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page one of Machautnations

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Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
5 minutes
Modern classical music
License details
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Constructed upon the repetition of a single bar from the �Gloria� passage from Guilliaume de Machaut�s �Messe de Notre Dame�, this piece slowly builds in intensity and complexity to involve every section of the orchestra throughout its hypnotic journey. The title may seem contrived, but then, so is the musical idea of �machination� permeating through the piece; that of intrigue, plotting and design.

Following the principles of the original music, groups of players weave snippets of phrases from the mass over increasingly modern harmony. The fact that music can be medieval and post-modern at the same time is illustrated in the mid section, where the percussion is asked to ad lib in a �hip hop� style � repetition and rhythm, of course, being a crucial component of today�s new urban music. The transition from minor to major in the closing passage is conventionally stylistic, but serves as a reminder that after so much repetition, inevitable familiarity and darkness can come change, hope and light�

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