compositions | band | black rainbow (2013)

black rainbow (2013)

Medium: 6 Solo Percussion w/ Piano
Publisher: C. Alan Publications
Composed: 2013
Duration: 8:30
Difficulty: Grade 5

Look Inside Score

Solo Percussion 1 (4 Timpani, Sizzle Cymbal, Egg Shaker(s), Triangle)
Solo Percussion 2 (Bells, Crotales, Xylophone, Shared Marimba)
Solo Percussion 3 (Vibraphone, Suspended Cymbal, Shared Marimba)
Solo Percussion 4 (Shared 4.3-octave Marimba, China Cymbal, Suspended Cymbal, Shared Vibraphone)
Solo Percussion 5 (4 Concert Toms, China Cymbal, Bongos, Wind Chimes, Ocean Drum)
Solo Percussion 6 (Concert Bass Drum, Tam-Tam, Suspended Cymbal, 2 Congas)

Piano Accompaniment (optional amplification if needed)

*This is the piano reduction version. Go to original symphonic band version.


Commissioned by the Coventry High School Band (Ned F. Smith, director), Black Rainbow explores the elusive and mystical moonbow – a rainbow produced by light reflected off the surface of the moon. Because it is dark when a moonbow appears, the human eye cannot detect the full spectrum of colors that are present, making the moonbow appear to lack color, thus the name black rainbow. Using the spectrum of 7 colors found in all rainbows – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet or R.O.Y.G.B.I.V. – I derived a pitch set that is used as the thematic material throughout: B-flat, G, F, C-flat, G-flat, D-flat, D-natural.

Additionally, the work divides into seven sections, traveling through the colors, each with its own unique energy.

Red: activity, energy, passion
Orange: creativity, playfulness, equilibrium
Yellow: wisdom, clarity of thought, orderliness
Green: harmony, sympathy, growth, expansion
Blue: peace & understanding, calm, relaxation
Indigo: infinity, bridge between the finite & the infinite
Violet: combination of red and blue energies; viewed as both an ending and a beginning