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Harmelodic Configurations (on the tone CBDAAG)

(Commissioned by Stockdale Christian School, Gary Scudder, Director)
Band / Grade 3-5 / ca. 20:00 /  (2007) / 7 Movements

00:00 / 20:12

$275.00 (Scores are print only. Parts are available by print or pdf.)

Seal Beach, CA.                             (Photo: Stephen Hill)

Concert Program

Azusa Pacific University Wind Ensemble, Dr. John Burdett, Conductor

Program Notes 

(By Stephen Hill and Dr. John Burdett)

 

In the spring of 2006, influential music educator Gary Scudder asked if I would consider writing a piece for his band that somehow included the tones CBDAAG derived from the acronym CBDA (California Band Directors Association). The additional A and G were added as it was the ‘Anniversary Golden’, the 50th anniversary, of the organization’s conference. The work began in late June 2006, with sketches of harmonic and melodic configurations of the tones. The entire work being performed today originated in this initial request.

The sketching continued while my wife and I were on our annual camping and fishing trip. Sketches were worked out in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, in a motel room in Missoula, Montana, while fly fishing the Lochsa River in Idaho and at a campground at the base of Mt. Hood in Oregon. The actual writing took place in July and was finished in late August. Each movement reflects the musical influence of my teachers and the composers I was studying at the time.

The title "Harmelodic Configurations" is a reference to composer Howard Hanson (1896-1981) and his book, Harmonic Materials of Modern Music. In the preface, Hanson writes, “If consistency of harmonic-melodic expression is important in musical creation, this theory should bear the most intensive study, for it sets up a basis for the logical expansion of tonal ideas once the germinating concept has been decided upon in the mind of the composer.” For the title, I combined the two words harmonic and melodic into one made-up word, Harmelodic. By adding the word, configuration (noun - an arrangement of parts or elements; “the outcome depends on the configuration of influences at the time”), I completed the concept in the “mind of the composer” as Hanson proposed.

The title "Harmelodic Configurations" is a reference to composer Howard Hanson (1896-1981) and his book, Harmonic Materials of Modern Music. In the preface, Hanson writes, “If consistency of harmonic-melodic expression is important in musical creation, this theory should bear the most intensive study, for it sets up a basis for the logical expansion of tonal ideas once the germinating concept has been decided upon in the mind of the composer.” For the title, I combined the two words harmonic and melodic into one made-up word, Harmelodic. By adding the word, configuration (noun - an arrangement of parts or elements; “the outcome depends on the configuration of influences at the time”), I completed the concept in the “mind of the composer” as Hanson proposed.

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