Monday, January 9, 2012

Reading the OT with Music

I am having fun composing, but I not posting any more aural performances at present. Sheet Music is in the form shown in the URL. I am up to Psalm 18 - sooo long a psalm. I re-used many leit-motif's in this setting.

While it is, by my thesis, only 1/2 way through act 1 scene 3, this psalm alludes to many of the prior psalms and anticipates many to follow. I have used thematic material to suggest these prior allusions such as the dialogue themes from Psalm 2, a confidence theme from Psalm 6 and 9. some musical allusions to St Nicholas (Britten), a reuse of the augmented 5th anger theme from Psalms 1 and 2, a new theophany theme - reused at the end as well as at the obvious part, a new innocence theme, lots of varied rhythms.

I have forgotten what little I knew about audacity so I can't even give you an MP3 at the moment. I am going to work on Psalm 19 - three things this time: a choral setting of part of it, and an Organ prelude and postlude based on some of it. Let's see what happens.  In the meanwhile, if you read music, try Psalm 18 or any of the earlier ones.  Our choir will, if my work is acceptable, sing Psalm 19 or the motet based on it mid-Lent.

Here's a brief summary so far

Psalm Key Signatures Time Signatures Leitmotifs Instruments
1 F+, Eb- 4/4 Happy triad, Warning/wrath – descending augmented 5th Voice, Guitar
2 F- 4/4 12/8 Dialogue: descending major 7th
also wrath, happy from 1
destruction - discontinuous
Voice, Guitar
3 D+ 4/4 top three notes of major triad only, a tentative beginning Voice
4 D+ 4/4 criticism motif, descending semi-tones in subdominant
confidence theme, rising major scale to the sixth
uses wrath motif as taunting
Voice, Violin
5 B- 4/4/ 12/8 Preparation motif, ascending 4th
jaunty, rhythmic
Voice, Flute
6 D- 4/4 Octaves, repentance motif
confidence (minor key)
destruction prayer (minor 3rd)
Voice, Violin
7 Bb+ 6/8 3/4 4/4 12/8+ Dance and destruction in semitones, judgment Voice
8 Ab+ Db+ 4/4 6/8 Folk melody Voice
9 D- G+, Dorian, F ending incomplete – seque 10 12/8 4/4 Confidence
10 B- 4/4 12/8 Octaves (6) very jaunty at the end
lots of destruction
11 D+ 4/4 rhythm modelled on Hebrew first hell motif mocked
16th note bird flight
12 Bb- 4/4 12/8 Octaves, allegro - andante battle in Bb Voice
13 F#- 4/4 Persistent folk-tune Voice
14 Eb+ 5/4, 9/8  Allegro, ballad Voice
15 F+ Db+ 4/4 Recap Psalm 1 themes Voice, Guitar
16 F#+ 5/4 3/4 Pentatonic Voice
17 Bb+ 4/4 Free meditation on Compline apple of the eye theme Voice
18 B+, B- 4/4 6/8 theophany themes dialogue theme from Psalm 2 reused
confidence theme 2 - another quote from Nicholas (Britten)
reuse anger theme - strong relationships to Psalm 2
reuse confidence motif 1
new - innocence theme - build on over confidence of psalm 5