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By Alan Belkin

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My friend Cindy Grande gave me many ideas to improve and clarify the writing. My colleague Sylvain Caron read the manuscript and commented in great detail, always with tact and perception. My colleagues Massimo Rossi and Marcelle Guertin each contributed valuable feedback. Julien Valiquette provided assistance in finding and analyzing appropriate musical examples. Guillaume Jodoin kindly tested the web version. Bibliography 55 Sophisticated, practical books about musical composition are exceedingly rare.

Repertoire example) Beethoven 8th Symphony, finale: The main theme, in F major, comes to a bump on a surprising Db. This happens several times in the course of the movement. However the last time it occurs, the Db is reinterpreted as a C#, and leads to a dramatic digression in the remote key of F# minor. 4) Long range points of reference Rounding off: In a large form, the principle of points of reference often extends to fairly literal repeats of whole sections. The familiarity of a reprise can be reinforced by making it start identically to the original passage, only allowing variation to arrive later.

45, by the sfpp in the viola. The interruption sets off the first note of a contrasting phrase. (repertoire example) Stravinsky, Orpheus, last movement: Here the "cross-cutting" effect of the harp solo interludes, which stop abruptly, precludes any impression of finality. Full stop and restart: in a sense this is not a transition at all, since it is so abrupt. Rather like a chapter in a novel that begins, "and then a strange thing happened", this device is only useful as a (rare) special effect.

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A Practical Guide to Musical Composition by Alan Belkin


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