Prelude for Strings


This was a class assignment in college, with specific harmonic and song structure parameters:  We needed to include specific progressions and cadences, needed to transition to the relative major or minor, and transition back to the original key, etc.  Given the numerous parameters already imposed on us, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to compose something meaningful to me within the those limits.  However, I started and finished this piece easily (minus the tedious notation) within the space of an hour.  The limitations actually made it easier for me to focus on what was important.  I was also pleasantly surprised to hear how diverse the entire class’s compositions were.  It was a fun lesson in how important voice is to musical expression.  I originally composed it in Eb minor by ear (because that’s the tonal center I heard), and my instructor made me change it to E minor on account of it being “an ugly key for strings.”  I think it sounds better in Eb minor.

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