NINE Concertino for Tuba and Piano

Commissioned by Elizabeth Beaulieu

Grade 5

Duration: 9 minutes

Instrumentation: tuba, piano


Nine was commissioned by Elizabeth Beaulieu on May 17, 2013.

The composition of this concertino for tuba and piano, graciously commissioned by tubist Elizabeth Beaulieu, was influenced by many factors:

  • The primary, as one might derive, is based on the number 9 and its multiples, divisions, and combinations. This led to experimentations compounding duple and triple meters, and the colorful rhythms that could be developed therein.
  • A secondary and significant influence within the composition is minimalism. I used a personal interpretation of minimalism: as a tool, rather than as an absolute style, that focuses on rhythmic and (even more so) tonal dynamicism. Additionally, on occasion fragments of a complete melodic idea act as cells that continually appear and grow longer and fuller each time until the idea is either completely fulfilled or left in ambiguity (my personal artistic expression of the way in which my mind handles “sticky” and persistent ideas, chewing and churning on them over and over).
  • Finally, I use a nine-note scale in the third section which consists of the pattern [w h w h h h w h]. This scale has been affectionately referred to as the “Piland Scale” by my good friend Andrew Boss, and by many others since then (if you can’t tell, I really want this to catch on – who doesn’t want a scale named after them?).

It is my hope that these varied imaginings all find powerful and significant ways of coexisting together in the musical environment of this piece that is incessantly motivated by color and texture.


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