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Short Pieces for Four Horns: III - Rondo Naturel

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Quartet
2022
3 min.

Horn

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Program Notes
"Short Pieces for Four Horns" is an ongoing collection of pieces for horn quartet exploring different musical styles, genres, and techniques. Piece III: "Rondo Naturel" (Natural Rondo) alludes to the piece's structure and the type of horns the piece should be performed on (or mimicking the types of horns). The horn’s range is large, and it sits perfectly within the harmonic series allowing players access to a multitude of harmonics. Taking advantage of this, I decided to focus an entire piece on the horn’s capabilities within the harmonic series. Each horn is assigned a key/fundamental (either to be played on a natural horn of the respective key or using the valve combination to mimic the natural horn of said key) and confined to the harmonic series of that fundamental—hence “Naturel” within the title, in reference to both the types of horns used, as well as the fact that the harmonic series is naturally occurring. Using the harmonic series, an A-material is formed and always contrasted by opposing material, with all the materials gradually becoming more varied with each repetition—the quintessential rondo form.
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