Counterpoint rhythms

I’m thinking of how a regular Bach fugue (for example, listen to this fantastic one for organ) goes. There are usually notes, subdivisions of that note, and then subdivisions of that note, and maybe one more subdivision. The rhythm is pretty straightforward, but the variety makes it so that each part can come out rhythmically at different times. This subdivision is at the heart of the art of counterpoint.

I think you’ll hear that I’ve listened to Bach when you hear my string quartet. I am not trying to write exactly like him, but he was a master of the craft, so if some of it bleeds through, I think it’s ok.

I’m doing nearly exactly the equivalent of what I did in my most recent composing session. A new line for each of the four string instruments, each extending a little further than the last. Except this time, I hear inside myself this viola line that has to come right as the cello line ends its line. And the viola ushers in the next section, and I’ve gotten to two minutes. I’m going to quit working on this for today.

It’s Jeremiah’s birthday, and I’m trying to figure out how to best honor him. We visited his grave, and sang a song. We had some cake, and some of us looked at pictures from the day he was born. I guess the main thing is I want to remember him, even though we didn’t get to keep him very long.

I’m listening to Requiem again, the piece I wrote to commemorate the dead babies I didn’t get to know. It has five movements – Eternal Rest, Day of Wrath, And the trumpet will call me, This tearful day, and Lamb of God.

When I read the scriptures, it really seems like trumpets will play an important role in the resurrection. In fact, trumpets have historically played an important role for many aspects of religious service and worship. For those interested, I wrote an article some years ago about brass instruments and religious worship.

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