Stephen Syverud

Charlie's Blues II

(alto saxophone or WX-7/11, piano, double bass, percussion)

Audio sample (.mp3)

Score sample (.pdf - Click here to acquire Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Performance Instructions

Program Notes:

Charlie's Blues II is a serial composition. Transpositions and permutations of the twelve-tone row determine the order of all pitches and govern other aspects of the composition as well. Fixed registration (certain pitches heard only in particular registers) is used to sectionalize the piece and aid in stressing certain pitches (tonal areas). Durational aspects and dynamics are also dependent upon the manipulation of the series. Particular intervals are emphasized in various sections. Symmetrical relationships are expressed in the form of the piece and on local levels. Many times these relationships are exact palindromes and are expressed durationally, texturally, and dynamically as well as intervalically. Charlie's Blues was originally written for jazz pianist Charles (Gus) Gustafson who lives in San Francisco and teaches at San Mateo College. The instrumentation is piano, bass, and percussion. Paul Zonn, composer at University of Illinois, asked that a saxophone part be added. Instead of adding the alto saxophone to the original composition, the entire piece was recomposed. Additionally, the piece was further expanded to include the possibility of substituting a WX7/11 wind controller for the saxophone. Each transposition and permutation used in the original version was evaluated in regard to its placement in the new version. Extreme care was taken to insure that the original feel of the piece was maintained. Some examples include the symmetrical relationships, the manipulation of the row, and improvisation.

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