1 August 2021, Sonatina in B-Flat Major, 1. Allegro, Audio

The—ahem—remastered audio of the Sonatina in B-Flat Major has started going up on my website. This is the last of the sonatinas, and the longest of the bunch. I still felt like I didn’t know what I was doing, which is a really depressing thing to realize after having received a Master of Arts degree in music composition, but that just goes to show how crappy the university program turned out to be. A lot of this has to do with the fact that we were expected to compose Twentieth-century music, which was explained to us as all bleep-bleep and blurp-blurp, so you know, knock yourself out, do whatever, there are no rules. More accurately, the only rule was that we weren’t supposed to follow rules, and tonality was absolutely forbidden.

Part of keeping the sonatinas short while also attempting to not overwhelm myself, I had used four-measure phrases throughout. Well, for the B-Flat Major Sonatina, I wanted to go all-out and risk everything by using eight-measure phrases. Whoa, I was sure being radical, and it was a thrill since I didn’t really know how I was going to manage such outrageously extravagant phrases.

Did I mention that I was doing all of this while holding down a soul-sucking, spirit-deadening day job? Well, technically I’m still holding down that job, but that’s beside the point.

The extravagant phrases were certainly a thrill and the accompaniment was woefully repetitive, but I swear I couldn’t figure out how to mix up the works without the piece feeling like it was slamming into a break wall, so I just went for it.

This did leave me with the problem of building up way too much momentum. The damn thing just did not want to end, and every single time I thought I had reached the end, the music ran right off a cliff. I mean that I would plug it into my music notation software, listen to the crappy playback, and the end would just fling itself off the edge. I had to keep going. Eventually I was able to wind down that runaway train, which is probably pretty obvious to anyone listening to it. I don't know. What do I know?

Anyway, here’s the first movement of the Sonatina in B-flat Major, again.


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