Phonemic Suburbia

For: Large mixed ensemble
page one of Phonemic Suburbia

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Phonemic Suburbia


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Year of composition
Peter McNamara
Difficult (Grades 7+)
5 minutes
Modern classical music
License details
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

Phonemic Suburbia is a very subtle work that represents the diversity and beauty of many Australian cities. Its title is derived from the lyrics used in this piece; lyrics that do not tell any story, but are instead the names of various suburbs in Sydney. Many of the syllables that make up these words are broken down and drawn-out by the vocalist so that the listener only hears their vocal sounds.

The opening Violin nine-note melody is the foundation of most the work’s pitch material; the accompanying Lute part utilises various chords that are derived from this opening melody. This work also uses various ‘morphing’ techniques. These are used to transform the tone colour of the work’s textures, which are usually very sparse and can often be only a single pitch.

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