Posted in Project 2: Duets

Example 1: Short Military Invention for Triangle and Snare Drum

Note: Before you take a look at my example, please read my three-part research that includes the triangle, but more importantly, the posts about musical rhetoric and Bach’s two-part inventions, and finally their analysis.

My first duet is very short:


Click here to download audio file

I added the word ‘military’ to the title, because the sounds of the instruments, the pace and the general atmosphere allude to it. Also, since it is brief and written for indefinite-pitched percussion instruments, it can only be a pseudo-invention. The piece starts with exordium, bar 1-2 that introduces the main motive which starts in the higher timbre of triangle, then imitated in the lower snare drum. Exordium grows into narratio, where the first two of the rhythmical figures are reversed in order:


    thus turns into


The new figure – dotted quarter note with eighth note is introduced in the snare drum:


Together with the reversed main motive, it switches between the instruments creating an illusion of a sequence. Finally, what I would mark as part 1, bar 1-6, ends with a rhythmical cadence that introduces new material.

Next is the second part, bar 6-10. The sixth bar is also the start of propositio, which begins with the main idea played by snare drum, giving a darker shading and a bit of a illusion of modulation. Personally, I think here it’s not as strong as in my other examples. This would seem to be propositio simplex, but soon, new material appears in the upper triangle, the dotted crochet note with the quaver note from the first part, with the roll on the first note and accent on the second:


After several repetitions, they lead to the rhythmical cadence, similar to the first one – although it’s not very decisive.

Third and final part, bar 10-14, commences with confutatio that bring in the seemingly foreign passage with ties, which contrasts the previous parts:


It also creates an illusion of melodic sequence. Finally, the piece ends with peroratio, which continues from the previous confutatio, but brings a brief surprise. Instead of ending on bar 13, bar 12 is repeated with a slight variation, creating a slight aversion, almost like the feeling of interrupted cadence – V to VI progression or myxolidian turnaround. At last, it ends with rallentando, typical for baroque pieces.

All in all, I’m happy with the way I used all of my research to shape this piece. I really enjoyed writing it and I think I managed to use the old and new knowledge I gathered about the style.

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