Music Composers Unite!
This series of four pieces was inspired by a member of the forum, Joel Becker and his piece, A Peek into a Boson. Joel's piece is jazzy, harmonically pleasing, and breathtaking in scope, largely due to his use of quartal and quintal chords. The notes in a quartal chord are all an interval of a fourth apart. Quintal chords are a fifth apart. Playing a circle of fifths or fourths as a single chord is either genius or diabolical.
At the risk of over simplification, Joel's Boson piece is structured somewhat like a jazz chart in that the melodies incorporate the notes of the underlying quartals or quintals. I took a different approach by trying to integrate these chords with conventional scales. Consequently the sound of the two pieces is quite different.
The sources I have read on the internet tend to equate the two chords, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Quartals sound jazzy, up beat, and peaceful. Quintals are dark, dense, and foreboding especially if the intervening thirds are added to the chord. In the first movement I used a few quintals but then discovered that the two types were somewhat incompatible, so essentially this work is a study in quartal chords. Whole tone scales work well with quartals which Joel used extensively and I used as well, but I also used conventional scales.
The structure of this series is a sonnet. For those of us who have not written a sonnet lately (as if), a sonnet is a 14 line poem with the rhyming scheme, ABBA in the first two verses or quatrains. The second two verses or sestets have the rhyming scheme CDC. So the rhyming scheme of the total sonnet is ABBA, ABBA, CDC, CDC. Instead of rhyming lines I substituted musical sections in each of the four movements. Having two B sections back to back seemed too repetitive (ABBA) so my structure for the first two movements or quatrains is ABCA.
There is a method to this madness. The first two movements are the same in structure but different in melodies and rhythms. If the first movement is a dud I have a second chance in the next movement. Similarly for the CDC movements.
This is the first movement or quatrain with the structure of ABCA using quartal and quintal chords. Hope you enjoy and give me feed back.
Oh, I agree that it's better to write one good solid piece than many experimental (and half-baked) pieces.
But I did like what you did with your quartals and quintals. I'm not too familiar with them myself, but I found the way you handled them convincing enough, that's why I mentioned "modern-sounding". Generally, modern-sounding isn't my cup of tea, but I think you pulled it off quite well that you convinced even stubborn old traditionalist me.