Negotiations for Trombone and Harp

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Difficult (Grades 7+)
9 minutes
Modern classical music
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“Negotiations” was inspired by the Kim/Trump summit in June 2018. It is not a political commentary, but rather a reflection on the three stages that often take place during the negotiation process.

The first movement “Bombastic” is filled with syncopation, loud dynamics, and strong articulation. It is at a fast tempo. Each instrument presents its point of view with different motivic material. The trombone hammers away at making its point through fast repeated notes and both instruments repeat their motives frequently in an argumentative manner.

The second movement “Compromise” is at a slow tempo and is imitative. The imitation varies in some degree as each side makes small adjustments to what the other side has said. Sometimes the imitation is through alternating phrases and other times it is more canonic.

“Accord” is the title of the third movement. This movement proceeds as if the two instruments are one with the trombone stating the agreement and the harp supporting the trombone. Tweaks are still being made as slight variations occur as the material repeats, but the sense of accord is present throughout and the movement and composition end triumphantly.

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