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Birdsong Rhapsody I

Sheet Music: Score

Birdsong Rhapsody I : for clarinet solo / Michael Hannan.

by Michael Hannan (2014)

  • Purchase Price: $16.36 (Usually ships in 1-4 days) — Add to Cart
  • Library Availability: 788.62/HAN 2 — Reference (not for loan) copy only
  • Instrumentation: Clarinet in B flat.


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Birdsong Rhapsody I is the first of a projected series of works for solo instruments which draws on the songs of Australian birds. This initial work uses songs of the Pied Butcherbird, a bird that that has figured in many of my works since the mid-1980s.
However I intend, in this series of works, to explore the melodic invention of many other birds whose songs I admire, but have not yet worked with compositionally.
In all the works I have previously written based on birdsong, my approach has generally been to make field recordings, to transcribe them into Western classical musical notation, and to use the resulting transcriptions fairly literally in the creative process with the addition of freely-composed accompaniment elements.
My idea with this series is to incorporate melodic transcriptions of birdcalls as usual, but also, in some movements or sections, to transform musical ideas found in the songs using thematic development techniques, typically moulding birdsong melodic ideas into dancelike structures or angular new music gestures.
Birdsong Rhapsody I is in four clearly-defined sections, the first and third of which principally use birdsong transcriptions as the compositional material. The second and fourth movements, by contrast, enact "rhapsodic" treatments of the motivic ideas contained in the transcribed birdsong melodies.
Although it was written with the standard B flat clarinet in mind, Birdsong Rhapsody I may be played on any member of the clarinet family.

Published by: Wirripang [979 0 720209 18 0] — 1 score (7p. -- A4 (portrait))

Includes programme notes.

Typeset edition.

ISMN: 979 0 720209 18 0

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