THEME AND VARIATIONS – IN MUSIC.


Thanks to my internet breakdown, I am hopelessly late for this side view theme, but because it is so near to my heart I intend to go for it anyway. I shall do so in a boringly conventional and – as my heading suggests – musical sense.

 

Almost all great music is made up of a theme or themes, and then variations on that theme. Some music has the whole piece built around just one tune. The classical masters manage to make such pieces fascinating throughout. The sort of jazz I like is also based on variations (most often improvised) on a particular melody line. 

Why have a theme?  Without some ‘hook’ to give a grounding, I think most music fails. In addition to the melody, that ‘hook’ might be the scene the music is designed to paint, as in the Hebrides (Fingal’s Cave) overture of Mendelssohn, or the 1812 by Tchaikovsky. Even with a title to give direction, though, music which just meanders every-which-where in an attempt to give an emotional experience, without having any form and structure, has little appeal for me.  

Most modern composers shudder at the idea of including any sort of tune or melody. Like modern artists, I think they are outsmarting themselves, and what emerges is only art to the pretentious types who like it because they feel they should. I am not one who sees genius in an arrangement of what could be squashed cockroaches; nor do I find merit in a set of cacophonous sounds where the only rule seems to be to avoid assonance like the plague. If it isn’t a discord, then it must be made into one. That is music? 

I have had tremendous fun, as well as hard work, on my own themes and variations for the Immy series. Having written and orchestrated themes for Immy, Fernis the Dragon cross, Fernis the Dragon friendly, Goblins, Knights, Immy’s Mom and Immy’s Dad, the Carving Song, Townsfolk, and finally Playground, I then had to adapt and vary those to fit the various scenes. The timing also had to be to within half-a-second (quite literally) for it to work properly at a normal rate of reading out aloud. 

Currently, I am working on a ‘flapping’ sequence where Fernis tries to take off and fails, but then Immy makes him get it right.   There is a limit to how much one can use upward scales and runs, as well as trills, so it is tricky to keep the effects from getting repetitive. 

Anyway, just to give some ideas of variations on the themes I have done for the final book – Immy Goes Flying – I am putting the music for pages 2, 3 & 4 on my player in the sidebar. Do note the two references to Brahms’s Lullaby, as well as the opening bars of Fingal’s Cave which come in at the point Fernis’s cave is reached. I have no hesitation in putting them in – most composers, including the ‘greats’, quite happily ‘borrow’ tunes and snatches as a compliment to the originator.  

The pages are shown below: 

© Colonialist August 2012 (WordPress/Letterdash)

About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies. Recently Indie Publishing has been added to this list.
This entry was posted in Colonialist, verse, writing, music composition, fantasy, Africa, journal., Composition (classical), Fantasy, Personal Journal, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to THEME AND VARIATIONS – IN MUSIC.

  1. SidevieW says:

    What fun, words and music.

    Sorry to see you too are battling with connectivity

    Like

  2. Nicola says:

    Wonderful to see the pages come to life – lovely sounds too – really bright !

    Like

  3. adinparadise says:

    This is outstanding, Col. With your words and music and footy’s pics, Immy should go far. 😉

    Like

  4. optie says:

    You really are multi-talented Col, lovely music, had it playing in the background in my office!

    Like

  5. I am full of admiration, Col. Talk about multimedia: this little girl is being painted in words and pictures and music. The shape of things to come 🙂

    Like

    • colonialist says:

      Modern technology certainly has its advantages. Not that many years ago, none of this could have happened! The collaboration with the artist, the ability to reproduce and place her pictures, and combine them with the text, the ability to turn my written music into sound … it is marvellous, really.

      Like

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