Lessons for Rufus: second project completed (circle of 5ths)

June 22, 2006


Berlioz in 1867.

[Doorbell rings. Prof Berlioz hollers down. Rufus waits patiently. Sound of keys against the door. Swearing in French, wrong keys. Silence. Sound of footsteps up from downstairs. More key sounds. Door opens. Rufus appears with a big smile and a flashdrive in his hand. Berlioz slaps him on the back and they move to the studio. Rufus plugs his flashdrive into the professor’s new MacBook Pro. Rufus opens two examples and begins to speak. Berlioz is amused, sits down and cleans his glasses squinting up at Rufus. Open on the screen are two scores from his work “BLOOM” both which show use of the circle of fifths.]

Rufus: Professor, I’ve done as you asked and have two examples of a cappella use of the circle of fifths. I’ve sung them in time and in tune per your request. This first one is just the chorus, well, actually it’s all me, singing in four parts using a three legged sequence to go through the circle of fifths and get home again:


Berlioz: Excellent, excellent (tapping the tips of his fingers together).

Rufus: And here is the same passage with two antiphonal lines that go along with it:


Berlioz: Bravo my beamish boy! Bravo! Excellent performance, in tune, marvelous examples of exactly what I asked you for. Now go and use that in something that’s not a rock song.

(TO BE CONTINUED: the next assignment: Writing for strings I)

[Note to readers: these are excerpts from “Hope is a thing with feathers” used in his BLOOM dance/chorus collaboration..]

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