Form and Style in Two of Percy Grainger’s Early Works for Military Band
Keywords:Percy Grainger, composition, music theory, military band
Percy Grainger’s compositions during the early twentieth century represent a unique blend of traditional functional harmony and newer musical techniques. This blending produces a distinct compositional style associated with Grainger, featuring simple forms and textures, melodies inspired by traditional folk songs, extended tertian harmony, and an emphasis on voice leading. Grainger’s works often cross genres and explore various instrumentations and stylistic choices. This paper attempts to further define and explain Grainger’s style by analyzing two of his original works that were arranged for the military band setting, namely Children’s March: Over the Hills and Far Away and Colonial Song. Examining these two works through the lens of harmony, melody, form, texture, and rhythm reveals key aspects of Grainger’s early compositional style. Several stylistic choices were found to recur, including Grainger’s use of counterpoint, voice leading, descending chromaticism, specific patterns of articulations, and tension created by increased note density.
Copyright (c) 2021 John David Dixon
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