I come bearing great tales of my travels in the last six months! Well, actually... I haven't really traveled anywhere, but I did get a whole lot of writing done! Oh, hey, let's talk about that!
So first of all, the first movement of Bedtime Stories is D–O–N–E, done! A fancy-schmancy perusal score is up for all of you to... well... peruse. I won't sugar coat it—the piece is insane. Very, very hard, especially for the vocalist. The piece isn't completely atonal.... I mean there are tonal sections, and the whole thing ends with a very clear cadence in G, but octatonic and chromatic scales abound, not to mention a ton of arpeggiated augmented chords and four-against-three patterns (or three-beat superquadruplets, as Dr. John W. White would say).
Now, I'm not the kind of guy who's gonna write something incredibly hard for the sake of it being hard. There are a few reasons I decided to write the piece this way. But before I tell you about those, here's a reason why it makes no sense to write the piece this way—and to all you budding composers out there (or anyone writing for voices for the first time), take this as a rule of thumb. Heck, let's even give it a fancy-sounding name. How about The Fundamental Theorem of Vocalists? That sounds pretty math-y (or maths-y, for all the British folk out there). Anyway, the Fundamental Theorem of Vocalists states:
The amount of expression a vocalist gives to the text is inversely proportional to the difficulty of the music being sung.
- For most pieces that include text, the text is the most important aspect of the music, and if you cannot communicate the text, then what's this all been about!?
- Vocalists stereotypically have poor aural skills.
A third reason, however, deals with point number two in our short, clear, and attractive list above.