Posted in Project 4: About structure

Structure for Assignment 1

Note: Before you take a look at this blog post, you can read my research regarding some of the musical forms in general. These include the allegro sonata form, scherzo, some dance forms like waltz, and the rondo – the latter of which I’ve used for this the first assignment.


The task of project 4 is to create a compositional plan for assignment 1, and the assignment is to create a percussion ballet using a given starting material.

Overall, since this would be a ballet, my biggest goal was to create a composition which gives a continual narrative framework to the dance scenes. This requires the sections to be more blended in, which is something that I didn’t have in many of the earlier project examples I composed, except perhaps my Chinese New Year duet. In general, blending of the sections is something I’ve noticed in many ballets, and other larger types of compositions, such as operas. Thus, this is something I’ll try to pay attention to.

Next, I decided to analyze the given material and also its theme. It is titled the Wild Dance, which the fast tempo, changing time signatures and many other elements describe really well. The starting point of the story is only that a group of demons enter, which gives me quite a freedom to choose where this story would go.

I chose to have this beginning be Section A, leaving it as it is, and adding the variations later on. After that, as the changing time signatures and the fierce nature of the dance can be quite tiring if used excessively, I decided to add more stability with a contrasting Section B. Thinking about the story, I believe it would be interesting to have a new character – a innocent girl, dancing into the scene, unsuspecting of the presence of the demons. I think the new character and her innocence, dissimilar to the demons, should be represented by different, more stable time signature, and probably more peaceful instruments. After that, the demons could appear and capture the girl, and here I would probably have Section A again, but maybe let it be even more wild than before, which will need some variations.

Starting in this direction, I think it would be interesting to have the whole composition be in rondo form. So, the next section may be Section C which could once again bring interesting new material, or even a new character. Story wise, maybe this new character could save the girl, again represented by a new instrument. Then the repetition of Section A could be a bit different again, but maybe this time the demons are enraged and plan to have a payback.

At the moment, this is my plan for the piece. I’m sure that many things will change when I actually start composing the piece, but it’s nice to have some guidelines to keep me grounded. See my next blog post to see how these ideas were used in the assignment and what may have changed.

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