Home > Orchestra > Two Particles

Two Particles

Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
9 minutes
Modern classical music
Instrumental parts
Not available

�Two Particles� is a sonic realisation of the behaviour of alpha and beta particles undergoing radioactive decay.

The work is orchestrated for full symphony orchestra, utilising an extended percussion section. The structure of the piece follows a modified sonata form. Please email for a more detailed account of the programme of this work, including details of specific quantum mechanical particle behaviour, their compositional properties and graphical representations of orchestration.

After a short introduction the first subject begins at bar 76. The first subject is constructed in a bi-tonal fashion with the violins and cellos being set a tone apart. This polychordal technique of structuring melodic lines is used extensively by the American composer Jennifer Higdon (1962 - ), and is particularly prominent in her works �City Scape� (2002) and �Blue Cathedral� (1999).

In contrast to the more melodious first subject, the second subject, at bar 145, is built around a dynamic modal scale The woodwind initiate this figure before passing it over to string section. Throughout this subject the scale is developed through fragmenting and extending in a manner reminiscent of the rhythmic cell structural development of Igor Stravinsky (1882 � 1971).

The development section begins at bar 199 and starts with the percussion and reed imitating a gamelan ensemble, a technique much employed by the award winning composer Christopher Theofanidis (1967 - ). Throughout this section there is much juxtaposition of material from the first and second subjects in conjunction with new material such as the gamelan imitation and dissonant brass bell tone effects.

A �false� recapitulation begins at bar 264 in a similar fashion to the artificial recapitulations in many of Joseph Haydn�s (1732 - 1809) string quartets. The initial col legno effect soon yields to more Stravinsky-like developmental bridge passage. The first subject then re-appears at bar 297 as the beginning of the coda section. A more dissonant approach is used for this section as the first and second subjects battle for auditory supremacy. The work closes in an almost frenzied, chaotic mode evoking thoughts of the finale of Stravinsky�s �Rite of Spring�.

Please email for parts.

Which method of viewing music should I use?

Score Exchange has two methods to display previews of music: seView which uses regular html and javascipt and the Scorch plug-in from Avid which needs to be downloaded and installed onto your computer. Both have advantages and disadvantages:


seView, is the most compatible option. You should be able to view music on all modern web browsers including most mobile devices. Even if your device does not support javascript you should still be able to preview at least page one of the music.

You do not need to install any additional software to use seView.


Scorch is a free plug-in from Avid for displaying and printing music. It can also play the music that you're seeing. As modern web browsers are updated, Scorch is no longer compatible with many browsers. Scorch has never been compatible with mobile devices and some web browsers on Mac computers.

If your web browser does not install Scorch automatically, you can click here to download and install scorch manually.

cloud scorch goes here

This score was submitted by Michael Walters. If you wish to perform, record, or broadcast this music then you should contact them first.

In order to submit this score to ScoreExchange.com Michael Walters has declared that they own the copyright to this work in its entirety or that they have been granted permission from the copyright holder to use their work. If you believe that this score should be not available here because it infringes your or someone elses copyright, please report this score using the copyright abuse form.