#2 (piano miniatures)

I was telling my son tonight that I feel like I’m working out my harmonic demons. Perhaps “demons” is too strong, but I do feel that I’ve been exploring a particular harmonic palette in depth lately. It’s not clear to me yet whether this is something I’m refining for use over the long haul or if it’s just something I need to get out of my system. In either case, a series of diminutive piano compositions is the perfect vehicle to develop some of these ideas.

I guess my recent harmonic language could be considered pandiatonicism, that is, the free use of the diatonic scale (as opposed to chromatic) stacked into harmonies without implying tonality. (Non-music-theorists: from this point, on feel free to let your eyes glaze over while nodding your head knowingly.) I’m trying to create a satisfying “musical gravity” without using any of the traditional trappings of I, IV, V chords, etc. I avoid tritones and dominant sevenths–intervals that would imply tonal movement. And I find myself using pentatonic scales for my melodic material.

Blah, blah, blah. You can also just listen to the piece and enjoy it (or not) without understanding the music theory behind it. Sometimes it’s better not to know how the sausage is made…

But if you do want to see the sausage, here’s the PDF.

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