for piano

By: Robert Percy (2010)
For: Solo instrument (Piano)
page one of Chopsticks

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Robert Percy (2010)
Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
12 minutes
License details
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Programme Note - The piece opens, hesitantly, as the famous children’s piano piece of the same name. After a swift digression, the piece begins to explore connections between a number of different musical ideas. These include a gentle, pulseless monody interspersed with ‘earthquake’ patterns (like the rhythm of bouncing ball, coming to rest); soft, periodic, major and minor triads which echo the opening Chopsticks tune; a tetchy dilogue between left and right hands; and a high, rapid interplay of two augmented triads. As far as pitch materials are concerned, the piece uses a six-note ‘mode of limited transpositions’ (reccurring minor third folllowed by minor second). The piece makes use of the fact that each transposition of the mode contains three pairs of major/minor triads and a pair of augmented triads. Throughout its course, the piece visitis each transposition of the mode and the corresponding triads. Interacting with the mode, in its different transpositions, are the five intervals which make up the original Chopsticks tune. The piece finishes with a chorale-like passage which combines the various triads with the intervals from Chopsticks.

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