04: “After work, late at night”, bars 19-22.


Bars 19-22
Listen to piano bars 19-22:

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 13.31.05Melody

  • Should it be divided over more instrument sections because of large melodic skips in fast tempo (book page 29)? No, the tempo of this piece is low and can easily be played by a single string section.
  • Is there an implied melodic line (book page 35)? No, the melody is within a single voice.
  • Should it be divided over other instrument sections to avoid static harmonic fillers in those sections (book page 37)? No, the middle voices have melodic movement of their own and will create interesting  voicing.
  • Are there melodic lines combined with repeated note patterns that need division over 2 instrument parts (book page 38)? No, the melody is within a single voice.

Used elements: harmonized melody, harmonized pads in the left hand in bar 21, and a background melody in bar 22 in the tenor voice.
Used piano idioms: sustained chords (book page 65).

Question: How do the sustained piano chords translate to sustained string chords? The chords are written in a widely spread position that covers the middle register nicely, so they can written out for the strings as they are. Only in bar 22 we find a gap which is fixed in the arrangement by placing the  alto voice notes (c# and d) one octave lower. The low d in bar 22 will be sustained in the sustain pedal on the piano, which can be translated to the strings by giving this d as a long note to the double basses.

Dynamics: because strings have the possibility to change dynamics on a single note (something that is not possible on a piano), I like to add this extra dimension where needed. I also moved the forte dynamic in bar 20 to the end of the bar which works better.

Listen to the string arrangement bars 19-22:Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 16.19.14

Now let’s question the string arrangement of the melody:

Contrast: is the melody set off clearly from its surrounding elements through contrast and playing in its best sounding range (tessitura)?

The melody is played in the medium to high register in the upper voice of the arrangement and will therefor be clearly heard.

Repeated phrases: are there repeated  motives that become more interesting when repeated in other tessituras?

There are no repeated motives in this phrase that need to be placed in another tessitura for the sake of making this phrase more interesting.

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About André

André van Haren was born in 1963 in Holland. In 1990 he received a Bachelor Degree in Music in Classical Piano and Composition from the Conservatory in Utrecht, The Netherlands. His main instrument is the piano. He has written and arranging music for various ensembles including piano, choir, chamber ensembles and orchestra.
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