Whole-tone Sax is my very first composition for alto saxophone. I came up with the opening theme while experimenting with the whole-tone scale, hence the title. Although the piece begins with a lively excursion into the whole-tone landscape, I quickly depart from it and began transposing my theme into more familiar diatonic (major and minor) scales. This was very necessary as the whole-tone scale can quickly become monotonous if you're not careful and exceptionally creative. The second movement is much calmer and peaceful in contrast to the first. Again, I chose to stay away from the confines of the whole-tone scale, attempting to create graceful, tonal melodies. The third and final movement is an upbeat perpetual motion piece, constructed almost entirely of eighth notes (unfortunately, saxophonists do have to breathe). Taking advantage of the saxophone's range, I use large, accented leaps on upbeats to offset the normal pulse of 6/8 time. I hope you enjoy the new music!
Simon Yeh, alto saxophone
© 2014 Josh Drake. All Rights Reserved
Cedarville, music, composition
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Drake, Joshua, "Whole-tone Sax" (2014). Student Composition Recitals. 91.