Trees Do Fall

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Trees Do Fall


This work, for woodwind and string quartets, is inspired by a stark photograph of a forest setting. In the foreground are dead branches, reminding us of the cycle of life and death. A bad pun in the title also suggests the scene of trees and fallen branches in the autumn.

Musically, I explored the use of quartal harmony. In tertial harmony not every interval in a chord is a third, and the same holds true for quartal harmony. The parallel sevenths in the closing phrase are quartals, with the middle fourth missing, extending through several octaves. I do not call this "atonal"; rather, the tonal centre is constantly shifting because of the tendency of rising fourth and falling fifths to strongly suggest a tonic resolution. I think of it more like a tonal centre in free-fall. Otherwise, it is a compact work involving a single climax and resolution.


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Last updated September 10, 2008
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© Copyright 2008 by Ronald J. Brown (music, image. and program note) & Joseph Dillon Ford (graphic design and layout)