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fishyfry

Passepied for Solo Violin

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This is a short Passepied with a Trio for solo violin. I was inspired to write it after studying Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for Violin.

The Passepied is in the A mixolydian mode and is broken up into two sections (the first time it appears). The first section is quite soft and light, with the second section being more free and expressive. Two short pentatonic phrases in D major are combined to form the Trio. The piece ends with a recapitulation of the first section of the Passepied.

Thanks for listening!

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Just what is a Passepied? Satie wrote one but it sounds very different than this, which is pretty and sounds Irish or Appalachian to my ears. It would be nice to hear a real fiddle play this, but using my imagination I got where you were going. Ending on the Dominant was clever and somehow satisfying.

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Thank you for the feedback Ken. 

A passepied was a French dance used in a lot of baroque suites. It's usually a light dance in a quick 3/8 time. It has been used a few times by more recent composers (Debussy, Stravinsky, Satie) in suites of music. 

I wanted to use a baroque dance as the basis for this piece because I had been studying the Bach partitas. I just arbitrarily chose a passepied. 

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Generally really enjoyable piece and seems to be idiomatic for the violin as well! 

However, if you want to take something else from Bach to keep interest during a solo piece for a violin (writing for solo instruments in a manner as to keep the listeners attention isn't easy), then consider not being only in a single key all the time. Bach constantly uses chromatic motion, secondary dominants and modulations to dominant, usually. Sometimes other keys, such as sub-dominant before the end. This allows for more emotional content as well. Constantly piling on the tensions and releases in this constant rhythmically similar motion that is the Bach hallmark. Since you have a similar idea in having similar rhythmic motion most of the time (especially in the first movement) this seems lacking. As it stands sometimes there is diatonic, tonal motion that doesn't seem to have a clear direction. 

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Thank you for the feedback Yachar. Looking at the piece, I agree that the melody sometimes becomes quite uninteresting and unfocused. This is something I can improve on in the future. 

When writing this piece, I ended up feeling like I needed to keep the melody diatonic, to establish the modality in the first part and to keep the folk style in the second. 

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I hadn't considered modality to be a strong goal here, so my feedback lacked that element. If you are going for the simple modality of folk music, that often uses a burdon to establish it, then certainly. But even modal music started using leading tones and chromatic motion as it got more complex, pretty soon. (Take a look at any 16-17th century italian harpsichord music for example) 

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