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Scoring Technique
Piece For My Latino Friends - 2  
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Example 2 is a continuation of the score of Piece for my Latino Friends by Wolf Kerschek. The melody, as I said before, has strong flavours of the Lydian mode. The typical raised fourth of this mode is seen in bars 9 to 12 in both melody and piano figures. Bar 13 leaves the mode temporarily as the Bbmaj7 and Gm6 chords are more typical of C Mixolydian. Bar 27 introduces a temporary key change. The continuation of the theme after bar 36 will be shown on the next page. It is a repeat of the melody beginning in bar 9, but it is done on the record in a way that leaves the listener breathless with amazement. It certainly took me some time to figure it out when I first heard it. All will be revealed overleaf.

In the example the bass plays repeated octave Cs over the first 16 bars. Rhythmic pedal point of this kind focuses attention on the upper voices. The upper chords are C, with the Lydian fourth thrown in for flavour, and Gm9 alternately. When all this changes in bar 25 the effect is a great surging uplift mixed with a considerable amount of relief. This is, of course, the whole point of the passage. There are many other such tense build–ups in the piece involving long, heavy, repeated hammer–like blows from the rhythm section. They resolve, just when the listener is almost shrieking for a release of tension, either in a massive climax, or they simply stop dead, leaving the plaintive call of a single instrument in a vast empty void. The rhythm switches regularly from Salsa to Reggae and back again elsewhere in the composition; each time after one of these frantic passages.

Note the syncopation between the bass line and melody in bars 25 and 26. The bass tones in bars 27 and 28 form polychords with the upper triads. Such bass tones are often formed by selecting a whole tone or semitone above or below any one of the members of the upper triad. This gives an available selection of nine polytonal bass notes. It could be argued that the first chord in bar 27 is a Dbmaj 9 (no 3rd), but that misses the point. The bass tones are chosen according to the amount of tension required. Sharp dissonance is achieved by use of semitone intervals. Here, with the Ab triad, this gives a selection of G,A,B,Db,D and E. A milder dissonance is created by using whole tones: in this case Gb,Bb,Db,D and F. Bass notes so formed often need inversion of the triad or octave doubling of its lead tone to be most effective. As I mentioned above: some of the polychords suggest conventional harmonies, but as polychords may generally only be spelled with difficulty the guitar is often left out of such passages altogether, as it has been here, or else plays figures based on the upper triads. I’ve only shown the basic rhythm for the first eight bars but it continues throughout. There are many more LA instruments involved than are shown here.

Some of the examples given in these articles will be transposed into instrument pitch in order to give readers a chance to try out the phrases. Transposing in the score not only simplifies such practice but also gives a better idea of the pitch of the notes on each instrument. This is especially true for the tenor and baritone saxophones, who would otherwise be in the bass clef. Reading a transposed score in an open key may be confusing at first, but that is all part of the learning process.

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