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Plutinos

Year of composition
2006
Difficulty
Difficult (Grades 7+)
Duration
8 minutes
Genre
Classical music
Instrumentation
Piano trio
Instrumental parts

Plutinos are a form of Kuiper belt object (the Kuiper belt is the are of the solar system beyond the planet Neptune), named after their most famous member: Pluto.

The piece was inspired by a diagram of Kuiper belt objects in an Open University science course, showing the arrangement of the three major kinds of object: Plutinos, ’Classical’ objects and ’Scattered Disc’ objects. This diagram gives the piece its form and governs the style of the three major sections. Plutinos starting from rehearsal letter A, Classical at C and Scattered Disc Objects at D. There is a gap between the Plutinos and the Classical objects (B-C) and the Classical and Scattered Disc object overlap. The musical timeline does not follow a timeline exactly proportional to the X axis of the figure.

Nearly all of the material in the piece is generated from a graph comparing the construction of various types of planetary material with carbonaceous chondrites, which are believed to be the type of material from which all of the solar system is made. The other source is the atomic weights of the materials that make up the carbonaceous chondrites: this, in its raw form, produces the first 19 bars of D, and is expanded upon from C.

Although written using a system, I have freely re-interpreted quite a lot of the generated material for my own compositional purposes.

The piece should be approachable by amateurs - with a little practice - though I’m not sure about the piano part.

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