Saturday, July 2, 2022

Perenepsis XX: Beach Music

First of all, about the subtitle. This probably isn't what most people would think of as "beach music", but it is, in the sense that it could be played at a beach -- if you're willing to risk all that salt air ruining your piano. Otherwise, it probably doesn't make much sense, but it's mine, so I can call it whatever I want, and I'm getting tired of the "not a waltz" gag (by the way, this isn't one, either, despite being in 3/4).

There are two gaps here -- first, the almost eight month gap from my last posting. Again, it's not that I've been doing nothing, just that I didn't happen to finish anything during that time... well, except for this one, which has been finished for about a couple of months, which leads to the second gap.

My previous post was #18 in the Perenepsis series, and I'm skipping straight to 20 -- what's up with that? That's part of the reason for the time gap; I thought I'd be done with 19 before now, but there are still some things to be worked out in that one, and I now have three finished pieces that are being held up (#s 21 and 22 are also done). I remembered how long the gap between 3 and 4 was, and #5 (and maybe a couple others) ended up being done before #4, so this isn't just me posting out of order just because I can (which I've done before), I just happened to finish these and don't want to hold them up when I don't know how much longer #19 will take, especially considering that I might leave 19 alone and work on some other things for a while.

As for this piece itself. the three opening chords serve a specific purpose. The piece is based on a D7sus4 chord -- DACG (from bottom to top). It could be any of several modified chords of other keys, but in order to give it context, I followed the opening chord by Gm then A7, to make it clear that the key is D minor. The overall form is ABA, with the B section being kind of a development section and the second A a moderately ornamented repeat of the initial A section, except finishing back at Dm (without the 7th or 3rd, but with an added 4th) instead of Em as the first A section does . The A section itself is based on exploring the opening two-bar idea (after the intro chords) of quarter, dotted quarter, eighth, dotted half, a very simple little motif. I almost decided to go in another direction around the 3 minute mark at that Dm9 that resolves down to a plain Dm, but then realized that if I just went into a final cadence there I had something that was balanced nicely into thirds. Plus, by that point I had already started on #21, and wanted to finish this one. Also, although the piece is in 3/4 overall (but, as previously mentioned, not a waltz), each section, including the intro, is set off by ending in a bar of 5/4. Why? Because I liked the way it sounds that way.

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