Mass Sonority


Dr. Justin Henry Rubin © 2005

4. Creating a Contrasting Texture.  Almost in the same sense as with first and second themes in a sonata form, contrasting textures are used in mass sonority composition to produce dynamic dramatic interplay. To build such a condition in our piece, we will write a fragment for the winds. Consisting of overlapping static dyads (orchestrated as oboe/clarinet pairings), a more 'lyrical' musical idea is brought into play against the erratic strings.

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5. Other Textural Ideas.  Interjecting other types of material into the overall texture can include those of a percussive nature (whether or not involving percussion). In our piece, we have combined the brass and tympani to provide such a function. Similarly to how we implemented the concept of inversion between the violins and violoncelli, the transformation technique of retrograde is applied to the brass parts. The resulting symmetrical patterns present anchors for the listener in comprehending the temporal organization of the sound masses. The harmonic content of these French horn parts is clustered, reflecting the same nature of the winds.

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6. Arranging the Forces into an Overall Musical Texture.  At this point, we are ready to organize the various separately composed parts into a cohesive whole that should contain both dramatic content and a logical progression/juxtaposition of the internal sub-textures. At the close of the fragment, we have added a freely composed, somewhat capricious, segment to allow for closure to the musical idea.

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