Ocasus

by

Cody Soska

 

 

Program Notes

 

 

The goal of this project was to use all the textures that I have learned with coherency. This piece was the first where I did not write entirely on the computer and only the completed work was finalized on the computer using Finale 2004. It first started as an outline of textures that I tried to put in some logical order so that it wouldn't just sound like a composition student trying to use as many textures as he could in one piece. With that in mind, I decided a chordal opening would have the sound I wanted and would be a good way to introduce the motifs. This would also resolve nicely into a purely homophonic texture and would make sense without even considering the goals of the project. To accentuate the difference, I changed keys from C-minor, to A-flat major and continued using unusual harmonies and substituted chords for dissonance. Thought the homophonic texture had variety, it needed unity to make to make the substitutions acceptable. With the key constant, I decided a time change accompanied by primary chords without thirds would not only make consonance and variety, but would slowly help progress into the polyphonic texture that would come next. To make sure the change was noted, I found chords that A-flat major and E-major could have in common and used them in succession for a brief return to chordal texture before polyphonic and the key change. Using polyphonic texturing, I kept the sound strictly uniform and had the bass and melody far apart borrowing similar phrases from each other. The climax of the piece marks the end of this section and polyphonic texturing which went into a single line of music in monophonic texture leading back to homophonic and E flat major for the finale.

The sounds of OCASUS borrow from many different time period mainly due to the texturing. The chordal and homophonic could be considered romantic, the polyphonic borrows from baroque, and the monophonic, though not in a modal key, is somewhat reminiscent of medieval chants.

One regret I have is that there were no minor keys used. A few chords were minor, but in place of a major, they were just substitutes and held no major influence on the overall sound. I also wish I would've stayed and developed the ideas a little more. In the future, I plan to borrow ideas from this piece, especially time and texture changes. Eventually, I would also like to adapt this for saxophone ensemble.

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