Medium: Keyboard Percussion Ensemble (8 players)
Publisher: C. Alan Publications
Composed: October 2010
Difficulty: Grade V
Player 1 (bells & crotales)
Player 2 (3-octave vibraphone)
Player 3 (3-octave vibraphone)
Player 4 (chimes)
Player 5 (4-octave marimba)
Player 6 (4-octave marimba)
Player 7 (4.3-octave marimba)
Player 8 (5-octave marimba)
*All 2-mallet parts
listenSpun for Keyboard Percussion Octet by Nathan Daughtrey
Download full mp3 recording (electronically generated)
The title Spun is derived from the term Fortspinnung ("spun out" or "spinning forth"), which was a term employed by Wilhelm Fischer (1915) to describe the developmental, often sequential middle part of the ritornello in Baroque music. The composer would take a short musical idea or motif and spin it out into an entire phrase or period. It may be used to expand the pace or accelerate the pace of the piece. In "Spun," the short musical idea (D-A-Bb-F#-C-Eb) forms the primary theme and serves as the pitch set for much of the composition. The first 59 measures utilize only pitches from this set before exploring other chromatic key areas. As the piece spins forth, the rules set forth are quickly broken and the theme expands, becomes the accompaniment, acts as the root for the chord progression, but it is always moving forward.
Additionally, after the slow & ominous introduction, the quick perpetual motion of the piece (primarily set in 12/8 meter) create the impression of a dizzying spin from beginning to end, taking the listener on a journey through many moods & emotions.
Spun was commissioned by Dan C. Armstrong and the Penn State Mallet Ensemble and received its premiere on November 30, 2010 at Penn State University (University Park, PA).