Keyboard Suite in A
This is a keyboard suite in A; that is, it has a tonal center of A, but the piece isn’t completely tonal. This piece is mostly tonal, but it does explore other modalities, as well. A suite is a cycle of pieces in dance form. This suite is in four parts.
The first dance in this keyboard suite is an arabesque. It is a lively, narrative style piece that incorporates some middle eastern modalities. It also serves as an introductory piece. Although it does explore Arab modalities, it is largely in A Major.
The second dance in the keyboard suite is a minuet. It is in A Major, although it does undergo a development section, and is dissonant in places. It is slow, stately, and simple.
The third piece is a passacaglia. It is slow and dark. It has an a minor feel, although it is actually modal with some similarities to a minor.
The capstone of the suite is its final movement, which is a rigaudon. It is fast, loud, and angular. It has a strong Americana feel. Generally, it is in A Major, although there is some dissonance and polytonality.
Some Notes on Keyboard Suite in A
As I mentioned before, this piece is mostly tonal, however, it explores other modalities. In general, this piece is very much in keeping with the Americana tradition, even while it uses Baroque European dance forms. This piece was created improvisationally, however, I did some preliminary research on the forms I used before I sat down to play. Ever since I was a child, I had a deep appreciation for J.S. Bach’s Orchestral Suites, consequently, I’ve always been interested in exploring the form for myself. Formally, this piece is similar to what Baroque composers were creating in the early 1700s. Stylistically, this piece has more in common with Copland, Bernstein, Adams, Jazz, and Rock.