Follow the Leader
for wind quintet
Just when you thought dodecaphony was about as much fun as you could handle, here’s Follow the Leader, a brief study in tetradecaphony. That’s right, kids. Instead of using a twelve-tone row à la Arnold Schoenberg, I thought it would make sense to try a thirteen-tone row. (The tritone is repeated — I have no idea why.)
The piece starts with a three-note fanfare — a signal that the game is about to start — then the players take turns establishing the rules. All join in with their own variations of the game until someone else plays the fanfare, at which point it’s their turn to lead. Once everyone has had their turn, the fanfare returns, and the game is over.
This is not my first time using children’s games as a setting to work out inane musical concepts. See also Hopscotch.