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03 March 2010


Bg Porter

Right on -- more of this. I'll bring Junior Mints next time.

Jason Shadrick


Great stuff. I am looking forward to more posts like this. When will the study scores be available?

dave chisholm


Dan Schmidt

Thanks for doing this, I love this sort of thing!

I really like the piece. In particular I like the way that the tonality keeps shifting down rather than the usual up during the trombone solo - the truck driver's gear change in reverse!

I'm surprised by your Ab-Db-G spelling of the second guitar chord. To my ears the fundamental thing going on is the alternation between the A-D and G#-C# dyads, with the common G natural thrown on top of each of them for color. Do you hear it differently, or is this just a trivial notational choice?

(If you gave me those two alternating chords and told me to put a bass under them, I'd probably pick B under the first and E under the second, so not too far from what actually happens.)

Leonardo Piantino

Great! I look forward to see more of this!


@Dan Schmidt

Guitars are fretted, so there is no difference (except notation) between Ab vs. G#, or Db vs. C#. But regardless, I always spell for ease of reading, and Ab-Db-G is easier to read than G#-C#-G nat. (The "correct" spelling of "C#5 (add #11)" would actually be G#-C#-Fx, but that would be more than a little precious.)

Dan Schmidt

Aha - to my eyes Ab-Db-G is easier to read than G#-C#-G nat in isolation, but A-D-G / G#-C#-G nat is easier to read than A-D-G / Ab-Db-G. Different strokes. (I'm a pianist so I'm used to enharmonic notation choices making no difference.)

Thanks for the reply!


this is great!!! more please!

Mike Christianson

As always, beautiful writing! It reminds me of the beauty of the condensed score. In the wind band world of Sousa, full scores were not published, as band leaders were assumed to be incapable of reading one (this has thankfully changed). But I would imagine that much music is conceived in something more like a condensed score format (I just received Ralph Vaughan Williams "Toccata Marziale" manuscript from the British Library and it contains, in addition to the full score, a 3-stave "conductor" version on the bottom of the score. He and Holst used to make 2-piano versions to test drive large pieces before part writing.), and it can very helpful in understanding the content to see it boiled down to 3 staves. Will stay tuned to this! Thanks.

Tom Erickson

I agree that this is great! Please keep them coming.


I'm with Dan and the other: that the music stands perfectly well on its own to the 'innocent' ear is one thing, but I love this sort of technical shop-talk inner sanctum stuff, the design decisions, the strategies and mechanics of getting A to B, it's great that you can spare us the time to share all this with us. Eagerly awaiting Pt II!


Very nice composition. What strikes me from the start is that everyone is grooving on their own. The players all sound relaxed, despite what might be construed (at least when reading music like this) as an intimidating complexity on top. We do get the feeling of the 3/2 from the harmonic motion, especially when the bass enters, but it is nicely disguised from the start. No one player is forcing their part and everything is flowing. Magical! Thanks for posting this.

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