Analysis: Duae Cantatae Breves by Sydney Hodkinson

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jonathan Caldwell, Assistant Professor of Conducting, Director of Bands (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Sydney Hodkinson has written over 280 pieces in a wide variety of genres, including 20 works for wind ensemble. "Duae cantatae breves" is the second of three pieces written in memory of deceased friends. It is made up of two movements, or cantatas, based on the same source material: a 16th-century madrigal by Carlo Gesualdo titled "Resta di darmi noia" or "Cease now, no longer plague me." "Duae cantatae breves" draws its pitch material from the melody in measures 1-6 of "Resta di darmi noia." The second phrase of the madrigal is exactly the same as the first, but transposed up a major second. By eliminating rests and treating the first measure of each phrase as a single pitch, a 12-note resultant series emerges. From this series, Hodkinson eliminates the repeated pitches and creates a second series of nine notes. This series is references in the preface to the score and is fully chromatic. Although this reduced nine-note series is clearly identified in the score as the genesis of the piece, it is only used as a brief harmonic device in the second movement and, even then, appears in an expanded form. This likely because it would be almost impossible to aurally recognize the nine-note collection as a Gesualdo reference without the three repeated notes. Instead, Hodkinson uses the 12-note series throughout the piece to keep the aural reference to "Resta di darmi noia" intact.

Additional Information

Journal of Band Research 53, no. 1 (Fall 2017)
Language: English
Date: 2017
16th century, orchestras, musical performances, wind instruments, musical influences, musical composition, classical music

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