Tuesday, December 9, 2008
I spent a lot of time this past weekend working out the details of my latest composition. As I wrote earlier, I wanted to have a piece with an "improv" section, where students could take turns improvising solos. The trick, I decided, would be to make everything as simple as possible. The easiest way to improvise is with a pentatonic scale (wherein it is impossible to play "wrong" or dissonant notes and students don't have to worry about conforming to chord changes). The easiest key for young students is D Major. I wrote out a very simple 8-bar accompaniment over which soloists can improvise and made sure that the last two measures have a definite cadence to indicate a stopping point. I even wrote out two solos in case students have a hard time coming up with their own. I have high hopes for this one and I hope it will be popular!