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Turning points Turning points for wind quintet and accordion Hatch, Peter Donald 1986

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TURNING POINTS for wind quintet and accordion By PETER DONALD HATCH Mus.Bac, University of Toronto, 1980 Mus.M., University of Toronto, 1982 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF MUSICAL ARTS-in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Music) We accept t h i s thesis as conforming tea fche, require4 standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l 1986 Q Peter Donald Hatch, 1986 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the requirements f o r an advanced degree a t the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and study. I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by h i s o r her r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s understood t h a t c o p y i n g or p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be allowed without my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department of The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook P l a c e Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date -7Q \ Abstract: Turning Points for wind quintet and accordion by Peter Hatch The t i t l e of the work refers to i t s frequent changes i n s t y l e and mood around various points. The rhythmic 'shot' chord which opens the work serves a colotomic function throughout, 'announcing' t r a n s i t i o n s to new material. A second t r a n s i t i o n a l figure, consisting of a simple t r i l l , functions in a s i m i l a r way. Thus the work 'turns' throughout the piece to a change, often a s t r i k i n g change. There i s also a gradual 'turning' throughout the piece from the dissonant, complex opening to the more consonant, rhythmically simple ending. Formally the work exhibits an arch-like structure, with shorter sections towards the beginning and end, longer sections towards the middle. These sections are based on units of 45" multiplied by 1, 2, 3, 5 or 8 (these numbers taken from the Fibbonnacci series) so that the longest (middle) section i s 6'00" (8 x 45") long. Many of these d i v i s i o n s are further divided. Pitch material i s almost e n t i r e l y derived from the 'octatonic' scale, which i s occasionally i n i t s scalar form, but most commonly as aggregates from which pitches are chosen f r e e l y . There are a v a r i e t y of chord structures employed, which range from f u l l eight note aggregates to chords found i n functional harmony, especi a l l y the 'dominant seventh' sonority. Rhythmically much of the work i s concerned with juxtaposing sections which obscure any sense of pulse with sections in which a pulse i s obvious. The element of texture i s one of the work's most important aspects. The t r a d i t i o n a l , contrapuntal approach to wind quintet writing was abandoned i n favour of a homogenous treatment. The use of the accordion to blend the colours of the other instruments i s an important aspect of the piece. Stephe^( Chatman, Thesis Supervisor TABLE OF CONTENTS Page Abstract i i Turning Points for wind quintet and accordion 1 Turning Points: An Analysis 50 i v -1-flute oboe clarinet in Bb french horn bassoon T u r n i n g P o i n t s for wind quintet and accordion accordion / Peter Hatch ©19% -2 -> -I-\1 {.T?tft\T*/Stt?1tSSi\ 5z 5 =9= I i — 3-I J U "1 I1 6 = v i — = I 1 loco A--1--V - i o --II Al--14--22-l\ cl. 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VJJ U U 0 u • f — i — 5 — 5 j y " j r J U 0 4J= — ^ - n r i l — 1 J j J j J 3 ? \, , rp p f ^ r : r u n h. n a ') \ ) ; = ' U L - T u l l -31--4o--41--•A M = 4 5 ^ i 4 j 4 4 4 4 4 • * • • - 4 ? -- 4 1 -3« I I -I _^ r*-H +--#-H a— 4- — -e-•H =—ri-y^ s— I T rr-in • -• j' -1 3— i 1— ••// "It-" = 1 o -4 (!) 1 7 i 1 7 T ? .,)>»• =p 1 '! 7 n e f> ' 1 l f T M | , T J 1 Z ) /_! n i A 3— J :?—! 1_ M — •o <*-50 Turning Points: An Analysis Turning Points for wind quintet and accordion continues compositional thought of mine that began while I was a student at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia with the work Lagtime for solo marimba. The t i t l e of the work refers to i t s frequent changes in s t y l e and mood around various points. The rhythmic 'shot' chord which opens the work serves a colotomic function throughout, 'announcing' transitions leading to l e t t e r s C, K, S, and W. This gestural figure i s developed only o n c e — a t the accordion solo of l e t t e r G. A second t r a n s i t i o n a l figure, consisting of a simple t r i l l , i s used leading into l e t t e r s C, D, E, G, W, and X. This idea i s developed at l e t t e r s C, E, and W. Thus the work 'turns' at these points to a change, often a s t r i k i n g change. There i s also a gradual 'turning' throughout the piece from the dissonant, rhythmically complex opening to the more consonant, rhythmically simple ending. My approach to this work d i f f e r s from most approaches to writing for the wind quintet. Whereas most composers treat this ensemble i n a contrapuntal fashion, emphasizing the diverse timbres of the various instruments, I have t r i e d to create a homogenous treatment, with the instruments often playing i n s i m i l a r ranges and crossing each other's l i n e s . The accordion plays an extremely important role i n blending the various timbres of the wind i n s t r u -ments throughout the piece. A major influence on my writing of this piece and a l l of my works of the past few years has been the compositions of composer Gyorgy L i g e t i , e s p e c i a l -ly his works of the l a t e 1960's—the Chamber Concerto, the Second String 51 Quartet, Continuum for harpsichord, and the Ten Pieces for Wind Quintet. L i g e t i ' s concept of micropolyphony, his emphasis on texture as a formal determinant, and his use of the octatonic scale are a l l factors found i n his works which I f e e l have influenced me. Other composers whose influence I see i n this work are the Canadians Bruce Mather ( p a r t i c u l a r l y h i s Eine  Kleine BlMsermusic for wind quintet) and R. Murray Schafer ( p a r t i c u l a r l y his String Quartet No. 2, s u b t i t l e d 'Waves'). Another extremely important influence on my thinking i n this work is my involvement with electro-acoustic music, p a r t i c u l a r l y my work on the POD system at Simon Fraser University. Much of the compositional work done on this system i s based on the concept of the 'tendency mask', where the 'ten-dency' of pitch range, density, dynamics and/or texture to change can be controlled while in d i v i d u a l decisions about events are l e f t for the computer to decide. Although there are no random procedures used i n Turning Points, the idea of 'tendency to change' pervades my thinking throughout the work. The very opening shows 'masks' of increasing density (accelerandi), while the section beginning at l e t t e r A shows a pit c h range which spreads out from a unison F to a f u l l one and a half octave 'cluster' chord. Section E consists of a t r i l l i n g c l u s t e r which ascends in pit c h range to l e t t e r F, there to be joined by a low cl u s t e r which gradually ascends u n t i l both clusters descend to a unison t r i l l before l e t t e r G. Other influences from electro-acoustic music which can be seen in this work are the use of d i g i t a l d e l a y — o r 'echo'-like effects (seen at l e t t e r s D and K) and the use of a 'random' scalar l i n e such as at l e t t e r s H and V. The s t a t i c 'non-vibrato' li n e s of l e t t e r S are also reminiscent of e l e c t r o -acoustic music. 52 Formally, the work r e f l e c t s and arch-like structure, with shorter sections towards the beginning and end, and longer sections towards the middle. These sections are based on units of 45" multiplied by 1, 2, 3, 5, or 8 (these num-bers taken from the Fibbonnacci series) so that the longest (middle) section i s 6'00" (8 x 45") long. These lengths of time are, of course, only approx-imate, controlled as they are by the performers' tempi. Many of these d i v i s -ions are further divided. (A chart of the formal layout of the work i s given as Example 1.) The transit i o n s to the main sections are much more prominent and sudden than those to the subsections. There are common references made on either side of the middle section which serve to help bind the work together. There i s only one section of music which i s d i r e c t l y referred to more than once, this being the t r i l l i n g section found at l e t t e r s E and W. Sections of unison writing which feature timbral modulation (a device found i n such works as E l l i o t t Carter's Eight  Etudes and a Fantasy for wind quartet) are found at l e t t e r s A and S. Another, more t r a n s i t i o n a l figure which i s repeated is the 16th note run which appears at both l e t t e r s H and V. There are pitc h references made throughout which form the notes of the octatonic scale, ascending from D to B and descending back to D. The pitch F i s prominent at l e t t e r A and before l e t t e r W, while the pitc h B i s prominent throughout the section beginning at l e t t e r L. In this way the so-called 'false dominant' relationship i s created, a device used i n many of the works of Bela Bartok.(Example 1) Also important formally are the t r a n s i t i o n a l 'shot' chords and t r i l l figures mentioned e a r l i e r to which the t i t l e r e f e r s . A major concern of the work was that the sections should 'flow' into each other as smoothly as possible. Pitch material i n this piece i s almost completely derived from the 'octatonic' scale, which consists of alternating major and minor seconds. 53 This scale i s used occasionally in i t s scalar form (such as at l e t t e r L) but more commonly to form eight-note aggregates from which pitches are chosen f r e e l y . As there are three possible non-transposable octatonic scales, a common working method was to use the eight notes of one aggregate, then the eight notes of a second aggregate and f i n a l l y the eight notes of a t h i r d aggregate. This produces a kind of chromatic c o n s t e l l a t i o n while maintaining the diatonic ' f e e l ' which the octatonic scale possesses. V e r t i c a l l y there are a wide variety of chord structures employed which range from f u l l eight note aggregates (such as the opening 'shot' chords and the chord found two measures before l e t t e r B) to chords found in functional harmony, such as the 'dominant seventh" (Mm7th) sonorities which end the work. As mentioned e a r l i e r , there is a gradual movement from dissonance to conso-nance i n the work. A number of t r a d i t i o n a l chord sonorities can be extracted from the octa-tonic scale, the most obvious being the 'diminished seventh' sonority, formed by every other note in the scale. Two such chords a semitone apart form the complete scale. An example of these two chords juxtaposed ends the work. A half-diminished seventh chord can also be extracted using steps 1, 2, 4 and 6 of the scale. (In t h i s discussion the form of the scale being referred to begins with a major second step.) This chord i s used as an important sonority at l e t t e r T. The notes which remain i n the s c a l e — s t e p s 3,5, 7 and 8—form the sonority which i s most important to the work—that of the 'dominant seventh' chord. This sonority i s the basis of the section which begins at l e t t e r L, in which i t i s somewhat clouded by the addition of other notes of the octatonic scale. The f i n a l section, at l e t t e r X, i s based on four dominant seventh chords with roots a minor t h i r d apart. These four chords are the possible dominant 54 seventh chords which can be extracted from an octatonic scale. Thus, l e t t e r X is approached by a complete octatonic aggregate divided into four t r i l l s which then slow down u n t i l X, where each instrument alternates between the two notes on which i t had been t r i l l i n g , forming the above-mentioned dominant seventh chords. Melody takes on a variety of guises i n this work, none of them a t r a d i -t i o n a l approach. At l e t t e r C the melody of the c l a r i n e t and bassoon i s treated heterophonically, while at l e t t e r D i t i s accompanied by 'echoes' — the English horn presenting the melody while the other instruments imitate that melody at slower rhythmic values and at softer dynamic l e v e l s . Letter E contains a melody in the horn (marked 'wild and crazy') which i s e s s e n t i a l l y aimless and s t a t i c . Letter L contains melodic material which develops s l i g h t l y but i s e s s e n t i a l l y s t a t i c . Interest in the melodic l i n e i n this section i s achieved by small variations on the l i n e , changes i n orchestration, harmonic changes and a gradual change in the accompaniment from legato to staccato and back to legato. Rhythmically, much of the work is concerned with textures which obscure any sense of pulse. These sections are juxtaposed with a section beginning at l e t t e r K which has an obvious eighth note pulse. The section at E i s marked by the i n d i c a t i o n 'as fast as comfortably possible' for a l l i n s t r u -ments except the horn, whose melody acts as a cue for the other instruments. A s i m i l a r section i s found at l e t t e r W. The element of texture in the work i s one of i t s most important aspects. As mentioned e a r l i e r , the t r a d i t i o n a l , contrapuntal appraoch to wind quintet writing was abandoned i n favour of a homogenous treatment. Extreme care was taken i n choosing the exact range needed from each instrument. The use of 55 al t o f l u t e , Eb c l a r i n e t and English horn aided this approach, while the use of the accordion to blend the colours of the other instruments i s a c r i t i c a l aspect of the piece. There are many examples of timbral modulation (most notably at l e t t e r A), and l e t t e r s E and W are examples of a 'sound-mass' approach to composition. Turning Points represents a very important work i n my compositional thinking. Having worked on i t for' almost two years, I have had two works (Lagtime for solo marimba and Eurhythmy for two c l a r i n e t s ) emerge as by-products of this piece and many other ideas suggest themselves to me for future works. It represents, I f e e l , a creative approach to wind quintet writing and f i l l s an important gap i n the l i t e r a t u r e of the accordion, a l i t e r a t u r e which contains works for accordion and s t r i n g quartet and accordion and brass quintet but none, as far as I know, for t h i s combination. It i s also an important work for me i n terms of i t s dealing with the use of chords taken from ' t r a d i t i o n a l ' t o n a l i t y but used in a non-traditional way and for the problems posed by i t s extended length, single movement format. 56 Example 1 Formal Layout—Turning Points Length Letter Material Prominent Pitches 1 x 45" 2 x 45" 3 x 45" 5 x 45" 8 x 45' 5 x 45" 2 x 45" 1 x 45" INTRO. A C D E G H K L T W X Shot Chords F unison. Timbral modulation. Melody on A accompanied by t r i l l Echoes T r i l l i n g with melody i n horn Accordion solo 16th note runs Echoes Steady 8th note pulse and s t a t i c melody C unison. Timbral modulation. Long sustained notes accompanied by 32nd note runs •16th note runs to F pedal T r i l l i n g with melody i n c l a r i n e t Sustained chords D, Eb F A, F, F# ( t r i l l ) C, Ab D, Eb 

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