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In the Garden: A composition for wind ensemble in three movements

Darren Pettit, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


“In the Garden” is a three movement composition in the style of “third stream” for wind ensemble. It is a programmatic piece that represents a 24-hour cycle from the garden’s point of view. It mixes elements of both jazz and classical music to bridge the gap between art music and popular music. Some compositional techniques that are used include: klangfarbenmelodie, the infinity series, metric modulation, minimalism, extensive use of hemiola, canon, and improvisation. Included in the piece is the use of “world music” in the form of Brazilian samba, Southeast Asian gamelan, and mbira textures found in kalimba music from Zimbabwe. All three movements contain a rhythm section to promote a general sense of groove throughout. The first movement, entitled “Morning”, begins with a double canon in the marimba, glockenspiel, and vibraphone. This represents the sound of gamelan, but is used as wind-chimes. This is accompanied by two piccolos that create the effect of birds. The middle section features a jazz tenor saxophone improvisation with a Brazilian samba accompaniment. The second movement, entitled “Afternoon and Dusk”, opens with mbira music from Zimbabwe. Once again flutes and piccolos represent birds, and there is a piano improvisation that leads into dusk. At dusk the instruments use repetition to create the illusion of insects in the evening. The third movement, entitled “Night”, begins with a lullaby that becomes fear by incorporating dissonance into the texture. The middle of this movement is the climax of the entire piece. There is a prominently featured drum solo before the movement elides into the completion of the 24-hour cycle with a return to the original motific structure.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Pettit, Darren, "In the Garden: A composition for wind ensemble in three movements" (2016). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI10100521.