Never Handle Firearms Carelessly (Mezzo-Soprano/High Version, also for Tenor)

page one of Never Handle Firearms Carelessly (Mezzo-Soprano/High Version, also for Tenor)

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Full details

"Never Handle Firearms Carelessly" comes from a speech given by Samuel Clemons (a.k.a. Mark Twain) to a graduating class. In setting the text to music, I hoped to match the brilliant sarcasm of America's most famous satirist. First, I chose a blatantly atonal setting for the text to emphasize the verbal caricatures. Also, I used word painting wherever possible, employing a variety of puns as well as literal connections. (Pay special attention to the words, "laughing", "bang", "cathedral", "female", "shudder", and any numbers mentioned in the text.) Finally, I transcribed every individual mood or feeling that I felt when reading the text. In the end, the piece, like the text, carries two purposes: to create humor at the expense of the listener's expectations and to warn those who might aspire to become composers against the misuse, overuse, and abuse of textbook developmental devices.

Score ID
Year of composition
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)
Difficult (Grades 7+)
8 minutes
Voice + keyboard
Modern classical music

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