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Aequale

TrombonesHuh?

According to Wikipedia:

The aequale has become established as a generic term for short, chordal, three or four part trombone pieces. Old church music regulations from Linz show that such pieces were used at funeral services in Austria. The performance of such pieces from towers on All Souls’ Day and the previous evening has an association with the funeral service. The theological meaning of the trombone as a symbol of divine presence, the voice of the angels and instrument of judgment is thereby underscored.

Notable examples of aequale are Ludwig van Beethoven’s Three Equale for four trombones and Anton Bruckner’s Two Aequale for three trombones.

So?

Well, I’m gonna write me some aequale of my very own.  Only I’m being a non-conformist, so:

  1. They’re going to be written for five trombones (ATTBB)
  2. Only the prelude and postlude will be chordal; the aequale proper will be strictly polyphonic, probably largely based on a series of canons

So there, see what you can make of that, Wikipedia.

And no, this doesn’t mean that someone I know is dead, or that I’m planning that someone I know will be dead.  On the contrary.  I wanted to write a short occasional piece, and a group of trombones seemed like a nice sound for the kind of writing I had in mind (for those who know it, think the epilogue to the finale of Mahler’s sixth symphony).  I’m hoping to get them done by the end of the week, and then I’ll put them up for viewing once my intended target has arrived.

So watch this space . . .

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Categories: Work in progress
  1. 13 April, 2011 at 21:47

    And this is to announce that it’s finished. And it actually manages to achieve a modicum of radiance, a genuinely positive climax. What am I coming to?

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