Four Spanish Dances for Alto Saxophone and Marimba

Sy Brandon
Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
8 minutes
Modern classical music
Instrumental parts

The "Zortziko" is a fast dance with five beats per measure with frequent dotted rhythms. The "Flamenco" is a dance in minor that disguises its modality by vacillating between the normal and lowered second degree of the scale and the normal and raised third degree of the scale. It has a narrow range, absence of strict meter, expressive ornamentation, short phrases, melancholy mood, and often begins with "ay". The "Malaguena" is an emotional song using an ostinato of VIII, VII, VI, V in minor with an improvised melody. The "Polo" is moderate dance with three beats per measure with hemiola rhythms. It also contains rapid colorations and uses the words "ay" and "ole".

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