Yair Yahweh: An original composition for symphonic band with biblical and harmonic analysis
Johnson, Michael Charles
This doctoral project is an original composition for large-scale symphonic band with musical and Biblical analysis. The approximate State of Texas University of Interscholastic League (UIL) contest level for the symphonic work is grade 5-6. The Texas UIL Sight-Reading ranges were adhered to closely and the work is designed for both a teaching tool for rhythmical expertise but also to introduce students to a variety of musical styles. Yair Yahweh is a 12-minute composition that attempts to trace God’s light from the time of creation in the Old Testament to the fulfillment of the promise of Light of the World in the New Testament. Constructed in three major sections, this through-composed composition features the melodies of three traditional and one new hymn whose texts highlight light. Praise the One Who Breaks the Darkness, The People That in Darkness Sat, and I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light are developed in Yair Yahweh along with a small portion of the hymn Praise to the Lord the Almighty. Scored for large scale Symphonic Band, Pipe Organ, Piano, Harp, and Handbell Choir, the wind instrumentation includes: Piccolo, Flute 1 & 2, Oboe 1 & 2, English Horn, E-flat Clarinet, B-flat Clarinet 1, 2 & 3, Bass Clarinet 1 & 2, Contrabass Clarinet (optional but preferred), Bassoon 1 & 2, Contra Bassoon (optional but preferred), E-flat Alto Saxophone 1 & 2, Bb Tenor Saxophone 1 & 2, E-flat Baritone Saxophone, 4 Horns in F, B-flat Trumpet 1, 2 & 3, Trombone 1 & 2, Bass Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba, Double Bass, Timpani, Bells, Marimba, Xylophone, Vibraphone, and 6 multiple percussion parts. In the absence of a Pipe Organ, Harp and Handbell Choir, the parts may be played on electronic keyboards and Celesta. Yair Yahweh explores elements as diverse as tone clusters from the chaos of creation to a large percussion break in the middle section of the work depicting the exodus of the Children of Israel into the desert looking for God’s light. Traditional tertian harmonies, chromatic mediant shifts, a light Saxophone jazz ensemble section, and the use of a new 20th century hymn tune all utilize the colors and nuances of the large-scale symphonic band. The analysis of Yair Yahweh includes the Biblical references in the work and the symbolisms that were used in completing the composition.