Home > Solo instrument > Voudou!


Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
3 minutes
Modern classical music
Solo instrument (Euphonium in Bb [bass clef])
Instrumental parts
Not available
Related scores

The religion of Vodou has its roots in the animist spirit religions of West Africa. The Vodou practiced on the Caribbean island of Haiti is a synthesis of these West African slave religions crossed with residual rituals from the indigenous Taino Indians.

Erzulie Dantor depicts the recitative sung and chanted in order to summon the goddess of love. This movement is constructed by combining both a system of interval with the exotic Javanese mode. This series of intervals, or their inversions, have been treated both serially and palindromically. The passages marked �echo� are not considered to be are not part of the intervallic row. In some passages each half of the intervallic row have also been retrograded. The overall structure of the song could be defined as an altered sonata rondo form ABACA.

Ogou is based upon the ritualistic dance performed in order to summon Ogou, the warrior spirit. This movement abandons the interllavic row used in the previous movement and is instead constructed by combining the Javanese and Hindustan scales (modes of the same family). These modes combine at the tempo primo section in order to create a tonal centre of F minor. In order to assist the performer with the irregular placement of accents, the beaming of groups of notes has also been altered.

This movement employs the compositional devices of fragmentation, rhythmic augmentation and diminution, valeur ajoute�, repetition and imitation. This movement is structured in a through-composed form with final section marked tempo primo consisting of a fusion of motifs taken from the initial two sections.

Notes for Performance

Erzulie Dantor � To be performed muted throughout. Larger notes are to be performed at a forte dynamic, and smaller (cue sized) notes are to be played pianissimo unless directed.

Ogou � Also to be performed muted throughout. The stamping motif�s are to be treated as a visual aspect of the performance and little attention should be given the sound actually created.

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