite topical for Syria and other countries still.



Part 3, Uncategorized

Canonic prayer (Exercise 36 part 2)

A serious canon possibly suitable for church use.  The word arrangement is mine drawing clearly on very old sources.    I varied the words in the final statement.

If I understand this correctly, the counterpoint for a canon has to be ‘invertible’ in that two of the sections will have to act as a temporary bass until the lowest part enters.  This version seems to work despite a momentary second inversion of the tonic chord at bar 9.

The short doubling at bars 12-13 though breaking classical rules doesn’t seem to matter to my ear.

Score (expanded):

Canonic prayer

Audio version (no words unfortunately as generated by Sibelius.  It would be good to hear this sung for real!)

This audio is of the slightly revised version here putting more interest in the initial entry.  To avoid a high G for the bass voice I leave their entry in the original form.

Revised score below:

Canonic prayer

This makes slurring consistent also.






Part 3, Uncategorized

Lightweight catch 1: Boney cuckoo

This is a lightweight contrast as non-assessed course work – a catch, set to example 36 part 1 broadly an imperfect cadence in F major.  However I have elaborated the harmony a little and make three French references in plot, words and false relations (thinking of Machaut).  Another catch will perhaps use the tune but not the words of ‘L’homme armee’.

Score showing start end and full flow

Boney cuckoo round 1

Audio (no words since on Sibelius)





Coursework, Part 2

Project 5- three contrasting free time pentatonic melodies for different voices (wordless)

I enjoyed this one – though it’s hard to avoid the ‘leading note’ semitone intervals.  No offence to the Japanese here; that’s just how it sounded to my ear!  All three short pieces are in the same audio and pdf files.  They are:

  • Plain chant (for treble)
  • Japanese bawdy song (for bass)
  • Celtic christening (for tenor)

Three contrasting pentatonic barless voice melodies – Full Score

Three contrasting pentatonic barless voice melodies – Full Score

Part 1

Project 3 untuned percussion groups

Eastern forest – Full Score

This is a concatened set of groups of untuned percussion in the spirit of Project 3 of the Open College of the Arts Composition 1 course.

Also acts as a test for publication of a work from Sibelius 7.5 as a pdf and of a .wav file

The three-minute piece should be self-explanatory if it works well.  It was stimulated by a night walk many years back in the Malaysian jungle and the effect of storm and rain on the cicadas.  The last note playing back here as a piano note (no Sibelius sample) is intended to be a taped birdsong crescendo and diminuendo, fading away to nothing as the tamtam and gongs sustained ringing itself fades away to nothing.

WordPress doesn’t seem to accept .sib files so I would have to email those for assessment.