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Composer Errolyn Wallen outlines some of the compositional procedures used in her composition 'Mondrian'. She explains how she often tries to establish a 'colour or a feel' for the piece by initially doodling at the piano. Her compositions have their own form and they grow organically. In 'Mondrian', she outlines how she fuses the jazzy style of the walking bass with a fairly atonal selection of pitches. This tonal ambiguity is used to create tension. The jazz and Latin influences are also shown in the use of syncopated rhythms. Examples are demonstrated at the piano, interspersed with footage of the chamber ensemble in rehearsal.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
12 October 1992

Classroom Ideas

This clip could be used to introduce the ideal of atonal harmony and encourage students to create a 12 tone composition.

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