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Scoring Technique
Piece For My Latino Friends - 1    
Parts 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Brazilian Walz - Toggle text and examples with Backspace and Shift+Backspace

Example 1 has been taken from the introduction of a composition by the brilliant young Hamburg vibraphonist Wolf Kerschek, who wrote it for the German Youth Jazz Orchestra (BuJazzO), coached and directed by Peter Herbolzheimer. The title Piece For My Latino Friends is included in the outstanding double CD BuJazzO Vol.3 ARS MUSICI AM 1095-2. For clarity Iíve shown the brass at the top. All instruments have been transposed into their correct pitch, although the key signatures are open.

The composition contains Salza, Reggae and other rhythms throughout, while maintaining a constant virtual tempo. Later on in the piece there is an extraordinary passage of rubato brass and saxes conducted out of tempo against the rhythm section, which remains in time. There are long passages of tutti ad lib and written ad lib type unisons.

I believe the piece to be a watershed in composing and arranging for the jazz orchestra, and an innovation in Latin American techniques. As regards the harmonies: no one is playing a chordal background as such in the intro, but each bar contains chord references as noted here, with one chord symbol on the second beat of each bar respectively: C#maj7+11 |† Bbmaj7+11 |† Am(C bass) |† Bbmaj7(6) | Abmaj7#5 | Bbmaj7#5 | Gbsus(Ab Bass) | A2(Eb Bass). It will be appreciated that trying to add the rhythm section here would make the score too large for the page. The various rhythms will be dealt with later.

The brass and saxes play triads, while all bass instruments, including piano, double the bass trombone. The drums also follow the bass motif rhythmically. This bass line recurs later in the piece behind the melody and is polytonal. The downward skip in bar 3 introduces the Lydian flavour of the melody.

Any other arranger might have integrated the saxes with the brass, or introduced a counter melody. Here they are dynamically threaded through the intro in such a way as to cause tumult; a method often used by Stravinsky. The chaos gives way suddenly at the end of bar 8 to a solo trumpet with rhythm accompaniment.

Note: The sound clips are in mono for faster uploading

Part 2>>>