Thursday, October 24, 2019

Dance of the Cosmic Turnip

No, I don't have a stockpile of turnip-themed music waiting to be inflicted upon the world; it's only two titles that refer to turnips, really! This is the older of the two, written while I was still in school, and I resisted any temptation to extend or embellish the original manuscript. I had completely forgotten about this one until last week when I was working on the recently posted Perenepsis IX. Something about the 3/4 time with a stress on the 2, and the fact that both open with a pair of eighth notes rising by a minor 2nd must've rung a bell. This tune got caught in my head and it wasn't until the next day that I remembered the title, and grinned. I found the manuscript last night -- it's one of my most legible handwritten manuscripts; I obviously used a straight edge for the note stems and beams. No idea why I took such care to make it so neat; I don't think I had anyone wanting to play it.

Also, I didn't realize that my appreciation for dissonance had started so early -- this is from before my introduction to the music of Bartok. And now that I think about it, there are some other early pieces with a good bit of it, too, so maybe it was my attraction to dissonance that led me to Bartok rather than the other way around. Hmmm...

There's no key signature, but if I had to pick a key, I'd say it's in G major (maybe some of those G-flats should be F-sharps instead, but that's how it was written; I don't think I really thought about what key it was at the time). At least it ends there. From what I remember of this piece's origin, I seem to recall picturing a man-sized (some might say "person-sized", but I'm not a brainwashed sheep) turnip with spindly legs, spinning around slowly and awkwardly. I don't expect I'll ever be confused with Levi Strauss 😉, but waltzes and bits of waltz-like material do tend to crop up in my stuff, and this is one of them. It's not a particularly peppy dance, although there is a faster (and rather violent) section in the middle -- it's a turnip thing, don't blame me for that. It also slips into 4/4 for several measures -- another turnip thing; they're not too great at keeping their balance, you know.

Oh, and why a cosmic turnip? It's obvious, really -- regular turnips can't dance.

Next up: This time, I really have no idea. It could be anything. Well, not anything... I can promise it won't be a full-length opera, or live footage from the seventh planet. Anything else is possible. Also, after four posts in less than a week, the next one's probably going to take more than a few days.

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