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Desist is a ten minute work for orchestra. The instrumentation of the work is for a fairly standard orchestra: two flutes, two oboes, two Bb clarinets, two bassoons, contrabassoon, four horns, three C trumpets, two tenor trombones, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, three percussionists, harp, piano, and strings. The title of the work, Desist, means to cease doing something or to stop. This idea of closure is explored at the surface level of the definition and on a personal level. Though, this by no means suggests a programmatic conception. The sound world of Desist consists of two unifying elements; a seven chord progression and the opening sonority of the work. Each of these elements are explored and developed to create new musical textures and melodic materials. The opening sonority (A, B, D#, E) is heard throughout the piece in different musical textures, transpositions, voicings, and scorings until it is finally resolved to its tendency tone at the end of the work. Formally the work is a single, through composed movement which can be broken down into six sections; fast, faster, very slow, slow, fast, fast. This arrangement of fast, slow, fast creates the effect of a three movement form. Related to this structure a dramatic curve can be paralleled. The opening fast sections are dissonant and tense, the slow music plaintive and fragile, the closing fast music uplifting and animated which changes to a solemn, reflective character similar to the opening music, to bookend the composition.
A Dissertation Submitted to the School of Music in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Music.
Includes bibliographical references.
Florida State University
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