Duet for Viola and Piano

Composer Name: 
Ella Gaulin
Description: 

The process of creating this piece required me to dig deep, work hard but also have so much fun doing it. With the help of Johna and my mentor Erik, I was able to create a piece that I was happy with. The inspiration was originally ‘The Swan’ by Saint Saens but I definitely strayed away from that idea and created something with more intensity. The instruments I used were violin, cello and piano. I chose those instruments because the cello and piano were in the song I was inspired by. I then added violin to create more bass notes and add something to the piece that I had felt was missing. Each instrument had a time to shine and play the main melody. This was one of Erik’s suggestions and it really helped the song to have more depth. Looking back at what I wrote, I decided my piece reminded me of something. It reminded me of a storm. It starts off quietly and slowly but as the song goes on it continues to get crazier and more intense until finally it starts to slow back down again. In the beginning the piano starts off with an arpeggio creating a slow and calm affect. The violin starts with the main theme which slowly pulls you in and signifies the beginning of the storm. The cello also accompanies the violin, adding more depth. As the piece goes on, the cello starts with staccato notes creating a very anticipated feel that signifies the storm becoming crazier and crazier. Throughout the piece the cello, violin and piano switch between more intense roles and between bass roles. By the middle of the piece you’ve reached the peak of the storm. The piano, violin, and cello all have an important role in the middle measures creating an intense and chaotic moment. The piece eventually slows down and ends with the cello playing the main theme rather than the violin. The process of creating my piece was altogether a good one but there were a few bumps in the road. In the very beginning I decided my piece wasn’t leading me to feel excited or inspired to move forward so I thought it’d be a good idea to scratch it and start with something new. I instantly became excited and adding on more became something that I was wanting to do. Erik definitely had many comments that required me to really buckle down and change a lot of my piece but in the end all of his suggestions made it so much better. I’m so grateful for this experience and I hope one day I’ll be able to do it again!

Grade Level: 
10
Intended For: 
Live Instrument Performance
Software Used: 
Noteflight
Instrumentation: 
Piano, Violin and Cello
Key: 
B Minor
Time Signature: 
3/4
Tempo: 
120
Status: 
Completed Work
Teacher's Last Name: 
Saltsman

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